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REDUCE BRIGHTNESS OF ILLUMINATED RETICLES

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/23/2009 at 21:14
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 *UPDATE*
 
 The following pictures show the results of this project. If this is what you're interested in, and you would like to get the same results, just follow this thread and pretty much all of the info you need is on the following pages.
 
 
 
 Okay, I think these pictures are pretty good. To make sure the comparison was fair, I took pictures of the reticle with the 2032 battery and the 2016 battery with resistor. Like I stated earlier, the middle setting and highest setting (with the 2016/resistor sandwich) are hard to tell a brightness difference. I'll take Buds advice and reduce the value by about 20%, and see what that does.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
For the past couple of months, I’ve been trying to decide between a Trijicon Accupoint 3-9x40 and a Hawke Endurance 30 3-9x42. Either one of the two would be a nice scope, but both of them have their own pros and cons. I like the pros of the Trijicon better, but I think I like the price ($300 less) of the Hawke enough to overcome the pros of the Trijicon, especially since I’ve read some opinions stating that the Trijicon is in need of an optical upgrade. I might purchase a 3-9x40 Accupoint down the road when they give it a re-design, but for now, I think I’m going with the Hawke.

 One of the cons about the Hawke is that it has a battery operated Illuminated reticle. I’d rather have a tritium reticle, but I can live with the battery operated reticle. Although, if the reticle is so bright that it prevents me from seeing my target, that’s a problem I can’t live with. I’ve read about some illuminated reticles being too bright, with the Hawke Endurance 30 being one of them. But, I think I might have a fix for this problem. If I’m not mistaken, the Endurance 30’s illuminated reticle is powered by a 3 volt 2032 button cell (coin cell) battery. 2032 is the dimensions of the battery. 20 is the diameter of the battery in millimeters while 32 (3.2) is the thickness or height of the battery in millimeters.

 I’ve been trying to figure out a way to dim the reticle and I think I’ve found a solution. I’m not sure how much room is in the battery holder on the scope, but if it holds a 2032, it will hold a thinner 2016 and 1.6 mm’s of space could be gained. The added space could be filled using a spacer with resistors in the middle to reduce current to the emitter, which should dim the emitter. I hope this will work, but I won’t know until I buy an Endurance 30 and try it out. Anyway, here are some pictures of what I’ve been doing.

 

 

 Here are the batteries side by side. 2032 on the left, 2016 on the right:

 

 Here you can see the difference in thickness between the two:

 

 Here are the resistors. I have since found some that are thinner and will probably work better:

 

If you’re wondering where I’m getting these resistors from, well, I have sort of a flashlight addiction. Lately I’ve modded a couple of lights and these resistors came on the drivers that I use to power the L.E.D.’s. While soldered to the driver, they reduce current so they’re removed. Here are the thinner resistors:

 

 Here’s the L.E.D. setup. With 3 resistors, you can’t even tell the L.E.D. is lit unless you’re in complete darkness and looking directly at the center of the emitter:

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/24/2009 at 00:44
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You've obviously done a lot of work and research on this.  But here's a stupid question.  Assuming the thinner battery has less storage will that be a problem?  I've forgotten to turn off illuminated reticles on many occasions only to find out too late during the next hunt that it's dead.  I'd want to do an endurance test with the thinner battery.

But beyond that I'd also wonder if you're adding a complication which to me would be a negative if it's for a hunting rig. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/24/2009 at 05:27
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Originally posted by timber timber wrote:

You've obviously done a lot of work and research on this.  But here's a stupid question.  Assuming the thinner battery has less storage will that be a problem?  I've forgotten to turn off illuminated reticles on many occasions only to find out too late during the next hunt that it's dead.  I'd want to do an endurance test with the thinner battery.

But beyond that I'd also wonder if you're adding a complication which to me would be a negative if it's for a hunting rig. 
 
