BNVD-1431: A Build That Requires Time and Care
We have been answering questions regarding the "Gen 2" (not to be confused with Mk.II) Argus BNVD-1431 housing every day for a while now. It is clear that potential buyers have concerns, and I think that it is our duty to be transparent and address them in an objective and factual way.
First and foremost we sell and fully support the BNVD-1431 and we recognize that from the factory the BNVD-1431 is not a perfect housing with 100% quality control. Neither is the DTNVS, nor RNVG, PVS-14, and many other highly regarded housings. Any nightvision housing has the potential for issues to develop over time, or for issues out of the box. As examples, RNVG and Mod3 housings use a spring loaded pin system to power the pods. This system is known to be problematic under vibration, in moist environments, and in the cold. We have seen clients with ACT DTNVG and DTNVS housings that were non functional out of the box because the individual pod power cutoff mechanisms were not set properly. We have seen PVS-14 power supplies that did not work out of the box due to faulty gold plated tabs.
Does the BNVD-1431 have random shutoff and power supply issues?
It depends on your tubes. It is known to have power supply compatibility issues with certain tube models from Photonis, and some modified MX-11769 format tubes. We spent a significant amount of time helping other builders troubleshoot these issues on units purchased from another vendor. We determined that almost every time, we would be able to power up the problem unit without issues on every tube format in inventory and personal collection. This ranged from Photonis variable gain 10160s, ITT MX-10160Cs, to L-3 removeable EGAC 11769s. Because of this we can reasonably conclude that the issues were more compatibility related than overall housing functionality related.
At the end of the day, this is a builder level compatibity issue never seen here because we use Photonis variable gain 10160 tubes that are fully compatible. It is not an issue that any end user should ever see from a properly built and tested unit. No unit assembled by Opfor Night Solutions has ever encountered these power issues, and if they were ever to occur our quality inspection process would ensure that the unit never made it to a customer and was instead sent back to Argus for replacement.
Does the BNVD-1431 seal properly?
The answer is it depends on who you bought it from and whether weatherproofing has been performed. If you just plop tubes into a unit, then no. If you take the time to build it properly, the unit is able to hold a seal to the same level as a PVS-14. The reason why I specify a PVS-14, is that a US Milspec PVS-14 is water resistant, and not waterproof. We would not go diving with a sealed BNVD-1431, but we have used them extensively in rain and snow without issues.
Again, this is a builder level issue and not a customer level issue. I firmly believe that a responsible builder should perform any necessary seal modifications prior to releasing a unit to a customer. Our customers can have full confidence that all of these modifications are performed as part of our standard build process. In the future, I will make a video guide on the sealing process so that other BNVD-1431 builders will be able to do the same thing to serve their clientele a better product.
Here is a video outlining our weatherproofing service:
As a community, let's stop perpetuating rumours with incomplete facts. We hope that we were able to address our potential customers’ concerns and paint a fuller picture of the BNVD-1431, as well as the steps we’re taking (and have taken) to ensure that you, as the ultimate end-user, have a system you can trust and rely on. If you have questions regarding this housing or would like any consultation regarding how to improve your current unit, please do not hesitate to reach out. We're here to help.