FAQ

PANOBRIDGE:

Q. Where are the instructions?

A. They can be found here.

 

Q. Is this product rated for duty use?

A. Yes, the product was designed and tested for extreme duty use and utilizes superior materials and advanced manufacturing processes in order to achieve this goal. Third party, unaffiliated test partners were able to validate the design prior to release and subsequently published their own reviews of the product (found here). We have yet to receive a single report of a damaged Panobridge component and will update this section (and improve the product, as necessary) whenever this occurs.

 

Q. Is Panobridge actually used by professionals?

A. Yes, Panobridge has been purchased in great numbers and is now in use with many state and local police departments and some federal agencies. All of them, from what we have found and heard from our dealers, conducted their own internal testing before purchasing the Panobridge. We look forward to publicly announcing some of these participating agencies in the near future and will update this page when we are given clearance to do so.

 

Q. Can the AFOV (Adjustable Field of View) system actually provide a usable, wider field of view or is it all just a gimmick?

A. Please read or watch some of the reviews and then read the extensive, detailed product description. Our simple answer is that it is possible with Panobridge to increase the field of view from 40 degrees wide to 60 degrees wide without suffering any serious side effects, all by using unmodified AN/PVS-14 monoculars with standard generation 3 image intensifier tubes and high-quality lenses. Beyond 60 degrees, the overlapped (central) image quality will suffer at the expense of a wider field of view and additionally create a non-visual zone in front of the user which will force them to use only one eye to inspect objects closer than two feet / 0.6 meters.

 

Q. How does the Panobridge experience compare to a traditional night vision binocular?

A. When the monoculars are pointed forwards, the experience will be quite literally the exact same as long as the image intensifiers (i.e. generation 3 night vision tubes) and lenses are of the same quality, as both systems will present an overlapped, 40 degree field of view image. However, when the monoculars are rotated on Panobridge, the field of view will expand. More information will be presented to the user by allowing each eye to gaze more further outboard and additionally observe more objects or events occurring in one's peripheral vision.

 

Q. How does a goggle with Panobridge compare, weight-wise, with a traditional night vision binocular?

A. With two milspec AN/PVS-14s and lithium AA batteries on Panobridge, the entire goggle weight should be about 24.2 oz. With two modified AN/PVS-14s with Nightline, Inc. NL914C Power Pack battery housings and CR-123A lithium batteries on Panobridge, the entire goggle weight should be about 22.3 oz. Meanwhile, a legacy night vision binocular like the AN/PVS-15 should weigh around 23.5 oz with a lithium AA battery, but much newer offerings, like the Katana from our good friends at Nocturne Industries, can weigh as little as 18.3 oz with a CR-123A lithium battery. One must consider the additional benefits of Panobridge (larger fields of view, the use of unmodified and battle-proven PVS-14s which can be removed at will and which provide redundant power systems, and a potentially much lower overall cost) against whatever benefits those other systems provide.

 

Q. What devices are compatible with Panobridge?

A. The PVS-14 monocular is fully compatible, along with copies / upgrades of that monocular which use the same 1/4-20 threaded hole mounting system like the Vyper-14 and the AB MOD3 (autogain version only). In addition, we include a separate arm in the box which allows users to mount a FLIR Breach or Infiray MH25 or similar thermal monocular as desired.

 

Q. Does the Panobridge's separate arm, which can mount a FLIR Breach or Infiray MH25 thermal monocular, present the two images close enough to allow for a fusion setup, and is there any way to get the rectangular thermal viewing window angled correctly?

A. Yes, we designed the arm to present the thermal monocular's image at the same height as the PVS-14, and we integrated a very simple interpupillary distance adjustment feature that allows the viewing window to be angled nearly perfectly for 99% of adults (IPD of 55-75mm). The two images will be presented in a way which results in a so-called fused image, whereby the brain can see an overlap of the brighter thermal image on top of the PVS-14's intensified night vision image, and it will appear as if distant objects occupy the same location in 3D space.

 

Q. Does Panobridge work with clip-on thermal imagers (COTI)?

A. Yes. We have tested and found success using either one or two COTI on Panobridge, including at both standard 40 degree and at wider (panned-out) 60+ degree fields of view. At wider FOV, the COTI will be panned outboard and will present thermal overlay in the center of the field of view of only one eye, not the center of the combined images. In our testing and in discussions with third party evaluators using a single COTI in wider (panned-out) fields of view, it was observed that this setup could provide a less distracting experience, since only one eye was presented with a thermal overlay that had a tendency to propagate false positives (i.e. inaccurate heat representation) and the other eye was free to view an unmodified, intensified night vision image from a PVS-14. However, this same setup forces users to to pan-and-scan with the COTI-enhanced PVS-14 if they wish to pick up thermal sources in the center (or opposite side) of the combined, wider field of view.


