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View Full Version : Do it yourself Night Vision - hunting at night



Spartacus
13-12-2010, 12:22 AM
Salaam Everybody,

I've been looking into setting up a home-made night vision kit. I am starting this thread to we can share some info and experiences on this subject. What I've gotten so far is that one needs to get an infra red light, preferably a powerful one that can provide a field of view as well as distance. The other thing thats needed is a camera that either has the infrared filter removed or has some night vision feature. The Sony Night Shot series have this feature and can be purchased used on eBay or probably in the electronics market in Karachi for relatively cheap, i.e. less than Pkr 10,000. Then one needs to get a lens adapter to fit the camera to the scope...the other option is to do it crudely with lots of tape. You turn the IR flashlight on in the dark and turn your Sony Camera on and look at the screen rather than into the scope. This configuration should provide decent visibility at night up to 20-30 meters. I saw several videos on youtube on people using this technique for which they've provided videos of their results and they're pretty good.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVRvTgdkC-A

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9mwGeDAxhk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4LB-wxLbj8

Another option is to buy an even older video camera from the early 90s or even the 80s and take it apart as shown in the videos above. Some of the disadvantages I can foresee with this set up as compared to the video cam screen set up is eye relief and recoil......I don't think that video camera lens provides the kind of eye relief that a scope does, you need to actually stick your eye onto the lens to be able to see where its pointing. The video cam screen set up allows you the eye relief you need to be able to handle recoil. My rifle for which I am thinking of trying this set up is a Diana 54 Airking which has that rail system that makes the scope jerk back and forth. This would mean that if I had to stick my eye right onto the scope, I would hurt myself whereas the proper eye relief would the only way to avoid injury. The video cam screen and the cam itself would probably recoil, but luckily I dont think zero is affected by a loose camera-scope connection.

Yet another option is to buy a Night Vision Monocular with an adapter to fit it to your scope. I've seen Yukon, ATN and other brands available for as little as US$ 80 on eBay. Buy the IR flashlight and the adapter and it may cost another US$ 80 and you've got a ready to go night vision kit that you can take off and add to almost any rifle you've got scoped as long as your adapter fits the lens. US$ 160 means that for less than PKR 15,000, you can potentially hunt very effectively at short-medium ranges at night.

I haven't tried any of the above yet since I just got the idea in the last few days. I am thinking that most creatures that one would like to hunt are far less attentive at night, as long as one can find them. If you can locate them, you can see them well enough at night to shoot them and I am assuming they wouldn't see you coming if you were quiet and downwind. I know many people use very powerful torches to stun the creatures and take their shot with a shotgun...but this is another way to hunt at night, hopefully with more precision. I am a total novice on the subject so I would love to hear what the more experienced people here have to say

12GAUGE
13-12-2010, 12:52 AM
AoA Spartacus

Bro, the idea of making your own night vision hunting equipment is pretty awesome and is definitely worth pursuing therefore I would say by all means go for it.

However I must insist that hunting at night, other than for creatures that are mostly active during nighttime such as hares and hogs, is considered unethical in professional hunting circles. Animals that are most active during the day should only be hunted during daylight hours. Some people use high intensity torches to temporarily stun game animals. this is unethical. this is not hunting. at best it is poaching.

The difference between a hunter a poacher is, a hunter respects the game and plays it fair and square as he/she is not a meat collector but only a sportsman, a poacher on the other hand is only interested in collecting meat (i.e., the size of the bag) and is willing to go to any length (even unethical) just to ensure a bigger bag.

Regards.

Zaheer
13-12-2010, 01:17 AM
AoA Spartacus

Bro, the idea of making your own night vision hunting equipment is pretty awesome and is definitely worth pursuing therefore I would say by all means go for it.

However I must insist that hunting at night, other than for creatures that are mostly active during nighttime such as hares and hogs, is considered unethical in professional hunting circles. Animals that are most active during the day should only be hunted during daylight hours. Some people use high intensity torches to temporarily stun game animals. this is unethical. this is not hunting. at best it is poaching.

The difference between a hunter a poacher is, a hunter respects the game and plays it fair and square as he/she is not a meat collector but only a sportsman, a poacher on the other hand is only interested in collecting meat (i.e., the size of the bag) and is willing to go to any length (even unethical) just to ensure a bigger bag.

Regards.

+1

Well said 12 Gauge bro they are not hunters but just destroyers of WildLife.

