Tips for DIY target cam?

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Re: Tips for DIY target cam?

Post by juststarting » 28 Mar 2018, 9:29 pm

My toys arrived today and I quickly hooked everything up, to see if it arrived alive.

I've tried a couple of different setups. I am not sure, I think someone mentioned bluetooth - this is out immediately, range is in meters (normally)...
WiFi - same deal.

What you want is to stream to a device like a phone, to take photos and record... And range...

Another requirement, the transmitter has to be cheap! So you don't cry if it comes home with a hole from a bullet or most likely hit by fragments.

I purchased 2 FPV cameras (what you use on a drone). One has an inbuilt transmitter and the other is just a camera and I hooked it up to a transmitter. the camera and transmitter separately is actually a smaller unit than the one in the photo (all in one). I like all in one because you can have a spare. The camera with transmitter was $40.55 (second camera and separate transmitter I got were actually a lot cheaper) - all from Bangood.

Image

I don't have the time right now, I need to build some jig (like a breadboard or something) to experiment with it. I want to avoid soldering until I am done with everything. When I get around to it, I will set it up in a housing in front of a target and see how it looks in good light.

Next, the receiver. Receiver and cameras have to function independently. I got this one:
Image
($21.24)

You can see that this one connects directly to an Android tablet or phone and streams to screen. I can now take screenshots or record video. It is powered by the device, but I am going to give it auxiliary power when I am done. I think the next model can be used with an iPhone (if you are disabled or something).

Range on this thing at a very minimum would be 500m. However, given enough power, you can crank up transmission power (little turn thing on camera).

This is how the entire rig looks:
Image
(Housing for 18650 - $3.23; 8 x 18650 - $16.99)

Currently it's running of one 18650, but I will wire 4 - 2 in serial x 2 parallel.

When I get time, I'll hook it all up a little more sturdy, grab my range finder and test the distance.

BONUS:
If you miss and hit the unit, specifically the battery, boom :D So you know, if you destroy it, it's still fun.

I'll test it with day lite and paper... If it works, great. I think it will.

I am confident I can comfortably get 1km out of this.

Plan B:
If I am not happy with image quality, I will change the camera unit only. I will either try to use a HD camera from Raspberry Pi (will need to see if i can wire that in) or more likely, order a clone of GoPro with AV out. It will have it's own power and I will power the transmitter separately. I also want an action cam, so there's that.

Anyway, that's about it. I am happy that all components work. Will write a full how to when it's all done.


PART 2, because there's no kill like an overkill (--Bentaz)
Because images comes through on the device, image can be parsed... So you could have hole identification/highlight/circle and all that (in theory). This will be part part 2 when I am done with hardware side.
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Re: Tips for DIY target cam?

Post by sungazer » 30 Mar 2018, 8:28 am

Looking Forward to seeing your working model. Also get the run down on it. I was a electronics geek and back in the day I would have been all over this. I have to say I have lost a lot of that passion. I just look on now with appreciation of those that do. I have seen the wifi aerials that will do the 1000yrd plus at work. The Hexta system ues them a long rectangular about 25 cm they actually point at the low power device at each end the computer and the transmitter at the target. They have enough power and signal pattern out the side and back to make the distance between the target and computer.
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Re: Tips for DIY target cam?

Post by Stix » 30 Mar 2018, 9:37 am

Fantastic JS...!
The man who knows everything, doesnt really know everything...he's just stopped learning...
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Re: Tips for DIY target cam?

Post by juststarting » 30 Mar 2018, 7:56 pm

sungazer wrote:Looking Forward to seeing your working model. Also get the run down on it. I was a electronics geek and back in the day I would have been all over this. I have to say I have lost a lot of that passion. I just look on now with appreciation of those that do.

Ohhh I am very, very, very far from an electronics geeks. I'd really like to understand it a lot better, but I am far from it.

sungazer wrote:I have seen the wifi aerials that will do the 1000yrd plus at work. The Hexta system ues them a long rectangular about 25 cm they actually point at the low power device at each end the computer and the transmitter at the target. They have enough power and signal pattern out the side and back to make the distance between the target and computer.