Q. Will I feel uncomfortable when observing wider fields of view on Panobridge due to the split-view images produced by the Adjustable Field of View mechanism?

A. No, that is most unlikely if care is taken to both read the instructions and spend some time ensuring the focus is correct on both monoculars. We have not found anyone yet who had trouble using our system, as the infinitely-adjustable panning mechanism allows users to match the split images to their level of comfort. Ensuring the lenses are sufficiently far enough away from the user's eyes in order to eliminate the "toilet paper tube effect" is important. Additionally, having the system collimated (either by a professional or through the DIY approach) can help with eye strain over long periods of use.

HEATSYNC SWEAT-WICKING FABRIC EAR PAD COVER:

Q. Will Heatsync fit my headset?

A. Most likely. Our universal cover appears to fit every headset on the market that uses 4" tall by 3" wide oval or rectangular ear pads with thickness between 0.5" (12.7mm) and 0.75" (19mm). It may fit other headsets with slightly smaller or larger or even fully circular ear pads with different thicknesses, as well, but we cannot guarantee it.

 

Q. Do I need use use your Sightlines gel ear pads in conjunction with Heatsync?

A. No. Heatsync is a standalone product.

 

Q. How do I care for Heatsync?

A. Heatsync may be laundered just like a t-shirt. The silver-infused Nanotech fabric from 4D Tactical kills microbes like a surgical dressing, so there is not as much of a need for frequent laundering. If you do not have access to laundry facilities, hand washing with soapy water is perfectly fine. Do not attempt to wash Heatsync while it is connected to a headset. 

Q. How do I install Heatsync?

A. Please visit this page for video instructions.

 

SIGHTLINES GEL EAR PADS:

Q. Will SightLines gel ear pads fit my headset?

A. Most likely. Because of the generous support of people around the world during a crowdfunding project in 2017, we were able to procure injection molds to make accurate clones of the various snap-in adapter plates used on the vast majority of headsets. If you visit the page for our ear pads and then scroll down to the section that discusses compatibility, you will find that our adhesive-backed ear pads fit many headsets without any adapter plates and many more with the use of our various adapter plates.

 

Q. Which adapter plates do I need for (my specific headset)?

A. First, please examine your headset and determine the manufacturer and model name or number. Then, visit the page for our ear pads and read the titles of the various adapter plates. The headset manufacturer name is in the title of the adapter plate. You can also click through the pictures that we've posted and see that many compatible headsets are listed right on the pictures for each type of adapter plate.

Additionally, you can read the description of the adapter plates and find out if your specific headset is compatible. Some headset manufacturers, over time, have decided to use different adapter plates, while others have stuck with one single type. For example, 3M™ PELTOR™ uses the HY79 / HY80 adapter plates with their line of ComTac™ military-style communications headsets, the HY10 adapter plates on their Optime™ industrial-style headsets, the HYX1 / HYX2 / etc adapter plates on their X-Series industrial-style headsets, and has chosen to use a very-similar-to-HY79 but slightly different (and completely incompatible) adapter plate on their Sport Tactical™ and Rangeguard™ line of shooting sports headsets (in this last case, fortunately, the pads can be peeled right off the underlying plate, any residue removed, and our pads can be added). We have done as best we can to make everything as clear as possible. If you are still confused, drop us a line at team@noisefighters.com.

 

Q. Are the pads and adapter plates assembled or do they come separate?

A. The ear pads and adapter plates now arrive in separate packaging. It takes just a few seconds to remove the wax paper backing from the pads, line up the pads with the adapter plates, and lightly press the two together to activate the pressure-sensitive adhesive.

 

Q. Why do you use an adhesive to attach pads to adapter plates or directly to headsets? What kind is it? How strong is it? How durable is it? Is it permanent? 

A. The adhesive we employ appears to be the same type used by 3M™ PELTOR™  on military-issued ComTac™ communications headsets. We use a very specialized, pressure-sensitive adhesive which is designed for extreme temperature fluctuations. We have found that with just moderate application force, after 24 hours, the peel strength of the adhesive is strong enough to resist attempts at pad / plate separation unless significant, deliberate effort is used. Since our company's inception, we have had zero reports of our adhesive-backed pads accidentally coming off a customer's headset when properly applied to our injection molded adapter plates. Do not try to add super glue or similar adhesives, as this can actually degrade the bonding strength. Our adhesive is not permanent, and our testing has shown that pads can be removed dozens of times -- even swapped between headsets -- without seriously degrading the bonding strength, as long as the adhesive portion is not compromised by dust, dirt, or other detritus.

