Cheap Target Cam in Your Picket

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Nimrodmar10, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. Nimrodmar10

    Nimrodmar10 Well-Known Member

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    Okay, I haven't tried this yet but I'm sure it will work.
    Unfortunately most of my long range shooting is solo. Just no one interested in my area. I'm in the middle of working up drop tables for a new 338 Lapua Mag. Trying to shoot groups past 500 yards can be a pain so I got to thinking about a target camera. I was wondering what kind of wireless camera they had that could transmit 1000 yards or more. I figured it must be cellular of some sort, like the trail cameras that send the photos to your phone or email. Then I realized I had one in my pocket. I use my Droid Bionic to video chat with my daughter at college so why not use it as a target camera. I'm figuring that all I need is a second smart phone with a video chat application like Skype or Tango. I simply call from one phone to the other and set up the video call. Leave one camera near the target, but in a safe spot, and carry the second phone to the firing line with me. Easy Peasy. The 8 mega-pixel HD camera on the Droid should work great.With unlimited mobile to mobile calling it's evenyfree. If anyone has already tried it, let us know how it worked.
     
  2. Outlaw6.0

    Outlaw6.0 Well-Known Member

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    Wouldn't you have to add another smart phone to your plan? That can't be cheap!:D There was a fantastic article on Snipers Hide (IIRC) that outlined the entire process with a video camera, transmitter power source etc that was recieved at the shooting spot & viewed via laptop. Cost was actually quite reasonable & with the available equipment the builder was confident reception could be possible up to 1 mile... Part numbers, websites & costs were all included in the post.... very good read.

    I am interested in your idea though, not nearly as much gear to haul around & worry about perforating! gun)
     

  3. rcdinaz

    rcdinaz Well-Known Member

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    It is a good idea but i am not sure about battery life or picture resolution from a distance. Probably okay once you figure out how to mount it and keep it running.

    I put together one for < $300, depending which antenna I decide to use. The routers are cheap and most of the expense is in finding a camera with an Ethernet port. I am using a cheap IP camera and a Yagi antenna right now but this antenna fades quickly after 500yds so I am still testing.

    Good luck!
     
  4. Nimrodmar10

    Nimrodmar10 Well-Known Member

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    I have multiple smart phones on my plan already so there's no added expense. Since it's cellular you can watch the target from anywhere in the country. The battery on my Bionic will transmit for like two hours and I have a spare. Can't wait to actually try it.I should be able to save a lot of time and energy not having to run back and forth to the target.
     
  5. rcdinaz

    rcdinaz Well-Known Member

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    Good point and you got me thinking... I have an iPad and a laptop with cellular broadband so I could in theory view on a larger high res screen that would stand on its own. Interesting what software do you use? Is it just the native webcam?

    I need to find an app that lets me use my old Samsung Fascinate send live video.
     
  6. rcdinaz

    rcdinaz Well-Known Member

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    okay figured it out! I guess my day off is somewhat productive.

    Add Tango to your phone, iPad, etc. Set up accounts for each number and call the iPad. Tango does not work on the laptop ooVoo and Skype do it may save tie to just choose ooVoo for all. ooVoo also allows multiple calls so you could use the two phones you have on two separate targets and view both on another device.

    Now I just need to see if you can see a bullet hole in the small screen and this is a slick setup as long as you have cell service.

    Good creative thinking Nimrod!
     
  7. Nimrodmar10

    Nimrodmar10 Well-Known Member

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    Also just realized I can turn on the WiFi Hotspot on my Droid and use a WiFi camera at the target and watch it from either a smartphone or laptop. Several possibilities.
     
  8. rcdinaz

    rcdinaz Well-Known Member

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    Nimrod can you give some details on how you would do this?

    Obviously you need power for the camera which is easy enough with a small 12V battery and a couple of alligator clips. Not sure how you get the camera picture to show up on the phone? I have to use a router to do this on the laptop. Do you create an IP address for your phone so it can be broadcast via the a website?
     
  9. Nimrodmar10

    Nimrodmar10 Well-Known Member

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    First remember that this is all theorhetical since I haven't done it yet but the technology is pretty straight forward.

    The Droid has a built in application which will turn it into a Wifi Hotspot, which is the same as an internet router. (You can use this factory app called "Mobile Hotspot on the Droid from Verizon, and pay a monthly fee for the data, or you can download a program from the market that will let you do it for free if you already have a data plan.) That means that any device that is Wifi capable, such as a Wifi video camera, can connect to the internet through the phone. It will be assigned an IP (internet protcol) address and can be accessed from anywhere that you have an internet connection. That's the same way that security systems work that allow the home or business owner to watch the cameras from anywhere you can get on the internet.

