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Review: Code 4 Defense PanoPods

Welcome back and thank you for joining us once again for some night vision related content. Last week we took a look at a rare sample of a Wilcox G96, an NVG mount made for Theon Sensors goggles. Today we look at a new offering in the world of pano binos. Code 4 Defense's PanoPods all you to upgrade an Argus BNVD1431 to pano binos.

PanoPods
PanoPods down for 55º FOV

Code 4 Defense started out in the night vision industry making dovetail arms and a pano bridge of their own design. Their night vision bridge allows you to bridge two monoculars like PVS-14s and they have a fixed 58º FOV with the way the arms are angled. Well now Code 4 Defense has made PanoPods that are compatible with the Argus BNVD1431.


PanoPods
PanoPods on the outside, Normal pods inside

The PanoPods are pretty straightforward in terms of design. Twist the mounting surface to the 1431 bridge and the pods will spread eagle when they are articulated down for you to look through them. Since the mounting surface is twisted how does that affect the contact points of the image intensifier? It is a good thing the contact point on the image intensifier is a large rectangular copper plate. Im using tubes that have a metal boot so the negative pin just has to touch the surface of the tube body. Also the 1431 bridge uses pogo pins to make contact with the tube. So it is easier to make contact with the tube even if the tube is twisted a bit. If it was a folded copper spring contact, like in other housings, this might not work cause the contact is wider and could touch both the postive pad and tube housing.


PanoPods

The PanoPods are 3D printed using Multi Jet Fusion (MJF), weighing only 1.8oz. MJF has proven to be a robust material for night vision housings and various firearm accessories. The PanoiPods


Installation is pretty straight forward. Unscrew the four screws holding your 1431 pods to the bridge. Repeat for the other side. Unscrew the eyepiece, tube retaining ring and light pipe if you have it. Unscrew the eyepiece lock ring if you have them as well so you can transplant it over to the PanoPods. Gently take out your image intensifier. Unscrew the objectivle lens. Unscrew the infinte stop ring or D collar if you have them. Now reinstall all those parts onto the PanoPods and screw them onto the 1431 bridge.


I did come across a slight issue with using the original 1431 MK1 bridge. Code 4 Defense designed their PanoPods around the newer 1431 MK2. The dimensions on the bridge arms are slightly narrower than the MK1. See pictures below. The fencing around the circuit board measures 1.19 inches wide. While the opening in the PanoPod is just 1.17 inches.

PanoPods

The front to back dimensions are also too narrow. I didnt have a MK11 bridge at the time I built this so I just shaved the corners of the opening in the PanoPods to make it fit.


Once Installed, the PanoPods are angled giving you a 55º FOV. You need to articulate the pods for your IPD. Note that the IPD stops will still work but have reducede.

When the 1431 is flipped up and PanoPods articulated back and up, it sits closer to the helmet and has a pigeon toed aesthetic since the objectives are converging now.

PanoPods

I like how Code 4 Defense maintained similar aesthetics of their PanoPods with 1431 MKII pods.

PanoPods

PanoPods

PanoPods


How does it look like when you look through it?

Here is a simulated image of the FOV you get while using the PanoPods.

Final Thoughts On The PanoPods

Just like the Panobridge and similar setups, Pano binos are an inexpensive way to have wider FOV. There are compromises though and it has to do with the fundamental way the tubes are angled to get wider FOV. You are no longer looking through the center of the tube. There is a reason tube specs list "center resolution" as the resolution in the center is highest while the area outside the center has lower resolution. So with the PanoPods you are always looking through the outer which results in lower resolution. Another compromise is the position of the objective lenses. They are no longer parallel and such they are no longer directly in front of your eyes. This becomes an issue when aiming passively through an optic. You have to turn your head a little bit to look down your optic. It still works but your red dot is now shining through the edge of your tube where you have less resolution.

If you are willing to accept those compromises then PanoPods are a great way to upgrade your 1431s. They retail for $274.99. That includes the right & left 55 degree pods, infinity stop ring, and image intensifier tube retaining ring. For more information go to Code 4 Defense's website.


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Do you have a weight? Would these work with the 716 battery housings, or would the pan angle push the j arm mount hole too far off to be usuable?

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