Progress on Electronic Targets

The electronic target project is moving forward fairly well.

Our target hardware has been ordered and we had planned to pick up the equipment at the State Championship at Atterbury last weekend, but Silver Mountain – the target vendor – found an issue with an upgrade.  The issue did cause some delay in the State Tournament and Dave Schnelle, the US representative for Silver Mountain decided that the upgrade that he had incorporated in our equipment was not quite ready for prime time.  There is testing going on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean and we will go pick up our equipment when the upgrade has been thoroughly checked out.

Meanwhile, we have been developing the frame that will hold the target face and the electronics.  The frame has to be rigid for accuracy, it has to fit into our existing target carriers and it has to be of a size that we can store in the target shed.  Oh yes, it has to be as light as possible, make the best use of material and be easy to duplicate.  A typical engineering problem.

The first version didn’t make the cut for rigidity – it was taken apart and reused to make the second version.  Version Two looked pretty good, so I took it out to the range and did fit checks with the target carrier and the target shed.  It fits both places – no problems.

We have a set of sensor mounts coming to let us move forward with locating them on the frame, and we are ordering the Coroplast plastic sheeting for the actual target base and the target face material. (Of course it takes one thickness for the target base and another for the locating matrix and the actual target face.)  If all goes well, we will have everything come together about the same time and we can start checking out how to run the system.  I plan to have several evening sessions at the range to teach folks how to run the shooter and scorer interfaces on their SmartPhones, Tablets, IPads or whatever so we don’t have to learn the system at the same time we’re trying to shoot a match.

Update; 28 October

I’ve built the third version of a frame that solves a couple of issues with the second version. It is lighter, and it has more open space for target face indexing mounts. This one looks pretty good.

Target Frame with positioning brackets

And, with a target face holder in place

Then, to top things off, Mark Richard delivered the Silver Mountain Target hardware. Everything was in the boxes like we had ordered and now I’m trying to figure out how to run the software as a User, Admin and Ranger Officer.

Christmas in October!

I’m trying to get out to the range to check out how to mount the SOLO target unit, the antenna and how to run the cables around the frame to keep them as far from harm’s way as I can. Then, we calibrate the target face in the frame and we see how it works!