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Review: ACT DTAMS - Dual Tube Articulating Modular System


DTAMS

Thank you for joining us here at VF1 Systems for more Night Chenanigans. Last week we took a look at some budget thermal systems by Armasight. Thanks to Tracer Tactical for lending us his goggle, today we get to take a look at the ACT In Black DTAMS. It is a modular goggle system based on their DTNVS.


DTAMS vs DTNVS

The DNTVS by ACT In Black is their flagship dual tube binocular housing. Well the DTAMS is an evolution of the DTNVS. ACT In Black changed the arms to be machined out of metal and have a QD feature. They then bolted on matching mounts on the monocular pods so the end user can quickly remove pods from the bridge without the use of tools. As you can see below, the DTAMS is not that different from the DTNVS. There is a bit of an offset from the arms due to the design of the pod mounts but it is not that noticeable and does not affect functionality.


DTAMS

Even with the monocular pods rotated out, it is not wider than the DTNVS.

DTAMS

You can see the intricate design for the QD arms of the DTAMS. However there are some hard corners that I wish they chamfered more.


DTAMS

The skeletonized loop at the rear is the latch you lift to unlock the monocular pods.

DTAMS

DTAMS

Here is what the underside of the DTAMS arms look like. There are four contact pins that deliver power to four contact points on the monocular pods.



DTAMS

In the image below, the DTAMS is upside down so you can see those contact points and the monocular pod sliding off the arm.

DTAMS

Even when removed, the DTAMS monocular pods are self contained.

DTAMS

DTAMS

One minor concern is the scraping of the pins over the monocular mount. See the scratches in the image below.

DTAMS

Two Nods Are Better Than One

The DTAMS has monocular pod adapters to convert the pods into stand-alone monoculars.

DTAMS

 The adapters have dual dovetails so there is no need for a J-ARM. They are powered by a single CR123 and have built in IR illumination.


DTAMS

The monocular adapters have lanyard/bungee attachment points.

DTAMS

Controls for the monocular adapter are just like a PVS-14 and the DTNVS.

DTAMS

DTAMS

You can get two adapters but really you just need one. Like other modular binoculars systems, with QD pods, you can continue to use the factory bridge as your J-ARM and use the goggle with a single pod. The bridge and pod are independently sealed and rated for submersion down to 20 meters for up to 2 hours.

DTAMS

Here is the single tube adapter mounted to a helmet. By having detachable and independent monoculars you can separate one pod and lend one to a friend or loved one.

DTAMS

Using the DTAMS


DTAMS

DTAMS

DTAMS

DTAMS

DTAMS

Here is the stand alone monocular mounted. This is as far back as it can go.

DTAMS

Now compare that to the photo below. The offset of the DTAMS bridge is higher than the monocular adapters.

DTAMS

Minor Issues With The Monocular Adapters

When trying out the monocular adapters, I noticed one of them had a dovetail that was slightly twisted. This causes the NVG mount to hit the lip you see below and prevents the dovetail from locking into place. The dovetail is bolted into a recess but there is enough space for it to wiggle a little bit.

DTAMS

Regular G24 mounts touch the housing of the monocular adapters.

DTAMS

Another issue, which I did not photograph is the lack of IPD adjustment. You cannot adjust the position of the monocular left or right. Other than physically turning your helmet a bit.

Final Thoughts On The DTAMS

The DTAMS is the only articulating binocular housing on the market with quick detach monocular pods. There are other modular systems that have removable pods but they either do not articulate or they require tools to be removed.


The issues mentioned above with the dovetails and mounts are minor issues. Just be aware of your dovetail position. There is not much that can be done about eye position. Even the PVS-18 has the same issue. Also I wonder why the dual dovetails were not made to be symmetrical? You can see in the photo below the monocular battery adapter has a slight shift to the position of the dovetails in relation to the pod.


DTAMS

DTAMS

I am not sure what the actual price for a DTAMS housing is. I have seen rumors of over $3,000 and have seen complete built systems for sale at around $10,000. The price is a bit high but typical for the functionality. You could get a PVS-31D for similar pricing and the pods would be be detachable. I rather spend a little bit less and buy a PVS-14 as a backup unit rather than sacrifice binocular vision. Also it is not clear how long the contact points and points will last with long term use given the scratches we have seen so far.

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