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Posts Tagged ‘DR Sends’

Revision I-Vis: Compelling Contrast and Color Accuracy

Tuesday, October 18th, 2022

Sometimes a capability or technology comes along that seems like it should be easy to explain, but really isn’t — at least not without providing an in-person, first-person experience. That’s the case with Revision Military’s new “I-Vis” technology for shooting glasses. I-Vis glasses might look like just the latest tactical sunglasses du jour (as worn by Todd 3465 on TV!) but there’s a lot of high-tech stuff going on in those lenses. It’s a lens technology that provides significantly increased contrast without losing detail.

That’s a much bigger deal than you might think.

Higher contrast with detail retention is something that even the higher end eye-pro (including Revision’s own) has previously been unable to do. Increasing contrast (or polarizing) a lens has previously by necessity meant blocking some of the light allowed through a lens. This results in a degradation of Gamut Expansion, which is the number of colors an individual can see.

That is no longer the case.

I-Vis Lens Technology

David Reeder

Revision I-Vis ballistic glasses

We’ll have to get a little bit into color science to explain Gamut Expansion and how it affects your shooting and perception, but the BLUF is this:

It is now possible to injection mold a ballistic lens that delivers markedly (measurably) superior contrast without the previously-necessary reduction in detail.

As Revision explains it, I-Vis will “…expand chroma and enhance the number of colors the user can see.”

The tech is in the dye formulation process.

It is much easier to see it through the lenses than to grasp it based on a few hundred words, but here’s a basic rundown.

There are three types of vision: Photopic, Scotopic, and Mesoptic. Photopic (which uses cones) =color, daylight, and detail. Scotopic (which uses rods) = nighttime, black & white, lack of detail. Traditional tinted shooting lenses increase contrast by moving color reception from photopic toward scotopic, with a corresponding loss of detail.

Color Neutral Lens Tech

The first things to understand are, 1) light is information to the brain, and 2) contrast = differentiation.

I-Vis improves both of those things. It does so by increasing ocular resolution by an estimated 130% or more. It does this with just a marginal reduction in sharpness when compared to a good clear lens and without the significant degradation of true color caused by traditional tinted lenses. Although we haven’t (yet) seen independent testing to confirm that exact number, an initial field expedient trial by media members, some competitive shooters, and (unofficially) some specialized military personnel does seem to corroborate the claim. The eyes of every individual are different, but most people will see a marked difference in contrast and detail using I-Vis vs. traditional tinted contrast eye protection.

Traditional shooting/ballistic glasses typically use a monochromatic lens tint that enhances contrast, often significantly so. However, this reduces the Gamut of Expansion and color accuracy and also increases eye fatigue. To combat this, users engaging in “color critical” tasks use something like a basic smoke-tinted lens that offers no performance benefit other than light reduction.

Dr. Richard Colo, OD, explains in part:

In terms of performance, all shooting glasses have been predicated on what I like to call the wow factor. For decades, people selling glasses for shooting would increase contrast so that we wound having the tint of the month…increase contrast, increase contrast, increase contrast. That became a kind of benchmark in terms of how good a shooting glass lens was. The problem with that is, as you increase the contrast, you reduce the amount of light coming in. As you reduce the amount of light coming in, you’re shifting from photopic detail toward scotopic black and white.

I-Vis glasses are color neutral. This enhances color accuracy, reduces eye fatigue, increases depth perception, and provides greater visual detail.

Eyes make only two movements. One is a “smooth pursuit” movement. The other is “saccadic” movement. Smooth pursuit, which uses cones, is how we pull the trigger. Saccadic, which uses rods, is how we go from one spot to the other – and it’s a thousand times as fast as smooth pursuit. I-Vis lens technology improves contrast (i.e. differentiation) without negatively impacting either. This increases visual performance.

Filtering light

Let’s break it down substantially more Barney-style: I-Vis lenses add more colors to your crayon box.

