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Hello folks...Night Vision is my 'thing"!!

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posted on May, 27 2008 @ 02:34 PM
Hi there.

Long time lurker, first time poster.

I am an amateur astronomer and have followed the forums on ATS for about 2 years.

I noticed an increase in interest in Night Vision and would like to contribute the results of my research.

By the time I met Ed Grimsley in March I had been using 1st gen night vision with little success for about 4 years.

Ed has become quite the regular here in Monterey Ca. and has meetings at the beach almost every Saturday night after he does the radio show "Quantm Leap" on AM 540 9-10 p.m. with Bob Oliver.
Having seen through the 3rd gen goggles I balked at the price ($3500) and decided to look into digital night vision.

WOW, what a blessing. The digital Night Owl iGen 20/20 has enough line pairs and sensitivity to do the job AND it has an RCA video out that you can attach a video camera or if you like, virtual reality glasses. Think of it, real time video!!

The iGen runs around $500-$700 and that's way better on the finances. It will not lose quality over time like the 2-3 and 4 gens because it doesn't use the $1200 proton tube but uses CCD tech instead.
The only drawback is it's a monocular but at this price you can get two and paste them together.

Also no "haloing" makes for clearer viewing on moist nights.

We like to set up one guy outside with the iGen, one guy inside monitoring everything on a TV monitor and one guy wearing the VR glasses. The iGen is run straight into our VCR(recordable DVD coming soon) and the VR glasses into the video output on the deck.
The guy outside is equipped with a 5mV green laser($20) to help point out what's being recorded.

We need more people to start looking up with this new tech so please consider this alternative to the more expensive options.

We at P3 want the tech to get into the hands of the people who can do the most good...
in other words YOU!
We will provide free of charge any information we have about equipment etc.

We started Project Phyre Phly (P3) two months ago and in the first few weeks have accumulated several hours of real time video (VHS) that I am at present converting to mpeg 4DVDs.
Yes there are birds, bugs and bats and the occasional sattelite but we have several sightings we cannot explain.
The evening of 5-13-08 was particularly busy. Lots of "clusters".
We try to video every night we can weather permitting.

We are not affiliated with Ed Grimsley but do thank him for his generosity for letting us look through his goggles and wish him the best.

Eventually we would like to create a website where we can display our videos.

Any suggestions would be welcome as would any questions about P3 or our "apparati".

So please go out of your way to look up with night vision equipment. It will open your eyes in more ways than you can imagine.

And please, when you look up do so with respect. We have no idea what's really going on up there.

Good to be on board.

-ProjectPhyrePhly- (P3)

posted on May, 27 2008 @ 04:28 PM
First a background on Nightscopes which the German military was working
on in the 1930's (YES! That's right - The 1930's!).


Using early optical-based technologies, nightvision became TRULY practical
when collector tubes (photo-multipliers) became available on a more
commercial basis in the mid-1950's and early 1960's.

Types of Nightvision:

1) Passive Optical Intensification

2) Active Scanning Emissions 2D and 3D Image Reconstruction

Five methods of night image amplification is available today:

1) Using Vacuum-tubes where the individual photons entering a tube
hit and excite special pigments/phosphor-like materials that then emit
more numerous photons which then hit a secondary material that creates
an electrical current when photons hit it...These are called photo
multiplier tubes and are BIG, HEAVY, EXPENSIVE and don't last
very long. Generation 1, 2 & 3 nightscopes use variations of these tubes.

2) CCD-based photo amplification - a digital based system
that allows photons to directly hit a grid of Charge-Coupled Device cells
that directly output a charge of a specific strength depending upon
the energy level of photons hitting each cell. This is the way most video
cameras work EXCEPT for night-vision work, the filtering for infrared and
ultraviolet wavelengths are turned OFF so that ALL levels of charge
NO matter how small or large can be interpreted by an analog to
digital convertor circuit that is sent to a digital RGB or mono-chrome
electronic display device.

