NO MORE CARROTS!!! :: NIGHT VISION, THE HOLY GRAIL OF YOUR NIGHT OPERATIONS KIT. SOMETHING THAT HAS CAPTURED OUR IMAGINATION THANKS TO SCI-FI AND ACTION FILMS SINCE AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER. WE ALL LOVE THE IDEA OF IT, BUT CAN YOU REALLY JUSTIFY FORKING OUT FOR A USABLE SETUP? WELL, THE GAME JUST CHANGED AND IT GOT A WHOLE LOT EASIER...
Everyone loves the idea of Night Vision kit. It fires up the imagination like nothing else and ActinBlack have given the civilian owner the chance to buy into the dream. ACTinBlack (ACT) is a leading developer and manufacturer specialising in Advanced Night Vision Optics.
In addition to producing high quality Night Vision Equipment, ACT is a recognised researcher in the field of Night Vision Technologies in Luxembourg.
Working with the world's leading sub-suppliers as well as the best universities in Optical and Night Vision research, ACT partners with law enforcement and military to develop premier quality Night Vision products and solutions.
"ACTINBLACK PROVIDE HIGH END PRODUCTS THROUGH YEARS OF EXPERIENCE AND OFFER QUALIFIED ADVICE AND SERVICES WITH A SELECTION OF PRODUCTS MADE TO FIT THE CLIENT'S NEEDS. KNOWING ALL CUSTOMERS ARE NOT THE SAME, ACT PROVIDE SPECIFIC SOLUTIONS WITHIN A SHORT REACTION TIME TO SOLVE THE MOST DIFFICULT OF CHALLENGES FACED BY THEIR CUSTOMERS."
Thanks to friend of Ai, Rob Campbell of Task Force Voodoo fame, we were able to try out one of ACT's most affordable night vision devices to see what all the fuss was about and how best it would fit into an airsoft game. We borrowed an ACT Lunox for a short period of time to see what we made of this relatively new breakthrough technology.
Due to the demand for a lightweight, compact night vision device ACT started developing the Lunox in winter 2014. The Lunox meets Mil-Spec standard and ACT incorporated all the relevant features of a military night vision device into a civilian unit. Through their long development and testing phase they could develop a very compact and lightweight device without sacrificing durability or quality - still providing you with an affordable night vision device.
The Lunox can be equipped with either a mounting bracket for PVS14-J-arms or MUM/ Mini-14 J-arms. It is a reliable piece of gear for various kinds of uses. If it is hunting, observation, airsoft, hiking or any other kind of situation where you would require night vision, the Lunox will always be something you can count on.
It's easy to claim that NVG gives users an unfair advantage and certainly if you are spending all night getting lit up in the pitch black without any kind of indication where it might be coming from, we could understand why that might be the natural assumption, the problem here is that NVG isn't some kind of golden ticket to victory... It isn't airsoft's "cheat code" and the truth is, it's actually kinda hard work to bring to bear.
Firstly you have to take into account your environment. There's more than one kind of darkness and although that sounds ridiculous, being aware of your surroundings is critical.
The first factor to be aware of is that your NVG doesn't make you invisible. Although YOU can see in the darkness with (relative) impunity and stride around bold as brass, you still need to be aware that other people can see you, even if they don't have night vision. Ambient light, silhouetting from back lights and even the threat of illumination from white light are all just as much of a threat to you.
Is it a clear night? The moon might be casting just enough light to pretty clearly illuminate you if you don't make a conscious effort to stay in the shadows and out of the open. The same can be said for light sources.
You need to be hyper-aware of where visible light is coming from to avoid literally lighting yourself up and if you do alert an enemy, their best bet will be to throw white light at you like it's the Blackpool Illuminations. Your ability to fight back will be hampered by the fact that you are staring down a tube with a limited field of view and your awareness itself will most definitely be restricted.
As well as being too bright, it can actually be too dark for some night vision systems to function effectively. Without a small amount of light to amplify you will need to rely on additional IR sources and in that there is a problem. NV gear lets you see IR light, that is how most NV systems work. Picture the scene, your geared-up 4-man fire team are quietly picking their way through a dark network of buildings or corridors.
What if one of you turned a white, visible light torch on to see the way ahead? That would of course quite literally light you up significantly and the element of surprise and stealth you might have had would be heralded by a bright beacon for all to see. Well, even with only a basic NV unit to observe, if you are using IR illuminators you might as well just have a flashlight on and be running at the enemy screaming.
All these issues can be compounded by mist or fog making it hard to clearly see targets, refracting light into an indistinct haze.
ABOVE : THE ACT LUNOX NIGHT VISION UNIT HAS A RUGGED, HIGH STRENGTH POLYMER BODY TO KEEP THE WEIGHT AND OVERALL COST DOWN BUT IT STILL FEELS ABSOLUTELY ROCK SOLID!
Obviously there is truly a time and a place for using night vision equipment and that isn't at every airsoft game.
So when can this highly prized gear be used? Most owners report that your average skirmish is far to rapidly paced and "up close" to make good use of the kit. You'll need a longer Mil-Sim game that requires a lengthier, more considered approach to an attack or even simply a degree of recce during the night.
If you are working on to a target from a distance being able to subtly observe the enemy position from a safe distance will be invaluable, even if the idea of a full-frontal attack under the cover of darkness with lasers and beams flying left and right might be more "hollywood".
Whatever happens, it's safe to say that Night Vision kit will take some getting accustomed to and dare we say it, some degree of training and knowledge to get the best out of it.
|Lunox ACTINBLACK Night Vision Specifications|
|Range of Focus||0.25m to infinity|
|Diopter Adjustment||+2 to -6 dpt|
|IR Indicator||Yes (in FOV)|
|Low Battery Indicator||Yes (in FOV)|
|Power Supply||1x CR123|
|Protection||Waterproof and weatherproof|
|Battery Life||50 hrs|
|Dimensions||120 x 50 x 55mm|