With more crayons you can draw (i.e. see) with better resolution and depth perception. It’s not that the red object you see becomes “more redder”, it’s that it becomes more of that object’s actual, specific red hue. This effectively reveals things — admittedly sometimes smaller, seemingly inconsequential things — you would otherwise not have seen. Think digital photograph vs. posterized clip art, albeit not always as immediately drastic.

From a performance perspective, particularly in a tactical or other life-or-limb situation, little inconsequential details are often anything but.

Increased contrast without loss of detail allows for accurate recognition of colors. Accurate recognition of colors ensures depth performance and promotes visual comfort.

Image comparison courtesy of Revision Military.

Confident Perspective

In addition to the obvious benefit of improved perception, target acquisition, and the like, increased contrast without corresponding loss of detail improves confidence. Dr. Colo, who also has a degree in psychology, makes a particular point of this in the context of shotgun sports.

“Take for example an average individual in the field wearing a clear lens. That person is out shooting clays. The pupil constricts and depth of field increases. The constricted pupil restricts the blur circle at the back of the eye, increasing the depth of field, and everything is clear.  Going on down a few stations, though, now your pupil dilates. This puts a bit of a fuzzy edge around the target. It’s not the fuzzy edge that might be a problem problem, it’s the potential effect of that fuzzy edge on the shooter’s confidence-doubt that could become the problem.”

“Contrast sells glasses. Detail hits (or breaks) targets.” Dr. Richard Colo

This sort of increased confidence is obviously just as applicable (and potentially far more significant) to someone trying to pick up and identify a moving target through a scope, or notice minute changes in the soil that might indicate an IED, or the presence of a camouflaged threat.

Sid Mitchell of Revision Military

Sid Mitchell of Revision Military (who wears prescription glasses) explaining how I-Vis works, and how it might work to make Rx versions of the lenses.

Environmentally Specific.

Well, ~ish.

There are six tints of I-Vis available, each developed after an extensive theater-specific study of potential AO color palettes using global data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

This provides for five individual tints designed to increase contrast and elevate color recognition in the prevalent terrain of different geographic regions, plus a “general purpose” tint that functions extremely well across the board (if not to the extent of the more specialized lenses).

I-Vis Verso Lenses Eye Protection

It’s hard to adequately and accurately demonstrate how I-Vis impacts color perception, but here’s a crude attempt. This gif begins with Verso lenses in front of the camera, then shows what it looks like without them (and back).

The I-Vis lens line includes:

• Verso 

The most technically complex I-Vis lens, Verso designed for the widest range of environments and settings. This is the general purpose lens one would want if only able to buy one pair. (Visible Light Transmittance/VLT: 19%*)

• Aros

Aros is intended to enhance colors found in typical desert environments. It brings out differences between similar shades of brown, tan, yellow, and orange colors while making man-made structures and objects stand out. (VLT: 12%*)

• Cano

Cano was developed to provide color definition environments dominated by greens, browns, and grays (typified in lush foliage). Cano lenses maximize visual light transmission because they’re designed for densely forested areas with a canopy and shaded terrain. Man-made structures will stand out, as will differences (or changes) in the foreground landscape. (VLT: 37%*)

Revision I-Vis Cano lenses with and without.

This is a look at the same ravine as above, this time using Cano lenses. With, then without, then with again. Use of an animated gif on an electronic screen is necessarily crude – apologies for that.

• Alto

Alto lenses are suited to dry, high-altitude environments dominated by grays, tans, and blues (such as the terrain found in northern Afghanistan).  (VLT: 12%*)

• Clara

Clara lenses were modeled for use in northern Europe, Scandinavia, and the Baltics, and Poland. They’re designed to bring out color definition and contrast in brightly lit areas of white, gray, and blue. Think snowy wooded areas, rocks, mountains, and areas with undulating snowpack. (VLT: 12%*)

• Umbra

Much like Clara, the Umbra dye formulation is intended to improve color contrast in overcast, snow-prominent areas dominated by whites and greys (snowy, rocky areas and mountains).  (VLT: 48%*)

*VLT may vary +/- 5% based upon eyewear form factor, lens thickness and coatings.