Spartacus
13-12-2010, 06:29 PM
AoA Spartacus

Bro, the idea of making your own night vision hunting equipment is pretty awesome and is definitely worth pursuing therefore I would say by all means go for it.

However I must insist that hunting at night, other than for creatures that are mostly active during nighttime such as hares and hogs, is considered unethical in professional hunting circles. Animals that are most active during the day should only be hunted during daylight hours. Some people use high intensity torches to temporarily stun game animals. this is unethical. this is not hunting. at best it is poaching.

The difference between a hunter a poacher is, a hunter respects the game and plays it fair and square as he/she is not a meat collector but only a sportsman, a poacher on the other hand is only interested in collecting meat (i.e., the size of the bag) and is willing to go to any length (even unethical) just to ensure a bigger bag.

Regards.

Salaam 12Gauge,

I agree with you....I was thinking of using this set up for wild boar and rabbit mainly and with the airgun I would like to get rid of those pesky crows that start to make noise early in the morning before the sun comes out. Deer is such an easy kill in Doreji that its hardly worth the effort to do it at night. I really like the idea of having a night vision set up though...just being able to shoot accurately at night is pretty cool.

Rotorcrafts
13-12-2010, 11:03 PM
This would turn out to be a nice project for you i guess. Regarding the IR emitter i would suggest the following LED based emitter.

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.14061

You can use a single LED in a proper flashlight or couple them up to make a very strong Infra red setup. word of caution though, as you can not see Infra red light so you shouldnt be looking at the LED for long when it is on as it will put a lot of strain on your eyes.

Spartacus
18-12-2010, 08:38 PM
This would turn out to be a nice project for you i guess. Regarding the IR emitter i would suggest the following LED based emitter.

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.14061

You can use a single LED in a proper flashlight or couple them up to make a very strong Infra red setup. word of caution though, as you can not see Infra red light so you shouldnt be looking at the LED for long when it is on as it will put a lot of strain on your eyes.

thanks for the info..I am shopping for a video camera, a camera mount, and a nice set of IR lights that have at least 50m range. I've been checking out the specifications and so far only Sony makes cameras with the Night Shot function. Night Shot allows you to see (without supplementary light) up to 10' and Super Night Shot gives you an additional 10-15m, except that the picture gets choppy. Adding the IR light provides more range and good resolution and zoom will mean that I should be able to recognize my targets at night, 50m, possibly more if its an open area. I've seen used camcorders with this function from as low as Pkr 6,000...however, they have lower resolution and less zoom. I'm looking for at least 20x zoom and I'm still figuring out the whole issue of resolution. The camcorders in Pakistan I've seen with these functions are mainly the Sony DCR HC and the DCR TRV models. Some of them have both Night Shot and Super Night Shot...and some of them have the Plus versions of these functions, that gives a little more color apparently. It looks like one can get a very decent unit with all the functions and in excellent condition for around Pkr 15,000....it'll be a few years old but the new models don't have these functions in the low end models anymore.

The Seben DKA camera mount will allow me to place the camera in proper alignment with the scope...want a view just as if I was looking through it with my own eyes....not misaligned and seeing the black inside of the tube. it seems to be around US$ 30-40 depending on where you buy it. I am looking for alternatives but so far this is what I've come up with.

Regarding the IR light....I'm not sure if the LEDs provide the kind of focused long range light that I need for shooting 20-50 meters in absolute pitch dark. The LED lights are good for shorter distances if I'm not mistaken...they can light up a room or give you a flood light affect up to 10m.

I've seen a shop at Zamzama with a night vision monocular for Pkr 25,000 and it was just crap. It was black & white, no recording functions, no zoom just fixed at 3x mag, no eye relief or lcd screen, nothing.....you get very little for your money. He also had a tactical IR light for Pkr 10,000..he claimed it was 100 lumens but I couldn't see it through his NV monocular.

The set up I'm describing above is far superior to most 1st generation NV monoculars that one could buy, even up to US$ 400 in the US itself. It will cost no more than Pkr 25-30,000 for a camcorder, a seben camera mount, and a very cool tactical IR light along with a secondary set of IR led lights. The camera mount is very useful for mounting a camera on telescopes, monoculars, weapon scopes, even binoculars....so it is multi-functional. The camcorder is also very useful across the board and you can also record all your shooting to share with anybody you want to. The IR lights are the only items on the list that are not useful for another purpose....but thats probably because I haven't thought of it yet. I would say overall this set up would be money spent wisely...and it could be done on a much lower budget still. Its possible to do this entire thing for even less than Pkr 10,000 if you buy a Pkr 6,000 camcorder, chinese LED IR lights, and find some cheaper way to mount the camera. As with all purchases, its up to you how much you want and how much you're willing to pay.

