I have received a few message from some of you DIY gear makers about how the new(ish) ATACS U|CON pattern compares to traditional MultiCam. Here is a quick look that includes a piece of fabric, webbing, and chest rig of each. I plan on getting some NIR testing done here soon and will add that to the list of patterns in the “Is It NIR” section.
If you follow me at all you have seen these posts before about individual patterns and fabrics (yes, even DogeCam [MultiDoge]). I figured it would be a better resource for all your gear builders to have it compiled in one place. Well, here you go. I will be adding more and more to this as I have time to take more pictures in the dark.
I have had the Aurora Black digital night vision in my hands for about 1 hour. This is NOT intended as a full on review. That might come later.
Yes I know
Yes I know this is not a new system. Yes, I know the new SIONYX Opsin is out and is a much more capable system. I purchased this digital night vision system as a cheap(er) way to record my other night vision activities while I am wearing my generation 3 system.
Very First thoughts
The unit looks great. About the size of a PVS-14. The case it comes in feels substantial. The first negative I noticed was that there is no included lens cover. I thought that very strange.
I have spent a lot of time looking through generation 3 night vision. I am very use to green and white phosphor images. So, when I took the Aurora Black into my back yard there was a bit of a shock to see a color image. I knew this is what the system was capable of but it still took me by surprise.
I can see the benefit of the color image. The Aurora doesn’t come close to the fine detail you can get out of your average generation 3 analogue NOD. But, I can see how the color image could give back some object discernment that you would otherwise lack with a monochromatic image. Especially for static observation (pointed out by some friends). In the image above there are no lights on my property. The illuminated house past the fence is a good 100ft away.
Super Low Light
Here is where you are going to see the biggest difference between analogue gen3 and digital night vision. In super low light situations the digital Aurora Black just doesn’t cut it. It will require an IR illuminator. I have a dark garage that only has light coming in from small windows at the top of the garage door. With my gen3 system I am able to see. It’s dark and grainy but I can see without additional illumination. The Aurora Black was just showing static. No image at all. I will have more direct comparisons on this later.
More to come
I will have more thoughts to come at some point in the near future. The price difference between the Aurora Black and a traditional analogue generation 3 night vision system is so big that they aren’t really in competition (in my opinion). I am in no way regretting the purchase. I think this digital solution will accomplish exactly what I intended it for. Easily recording night time events.
Zussman is one of DODs premiere MOUT (Military Operation Urban Terrain) training facilities. Located at Ft. Knox, KY. I found this video on an old camcorder of my walkthrough of the facility as it was in 2009. Many updates have been made. Don’t forget to subscribe to the official 30MC YouTube channel. I may have move videos like this coming out.
This video was never intended to be a tour. Rather a personal record. Sorry about the video quality and poor camera work. The audio mutes because the files were damaged. Instead of just playing the loud static sound that was present I muted it out.
I love reading and learning about the Cold War. I don’t exactly know why. Perhaps it’s due to the severity of the events contained within it and how close the entire world came to pushing the button on a few occasions. It was a war unlike anything the world had seen before. Two sides were diametrically opposed in doctrine on just about everything, yet they were unable to commit to hostilities against each other directly due to the inevitable outcome of destroying all of civilization. Both sides possessed the firepower to do it.
So, when The Daily Wire announced their second season of the documentary “What We Saw” would feature the Cold War, I was excited to say the least. Before we go on, I must first bring up the equally intriguing and masterfully put-together first season of “What We Saw” regarding Apollo 11 and everything it took to get the United States to the moon. In both series it is Bill Whittle at the helm sharing not only the historical record but also his own personal experiences having lived through most of the events covered in both seasons. Whittle’s enthusiasm for each subject is impossible to ignore. He clearly loves the effort of putting together a comprehensive narrative and of presenting it in such a masterful manner. Had all 13 episodes of season two been released at once I would have been tempted to commit to a marathon viewing. However, it was probably for the best that I was forced to leave an entire week between each viewing.
“Season 2: The Cold War” begins with World War Two. It paints a picture with just enough detail to allow you to gain an understanding of the motivations and fears of both sides. Sure, you can go to other publications and get a laser focused report on certain subjects (e.g. The Cuban Missile Crisis, The Vietnam War, Sputnik) but Whittle literally takes us from the beginning to the end covering a HUGE number of incidents and persons. This is a shotgun approach, but spreading it out over 13 episodes allows for just enough coverage to feel like you got the entire story.
By the end of season two I guarantee you are going to have a new appreciation for several of the people who literally changed the world with their actions during this time period. Your opinion of some other individuals might suffer as well – both Soviet and American.
