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Old 02-03-2013
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night vision binoculars

My brother and I are planning to sail from Houston to Port Isabel (far south Texas) in late May. It's common knowlege that there are many oil rigs in the Gulf and that some of them are not lighted.

We're wondering if night vision binoculars would be of any value in spotting such unlighted oil rigs. We plan to sail under a full moon, but who can say the sky will be clear?

Any experience?

Dick
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Old 02-03-2013
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Re: night vision binoculars

A crew member had a night vision scope on a recent trip. I was amazed at how effective it was.
The one we used was a Itt unit that I was told sold for 700 +/-. I recently bought a FLIR that was close to 3K. The cheaper unit was better, instant on where the flir needs 60 or 90 seconds to warm up and the Flir has features i do not need like the camera. The night vision itself was better on the itt unit. The scopes are a must have to see nets, marks, rocks etc at night. Takes the edge off for sure
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Old 02-03-2013
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Re: night vision binoculars

There's "sportsman's" versions for nearer the $200 mark that would work as well. Gen I tubes, so ya'd hafta be careful of light or suffer damage; but, you'd not be out several thosand, either!

Like Greyhound sez; unless you have need for all the bells and whistles, rangefinders and camera mounts...go cheap! About a hunnert and eighty dollars will buy a Gen I monocular from shooting wholesalers. Cheap enuff to try out and easy to move on if it doesn;t. Ya might take a 50% loss to get rid of it; but half of a buck-eighty is cheap schooling compared ta buying a three thousand buck unit that won't work/doesn't suit yer needs.
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Re: night vision binoculars

Thanks for the response, guys. I was hoping you'd say that. Deltaten, what do you mean about being careful of light?

Dick
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Old 02-03-2013
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Re: night vision binoculars

Quote:
Originally Posted by deltaten View Post
There's "sportsman's" versions for nearer the $200 mark that would work as well. Gen I tubes, so ya'd hafta be careful of light or suffer damage; but, you'd not be out several thosand, either!

Like Greyhound sez; unless you have need for all the bells and whistles, rangefinders and camera mounts...go cheap! About a hunnert and eighty dollars will buy a Gen I monocular from shooting wholesalers. Cheap enuff to try out and easy to move on if it doesn;t. Ya might take a 50% loss to get rid of it; but half of a buck-eighty is cheap schooling compared ta buying a three thousand buck unit that won't work/doesn't suit yer needs.
On that same remark.. picking up a used one for half of the Buck Eighty is a real posibility as well.. Things like pop all the time on a certain online auction site
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Re: night vision binoculars

The gen1 NV scopes don't like direct strong light as it will damage the chip in them. I use a Pulsar monocular and it makes night time aproaches into unknown places a doddle.
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Re: night vision binoculars

The tube and electronics involved in earlier units did not have "safeties" to prevent burn out when suddenly or accidentally exposed to a light source. Ever see a movie ( LOL..Hollyweird!) where the guy on the night vision was blinded by a sudden flare up of light?? It's true; but more likely to burn the optic than the eye.

What mm sez.! I sold a slightly used gen I unit at a show for $100. Back years ago, that's what cheap mono's went for on sale. They weren't great; but serviceable. If ya wanna "see" the oil rig and not wanna count barnacles on the pilings; a cheapie will do
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Old 02-03-2013
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Re: night vision binoculars

YES!! I have been carrying night vision for several years now and wouldn't go without. It turns night into day. Amazing! No more guessing about what you are looking at. A very worthy investment. Mine is a monocular and I am thinking it is time for an upgrade to binocs.

Try to avoid aiming it at lights on shore or on rigs in your case. A street light a mile away isn't too bad but it is to be avoided.

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Old 02-03-2013
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Re: night vision binoculars

Do those abandoned and dark rigs not show on charts & GPS?
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Re: night vision binoculars

I can only find coatal charts and they don't go out far enough to cover most rigs. If there is a chart that shows them all, I'd love to know about it. I just recently bought iNavx for my ipad. (actually, I bought my used iPad for iNavx) and it just downloads NOAA charts. (Well, it will download others but they cost money.) It looks pretty impressive for $50.

I have found a map at geocommons.com/maps/268 that is better than nothing. By drawing lines horiz. and vert. through known ports, I could find my way into the open path from Galveston to Port isabel. We'll be able to get into the open area south of Galveston before dark if we leave Houston around 4:00 am. Everything is on the costal charts for that leg of the trip. Could be worse but I still intend to buy a night-vision monocular.

Dick
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