Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF): We believe that the most effective and straightforward way to mount your Night Vision Device (NVD) and thermal device if you are have a PVS-14/THE14 and Jerry-YM/PFN, is with our purpose-built FC-MLB(FalconClaw-Modular Lightweight Bridge).
Why design our own mount?
While not reinventing the wheel, we aimed to enhance existing designs.
Why dual mount NVD and thermal?
For users familiar with this setup, you can skip ahead. However, for those considering dual mounting or deciding between devices, read on.
Having both thermal and NVD on your head provides rapid access to the advantages of each:
- Short to mid-range identification
- Detail Clarity
- Passive and active aiming
- Tactical manoeuvres
- Long-range scanning/detection
- Usable in no-light conditions
- Virtually impossible to hide heat signatures
- Effective in adverse weather conditions (rain, fog, snow, sandstorms)
- Visibility through smoke
FC-MLB-Purpose-Built Dual Mounting bridge
What you get with this mount:
- Reduced weight compared to other options on the market
- Several mounting options if desired
Advantages of Dual Mounting a Dedicated Thermal vs. Fusion or ECOTI
- Image quality
In essence, the FC-MLB is tailored to enhance your experience based on practical needs, providing a lightweight, cost-effective solution for dual mounting NVD and thermal devices.
Bridge and adapters
The images provided clearly showcase the substantial benefits of using a dedicated thermal device. The level of detail and the ability to discern objects at a significant distance are standout features that cannot be overlooked.
While each setup has its own advantages, it’s crucial to appreciate the differences between them. The dedicated thermal device, as demonstrated, excels in providing a high level of detail and long-range detection capabilities. These strengths make it a valuable tool for various applications where precision and extended reach are paramount. By understanding the distinctive benefits of each setup, users can make informed decisions based on their specific needs and priorities.
My two cents on dual mounting
If your goal is to achieve fusion capabilities, get a fusion device.
Without delving into an in-depth discussion about brain fusion, it’s important to note that attempting to merge images in your mind may not work as intended. Even if you manage to align and collimate the images perfectly, this approach has limitations.
Collimating devices for a specific distance means they are optimized to work effectively at that distance. Trying to observe objects closer or further than the pre-set distance may result in misalignment, reducing the optimal performance of the devices.
A provided clip will illustrate what you can expect to see with this setup, offering a practical demonstration of the visual outcomes.
The rationale behind having a dual setup – combining Night Vision Devices (NVD) and thermal – is to leverage the unique advantages of each technology for specific purposes.
By utilizing both NVD and thermal devices, you can maximize their individual strengths. NVDs are valuable for tasks such as navigation, identifying light sources, and aiming in low-light conditions. On the other hand, thermal devices excel in long-range detection by highlighting heat signatures.
A practical application of this dual setup is during patrols. While on the move, you can predominantly rely on your NVD to navigate and perceive immediate surroundings. Simultaneously, the thermal device scans the environment for heat signatures. When a heat signature is detected, you can pause, shift focus to the thermal image, and discern the source of the heat. This approach allows for a comprehensive and strategic use of both technologies, optimizing your ability to navigate and detect potential threats during patrolling scenarios.
Playing hide and seek with the boys
To highlight the effectiveness of dual mounting with a thermal, we conducted various scenarios to gauge the differences in performance. Each participant wore a different configuration, and the objective was to determine who had the advantage. It was evident from the outset that the dedicated thermal setup would outperform the others significantly.
In every scenario, the dedicated thermal setup consistently detected the others first, making it the clear winner. This outcome was not surprising, as dedicated thermals have the capability to detect from greater distances and offer a high level of certainty in identifying the observed subjects as humans. The ability to discern details and identify targets with confidence sets the dedicated thermal setup apart from the other configurations tested.
Long range 200-400 meters
Choosing a fusion device like Jerry C5 or Jerry-F, or even a more advanced option, at this distance is certainly a viable consideration. However, it’s important to weigh the advantages against potential drawbacks.
While these devices offer compelling features and are often superior in many cases, there are trade-offs. One significant trade-off is the compromise in terms of distance and image quality/detail.
In a practical example, observing two individuals facing each other from a distance of 400 meters, a comparison between a PFN640+ and a Jerry C5 reveals notable differences. In the Jerry C5 clip, the identification of a small spec might be challenging, especially for someone unfamiliar with what to look for. On the other hand, the PFN640+ provides a very clear indication of the observed scene, offering enhanced clarity and detail.
Ultimately, the choice between these devices depends on your specific needs and priorities, considering factors such as distance requirements and the level of detail essential for your particular situation.
Medium range 50-200 meters
At medium distances, the advantages of using Night Vision Devices (NVD) with fusion become more apparent. In these scenarios, opting for a fusion device is preferable, as it offers a wider Field of View (FOV) and enhanced depth perception compared to thermal devices, albeit at the expense of some detail.
Even with a high-quality NVD in favorable lighting conditions at this distance, it becomes possible to identify movement. However, this task demands considerable mental effort and focus. Sustaining such intense concentration for extended periods is impractical. Attempting to remain 100% alert, constantly scanning for and focusing on every detail to identify potential threats, will lead to rapid fatigue.
This is where fusion technology excels. It effortlessly highlights any heat signatures as you casually scan your surroundings. While a dedicated thermal device may provide superior detail, choosing between the two depends on your specific situation and requirements.
Short range up to 50 meters
In close-range situations, such as urban operations, opting for fusion technology over dedicated thermal devices is often advantageous. Devices like Jerry-F or the C5 offer sufficient information without notable drawbacks at these distances.
Utilizing an Enhanced Clip-On Thermal Imager (ECOTI) on a set of binos or a fusion bino is considered ideal for close-range capabilities. In urban settings and dense vegetation, where no-light conditions are prevalent, relying solely on Night Vision Devices (NVD) without infrared (IR) illumination can pose challenges.
It’s important to consider your personal situation and requirements. If you’re comfortable using IR illumination and it fits your needs, that’s a viable option. However, it’s crucial to acknowledge that the potential adversary may also have NVD, and using IR illumination may not be feasible in certain scenarios. Making informed choices based on the specific operational environment is key to optimizing your equipment for diverse situations.
Whether for professional use in law enforcement and military operations, or for personal use in outdoor adventures and home security, these technologies have distinct advantages and limitations. Understanding these differences is key to selecting the right device for specific needs.
If you have any questions don’t hesitate to write or chat with us. We are happy to give you advice on anything pertinent to nighttime capabilities.