SHOT Show 2023 is just around the corner and companies are unveiling their newest products. Adam Barker of ABNV sent in his latest night vision housing. This is a first for ABNV, they have made an articulating binocular housing. It is dubbed the Articulating Ruggedized Night Vision Goggle (ARNVG). Let’s take a look at their entry into the articulating bino market.
ABNV @ TFB:
- Friday Night Lights: ABNV RPNVG – Ruggedized Panning Night Vision Goggle
- Friday Night Lights: Dual Tube Spotlight – ABNV MOD-3
- Friday Night Lights: RPNVG Mono Adapter – Make Each Pod An NVG Monocular
ARNVG – An Articulating RNVG
ABNV is known for their flagship housing, the RNVG. It is an aluminum fixed binocular housing that replaced the Adams Industries Sentinel as the number one choice in the commercial market for a rugged binocular housing. They have expanded their portfolio last year with the RPNVG, the Rugged Pano NVG. But for all the years ABNV has been making ruggedized housings he has not made articulating ones until now.
For those who do not know the difference between a fixed bino and articulating bino, the monocular pods of a fixed bino can translate left and right on a fixed bridge. This is to adjust for your pupillary distance. Articulating binos are like gull wing doors. The monocular pods are attached via a hinge and swing up and down rotating around the hinge point. This adjusts pupillary distance faster and easier. Just move the pod in front of your eye and push it left or right to adjust. If you want to store articulating binos, you can swing the pods up and out. Of course, you can also flip the mount so the entire goggle flips up against your helmet. One added benefit to storing your night vision goggles up with articulation is that the center of gravity shifts closer to the helmet and relieves the pressure commonly felt on your forehead with fixed binos.
Take a look at the housing. It is skeletonized to help save weight and add rigidity.
At the front of the ARNVG bridge, there is a lot going on. Let us start at the top of the ARNVG. You can see a black shiny circle. That is the onboard IR Illuminator. Below that are two square buttons. The top one is protected with two protrusions while the one below is not. The top button is to activate the IR illuminator. Press it constant on. Press it again to turn the IR illuminator off. The bottom button is for powering the goggle on or off. On either side are two slotted cylinders at the hinge points. You can adjust the tension of the hinge to fine-tune the friction of the articulating pods. A simple quarter fits in that slot. If you adjust these, make sure you use tiny minute adjustments. A little goes a long way.
Underneath the ARNVG, you can see the hinges have magnets in them. This is for shutting off power to the pods when you articulate them up and out. ABNV went with a laser-cut Cordura retaining strap for the battery cap and it is oriented to the side.
Just like their RNVG and RPNVG housings, the ARNVG has a LEMO port for using remote battery packs. The ARNVG has the LEMO in a unique orientation. On their fixed bridges it sticks out the side of the bridge. But the ARNVG has it tucked behind the bridge. This allows 90º or straight plug LEMO cables to plug in and not get caught on anything as well as playing well with an NVG mount like the Wilcox G24.
Just like the RNVG, the ARNVG has bungee hook attachment points on the pods.
ABNV has decided to stick with the improvement it made on their RPNVG and used the D-Collar objective lock rings on the ARNVG. This allows you to skip the close-focus stop ring on the objective lens. The D-Collar ring is both an infinite focus stop and a close focus stop. You can also change objective lenses without needing to remove the eyepieces or tubes.
The ARNVG, like the RNVG, is milled out of aluminum. But to my surprise, it is not that heavy. In fact, it is rather lightweight compared to other housing designs.
I assembled the ARNVG using RPO 2.0 objectives and RPO 3.0 eyepieces I bought from Kosher Surplus. I installed L3 unfilmed white phosphor tubes in it.
To my surprise, a fully built ARNVG, with the components I used to complete it, only weighs 15.9 ounces!
Finally Thoughts On The ARNVG
The ARNVG is quite an achievement and I have to commend ABNV for making a great housing. This is the first time they have made an articulated housing as far as I know. They have made monocular housings and fixed binocular housings that are industry standards and widely popular. They have knocked this out of the park and think NV users will be pleased with this housing. It is milled aluminum so it is much stronger than polymer injection molded housings. Articulated binos tend to break at the hinge. We see it often with the PVS-31A design. The 1431 suffers from the same issues, but it is easier and cheaper to repair the 1431 than the PVS-31A. With the ARNVG, I do not see the hinge breaking from a simple fall.
The only thing the ARNVG is lacking is the interpupillary distance (IPD) stops. However, I have found these to be creature comfort but not necessary. My favorite housing, the DTNVG, does not have IPD stops. Other goggles like the PVS-31A have them but the screws have a tendency to shift position. With the ARNVG, you just push the pod into position. If it gets misaligned, just push it back where it belongs. Having stops would be nice but not necessary.
The ARNVG housing has an MSRP of $2,299. It is a little bit more expensive than some articulating housings but it is cheaper than the DTNVS which retails for over $3,000 and that is injection molded glass-filled nylon. Currently, the ARNVG is available through Night Vision Inc. and Steele Industries. Check out their websites for more information. And for those of you who want manual gain, ABNV just came out with their RNVG-VG, a variable gain RNVG.