Steel Target Hit Indicator Testing

psubond

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I am developing a device that will detect hits on steel targets and send a signal to a unit that the shooter has next to him. It will use a microcontroller and and Lora modules to transfer the data to a unit that is next to the shooter and will have a LED that lights up and a buzzer that sounds when a hit is detected. The LED and buzzer will be on the unit at the shooter's position.
When I finish the unit I am looking for someone who can test it for me at 1K yards (or more if you have a range that goes that far) and write reports on how it worked for you, what features you would like added and what issues you see. In return you can keep the test unit as well as receive a finished production model. It will take me a while to finish the unit but I wanted to ask if anyone was interested in helping when the work is done.
 
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260284

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Sign me up. I have a place to shoot out to 1000 yards and can test it at matches out to 1400 yards.
 
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Diver160651

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I am developing a device that will detect hits on steel targets and send a signal to a unit that the shooter has next to him. It will use a microcontroller and and Lora modules to transfer the data to a unit that is next to the shooter and will have a LED that lights up and a buzzer that sounds when a hit is detected. The LED and buzzer will be on the unit at the shooter's position.
When I finish the unit I am looking for someone who can test it for me at 1K yards (or more if you have a range that goes that far) and write reports on how it worked for you, what features you would like added and what issues you see. In return you can keep the test unit as well as receive a finished production model. It will take me a while to finish the unit but I wanted to ask if anyone was interested in helping when the work is done.
we can run at our monthly PRS matches
 

bschneiderheinze

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The only downfall I see to this is time. With a target indicator it’s instant and the shooter can move or adjust with it seems like it would probably take 3-4 seconds for the signal to back to you after the shot. The flight time for my 6br at 1000 1.74 seconds
 

GGK

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The only downfall I see to this is time. With a target indicator it’s instant and the shooter can move or adjust with it seems like it would probably take 3-4 seconds for the signal to back to you after the shot. The flight time for my 6br at 1000 1.74 seconds
Lora transmits at the speed of sound so getting the confirmed hit back is around 2.7 seconds. But if he is putting electronics on the target why not just add a hit indicator light also.
 

bschneiderheinze

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Lora transmits at the speed of sound so getting the confirmed hit back is around 2.7 seconds. But if he is putting electronics on the target why not just add a hit indicator light also.
2.7 is a long time in the PRS world I’ve seen people get at least two shots off in that amount of time
 

bschneiderheinze

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The project is interesting in the fact that it could in theory create a full COF that wouldn't require an RO spotting really.
Agreed sometimes the lights are even hard to see on the target but with the light and buzzer it would be fool proof. I wonder what the cost point would be. I guess you could always add a hit indicator in addition also if it wasn’t part of the equipment. We get a ton of 223 shooters I won’t spot for them anymore past 400 yards I have decent vision but even with Swarovski’s there hard to see.
 

psubond

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Ok, I will be in touch with the five people who responded once i get the working prototype sorted. I appreciate the help, please be patient I am still in the experimentation stage. A light on the target could work but I am trying to maximize battery life and have a minimal amount of the device sticking out (less to get shot or get hit with splash from an edge hit). I am not set on Lora, I am still looking at different protocols. Private GSM might be an option but I have to look into FCC regulations on that. There are specific parts of the spectrum that I have (am SUPPOSED) to stay in.
 

Diver160651

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Ok, I will be in touch with the five people who responded once i get the working prototype sorted. I appreciate the help, please be patient I am still in the experimentation stage. A light on the target could work but I am trying to maximize battery life and have a minimal amount of the device sticking out (less to get shot or get hit with splash from an edge hit). I am not set on Lora, I am still looking at different protocols. Private GSM might be an option but I have to look into FCC regulations on that. There are specific parts of the spectrum that I have (am SUPPOSED) to stay in.
In a way not having a light, but a hit counter could be the solution the PRS/NRL needs..

