Field test of "Shooter" for Androids

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by nheninge, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. nheninge

    nheninge Well-Known Member

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    Just though I would share my experience with using the android app "shooter" on my HTC EVO.

    To make this sort of quick:

    Nothing but love for the software. Excellent job Sean!

    The hardware was most difficult to deal with.

    Problem: GPS acquisition of weather will not work without a cell phone signal
    - This has been published.
    - Our Sprint guy said the GPS chip in the EVO is actually pretty weak.
    - SO, no GPS, no cell signal, no weather acquisition.
    Solution: I use a Kestrel anyway (either manually or bluetooth)

    Problem: EVO's battery life sucks
    Solution: Put the phone on airplane mode and/or buy a 3500 mAH battery. I did both. Gorilla gadgets has this battery for 22$ and on airplane mode I only had to charge the phone once in 5 days and that was leaving it on overnight!

    Problem: my EVO does NOT tolerate the cold well (tested @ 13 deg) The touch screen interface is miserable in the cold. The touch screen interface does not work with gloves (like most touch screens) and there is no stylus pen with the unit that I know of. Either my frozen fingers would not work or the phone just crapped out, but If your touchscreen does not work, you could be seriously SOL.
    Solution: leave the most current data up on the screen to minimize the number of keystrokes you need to get your info. Do NOT rely on the touchscreen in the severe cold. I pre-printed several blank drop charts and manually write in the current estimated conditions and tape this to my stock as a backup to electronic failure. Not a perfect system, but adequate.

    Problem: EVO is not a ruggedized phone
    Solution: keep phone in small pelican case? EVO is 400$ to replace unless insured (wise investment in my opinion)

    Overall, this was a great tool, but if you are going to be in the cold and out in the boonies, plan on things not working like they do at home. Windage and elevation adjustments were spot on. I am gaining quite a measue of confidence with this program. Hopefully this review will help others prepare to use "Shooter" on other hunts. The benefits far outweigh the negatives. I like that the EVO is a phone (for emerg) a ballistic calculator, and a camera. This reduces what I call "GADGET FATIGUE" by combining all the crap I must pack with me every day of the hunt. Now if Swarovski and Kestrel would just get together...

    All comments/discussion welcome
     
  2. Firecat

    Firecat Well-Known Member

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    Sounds as if most of the Problems that you experienced were with your phone and not the program itself. I have shooter on my HTC HERO. Works like a champ. You are correct about the gps needing signal. This is because it triangulates its coordinates from the cell phone towers initially. I suppose that as the phones get better, we will become even more fond of the Shooter app. For now the Kestrel is a nice solution. You will most likely always need a wind meter when using this program. So if you have one that is blue tooth you are GTG. The app is well thought out and they are making regular tweaks to answer the desires/needs of the public.

    I appreciate your write up and it seems spot on with what I have experienced. Great app, waiting on phone to catch up.
     

  3. ICANHITHIMMAN

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

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    Wow thanks for the little bit of info. I would like to here more about the software. Will you provide your firing solutions and how spot on they were. The review of the phone was good but all you said about the software is that its awsome?
     
  4. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    I am using the "Shooter" program on my Motorola Droid X. I have not had the issues with the screen yet, but I carry it in my shirt pocket under my coat so it does not get that cold.

    My confidence levels are increasing rapidly with Shooter's firing solutions. I have 3 rifles in it so far. My 300 win, 338 Lapua and my .223 Stag ar. I have shot the AR out to 500 yards at 1 moa targets and it is spot on. I took that yote a few days ago at 1008 yards with the 300 win and again the elevation solution Shooter gave me was perfect. (http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f30/got-my-1000-yard-yote-67428/)

    By the time next hunting season rolls around I will have tested all the rifles out to their subsonic limits. But for now I feel very good with the april spring bear season coming up and my 300 win.

    Thanks for the info and write up. I will keep this in mind to keep the reliability better on my phone.

    Jeff gun)gun)
     
  5. BryanLitz

    BryanLitz <b>Official LRH Sponsor</b>

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    gseven - G7 BR2
     
  6. nheninge

    nheninge Well-Known Member

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    I elected not to post info regarding the software because it is discussed at length in another thread. Info is also on the website Shooter - Ballistics Calculator for Androidâ„¢ in much better detail than I can describe. All very accurate to what the program can do. No problems shooting to 1000 + if needed, but it all has to be validated for each rifle regardless of which program you use.

    My reason for posting is to share my experience so others can plan ahead to avoid costly errors. The water in my hydration bladder froze it was so cold! The urbanized EVO never knew life could be so rough.

    OK Bryan, the G7 seems great, but now can they put all that in a pair of swarovski binos? Just asking...
     
  7. rcdinaz

    rcdinaz Well-Known Member

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    I have not used the software yet other than playing with load data sitting in the house but it looks great. Cant wait to get it out to the range and ultimately the field.

    A little feedback on a few things that keep coming up on a lot of these posts.

    Android phone or iPod doesn't work with gloves or very cold hands: Your gloves have to be capacitive, most aren't and cold hands make it difficult as well. Best route is probably to buy a capacitive stylus (Amazon). This is a better option even without gloves in a lot of cases since it is more accurate for those that are touch challenge (otherwise known as fat a@@ fingers:D). Also the stylus can sit in your pocket and stay warm which is easier than your hands or the phone having to be warmed.

    Android without the mobile plan: Search for Android Tablet there are a bunch out now, just like an iPod touch it is not a phone. They are $200-$300

    Battery life: Any feature running will drain it but the screen brightness is the biggest factor. You can also add a CPU (power) manager to your apps but most require you to root the phone and have admin access you can do a search on this but it is way too lengthy a discussion and probably not a topic for this forum. There are entire other sites and forums dedicated to rooting and maximizing your phones battery life. Or you can by another battery for $30-$40 and not worry about it.

    Hope some of this helps!
     
  8. jthod

    jthod Active Member

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    just got this, seems like a great app, very well layed out.

    I tried a couple of the free apps, and none of them were up for the job
     
  9. nfhjr62

    nfhjr62 Well-Known Member

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    Just got a HTC Inspire phone, have looked at this app looks interesting BUT have seen NO reviews for Shooter on this phone any one have an HTC Inspire
     
  10. jthod

    jthod Active Member

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    The app should run the same, reguardless of the phone. I have it on the HTC Eris.
     
  11. Firecat

    Firecat Well-Known Member

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    The app is designed to run off of a minimum operating platform similar to how a windows program would operate. So it would be based on the platform your phone is using rather than the phone itself. I believe the inspire is the same as the Hero and that is What I am using Shooter on currently. Great Program.
     
  12. nheninge

    nheninge Well-Known Member

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    Just ordered a stylus. Thanks for the tip! Airplane mode worked awesome to conserve battery since I didn't have a signal anyway. The additional battery capacity made a HUGE difference too
     
  13. jthod

    jthod Active Member

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    For anyone with this app, or looking at getting it, I would reccomend two apps if you havn't gotten them already:

    Weatherbug
    Get Altitude

    Get Altitude uses google earth, and GPS coordinates to show altitude.

    Weatherbug is obviously a weather app, FAR better than the Weather Channel app, shows all data from the closest station, including Baro.
     
  14. rcdinaz

    rcdinaz Well-Known Member

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    If you have a GPS connection the program will fill in altitude and latitude.

    The programs you listed are still valuable though. I like "GPS Essentials" since it has a lot of information and has latitude and altitude on one screen. Also gives you a slick camera app which labels your pic with GPS info.

    Is there a quick way to get humidity & baro pressure?