I thought I’d pop this project here, because, well, it’s pretty much made for shooting sports.
So… As some of you may remember, I was trying to build a DIY shooting camera and then the project sort of went silent. Not so much, I didn’t forget, I was just busy. Today I went through another iteration that I am happy with. I thought I’d share what I have to date. I had some time, so I rewired and changed components today…
First a bit of philosophy behind the project. There are $600+ products on the market, however, looking at them I felt that they lack in design.
A lot of them have in deed a very nice software that highlights impact and shows it on screen, but I feel like I can do that too and a lot better, with a possible increase to budget of around $70 (embedded computer on the target end, still be hundreds of dollars cheaper). I’ll do that as version 2 of the project.
Ignoring software, all of these systems seem to be at the business end of the shooting range. A stray bullet, fragments and you are a sad camper.
I thought, I’d break up the system, using cheap off the shelf modular components at the target and whatever on the shooters end. Although in my case these are still cheap of the shelf modular components, but more on that later, they don’t have to be.
The battery pack is not cheap, these is mine and once I test the range, I will use 4 x 18650, but for prototyping convenience this is good. I was actually running it from a variable mains power supply (12V DC) and was about to test range but something came up and I couldn’t.
FPV/CCTV camera (AUD16.11) with wide angle lens – found on eBay or Bangood or somewhere where I buy project material. And an AV transmitter (AUD34.79 for receiver and transmitter).
Could have been cheaper, but I wanted to try a different transmitter for another project, so I got this one, but for really price conscious, it could probably go down to $25 or so).
Both are generally considered expendable components (e.g. drone crash) and are reasonably cheap to replace. I will have a complete part list and prices when I am done.
Moving on, note that it is modular, so a bullet strike through one, means exactly that, one. Disconnect and replace. Unless it’s the power cells, then you’ll blow everything up and burn it LOL
Again, modular, nothing special. AV receiver. 12DC power pack (this is not cheap, but this is what I have and will use, but cheaper batteries are out there, just no t in this form factor). Small LCD (AUD21.89) screen and that’s about it. I am not actually sure which LCD screen I used, I have a couple, but from transactions list, this was the latest purchase, so we’ll go with that.
Regarding the receiver. I have a couple. One I can connect directly to an Android device, for example, my phone, but I opted for a standalone version this time. This particular receiver has 2 video-out ports. For example, I could (and suspect I will) connect a mini DVR to record everything.
What you see
This is a what you see on the screen. This is target backing board. I circled some 22LR holes for perspective, so it’s pretty clear. Happy here.
I haven’t bothered to make everything pretty and neat yet. I will do that after I test the range and see if I could benefit from different antennas that I have or if OEM will do. I suspect OEM will do just fine to 500m+ LOS.
I later realised that shooters end will be enclosed, so I wired in a fan.
Then I remembered that it will be enclosed LOL and I won’t be able to see if it’s working, so in went an led.
I am conscious of price, as a matter of principle I want to keep it cheap. And as few components as possible at the business end of the muzzle.
In fact, the camera (exposed) is actually modular too. If the lens gets damaged by fragments, I can replace that rather than the camera. However, I think it will be cheaper to replace the entire thing.
Overhead, maybe AUD15 for various speciality connectors and switches, I need a few for a different project, so the cost is actually half that, but we’ll go with $15 for now.
Test the range.
DIY/wire rechargeable power pack for target end.
Come up with a target end mount.
Come up with an elegant enclosure for both, target and shooter end.