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Old April 19th, 2017, 17:42   #1
riley_A
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Calgary, AB
Image intensifier tubes

Looking at a few different options for IIT's currently for a PBS-14 build.
The four options i'm considering currently are Harder digital tubes, Photonis Tubes, GSCI tubes, and used tubes.

As far as the Harder tubes go, I don't know much about them. Based on their website it seems like they only offer one 18mm inverting tube. Its a gen 2 tube with gain of 35000-65000, SNR of 18-23, and resolution of 57-72 lp/mm. So overall the spec doesn't seem too bad, but no other specs are offered and it doesn't seem as though they offer autogating. They don't list their prices either.

Next would be the Photonis tubes. I know they offer several different levels of tubes from their commercial grade gen 2 tubes, to their supergen tubes, to their XD-4 tubes, and then their XR-5 tubes. I've heard that the XD-4 and XR-5 tubes offer phenomenal performance for being gen 2, and the supergen tubes dont seem too bad either. Again price is unknown, although I've heard that the price of the XD-4 and XR-5 tubes can jump to well over 3k canadian which isnt very economical. Also correct me if im wrong, but it seems as though autogating is only available in XD-4 tubes and up.

Third option would be GSCI tubes. Hardly any information on these tubes available online it seems. GSCI's website doesnt show their products and the Brandon optics website shows the different tube options, but no spec sheets for each offered option. They do seem to offer their gen 3 GA 1 tube for a decent price ($680 cad) however for that price I wouldnt expect the specs to be best ever.

The last options is used tubes. Obviously not very plentiful here in Canada, but slightly more prevalent over in Europe. I'm aware that you have to be very careful when purchasing used tubes as some sellers can be fairly sketchy. Benefits to buying used being good price for a low hours tube in decent shape with maybe a few blems or fixable light damage. Downsides being that you dont always know what you're getting in terms of specs, and the supply of decent tubes isnt always plentiful.

I would love to hear some opinions on what the best option might be, and if someone could provide me with some pricing and spec information that would be even better. Also if anyone has any alternate suggestions that would be great as well.
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Old April 19th, 2017, 18:22   #2
BenG
 
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I would not buy a GSCI gen 2 tube, I have one its meh, you can do far better with photonis tubes... although they are very available and in country and much much cheaper... so thats good. The GSCI gen 3 tube I peeked through seemed great, similar level of noise to thunders omni 6 as well as gain, given this was young in the evening and there was plenty of light.

Harder tubes seem ok, a bit pricy, I know nothing about these tubes other then what is on actinblacks website, I would say pros to this tube because of accessibility.

XR5 tubes are very very very expensive, as in expensive enough that you could almost buy 2 of the many pvs-14s listed on ASC for the price of a non gated XR5 tube, let alone a gated one, the new intense tubes are even more expensive, price listings for XR5 tubes that I have seen new from manufactures was about 5000 euro for non gated and 6300 euro for gated. XD4 tubes are listed at 4000 euro and 5100 euro with gating, supergen tubes were listed at 3300 euro. Alpha optics might be able to get there hands on those tubes but unless they are magic and can get much lower prices, dump your housing and buy a used pvs-14 off ASC unless your set on having the absolute best resolution you can get... for a ludicrous price

buy a used 14 off ASC

XR5 SNR is 28 limiting resolution is 72 gain 30-55000 sensitivity is 800

XD4 SNR 24 lim res is 64 gain is 30-40000 sensitivity 700

supergen SNR 22 lim res is 64 gain 25-35000 sens is 700

im fairly confident GSCI is potting com grade tubes these are the specs: SNR 19 lim res is 58 gain is 25 000 sens is 550
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderCactus View Post
I think that's the direction I should have gone with this one though.
gen1 - I can't see shit
gen2 - I see LOTS of green, but not many people
gen3 - Nobody wants to play with me because I'm an elitist asshole now

Last edited by BenG; April 19th, 2017 at 18:38..
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Old April 19th, 2017, 18:37   #3
riley_A
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Calgary, AB
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenG View Post
I would not buy a GSCI gen 2 tube, I have one its meh, you can do far better with photonis tubes... although they are very available and in country and much much cheaper... so thats good. The GSCI gen 3 tube I peeked through seemed great, similar level of noise to thunders omni 6 as well as gain, given this was young in the evening and there was plenty of light.

Harder tubes seem ok, a bit pricy, I know nothing about these tubes other then what is on actinblacks website, I would say pros to this tube because of accessibility.

XR5 tubes are very very very expensive, as in expensive enough that you could almost buy 2 of the many pvs-14s listed on ASC for the price of a non gated XR5 tube, let alone a gated one, the new intense tubes are even more expensive, price listings for XR5 tubes that I have seen new from manufactures was about 5000 euro for non gated and 6300 euro for gated. XD4 tubes are listed at 4000 euro and 5100 euro with gating, supergen tubes were listed at 3300 euro. Alpha optics might be able to get there hands on those tubes but unless they are magic and can get much lower prices, dump your housing and buy a used pvs-14 off ASC unless your set on having the absolute best resolution you can get... for a ludicrous price

buy a used 14 off ASC
I guess I wont be springing for an XD-4 or XR-5 anytime soon then. I did talk to someone over in Europe who said that they would be able to get me a photonis commercial gen 2 tube for around 1700 cad, or a supergen tube for around 2700 cad, however for that price I may as well go for a GSCI GA 2 autogated tube for under 2k canadian.
I would like to find out the specs of GSCI's GA 1 gen 3 tube though since its price seems phenomenal for a gen 3 tube.
Maybe i'll get in contact with Brandon optics and GSCI to figure out the specs.

