February 16th, 2016

Affordable New Caldwell Long-Range Target Camera System

Caldwell Ballistic Precision LR Target Camera

Over the past five years we’ve tested many target cams. Important qualities you’ll want in a target cam system are: ease of set-up, good video resolution, effective range (good signal quality/strength), and the ability to use WiFi-enabled devices for viewing. Caldwell’s new Long-Range Target Camera offers all these things, making it an impressive new product for the price — $357.02 at Midsouth Shooters Supply. If this target camera system proves rugged and reliable, then we predict it will be a big seller for Caldwell. (There are other target cam systems on the market that cost twice as much, yet lack key features of the Caldwell system). We recommend you watch the video — it shows the complete set-up process and how to use the free App.

This video shows system set-up and actual Target Cam output on a WiFi-enabled tablet:

The Ballistic Precision LR Target Camera by Caldwell is a complete kit with video camera, long-range trasmitter/antenna, base receiver, mounting stands, batteries, battery chargers, and fitted storage case. This system allows you to stream HD video to any WiFi-enabled smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Caldwell claims a range (in ideal conditions) of up to one mile. Based on our experience with similar systems, that may be a bit optimistic, but we see no reason why this could not be a solid 1000-yard system, given good line-of-sight from transmitter to receiver. This Caldwell system features both an elevated transmitter and an elevated receiver. That should provide good broadcast + reception capability over long range. An elevated transmitter works better in typical terrain than systems placed on the ground. The Caldwell LR Target Camera is so new that we have not yet tested it, so we can not verify range. But it appears that Caldwell did its engineering homework. We do wish, however, that Caldwell had shielded the camera in an armored housing.

Caldwell Ballistic Precision LR Target Camera

The Caldwell LR Target Camera is very versatile, allowing you to both watch and record video and/or stills on any WiFi-enabled device. Rechargeable lithium ion batteries will run the target cam up to to 6 hours continuously. (For extended use there’s an external power jack). A free iOS/Android Mobile App allows you to record video, save still pictures, add notes, calculate group size, and save session info.

    Caldwell LR Target Camera Features:
    — High Definition (720p) camera delivers sharp image with good detail.
    — WiFi output is compatible with Android, iPhone and most tablets.
    — System can stream live HD video, record video, and save still images.
    — Camera, transmitter, and receiver are contained in sturdy, waterproof housings.
    — Breaks down into custom-fitted storage case for easy transport.
    — Rechargeable Lithium-Ion batteries for extended use.
    — External power jack for more permanent installation.
    — Target Camera Mobile App for iOS and Android devices.
    — Includes two collapsible, tripod-base Antenna/router stands.
    — Positionable, spring-loaded camera clamp.

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April 21st, 2015

Deep Creek Drone — High Definition Bird’s Eye View Movie

The Deep Creek Range near Missoula, Montana, is one of the best 1000-yard ranges in the country. Many long-range benchrest records have been set in this scenic, tree-lined facility. Now, thanks to Forum member David Gosnell (aka “Zilla”), you can see Deep Creek from the air. David attached a High-Def video camera to a quad-rotor drone. He then flew the drone over the Deep Creek Range, soaring from firing line to the target bay and back again. We think you’ll like this video. It gives you a “birds-eye view” of one of America’s elite ranges. Enjoy.

deep creek range Missoula Montana

(more…)

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November 17th, 2012

2300-Yard Target Cam System — Components and Set-Up

Last week we featured a cool video put together by Forum Member Mark Dalzell (aka “MDSlammer”). The video shows Mark and a couple of his shooting buddies engaging a steel target at 2300 yards (1.3 miles). In order to see both hits and misses at that extreme range, Mark assembled a target-cam system that broadcasts multiple video cam feeds wirelessly to a receiver on the firing line. Down-range, Mark positioned a high-gain antenna. This was key — without the antenna the system’s useful range was less than 1000 yards. But with the hi-gain antenna Mark gets very clear signals from 2300 yards.

Mark’s video was very popular with our readers. Quite a few guys asked for technical details so they could start assembling a similar system. To explain the components and set-up of his 2300-yard target cam system, Mark has made a 10-minute video that shows the equipment and explains how all the gear is hooked up. Mark system uses a KW7305 2.4 Ghz, 8-channel A/V transmitter/receiver kit ($269.00), powered by Li-Ion batteries ($125.00 with charger) that offer about 3 hours of run-time. The video camera was a Panasonic HDC SD-60 with 35X zoom ($350.00). The antenna is a 2.4 Ghz 24 DBI Grid unit (model # HG2424EG-NG), that cost just $45.00 plus another $29.00 for cabling. To see how this all functions at long range, watch the video below.