CCD's are expensive and the filtering and digital signal processing
required to noise-filter and scale up the charge levels is mathematically
intensive and therefore CPU intensive (and expensive)
Plus the individual CCD cells that accept incoming photos and emit
corresponding electrons are not very sensitive to extremely
short or long visible wavelengths thus limiting their effectiveness
in extremely DARK conditions (i.e. NO LIGHT) However images
are sharp

3) CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) has the HUGE
advantage of being low-power, easy to manufacture using
already-in-place circuit fabrication facilities and has a higher level of
sensitivity versus CCD. The disadvantage is that the NOISE level
of the resulting image is MUCH higher and thus the DSP algorithms
that must distinguish between incoming photons and the internal noise
created within the CMOS circuitry itself is much more problematic.
CCD's create a sharper more pronounced image while CMOS circuits
are noisier but MUCH CHEAPER to manufacture and power!

4) Infra-red - registering the Heat emmission of living beings
and machinary and using the DSP processing to amplify the
minsicule differences between temperature ranges and assign
specific greyscale or RGB values to those emmissions that fall
within specified ranges and output that graph to a display device
Infra-red is one of the BEST way to differentiate movement
and foreground objects from static backgrounds.

5) Ultra-violet, acoustic, lidar, radar and other non-visible wavelengths.
By using the active emissions of radio, sound or light one can actively
scan and create a two-dimensional or three-dimensional bitmap
of distance & time values that can be mathematically enhanced
and filtered to create a moving image on a monitor in any RGB
or monochrome colourspace that highlights movement or objects
from a background. The advantage of these techniques is that active
scanning can produce MUCH HIGHER RESOLUTION and sharper images
than passive photomultiplier tubes, CCD's, CMOS chips or Infra-red
imaging. The disadvantage is that active scanning PRODUCES emissions
and thus provides a useful target for attack by enemy forces.

posted on May, 27 2008 @ 04:40 PM
Hiyah ProjectPP,

Welcome to ATS, that was quite an introduction! Thanks for all the information. I watched one of Ed Grimsley's videos on here...and was wondering how much equipment to do that would run me.

Actually I was pretty skeptical, it seems that there are so many objects up there, at least in the Ed Grimsley video I saw....that it seemed to good to be true you know?

So do you have any video or are you still breaking in your equipment?

Keep us updated as I am sure you will and enjoy ATS, happy posting!

posted on May, 27 2008 @ 05:49 PM
reply to post by LateApexer313

Thanks for the welcome!

Yes I have hours of real time video but I haven't decided where to feature it.

Maybe a "My Space" page... I think it would be easier than burning a bunch of DVDs.

It's a rare evening when I don't see "something odd" but 80% can be accounted for by checking the web for what's going over this area or natural things like bats etc.

That being said that leaves 20% that we can't identify.

I would be happy to send a copy(DVD) of raw real time footage we took last 5-13-08, approx. 40 mins.(mpeg 4) to any official at ATS for posting here if there is any interest.
Just let me know.

We had many "hits" that night.

Now let me go on the record here by saying I have no idea what these things are and am open to ANY reasonable explanation. I DO NOT believe these are extraterrestrial because no one has been able to convince me to my satisfaction that they are.
If they are ET... very interesting.
If they are "ours"... very interesting.
If they are birds, bats and bugs... at that altitude and speed... very interesting.

The whole point of the P3 was to observe, record and release all data freely and let everyone make up their own mind.

It's no longer a question of "if?".
There is definitely something going on in that spectrum.(IR)
We're still working on "what?"

-ProjectPhyrePhly- (P3)

posted on May, 27 2008 @ 10:12 PM
reply to post by StargateSG7

Hi StargateSG7

Wow, very nice report, thank you.

I appreciate your contribution. It's good to have this info on hand.

So almost 80 years of night vision yet so little info on it's astronomical applications. I've talked to so many people who have used night vision but not many used it to look up. Hopefully that will change now that the digital format is more affordable and accessible.

Do you have any personal experience with night vision of any kind?

A personal preference?

-ProjectPhyerPhly- (P3)

posted on May, 27 2008 @ 10:32 PM
reply to post by ProjectPhyrePhly

Hello and welcome.

I have been interested in this and have my sights on a monocular night owl by National Geographic Model

My question is... is this one just as good?

[edit on 27/5/08 by Rhain]

[edit on 27/5/08 by Rhain]

posted on May, 27 2008 @ 11:46 PM
reply to post by Rhain


The Night Owl National Geo is a first rate 1st gen scope but it's not as good as the Night Owl iGen 20/20 digital. It's like night and day (pun intended).

For what it would cost to upgrade you might as well save up a little more and get waaaaay more bang for your buck.
1st gen is o.k for camping or home security, good for anything inside 100 yards but for sky viewing it's a little weak.