 

Q. How do I install Sightlines gel ear pads?

A. Please visit this Install page for instructions.

 

Q. How do I care for and store SightLines gel ear pads?

A. Be sure to regularly clean the outer surface with a soapy rag or wet wipe as necessary, but do not submerge them, as the pads have a pinhole-sized air vent on the bottom to allow proper functioning at all altitudes and conditions. In addition, take care not to leave the ear pads crushed against any objects during storage, as this may cause permanent deformation. Before storing your headset, please consider twisting the two sides of your headset and allowing the pads to rest apart from each other or place a soft object between the pads.

 

Q. How do I use them?

A. Please watch this video:

 

Q. How soft are your gel-filled ear pads compared to competing gel-filled ear pads?

A. You should find our pads comparable in initial softness to competitor gel-filled pads and much softer than traditional foam-filled pads. However, the real benefit of our premium, layered memory foam and silicone gel construction is that we engineered what we believe to be the optimum combination for long-duration comfort. In our testing, we found our design provided the highest level of sustained pressure relief versus other gel-filled pads, from initial donning through more than 16 hours of continued use. This testing was conducted without the use of our patented relief cuts for glasses arms to pass through, in order to present a level playing field. What we found is that competitor gel-filled ear pads tend to either use cheaper packaging foams (that do not have viscoelastic / memory foam characteristics) or a very tiny layer of memory foam which is quickly crushed and made useless. Our pads have been optimized with what we believe to be the perfect volume of high density memory foam and silicone gel. When combined with our patented relief cut design, users can expect the highest level of comfort for a theoretically unlimited use time, as there is never a pressure spike against the user's temples.

 

Q. I heard you originally had a clip-in style of gel ear pads for Howard Leight® and similar headsets. Why do you not offer that style any more?

A. It is true that we initially offered a clip-in style of pads for those headsets, but it was our mistake, and some customers were affected. The way the clip-in style appears to work is that ear pads must have a semi-rigid backing plate to slide underneath series of locking tabs on the headset. If the ear pad backing plate is sized too large, the ear pad tends to bulge outward, and if the backing plate is sized too small, the ear pad is able to very slightly shake around on the headset. We attempted to find the sweet spot in terms of dimensional accuracy for this backing plate, but it was difficult to do so when some headsets (especially all of the knock-offs of the Impact Sport headsets) didn't have the exact locking tab dimensions as others. This sometimes led to situations where our backing plate was too small and our gel ear pads could shake on the headset. While the clip-in style is fine for very light, foam-filled ear pads that have very little momentum when shaken, our gel-filled pads are significantly heavier and had the tendency to vibrate and completely detach from the headset during times when the headset was situated in a shaking, moving vehicle, or jostled around in a bag during rough transport. After feedback from customers, we were able to both diagnose the issue and determine a solution. This involved moving to the pressure-sensitive adhesive system, which provided a much more secure attachment method. As detailed in another answer on this page, our adhesive has proven itself 100% reliable since it was introduced. At the same time, the adhesive-backed method provides universal compatibility with our existing line of adapter plates, and this allows customers to purchase one type of ear pad and use them on any headset they wish, instead of being locked into the Howard Leight® style of attachment method.

GENERAL QUESTIONS:

Q. Are your products actually made in the United States?

A. All of our products and even our packaging materials are sourced and manufactured in the U.S.A. The Sightlines gel ear pad materials are sourced from companies in Indiana, Ohio, and other locations as necessary, while the packaging (clamshells and paper inserts) is sourced right near our home town of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The manufacturing and assembly of our ear pads takes place at our partner facility in Canton, Ohio, by highly-skilled workers. The Heatsync materials are all US-sourced and production takes place in our partner facilities in Oregon. All products are fully Berry Amendment and TAA compliant.

 

Q. Do you sell in bulk to government agencies?

A. Yes, we have a standard discount available for bulk government orders. Please email us at team@noisefighters.com or call 616-226-3551 for more details. We will only accept PO's from official government email accounts. Our normal warranty is included.

 

Q. Do you have a warranty?

A. Yes, we have a Limited Warranty. Our products are warranted to be free from defects in material and workmanship for a set period of time after invoicing, and the amount of time varies by product. Please see the individual product descriptions for exact details. On receipt of timely notice, we will remedy any defect within a reasonable time. This warranty does not cover normal wear and tear nor damage caused by Buyer’s misuse, neglect, or abuse. We shall determine, in our sole discretion, whether the alleged defect is normal wear and tear, caused by Buyer’s misuse, neglect, or abuse, or an actual product defect.

 

Q. Do you have a discount program?

A. Yes. If you are:

  • Active duty military or a military veteran (discharged under honorable or other-than-dishonorable conditions)
  • Active or retired firefighter
  • Active or retired law enforcement
  • Active or retired emergency medical services worker (or similarly working the front lines in the medical world)
  • Active or retired security professional
  • Active defensive tactics (and related) instructor

please use discount code SERVICE5 for 5% off any of our products.

 

Q. Do you sell in any retail (brick and mortar) stores?

A. Yes, please visit our DEALERS page.