    That takes care of the target end. To view the picture from the firing line all you nee is a smartphone or laptop computer that has internet access and a web browser, which they all do. Just open the browser, type the IP address in the address line of the browser and you should be able to see the live video of the target.

    Now if you want to just use two smartphones to do this, all you have to have is two phones with internet access and a built in video camera. Download either Tango or Skype from the Market (Droid) or from Apple Itune Store (Iphone) Set the phones up as video conference contacts and dial one phone from the other and start a video phone call. Point one camera phone at the target close enough to see the bullet holes, but far enough that they don't take a bullet. Take the second phone to the firing line and start shooting. If you're going to be having a long shooting session, take a small 12 volt battery, connect a female cigerette lighter plug to the battery and plug up your mobil phone charger to the lighter plug. The battery will last for weeks. Do the same at the firing line end or plug into a near by 110 recepticle if you have one. Now if your shooting session will only be for an hour or two, you don't need the big batteries. The phone battery will last long enough is it's fully charged.

    Now, I'm pretty phone and computer savy, but I haven't actually tried this set up yet. If anyone sees a hole in my logic, please let me know and save us all a lot of trouble trying to get this going. Or if you've got any suggestions to simplify it, better yet.

    Let us know if anyone gets this going before I do. Thanks.
    Nimrodmar10
     
  10. rcdinaz

    rcdinaz Well-Known Member

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    I did this via ooVoo and it does work I just have not seen how much distance my Samsung Fascinate can cover and still resolve the bullet holes. With cell coverage the pic is chippy but there is no movement with a target so it should be good to go. The iPad is a much better viewer but the phone transmits less pixels so you get that stretched out image on the iPad, should still work.

    For the IP camera I cant test this becuase the one I have goes through the router I don't believe it has it's own signal/IP address it uses the linkys address/coding to show an image at the address. You can view this on the phone, laptop, or iPad which is convenient!

    I use the hotspot feature all of the time and checked the app I used and it does have a pretty straight forward IP address that pops up. Will investigate the wireless IP camera option this weekend to see how this might work as well.

    Thanks for the details on your thoughts so far most of this has worked I just tend to over think and make some of these things too complex.
     
  11. clemens

    clemens Well-Known Member

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    That sounds like fun! Better hope one is johnny on the spot with windage corrections or it be good by cell phone. Explain that one to cell company for replacement, would be interesting indeed. Be sending it back in a sandwich bag if there is anything left besides dust:rolleyes::D
     
  12. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

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    This is a good idea but the one hang up for me and anyone who lives in a rural place is that the cell phones don't hook up. It takes a quad ride and a 10-15 minute hike to get to my 800 and 1000 yard targets. That part sucks especially when hear alone and shooting.

    Have done some research but not for a couple years and the few things I have found have been to spendy. If any of you guys come up with a reasonable way of monitoring a distant target that does not require a phone connection please post your ideas and lets knock it around.
     
  13. rcdinaz

    rcdinaz Well-Known Member

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    Jim, I mentioned how to do this earlier, here is a break down of what you can do.

    Security camera (ethernet connectable): $100-$200 depending on features
    Router (with external antenna): $30-$75
    Laptop w/ USB port (assuming everyone has one)
    High gain antenna, a few options but a yagi (15 db) is the cheapest and can be had on eBay for $30 - $75
    If additional signal range is still needed you could add a second antenna.
    Tripod or some way to mount camera/router (elevation of signal is your friend, the higher the better)
    Power to run router & camera, 12v battery: $15-$40. You can use an atv/ motorcycle battery or a UPS from radio shack and have power for over a day no problem.

    It takes a little time to configure the router and the IP address and add the software to your laptop but it is not terribly difficult. I wil have about $225 into mine but I had an old router on its way to be recycled I used.

    Let me know if you need more details, there was another link/post in the site as well. I hope to have mine setup in some kind of case and working for a shoot at 1k by the end of the month. So far I have successfully tested to just over 600 yds. With the antennas a clear line of site is critical after 600yds which I could not get set up in town. I got nervous someone would call the cops since people are so up about guys aiming cameras and antennas down their street these days. :rolleyes:
     
  14. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

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    Hey thanks for the info. I'm gonna run this by a couple of neighbors that are in the same boat as I and see what we come up with.

    With a clean line of sight and the right router could the signal be sent a 1000 yards? The software you refer to would come each with the router and the camera right?

    I may PM you after I talk with my buddies for more info.