PVS-14 | L3Harris Unfilmed, White Phosphor - Apollo Gear Co.
PVS-14 | L3Harris Unfilmed White Phosphor - 18UM

PVS-14 | L3Harris Unfilmed White Phosphor - 18UM

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Hand-Select Night Vision includes actual specs of the tube(s) included in your night vision device as listed on the tube manufacturer's data sheet. The data sheet serves as a certificate of conformance to demonstrate that tubes meet or exceed their quality and performance standards.

For a breakdown of L3Harris' various tube options and associated minimum performance, please see our guide to Minimum Specifications and Spots. Guides discussing specs are available under the "Resources" tab

FOM = Figure of Merit

SNR = Signal to Noise (Numeric)

RES (or CR) = Center Resolution (line pairs / mm)

HALO = Halo (mm)

EBI = Equivalent Background Illumination

Provided images through the tubes are captured on a Hoffman Engineering 126A. The digital imaging process can cause slight color and brightness variations between images. White phosphor tubes appear white to the eye. Images may may not depict all cosmetic details in every lighting evironment. Every night vision device has some degree of peppering or small spots at or below .003" (the smallest countable size depicted on a data sheet).

Q: Why do some pictures look more blue vs. green? Is one better? Also, some appear to be brighter than others. 

A: Color differences are primarily caused by taking digital images of tubes and are not reflective of tube performance. Tube pictures are provided to show spots and cosmetic blemishes.  White phosphor tubes will appear white to the eye - not blue or green, though there can be very slight variation among tubes.

Q: Why do some tubes contain dark spots?

A: Spots are caused by the manufacturing process of night vision intensifier tubes. Spots aren't an indication of performance and exist in nearly every tube (though some tubes may exhibit larger spots than others). Military Spot spec tubes permit countable spots (those larger than .003") in zone 2 and zone 3 (the rings outside of the bullseye on a dart board), whereas aviation spot spec tubes only permit countable spots in zone 3 (outer periphery of the tube, furthest from center).

 L3Harris | Minimum Specifications and Spots



L3Harris Tubes ending with UM or UA (ex. 18UM vs. 24UA) have differing tolerances for dark spots.

  • UM (military) tubes permit spots greater than .003" (diameter) in Zone 2 and 3. Spots greater than .003" are not permitted in Zone 1.
  • UA (aviation) tubes limit spots greater than .003" to Zone 3 only. This is L3's strictest spot spec.
  • Dark spots less than or equal to .003" don't meet the threshold as a countable spot and are commonly referred to as "peppering".  

To reference the Zone regions, you can refer to the image above which shows a tube photographed on a Hoffman Engineering 126A test set. 

Military Spot Spec:

Spot Size Zone 1 Zone 2 Zone 3
(Inches) Limit Limit Limit
>.012 0 0 0
>.009 0 0 0
>.006-.009 0 1 1
>.003-.006 0 2 2
Bright Spots 0 0 0
Dark spots </= .003” are acceptable

Despite adding up to 6 total (above), L3 tubes are limited to 4 spots max

Aviation Spot Spec: 

Spot Size Zone 1 Zone 2 Zone 3
(Inches) Limit Limit Limit
>.012 0 0 0
>.009 0 0 0
>.006-.009 0 0 1
>.003-.006 0 0 2
Bright Spots 0 0 0
Dark spots </= .003” are acceptable



L3Harris unfilmed tubes are available with various minimum performance levels (18, 20, 22, 24).

The higher the performance series number (i.e. 20 vs. 18), the higher the minimum performance.

This performance series is then combined with a spot spec to identify the tube. For example, the 18 performance series, with unlimited FOM ("U"), and Military ("M") spot spec would be 18UM. 

Tube Model Performance summary:

18 Series (UM or UA):
  • SNR: 24.1 minimum
  • Center Resolution: 64 lp/mm minimum
  • FOM: 1540 minimum
  • Halo: 1.0 maximum
  • EBI: 2.5 maximum
20 Series (UM or UA):
  • SNR: 28 minimum
  • Center Resolution: 64 lp/mm minimum
  • FOM: 1792 minimum
  • Halo: 1.0 maximum
  • EBI: 2.5 maximum
22 Series (UM or UA):
  • SNR: 30 minimum
  • Center Resolution: 64 lp/mm minimum
  • FOM: 1920 minimum
  • Halo: 1.0 maximum
  • EBI: 2.5 maximum
24 Series (UM or UA):
  • SNR: 33.75 minimum
  • Center Resolution: 64 lp/mm minimum
  • FOM: 2160 minimum
  • Halo: 1.0 maximum
  • EBI: 2.5 maximum
1217 Tubes (Custom 24 UA,  36 SNR Min.) :
  • SNR: 36 minimum
  • Center Resolution: 64 lp/mm minimum
  • FOM: 2304 minimum (implied)
  • Halo: 1.0 maximum
  • EBI: 2.5 maximum
  • Aviation Spot Spec (Spots limited to Zone 3 only)


1610 Tubes / 2376+ FOM models of PVS-31A, BNVD 1531:
  • SNR: 33 minimum
  • FOM: 2376 minimum
  • Center Resolution: 72 lp/mm minimum
  • Halo: 0.85 maximum
  • EBI: 2.5 maximum
  • Military Spot Spec (Spots permitted in Zone 2 and Zone 3)

  • Package contains PVS-14 with milspec optics, objective and eyepiece lens covers, sacrificial window, demist shield, Apollo Lens Pen, in a soft-sided carry case
  • L3Harris Unfilmed ("Filmless") 18UM 
  • Gen 3, White Phosphor, Autogated, EMI shielded 
  • Unlimited FOM, Military spot spec.
  • 18UM carries 1540 FOM Min.
    • Unfilmed ("filmless"), autogated and come with electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding.  
      • Military spot spec L3Harris' permits spots larger than .003" in zone 2 and zone 3.
      • See "Spec Key" and "Helpful Info" dropdowns above for more info.


SN #: 170285878
SNR: 29.4
CR: 64
FOM: 1882
HALO: 0.7
EBI: 0.2

SN #: 170286083
SNR: 32.8
CR: 64
FOM: 2099
HALO: 0.8
EBI:  0.8

SN #: 170284850
SNR: 29.7
CR: 64
FOM: 1901
HALO: 0.7
EBI:  0.5

The PVS-14 is generally considered to be the most versatile night vision device available. They can be worn head mounted, handheld, mounted to a telescope, camera, or other magnified optic for astronomy or surveillance. Their small size means they are easy to travel with and carry. They are small enough to fit in a GP pouch on a plate carrier without being obstructive.

Adjustable Gain
PVS-14s have variable gain adjustment and control.

Gain control gives the user the ability to increase or decrease the tube brightness.

Under extremely dark conditions, variable gain (also referred to as manual gain) allows the user to adjust the gain upward, giving a brighter image.

Under higher light conditions, the user can decrease the gain for a cleaner image or to prevent the washout of fine details in high light.

Additional features of the PVS-14 include an onboard IR illuminator and a red LED indicator light (light pipe) internal to the device (behind the tube) which signals IR is active or battery is low.

The PVS-14 allows the user to retain their night adapted vision in one eye while viewing their illuminated surroundings through eyepiece of the PVS-14. On the other hand, binocular night vision gives the user better depth perception, and if it includes articulation, the ability to also use a monocular similar to a PVS-14 (by rotating one pod out of the way).

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