Watch This 10-Minute Video to See Components of 2300-yard Target-Cam System

While Mark positioned his hi-gain antenna downrange near the target, you can, alternatively, set the hi-gain antenna at the firing line and point it downrange at the transmitter. Mark says that either configuration will work, as long as the hi-gain antenna is aimed carefully. You also need to elevate both Transmitter and Receiver antennas. Mark mounted his receiver on top of a 10-foot-tall Century C-Stand near the shooting station. From there he could watch bullet impacts on his 7″ Marshall color monitor placed on a portable bench.

Mark Dalzell Long Range video target camera

Mark Dalzell Long Range video target camera

Mark Dalzell Long Range video target camera

Mark tells us the whole system was affordable (under $1100.00 for everything including monitor and antenna), and it was easy to set up. Mark encourages readers who’ve been thinking about building a similar system for their long range shooting sessions: “The hardware is not difficult to configure… if I can do it, anyone certainly can.”

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October 31st, 2012

Target-Sight.com Turnkey 1000-Yard Target-Cam System

When you’re practicing or developing loads at long range, it can be a challenge to see your bullet holes on the target, even with a premium spotting scope. Yes, when viewing conditions are perfect, a top spotting scope such as the 88mm Kowa Prominar can resolve 6mm bullet holes at 600 yards and beyond. However, when there is dust or mist in the air, or when the mirage gets thick and heavy, even the best spotting scope may be unable to resolve bullet holes clearly at just 300 yards.

That’s why, if you do much long-range shooting, you should consider getting a wireless target-cam system. This combines a video camera placed near the target with a monitor on your shooting bench. The image from the camera is sent wirelessly to a receiver hooked up to your monitor. With a good camera and quality electronics, a target-cam system can provide sharp images out to 1000 yards.

Target-sight.com Target Camera Video

Until recently, good “turnkey” target-cam systems have been expensive — $1400.00 and up. Guys who couldn’t afford this investment have tried cobbling together systems from various parts. Sometimes the “home-built” systems work, but sometimes they are disappointing.

Turnkey Target-Cam Systems Starting at $725.00
Now Target-Sight.com offers complete Target-Cam systems starting at $725.00 (for 600-yard system). This includes everything you need: 27X Sony Video Camera, transmitter, receiver, color monitor, three Li-Ion batteries, AC adapters/battery chargers, and even the tripod. Or $800.00 buys Target-Sight’s complete 1000-yard system. It includes the same package of components, but with extended range.

Dan Norgrove, the man behind Target-Sight.com, has been able to source quality electronic components at very good prices. Accordingly, you may be able to buy a complete, field-tested Target-Sight system, for not much more than the cost of buying the hardware yourself. And if you put together a bunch of miscellaneous parts, you can’t be confident that they will all work together optimally. The Target-Sight systems work, have good battery life, and everything arrives in one box — delivered with free shipping.

We know that folks considering target-cam systems are justifiably cautious before they shell out hundreds of bucks. You want to be assured that the system is easy to set-up, functions right, and that the image on the monitor is sharp and clear. To satisfy those concerns, Dan Norgrove has created a video showing his Target-Sight system in use in the field. This video shows the actual image on the Monitor from a target-cam placed 300 yards away. (Please note this video is slow in sections because the field test is an uninterrupted “single take”. That way you can be confident there were no tricks done during the editing. What you see is what you get.)

Watch Target-Sight.com Target-Cam Field Test

Target-Sight Target Cam Systems:

600-yd system: $725 + free shipping
1000-yd system: $800 + free shipping

1-Year Warranty on All Systems
Spare Parts Available

To order call 1-509-982-0077
(11 am – 7 pm PST Mon-Friday)

Target-Sight.com
18100 Zagelow Rd. North
Odessa, WA 99159

Target-Sight Video Camera
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February 13th, 2012

Compact Video Cam Records What You See Through Scope

Idaho-based Hooker Tactical Safety & Defense has introduced an interesting new product that records images and video directly from your scope’s eyepiece, while still allowing the shooter to look through the scope. This system, dubbed the Third-Eye Sharp Shooter Eye-Cam (“Eye-Cam”), fits a small (8 oz.) video camera directly to the eyepiece of a riflescope. The Eye-Cam outputs live video to an iPhone, lap-top computer, or DVR. One can easily imagine the benefits of such a system for tactical and law enforcement marksmen, as well as game hunters. The key elements of a tactical engagement can be recorded, in real time, for later review and analysis. Or a hunter can record the results of his shot at a “once-in-a-lifetime” bull elk.

