It is normal to be overly cautious with your night vision scope. The fear of accidentally destroying it is completely understandable. Buying a night vision scope can be a big investment, especially when we are talking about Gen 2+ and Gen 3. This is why it is very important to know the limits of the night vision scope.
Here are three areas to get familiar with when owning and taking care of your night vision scope:
You don’t have to handle your scope like a delicate flower. As long as you don’t forcefully smash the scope on the ground you should be fine because the scope is really durable.
Second of all, don’t turn it on during daylight, meaning direct or indirect sunlight. Without a pinhole cap (rubber protection cap with a small pinhole), turning on your night vision device during daytime is going to significantly decrease the lifetime of your image intensifier tube installed in your device. And when exposed to direct sunlight, permanent damage can occur. Note that this only applies when your device is turned on. When it’s turned off, you can let your device sit in direct sunlight exposure without the objective cap for as long as you want to, noting is going to happen. Most night vision scopes are waterproof. It is okay to use these in the rain.
Avoid direct exposure to bright light, such as car lights, lasers, sunlight, fires, etc… Your scope is ready to use as soon as the sun sets. If you do happen to expose your night vision scope to direct light, quickly turn the scope out of exposure. If the exposure was short, it shouldn’t be a dangerous as long exposure to light.
Learn how to correctly focus the ocular diopter. It pays off to master getting it right. Look in the distance for a small light source such as the stars. Simply adjust the objective lens on that small light source. Next turn your ocular lens all the way counterclockwise until the image is extremely blurry. Start slowly turning the lens clockwise until the same small light source is in focus again. Stop at that point.
Keep your lenses clean and clean them with the right tools. Use a Q-tip to get rid of any fingerprints or dirt on both the objective and ocular lenses. Do not use your shirt or a cloth on these lenses. It will scratch the antireflective coating on the lenses and damage it. Don’t use cloth or even your shirt, that is going to scratch and damage the anti reflective coating on your lenses.
Please do not open your scope. The scope is filled with nitrogen gas that preserves the electronics and prevents internal fogging on the lenses.
As long as you store your night vision scope in the off mode, it doesn’t matter what light-condition it is stored in. Make sure to store your scope without a battery if you know that you will not be using it again soon. It is best to double check that your device is definitely turned off and not exposed to light. The last thing you want is for an image to get burned into the tube and permanently damage your night vision scope.