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Target Video Cameras

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Snakepit, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. Snakepit

    Snakepit Member

    I could not find any recent threads about Target Video Cameras. A lot has changed in this technology in the last few years. I have noticed a few guys at our local gun range and in particular the 400 and 600 yd ranges using their own target video setups or complete kits they purchased. Does anyone out there have any experience or knowledge in this field?
  2. atblis

    atblis Well-Known Member

    I made a system using a wifi router and an IP camera. Viewable on your laptop. Have tested it out out to 1k+ yards.

    The camera and router I am using both run off of 12 Volts DC, powering it is a simple (ups batteries).

    IP camera.

    This Wifi dongle outperforms my laptops wireless card and allows for an external antenna of your choosing.

    Better antenna

    Basic Linksys router flashed with DD-WRT. I like the Buffalo routers more, but the Linksys will run directly of a regular old 12V battery.
  3. The_Next_Generation

    The_Next_Generation Well-Known Member

    atblis, care to post a picture of your setup?


    - TNG
  4. rondog

    rondog Well-Known Member

    Yeah, and a video or two also, please! This has long been a dream of mine, a video camera near the target so I could see what's happening. Or at least be able to spot my hits. It would be great for reactive targets too.
  5. esheato

    esheato Well-Known Member

    Totally interested in this also.

    Sent from my ADR6400L using Tapatalk
  6. spikedzombies

    spikedzombies Well-Known Member

    I'm currently in the process of building a unit that uses a android cell phone and a laptop/android phone/tablet, will start a thread and update later.

    Sent vs Mytouch 4G
  7. Legionnaire

    Legionnaire Well-Known Member

    I'm interested, too. Could it be as simple (not inexpensive) as an iPhone at the target relaying video to an iPad via FaceTime? Would need a good shield for the iPhone, though.
  8. atblis

    atblis Well-Known Member

    Sure. I had a previous thread about this, but the pics are gone and I've changed it since then.

    Here's the setup.
    http://filebox.vt.edu/users/atblis/tcam_ 001.JPG

    UPS battery (12 V lead acid)
    Linksys router with DD-WRT on it. Modded to provided 12V dc over the ethernet cable.
    IviewHD IP camera

    Here's a video of showing the process of browsing to the camera

    Here's a full resolution picture from the camera.

    Some general comments:

    The camera uses Power over ethernet (POE). It will take 12V DC over the Ethernet cable. The router uses 12 V as well, so I did a little soldering and the router now provides power to the camera with no extra wires. Everything is powered directly off the battery.

    I haven't had any problems lining up the camera to see the target such that it is in danger of getting shot. You'd have to miss buy a few feet to hit the camera. However, the closer to being directly square with the target, the better the image gets. I plan on making a mount for the camera that stakes into the ground, protects the camera, and allows a height adjustment. This way I can more comfortable get the camera closer. The biggest problem I have right now is having to set the camera on the ground and angle it up. This degrades the image.

    You can locate the router and battery where ever you like. I generally just put it behind the berm with only the antenna sticking up above.
  9. Snakepit

    Snakepit Member

    atblis, thanks for the information and pictures. It looks like the bullet holes show up a lot better on white background than black. How much money do you have in this setup?
  10. atblis

    atblis Well-Known Member

    Router is $50 or so (bought it from Wal-mart several years ago)
    Batteries were free, but are like $20 if you buy them.
    Camera is $100ish.

    Here's a picture with the camera better aligned. You'd still have to miss by feet to hit. Once it's armored a little, this is how I'll be using it. Also keep in mind that I took a target and slapped it on a cardboard box which pushes shut the bullet holes. A target with through holes would be much much easier to see.

    Last edited: Jan 2, 2012
  11. esheato

    esheato Well-Known Member

    I'm not the most network savvy guy...but I'll try this.

    Battery powers all, juice goes to router which then via POE powers the cam. Router transmits signal back to your laptop? Could you use a tablet? (I have a wi-fi tablet, no cell plan). You just open the wi-fi window and pick up the signal? Do you need a directional antenna or anything special to receive? Is there a refresh rate or is it "live tv"?

    It just seems too simple...and you know how that goes. ;)
  12. atblis

    atblis Well-Known Member

    It is that simple. The whole thing is just regular old internet like you use at home.

    The camera does video, but at the higher resolution the frame rate is too slow to be called video (4 per second maybe). It will also send you stills which you can refresh as needed. If you want faster video, you can lower the resolution.

    There are plenty of other cameras to chose from. This one had the highest resolution at a price I found agreeable. It is a little quirky, but for the $120 I paid for it, I don't think there's anything better. One with optical zoom, and pan and tilt would be awesome. Those get expensive quick.

    The camera uses POE mode B which should be 48V or so. However, I called the manufacturer and they told me there was a jumper setting which lets the camera run off of 12 V with the same wiring as mode B. I pulled the linksys router apart and simply soldered the power input jack connections to the appropriated header pins on the RJ45 jacks.

    With regular omni antennas 100 yards is no problem. A smartphone would probably be fine with that. The problem with a tablet or smart phone is that the internal wireless card and its antenna are probably not all that great. The Alfa usb dongle blows away any internal card I've ever used in terms of range and allows you to attach an external antenna.

    One of the Alfa usb dongles with the 7 dBi panel connecting to a DD-WRT flashed router with the power cranked up and a 10 dBi omni attached gets you to 1k easily.
  13. esheato

    esheato Well-Known Member

    You're way smarter than I on the electronics side...if you put together kits, I bet you could make some easy cash.

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