The SiOnyx Aurora is a digital night camera that is sensitive to low light. It has the added benefit of being able to see into the infrared spectrum of light. I wrote a review of the original Aurora almost two years ago. I found the Aurora to be a great accessory that compliments my night vision and have found that using it as a POV camera works very well. The problem is finding a way to mount it to your helmet. Kiloohmcom makes some really great Aurora camera bridges that are worth taking a look at.
Bridging Auroras Before Kiloohmcom
Back in March 2019, I wrote about Lion’s Gear Hyperion Mount. It was a solid 3D printed bridge that you had to tell the creator what your PD (Pupillary Distance) is so he could position the mounting screws in the proper place. The problem is that the Hyperion is a fixed solid bridge so if you measured wrong, you cannot adjust it. My PD is too close so twin Auroras physically will not fit on the Hyperion mount.
So I found an alternative setup. A SOTAC replica of a WILCOX bridge. It allows you to bridge anything that has a dovetail. Here is a setup I use for filming. A MUM-14 and a SiOnyx Aurora on the left. I would handhold this setup and film through the MUM-14 with an iPhone while hitting the record on the Aurora. That way I can film with analog and digital night vision at the same time.
To use the Wilcox style bridge, you need to add an in-line dovetail to your devices. KAC makes a MUM-14 dovetail adapter just for use on a bridge like the Wilcox. For the Aurora, I had to customize a dovetail and bolted it to the tripod screw hole.
One downside to this modified dovetail is that it is not keyed in any way so other than friction, the dovetail can spin.
Kiloohmcom Aurora Accessories
Before we dive deep into Kiloohmcom’s Aurora Bridge, let’s take a look at his 3D printed Aurora accessories.
First up is his IRNightShade. It is a lens hood to block out stray reflections and lens flare in your image. It also acts as a bumper if you drop your Aurora. It does not protect the actual lens protector underneath from objects hitting it. I suppose you could couple it with a Lexan lens protector underneath. The IRNightShade is made of a flexible 3D printed material just like his IRDark eyecups below.
In order to install the IRDark eyecup, you need to remove the factory Aurora eye cup. Just pop it off the eyepiece and pop the IRDark on in its place.
Kiloohmcom also makes a PVS-14 eyecup adapter that replaces the factory eyecup.
Now you can attach real PVS-14 eyecups. I prefer the PVS-14 eyecups since the rubber is softer than the IRDark. The IRDark, while flexible, has thin edges and does not feel as comfortable as the rubber eyecup on the right.
I do not use eyecups on my night vision goggles. However, I do use them on my PVS-7 due to the shallow eye relief of the PVS-7. Auroras also have a shallow eye relief so I prefer to flip the eyecup forwards as seen below. That way the PVS-14 eyecups act as a cushion for my eye socket, it is a lot more comfortable having the softer PVS-14 eyecup against my face.
The MK1C Adaptive Mount is a simple fixed bridge mount but allows for PD adjustment.
There are two screws that bolt the mounting plates to the dovetail tower. You loosen the bolts to slide the plates left or right then tighten them once you have the Auroras set to your eyes. Functionally, it is similar to the Hyperion Mount but has adjustability.
One feature that makes the MK1C shine over the Lions Gear design is that, other than the PD adjustment, mounting the Auroras is tool-less. Just lift the arch on the screw and you can twist the screw onto the Auroras by hand. It has a slot so you could use a coin or a flat-head screwdriver to tighten it if you feel it is necessary.
The MK1C dovetail is printed at an angle on purpose. This is awesome. Most helmets and mounts do not allow for the mount to sit parallel to the deck. So having the raked angle on the MK1C takes that into consideration and levels the Auroras for you.
See how the Wilcox mount is not level with the ground? The angle in the MK1C bridge takes that into consideration so the bridged Auroras are level.
There is one problem that exists with the MK1C adaptive mount as well as the Lion Gear and my DIY setup – Auroras are not symmetrical. Take a look at the picture below. There is a lot of bulk on one side of the Aurora camerawomen body. This can interfere with the Auroras getting closer to each other so the PD adjustment can only be so close.
Kiloohmcom IRMount MK2B Inverted Aurora Bridge
The MK1C is an older design but it is not printed in a carbon fiber infused 3D printed material. However, it still has the issue of having the right Aurora bump into the left Aurora if the PD is too small. So Kiloohmcom came up with a simple solution. Invert one of the Auroras so the bulk stays on the outside.
The right eye Aurora is inverted so the bulk of the camera stays outside. Now both control wheels on the Auroras are inboard.
The MK2B bridge is a far better designed bridge than other fixed bridges I have seen.
The MK2B bridge also has PD adjustments and they are tool-less! There are turn knobs that adjust a screw to bring the Auroras in or out away from the central bridge.
There is even an attachment point to tether a cord to your helmet so in case your bridged Auroras fall off the helmet, it will be fine. Also, notice there is an “N” and “W” printed into the bridge. This is for the dovetail. Kiloohmcom designed this for use with either a Wilcox G24 mount or a Norotos Rhino II.
Here is the MK2B bridge mounted onto a Wilcox G24 with the dovetail installed into the “W” position.
It can fit the Wilcox even if the dovetail is in the “N” position.
The “N” position is really made for use with Norotos mounts.
Final Thoughts On Kiloohmcom Aurora Accessories
I really like the MK2B bridge. It is well thought out and allows for tool-less adjustment of PD. The only issue I have is that it is not articulating like the Wilcox replica bridge. I prefer articulating night vision goggles and find it really handy. Flipping the Twin Auroras up onto the helmet causes them to stick really far away from the helmet but this is a common problem with fixed bridge bino NVGs and quad NODs. If you want a great way to mount dual auroras onto your face, check out Kiloohmcom’s offerings.
The IRNightShade is a little bit loose but provides shock absorption for your Aurora camera. Also, it helps block stray lens flare from hitting the lens. You can get one for only $25.95. The IRDark eyecup is $28.95 while the PVS-14 eyecup adapter is $19.95 but you need to source an eyecup. The simpler MK1C bridge is $98.95 while the MK2B bridge is a little bit more at $139.95. You can order all of these off Kiloohmcom’s Etsy store. He also made some mounting solutions for an AGM Micro thermal device and a Pulsar Axion.