I-Vis EyePro Features

Options Available

Initial styles of I-Vis will include Stingerhawk spectacles and Snowhawk goggles. There will be other styles and models in the future however, all focusing on what Revision’s Sid Mitchell views as the necessary trifecta of modern eye protection: protection, performance, and style.*

The Stingerhawk spectacle system will be available in I-Vis.

So will Snowhawk goggles.

*Style might seem a trivial thing in the context of form vs. function, but it’s not. Not when style and aesthetics directly impact use of eyepro off the battlefield – which it does.

Learn more at RevisionMilitary.com.

DRW

Horses and Swords of Lightning: the Book of ODA 595

Friday, October 7th, 2022

September 11th is a date widely – and rightly – recognized in the US. It is also observed (sometimes celebrated) by other nations and n0n-state actors.

Less well known are the late October dates when the men of ODA 595 put boots on Afghanistan ground to begin working with the Northern Alliance. Happily, a new book provides a first person account of that operation.

Swords of Lighting

David Reeder, reporting for SolSys LLC.

That anniversary is coming up fast. If you’re interested in knowing more about the mission, check out Swords of Lightning, the (tacitly) official account of the Horse Soldiers. This is not the story made famous by Hollywood.

[12 Strong is]..gripping, symbolic, and, according to the advertising and hoopla, based on a true story.

Except, no.

Then-Captain Mark Nutsch, the commander of ODA 595 on that mission), contributed to that book in partnership with then-CWO2 Bob Pennington (Assistant Detachment Commander), and author Jim DeFelice. It is a first person account rendered by and about some of the first SOF and OGA units deployed to Afghanistan after the attacks of 9/11.

GW Ayers, COO of Rainier Arms Firearms Academy with Mark Nutsch, one of the authors of Swords of Lightning. Nutsch was a guest speaker at Triggrcon 2022.

Nutsch spoke to a packed audience last night at Triggrcon 2022, discussing a wide range of topics from the mission, the book, and some of the Horse Soldiers’ more recent missions, including the recently launched charity Badger Six (named in memory Johnny “Mike” Spann) and his involvement in The Pineapple Express (q.v.).

Triggrcon’s Jim Lambert with Mark Nutsch, Swords of Lightning, and a bottle of Horse Soldiers bourbon.

Here’s an excerpt from…

Swords of Lighting

A rocket-launching truck appears amid a pack of Soviet-era tanks and armored personnel carriers in the Afghan mountains…Just when all seems lost, American Green Berets on horseback brave a hail of bullets and ride into the enemy position, firing shots at breakneck speed with an accuracy that would make John Wayne weep. Dodging bullets to the left and RPGs to the right, the SF soldiers overwhelm the armored column…clearing the way for an unparalleled victory of man and horse over machinery and evil. Martial music swells..

It’s a great scene, roughly the climax of the movie 12 Strong, ending the Taliban’s reign as protectors of Islamic terrorism. It’s gripping, symbolic, and, according to the advertising and hoopla, based on a true story.

Except, no.

There was a massive battle, and the good guys did win, but it didn’t happen that way.

Swords of Lightning (swordsoflightning.com), was written by Mark Nutsch, Bob Pennington, and Jim DeFelice. It is available in a variety of formats (including the old-fashioned paper ones).

Triggrcon staffer Shawn Johnston with Nutsch – and a bottle of Horse Soldiers Bourbon .

DRW

Raider Rolex: the Seiko MACV-SOG

Saturday, June 11th, 2022

The Vietnam-era MACV-SOG Seiko is the OG “Raider Rolex”: this is a vintage Seiko Automatic Watch 6619-8060 Vietnam SOG-MACV watch from approximately 1967.

Raider-Rolex-MACV-SOG-Seiko-watch

The following information was posted by a very interesting Instagram account called Watches of Espionage (@watchesofespionage). It’s a Social Media Account That Doesn’t Suck©®TM and thus is part of the FYSA files (specifically one dealing with tactical watches) The text was taken from multiple posts and also features information from @timelymoments. It has been edited slightly for readability. Additional imagery from @niccoloy, which is also a SMATDS ©®TM.