Hooker Tactical Sharp Shooter Eye-Cam

No Scope Modifications Required
The water-, shock-, and dust-resistant Eye-Cam is easily installed, with no modifications to your scope. Your scope’s zoom, elevation, and windage controls are not altered, and there are no changes to point of aim or point of impact. Unlike most other video adapters for scopes, the compact Eye-Cam does NOT block off the shooter’s view through the eye-piece. You can continue to use the scope normally. Hooker Tactical claims that the Eye-Cam does not distort or change the image viewed through the scope: “The clarity of the image… is as accurate and dependable as if the [Eye-Cam] was not there.”

Comment: Despite Hooker’s claims, we do suspect that the shooter would notice a slight reduction in brightness, and possible softening of focus at the edges — simply as the result of having another piece of glass placed between his eye and the scope’s actual eyepiece.

Hooker Tactical Sharp Shooter Eye-CamSharp Shooter Eye-Cam Costs $2370.00
The Hooker Tactical Eye-Cam retails for $2370.00. It weighs just 8 ounces. Hooker offers a variety of flexible collars that fit over scope eyepieces, allowing the Eye-Cam to be adapted to most popular scopes. Eye-Cams ship with collar of choice, video cables, power cable, 9-volt power supply, and a handy storage pouch. Hooker Tactical stands behind its product with a 2-year unconditional warranty for repair and replacement “with proper usage”. For more info, visit www.HookerTactical.com, or call Hooker Tactical at (208) 527-3395.

Click Here for Sharp Shooter Brochure PDF | Click Here for Sharp Shooter Spec Sheet PDF

Editor’s Comment: This is an intriguing product. While the Eye-Cam’s utility for hunters and law enforcement marksmen is obvious, we think the Eye-Cam could benefit competition shooters as well. The Eye-Cam could be particularly effective in shooter training, allowing a coach to see how well his student actually responds to hold-off calls and wind reads. The recorded video could also allow a shooter to review the effects of mirage as he proceeded through a course of fire. Video would also help a shooter develop techniques to hold the gun more steady and have a better follow-through.

While the Hooker Tactical Eye-Cam is very expensive ($2370.00), we think this is the predecessor of future products that will provide a variety of digital viewing/recording options for rifle shooters. As such products evolve (and become more affordable), we predict digital viewing technology will benefit precision shooters in many ways.

Low-Cost Alternative
MeoPix iPhone Adapter for Spotting Scopes
The Third-Eye Sharp Shooter Eye-Cam costs a whopping $2370.00. For a tiny fraction of that price (about $70), Meopta’s MeoPix digi-scoping adapter lets you record stills and movies directly to an iPhone from a spotting scope.

Though you won’t be able to record what you actually see through your riflescope, the Meopta adapter will perform many of the functions of the Eye-Cam, such as recording the results of hunting shots — so long as you’ve got your spotter aimed at the target. Meopta’s simple but cleverly-designed MeoPix lets you easily record photos and videos from your range and hunting sessions. Anything you can see through the spotting scope can be captured by an iPhone. Hunters can capture images of distant prey, and record successful shots on game.

The MeoPix bracket is a universal-type device that was developed to allow the iPhone 4 or 4s models to interface with ANY binocular or spotting scope eyepiece (fitted cup required). When mated to a long-range optic, the MeoPix transforms a smart phone into a handy, long-range photo and movie capturing tool. The Apple-approved MeoPix adapter attaches securely to the iPhone. Meopta claims the MeoPix bracket ensures precise alignment and excellent image quality.

Eye-Cam Tip by EdLongRange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 9 Comments »
February 7th, 2011

PSW Wireless Target Viewing Video System — Field-Tested

When conditions are absolutely perfect, you can see 6mm bullet holes (in the white) at 600 yards with a premium spotting scope (with at least 45x magnification). But add some haze and mirage into the mix and all bets are off. This weekend, we tested three top-of-the-line “big name” spotting scopes. All three had at least 60X magnification, all had HD glass, and the average price of the three units was over $2500.00 with eyepiece. Even with all those pricey, state-of-the-art optics, on Saturday we couldn’t see bullet holes at 400 yards because of thick mirage and dust in the air.

Quality Target Cams Can Provide Reliable Viewing from 50 yards to 1000+ yards
What can you do if you want to practice at long ranges, and see your bullet impacts — reliably, every time? There are electronic target systems that plot shot locations with sonic sensors or accelerometers, but these are large, complex, semi-permanent installations costing many thousands of dollars. For most shooters, the only practical, field-deployable solution is a quality, wireless target cam system. You can source the necessary components — video camera, transceivers, antennas, batteries, display screen — or you can purchase a turn-key system. There are a handful of target cam systems now marketed for shooters. We’ve tried a couple that did not perform as claimed. But one system that we can endorse without reservation is the Target Cam System from Pro Security Warehouse (PSW). We purchased PSW’s Long-Range Wireless Target Observation System and have tested it outdoors extensively. With a well-illuminated target, this system will reliably display even .22 caliber bullet holes in the black, at distances out to 1000 yards. In order to see bullet holes in the black you may have to increase the contrast or adjust the brightness — but that’s a simple matter of clicking a couple control buttons. During daylight hours, we could easily see all bullet holes, with the camera displaying an area about two feet by two feet square. When shooting at night, you need to illuminate the target with lights.

