Author Topic: Article: Firefield NVG-to-CERT Helmet Mount Modification  (Read 74 times)

Offline prepperadmin

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Article: Firefield NVG-to-CERT Helmet Mount Modification
« on: April 01, 2017, 10:12:59 am »
Night Vision equipment has the potential for very useful applicability for Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) duties, particularly in the search and rescue arena.  It’s pretty safe to say that we will be searching through damaged buildings in an area where the power is out, either because of the disaster, or turned off on purpose for safety reasons.  It will be a very low light, or even completely dark scenario, and NVGs can be an important tool for performing better search and rescue, as well as helping to ensure the safety of the CERT member.  But night vision equipment tends to be expensive, especially if you try to purchase the generation 3 (GEN3) military grade equipment.  And yes, we can use flashlights.  But I can tell you from the voice of experience of someone who has had to work in low-light and no-light situations that lots of flashlights tend to really screw up your eyes as they try to adjust from light to dark to light to dark…

While the military grade units, such as the ATN gear, cost into the tens of thousands of dollars, the good news is that adequate night vision for us “regular people” can be purchased for less than $1000, often in the $300 to $500 dollar range.  Hunters, hikers, and campers use night vision equipment to be able to see in the wilderness at night.  So realizing the NVG utility and popularity potential in these situations, a number of companies have come up with many affordable options for night vision equipment that are very appropriate to hunting/hiking, as well as what we are doing in the CERT arena.  These budget units are not nearly as sophisticated, nor do they have the high quality vision of the high priced ATN GEN3 units, but they are more than adequate for the purposes for which hunters/campers use them, and the uses for which I had envisioned in CERT search and rescue applications.

I chose the Firefield Tracker 1 x 24 Night Vision Goggle (NVG) Binocular for my equipment.  This is a GEN1 NVG unit in the $400 dollar range.  Wiki EzVid ranked these one of the seven best NVGs for 2017.  It can see in low-light environments without illumination assistance, and also comes with its own IR illuminator for assistance in extremely low-light and no light situations.  And as I mention later in this article, I further augmented the IR illumination capability with a Sightmark IR-805 unit attached to my helmet to help this unit’s ability to see in complete darkness, and at longer distances than the built in IR illumination will allow.  In my testing, I was able to use this model in the pitch-black of my utility room in the basement, and still see every detail of the room in complete darkness.  Outside at night, I was able to see completely dark areas very clearly, and with good definition.  The IR-805 allows for illumination at even greater distances outside – up to around 150 meters.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2017, 10:15:11 am by prepperadmin »