I have no affiliation with The Daily Wire. I have only consumed some of their content, and I am perfectly comfortable saying that if you go in with an open mind you will greatly appreciate this documentary series. That is, unless you are a communist.. Then you might have an issue. If it isn’t obvious, I highly recommend “What We Saw: Season 2: The Cold War.” It is an outstanding piece of work and all I can say is that I can’t wait for the third season. Perhaps it will be “‘The Tech Bubble” or “The Housing Market Crash of 2008”? It should be noted that you must be a paid subscriber (at least currently) of The Daily Wire to view either season of “What We Saw.” They do have lots more great content, but that is out of the scope of this write-up. The Daily Wire seems to always be running some type of discount code for an annual membership. I can’t give this series (both seasons) high enough praise. 5/5. Or 10/10. I suggest you give it a shot, and I don’t think you will be sorry.
I like being prepared. The FixIt Sticks (specifically “The Works” kit) helps me stay that way. This one kit can pretty much take care of any weapon related issue I might have on the range. I really can’t say enough good things about it.Continue reading FixIt Sticks – I review this range bag tool kit
I have worked the last 13 years mainly in the design side of the nylon tactical gear industry. I have seen the trends go from LBVs to plate carriers, to micro rigs, to belt setups with suspenders, to belt setups without suspenders, to recce rigs with hundreds of in-between products along the way. Entire companies have sprung up just to invent and manufacture interface devices to smash multiple pieces of industry gear together. I have even been responsible for some of them. These days you can find a piece of gear that will fit just about any mission that you might have. In the event you can’t, there are tons of smaller custom builders (like me) that can produce your one-off project to exact specifications.
But what is the next leap? (And I don’t specifically mean in materials). You could call going from regular old Cordura to laminates and hypalon type materials a leap as it is a much better material to laser cut, but the build process is pretty much the same (i.e. you sew it together to make pockets). I’m talking about the next evolution in textile production – not just for the tactical gear industry, but that is where my experience comes from. I believe it is going to be in the world of 3D printing. That is, 3D printing the fibrous materials in a full (or nearly full) constructed state. Like, hit go on the printer and come back to a finished plate carrier a while later (perhaps a long while). Why would it be with a fibrous material? Today’s fabrics do a really good job of arresting a rip or tear before it gets too bad. This is sometimes referred to as “Ripstop”. This is accomplished by the weave of the yarns that make up the fabric. There’s no reason to throw that away. If you were to print solid flexible sheets instead there is a good chance that a “rip” would continue on over time (perhaps a short amount of time) and eventually render your equipment useless. And I’m not talking about just another plate carrier like we have today. What comes out of this theoretical fabric printer could be a design that contains build geometry that could not be produced on a sewing machine.
Part of my business is building custom solutions for individual soldiers, police, contractors, and larpers. Sometimes those customers will send drawings of what they have in mind. However, they lack the experience of being a stitch-operator like myself. They may not realize that their drawing can’t be made the way they have envisioned it.
For instance the attachment of a piece of fabric to form a pouch on one side might sew another pouch shut on the opposite side of the work. A good gear designer can usually find a way around this, but the situations do get complicated – especially when you consider a lot of these pieces go together in reverse and inside out. It’s a lot to get your head around until you have some time in it. However, most of these concerns would vanish if instead you are building (or printing) your gear a cross-section at a time. Layer stacked on layer of slightly varying geometry resulting in a perfectly reproducible piece every time.
Think about it: no hems, no seems, no need to have extra material folded over to help prevent the threads from pulling through a high-stressed area. Do you need an area reinforced? Simply tell the operating software that “this specific section of the design needs to be stronger” and let it do the work.
What about the camo patterns?
Just print them, too, like everything else. Now, I know this isn’t a viable option yet, but I am fairly confident that once the industry figures out how to reliably print the fibrous nylon material to a high degree of accuracy, varying the color of each layer and area in that layer will be an afterthought. We do it with 2D printers all the time.Continue reading Where is Tactical Gear Production Headed?
You can’t always make it to the range. That’s ok. The shooting community is talking about airsoft… again. Don’t be scared. It has a lot to offer.
Big shoutout to Gunlife327 on Instagram for some tips. Check out his channels.
One of the most talked about new developments in the world of Night Vision as of late has been the ARNVG (Articulating Ruggedized Night Vision Goggle) housing from AB Night Vision. Licentia Arms produced a great introduction video to this new offering.
Users are so excited about this housing because it pretty much offers the best of all worlds in the realm of night optics.
- Articulating pods.
- Auto pod shutoff.
- PVS14 optics.
- 7075 aluminum construction.
- Internal battery and external battery support.
- Onboard IR illuminator.
- Variable gain control.
All this at a weight that is amazingly low. The original RNVG housing from AB climbed to top or near-top of everyone’s wish list because of it’s extreme durability (aluminum construction). But what it always lacked was articulating pods and variable gain control (depending on who you ask). Those issues have both been addressed and added to the ARNVG.
Everyone knows someone who knows the correct answer, right? But have any of them actually sat their NOD in front of a laser and just left it there to see what happens?
The guys at the FalconClaw YouTube channel did just that. They used an old Gen2+ device and are very open about not knowing if a modern Gen3 device will be impacted the same way or not. But, the results might surprise you.