And if anyone could shed some light on the GSCI tubes in the meantime that'd be great. http://www.brandonoptics.com/GSCI-Im...es_p_1729.html
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Old April 19th, 2017, 18:40   #4
BenG
 
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that price of 680 is on top of the price of a gen 2 tube.... which is about 1400 ish, so you looking at just over 2000$ for the gen 3 GA1

here are your specs:

XR5 SNR is 28 limiting resolution is 72 gain 30 000-55 000 sensitivity is 800

XD4 SNR 24 lim res is 64 gain is 30 000-40 000 sensitivity 700

supergen SNR 22 lim res is 64 gain 25 000-35 000 sens is 700

im fairly confident GSCI is potting com grade tubes as there gen 2: these are the specs: SNR 19 lim res is 58 gain is 25 000 sens is 550

i own a GSCI gs-14 if you have any questions feel free to shoot me a PM, I would highly reqomend just tossing the cash for a used 14, its what ill be doing this summer, that said, the gs-14 is a great budget intro to NV... its deffinantly useable, I could even sell you mine possibly, and I know a guy that can get GSCI tubes if you want to buy a new one

Quote:
Originally Posted by riley_A View Post
I guess I wont be springing for an XD-4 or XR-5 anytime soon then. I did talk to someone over in Europe who said that they would be able to get me a photonis commercial gen 2 tube for around 1700 cad, or a supergen tube for around 2700 cad, however for that price I may as well go for a GSCI GA 2 autogated tube for under 2k canadian.
I would like to find out the specs of GSCI's GA 1 gen 3 tube though since its price seems phenomenal for a gen 3 tube.
Maybe i'll get in contact with Brandon optics and GSCI to figure out the specs.

And if anyone could shed some light on the GSCI tubes in the meantime that'd be great. http://www.brandonoptics.com/GSCI-Im...es_p_1729.html
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderCactus View Post
I think that's the direction I should have gone with this one though.
gen1 - I can't see shit
gen2 - I see LOTS of green, but not many people
gen3 - Nobody wants to play with me because I'm an elitist asshole now

Last edited by BenG; April 19th, 2017 at 18:46..
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Old April 19th, 2017, 18:50   #5
riley_A
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Calgary, AB
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenG View Post
that price of 680 is on top of the price of a gen 2 tube.... which is about 1400 ish, so you looking at just over 2000$ for the gen 3 GA1

here are your specs:

XR5 SNR is 28 limiting resolution is 72 gain 30 000-55 000 sensitivity is 800

XD4 SNR 24 lim res is 64 gain is 30 000-40 000 sensitivity 700

supergen SNR 22 lim res is 64 gain 25 000-35 000 sens is 700

im fairly confident GSCI is potting com grade tubes as there gen 2: these are the specs: SNR 19 lim res is 58 gain is 25 000 sens is 550

i own a GSCI gs-14 if you have any questions feel free to shoot me a PM, I would highly reqomend just tossing the cash for a used 14, its what ill be doing this summer, that said, the gs-14 is a great budget intro to NV... its deffinantly useable, I could even sell you mine possibly, and I know a guy that can get GSCI tubes if you want to buy a new one
I've already thrown out the cash for a housing thats on its way currently so I'm fairly set on tracking down a tube to put in said housing and building my own unit. If you could get me in contact with the guy who can get GSCI tubes that would be great. I dont mind paying a bit extra for a decent tube as long as I can get it before june.
My goal is to have nods for Battlefield 14 haha.
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Old April 19th, 2017, 18:54   #6
BenG
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riley_A View Post
I've already thrown out the cash for a housing thats on its way currently so I'm fairly set on tracking down a tube to put in said housing and building my own unit. If you could get me in contact with the guy who can get GSCI tubes that would be great. I dont mind paying a bit extra for a decent tube as long as I can get it before june.
My goal is to have nods for Battlefield 14 haha.
Ill PM you his contact info, but I think before you go ahead and order one you better have a look through mine, and you better make sure that whatever tube your ordering will fit in your housing, and you should find someone that knows or make sure you know how to take apart and put together your new toy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderCactus View Post
I think that's the direction I should have gone with this one though.
gen1 - I can't see shit
gen2 - I see LOTS of green, but not many people
gen3 - Nobody wants to play with me because I'm an elitist asshole now
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Old April 19th, 2017, 19:02   #7
riley_A
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Calgary, AB
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenG View Post
Ill PM you his contact info, but I think before you go ahead and order one you better have a look through mine, and you better make sure that whatever tube your ordering will fit in your housing, and you should find someone that knows or make sure you know how to take apart and put together your new toy
Once my housing arrives i'll play around with it to make sure I know how to take it apart and put it back together. And I'll likely send the unit off the GSCI anyway to get it purged, if not fully assembled and purged. And that would be great if I could look through your unit first to see what things look like before I commit to one thing or another.

Also I did a bit of info hunting on Brandon optics website and I was able to find some specs on the GSCI tubes.
Their GA 1 tube has an FOM of 1260-1600, a minimum resolution of 60 lp/mm and a SNR of 21-26 at minimum resolution.
Their GA 2 tube has an FOM of 1600-1800, a minimum resolution of 64 lp/mm and a SNR of 25-28 at minimum resolution.
Not bad specs for their advertised price
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