 The thinner battery does have less storage, I'm not sure how much less, but it does have less. Regardless of what battery you have in the scope, if you don't turn it off, it's probably going to run down by the next time you take it out for use. The resistors are certainly not very efficient because they actually waste current to reduce it, although, I tried to run down one of the 2032's with 10 of those L.E.D.'s hooked to one 2032 and it ran for 40+ hours and didn't even show a sign of dimming down, so I think it will last a while. I'll do a runtime when I buy the scope and use the device succesfully. I'll be sure to keep everyone updated.
 
Casey
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/24/2009 at 06:03
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Sounds like a very interesting approach. Hope it works out well for you! Excellent
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/24/2009 at 06:26
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I'd be curious to know who was displeased with Trijicon's optics. I have the 3-9 and think it is fantastic, especially for low-light hunting (but it does great in full light too.)  I have friends who ahve bought Trijicon and been very pleased.  Whatever negative reports you've heard, I haven't seen those scopes or talked with those owners.

There is MUCH to be said for all-on illumination.

Let us know how the Hawke works out.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/24/2009 at 10:21
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1911man (Bill Wilson/wilson combat) has both scopes and has tested a bunch
I believe he said the Hawke is too bright

Like Rancid said, the Accupoints have VERY good glass, maybe not quite high end Euro but very good, 4200 elite, Nikon Monarch level, perhaps a tad better

I think they have the best ill ret for night/low light hunting and I have tried a BUNCH of ill scopes..


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/24/2009 at 10:37
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I have a Trij 1.25-4 and have to say that I like the illumination setup on it.  If I didn't have some Euro setups with illumination, I'd be looking at more of the Trij's...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/24/2009 at 18:32
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 I started this thread to document the building of a resistor sandwich that will be used to dim down those bright, battery powered illuminated reticles. If this works, others can use this information to build one of these devices (that is, if anyone cares to) to dim their reticles down. Currently, all I hear people talk about is how they’re too bright, so that tells me there must not be a fix for this problem. I know Trijicon builds great scopes and I didn’t mean to down or take anything away from Trijicon by what I said previously. The main reason I’m buying the Hawke is because it’s $300.00 cheaper and the fact that I’m really enjoying the process of trying to find a solution to the bright reticle problem.

 Now, like I said previously, I will probably buy a Trijicon in the future, but when I spend $700.00 on one, I’d like the cons of the scope to be at a minimum. The con mentioned here, (by another member) is a variation in eye relief with a change in magnification. This was actually directed at the 1.25-4x24 and 2.5-10x50, but after the member said that, he said, in his opinion, the 3-9x40 also needs an optical redesign. I’m not sure if he’s saying the 3-9x40 has a variation in eye relief when a change in magnification is made or if his eyes see something, optically, that needs to be improved. Either way, I’d like to wait until I hear of this being fixed before purchasing one.

 When I purchase the Hawke Endurance 30, I’ll take some pics of it and post in the review section so anyone who’s interested can check it out. And, of course, stay tuned here if you’re interested in the resistor sandwich.

Casey

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Originally posted by ccoker ccoker wrote:


I think they have the best ill ret for night/low light hunting and I have tried a BUNCH of ill scopes..


 
 Were the scopes with battery powered illuminated reticles too bright for you or do you have other reasons?
 
 If they were indeed too bright, would they have worked better for you if you could've dimmed the reticle down to a lower setting?


Edited by ti-force - August/24/2009 at 20:14
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/25/2009 at 09:00
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Originally posted by ti-force ti-force wrote:



 
 Were the scopes with battery powered illuminated reticles too bright for you or do you have other reasons?
 
 If they were indeed too bright, would they have worked better for you if you could've dimmed the reticle down to a lower setting?
[/QUOTE]

yes, too bright
I tried 1.5v batteries and lower current 3v batteries

some people think the Trijicon's ill dot is not bright enough, but to me, it's perfect

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/27/2009 at 07:50
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Originally posted by ti-force ti-force wrote:

Originally posted by timber timber wrote:

You've obviously done a lot of work and research on this.  But here's a stupid question.  Assuming the thinner battery has less storage will that be a problem?  I've forgotten to turn off illuminated reticles on many occasions only to find out too late during the next hunt that it's dead.  I'd want to do an endurance test with the thinner battery.