OG Raider Rolex

There is something about the red “SUN” on this MACV-SOG Seiko that is really cool. I know it’s not unique to this model but I love the detail. I absolutely love this watch and the history behind it. It’s a large part of why I love the brand. History is everything.

Original Seiko-MACV-SOG

The accepted three SOG Seiko models are as follows: 6619-8060 circa 1967, 6119-8100 circa 1968, and the 7005-8030 circa 1970.

The 6619-8060 was likely not actually issued officially but was purchased by members of SOG at the PX. This model is what led to this model of Seiko becoming the (un)official watch of the group and led to the official purchases of 6119-8100 circa 1968 and the 7005-8030 circa 1970.

Modern-Seiko-MACV-SOG with NATO band and survival compass.

It’s smaller than most modern watches but don’t worry, the NATO and tactical compass will still signal to others that you are a man. You can even wear it on the inside of your wrist to let people know you are tactical lmfao.

Above: a modern MACV-SOG Seiko. A modern MACV-SOG Seiko. When I posted my vintage Seiko Automatic 6619-8060 from the late 1960s I was asked if a modern version exists. As far as I can tell the closest thing is this #SNK381K1. Change out the bracelet to a green NATO and add a cool-guy tactical compass and you are 98% of the way there.

Vietnam era MACV-SOG

Vietnam era MACV-SOG “Raider Rolex” Seiko in the field. MACV-SOG Bobby Pruett, 1-0 RT New York, December 1971 – March 1972. I can’t tell which model this is but I’m sure some internet warriors can point it out.

Like most Seikos, it’s relatively affordable and you should be sub-$200 all in. Pretty cool watch.

Seiko-MACV-SOG watch

My first Vietnam era MACV-SOG Seiko, aka the OG “Raider Rolex”. Incredible heritage.

 

The following pics and text are from @timely_moments, which may be one of the few places to have a collection containing all three SOG Seiko models. 

 

MACV-SOG (Military Assistance Command Vietnam – Studies and Observations Group) was a highly secretive, multi-service, Special Forces (SF) unit which conducted covert and asymmetric military operations between 1964-1972.

Seiko-MACV-SOG

Unknown members of MACV-SOG.

The area of operations for this unit spanned Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Their mission statement was “…execute an intensified program of harassment, diversion, political pressure, the capture of prisoners, physical destruction, acquisition of intelligence, generation of propaganda, and diversion of resources, against the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.’’

Seiko-MACV-SOG

Enter Conrad ‘Ben’ Baker, a gentleman whose remit was procurement. He was responsible for providing kit and equipment to the SOG Operators in order for them to carry out their operations. He took his role so seriously that if there weren’t commercially viable options, he took to creating it himself, examples being rations and the famous SOG Knives issued to MACV-SOG personnel.

Seiko-MACV-SOG

Ben Baker would often travel to Vietnam and meet the teams that his equipment was being sent to; on one particular trip, it became apparent that the teams had requested the issue of Rolex watches. He is quoted as saying “at one point every team wanted 12 or 13 Rolex watches, the Oyster model I believe. They got Seiko watches instead at $6 or $8 apiece.” His reasoning for this was that they were already wearing Seiko watches so why fix what wasn’t broken.

The accepted three SOG Seiko models are as follows: 6619-8060 circa 1967, 6119-8100 circa 1968 and the 7005-8030 circa 1970.

Read more about the connection between watches and espionage.

 

DRW

David Reeder is a sometime SOLSYS contributor and reporter-at-large. He is currently the editor of the GunMag Warehouse blog (The Mag Life) and the world’s okayest 1/6 scale kit-basher. 

Electronic Battle: Cold War Peer-Threat SIGINT Then and Now | Cold War Wednesday

Wednesday, March 30th, 2022

As the man said, “Ivan will destroy your grid square if you even key your radio, let alone talk to your squad. Break out the books and practice. This is for real.”

