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Review: DETYL DTS-22N, Thermal Fusion Biocular NVG (TFBNVG)

Updated: Mar 12


TFBNVG on SRU helmet

Welcome back to this week's Nightchenanigans. Last week we took a look at the Nocturn Industries UANVB-FC aka Manticore. This week we look at the Thermal Fusion Biocular NVG (TFBNVG) from DETYL which they call the DTS-22N.


TFBNVG (Thermal Fusion Biocular NVG)


TFBNVG

I saw photos off the TFBNVG online back in May of last year. I was intrigued by the concept. Well I bought a sample back in January. This is like a Thales Lucie but with integrated thermal. But rather than a simple clip on thermal imager, the TFBNVG projects the thermal image behind the image intensifier tube.


Just like a Thales LUCIE, the TFBNVG objective lens is offset and not inline with your eyeliner. The tube is oriented sideways, like the LUCIE, to keep the goggle low profile.

TFBNVG

Below you can see the objective lens for the thermal imager. Below the thermal objective is the power knob. You press it to turn on the thermal fusion. The knob can turn and you use that to select menu options and change settings. But more about that later.


TFBNVG

The TFBNVG has an IR illuminator just under the dovetail. The red circle below it is a light sensor. It will turn the goggle off if exposed to a brightly lit environment,. To the left of the light sensor is the main power switch for the goggle. There are four positions:


  1. Off

  2. On

  3. On w/ IR illuminations

  4. Auto mode. (Automatically turn IR illuminator on and off depending on ambient lighting)


TFBNVG

Unlike a Thales LUCIE, the TFBNVG is powered by a CR123 or RCR123.

TFBNVG

On the opposite side of the goggle housing is a remote battery port. It appears to be the same as their other housings with remote power ports like their QTNVG.

TFBNVG

The eyepieces and objective lens are 50º. The eyepieces cannot adjust interpupilary distance but you can adjust their diopters.

TFBNVG

The goggle only weighs 15.1 oz.

Here is the TFBNVG next to my Thales LUCIE. It is very similar in size.




Looking Inside The TFBNVG

There isn't much room in the housing. You can see the sideways image intensifier. The objective lenses in the upper right hand corner.

TFBNVG

TFBNVG

I tried taking jt apart to upgrade the image intensifier. Unlike the Thales LUCIE., the TFBNVG uses a 10160 style tube. However upon closer inspection it does not seem to have a fiber twist so the actual core is very shallow. DETYL used epoxy to hold a lens in place. Without this lens the image is not in focus.


TFBNVG

You can see how deep the NVT tube can go. The actual core is very shallow. I think this is a non-inverting tube.

TFBNVG

I did try installing a white phosphor 10160 tube without the lens (it would not have fit anyway) and the image below is what I got. Yes it looks green. This is a problem with some of the LUCIE housings I have. The coatings on the prisms, used to beam split the image, shifts white phosphor to look green.

I did not want to disassemble the TFBNVG any further than this but I did get a photo of the thermal sensor.


TFBNVG


Using The TFBNVG

I had hopes that the TFBNVG would be a great product, but unfortunately the performance is lacking. The NVT tube they installed is somewhat dim and dark green. I have seen other NVT tubes look much brighter.


With regards to the thermal performance is not what I expect for a 384 sensor. When you turn on the thermal, the default thermal setting is edge detect. If you spin the knob below the thermal objective lens this will adjust the brightness. The TFBNVG has 4 color palettes.

  1. white hot,

  2. black hot

  3. green

  4. metal (sort of like rainbow)

The thermal performance is not great especially for a 384 sensor.

TFBNVG
Black Hot

Compare the image above to the one below. The image below is from an HIKMICRO thermal monocular which also has a 384 sensor.


White Hot

Green

Metal

As I mentioned earlier, the TFBNVG thermal starts with edge detect every time you turn it on. Because the thermal objective is so far away from the night vision objective lens, there will be a shift in the thermal image relative to the analog night vision image.

You can see how far my friend is, sitting in his camp chair, from the thermal outline.


However you can adjust the thermal image position in the internal menu. Press the thermal knob and the menu will come up. Rotate it to switch settings. Press it again to enter that setting.


Breathe is to turn on pulsing for the thermal image. The thermal image will slowly fade in and out.


One downside to the TFBNVG is the software programing. As mentioned earlier, when you turn on the thermal, it defaults to outline mode. You can adjust the thermal image brightness with the power switch by rotating it. However if you change the polarity to any other, the brightness control can only be performed by the internal menu.


  • Z= Digital Zoom for thermal image

  • B = Brightness

  • C = Contrast

  • L = Language

See how the brightness is set to 50? It can be adjusted all the way to 255. The power switch/knob has 20 positions for a full revolution. However if you spin it too fast, the electronics do not register them and simply ignores the input. Having to spin the knob 200 positons is ridiculous. Same goes for contrast. It should be a maximum of 10 levels and they need a better knob that doesn't skip over inputs.


"Partition" mode is to display an onscreen reticle. However these reticles do not seem to mean anything. Also some of them have numbers along the Y axis but the numbers are flipped around backwards.



Final Thoughts On The TFBNVG


The TFBNVG is an interesting night vision in the commercial market. Aside from its sub par performance, it is unique. Sure it still amplifies light and it has integrated thermal fusion. I just wish DETYL improved the software or hardware to get better thermal images like HIKMICRO or InfIray. Not sure how you could install better tubes since they use a rather proprietary tube.


I have seen US dealers trying to sell one for $6,500. I would like to see this for half that price. $3,250 is not too expensive, its around the price of a slightly higher tier PVS-14 but you have thermal fusion.


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I had hopes that the TFBNVG would be a great product, but unfortunately the performance is lacking. The NVT tube they installed is somewhat dim and dark green.

Detyl: Goggles have a long optical path so darker than traditional monoculars or binoculars).

 

 

There will be a shift in the thermal image relative to the analog night vision image.

You can see how far my friend is, sitting in his camp chair, from the thermal outline

Detyl: Of course, the imaging of the two optical systems will not directly overlap on a horizontal line. Generally, the overlap is adjusted according to our most commonly used observation distance, so that the target can be better discovered and observed.

 

 

when…


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