Friday, December 4, 2009

Tradecraft Holiday Wish List II

Shorter winter days equal lots more nighttime surveillance for us private eyes. No problem! There's nothing sexier than high-quality night ops gadgetry. At least nothing we can think of.

Night Vision

The only night vision tool [FIND] Investigations endorses is the wonderfully simple Igen NV 20/20 fromNight Owl Optics. ($590 Retail)

This is one of the first tools we purchased for covert night time surveillance. It works in low- to almost no-light situations. Pop on the IR option and it works in total darkness (thought the IR light can be spotted at just the right angle). The field of view is good (70’ wide at 330’ range), the range is acceptable, and the unit is relatively lightweight (21 oz). The most impressive feature is the built in SD card slot and image capture option. There’s even a single RCA video out so you can record night vision video of your target snogging in that dark parking lot.


The team at [FIND] Investigations has a long history of trying to locate the absolute best flashlight. I know it sounds a bit dim, but we love our torches. Two thirds of the [FIND] team are certificated FAA pilots. One team member is a certified flight instructor and commercial pilot with over 15 years experience. We know the importance of light and its potential impact on personal night vision and depth perception. If you simply crank on the overhead lights in your car while on surveillance several bad things happen at the same time. First, you’re operationally compromised. Second, you’ve just shot about 120 million rods into the realm of useless for about 10 minutes, up to 30 minutes. (Rods are found on your retina and see in black, white, and shades of gray and tell us the form or shape that something has. They are super-sensitive, allowing us to see when it's very dark.)

Avoid giving yourself away and ruining your ability to see at night by using a flashlight with a red lens or red bulb. That’s simple, but what about when the op is finished and you’re cleaning out the car, trying to discern if that jug in your floorboard is Gatorade or the similarly-colored human byproduct of consuming too much coffee? The red light simply doesn’t shine bright enough. Enter the Coleman/ LED Multi-Color flashlight, a torch that lets you choose between white, red, or green light.

Check out your local Academy Sports, Dick’s Sporting Goods, or Bass Pro Shop and find one of these. They sell for about $30. This is a great tool for the hunter in your house as well. Pilots, get one now!

No comments:

Post a Comment