With the ever growing hoard of people making there own home build night vision, its nice to see different format’s of spotters, add on’s and vehicle mounted setup’s evolving into very usable bits of kits and some close to manufactured night vision quality standard.
Dave aka the Hunting Life forum member “some bloke” has added his own truck cam spotter to the table and it’s design and small profile make it a very useful addition when hunting at night.
The design consists of the ever popular E700 low sensitivity camera, fitted into a purpose made CNC machined delrin block, that holds the camera, with rear cover to remove the camera if needed and adjust settings, the block also has a built in mount suitable for 25mm IR torches to increase visible distance of the unit and give animal eye shine. The block is fitted with two 1/4″ female thread adaptor’s at the top and bottom, which allow it to be mounted to the supplied suction mount or via a small adaptor to a Lightforce handle, the additional top mounted thread can then be utilised for other options, a couple of which are fitting a weaver adaptor to allow weaver fittings to be mounted on top of the unit or to mount a support bracket and mount another camera like a thermal unit on top.
The supplied suction mount makes it easier for people who do not have a lightforce handle vehicle mount fitted, the suction mount allows the spotter to be fitted to a windscreen or roof. Dave has replaced the very poor quality unevenly moulded standard pivot ball stud in the suction mount, to a machined true spherical stainless steel one that works a lot better for adjustable constant friction pan and tilt duty.
The unit comes supplied with a 5″ HD screen for fitting inside your vehicle, the power for which is supplied via a standard 12v cigarette socket adaptor, this also powers the camera in the spotter unit. The cable is very neatly made up and easily joined with the male/female connection plugs that are supplied with it, there is also an option to add additional cable if required for larger vehicles, if more reach is needed.
The lens unit supplied is a 50mm C mount and offers a good field of view and magnification, this can be swapped out for a 35mm lens if more field of view is required or an M42 SLR lens can be fitted with a suitable adaptor. The camera/lens combination makes the unit very light sensitive and a lot of the time no additional IR light is required, only when looking for eye shine.
A couple of very minor improvements could be made to make the unit even better, an extended rat’s tail switch to allow switching of IR torch from within the vehicle, this would need to be sourced and fitted by yourself as each IR torch has a different size tail cap that is required. Also if needed a small suction mount for the monitor to allow fitting internally, these can be purchased from Ebay for a few pounds.
Overall anyone looking for a pre built vehicle mounted night vision unit, look no further, this unit does everything that is needed for a very low price tag, considering the build quality and CNC machined parts that complete the spotter.
What you get in the box:
- An E700 camera – modified with the neck milled back to suit C mount lenses with a three pin cable and plug soldered to the original cable, pre-fitted into the main spotter body. You may wish to invert the camera/spotter so the lid is not sealed – user can seal it with thick grease or sealant.
- A 50mm F1.4 C mount lens will be supplied by default as best option for mixed fox and rabbit spotting. For rabbit range spotting a 35mm lens or 25mm lens for wider FOV’s can be specified with the order.
- Four M4x40 cap head screws to secure the torch clamp in counter bored holes: You need to source a 1″ or 25mm torch tubed illuminator.
- A 5″ HD LCD monitor with modified cable and plug – to be placed somewhere convenient on the dash board – Blutack can be used if needed.
- A 12volt car accessory plug with soldered cabling and connectors to power both the monitor and the camera.
- A 1 metre extension cable.
- A heavy duty suction mount assembly with a modified stainless steel ball end stud and nut to bolt to the spotter body. You will need an 11mm or 7/16″ spanner – or pliers if you are not so equipped.
- As it’s very difficult to prevent rain entering adjustable lens assemblies and its an outdoor device, a simple rain shelter is also being supplied – but that’s a late addition that is not available yet – it will be supplied with a small bolt to fit to the upper facing tripod thread
This unit is available to buy for £200 plus £8 RMSD delivery.