Some folks who have paid attention were surprised when I introduced the BNVD 1431 as one of our new products here at Adams Industries. Let’s just say that I had been publicly overheard saying some unkind things about the first rendition of the 1431. Mind you, I’m not taking any of them back. The 1431 was prone to leaking nitrogen purge out and leaking moisture in. The pods were more like ANVIS pods than ground combat pods — meaning not all that strong against impacts. The original 1431 also did not allow for MX11769 tube use without modification, and this really took away from the coolness factor.
When the Mk2 came out, however, a lot of things got better. First off, Argus really doubled down on sealing the unit to correct the purge leak-out and moisture leak-in issue. They changed the design of the pods so they’re no longer smooth but, rather, have a scaffolding pattern. This made the pods stronger without increasing weight. Some will get excited about the addition of an IR illuminator. I’m not one of them, but since it didn’t impact the final unit’s weight, I figure it’s better to have and not need than need and not have. Lots of other new details include longer IP screws and a better dovetail.
On the interior of the BNVD 1431 Mk2, a lot of evolution happened as well. For instance, the ability to use many different types of tubes is a game changer. MX10160 and MX11769 tubes are equally happy in this unit. Also, the ability to use Photonis 3-contact manual gain control tubes is a huge deal for Europe and is definitely worth a tip of the hat for good thinking on Argus’s part. The programmable flip-up-off to the side is a major win, seeing as there are people who like it (me) and people who don’t (people who talk during movies).
Now that we have firmly established that the base 1431 Mk2 is worthy of respect, let’s talk about why the one from Adams Industries is even better than that. My source of 1431 Mk2 housings takes things a step further. They start with the OPFOR (aka Canadian) version of the housing and fix the 1431’s known issue with pod switches. Next, they beef up the solder points and remove material in key spots to avoid internal wire chafing. They improve the centering of the tubes in the pods. This leads to tighter collimation which results in less eye fatigue during long periods of use.
On units that include the build with either tubes we provide or ones the customer does, another level of attention to detail is achieved. Every unit is built in a 100% clean room facility with scrubbed air and assembled in a downdraft cabinet. (Take a moment to mull that over. Most builders construct your unit on a desk in their garage, bedroom, or on their mother’s kitchen table). The next step in the build is to pull a 20 inHG vacuum on the goggle for 20 mins to ensure an airtight seal. After passing this test, the unit is purged with nitrogen. Finally, the goggle is collimated on a Hoffman ANV-126A Test Set.
So there you have it. I still say stay away from early 1431 units, and I’m not taking that back. The BNVD 1431 Mk2 units, however, are worthy of your respect. The 1431 Mk2 OPFOR units from Adams Industries are worthy of your money.