D-300 3rd gen reveiw

Customer Reviews of Night Vision Equipment

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D-300 3rd gen reveiw

Postby Tman » Mon Jan 17, 2005 1:10 pm

Well I am not doing anything at this time so I thought I would do some reviews on NV I have owned and still own to help people out. First up is the D-300 3rd gen alpha. I picked this unit First as dollar for dollar I beleive it was the best unit I ever owned. Houseing was strong, optics were very good and it woud do alot of things from weapons mount to head mount commeical and mil spec headgears. This is a very flexable unit with many uses.The Ir is also the strongest on any mono I have seen. most IR's are just good for a few yards maybe map readng this D-300 IR would blast out 50-75 yards unreal IR performance for a mono! I sold this unit and upgraded to the Mini 14 and miss it some time to time. The mini 14 Is very nice and a improvement in alot of way,but the performance of the d-300 is very close, much closer than the extra $1000 on the mini-14 would lead you to beleive it would be. I would buy the D-300 again!

I will take the ball and run with it

Postby fkalich » Fri Feb 04, 2005 1:26 am

Now I bought a D-300 Alpha, hmmmm, just 6 weeks ago. I now have ordered an Alpha mini from OpticsHQ. I know that sounds nuts to the uninitiated, but not to us nv aficionados, right?

I really do like my D-300. I have similar feelings as you do on it. However I don't intend to sale mine, why should I? Had I bought the mini first, I probably would not have gotten the D-300 Alpha. But now that I have it, well when you buy something new you take a hit if you sale it. Say I could get $1,500 for it? It is worth that much to me for sure to have a second unit. So I will keep it. There are good reasons to have two units. For one thing, maybe you keep the one in your trunk (the D-300).

You really can have great use for two quality scopes if you are the outdoorsy type. This spring I intend to load up my portaboat and 6hp nissan 4-stroke and my dog BoBo and head to the south or southwest for a few weeks on a boating camping expedition (it takes too long to get warm in Kansas and I don't want to wait). Portaboats are fantastic. The company that makes them is in the same area as OpticsHQ. I love my portaboat.

Two scopes really come in handy. When you are hiking, well on technical trails you have to set your focus close. So you are blind out 50 yards. On very technical trails you have to look just ahead of your feet. So you are blind 10 yards out. You can keep adjusting it, but is it not a lot better to have a second scope in your side pack that you can pull out, probably with the 3x on it. You can just walkalong, and then pull out your second scope and do a 360. And you can also hook up a camera. That is really not possible with only one scope.

So for me, I look at it this way. It is as if I bought the mini first, and the question is, do I get a D-300? Probably not. But once I have it, and it is a new one, and I would take at least a loss puttting it on sale on ebay, well I would rather keep it, it is worth more than the resale value to me.

One thing, I really do want the lighter scope (mini). On long hikes that is a big thing. Now the D-300 is really not that heavy. I really don't notice it much. It is not bad. But still, lighter is better. I do ride my portaboat at night a lot, at pretty good speeds for a 12 foot boat (the portaboat will go 15mph). I have not done it with night vision yet (Kansas is cold in the winter), but I know I would prefer a lighter scope, and also one that is waterproof. The portaboat is unsinkable, but I have fallen into the water before (once with the nissan on my chest). I know the mini won't float, I expect I will hook it up to a small piece of floatation (by a cord) in the boat. But waterproof is not a bad idea in a boat.

The view on the D-300 alpha is quite clear. I was looking in the wetlands swamp last week and made some observations. The sky was cloudy that night, no moon. So it was dark. This is a square mile of wetlands on the south of lawrence kansas. I was looking to the south, and there is no town for 20 miles in that direction, and only small ones at that. So no lights at all in the direction that I was looking. From behind there were a few lights accross the county road. There are none at all in the swamp. It is on the edge of a college town (Lawrence Kansas) so you pick up the ambient city light. But not so much. In a college town you don't have industry, and a lot of the land is park like. My street (for example) is very dark. I was about a mile south of town. You could not see the tree line at 1000 yards unaided. Heck, you could hardly see 50 yards, you would not see a person for sure. My dog was invisible at 40 feet. But with the night vision I could see objects at the treeline, 1000 yards away. I think I could see something moving at 300 yards if I looked close. Maybe at 500 yards with the 3x lens. That would be stretching it, it was pretty dark. However, I would surely notice something moving at 200 yards, even if not looking very hard. I notices a gate 125 yards ahead, I could see if very clearly. I could not see it at all unaided until I got about 30 yards from it. I had to get within 10 yards to see it that clearly with my unaided vision as I could see it at 125 with my night vision.

Actually my dog BoBo is sort of a darkness barameter. He gets a little scared out in the woods in the dark. He always wants to go hiking. But on this day he was really antsy to get back to the car, and muddied my car windows with his paws. It was BoBo dark, so it was pretty dark, as generally he never wants to go home.

The wetlands are circled by these canals. I looked down one, and it was quite beautiful. With the 3x lens I could see clearly 500 yards. The water reflected things nicely. The 3x lens is kind of wierd. It helps sometimes, depending on the circumstances. It really helps when you have more reflected light. Of course it lets you read from a greater distance. The 3x commercial lens is pretty good. Not like the lens that you can get for a night mariner or night quest. Those are not very good. But the commercial for the D-300 is nice. Another nice reason to have one. The lens for the mini costs a great deal more, as it is mil spec, you can't put the commercial lens on the mini. So if you just have a mini, you maybe never will justify buying the lens. You don't need the the lens that much with night vision. But it is nice to have, expecially when you can get a decent one for $100.

Another nice thing about having two scopes (and two headgear), well you just became like the kid with the nice pool table when I was growing up, as far as the hiking and outdoorsy types are concerned.

I am really looking forward to spring, and portaboating season. We have a lot of lakes. You have to avoid the big boats, but you can do that, especially if you can make your trips during the week days. The pb takes waves well, about twice as well as an aluminum boat. I hit all the Kansas lakes last year. There is a large one just 5 miles west of town. I have not been to table rock lake since I was a kid (just south of Branson) but I have heard that is not crowded. Beautiful country down there. The lake of the ozarks is crowded with really big boats. I went to a lake north of Manhattan Kansas, and was the only boat I saw on the lake at night. It is 35 miles long. So there are places to go, and I just want it to get warm so I can get out on my pb with my dog BoBo and my night vision. You really need nv on a boat. Lights don't work well, and they attract bugs, and besides, it is pretty cool being in the dark on a lake out in the boon docks under the stars with no artificial lights.
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Postby pathfinder » Fri Feb 04, 2005 2:50 am

Guys, what I've tended to notice these days with prolonged use of my PVS-14D, is that my neck NEVER get's tired anymore. (12hrs max per night). Of course, there's a catch. My eye(s) get tired after around 5hrs of use each. I hate switching to my right eye since my left is dominant. But as always, I am eventually able to adapt.

So my point is, the neck fatigue factor is basically non-existant for us light-weight NOD users; but the eye fatigue factor has begun to noticably kick in.
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

i have noticed that also

Postby fkalich » Fri Feb 04, 2005 8:38 am

After I had my D-300 a few weeks, it seemed more comfortable to wear, the weight of it was less on my mind. Still, the lighter it is, the more comfortable it is bound to be. I can feel the weight, it just does not bother me as much. I have not experienced the eye fatigue yet. Well one day you will be able to buy some sunglasses that give you a full fov, and night vision better than anything today. At that point all we can hope is that our devices have become classics and are shown on Antiques Road Show as items in great demand by collectors. Fat chance.
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