Hello gadget fans! Captain Demotricus Tiberius Berk at the helm again, and today I`m starting a new project.This time its a little removed from PCs but WILL have a Web Cam built in to it so I`m posting it.I`m going to make a Star-Scope (or a “Long Range Visible Sensor Array” to keep in with the naff Star Trek associations).
This will be whats known as a 1st Generation device, and as such, is quite old technology.
I`ve managed to source a very cheap supplier of Ex military Hardware and amongst the goodies that they sell is a “Cascade Tube Image Intensifier”. This is a unit that was originally used in the British Challenger tanks, -its a P8079HP Cascade Tube with a self contained power supply unit and can be run off a 3-7 volt supply, so either a six volt battery pack (4 x AA size) or a 5 volt USB supply rail will power the device.
Physically the unit is a long thick and massy Tube about 5 inches diameter by 15-20 inches length with a phosphor display screen at one end and an input sensor at the other. To make it work you need two lenses, an objective lens , to project a focused image onto the input sensor, and an eyepiece or magnifying lens to view and magnify the output screen. In practice , a 35mm Camera lens of the highest F rating you can find (more light = better performance) will work as an objective lens. -You have the same choices as you do with a camera – either a wide angle (30-50mm), a fixed 1:1 ratio lens (50mm) or a telephoto lens will work, but the field of view will be smaller for longer lenses and the smaller the field of view, the less light will be gathered.Most commercially available night sights (gen 1) will amplify light by about 100 times. a good gen 1+ will give you 300 times the light. Gen 2 will give you between 5000 and 10,000 times the light.
A Gen 3 will give you between 20,000 and 80,000 times.
Gen 4s are classified.
THIS unit will give you 50,000 to 100,000 times the light so is extremely useful.
The downside is of course the size and weight of the unit. This unit will definitely need a tripod mount and is not something you could mount on a rifle easily , or would you want to.
a Tube will cost (HAS cost me..) £35.00
a lens (already bought one off E-bay – theres loads there , dirt cheap) £5.00
an Eyepiece, – A jewelers Loupe can be picked up off Amazon for £3.00
I have yet to factor in the cost of a Battery case and switch and mount, OR materials to connect the lenses to the device, but they will be cheap. – A visit to a hardware shop should furnish me with the desired bits, – a Tube
(plastic pipe), Glue, tape, whatever…
So far , I have ordered my tube, bought a camera lens and a Loupe. – I will continue this piece when they arrive.
I will leave you with a picture of some finished units that others have made, – some are quite professional,
others not so….
Afterthought:- Was sad to see on E-bay, many 35mm cameras that cost an arm and a leg in their heyday , going for
peanuts – a Canon A-1 (I used to have one , Cost £500 plus) went for £5.00 . (Wish I had a time machine, -I`d make a fortune…).
Until the next time, Demotricus Tiberius Berk signing off…