Friday Night Lights: Nocturn Industries UANVB-R, All-Metal Katana

The sun is about to set on this Friday and you know what that brings, Friday Night Lights. Your source for night vision and thermal-related content. Tonight we take a close look at the Nocturn Industries UANVB-R, the metal ruggedized Katana dual tube night vision housing.

Nocturn Industries @ TFB:

All Metal Katana, UANVB-R

UANVB-R compared to 3D printed UANVB

Original UANVB on the left. UANVB-R on the right.

It has been almost three years since Nocturn Industries came out with their UANVB, aka Katana housing. Nocturn came out with the first commercially viable 3D-printed dual tube housing that was feature-packed and lightweight. Well, now they have moved on to traditional manufacturing to meet market demand. Even though the nylon they use in Multi Jet Fusion printing is robust, some still doubt it. So now they made the UANVB-R. R for ruggedized.

The UANVB-R has the same features as the regular UANVB.

Aesthetically, they seem different but they function the same.

The ODG UANVB housing looks shorter due to the RPO lenses installed on it.

The UANVB-R still has magnetic reed switches so when you articulate the pods up and out of the way, the bridge shuts power to the pods.

Just like the 3D-printed UANVB, the ruggedized all-metal Katana has the same integrated interpupillary distance (IPD) stops that you set with friction. Just rotate the pods all the way up. Then move them into position for your eyes and the IPD stops will be set. No tools or thumb screws. It is automatic and effortless.

Bungee attachment points are integrated into the bridge and split rings make it easy for your helmet bungee hooks to grab onto the UANVB-R.

One aspect of the UANVB-R that is slightly different from the regular UANVB is the purge screw. You can see them on the outer side of the articulating arm.

You can see the pin inserted from the outside of the pod. Pin pokes through to the inside of the pod. This is the anti-rotation indexing pin used to align the image intensifier.

Just like the UANVB, the ruggedized version is powered by a single CR123. And one nice thing about the UANVB-R is simply that it is machined. So the threads of the battery compartment are machined. While the regular UANVB is 3D printed so are the threads. They are functional but machined threads are nicer.

The battery cap is also machined.

The articulating arms of the UANVB-R pods are extremely skeletonized to help reduce weight.

The UANVB-R has a two-pin LEMO port for use with remote battery packs. A single CR123 will run the metal Katana for 25 hours.

There is a significant operation change with the ruggedized Katana. You can use a battery pack but you must have an onboard battery. This way the goggle will still be controlled by the battery cap button. The board in the housing protects the system. It will draw power from any of their Bat-Packs or other industry-standard battery packs. It will work with AAA, AA, and CR123 battery packs. The housing will favor the off-board power until it runs out of juice then it will switch to the onboard battery.

Here is the weight of a built metal Katana. It is one ounce lighter than my DTNVG and that is a polymer housing without IPD stops.

The ruggedized UANVB was lent to me built with Carson lenses. But if you build it with lightweight lenses it is very lightweight. Below is a photo by Nocturn Industries. It is 0.45 ounces lighter than the ABNV RNVG.

Final Thoughts On the Ruggedized UANVB

If you are looking for a rugged housing that is American-designed and manufactured, then the UANVB-R might be for you. There are other housings on the market but few companies have a no questions asked lifetime warranty like Nocturn Industries. This covers the housing. While it does not cover the optics or the image intensifiers, this is still the best warranty in the industry. Even if you trip and face plant your goggles into hard concrete pavement, Nocturn will fix or replace the housing.

There is more to come from Nocturn Industries. Their BAT-Packs are designed to power any of their housings that have a remote battery port. It will even power their Chimera bridge for quad tube pods like my Anvis10. Their Manticore is soon to be released and they are sending one for review after SHOT Show. Nocturn also has an injection molded version of their Katana housing and so far it looks like it will be ridiculously lightweight.  A huge thanks to Nocorium, this is his UANVB-R which he patterned and wrapped just before lending it to me for review.

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