Correcto, a panel antenna with line of sight and a car battery to power it. It's certainly possible to do this. It's just not possible for this use case, where I want to have a portable unit I could 'just drop in'.

Someone (million times better at this than me) suggested I look at a different approach, using XBees. Which would work very well. And in some way it's the most elegant and the best solution (maybe version 2 later). They are small transmitters used in industrial control systems (think activating a water pump over 10km away over RF). They are very cheap and would definitely work over 10s of km's, but it's the path of the most resistance to do with custom software setup... Also, images received would be either of low quality or transmission would be very slow, but high quality images would be retrieved directly form the transmitter after shooting, I suppose. Definitely doable, just chose not to if I can achieve this quicker with very common and cheap components.

As for the bullseye camera system, I like them. Cost is very prohibitive though, especially for their top model (which is really the only reasonable model and generally for what it is). I had a look inside the box they come in - it's a camera, router and a battery. They are all pretty large too, few minuses there. I am guessing you are paying for the software and niche market. Ignoring software, I thought, hrmmm, I can do this in my head now, so this is where I am (I will think about image editing later).
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Re: Tips for DIY target cam?

Post by sungazer » 30 Mar 2018, 9:00 pm

The Hexta antennas we use i think are lets say of the shelf products and we power them on a little 7AH battery. I will check them out over the weekend and report back.
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Re: Tips for DIY target cam?

Post by Eddie » 31 Mar 2018, 9:15 am

I have built a system from cheap banggood stuff as well. Eachine inexpensive TX and rx and used and old video camera. I use one of those ray gun shaped directional antenna for the rx. I have had it working at 900m. I need a better monitor. How did you use your tablet as Monitor?
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Re: Tips for DIY target cam?

Post by Eddie » 31 Mar 2018, 11:41 am

Sorry, read back and saw the Lieber unit for the av to tablet signal. The rx and TX i use are 5.8ghz 200m.
I see Matlab has some image processing features. I just don't know how to use it.
More surfing needed.
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Re: Tips for DIY target cam?

Post by Diddums » 11 Apr 2018, 4:14 pm

You could use a drone if you have one. Set it up stationary near the target and just stream the feed to you phone or tablet.
My DJI Mavic has a 7km range for 720p footage.
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Re: Tips for DIY target cam?

Post by sungazer » 11 Apr 2018, 5:39 pm

What sort of cost are you talking about for that drone. The 7km range is very impressive.
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Re: Tips for DIY target cam?

Post by juststarting » 11 Apr 2018, 5:43 pm

Drones use FPV cameras and rf transmitters... What I posted above, just minus the motors lol Surrounded by tech giants here lol
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Re: Tips for DIY target cam?

Post by sungazer » 11 Apr 2018, 5:47 pm

I asked that because I bet the cost difference between your solution JS and a drone would be massive.
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Re: Tips for DIY target cam?

Post by juststarting » 11 Apr 2018, 5:50 pm

The AV equipment on the drone would be the same I recon. The drone is a different story.
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Re: Tips for DIY target cam?

Post by sungazer » 11 Apr 2018, 5:57 pm

I used to be a tech giant :cry: You are making me feel very old and out of touch :violin:
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Re: Tips for DIY target cam?

Post by TassieTiger » 14 Dec 2018, 1:24 pm

This is quite interesting - has it progressed at all?

I’m toying with the idea myself - was considering cabling the distance and using a jay car door entrance cam powered by 12v inverted to 240v.

Either that or use an old work ubiquitous microwave dish to link a cheap sports action camera - daylight shooting could be powered from 200w solar panel / battery. Heck, up battery capacity and drop in some leds for night time target shooting practice at distance and watch hits in real time on tablet or laptop.
Which way to go - Bunnings often runs 250m 1.9mm dual elec cable for $70-$80...but I unscrupulous devil and cable might be dead. Hmmm...
Has anyone else done something similar ??
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