Homemade nv scope 3

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hutty33
Posts: 53
Joined: 05 Oct 2013, 19:29
Location: Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire

Homemade nv scope 3

Postby hutty33 » 20 Aug 2017, 17:29

Build instructions are here - http://www.customriflescopes.com/doityourself3.html

Firstly, please ignore the black insulation tape on the ocular bell in the pics below - I was having a bad day and rather than persevere with removing the bell I just took a hacksaw to it lol. In future the ocular bell will be undamaged. The build is not entirely finished as this is just the prototype/proof of concept, but it is finished enough for me to start testing properly in the field. It still needs a small fitting to connect the remote (this will be very simple to do though) and I want to have a play with the settings to see if I can get the daytime use a bit better.

It started out as a Hawke Vantage 2-7x32 AO and pretty much still is. Original length is 292mm (assuming original scope is used without adjusting/screwing out the ocular lens), new length is 305mm (the 'gap' that usually appears with an adjusted ocular is utilised on this build with a plastic ring which houses a magnet - upon turning the ring the magnet aligns with a reed switch/sensor inside the bell housing and turns the unit on/off). Original weight is 417 grams, new weight is 440 grams. Original magnification is 2-7, new magnification is approx 4-16. It uses a digital crosshair made the usual way with the privacy settings on the camera instead of the scopes standard reticle. It will be rainproof and nitrogen purged, and hopefully shockproof to an extent though this build is aimed at air rifle and rim-fire use so shock-proofing isn't a major concern - as some of you will know, near-eye displays generally don't give enough eye relief for use with recoiling rifles. I think I am making some ground on other lenses to use for longer eye relief, but with this build there simply isn't the room. With the battery I tested it with the scope runs for just over 1 hour 30 minutes (continuous runtime) though I'm still looking at a few others which may increase this. I have opted to use an IMR type li-ion battery (16340) due to being safer than a lot of the usual li-ion types, and allowing me to get more 'juice' out of it. Due to the shortish runtime, the battery is very easily changed in the field. In addition to the standard scope look with no wires, using normal mounts giving clearance for magazines, the light weight and compact size, another exciting thing with the build (for me at least) is the optical zoom - there is no loss of zero! There is unfortunately the expected dimming of the image as the mag increases but in my testing I've used only a T20 with AS pill and have achieved around 300 yards on 4x and between 100-150 yards on 16x, more than enough for the shooting it was designed for, though with a larger IR source the range would increase.

Like I said, please ignore the tape lol. Note the plastic ring on/off switch next to the eyepiece.
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How it looks from the front
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With day-use filter fitted
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Rear view
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Pull off the eyepiece to access the battery (the 'plugs' serve to connect power and video to the display and to hold the eyepiece in position - it will not fall out as the plugs kind of clip in)
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Battery compartment
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Battery inserted
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Align plugs with sockets then push into place
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Pic taken with phone off near eye display to show a possible reticle design
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Last edited by hutty33 on 29 Jan 2018, 00:03, edited 10 times in total.

User avatar
Clunge
Posts: 189
Joined: 08 Apr 2014, 23:32
Location: Staffs

Re: Homemade nv scope 3

Postby Clunge » 20 Aug 2017, 18:45

That is claaaass!
Could you reveal which camera and viewfinder you used? Or are they secret?

jeffo
Posts: 610
Joined: 01 Apr 2014, 06:30
Location: wales

Re: Homemade nv scope 3

Postby jeffo » 20 Aug 2017, 18:55

very nice build keep up the good work

hutty33
Posts: 53
Joined: 05 Oct 2013, 19:29
Location: Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire

Re: Homemade nv scope 3

Postby hutty33 » 20 Aug 2017, 19:30

It's the bangood neareye display and a foxeer nightwolf v2 camera.
I would have loved to use the vf-2c display but there is no way in hell or on earth that it would fit. I thought about making a new ocular bell sized to suit (I could possibly have used 1 or 2 18650 batteries as well) but it would have taken away from the scope's original look. Another option was to use a higher end display that is small enough but there is a very high price for those so it was decided against - I am hoping to build a super duper version of this type of scope in the near future but I need to save a few pennies first lol.
The camera was used for it's size, cost, the ability for privacy zones for the reticle and other changes to settings, the 1/2" ccd sensor and the ability to be run on 5 volts. There are other fpv cameras I want to try that I'm hoping will be better for day use but they might be slightly poorer at night - I can live with slightly poorer at night as like I said above, the scope is currently more than enough for the ranges it is intended for.