Think about this, we moved to lights only to help the RO make the call, but now us shooters use them too.

Imagine, 30lbs 6br every hit is recorded, but the shooter had less advantage on big heavy long distance plates. The zippy 6.5 guy get a bit more feed back.. neither are scored incorrectly... hum what do I shoot??

I love the legs on this
 

psubond

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Hit counter would be easy. Just need to add a display to the station that stays with the judge and have it count each hit, have a reset button to reset the counter between shooters. I am looking at 802.11 LR on a ESP 32 now as people are getting 10KM with a large directional antenna so 1km with a smaller directional antenna shouldn't be an issue. Then with the esp32 as both transmitter and receiver, Bluetooth connectivity to the receiving station becomes an option.
 

seansmd

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Would the large directional antenna be centralized or would it have to be at every shooting position directional aimed at each target or in their general direction?

I am assuming you wouldn't need the large antenna at each target.
 

GGK

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Would the large directional antenna be centralized or would it have to be at every shooting position directional aimed at each target or in their general direction?

I am assuming you wouldn't need the large antenna at each target.
At these distances it shouldn't need any directional antennas.
 

wadebrown

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I have good luck with these Zigbee modules for 1,000 yards, they are rated for 2 miles but have not tested beyond 1,000 yards. Zigbee modules allow a number of different networking options that work well for ranges with multiple targets, the modules at closer range can act as relays for longer range targets. The modules on closer targets will relay the signal back to shooter's location if the range of the farthest targets are too far to reach the shooters location .
 
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hacabrera071

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Man, this really sounds like a very interesting project, I’m definitely following!!! Great job OP!
 

wadebrown

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One issue that a hot indicator has is the electronics on steel plate experience an intense mechanical shock when a hot is detected and this is hard on the electronics. Murphy's law will also cause some issues, any of the hot detector on the steel target will get shot, at a minimum an antenna or an LED flasher will be visible on standard systems.

I am looking at designing a Hit Indicator System (HIS) that would consist of two separate components, a detector with a short range radio transceiver and a unit that is mounted away from the target that would have the LED flasher and/or a longer range transmitter. To abbreviate the discussion call the detector and radio on the steel target simply the detector and the remote unit as the controller.

When the target is hit the detector unit would send an radio signal to the controller, the controller would turn the flasher on and/or send a signal back to the shooter's display unit, call this the display. The benefits of this design is the more expensive electronics are located away from the target, reducing the chance of getting hit. The detector would be very simple circuitry that is light and inexpensive, if the control unit was mounted the behind the target the detector would be entirely behind the steel. At a minimum the antenna has to be visible from the front of the target if the system has to send a radio signal to the shooter or a control unit in front of the target as the steel target will block much of the radio signal.

As the distance we shoot reaches longer ranges the components that signal a hit become more expensive for either a visible hit indicator or radio reach back to the shooter. The LED's have to be brighter to be seen and the radio has to have more power to reach the longer ranges. A system that is mounted away from the target would allow for larger equipment, since the chance of an impact is lower more expensive equipment could be used. Their are radios that would allow reach back of at least 10 miles for less than $30 for the radio and directional antenna, I would have to research LED flashers more to estimate their cost. Larger flashers and radios would require larger batteries would require larger batteries removing the main electronics away from the target would provide a larger area for batteries for permanent setups solar arrays could recharge the batteries.

The control unit could service multiple targets that are located in proximity and one display unit could be used to record hot information from multiple control units. As I envision it the display would show which target got hit and what time it got hit. With the cost of GPS modules less than $10 the control units could have a GPS on it to record time of hits.

The question I have is this: Is there any interest in a system like this? I could publish the design of the system including part numbers etc. on the web as an open source design. I don't know if there is enough desire to manufacture systems for sale, if there is not enough interest the cost per system would be high.

