blackout lighting?

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Shug

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hey guys I have two m880's. What are the smaller lights on the corners of the grilles and by the tail lights called. Was told by a Army Vet that drove one of these things that they where called cat eyes but I cant find anything looking up cat eyes on the internet. And as you may imagine you can get some pretty interesting things to pop up googling cat eyes. Any help is appreciated. I am trying to replace them with new working ones.
 

NDT

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They are called blackout marker lamps. There is another one in the grille called the blackout driving lamp. See ebay for these, the ones you want have black rubber connectors.
 

fasttruck

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Blackout driving is a fantasy that the Army has clung to since WW2 when the target acquisition capabilities of the OPFOR air force were limited to the pilots vision. They are designed to be invisible from any height above 90' but visible horizontally for considerable distances. The "Wheeled Vehicle Drivers Handbook" explains the concept in detail. The Army spent a lot of money studying the resolving power of the human eye. The rear markers each have 4 cat eyes or windows. As your distance from the light changes the number of eyes you can perceive will change. The saying is " 2 is too far. 4 is just right. Eight is too late. Brace yourself for the collision especially if the white B.O. brake light is displayed. There is a B.O. driving light, front and rear markers and a brake light which are controlled by the military light switch when the top lever is pushed to the left of "off."
 

Sweet5ltr

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Can you send me some pics of them. And If they look good would you take PayPal?
Sure, I'll take some pictures today. I'm actually removing the BO harness from the truck as well that connects to the firewall. I can include that if you would like [free], no promises if the harness works lol. I'm sure you could pin them out in the bulkhead to work without the MIL switch and on a toggle using the TM BO wiring schematic. The MIL switches are older & finicky, I would personally not mess around with it if your factory lights are working in service drive mode. Finishing our cab off resto, the army, forestry, and fire department who owned this truck completely butchered the vehicle harness over the years, were able to get all lights functional by following the TM schematic other than running lights, so we're adding taillights in the bumper.
 

Shug

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Blackout driving is a fantasy that the Army has clung to since WW2 when the target acquisition capabilities of the OPFOR air force were limited to the pilots vision. They are designed to be invisible from any height above 90' but visible horizontally for considerable distances. The "Wheeled Vehicle Drivers Handbook" explains the concept in detail. The Army spent a lot of money studying the resolving power of the human eye. The rear markers each have 4 cat eyes or windows. As your distance from the light changes the number of eyes you can perceive will change. The saying is " 2 is too far. 4 is just right. Eight is too late. Brace yourself for the collision especially if the white B.O. brake light is displayed. There is a B.O. driving light, front and rear markers and a brake light which are controlled by the military light switch when the top lever is pushed to the left of "off."
I’m just looking for the functional look. But that’s a funny explanation of the black out lights. Thanks for the info.
 

msgjd

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fasttruck says it like it is , we were taught a similar jingle about cat eyes except ours was 4 is fine .. blackout was not just for air defense. It also was to be effective against land-based OPFOR weaponry beyond a certain distance.. ya can't hit a target you can't see .. blackout lighting could not be seen by the naked eye out very far, especially in vegetated terrain.

I cannot count on one hand the number of times somebody could get killed during BO-tactical moves in my former armor BN. I think the one that takes the biggest cake was when when our fifteen or so M52's and M54's were about halfway into a 60-minute non-stop move and I get a white BO brake lit up ahead of me. He moves up, white again, moves up, white again .. WTF, over? I get going again only to catch the quick bouncing flash of a BO-drive lite in the corner of my eye way out to my right. I stop just in time to find there are columns of M48 tanks zipping by in front of us in the dust of an unknown crossroads we were apparently at. Apparently one unit CO did not communicate with the other. It was one of those blackest of black nights, nobody could see anything. You couldn't see shapes of the tanks but could hear them over the noise of a truck only when they passed in front of you. I ran back to warn the next truck and told them to send the news down the column. Fun! Oh, and then the time some yahoo read the map wrong and led a small section of trucks into the fire lane (alongside a bunch of target vehicles) on a tank range conducting BO-tactical night fire in the days of barrel-mounted xenon searchlights. I wasn't in on that one but sure heard about it the next morning. They were out doing a BO-tactical refuel to one of the tank companies. I guess you could say they found them!
 
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fasttruck

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Successful B.O. driving requires control of the total environment, something that the average Army Brigade or Corps Command does not supply. In WW2 with the Red Ball Express a movement control system was put in place to regulate movement such as might be found on a railroad. Parallel roads were one way to separate opposing movement. Stray trucks would be consolidated into march units with other trucks rather than be allowed out on their own. PVT Tent Peg in a jeep going in for a shower would be denied uncontrolled entrance into the road net.

In my experience with reserve components in the garden spot of the north woods, Fort Drum, NY, I recall loosing 4ea troops to fatal accidents involving black out motor marches. 2ea were riding in a M151 and stopped to wait for the rest of the column to catch up and got run over by the following AVLB. 2ea more were ground guiding a M60 tank and managed to get run over by the tank they were guiding. Command apparently considered these losses acceptable as they insist on having a unorganized blackout motor march ever AT cycle.l
 

nattieleather

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The BO drive light is about useless. It cast a dim light about a foot in front of the vehicle and where most of them are mounted half the light shines on the fender or bumper of the truck. Forget seeing anything with that. I would just keep my eyes on the red dots floating a head of me.
 

fasttruck

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Another form of night driving rarely practiced was to use infra red (IR) devices. Clip on lenses that fit over wheeled vehicle headlights were used on wheeled vehicles. Tanks, APCs, howitzers and other tracked vehicles have built in IR lights. A vision device would be used by the driver and crew chief to see the infra red field. These must be sensitive items as they don't show up in the civilian arena.
 

Dunkeye11

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Those clip on attachments for an IR filter are a lot more of an eastern bloc concept as there night vision systems and goggles on there tanks were mostly weak active systems for a while. See those odd soviet bloc tanker helmets with duel tube night vision goggles. They are very weak intensifiers. They had passive rifle scopes in the 70s and 80s the 1PN34 and 58. Both as large as our pvs2 from the early 60s. There’s were better then the 2 but we already had better tech at the same time.

The US went to passive night vision with the adoption of the PVS 2 scope in the 1960s most tanks still had active lights for extra illumination but went to passive as the soviets also had infrared viewers. I think they had a large cover for the big xenon light to.

In the 70s PVS5 duel tube passive goggles came out and were used by flight crew
And ground troops.
General issue night vision (the pvs7)didn’t come into the mainstream until the 80s as more and more units got them.
 
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