WW2 Night Vision Scope?

DoubleCanister

New Member
Hi, I am looking into making a working replica of the M3 Sniper Scope an early infrared night vision scope.

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snipscm1.jpg


I am not exactly sure how IR night vision works. Is there a certain kind of lens that only sees IR light?
 

Riceball

Sr Member
Not to be snarky, but I'd just Google it.

As for building it yourself, you could always cannabilize either night vision capable camcorders or you could try finding surplus Gen1 night vision gear online to use. One option is getting an old toy called an Eyeclops, it's a toy night vision monocle but from what I've read it uses real Gen 1 night vision optics in it, this means that it sees in IR but it needs an IR illuminator to see in the dark. I think that the actual Eyeclops are out of production but I believe that the basic toy has been rebranded but I don't know as what though.
 

DoubleCanister

New Member
As for building it yourself, you could always cannabilize either night vision capable camcorders or you could try finding surplus Gen1 night vision gear online to use.
I've been looking into using an ir camera but my main problem is finding a screen small enough to fit within the scope.

Thank you for the help though, I guess I'll take a look at the toy nvg stuff.
 

laellee

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
You could locate the display screen towards the front of the scope body and use lensing at the eyepiece to compensate for the distance between the screen and your eye (if that makes sense).... That would almost triple your screen area.

What kind of range are you looking for on the scope's functional IR range?
 

Riceball

Sr Member
I just did a little looking into the Eyeclops and I was right, they have been discotinued and are going for hundreds on Amazon, however, you can find them used for around $40 - $50 on eBay. There is also something called the MukikiM SpyX/night Hawk Scope being sold on Amazon for $58, it's more than a used Eyeclops but at least it's new and if it doesn't work you can return it easily enough.

Edit: I also found another product that I found on Amazon is called Ultimate Night Vision by Spy Gear, it's also a toy NVG and sells for $48. This might be a better choice since it has far less housing around it to go through to get the actual guts of the toy.
 

DoubleCanister

New Member
You could locate the display screen towards the front of the scope body and use lensing at the eyepiece to compensate for the distance between the screen and your eye (if that makes sense).... That would almost triple your screen area.

What kind of range are you looking for on the scope's functional IR range?
Just off preliminary searches, I haven't found a screen small enough to fit into a scope body.

For range, toy nvgs can get around 20 meters and I was thinking ideally I would be able to get at least that.
 

buzby

Active Member
I am not exactly sure how IR night vision works. Is there a certain kind of lens that only sees IR light?
It's not a lens that's sensitive to IR light, it's a type of vacuum tube called a photomultiplier or image converter (it essentially amplifies the photons of light coming into it, and is sensitive to the IR range). The type used on the first US Sniperscope T120 system was made by RCA originally for TV cameras and came to be known as Generation 0. That was replaced by the Generation 1 image intensifier tubes used in the Vietnam-era Starlight scope.. Here's an article that explains how tube-based night vision works and how the generations have developed:
https://www.photonics.com/Articles/Image_Intensification_The_Technology_of_Night/a25144

If you want to replicate the scope using period technology, there are Russian tank crew night vision goggles that are Gen1 tube based available quite cheaply on ebay, but you would still need to build the optics of the sight around it (a magnifying lens at the front and a collimating lens at the rear for the eyepiece). I have done repair work on some Russian made NV binoculars and the electronics (HV power supply, as the tube needs thousands of volts) in them were basically potted into a block glued to the side of the tubes
 

Riceball

Sr Member
Just off preliminary searches, I haven't found a screen small enough to fit into a scope body.

For range, toy nvgs can get around 20 meters and I was thinking ideally I would be able to get at least that.
I think that they toy NVGs might be a good bet since their displays seems to be fairly small, around the size scope. Even if it's a little too large for the very end, I imagine that it can fit at least to end of the second tube and you could always add a magnifier to the very end to enlarge the image.
 

Gryphon37

New Member
I owned a pair of the eyeclops nvgs when I was younger, and I think they might be your best bet for replicating this scope. They took 5 AAA batteries, which was a lot, but the battery pack was a separate piece on the back strap, connected to the rest of the electronics by a cable. you could easily house the batteries in the "electrical supply" box, and run your own cable up to the scope, (you'd obviously need to do some soldering to replace the original cable with a longer one). Unfortunately I think I may have gutted my pair for greeblies several years back, otherwise I'd sell them to you for real cheap. I'll still look around for them when I get home though. PM me if you have any other questions on the quality of the vision or other details, and ill tell you what I remember. I'll attach a photo of the specific goggles I'm talking about, since I believe there were different versions that eyeclops released over the years.
 

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Gryphon37

New Member
I actually just found my pair of night vision goggles, let me know if you have any questions about size, quality, range, etc, or if you'd like me to send them to you. I still stand by my earlier statement, that these are probably your best bet for replicating this device
 

DoubleCanister

New Member
I actually just found my pair of night vision goggles, let me know if you have any questions about size, quality, range, etc, or if you'd like me to send them to you. I still stand by my earlier statement, that these are probably your best bet for replicating this device
Will do, thank you for the help!
 
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