The question you may have is: How much would the system cost? The cost of the components for the detector in low numbers would probably be about $15 each. The cost of the components for the control unit not included the LED flashers or battery would probably be less than $100. I do not include the cost of the batteries or flashers is that is dependent upon the range of the system. The skills to assemble the system would be soldering and the ability to download software to the processor over a USB cable.

Maybe folks could chime in on whether they would interested in the system. Also, let me know what features I have forgotten and let me know what features in he design above that make no sense. I could also provide some figures that might help explain the system, my description makes perfect sense to me, but then it is my design so it better make sense to me.

I would appreciate advice on LED strobes or flashers that would work for extreme long ranges, this is the area of the design that I have no experience with all other areas of the design are things I have done in the past.

Let me know what you think,
wade
 

AirGunShawn

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One issue that a hot indicator has is the electronics on steel plate experience an intense mechanical shock when a hot is detected and this is hard on the electronics. Murphy's law will also cause some issues, any of the hot detector on the steel target will get shot, at a minimum an antenna or an LED flasher will be visible on standard systems.

I am looking at designing a Hit Indicator System (HIS) that would consist of two separate components, a detector with a short range radio transceiver and a unit that is mounted away from the target that would have the LED flasher and/or a longer range transmitter. To abbreviate the discussion call the detector and radio on the steel target simply the detector and the remote unit as the controller.

When the target is hit the detector unit would send an radio signal to the controller, the controller would turn the flasher on and/or send a signal back to the shooter's display unit, call this the display. The benefits of this design is the more expensive electronics are located away from the target, reducing the chance of getting hit. The detector would be very simple circuitry that is light and inexpensive, if the control unit was mounted the behind the target the detector would be entirely behind the steel. At a minimum the antenna has to be visible from the front of the target if the system has to send a radio signal to the shooter or a control unit in front of the target as the steel target will block much of the radio signal.

As the distance we shoot reaches longer ranges the components that signal a hit become more expensive for either a visible hit indicator or radio reach back to the shooter. The LED's have to be brighter to be seen and the radio has to have more power to reach the longer ranges. A system that is mounted away from the target would allow for larger equipment, since the chance of an impact is lower more expensive equipment could be used. Their are radios that would allow reach back of at least 10 miles for less than $30 for the radio and directional antenna, I would have to research LED flashers more to estimate their cost. Larger flashers and radios would require larger batteries would require larger batteries removing the main electronics away from the target would provide a larger area for batteries for permanent setups solar arrays could recharge the batteries.

The control unit could service multiple targets that are located in proximity and one display unit could be used to record hot information from multiple control units. As I envision it the display would show which target got hit and what time it got hit. With the cost of GPS modules less than $10 the control units could have a GPS on it to record time of hits.

The question I have is this: Is there any interest in a system like this? I could publish the design of the system including part numbers etc. on the web as an open source design. I don't know if there is enough desire to manufacture systems for sale, if there is not enough interest the cost per system would be high.

The question you may have is: How much would the system cost? The cost of the components for the detector in low numbers would probably be about $15 each. The cost of the components for the control unit not included the LED flashers or battery would probably be less than $100. I do not include the cost of the batteries or flashers is that is dependent upon the range of the system. The skills to assemble the system would be soldering and the ability to download software to the processor over a USB cable.

Maybe folks could chime in on whether they would interested in the system. Also, let me know what features I have forgotten and let me know what features in he design above that make no sense. I could also provide some figures that might help explain the system, my description makes perfect sense to me, but then it is my design so it better make sense to me.

I would appreciate advice on LED strobes or flashers that would work for extreme long ranges, this is the area of the design that I have no experience with all other areas of the design are things I have done in the past.

Let me know what you think,
wade
Hello Wade.... Have you looked at he TISS system yet?? He has wired and remote. He also gives advise on
protecting the cables from impact and water.
 

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Greg Langelius *

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So what happens when the shooters on either side also employ this?

It could become distracting and misleading, negating its value.

Or; suppose the shooter doesn't have this, but the shooters on either side do.

