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Generation: Gen 1
Objective Diameter: 35 mm
Field of View: 20°
Length/Weight: 6.49 x 2.36 x 2.55 in/15.87 oz
Illuminated Reticle: No
Power Supply: N/A
Battery Life: N/A
IR Illuminator: Yes
Best Uses: Recreational Night Use – Hiking/Camping
Newcon Optik Stargate M. Night Vision Monocular
This NV monocular is not to be underestimated. Yes, it’s a Gen 1 device that costs less than taking your girl out for one night, but it definitely has advantages.
Newcon Optik is a Canadian company that’s been around since the early ’90s. Their dealers can be found in six continents around the globe, and they’re committed to quality, service, and prices that best serves the consumer.
One example of their dedication to NV optics is the low-cost, extremely affordable Stargate monocular. While it’s not a weapon sight/rifle scope, its no-battery operation caught our eye, and we felt it was worth reviewing.
With no batteries required, how does this monocular work? The Stargate is a traditional NV optic with its Gen 1 image intensifier tube (IIT). However, instead of using a battery to supply power, piezo crystals are used instead. Piezoelectric technology has been around since the time of WWI, and it’s being used in several applications today, like electric cigarette lighters, electric guitars, and even gas burners.
The concept and technology is solid. But, how does it perform in practical NV applications? The activated-lever power supply on its own provides good NV quality. It’s certainly much better than having no NV at all. However, the piezo tech still piggy backs on a Gen 1 tube, so there will be compromises in image quality that’s expected of all Gen 1 devices.
To improve detection range and brightness, the Stargate comes with an included IR illuminator. The IR does require a battery to function.
Buyers found the IR to be a valuable accessory when it came to actual use in the field. Its compact, hand-held, and lightweight size makes it a very convenient tool to own. However, it seems either user error is extremely likely to occur or perhaps one or two products may be defective. Additionally, the warranty coverage and return/repair process may be a bit of a hassle considering it has to go back to Canada.
- No batteries required
- Included IR Illuminator
- Long-lasting life
- User error or defective items
- Warranty hassle
Newcon Optik Stargate M. 2×35 Monocular Q&A:
No. The night vision monocular is completely undetectable if used alone with the IR illuminator. With use of the IR, you will be detectable by other NV users. Also, while the IR beam itself is undetectable, you may notice a very faint, dark-red glow at the source of the IR light when activated. This is a typical feature of most IR illuminator devices.
The IR illuminator requires a CR 123 battery to function.
Yes. It’s not a built-in accessory, so it can be attached or removed at your preference.
You simply depress the lever and hold it down to activate the NV optic. Don’t pump it multiple times to “charge” the device for a brighter image. Doing so can cause the Stargate to shut down for several minutes. As picture quality gets darker and degrades, simply release the lever, depress, and hold down once again to activate NV image.
The general idea is to apply stress (depress the lever) to the piezo crystal which in turn causes it to “deform.” In this process, negative charge (electrons) are potentially forced to accumulate in one area leaving another area with less negative charge. The result is voltage which supplies power for the necessary processes to occur within the IIT to produce an image through the NV optic.
Answer: The Stargate device is well-built and made mostly out of metal including the lever. The piezoelectric technology can last for a lifetime.
Real answer: The Stargate will only last as long as its housing. The IIT and piezo tech is useless without solid construction to protect it, and good thing for you that this optic isn’t plastic. But, don’t go stepping on it, throwing it down cliffs, exposing it to daylight, and intentionally opening up the optic.
Newcon’s Gen 1 devices are all made in Russia as that is the source of their Gen 1 IITs. However, they do manufacture their own Gen 2 and up devices right there in Toronto, Canada, and because of this in-house control, they can offer cost-savings and low prices to the customer.
It can’t be mounted to a firearm or other device. It also doesn’t have any rails for attaching other accessory devices to it.
Gen 1 NV optics are susceptible to fish-eye, blooming, and lack of contrast effects. You might notice sharpness and clarity in the center of the field of view but lacking towards the edges.
Campers, hikers, and scouts looking to see their way during moonlight for very short-range distances (for a NV optic) would greatly benefit from owing the Stargate. Because it’s so user-friendly, requires no batteries, and it’s cheap, really anyone who wants to play around with seeing in the dark could benefit from buying one. Peer out into your backyard at night, stash it away if you’re a survivalist or prepper, and use it to spot your buddies before they see you in a game of nighttime air-soft!
- No batteries required! Lever-activated piezoelectric technology.
- So affordable – buy multiple units or give as gifts.
- Detachable IR illuminator included.
- Piezo crystal technology provides voltage for IIT power supply.
- IR illuminator, soft carry case, manual, and lens cap all included!
Our Verdict on the Newcon Stargate Monocular:
To light your trail through the dark, the Newcon Optik Stargate M. 2×35 monocular will do it without batteries. This is a must-have tool for many preppers, and it’s a fun and convenient optic to enhance enjoyment while camping or hiking. However, it’s not your long-range unit, so just remember that if you’re expecting stealth to take down a coyote – it’s not going to happen.
However, there has been complaints that “it’s no Gen 2” device and you’re better off saving your money for that. We disagree. Of course Gen 1 can’t be compared to Gen 2 technology. Additionally, you’ll be spending more than 10 times the cost of the Stargate to afford a Gen 2 optic. So, if you’ve got the savings for one, the Armasight Nemesis 6x Gen 2+ SD is going to blow you away. Plus, it only requires one battery!
But, if you’re considering the Stargate simply because it’s a low-cost optic that gets you NV now, then Gen 1 is going to be your kinda buy. The Firefield NVRS 3.5X42 FF16001 ups the game a little bit with extra power and a larger aperture, but it is going to take some hefty batteries to get the job done. Still, for under $500, it might definitely be worth it for you!
You may be impressed with the Stargate or maybe not. The one, invaluable feature about it is its no-battery operation – it’s unique and a must-have. While quality might only be Gen 1 standard, it’s always going to be better than no NV at all!
- The StarGate is a scope that allows you to see in the dark
- Perfect for campers, hikers and hunters of the night