But beyond that I'd also wonder if you're adding a complication which to me would be a negative if it's for a hunting rig. 
 
 The thinner battery does have less storage, I'm not sure how much less, but it does have less. Regardless of what battery you have in the scope, if you don't turn it off, it's probably going to run down by the next time you take it out for use. The resistors are certainly not very efficient because they actually waste current to reduce it, although, I tried to run down one of the 2032's with 10 of those L.E.D.'s hooked to one 2032 and it ran for 40+ hours and didn't even show a sign of dimming down, so I think it will last a while. I'll do a runtime when I buy the scope and use the device succesfully. I'll be sure to keep everyone updated.
 
Casey
 
Okay your in my area of expertise now. 
Both batteries are 3v lithium cells.  The 2032 has a capacity of 190-225mAH of eneregy while the 2016 has only 75-90mAH of energy.  The 2032 will last more than twice as long as the 2016. 
As far as your pictures go the copper and black cylinderical components were actual diodes.  Diodes only allow current to pass in one direction through them and block it in the other direction.  Diodes drop voltage across themselves when allowing current to pass.  For Silicon diodes this is typically 0.5 to 0.7 volts per diode. 
Resistors allow current to pass in both directions and will drop a voltage that is equilavent to its resistance value times the amount of current passing through it.
LEDs depending of color and light intensity require certain levels of botrh voltage and current to light up and conduct.  Typical indicator LEDs take 1.7 to 3.5 volts and 1 to 30mA of current to operate. 
The voltage needed is fairly fixed by the color and application of the LED.  The amount of light it puts out is then controlled by the amount of current the LED passes.
Both diodes or resistors will work to reduce the LED intensity of the crosshairs.
By adding the correct value of resistor between the battery and the scope you should easily be able to reduce the intensity range of the reticle.
The small flat rectangular black component you have pictured last are the surface mount resistors.  They come in several package sizes typically 1206, 0805, 0603, 0204...etc These are the actual dimensions of the componets in thousandths of an inch, so 1206 is  .012X.006".  Pretty small and easy to tuck inside the battery housing somewhere.  The package size of the resistors defines how much power it can dissipate.  I think you could use a resistor as small as a 0603 size before your overstressing it power wise.
I would be surprised if the the illuminated Reticle draws more than 5mA at maximum intensity (about 40hours life per battery using the 2032 and 18hr life using the 2016)
So to cut the Reticle intensity range in half adding a resistor of 1K to 1.5K ohms in any of the 3 sizes 1206, 0805, 0603 should be just the ticket.  Battery life just about doubles too!
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Originally posted by budperm budperm wrote:

Okay your in my area of expertise now. 
Both batteries are 3v lithium cells.  The 2032 has a capacity of 190-225mAH of eneregy while the 2016 has only 75-90mAH of energy.  The 2032 will last more than twice as long as the 2016. 
As far as your pictures go the copper and black cylinderical components were actual diodes.  Diodes only allow current to pass in one direction through them and block it in the other direction.  Diodes drop voltage across themselves when allowing current to pass.  For Silicon diodes this is typically 0.5 to 0.7 volts per diode. 
Resistors allow current to pass in both directions and will drop a voltage that is equilavent to its resistance value times the amount of current passing through it.
LEDs depending of color and light intensity require certain levels of botrh voltage and current to light up and conduct.  Typical indicator LEDs take 1.7 to 3.5 volts and 1 to 30mA of current to operate. 
The voltage needed is fairly fixed by the color and application of the LED.  The amount of light it puts out is then controlled by the amount of current the LED passes.
Both diodes or resistors will work to reduce the LED intensity of the crosshairs.
By adding the correct value of resistor between the battery and the scope you should easily be able to reduce the intensity range of the reticle.
The small flat rectangular black component you have pictured last are the surface mount resistors.  They come in several package sizes typically 1206, 0805, 0603, 0204...etc These are the actual dimensions of the componets in thousandths of an inch, so 1206 is  .012X.006".  Pretty small and easy to tuck inside the battery housing somewhere.  The package size of the resistors defines how much power it can dissipate.  I think you could use a resistor as small as a 0603 size before your overstressing it power wise.
I would be surprised if the the illuminated Reticle draws more than 5mA at maximum intensity (about 40hours life per battery using the 2032 and 18hr life using the 2016)
So to cut the Reticle intensity range in half adding a resistor of 1K to 1.5K ohms in any of the 3 sizes 1206, 0805, 0603 should be just the ticket.  Battery life just about doubles too!
 