It could become distracting, and danged annoying to non-customers; not a great marketing strategy.

There's already enough noise and distraction on the firing line, IMHO; and now we're adding flashing lights, too?

In principle I applaud your idea, but the means for notifying the user could be a problem for non-users.

Here's a suggestion: Some sound-cancelling earphones employ an input jack for music, etc. Setting up your receiver with a corded output to such earphones can eliminate sound distractions to others, as well as eliminating cross talking sound between the user's unit and others.

It might even be possible to employ Bluetooth; which could open up a lot of integrated possibilities (for instance, using your unit to confirm zeros using LRF/Aiming Dot Bluetooth interfaces). It closes the loop encompassing ranging, aiming, and impacts.

Imagine this: The ranging unit communicates the range info to the scope, which designates the aim point. Then, the shooter signals the scope that initiates confirmation cycle. The shooter fires and your unit does not return a hit confirmation, and the shooter signals a miss to the scope's program. The scope then provides an adjusted POA. Again, no hit, another miss signaled. The scope now computes a new POA, but in the opposite direction, up or down. The new POA delivers a hit, the shooter signals hit, and the scope's program recomputes the data to recalibrate the programs POA outputs. Maybe the same for windage.

It's all just programming, but now your unit provides the data that closes the computational loop. FYI, patent the blue stuff, NOW!.

Greg

PS, Was that first post actually an advertisement for an upcoming commercial product? Might get interpreted as one.

FYI, such posts can get a new member banned here. Please note; not an indictment, simply trying to help you avoid trouble.
 
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AirGunShawn

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So what happens when the shooters on either side also employ this?

It could become distracting and misleading, negating its value.

Or; suppose the shooter doesn't have this, but the shooters on either side do.

It could become distracting, and danged annoying to non-customers; not a great marketing strategy.

There's already enough noise and distraction on the firing line, IMHO; and now we're adding flashing lights, too?

In principle I applaud your idea, but the means for notifying the user could be a problem for non-users.

Here's a suggestion: Some sound-cancelling earphones employ an input jack for music, etc. Setting up your receiver with a corded output to such earphones can eliminate sound distractions to others, as well as eliminating cross talking sound between the user's unit and others.

It might even be possible to employ Bluetooth; which could open up a lot of integrated possibilities (for instance, using your unit to confirm zeros using LRF/Aiming Dot Bluetooth interfaces). It closes the loop encompassing ranging, aiming, and impacts.

Greg

PS, Was that first post actually an advertisement for an upcoming commercial product? Might get interpreted as one.

FYI, such posts can get a new member banned here. Please note; not an indictment, simply trying to help you avoid trouble.
I am just using the TISS at home for my 200 plus targets and shooting alone.
If I were to use it with other people, I would add a color to my flash unit with something. Maybe some monokote from the remote control airplane guys.

The TISS system is an actual product. Not mine in any way shape or form.

Sorry..... I had no idea that I may be doing something wrong. I was just giving out information that I
thought may be helpful.

Shawn
 

wadebrown

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Greg,
I have heard some match directors for matches with steel targets would like a system that would provide visual feedback. Not understanding the issue about shooters from other side. I hope you were not referring to my post as an advertisement for an upcoming product. I am not a new member I have been a member for 11 years come this October.

Shawn,
I have seen TISS and I have gotten some feedback from ELR match directors that the flasher was not visible. What I propose is developing a system that the user could put their own flasher on it. I started programming the basic system up last night and am 90% done with the initial code drop. The basic system provides no radios or networking capabilities just a wired interface that the user could put a flasher on. The user can choose frequency of flashes and duration for each individual unit. The wired output would go to a relay or simple transistor depending upon electrical load, if the wire got shot all you would be out is some speaker wire or similar.

