Night vision, you know you need it but how do you know which one is the right one for you? Well, today is your lucky day! I’m writing this article…there’s a lot of mystery surrounding night vision and a lot of misconceptions out there about their capabilities, none of which I’m going to touch on here. All I will say is this…you get what you pay for. If you have a prepping budget the size of the GDP of Brunei then by all means, get your Gen3 / thermal hybrid, God love ‘ya-hope it saves your life… If your like everybody else go to American Technologies’ website. They have a great site that will help you pick the right device to fit your needs and that’s key…Get what you really need, not what you imagine you need.
To that end, American Technologies Network has embraced the digital revolution creating high performance units for the consumer market, so I present for your reading pleasure the ATN DNVM-2 Monocular!
Coming in 2x, 4x or 6x, this NOD will give you an unparalleled window into all things night! The unit I tested in my opinion out performed my traditional Gen1 by leaps and bounds. The image clarity is tops and the optics are nice and clear with no “lensing” toward the edges. If you’ve used NVGs before, you know what I’m talking about. The controls are intuitively placed and have a nice feedback “Click” that can be felt even with gloves on. Indicator lights facing the operator let you know if the unit is on and if the built in illuminator is active. The DNVM-2 is contoured nicely and fits well in the hand providing a secure and stable grip. The rubber armor protects the unit from bumps and knocks and provides a some water resistance. It will shrug of splashes and rain but don’t submerge it!
The viewing screen is clear and responsive giving you a nice picture of your target. Now here’s an advangtage over the “green” NODs…this screen is full color! That means your daytime observations will be in living color and your night scenes in black and white. Wait, daytime? What?
That’s right, daytime use! Seeing that the device works using digital imaging technology instead of intensifier tubes, there is zero risk of burnout from over exposure! It can double as a spotting scope during the day and pull sentry duty at night! Focusing is a snap and easy to do providing you a crisp image each time. Once you have the eyepiece set, the objective lens out front is adjusted for near and far objects. I was pleasantly surprised by the image quality and lenses in the device…It’s a winner all the way around in my book.
Now, here comes the twist…there are two really neat features that totally blew me away.The DNVM-2 has an video out port on the back!! This means you can connect it to a larger monitor for better viewing, plug it into a transmitter for remote observation or my favorite…hook it up to a portable DVR to catch all your night action!
The second feature that did me in and sold me on the unit was the manual gain control. Other digital units on the market utilize an automatic gain that can really hamper their performance. Not so with ATN. Their manual gain dial allows you to really pull in an image by saturating the sensor or discern details by increasing the contrast of objects. I really love this control and it makes the DNVM-2 all that more valuable in your kit.
As for durability, its there. I drop tested the unit several times both powered on and turned off. It never shut off or failed to turn on after impact. Battery life is impressive and the use of 123A’s helps reduce the unit size that would be needed to house other types of batteries to get the same power density. The only time I had a “malfunction” was when the battery died after several nights worth of use. The unit powered on but displayed static on the screen…a quick battery swap and I was back in business.
In using the DNVM-2 it out performs Gen1 and I would say rivals the performance of Gen2 units in clarity and low light performance. The manual gain dial really made the difference and the detail visible on the screen is amazing. ATN has really broken the mold with the introduction of their Digital Night Vision line. The price is right and the results are nothing shy of impressive.
With the holiday season fast approaching, this would make a great gift for the adventurer who has everything!