 Wow! Thank you VERY much for you knowledge and input. And I just thought I knew a little something about this stuffBig Smile.
 
 I just measured one of the surface mount resistors and it measures:
 
Thickness - .029
Width - .058
Length - .125
 
 Do you think these will be too much?
 
 If so, do you know of a good source I can buy these from?
 
 These are left over from an ssc p7 M@glite build I just completed. I removed them from the drivers and kept them in hopes I could find a use for them.
 
Thanks,
 
Casey
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Originally posted by ti-force ti-force wrote:

Originally posted by budperm budperm wrote:

 
 
 Wow! Thank you VERY much for you knowledge and input. And I just thought I knew a little something about this stuffBig Smile.
 
 I just measured one of the surface mount resistors and it measures:
 
Thickness - .029
Width - .058
Length - .125
 
 Do you think these will be too much?
 
 If so, do you know of a good source I can buy these from?
 
 These are left over from an ssc p7 M@glite build I just completed. I removed them from the drivers and kept them in hopes I could find a use for them.
 
Thanks,
 
Casey
That resistor is a standard 1206 size resistor .125X.058.  There are over 2000 different values in that package size alone so you also need to know its measured resistance.  That size package is actually oversized for what you need.  A 0805 or 0603 size package will also work and fit into smaller area.  We refer to these as chip resistors.  They are extremely cheap, you will pay more for shipping so order a couple of values so you can fine tune the intensity if needed.  Digikey is the best place to shop electronics components.  Here are links to a range of resistances you might need.  These are all in the same size package (0805) Minimum buy is 10ea @ ~$0.09ea so all these are less than $8.00
 
 
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 Resistors ordered! Thanks for the links. Now, if I can ever get the scope here, I can figure out what type of spacers and such that I'll need to make this work.
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Originally posted by ti-force ti-force wrote:

 Now, like I said previously, I will probably buy a Trijicon in the future, but when I spend $700.00 on one, I’d like the cons of the scope to be at a minimum. The con mentioned here, (by another member) is a variation in eye relief with a change in magnification. This was actually directed at the 1.25-4x24 and 2.5-10x50, but after the member said that, he said, in his opinion, the 3-9x40 also needs an optical redesign. I’m not sure if he’s saying the 3-9x40 has a variation in eye relief when a change in magnification is made or if his eyes see something, optically, that needs to be improved. Either way, I’d like to wait until I hear of this being fixed before purchasing one.

 

 
Hi, Casey!
I have the Trijicon 1.25-4X24 and 3-9X40 scopes.  Optically, the Trijicon Accupoints are quite good.  I think they compare very favorably to the Zeiss Conquest class in this regard -- a good, solid, upper mid range scope.
 
I believe it was Koshkin who made the comment a few months back that he felt the 3-9X40 was due for a redesign.  I'm not sure what aspect of the scope he was referring to, though.  IIRC, his post about this was in the scope ratings scale discussion thread.
 
From my perspective, the negatives on the 1.25-4X24 are:
1.  It does have a wide variance in eye relief between 1.25 and 4 power.
2.  Its slight objective bell limits it's mounting length considerably, so it won't work with many 2-piece mounts on long actions without using offset mounts.
3.  It has quite a bit of tunnel vision.
I still consider it a good scope, though.
 
On the other hand, the 3-9X40 is a different animal, and I can find little fault with it at all!  Unlike the 1.25-4X, it has less than 1/2" of eye relief variance from low to high magnification, so in practical use, I can't tell any difference in ER variance between it and one of my fixed ER scopes.  It has a longer main tube than the 1.25-4X24, and although it does have some tunnel vision, it is less prominent than with the 1.25-4X24.  Overall, I think the 3-9X40 is a heckuva good scope, and I highly recommend it. 
 