I use a crawl-walk-run (CWR) approach to developing new capabilities or products. The wired system above is the crawl version. I do not have the components on hand to build the hardware for any of the approaches, I probably do but my electrical work area is a mess, it takes less time to order a handful of components vs trying to sort the pile I have. The parts are on order. I have used the CWR approach on projects like Desert Hawk III when I was the lead engineer on that UAV program, 12 years later the Brits are still flying it.

As I see it the walk approach is a simple radio connection back to the shooter for one target. The run version would be the networked version.

Two issues have bogged the ELR crowd down radio range and a visible flasher, at least this is what one of the match directors related to me. With directional antennae 20 miles line-of-sight is not a problem, and since we are not using the system to score artillery hits 20 mile is probably overkill. Connections of 2 miles are a chip shot with a decent choice of antenna. Understand that the scoring system has a very low data rate, unlike a video broadcast like target cams, and the lower the data rate the easier it is make the range.

I kind of see putting out an open source design for the hardware and software. The hardware is mainly a collection of modules like a processor, accelerometer, and radio I would probably design a circuit board and put the design on a web site that you could order small quantities of circuit boards for little money and I would get nothing from the sale. The end user would have to solder the modules identified to the motherboard so to speak. The software would be loaded via open source software (Arduino) using a standard USB cable. I see the on target detector parts could be had for less than $20 each, not including the flasher. Granted you would need to supply a little sweat equity, but I think am economical solution. The open source option would only be developed if there was interest, no sense writing up the docs if no one is interested. This is a DIY section of the forum so sweat equity is what DIY is all about.

wade
 

Greg Langelius *

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Trying to be helpful.

By other side; I mean shooters adjacent left and right.

Reread the post; more has been added, which may prove helpful. Your response indicates you may not have been aware of the changes made while your were typing. I acknowledge I was wrong in my initial response.

Best fortune.

Greg
 
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wadebrown

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We (the Lockheed Martin development team for the DARPA OneShot program) did some of what you added regarding projecting new POA in the scope. The system would project a new shooting solution for the measured wind about 10 times a second if I recall correctly. I really learned how fast wind conditions change while using the OneShot equipped scope as the shooting solution was constantly moving. Since I no longer work for Lockheed I can admit to actually touching and shooting the rifle. It was almost impossible to get corporate approval to handle the firearm much less actually shoot it.

I am retired now and have little desire to work on any more patent applications nor pay a legal group to process the application. For a small company of one I would not have the resources to defend the patent. I have become more and more open to the open-source approach. Granted if I thought I had a much better mousetrap that millions would beat a path to my door I would probably not open-source the mousetrap design as I have always wanted to own an island in the caribbean, at least 1,500 yards long for a LR practice range.
 

Greg Langelius *

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I honestly believe that patents are not about protecting ideas, but about full employment for lawyers, et al.

Wade; what you convey about how fast conditions change is one of the reasons why I have not invested in the more complex and pricey answers to wind correction.

No matter how accurate they are reporting such things; by the time the shooter gets the solution into the system, man and rifle, the solution is well on is way to obsolescence.

Many years ago, I became acquainted with the "Wobble Zone", wherein the standing N/M shooter simply relaxes, gets the best sight picture they can manage, and fires as smoothly as they can. The point is that the dispersion this generates is almost always smaller than what they might attain by trying to correct for wavering sight pictures.

I think it's much the same with the more complex wind correction aids we use.

The fall of the shot is the truest depiction of conditions; and if one is willing to take the time to observe, consider, and correct, applying the insight derived from experience, the time may be more wisely employed than by a fevered scramble between implements and guns.

Psubond; I want to see your ideas flourish; and wish you no ill will. Odds are what I suggested is so far behind the curve, it's long ago become protected knowledge. But I've been wrong about such things before. Like Wade, I post my ideas on public forums in the hope that others, better heeled financially, can make some wealth, and that the rest of us will get to benefit from a commercial product employing my ideas. I have enough money.

Said by a man who has won little, and talks a lot...

Greg
 
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