Night Vision levels the playing field in the darkness, but what can you do without power? You may need to find a way to use Night Vision without batteries.
Night Vision Without Batteries
Night Vision is important for survival in the dark, but it’s worthless if you don’t have it, or if you have it and the batteries are dead!
How can we have Night Vision without batteries?
Update: As of Oct 2018 the STARGATE M. 2×35 Night Vision Monocular no longer seems to be stocked by anyone in the USA. We are looking for battery free alternatives to list in this post.
The STARGATE Night Vision Monocular does not require batteries to power it’s image tube. Instead it uses a patented lever-activated power supply. The lever activates a piezoelectric charge generator, that provides the high voltage required to bias the image tube.
This voltage bleeds-off very slowly and the image is intensified for as long as you continue to depress the lever. After several minutes, you may notice that the brightness of the image has decreased. To restore it simply release the lever and squeeze it back down, ONCE! Do not “pump” the lever as if you are charging a battery, you get nothing for your effort and the Newcon will deactivate itself for some time.
What is the Lifetime of a piezoelectric actuator?
The lifetime of a well designed piezo actuator is not limited by wear and tear. Tests have shown that PI Ceramic PZTs Multilayer Piezo Stacks can perform 10 Billion and even 100 Billion cycles without loss of performance if operated under suitable conditions. (Source)
The STARGATE M. 2×35 Night Vision Monoculars are made in Russia. They are the first generation Night Vision optics, that they issued to their military.
These will not rival the current generation of Night Vision nor the more expensive first generation Night Vision, but they are better than any night vision device with a dead battery and are certainly better than no night vision at all.
On a starless, cloudy night, without much ambient IR light, you may need to use the IR Illuminator, which does require a single CR123 battery. Most times I do without the illuminator as its normally not needed and it act as a beacon to others utilizing night vision.
The Newcon SGT-150P is a solid, well made and nicely designed tool. It’s made of metal, The only plastic or rubber parts are the ring covers for the user adjustments and the front lens cover.
STARGATE M. 2×35 Night Vision Monoculars Diagram
STARGATE M. 2×35 Night Vision Monocular or NewCon Optik SGT-150P StarGate Night Vision Scope Manual
Would I buy this again?
I certainly would buy the STARGATE M Night Vision again. I intend to buy at least one more pair of them and can realistically see having 3 pairs.
I have better night vision but I can still think of 2 reasons to own these:
- Night Vision without batteries. No batteries are required so these will probably still be around long after my batteries are all dead.
- If I lose or break these, I won’t feel as bad as I would if I broke my higher-end Gen-1 units.
- No batteries are required
- Ideal for camping, hiking and other outdoor activities
- The image intensifier provides a sharp image, which is as good or better than competing products at 2-3 times the cost
- The included powerful Infra Red Illuminator allows observation in complete darkness
- Low price