itt pinnacle tube, what can they take

Discussion about ITT Night Vision Products

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itt pinnacle tube, what can they take

Postby crye-baby » Thu Mar 10, 2011 5:40 pm

Hey guy's, could anyone shed some light on this for me(no pun intended). how much bright light would it take to harm a pinnacle tube. Im still new to NOD's and am trying to learn every bit of info I can soak in from you guy's. I love the set up I ended up getting (itt NE) & have since read up on them here and learned alot. itt claimes the tube can be used up until dawn and so on. after saveing for a year and a half, Im very weary to just take the 14's out and look at bright lit windows around my home much less flip them on at almost sunrise. has anybody had any experiance in this department. also, wouldent the bright light protection kick in and stop that cold anyway. I guess the gain turned all the way down must make a big difference there. as a side question in almost total darkness is it normal to see a billion fireflies with no IR and the gain turned to the max. Thanks for any help guy's.
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Re: itt pinnacle tube, what can they take

Postby Dino1130 » Thu Mar 10, 2011 6:14 pm

Bright lights won't harm a modern night vision tube. They have protections in place to protect themselves up to and including turning itself off. Bright light damage can cause burns if left to look at the same spot for some time. The major damage caused by bright lights is tube life. It will shorten your tubes life over time.

Just use and enjoy your scope. A passing car with headlights is nothing to be concerned about. looking into street lights for brief periods will cause no damage. Just limit exposure as much as possible. They are meant to be used in the dark but were designed with night time lighting taken into account. Limit exposure as much as possible but don't freak out because a cars headlights came into view. Use the least amount of IR needed to get a decent view when using a illuminator.

Limit bright lights as much as possible and you will have years of fun. Use common sense is the best way I can describe it.
I said I never had much use for one. Never said I didn’t know how to use it.
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Re: itt pinnacle tube, what can they take

Postby crye-baby » Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:03 pm

Thank you Very much Dino1130, you have given me even more info than i could have ever expected. now I feel alot better about useing them around small ammounts of light. I'll be very careful with the surefire when I get it thats for sure. Thanks again, Your TOP NOTCH Sir!
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Re: itt pinnacle tube, what can they take

Postby efahrenholz » Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:07 pm

crye-baby wrote:Thank you Very much Dino1130, you have given me even more info than i could have ever expected. now I feel alot better about useing them around small ammounts of light. I'll be very careful with the surefire when I get it thats for sure. Thanks again, Your TOP NOTCH Sir!


Hey, just a little advice for you--if you do happen to accidentally burn your tube it's not all lost. Many people have used the old shoebox trick which happens to be a tried and true method for getting image burns out of the photocathode.

Step 1: Put in a fresh battery

Step 2: Turn out the lights to just barely visible

Step 3: Turn on the unit, leaving the body caps in place, and wrap the unit in foil optionally to further making it light tight (no light getting in)

Step 4: Put it in a shoebox and leave it for about a week in a dark closet. It must remain powered during this time. If your unit has auto shut-off, this will not work.

Step 5: After a week has passed, repeat step 2, remove the scope from the wrapping and shoebox and put a fresh battery in since the old one probably died.

Step 6: Test it.

You should almost completely remove any burn-in's this way, and over time it will continue to fade to just a small tinted area. You won't notice it enough to be critical. I hope this helps you.
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Re: itt pinnacle tube, what can they take

Postby crye-baby » Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:56 am

Thank you Sir, hope I never need to follow these directions but knowing this is very helpful. just goes to show where theirs a will theres a way! thats why I come here for info, you guys could teach a course on NOD's :D plus your extreamly nice!
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Re: itt pinnacle tube, what can they take

Postby crye-baby » Sat Mar 19, 2011 9:00 am

anything else I should be careful of with this setup guy's :?: all your help is Greatly Appreciated :D
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Re: itt pinnacle tube, what can they take

Postby efahrenholz » Sun Mar 20, 2011 3:39 pm

crye-baby wrote:anything else I should be careful of with this setup guy's :?: all your help is Greatly Appreciated :D


It seems to be a general concern not to allow the photocathode to be exposed to any kind of bright light even though the power is off. I personally disagree that any damage will be induced, but some others on this site seem to recall first hand encounters with reduced lifespans in tubes that have seen too much time in the light. I'm not totally sure how these photocathodes are getting used up, but good general practice seems to say that's it's better to be too careful--especially with something as expensive as these things.
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Re: itt pinnacle tube, what can they take

