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DIY night vision?

Discussion in 'Night Vision Optics and Illumination' started by air arms s200, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. air arms s200

    air arms s200 Junior Member

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    Hi,

    I've been lamping for a while and recently with a red filter; both with not much luck. I found my old digital camera and noticed it can 'see' Infrared from a remote. If I bought an IR filter for my lamp, and got a scope camera mount, would this work as night vision?

    I think rabbits can partly see IR but I am willing to give it a go, and if all I need to see in the dark is my camera, my lamp and an IR filter I'll give it a go!

    Thanks, Matt
     
  2. terry1001

    terry1001 Major Poster

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    Matt, the realistic answer is no. Consumer cameras are not intended for use with ir light and will have a filter somewhere inthe optics to reduce the amount of ir getting to the sensor even if they will detect the ir from a tv remote.
    Rabbits can not see ir light, nor can humans. The ir lamps also emit a very small amount of light in the visible red spectrum which can be seen as a dim red glow similar to a burning cigarette.
    If you can do a bit of diy and use a few simple hand tools then you can put together a usable nv system at relatively low cost, certainly a lot less than the cost of a reasonable scope. Obviously the more you spend the better the performance - up to a point - but for air rifle use you only need to be able to make out what's behind your target and don't need the ability to take a shot at 250 yards which might be the requirement for a fox shooter.
     
  3. air arms s200

    air arms s200 Junior Member

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    okay so it might not work with my camera, although I still think I'll give it a go as it can detect it. Do you know of any digital cameras which do detect IR well enough to be used as night vision? I've seen many people on this forum take apart night vision cameras and make screens for them but I'd rather not go down that route. I didn't know rabbits couldn't see IR but it seems to be rather contradictory online.
    Thanks for the help, Matt
     
  4. Alex.mc

    Alex.mc Busy Member

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    If your camcorder has a physical switch for a 'night shot" mode, then you're in with a chance. If not, it's unlikely to work. My phone camera will easily detect ir from remotes, but even with excellent close up illumination from one of Terry's excellent ir torches, it won't show anything but a mild glimmer.

    I tried the camcorder route, but met compromise all along the way.
     
  5. terry1001

    terry1001 Major Poster

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    The only cameras that I'm aware of that can work with ir light are camcorders with 'nightshot' or 'super nightshot' feature.
    The cameras used in most of the diy nv builds are cctv cameras which are designed to be sensitive to ir light. Different colours of light focus at different distances (which is how rainbows are formed) and ir light will focus at a much different point to white or daylight, this has the effect of causing the image to be slightly blurred so for daylight use an ir cut filter is often used in front of the sensor.
    You could try a camcorder but they are likely to be just as expensive as a unit based on cctv equipment and they will be less sensitive.
    The parts you would need are:
    camera (with suitable lens)
    monitor/screen
    12 volt battery pack
    ir torch
    fittings to connect camera to scope
    The actual parts you need and their sizes depend upon your equipment but there are several excellent how-to guides on here for mounting the kit.
    I don't want to put you off trying various things but the compact camera/phone camera route is not going to be much use at night, it's feasible that either could work if you were prepared to take them apart and remove any ir filter which would make them useless for anything else. They are also quite difficult to strip and more difficult to put back together and even then they won't work as well as a cheap cctv camera.
    All species have a spectrum of light which they can see although you need to realise that often their eyesight is quite different to ours and, of course, our understanding of how various creatures see the world is not complete. Prey species have different requirements to those predators that rely on them for food so thaey are sensitive to movement, for example, and will take flight even at moving shadows. They also have much better senses of smell and hearing than we do. For humans the visible spectrum runs from dark red to violet, infra red and ultra violet are outside our range of vision and we can not see those colours although using special cameras or other devices we can see the effect of them - the beams of light themselves are invisible. It is thought that red is either invisible or nearly so for most other animals, some of which do have a range of vision extending into the ultra violet part of the spectrum. Green is the colour to which our eyes are most sensitive and it is very visible to most animals.
    Most ir illuminators emit light at a wavelength of 850nm but it is possible to obtain them in 940nm versions as well, the glow from these is less visible as less light is emitted in the red part of the spectrum. Unfortunately cameras are generally much less sensitive to light at this wavelength and about 4x the power output is required to obtain a similar level of illumination to a unit running at 850nm. Camcorders often require light of about 800nm wavelength to work in a satisfactory way.
    When you are using nv equipment your quarry will not be able to see the ir light with which you are illuminating them, however their main senses of hearing and smell are not affected by lack of light and they will still react to the noise of you stumbling around in the dark or the smell of your Armani after shave.
    odd cables and connectors
     

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