I have an older Night Owl 1st gen I pumped up with an external Newcon illuminator and it improved the image by another 50% but still not close to the fidelity of the iGen.

I've seen the iGen 20/20 go for as low as $400 on eBay so look around.
Good luck and let us know what you get and what you see!

-ProjectPhyrePhly- (P3)

posted on May, 29 2008 @ 12:54 AM
reply to post by ProjectPhyrePhly

Actually, I have quite a bit of Experience with Starlight and Thermal
Nightvision scopes using some of the cheaper Gen 2.5 ($300) Sportsman
monocular models i've bought off of ebay & the rentals of MUCH MORE
EXPENSIVE at $4000+ helmet mounted versions of Gen III scopes.



Because I officially work in the Television Broadcast Industry, some of my
cameraman duties have involved using Betacam SP/DigiBeta C-Mount
scopes that work on 2/3" chip Broadcast cameras to shoot at night in
wooded and industrial areas for corporate video & documentary purposes:


I've also use FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared) in both handheld mode
and Boat-mounted (i.e. Vancouver Harbour filming at night)



So i've had a wide range of experience in harsh environment
night imaging & there are quite a few issues that one needs to be aware
of in uses of starlight scopes (i.e. blooming, deadspots, narrow field of view,
killing the imager by using it in daylight) & for Infrared camera learning
about adjusting your gamma and contrast ratio options to isolate
moving (hot or live) objects from static (i.e. cold) background
and finding out which is better for display output that works best
for your eyes (i.e. which to use: Green Scale, Orange Scale,
Greyscale, Inverse Greyscale or Graduated RGB)

I've also learned a LOT about using non-traditional methods of imaging
such as LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), Radio Waves,
High Frequency Sound and even Ultra-Violet and X-Ray imaging
in LIVE environments.

Each type of imaging has its strengths and weaknesses
but overall in passive mode, Thermal Vision (Infrared) using
Simple Wideband Gamma Adjusted Greyscale works BEST.

For starlight scopes, I've had buddies of mine buy TWO high quality
weatherproof Sportsman Gen 2.5 starlight monocular scopes and they
made their own custom helmet mounts to make them into
Binoculars with Fish-Eye lens and Video attachments that have
Portable five inch or 7" LCD screens that they strap either to
their arms or attach to their helmets for wide-view imaging
It looks weird but it's effective!

And in case you're wondering about the reason we do that,
it's because I am only 2 hours from Whistler/Blackcomb
ski resort and we do night riding on Skis and Snowboards
using starlight scopes. We have to use Binocs and Wide view using
fish eye lenses because the field-of-view is SO narrow on starlight scopes
that it's easy to ski or board into a tree or a crevasse when we're
in the back country or when we've done our somewhat illicit
night runs down 7th Heaven or Whistler Peak to prevent us from
hitting each other and chair poles.

It's a WEIRD experience and it's actually pretty easy to get seasick
from looking through the Binocs or Wide-View helmet mount LCD
if you're not careful - They key is to leave some OPEN SPACE so that
you eye can wander to the real world once in a while
and not just stare at the screen.

I haven't tried using the system for Night Mountain Biking yet
but there are SOME local nutcases who've done the North Shore
Mountain runs using night-vision (NOT RECOMENDED!) on Bikes!

Unofficially I'm building my OWN 2D and 3D imaging using a laptop,
onboard soundcard and active acoustic scanning. While the hardware
isn't that hard to build, the software to converts returned pulses to time
and distance values is difficult and problematic with "blank" areas where
no pulses were returned and inaccurate distance measuremenst due to
doppler shift, cancellation, "Cross-Talk" and a few other issues.
I'll update when ready!

posted on May, 29 2008 @ 12:59 AM
I do haunting investigation, and i've come to wonder: why is night vision comonly green> why not anothe color? I have this camera, with inverse option on the colors. I came to think one night, should i do some filming in purple? But then again, would people REALLY watch a PURPLE ghost hunting show? Anyway, it does make light orbs more elusive. Not practical, but is it ever an amusing idea...

posted on May, 29 2008 @ 01:44 AM
One BIG issue I'd like to raise with users of Nightvision
is that there is a BIG difference in imaging ability between various
Generations of Starlight Scope.

