Metascope IR Flashlight Conversion

Discussion for SureFire, HDS, and NightOps Flash Lights.

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Metascope IR Flashlight Conversion

Postby OCP » Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:45 am

Has anyone here played with the Metascope IR Flashlights? It's a double D cell 3 volt incandescent light with an IR filter. The unit is pretty decent and is made to clip onto the side of the Metascope IR viewer. The optics are total crap though. I was thinking of updating it with a modern reflector using either a high output IR LED or Halogen/Krypton type bulb. It looks like a C cell Maglight reflector unit may fit without too much work. I've never looked into Surefire type tactical lights, so I don't know much about them. Have the high output IR LED bulbs matched the candlepower of the modern Noble incandescent bulbs yet? I know that incandescent bulbs are less efficient power consumption wise and IR filters cut down on the output to some degree. I'm looking for the most light output/range & don't care about battery life. Do the digital power supplies used on some tactical lights help boost the output or are they for making expensive Lithium batteries last longer?
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Re: Metascope IR Flashlight Conversion

Postby 45K40 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:54 pm


The metascope IR source is only good for up to 50' or so, but it is a true IR filter with no visible light signature. It was meant to be a source when no other IR source (such as searchlight or IR filtered driving lights) was available. IR filters attenuate some of the visible light so the output is not so efficient. The metascope itself is pretty lame; the fishbowl view sucks because small IR convertor tubes suffer from great pincushion-distortion. The metascope set was primarily used for signaling to another soldier; you could see the IR source from a great distance.
The metascope's other purpose was to provide an IR detection capability to the M48/M60 series tank optical rangefinders. A collar fit around the rangefinder occular and the metascope slid onto the collar's dovetail. This held the metascope at the right distance so you could focus on the downrange scene. Since most Soviet-bloc tanks have IR driving lights and filtered searchlights, this made them an easy target at night. Without any illumination from you or the target's end, you won't see downrange.
Surefire makes a snap-over IR filter that works with incandescent lamps only. A visible-light LED will only emit about 1-3% IR light, vs. over 90% IR from an incan lamp. There are some Chinese IR-only LEDs available that are drop-in replacements for common Surefires such as the P60 body/6P and M951 types. The Surefire M1 is an IR illuminator, although not a great thrower of light. sells Da Torch, which is a collimated type of illuminator for narrow or wide field of illum. Check out this example: ... otOut.html
or this: ... 8-4v-12625
There are other companies that sell drop-ins too,

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