PSW Target Cam System

PSW Target Cam SystemPSW Wireless Video Viewing System Components
The PSW Target Cam System costs $1499.00 but that includes everything you need, even tripod and batteries. The target image is captured by a high-resolution, auto-focus color camera with 22X max magnification and motorized zoom. This can be set as far as 30 feet from the target, but we got the best results with the camera positioned about 10 feet from the target, on one side of the target frame. The camera connects to a digital wireless multi-channel transceiver (with high-gain antenna) clamped to the same tripod that holds the camera. A sealed, rechargeable 12V gel cell battery will run the camera for a full day’s worth of shooting.

Pro Security Warehouse Target Cam System Brochure (PDF).

For the shooter’s station, PSW provides a compact transceiver (the size of a smart-phone), plus a rugged color monitor in a padded carry pack. These are likewise powered by a rechargeable 12V battery. Initially, we suspected the 5.6″ monitor was a little on the small size, but it proved more than adequate in use. With the monitor positioned a couple feet from your rifle (either on the bench or on the ground when shooting prone), you can easily see scoring rings, score numbers, and, of course, bullet holes. You may want to fiddle with the color and contrast controls to create the best definition for viewing bullet holes in the black. The resolution is good enough that we could easily make out “doubles” where two 6mm shots landed virtually on top of one another.

PSW Target Cam System

One smart feature is that the target display is set for a short time delay. This allows you to turn your head from sights or scope to the display screen and see the bullet hole “arrive” on paper a few seconds after the actual hit. Being able to actually see the bullet hole appear on the target helps you quickly locate the latest shot even if there is a cluster of bullet holes close together. That’s smart engineering.

The PSW system works really well. We have no negatives to report — everything performed as advertised. Are there any improvements/enhancements we would like? Yes — it would be nice if the receiver could output to a laptop computer, so you’d have the option of a larger display screen and so you could capture video of shot strings. We would like PSW to offer an optional, small solar panel that could trickle-charge the unit during use. Lastly, we would like to see PSW offer a lower-cost system that could be used with a user-supplied video camera. We know many shooters already own small video cameras, and this could reduce the overall “buy-in” cost of the system.

Certainly, $1499.00 for the complete PSW system is not cheap. However, when you consider that the PSW wireless viewing system reliably displays bullet holes at long range in all daylight viewing conditions — something not even a $3500.00 spotting scope can do — the system is worth the money for shooters who practice at long ranges. Interestingly, all four testers who looked through the top-end spotting scopes agreed that they would rather have this $1500.00 target cam AND a $1000.00 spotting scope rather than a $2500.00+ spotting scope alone. To learn more about the PSW Target Cam system visit www.ProSecurityWarehouse.com or call (407) 447-1637.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product, Optics 2 Comments »
January 10th, 2011

Starrett KineScope — Precision 40X-140X Macro Video Camera

Kinescope Video CameraStarrett, maker of precision measuring tools, has released a very cool digital magnifier. The Starrett KineScope can be hooked up to your laptop or home computer to provide close-up views of gun parts, tool edges, bullet tips, sear surfaces — any small object you want to see in great detail. The KineScope offers 40x to 140x magnification, adjustable with a simple slider on the device. The KineScope connects to your computer’s USB port and VLink imaging software is included. Output resolution is 640×480 pixels.

The KineScope is basically a miniature digital video camera, with precision optics and built-in LED lighting. To use, simply place the KineScope over the object and view the image on your computer monitor. You can capture still images, video, even time-lapse sequences. The video below show how you can easily take precise measurements (including circular diameters). You can also draw lines or annotate the captured images with labels or time stamps. LINK: Kinescope Product Brochure (PDF).

YouTube Preview Image

KineScope for Measuring Benchrest Group Sizes?
With the ability to measure circles, the KineScope could be the ultimate group-size measuring instrument. Will benchrest scorers use such a device some day? It certainly would be more precise than the plastic scoring templates commonly used today. With 140X magnification on tap, the KineScope gives scorers the ability to measure shot holes with extreme precision. However, that precision doesn’t come cheap. Starrett’s KineScope retails for a whopping $831.25. (Source: Manson Tool & Supply.)

Credit Research Assistant Edlongrange for finding the Starrett KineScope.
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