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Night Vision Redux – Part 4

Getting to this point in the systematic evaluation of the legacy PVS-14 as a candidate device for update and augmentation going forward (aside from the surface modification), several of the known and largely unknown areas of improvements are noted for those whom focus on the device more than the average user.

Upgrades to the Hyper 14TM configuration include:

– Denser and smaller OD front windows. These are know to crack or leak due to age or warpage of the chassis itself.

– Custom designed battery module gasket in lieu of a thin o-ring. In many cases the standard o-ring does not fully make contact with or even touch the lip of the mating part.

– Fully heli-coiled surfaces to a toleranced hole. In many legacy devices the standard housing makes due with a plastic thread. The steel screw makes quick fodder of the plastic mating surface.

– Use of a patented Burke Ring, which allows the device to be disassembled or undergo maintenance without removing the entire electronic housing or image tube to replace or upgrade optics.

– Obverse interface. This addition allows the monocular to have 2 interface surfaces versus the one standard 1/4″-20 thread.

– Ruggedized Collar. If used, this titanium collar replaces the standard plastic or aluminum Objective Focus Stop Ring. As a note, some manufactures have altogether eliminated this part and mold a faux stop ring into the legacy chassis. This ruggedized replacement part now adds yet a third interface point as an orbital anchor point. Typical uses are aftermarket weapon mounts, COTI/COSI/CORI clip-on devices and dual bridge type applications.

– Shock resistance. This particular Hyper 14TM is equipped with a (patented) multi-part sleeve system that significantly dampens shock and pulse problematics. This may open up the co-use of typically problematic calibers or weapon types that put optics in the permanent OFF mode.

Many of the criteria (modularity, ruggedization, logistical easement, scalability, etc.) are already available or open the possibility of these improvements. Since many of these items are internal and not readily viewable with a functioning device, the next discussion point that does provide direct critique-interface modularity.

As you can see, the Hyper 14TM can be configured with either or both interface shoes in place. These can be added as needed for dovetail style interface as either/or, or as a set for whatever options the user chooses as a relative component(s).

These allow cross use with currently fielded digital weapon sight mounts, magnifiers, other non-relative interface equipment or forthcoming modular hardware. They can also be hastily removed to retain full use of the legacy PVS-14 family of parts such as the J-Arm and issue style weapon mount (since those parts probably cost equal or more than the new chassis, you may want to maintain them).

Night Vision Redux is a weekly series prepared with the assitance of DEP, the US subsidiary of Photonis. It is intended to educate readers about image intensification (I2) systems and ways they can be upgraded without having to purchase completely new systems.

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8 Responses to “Night Vision Redux – Part 4”

  1. GMK says:

    ‘Front window’? Is that the objective lens, by any chance?

  2. DEP says:

    The “window” refers to the set of .25″ disks up front below the objective lens.

    Over the years, some of these are glass, plastic, a set of 2 for each diode and in a few cases a slot to act as a large dual window.

    Over time, use and harsh environemnts the windows have been identified as a liability for leaks and cracks. Chain/weakest link dynamic.

  3. Vince says:

    These are great articles. If only the units were in the sub 3k bracket, I wouldn’t have to sell my soul for one.

  4. DEP says:

    If by the conclusion of this series there are no available avenues to obtain a monocular for sub-$3K, I’ll address it directly. I believe that can be made made within the realm of the possible.

  5. Stephen Hubert says:

    I’ve built a PVS-14 from a parts kit and the biggest area for improvement I’ve noticed is the infinity focus stop, which I’ve already replaced with aluminum as the polymer part cracked in less than a week.

    Even with that in mind, I’m having a hard time getting excited about these articles/products… yet. This (part 4) article finally has some ‘meat’ to it.

    The idea that a well-established standardized parts/spares supply chain for such a legacy device is going to have room for carving out a place for these upgrades is gutsy, to say the least.

    • Night Vision Dude says:

      I agree “this gutsy project,” is just that! It’s a step, that’s been a long time coming.
      Night Vision is an area of personal protective equipment that I consider life saving gear, right up there with body armor and weapons systems. Historically the PVS 14 has only been updated marginally with a newer battery pack and better tubes. The tube improvements were driven by the aviation community as well.
      May I offer an analogy? Imagine if the M-16A2 (and that’s what we were still issuing to EVERYONE) had gotten say just a flat top and maybe a better barrel over its entire service life, and that’s it? Never mind the M-4 or rails or optics or lasers or Anything else. That’s what’s happened to the PVS 14 and subsequently the MUM.
      The Upper Monocular housing of both devices, are the lynch pins to the whole set up. Again they are the same today as MANY years ago. They both have design flaws, and while this stuff is durable in its current state, it does break. Most civilian users baby their gear because it cost an arm and a leg and another leg and HEY, you should take care of your equipment. Take care of it, it will take care of you! But if you are hard on your gear or as is often the case with night vision equipment failing, accidents happen. Why not stack the deck in your favor? This level of improvement is huge! This is seriously a fast forward of many years. Basically turn in your M16A2 and receive a Block 2 M4-A1 with all the goodies.
      First, its lego-land! these are all backwards compatible with the original systems. You can use the Issue J-arm or any of the new attachment options. You can add as little or as much of the two systems as you like.
      Second, they are Better, Stronger, Faster! The design changes feature added strengthening which makes the units more durable.
      Third, with the addition of the dovetails, a new level of versatility is added for tuning monoculars into Binoculars.
      Lastly, there are better ergonomics with the enhanced grip shape.
      So all in all, I THINK these piece parts are going to be the a MUCH needed improvement!

  6. DEP says:

    The series was designed to open up a typically closed area, comparatively speaking. Very few enthusiasts make modifications or even tend to understand the basis of how even a simple NV monocular is populated or assembled. Smarts basis is not on the same metric of an upper receiver, a suppressor or DVO’s.
    It’s surprising you feel the biggest area for improvement is the Objective Stop Ring, since about 95% of those are not set at infinity and in fact useless. If yours broke the first week, then you must see more meat than meets the eye. Transitioning to be AL version was an upgrade and you had to disassemble the entire device which included removing the rear optics, the electronics and the tube itself to get the the retaining nut to release the objective lens-all in order to replace the cheapest and least used part of the device, the Objective Stop Ring/Infinity Stop Ring.
    For what you did yourself, a small LE agency, NG, or infantry entity would have had to evac that unit back, disassemble it, reassemble it and hopefully purge it- then ship it back over a part that costs about 12.00. That’s on the same line of reasoning as deadlining a vehicle to Ford for a flat tire.
    If I missed something in your post I apologize, but the points you made were all covered in he previous posts in the series per the logic of the new modularity and logistics reasonings.

  7. Joe says:

    Now that we are getting into the actual component upgrades are you going to list options for purchasing these improvements, specifically the metal housing.