Spartacus
31-12-2010, 01:05 PM
Ok so I've gone ahead and ordered the Seben DKA2 camera mount. A friend in Los Angeles will buy it off eBay and send it to me via courier or anybody who's travelling in this direction. Its about US$ 44 including shipping to my friend...the cost to me will depend on how much shipping to Pakistan or the UAE is. It's going to be a long journey, but it will get here eventually.

This is the link for the item.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Seben-DKA2-digital-camera-camcorder-adapter-PC-USB-/380289836137?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item588b0a6469#ht_6570wt_902

Next on my list is an IR Laser. I've done a little bit of research and if I want to be able to clearly see a target sitting in the middle of a tree or bushes in pitch dark, I need the intensity of an adjustable laser. The options include a Dipol L3 which is ridiculously expensive at over US$ 250 (not incl shipping). Some other options include lasers in Belarus

http://www.posp.ru/ls.html

These are not as good as the Dipols but they've got pretty good results for the price which starts at US$ 60ish including shipping. The one I'm considering is US$ 160...but I'm not sure if that's a wise use of my money. Still thinking about it and wondering how to go forward. Getting a good laser will mean that it will last and will be usable in the future when and if I decide to upgrade to proper night vision equipment...these lasers are good for use with Sony Night Shot cameras, and Gen 1,2 and 3 NV devices. The pros use Dipol L3....if I can get a good used one, that's what I'll buy.

The Sony Night Shot cameras are pretty cheap. I still haven't bought one of those yet, but have a few sellers lined up who're eager to dispose of theirs. I'll wait till the camera mount gets here to buy the camera.

More to come....

Arslan_tareen
31-12-2010, 01:23 PM
sparticus brother great to see you making such a effort , you are in Karachi other wise i would have invited you to come and see the night vision setups i have , including a dedicated night vision scope , a gen 1+ monocular and digital one . i also have Ir laser and a 100mw ir illuminator (yukon)..now brother i know what you are doing looks great and works Great aswl , but all that set up you see on you tube and on net is for Night time vermenting or pest control in UK and other such places .
give me your contact number and i will explain some things to you in detail before you put some hard earned cash into it .
the camera setup only works on air guns not the springers ones !! you will have a better chance using it with a bolt action .22 then on a springer .. i started prusing night visions 7 years ago and have tried nearly every cheap and expensive setup available and finally came to the setups that i have today and find them enough for my use .

p.s .. remember .. most of the animals will be as much aware of IR flash light and laser as they would be of a non ir laser or a common torch . !!

Spartacus
01-01-2011, 10:45 AM
sparticus brother great to see you making such a effort , you are in Karachi other wise i would have invited you to come and see the night vision setups i have , including a dedicated night vision scope , a gen 1+ monocular and digital one . i also have Ir laser and a 100mw ir illuminator (yukon)..now brother i know what you are doing looks great and works Great aswl , but all that set up you see on you tube and on net is for Night time vermenting or pest control in UK and other such places .
give me your contact number and i will explain some things to you in detail before you put some hard earned cash into it .
the camera setup only works on air guns not the springers ones !! you will have a better chance using it with a bolt action .22 then on a springer .. i started prusing night visions 7 years ago and have tried nearly every cheap and expensive setup available and finally came to the setups that i have today and find them enough for my use .

p.s .. remember .. most of the animals will be as much aware of IR flash light and laser as they would be of a non ir laser or a common torch . !!

salaam bro,

Thanks for the detailed reply and encouragement. I'm at *******....I'll remove this number once you've noted it so plz let me know when you have.

regarding animals being able to see the IR lights at night...I checked up on that and I've read that its a faint red glow that they're able to see. What I've read says that good quality lasers don't have that glow whereas the LEDs and cheaper IR's are much more visible. This guy has provided a review and photos that I found helpful....

http://www.nightvisionforums.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1962

Anyway...lets talk about this more on the phone. Look forward to hearing from you.