Finding SN of Tube

Discussion about Multi Purpose Night Vision Systems

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Finding SN of Tube

Postby SRW22 » Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:15 pm

I'm new to the whole night vision thing, so I appologize if this is a stupid question, but I have not been able to find the information with my searching.

I purchased a PVS-14 off of Ebay, at a pretty decent price. I have not had a chance to really use it, but in a dark room the optics appear to be pretty good (at least to me with my lack of experience). It was stated that it was an L3 Gen 3 Select A, however I cannot verify that it is. I have taken off the eye piece to try and get info off of the tube, but I cannot find anything. There is a plate the holds the tube in that appears to be covering up that information, but I hated to take that out for fear of messing something up. I would appreciate any info you all could give me in regards to this.

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Finding SN of Tube

Postby crye-baby » Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:47 pm

This is a pretty hot topic, everybody wants to look under the hood - not just take the seller's word. if you've gotten that far into the body of the 14 then it sounds like the tube retaining ring is holding you up in your progress. it rotates out on the threads inside the body, sorry I know thats pretty obvious. it takes a tool that has a tooth on each end (two total) but other things could be used - just be VERY VERY careful. other members should be able to help out more. They really know their stuff. if you still have any nitrogen left in the body it will be lost. also do this in low humidity if you can (helps keep moisture out of the body). dust will get in when you open her up to so do it in a clean area (dust will still get in thoe trust me). hope this little bit helps & if your tube has gain control be careful of the pigtail (power strip attached to the side of the tube). the retaining ring should be hand tight so that will help you some. two screwdrivers - one in each slot should do it but again be very careful. two much force will leave you with a nice set of parts instead of a 14. it is also possiable you wont find much on the tube, but I doubt that will stop you :D never stoped me. can you give any info from the back of the tube, any #'s at all
Former PEQ-15 User - ya Win some... & ya Lose some...........
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Re: Finding SN of Tube

Postby efahrenholz » Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:04 am

SRW22 wrote:I'm new to the whole night vision thing, so I appologize if this is a stupid question, but I have not been able to find the information with my searching.

I purchased a PVS-14 off of Ebay, at a pretty decent price. I have not had a chance to really use it, but in a dark room the optics appear to be pretty good (at least to me with my lack of experience). It was stated that it was an L3 Gen 3 Select A, however I cannot verify that it is. I have taken off the eye piece to try and get info off of the tube, but I cannot find anything. There is a plate the holds the tube in that appears to be covering up that information, but I hated to take that out for fear of messing something up. I would appreciate any info you all could give me in regards to this.

Thanks in advance!


Was there absolutely nothing printed on the output side of the tube where you unscrewed it from? Also, as stated above--you simply have to turn out that locking ring and you can do it with two small flat head screw drivers or a rigid piece of thin metal that will fit down inside and still occupy the slots. Just be careful, a slip off the edge and you could scratch the hell out of your fiber optic inverter...and they don't take too much abuse.

Removing the tube from the housing will deplete the nitrogen which is a gas they inject into the tube to force out moisture laden oxygen. This not only preserves the internal components from degradation but if it is really cold outside, it prevents fogging up inside the housing from moisture buildup. You can always get it re-purged with nitrogen though so it's not a one time deal. The nitrogen isn't super important either--it's only there due to military specifications. Using a mil-spec PVS-14 as a civilian defeats the purpose of what it was made for and if you bought it just for that--you paid too much for night vision.
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Re: Finding SN of Tube

Postby SRW22 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:39 am

First off, thank you all for your replies. I have not had time to take it apart any farther, but from the point I have gotten to, no printing is visible. I was told that he did not have a data sheet on the tube, but that it was an Omni VII Select Grade A Tube SN 12387749. I would like to verify that it what I got. I've been burned in the past as I'm sure many of you have as well, and it may be that my lack of due diligence on this purchase is what is bugging me most. He's seemed genuine and offered me my money back, so maybe I should just let it be, and go out and enjoy the night so to speak :P
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Re: Finding SN of Tube

Postby efahrenholz » Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:35 am

well, i'm sure someone might be able to cross reference that serial number for you. That is of course if it's real.
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Re: Finding SN of Tube

Postby flex297 » Sat Apr 23, 2011 5:00 pm

Well, let me try:
If there is nothing on the backside, that would indicate either L3 (Litton) or some former ITT OMNI IVs.

OMNI VII Select Grade A tube - what the hell is that? There is nothing like OMNI VII, then Select and then Grade A.

If it's OMNI VII, then it's OMNI VII and that was it - there are no additional grades defined under an OMNIBUS contract.
If it was OMNI VII, that would be a MilSpec tube and it would have a sticker on the output side. If the sticker was missing, there would be codes on the backside - not because L3 puts codes there but because all L3 OMNI VII tubes are purchased from ITT and only relabeled CAGE 55311. That means, the OMNI VII is 100% ruled out.

I personally think that this tube is a commercial one potted by AEOptics. In that case it should have an 8-digit serial on the side. According to my knowledge, they only have a lineage starting with 7 and 9, though.

The serial doesn't tell me anything - it reminds me of ITT serials but these are only with 7 digits. It doesn't look like any CAGE 55311 serials I have ever seen.
Any color you like...
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