This website below outlines the types of imaging available:

but there are some Caveat Emptor (Buyer Beware) issues
that arise:

Gen-I - on eBay there are a LOT of scammers selling old
Russian and East German Generation-1 head-mount goggles.
DO NOT BUY THESE !!!! They're Crap!

Although the headmount is nice, the optics suck and you might
have dead-spots or super-blooming (blows out on any bright-light)
or someone has exposed the intensifier tube to daylight which kills
the tube. My Sony Handycam Video camera has better nightvision
than most Gen-1 headmounts, monoculars or binocular scopes.

Gen-II - This part gets tricky in that there's BOTH real crap and awesome
stuff on ebay and obsure web stores.

Good Stuff:

U.S. Made Mil-Surplus Litton/ITT/West German-made

Weatherproof Sportsmans and Many Rifle Night Scopes

Range: $200 to $800

Bad Stuff:

Cheap Czech-made or older Russian Scopes or east german scopes.
Can't get parts and tubes are burnt

Generation 2.5 - High end consumer models with
infra-red LEDS and high-quality weatherproof housings

These are GREAT:

Cost $1000+ to start


Gen-3 - Damn Hard to get and very expensive and usually
cannot be exported outside of the USA without an export licence
from the State Department. There are various Industrial, Police
and Military models that don't differ that much in actual image
quality but rather in ruggedness and quality of glass/quartz optics
and helmet mountability plus interchange with NATO gun mounts.

Best models are from Litton and ITT

Costs: $3500+ depending on mount type

Gen IV - There NO consumer-based TRUE Generation 4 nightscopes
available. CCD and CMOS based with 60 Degree multi-chip wide-view
made by DARPA, ITT, LITTON, some FRENCH and GERMAN makers.

Must be US Military or NATO armed forces to get!!!!

Cost $7000+

Gen-V - Combination CCD/CMOS passive imaging and
Active Scannning Emissive Imagers with LIDAR, Acoustic
and Ultra-Violet, Radio Waves - VERY HIGH QUALITY NIGHT IMAGING
in greater-than 90 degrees field of view - Experimental systems
and VERY expensive due to powering DSP chips needs to process images.
Also some eyepieces on headmount Gen5 systems are full HDTV
1920 by 1080 pixels or MORE!

Thermal Imagers

FLIR Systems is the best North American maker of High End thermal


while Fluke is the best bang for the smaller buck!

British Units:

Please note some thermal scopes cannot be exported to outside of USA!

These are CHEAPER nightvision scopes with online sales:

and for really cheap but still good enough for many purposes
you could try and modify and head mount one of these
night vision devices.

by using a high-end video camera battery i.e. NP-1b chocolate bar types
that use Nickel Hetal Hydride or Lithium Ion or Dewalt Portable Tool
batteries from Home depot.

I've seen these types of nightvision security cameras actually
HEADMOUNTED or attached to cheap 5" LCDs taken from
a portable DVD player which can be hand-held or mounted to
mountain bike handle bars or on boat.


Other Sources and Information on Night Imaging:

Hope this all Helps!!!

posted on May, 29 2008 @ 01:55 AM
reply to post by Levita

Our eyes have peak sensitivity to Green-yellow so many scopes default
to green as the display color...Another reason is that Green phosphor
is REALLY cheap to manufacture onto Gen 2.5/Gen 3 tubes.

See Human Eye Spectral Sensitivity Charts:

Some newer Gen 2.5 and Gen-3 night scopes are, instead of
sending the photo-multiplier tube emmisions directly to an optical
eye-piece, are now routing those emissions to a cheap CCD/CMOS sensor
which is attached to a 2" or 3" video-camera viewfinder-type display
which can be adjusted on-the-fly.

These are NOT Gen-4 Direct to CCD imagers - they're just re-directing
the Gen-2.5/Gen3 tube-output to a tiny on-board video camera.

Also green looks cool !!!!!!

posted on May, 29 2008 @ 12:11 PM
reply to post by StargateSG7

Excellent post StargateSG7! A "must read" for all interested in IR.

I can't wait to see your 3D set up.

Please keep us updated.

-ProjectPhyerPhly- (P3)

posted on May, 29 2008 @ 12:24 PM
reply to post by Levita

Hi Levita, love your Avatar,I'm a big Zim fan.

I for one would love to hear about any expereince you've had in your "haunting" research using night vision.
Any photos or video?

