DIY Gen 2 Night Vision Monocular

Discussion about Night Vision Goggles and Night Vision Binoculars / Monoculars

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DIY Gen 2 Night Vision Monocular

Postby flybyu » Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:58 pm

I put together a small little hand held Night Vision unit using a old Mullard xx1306 tube in a aluminum housing
and M42 lens mounting ring on the end. I added a battery box with 2 AA batteries and zener 2.4Vdc diode to
maintain the voltage. I added a rocker power switch, led and manual momentary button on the top to turn
the tube on for viewing. I have a few different lens that have tried so far, 55mm f1.4, 80mm f1.6 and a
135mm f2.5 with great success considering the age of the tube, but it was a NOS unit.
I will try and add a mount on the back for the iPhone adapter that they sell of Fleebay as it was hard to hold
the iPhone up to the viewing window, the picture quality might be a bit better then also.

Mullard tube specs:
-Gen 2 intensifier tube
-17.5mm min input window, Photocathode S35
-17mm min output window, Phosphor S20
-MCP (Micro Channel Plate)
-Gain 23-43k
-Resolution 25lp/mm center

Here is the link to the YT short video of my design. I am in the process of putting together another monocular
unit with a 55mm f1.2 lens and a Gen 3 unit shortly and will upload pictures and video when done. Enjoy!
Last edited by flybyu on Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: Mon May 20, 2013 2:31 pm

Re: DIY Gen 2 Night Vision Monocular

Postby rusty » Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:24 am

Hi flybyu,
very nicely done, you obviously have some experience working with a lathe. And a nice video post. Keep them coming. Only warning is don't be too disappointed when you get your next gen2 tube, the XX1306 inverter tube leaves most of the same age gen2 tubes in the dust.

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Location: Queensland Australia

Re: DIY Gen 2 Night Vision Monocular

Postby flybyu » Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:28 pm

Thanks for the input Rusty!

The tube does have a great image, did not know it was classified as a very good quality image
compared to todays standards as it is such an old unit
I can only compare to my P8079HP three stage cascade tube that has a very nice image but a
ton of edge distortion. I will only try a 2+ or SuperGen if I can get my hands on one but most
likely a Gen 3 unit next. Do you think the Omni I or II would be that much better of image or
just less noise/distortions?
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Joined: Mon May 20, 2013 2:31 pm

Re: DIY Gen 2 Night Vision Monocular

Postby lysergic » Thu Jul 25, 2013 12:48 am


Nice job ! :)
I'm currently machining a housing for a Mullard XX1306 too.
About the zener voltage regulation, can you tell me of you did use a resistor with it ? What value ?

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Re: DIY Gen 2 Night Vision Monocular

Postby flybyu » Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:16 pm

I cannot remember what resistor size I used with the zener diode but think is was very low 15-17 ohms?
Its in heat shrink along with the zener and inline 100ma fuse that was added for protection.
If I find out will PM you the value, good luck with the project :D
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Joined: Mon May 20, 2013 2:31 pm

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