Postby crye-baby » Sun Mar 20, 2011 5:19 pm

I had wondered about this myself, I dont use a cover because I have a sac filter on all the time. I was not sure if bright light could harm the unit with power off but I am usually careful and keep it stored in an eagle industries canteen pouch with the nvg insert - objective lense down just in case. glad you brought that up sir. can anybody explain how this could cause harm to an unpowered system :?: thanks efahrenholz :D
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Re: itt pinnacle tube, what can they take

Postby efahrenholz » Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:49 pm

crye-baby wrote:I had wondered about this myself, I dont use a cover because I have a sac filter on all the time. I was not sure if bright light could harm the unit with power off but I am usually careful and keep it stored in an eagle industries canteen pouch with the nvg insert - objective lense down just in case. glad you brought that up sir. can anybody explain how this could cause harm to an unpowered system :?: thanks efahrenholz :D


The theory is, resident electrical energy left in limbo inside the vacuum (i.e., static) can still be bouncing around even though there is no active circuit to pull the electrons off of the photocathode. The photocathode will produce electrons without active power, because it is a photocell (like solar cells), however it can't move electrons off the plate without a complete ciruit. The phosphor screen is the anode side so in order for a circuit to exist, there must be voltage applied to the cicuit to allow those electrons to travel the vacuum. They strike the MCP in transit. The Micro Channel Plate (MCP) has electricity flowing through it, and when electrons strike the MCP as they are pulled from the input side of the tube to the phosphor screen, they knock some electrons free which travel back as well. When the tube is turned off, electricity remains in the tube, mostly on the MCP and Photocathode--kind of like a capacitor. It's possible that the electrons could jump back and forth between the MCP and Photocathode if you expose it to bright light. I don't think so though. Even after being off for an hour, most of the static electricity that was in the tube is now dicharged.

I'm sure someone else here will add or correct this. I'm not the most senior experienced person, I just haven't noticed this phenomenon ever. My NVD's all work the same as the day I acquired them and I am not usually friendly with keeping them away from bright light when they are off.
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Re: itt pinnacle tube, what can they take

Postby crye-baby » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:35 am

Again I have to Thank you efahrenholz, That is a pretty darn good explanitaion :D never thought of it that way. I'll be extra careful just in case but I also see your side of it too. its very rare to see a PVS 14 ever covered in military use (thats really the only pic's of them in hard use on the net) but I guess If U. SAM is paying for them & not you anyone would use a lot less caution. anyway, am I rigt in assumeing that wonce I turn my unit off it's dead & not still energized for a few seconds to a few minutes like older generations. I would guess they had worked that out of the system by now but would like to be very sure. Big Thanks for all your help Sir :D
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Re: itt pinnacle tube, what can they take

Postby nightbugeyes » Sun Aug 14, 2011 1:57 am

hello everyone,

i'm new and this is my first post (on any forum) so i hope i do this right.

i wondered about tubes that were not powered, yet exposed to sunlight/indoor lighting and if it had any kind of effect on them. i've heard about people so careful that they never take a unit out if there's bright light, and of how others will not buy a night vision tube laying on a table at a local gun show (friend told me from nevada) because of the potential damage the tube incurred.

i have an observation which could also be a question in itself in a way. when looking through a 3rd generation device at night and then powering off, if the unit is turned to some far off street lights, i can see them very very faintly, and in the next few seconds, they slowly fade away. would that be akin to the tube using up whatever electrons are bouncing around in the tube? i kind of imagined that when an electron hits the thing that amplifies and makes more electrons, that it was a one shot deal, like throwing a rock into a gravel pile and the one rock scatters a whole lot more rocks. if the power is turned off, doesn't the source of 'rocks' stop too?

would taking out the batteries and turning the switch on for a second use up the electrons still floating around in the tube? or since there is no continuity, turning it on does nothing? what if a piece of wire inside of a wooden dowel cut to the size of an aa battery were inserted in place of a battery so that there are contacts on both sides of the dowel and when the switch was turned on, there was continuity?

i could be totally off the mark here, but they were just some theories i had.
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