Night vision aficionado [Nicholas C] shared an interesting teardown of a Norwegian SIMRAD GN1 night vision device, and posted plenty of pictures, along with all kinds of background information about their construction, use, and mounting. [Nicholas] had been looking for a night vision device of this design for some time, and his delight in finding one is matched only by the number of pictures and detail he goes into when opening it up.
What makes the SIMRAD GN1 an oddball is the fact that it doesn’t look very much like other, better known American night vision devices. Those tend to have more in common with binoculars than with the GN1’s “handheld camera” form factor. The GN1 has two eyepieces in the back and a single objective lens on the front, which is off-center and high up. The result is a seriously retrofuturistic look, which [Nicholas] can’t help but play to when showing off some photos.
[Nicholas] talks a lot about the build and tears it completely down to show off the internal optical layout necessary to pipe incoming light through the image intensifier and bend it around to both eyes. As is typical for military hardware like this, it has rugged design and every part has its function. (A tip: [Nicholas] sometimes refers to “blems”. A blem is short for blemish and refers to minor spots on optics that lead to visual imperfections without affecting function. Blemished optics and intensifier tubes are cheaper to obtain and more common on the secondary market.)
In wrapping up, [Nicholas] talks a bit about how a device like this is compatible with using sights on a firearm. In short, it’s difficult at best because there’s a clunky thing in between one’s eyeballs and the firearm’s sights, but it’s made somewhat easier by the fact that the GN1 can be mounted upside down without affecting how it works.
Night vision in general is pretty cool stuff and of course DIY projects abound, like the OpenScope project which leverages digital cameras and 3D printing, as well as doing it the high-voltage image intensifier tube way.
14 thoughts on “Teardown Of Oddball Night Vision Shows Off Retro-futuristic Vibe”
That looks awesome. I want one.
Now I gotta study all the crowd scenes in Star Wars movies, because how could their propmasters have missed out on that???
Don’t forget to check pre-remaster and remaster versions just to be sure.
Bear in mind that the photos all show a respirator and sometimes a helmet neither of which are part of it. The GN1 itself is a kind of plain black box with a big lens on it.
I made an IR 8032 tube unit and supply when I was 12. I got a schematic from a guru guy back then. Never got the optic right but it was fun to play with. royer driver to flyback to tripler supply shocked the hell out of you if you forgot to discharge it.
6032 tube been awhile…
If that hoodie doesn’t get you shot walking down the street, nothing will
At least no one will bat an eye at the respirator mask though!
At the moment, it just looks like someone who takes the wearing-mask-while-outside order seriously.
I have the same 3M dusk mask and a VR headband designed to use a smartphone. It looks like a weekend project, given for me its going to be a 3 day weekend.
print a front cover with a hole for the smartphone camera, use its high ISO setting, profit
Real photomultiplier night vision is so cool but ITAR has to ruin that…
This looks pretty rad, but with that hoodie on he looks like a Tech-Priest.
Looks a bit Splinter-Cell.
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