Given recent events in and around Ukraine, we thought it might be interesting to consider the contrast of what modern technology – particularly social media – has to electronic-related security issues in contrast to what we were taught during the Cold War era. PERSEC, INFOSEC, OPSEC, ELINT, SIGINT, COMINT, and of course EMCON – there is absolutely no shortage of acronyms all those cell phones (among other things) might jeopardize…and with them, both missions and lives (see reported Redditor example, below).

Combat Electronic Warfare and Intelligence is one hell of a lot more complicated now than it was in the teen years of the Superbowl. Cyber Warfare and GPS Spoofing are just two examples. Geolocating is another. Even something as simple as a Google image search can precipitate an attack. Several examples of this have emerged over the last few weeks on both sides of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“Compromised by TikTok” and “death by Reddit” sound funny until the Kalibrs and Bayraktars come calling. While apps like Air Alarm are certainly beneficial, they don’t counterbalance all the OSINT opportunities afforded by Telegram, Instagram, Twitter, and the like. This is why cell phones are often taken up before training evolutions and troop movements (unless, apparently, you’re Chechen).

But if you’re reading this, chances are you already know that.

What you might not know, depending on the length of your teeth, is what electronic warfare and signals doctrine looked like 40 or 50 years ago. And that’s why we’re sharing the following article.

Much like Crossfit workouts and pet shenanigans, you gotta take a pic of your invasion or it didn’t happen.

The Electronic Battle

Lt. Col. Don E. Gordon

INFANTRY Magazine, 1980

The Reddit Example

Even if this report is apocryphal, the lesson it delivers is not. 

Thoughts on then vs. now?

More SIGINT history

DRW

David Reeder is a sometime SOLSYS contributor and reporter-at-large. He is currently the editor of the GunMag Warehouse blog (The Mag Life) and the world’s okayest 1/6 scale kit-basher. 

Orders Open Soon for 0241 Tactical Smock-Lite Jackets

Wednesday, March 16th, 2022

Hamilton Montana-based 0241 Tactical will soon be taking orders for their next round of “Smock-lites” and “Tactical Operators Pullovers”. The most recent batch was spoken for almost immediately — which is why you should be watching for release announcements on their social media if you want one.

(SSD loves smocks.)

The process goes like this:

They take orders for 10 garments. Once orders for 10 jackets have been taken, they pause order availability until that run has been completed and shipped. Then the “books” are opened once more.

Why are sales of jackets only open periodically?

Such constraints are dictated by practical considerations of manpower vis-à-vis the wide array of possible camouflage pattern combinations (See below.)

0241 Tactical explains further,

“We are a small shop with limited production quantities. Allowing customers to choose features (colors, linings, etc.) requires a unique approach to how we sell jackets. To offer made-to-order Tactical Operator Pullovers and Smock-Lites in a wide variety of colors and patterns we needed to approach sales differently. We are forced to regulate the number of jackets ordered to the number of jackets shipped.

When a jacket is ordered it’s added to the bottom of the production list. When a jacket is shipped it is taken off the top of the list (the top of the list being the oldest order by date) and every order then moves up the list towards the top of the production list. When we open orders, they are added to the bottom but move up daily towards the top as each jacket ships moves the next jacket to the top.”

As you can see, it’s a constant rotation of new orders coming in once others go out, but in blocks of limited numbers.

Shop online here: www.0241tactical.com/s/shop; the jackets will not be accessible to browsing until they open those particular garments back up for order availability.

Why a smock?

The smock is literally a concept unlike anything we have in the US. I’ve heard them compared to the M65 field jacket but that idea is simply uninformed. A smock isn’t just a coat.

Rather, the smock is much more than a simple jacket. In addition to use as clothing, the smock is also intended to carry much, if not all of the wearer’s fighting load. They were originally envisioned to carry several days of combat equipment including rations, ammunition, and radios.

More at: Blast from the Past: the Story of Smocks.

As you can see, they have a wide variety of niche and typically hard-to-find patterns available. And these aren’t hte only ones available.

0241 Tactical Cammie Patterns

Some of the camo patterns available at 0241 Tactical.

Some of the camo patterns available at 0241 Tactical.

DRW