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Forums Field Target Field Target Talk No strings attached

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    Scotchmo
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +28

    This is a about an idea/invention of one of our club members and a friend of mine, John Bergquist. He graciously runs FT matches at his Cambria ranch, usually by invitation, mostly for our local club members. During these Covid years we have been using his course almost exclusively for our monthly matches. A few years ago, he had a breadboard version of an auto-reset field target that he used at a couple of his matches. It had a few glitches but it was fun when it worked since it also had audio feedback (in that instance, a rooster target with rooster sound). He is a retired electronics engineer and I'm a retired mechanical engineer. A few months ago, we were discussing what projects we wanted to do in the coming year. I suggested that he pursue that auto-reset target and I would help him with the mechanical aspect if he did so.

     

    He worked out all the electronics with some improvements for reliability and then went to a short run production of circuit boards. I worked on the mechanicals which were mostly 3D printed. By rev-B of the circuit board it was working good. So we built enough so that I could replace all the strings on our Gamo field targets for matches at the SLSBA range, and he would do the same for his range. Currently, they are designed to attach to stock Gamo and Umarex targets.

     

    I brought targets down to Los Angeles to use in a CASA match last weekend. They all worked perfectly and I got some good feedback from the competitors.

     

    This coming weekend, we'll be shooting John's targets at the Cambria match. The smallest batteries give about 400 cycles on a charge, but the device can hold a larger battery that should last 1000 cycles before recharging. John typically keeps his targets out year round so he added some solar chargers to keep them charged month to month. He also added PA speakers to the farthest targets so they could be heard better. We will see how everything holds up leaving them out year round. The strings were always the worst part as they got drug around and chewed by wild animals between matches.

     

    Three of us (John Bergquist, Scott English, Scott Hull) met at the ranch this morning to do some target maintenance and add the auto-reset devices. We finished early this afternoon and left the targets turned "on" and ready for the match on Sunday. Box of reset mechanisms ready to be installed:

    Far targets with solar chargers and PA speakers. Some of the other targets are hidden back in the forest, and with no strings to follow, we decided numbers at each targets location would be prudent:

     

    I'm looking forward to the match.

    • This topic was modified 1 week ago by Scotchmo.
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    Dcorvino
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +3

    Excellent worK!!

    Thank you for the post and pictures.

    Look forward to reading more about your progress. 
     

    Dave 

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    Ezana4CE
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +24

    That’s hard core!! I love the ingenuity and team work.  Well done!

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    BC
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +0

    WOW, good job guys.  Those look great. I look forward to shooting some of those one  day…….BC

    • This reply was modified 1 week ago by BC.
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    DaveyCockett
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +1

    Wonderful! My only question would be how durable are they? Lets just say one of those pesky springer guys miss really bad and hit one?

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    Garrettkq
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +1

    This is fantastic. And the possibilities are endless with creative add-ons 

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    steve123
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +21

    Love the innovation!

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    tnbndr
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +0

    Interesting, be nice to see a video of it resetting.

    What voltage/batteries are you using to power?

    I have been working on a similar device to reset the 5 hole knock down target using a 12V linear actuator with a 18V Milwaukee Tool Battery.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/193548738873?var=493772541268

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    Scotchmo
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +28

    DaveyCockett

    Wonderful! My only question would be how durable are they? Lets just say one of those pesky springer guys miss really bad and hit one?

    We are testing a couple of different designs of steel shields. The units with only external speakers or no speakers are easy enough to protect:

    For units with internal speakers, we use a front guard, but the speaker-horn/rain-shield could still be susceptible to errant shots if from a high downward angle (i.e. gully shots), and some face plates shapes provide more protection than others. We could make the guard higher for targets that will be down hill:

    Video of target reset device

     

    • This reply was modified 1 week ago by Scotchmo.
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    Scotchmo
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +28

    tnbndr

    Interesting, be nice to see a video of it resetting.

    What voltage/batteries are you using to power?

    I have been working on a similar device to reset the 5 hole knock down target using a 12V linear actuator with a 18V Milwaukee Tool Battery.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/193548738873?var=493772541268

    We wanted a low cost option that would give sufficient performance. We are using 7.4v batteries and could use a number of different types. Currently using batteries like these:

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005001383084087.html

    We could also use 9v batteries. John has a few of the biathlon type targets on his course with 5 holes. He is also looking at automating those. Considering several options for what would provoke a reset.

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    Scotchmo
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +28

    Garrettkq

    This is fantastic. And the possibilities are endless with creative add-ons 

    That's true. It has an 8bit processor with enough memory and channels to perform multiple functions. Currently, the only ports are power input/output and auxiliary sound output. It's a magnetic connector that cycles power-out and sound-out with each knockdown. We used the port to trigger a counter when we cycle tested for battery life. Sound can be any sound file. The sound file is on an SD card that plugs into the circuit board.

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    Garrettkq
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +1

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    Scotchmo
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +28

    Video of cycle test from last week

    The worst battery of these two went 400 cycles before running too low. That was with the small batteries.

    • This reply was modified 1 week ago by Scotchmo.
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    Healthservices
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +4

    So I guess I have to ask the question that has not been asked yet.  How expensive were they to make? Do you plan to sell these or offer plans so we can print and assemble our own?

     

    Thank you

     

    Allen

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    K
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +1

    Cool.
     

    Can you hook a string up to the block for wind reading? LOL

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    dayjd
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +1

    Scott, I love the idea and you guys should market them when you feel they are ready. Virtual Targets …….Wow!

    I would say Good Luck with the project but it appears you are almost there!

    Bill Day 

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    Scotchmo
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +28

    Healthservices

    So I guess I have to ask the question that has not been asked yet.  How expensive were they to make? Do you plan to sell these or offer plans so we can print and assemble our own?

     

    Thank you

     

    Allen

    John and I did most of the work, so the units were not that much. About $26 in materials to make each unit that attaches to an existing target. If we order the circuit boards stuffed and plastic parts already printed, then it's probably in the $80-$120 range just for parts in runs of 50 to 100's of units. If we have them assembled and tested than $85 or $90 minimum. Add in a reasonable profit and it's well over $100. Prices could come down a lot if it was tooled up for larger quantities (in the 1000's of units) but I don't think the market is there for that volume. John and I are talking about options to get units out there but I'm not interested in starting a business to do so (I'm retired). I'm pushing for an open source project/kit and then let others make one or more of their own units, but there are some other considerations and it's not my decision. For the next few months, they will be used at West Coast matches as we work out some bugs and see how they perform longer term.

    I shot a match today that used the devices on a few Gamo targets, but mostly Crosman field targets with custom faceplates and some Gamo faceplates. The Crosmans were all fine and the devices generally worked well on the Crosman targets, but there were a couple of hangups during the reset attributable to the differences on the Crosman paddles. I don't think Crosman sells those targets anymore but the fix for the units is already being incorporated in the devices. We had one arm break on a unit, after the match, as it was used for practice shooting. No determination yet why that happened, though that arm can easily be made stronger. I'll post updates in the coming months.

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    ScottEnglish
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +1

    It was a great field target match today. The auto resettable targets worked perfectly.  I am always impressed with the quality and ingenuity of FT shooters.  John and Scott really are on to something here.  It is the future of FT targets.

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    Garrettkq
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +1

    Now all ya need to do is get a wifi card to swipe at every lane and auto tabulate on a mainframe LOL 

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    PHeplerNC
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +25

    I really like this idea and think it's awesome! Even if you had just one of these at your local match it would add interest and excitement. 
    I also wonder if a heavy duty version of this would work for Extreme Field Target and alleviate the need for a LONG pull cord?

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