What Tube Does The Nikon Astroscope Use?

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What Tube Does The Nikon Astroscope Use?

Postby Paddy_SP » Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:28 pm

I have a Nikon Astroscope that I've been trying to take some NV photos with for my book on NV foxing, but in spite of trying all manner of things to improve the results, the images are rubbish. It's quite clear that the limiting factor is the tube's resolution - if I remove the Astroscope module, the camera set-up gives crystal clear images in daylight, but add the module back in and it's like the photos have been taken through multiple layers of tracing paper.

Parts for the Astroscope are not available over here in the UK (mine came from a UK MoD disposal auction), so I'd like to see if I can fit a tube from something else. Any help on this would be most appeciated! :)
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Re: What Tube Does The Nikon Astroscope Use?

Postby rusty » Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:12 am

Hi Paddy,
am fairly certain the astroscope uses a 10160 tube, info from the web not first hand the MoD ones have a FOM1200 limited tube fitted.
I have a Fujinon gen1 scope that mounts in a similar fashion to the astroscope and uses a relay lense to get the image to the camera. Once fitted to the camera it took me some time to get the focus right between the camera and the relay lense. it was only by trial and error that I got the focus correct, and only minimal adjustment each time, take some photos and down load to the computer and check then go back and adjust repeat until it was correct.
The fujinon has slightly better resolution than the gen3 tube so it does take nice photos but needs a lot more light than the gen3.
hope this helps

cheers
rusty
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Re: What Tube Does The Nikon Astroscope Use?

Postby Paddy_SP » Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:08 am

Thanks for your helpful comments. I have the tube housing in front of me as I type this. It says Model: 9350 CIU3F-1600, serial no. 35022. Electrophysics Corp. I can't get the actual tube out though, as it seems to be bonded into the housing.

Trawling the 'net, it seems that this is a 'non-autogated; military grade CIU feat. merit guidelines'. I have no idea what 'merit guidelines' means though.

The tube measures 1.445" / 36.72mm in diameter, and is about 31mm/1.22" long (I can't be sure as it's still buried in the housing).
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Re: What Tube Does The Nikon Astroscope Use?

Postby rusty » Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:32 am

Hi Paddy,
Hope it helps. Sound about the correct size for a mx10160. Your comments about it being bonded in make me happy that I didnt continue bidding on them when they were on the bay. I was only looking at them to remove the tube.
I think it was the F in the serial that made the difference, would think the merit guidelines is a reference to FoM Figure of Merit the tubes are rated at, not sure exactly what the calculation is something like SN x resolution... The US had/have restriction on export to friendly armed forces set at FoM of 1200 and no autogating.

cheers
rusty
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Re: What Tube Does The Nikon Astroscope Use?

Postby Paddy_SP » Sat Dec 01, 2012 4:09 am

Thanks again - after posting, I discovered that there are two tiny - and I mean tiny, Allen screws which hold it in place. When these are undone all it takes is a small amount of pressure to dislodge the tube. I can now confirm that it is the same size as the MX-10160. All I've got to do now is find one with better specs!
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Re: What Tube Does The Nikon Astroscope Use?

Postby wellyot » Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:17 pm

i think its 1600 fom limit for the uk so it could be a very nice tube - 72 res x 22 s/n = 1584 fom
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Re: What Tube Does The Nikon Astroscope Use?

Postby Paddy_SP » Sat Dec 01, 2012 2:21 pm

wellyot wrote:i think its 1600 fom limit for the uk so it could be a very nice tube - 72 res x 22 s/n = 1584 fom


It's very nice to look through, but the photographs are just too grainy to use.
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Re: What Tube Does The Nikon Astroscope Use?

Postby efahrenholz » Sat Dec 01, 2012 7:07 pm

Paddy_SP wrote:
wellyot wrote:i think its 1600 fom limit for the uk so it could be a very nice tube - 72 res x 22 s/n = 1584 fom


It's very nice to look through, but the photographs are just too grainy to use.


Looking through it and grainy photos being two different experiences means your camera is having issues--or you could be having technical problems getting sharp photos.

Use a tripod, always! Turn up your camera gain (ISO). Use as fast a shutter speed as acceptable to minimize blurring and collection of scintillations on the chip. If you have a gain control on the module, turn it down to prevent excessive noise contaminating your photos.

Night vision photography is difficult. I'm sure your modules resolution isn't to be the blame of poor photos, as all modules to date are still limited in resolution compared to true optical clarity we are all used to in bright daylight.
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Re: What Tube Does The Nikon Astroscope Use?

Postby Paddy_SP » Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:08 am

Many thanks for your input. Being a semi-pro photographer, I always use a tripod - in this case a whacking great heavy-duty Manfrotto. I'm using shutter speeds of 1/320th and ISO of 800, and I have a very powerful 850nm IR torch mounted alongside the lens to provide sufficient illumination.

If you can think of anything else I can do to improve matters, I would be most grateful to hear about it!
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Re: What Tube Does The Nikon Astroscope Use?

Postby Stanley » Sun Dec 02, 2012 8:20 am

Reduce your aperture and increase the exposure. Doing this should produce some improvement unless there's an issue with the tube or lens elements of the relay.
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Re: What Tube Does The Nikon Astroscope Use?

Postby Paddy_SP » Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:14 pm

Many thanks - I was intending to play with the depth of field tonight, but when I got to the farm where I was going to be shooting (both rifle and camera), there was so much fog and mizzle (drizzle-mist hybrid) that I had to give up and go home. Not before I shot a large dog fox that came down to try his luck on the chicken sheds though!
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