phoenix
BRUCE ALMIGHTY
Posts: 4560
Joined: 09 May 2012, 14:40
Location: Aberdeen

Re: Homemade nv scope 3

Postby phoenix » 20 Aug 2017, 19:37

Very nice!!!
I like the magnet/reed switch idea
What camera have you used and do you have a lens fitted to it.
Since you're using a camera generated reticle would I be right in thinking that all the ocular lenses have been removed leaving only the zoom lenses in the helicoid tube.
If you manage to make this work well, then you've just created a digital scope unit with optical zoom - and I can't remember anyone doing that before!!

Cheers

Bruce
LAND ROVER - THE WORLD'S WORST 4X4 BY FAR

hutty33
Posts: 53
Joined: 05 Oct 2013, 19:29
Location: Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire

Re: Homemade nv scope 3

Postby hutty33 » 20 Aug 2017, 19:58

Hi Phoenix.
I wanted the scope to be rain proof and I needed to be able to repurge the scope to prevent fogging, having had the scope apart and removing the ocular bell to change the battery (most of us will appreciate the frustration caused when lens fog up at night). I also didn't want anything sticking out or looking out of place, and I had the gap from adjusting the eyepiece which I didn't like so thought I'd use the space. The reed switch was the perfect solution I think. Camera is a foxeer nightwolf v2 but like I've said above, there are others I'd like to try - there may very well be a better one out there, I just bought the first one that I saw that had what I needed for it to work. There isn't a lens on the camera and I have indeed removed the ocular lenses. The camera sensor is positioned where the reticle was (at the focal plane). I had to make a tool capable of positioning the camera perfectly by adjusting fractions of a millimetre til it was right. From my testing so far it works. In the run up to this build I was trying various things and found that some cheaper scopes actually lose their zero when zooming before I even did anything to them - this was noticed when said scopes where fitted in a vice so they could not move, very frustrating and I nearly gave up.
I haven't seen this pulled off before BUT someone on this forum at least started to try a very similar thing in 2014 (I think)...I can't think of their name but I stumbled on a thread recently when I was trying to see if anyone had done it before.
Last edited by hutty33 on 20 Aug 2017, 22:38, edited 1 time in total.

phoenix
BRUCE ALMIGHTY
Posts: 4560
Joined: 09 May 2012, 14:40
Location: Aberdeen

Re: Homemade nv scope 3

Postby phoenix » 20 Aug 2017, 21:10

I'll say it again - absolutely terrific work and the first working NV scope I've seen using a camera at the second focal plane thus allowing retention of the zoom function.
You were quite right to try this out on a cheap Hawke scope, but if you were to make this work on a good quality scope such as a Sightron S Tac it could really be something else, and a better scope would be much less likely to give you focus shift as you change the magnification.
A bigger objective scope with the magnification kept fairly low would allow plenty of light into the camera and give it good NV performance plus the bit of extra magnification coming from the size of the sensor would give a good overall magnification.
Keep at it - you've opened a new chapter in the crazy world of DIY NV

Cheers

Bruce
LAND ROVER - THE WORLD'S WORST 4X4 BY FAR

hutty33
Posts: 53
Joined: 05 Oct 2013, 19:29
Location: Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire

Re: Homemade nv scope 3

Postby hutty33 » 20 Aug 2017, 22:17

From the sounds of it Phoenix we're on the same page mate :thumbup:
I am currently looking at larger sensors with small boards, better scopes with larger objectives, side focus and maybe first focal plane reticle, and also small but better displays. Cost is going to be a very real limiting factor for me though unfortunately.

Thank you for your kind words.

User avatar
Ooops
Posts: 266
Joined: 29 Dec 2013, 06:28
Location: Hampshire but on walk about some where hot

Re: Homemade nv scope 3

Postby Ooops » 21 Aug 2017, 05:42

Very clever hutty :clap: :clap: :clap:
The artist formerly known as Jethro

snipertez
Posts: 50
Joined: 01 Jan 2014, 10:20
Location: Devon, near Exeter

Re: Homemade nv scope 3

Postby snipertez » 21 Aug 2017, 07:27

Good going there hutty, very, very tidy indeed. Keep up the great effort, all these developments (no matter how large or small) keep us moving forwards :thumbup:


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