I wish you good luck with your resistor experiments, and I do think your findings can be helpful to others who are interested in dimming lit reticles.
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Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

 
Hi, Casey!
I have the Trijicon 1.25-4X24 and 3-9X40 scopes.  Optically, the Trijicon Accupoints are quite good.  I think they compare very favorably to the Zeiss Conquest class in this regard -- a good, solid, upper mid range scope.
 
I believe it was Koshkin who made the comment a few months back that he felt the 3-9X40 was due for a redesign.  I'm not sure what aspect of the scope he was referring to, though.  IIRC, his post about this was in the scope ratings scale discussion thread.
 
From my perspective, the negatives on the 1.25-4X24 are:
1.  It does have a wide variance in eye relief between 1.25 and 4 power.
2.  Its slight objective bell limits it's mounting length considerably, so it won't work with many 2-piece mounts on long actions without using offset mounts.
3.  It has quite a bit of tunnel vision.
I still consider it a good scope, though.
 
On the other hand, the 3-9X40 is a different animal, and I can find little fault with it at all!  Unlike the 1.25-4X, it has less than 1/2" of eye relief variance from low to high magnification, so in practical use, I can't tell any difference in ER variance between it and one of my fixed ER scopes.  It has a longer main tube than the 1.25-4X24, and although it does have some tunnel vision, it is less prominent than with the 1.25-4X24.  Overall, I think the 3-9X40 is a heckuva good scope, and I highly recommend it. 
 
I wish you good luck with your resistor experiments, and I do think your findings can be helpful to others who are interested in dimming lit reticles.
 
 Thanks for sharing that info about the Trijicons Ted. It appears that their are a lot more positive opinions then their are negative opinions on these scopes, and I really like the glass being compared to Zeiss conquest glass. I guess I'll just have to go ahead and buy the Trijicon too .
 
 Again, thanks for sharing, although, Hippie I do have to spend more money now.
 
Big Grin
 
Casey
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Trijicon Accupoint scopes are very well made and perform beautifully.

The redesign comment about 3-9x40 was based on the simple observation that newer Trijicon stuff seems to have appreciably better glass than the older 1" models.  3-9x40 is a very nice scope, but Trijicon has been making it in an essentially unchanged form for quite some time.  I think it may be due to an overhaul simply because the technology has moved on a little and they can do better now for the same price point.  Considering the fact that the current version is very good in it sown right and that Trijicon is busy building more military/tactical oriented models, that overhaul might not happen for a while.

ILya
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Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:

Trijicon Accupoint scopes are very well made and perform beautifully.

The redesign comment about 3-9x40 was based on the simple observation that newer Trijicon stuff seems to have appreciably better glass than the older 1" models.  3-9x40 is a very nice scope, but Trijicon has been making it in an essentially unchanged form for quite some time.  I think it may be due to an overhaul simply because the technology has moved on a little and they can do better now for the same price point.  Considering the fact that the current version is very good in it sown right and that Trijicon is busy building more military/tactical oriented models, that overhaul might not happen for a while.

ILya
 
 
 Okay, thanks for clearing that up ILya.
 
Casey
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One recent change that Trijicon has made to the Accupoint line is largely a cosmetic improvement.  Prior to this year, the fiber optic bundle on the eyepiece that collects light had a large oval "race track" shape.  Now, the exposed fiber optic is a much smaller, cleaner looking strip with a narrower window on the rotating shroud covering the light collector.  I think it is a much nicer looking design.  Also, they've added green as a fiber optic color choice.  I don't think you'd be disappointed by the optical performance of the Accupoints, and they have a very innovative, unique illumination system unlike any other.
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Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

One recent change that Trijicon has made to the Accupoint line is largely a cosmetic improvement.  Prior to this year, the fiber optic bundle on the eyepiece that collects light had a large oval "race track" shape.  Now, the exposed fiber optic is a much smaller, cleaner looking strip with a narrower window on the rotating shroud covering the light collector.  I think it is a much nicer looking design.  Also, they've added green as a fiber optic color choice.  I don't think you'd be disappointed by the optical performance of the Accupoints, and they have a very innovative, unique illumination system unlike any other.
 