-ProjectPhyerPhly- (P3)

posted on May, 29 2008 @ 02:36 PM
reply to post by ProjectPhyrePhly

welcome to ATS

posted on May, 29 2008 @ 04:56 PM
reply to post by bodrul

Hi Bodrul.

Thanks for the welcome and taking the time to chime in.

It's good to be on board.

-ProjectPhyrePhly- (P3)

posted on Jun, 4 2008 @ 07:46 PM
Hey P3,
Excellent thread you have going here...awesome info on IR and your personal observations. I am Johnny Anonymous' friend and experienced the Ed Grimsley show in Calistoga. What an eye opener !
We purchased a nightowl 20/20 and are going out into the boonies to view the skies tonight. Exciting to see if we have the same activity over the Central Valley as you and Ed Grimsley observe near the coast.
I am sure Johnny will report his findings to you as I am not going to steal his thunder...I'm just a tag along and amateur at best but I have 2 eyeballs and a keen sense of perception. Mr. Anonymous has been doing this for years...IR is going to give a boost to his arsenal of UFOlist tools in his kit !
I have been studying the cosmos since I was a young boy and am up on all the recent scientific break thrus in Quantum Mechanics and Cosmology. I am fascinated by IR and what's going on up there. I believed before, but now with this new evidence I am sold...
All Naysayers should have a look and get their reality bent...

I see you are Pentatonic - are you a musician too ?


posted on Jun, 5 2008 @ 02:33 AM
Hey Synth.

Yep, currently learning the Chapman Stick.

Good luck with the iGen. It's a blast! I just got an HD monitor and WOW what a difference. I was using an old TV/VCR combo and I thought that was good. The difference is astounding. The detail is so much better I have to go back and look at all my old footage again.

Let me know how it goes.

-ProjectPhyerPhly- (P3)

posted on Aug, 3 2008 @ 05:31 PM
ProjectPhyrePhly is there a way I can contact you? I tried to send a private message, but I don't have enough posts. I just acquired an Igen NV20/20 and have a multitude of questions.


posted on Aug, 4 2008 @ 12:12 AM
ProjectPhyrePhly, welcome to ATS, this indeed is a great place, and we are glad you are here, if you have any questions or concerns there are a few people that you can talk to. I hope you can consider this post as your one stop shop for answers to most of the more frequently asked questions on this board.

The forum moderators are quite friendly people, they are here to make sure you enjoy your time on this site. If you have any questions make sure to shoot off a U2U to any one of them for an answer. Also members like myself your ATS Concierge, or enjoies05 are also very helpful and will be glad to try and answer any questions you may have. Feel free to shoot me a U2U whenever you need a helping hand. I am always glad to help

Many of your questions can be answered by visiting this thread; Index of Important Website Related Threads *Read First* This thread is invaluable for all the frequently asked questions about this site and what you can do here.

the ATS Handbook can answer a lot of your questions about the site as well, it's quite informative and helpful if you have questions regarding your Avatar, Signature, or purchasing perks in the ATS Store.

Points are a valuable commodity around ATS and some members want to know how to gain points quickly. There are several ways to do this. One is to podcast, Podcasting if you don't already know is kind of like making your own little radio show about some subject that you’re interested in. Also contributing to TinWiki is a great way to make some points in a big hurry. Also by joining up with Twitter, you can get a lot of points right of the bat.

In BTS (our sister board) one can also find fun games and contests that are happening now, and also get you those points. By signing up with ATS you are automatically signed up for BTS as well, all you need to do is log in and join in the fun with the rest of us.

One should also familiarize themselves with the Terms And Conditions Of Use for proper ATS etiquette and site rules, this helps everyone avoid problems.

Again welcome to ATS and I hope you have a great time around the site, if you have any questions and have met the requirements to do so, please feel free to U2U me anytime about any questions you might have. I would love to be able to help you whenever you need it.

posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 05:27 AM
Very interesting thread. I have just bought a Seben Gen 1 night vision scope from ebay at a cost of £75. I have to say I was not holding out too much hope that it would be any good.However it is a great scope and when pointed at the sky on a clear night many more stars can be seen than with the naked eye.I am hoping to film a satellite as I think theses will show up quite bright.I have made a video showing the scope in action but what you need to remember is my eyes see far more detail than the camcorder is picking up.

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