Russian T3C Night Vision Image Intensifier

©Brooke Clarke, N6GCE


This is probably a first generation image intensifier tube that has 1" input and 0.6" output..  It's powered by two AA cells in the handle.  Came with carry bag, daylight filter and IR light source that uses four AA cells.


At night pressing the trigger starts the High Voltage inverter and it makes a squealing noise (not optimum for military use).  Once the trigger has been pressed for a second or so it can be released and the T3C will continue to operate for quite some time looking at a dark object like the night sky.  If a bright subject is viewed the T3C will go dim and the trigger will need to be pressed again.

If any Night Vision Device is used in the daylight the image tube will probably be burned.  For this reason the T3C is provided with a daylight filter to allow testing.  But the filter is not strong enough for viewing the Sun.

Also included is an IR light source that uses four AA cells to drive a single IR LED.  It has a variable focus lens to change from a broad to spot beam.

There are two focus adjustments, one for the objective and one for the eyepiece.  Once I got the eyepiece set I used Blue masking tape (it does not turn to glue like ordinary masking tape) to hold the setting.

The center 1/3 of the field of view is in focus and the rest (the majority) is blurry.  I have been told this is typical behavior for military NVDs.

You will still see many more Earth satellites with this T3C than you can see with bare eyes.

It is not a far IR viewer.  You can not see warm objects.

It is a near IR viewer, you can see IR Beacons and TV/VCR remotes that use IR LEDs.

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