 Yeah, they do look nice and the fact that the 3-9x40 is lightweight and has a battery free illuminated reticle is a great plus. But, I've been sitting here thinking about the Trijicon and I think I'll wait until I field test the Hawke before I purchase an Accupoint. My reasoning is that Trijicon has 3 different colors to choose from, if I'm not mistaken, and I'm planning to do some night hunting with a red light, so I need to find out which color would be best to use with a red light.
 
 I emailed SWFA, before I ordered the Hawke from them, and asked if the Endurance 30's reticle can be changed from red to green or if red is the only color. SWFA emailed me back and said that you can switch from red to green or vise versa, but I called Hawke today and talked to Brad, (great guy by the way) and he told me the Endurance 30 is only available with a red reticle. I hope the red reticle doesn't blend with the red light while night hunting, but only time will tell.
 
Casey
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I think any color lit reticle will contrast well with any color spot light even when the spot light and reticle are the same color.  I've used red lit reticles against a red spotlight before and had no troubles picking up the reticle.  The reason is twofold... 1- when a colored light is shined at something of a different color, its hue changes, but it doesn't totally take on the color of the light, and 2- the reticle and the target being viewed under the light have contrasting brightness level.

Regardless, the human eye is more sensitive to green and yellow wavelengths than red, so green and yellow appears brighter than red does.  It is for this reason that Trijicon and other tritium sight manufacturers recommend green or yellow colored night sights over other colors for defensive pistols (in addition to the fact that green and yellow tritium lamps last longer and therefore have a longer warranty).  I have amber reticles in my 2 Accupoints, and I can tell you that they contrast very well against any background in any light condition.  I have also tried the green reticle, and found that it has as good or better visibility than the amber in all conditions, even against predominantly green backgrounds such as foliage. 
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I have had ACOGS and Accupoints in all colors
my latest is the 1-4 with a green dot in a German #4 reticle
it's my fave
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 Would anyone, by chance, have a Hawke Endurance 30 that they can get their hands on? I think any Hawke scope that has an illuminated reticle will work. I feel like the battery holders will probably be very similar, if not exactly the same for all Hawke scopes. Of course, I could be wrong, but I’ve searched everywhere online and can’t find any pictures.

 If you can get your hands on one, would it be possible for you to take a couple of pics of the battery holder and inside the cap? Maybe one with the battery in the holder and one with the battery removed. I need these so I can get an idea of how to build this resistor sandwich. I ordered the Endurance 30, but it may not be here for a couple of weeks (out of stock)Sad.

Thanks,

Casey

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Hi Casey, did you get the pictures I sent you over on candlepowerforums?  Between the various red dot scopes and the two lit reticle scopes I have, there surely has not really been any difference in the battery compartments, they all tightly hold a cr2032 leaving no room for any real difference. 
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Originally posted by KarlHaemmerlein KarlHaemmerlein wrote:

Hi Casey, did you get the pictures I sent you over on candlepowerforums?  Between the various red dot scopes and the two lit reticle scopes I have, there surely has not really been any difference in the battery compartments, they all tightly hold a cr2032 leaving no room for any real difference. 
 
 

 Yeah, I got them. Nice scope, by the way. I kept looking for an Endurance 30 battery holder picture and I finally found one. There does seem to be a difference between the Endurance 30 and your U.S. Optics. Here’s a picture, of what I believe is an Endurance 30, if I’m wrong, someone please correct me:

 
 

 

 
 
 
 
Here’s your SN-3:
 

 
 On your SN-3, I believe you would not only need a thinner battery, but a battery with a smaller diameter as well, probably a 1616 battery. It looks like the SN-3 would be more involved. I’m also concerned that different brand scopes, could possibly have different brightness levels, and therefore, could need different variations of resistance to acquire the desired brightness. It would be trial and error for sure. I’m pretty sure it can be done though.
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