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Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2019 4:23 am

Target Camera for Long Range Shooting - Intrigued?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 5:14 am

In a nutshell, I am building a camera that I can put downrange, in front of my target. It will stream video over WiFi to my laptop or iPad on my shooting bench, allowing me to see where my shot hit without the hassle of a spotting scope.

When I started working through the different ways of achieving this, I explored several methods, including using drone cameras or security system cameras with RF transmitters. These seemed to be viable options due to existing components and a big community to draw experience from. The biggest downside I had was the cost was going to be significantly more than going with a Raspberry Pi board and camera.

I thought my big obstacle with RPi was going to be getting the range I need to transmit up to 1000 yards. After doing much research, I opted to get a prebuilt Yagi antenna that screwed right on to a USB WiFi adapter. I got a security camera shell that mounts to a tripod, which I connect the antenna to. I finally have all of the parts (battery, and miscellaneous connectors and a switch), and have it all assembled. It all fits together perfectly! I can post some pictures if anyone is interested.

I am using a RPi Zero W board and a V1 camera module. I still haven't figured out my ideal way to stream the video yet (ideally, I will be able to access the feed right over a web browser on any device), but I am able to start a stream and view it with mplayer on my Mac through the command line. I will try to get this more dialed in later.

My issue is with the networking. When I am at the rifle range, I do not really need or want the pi to connect to the internet, though it would be nice when I am home (so I can do updates if needed). I want the RPi to be an AP that will run DHCP and issue IPs so I can connect devices to it.

I was able to install RaspAP, and get it working, but it had the wlan0 and wlan1 set up in the opposite positions. It was using the onboard as the LAN side (broadcasting SSID and connecting devices through it). I have not found any good demo or tutorial on how to change them. I have tried few things, but have only managed to break it and have to restart. That has been as close I have gotten. I could use some help getting this configured, or a different software solution. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Re: Target Camera for Long Range Shooting - Intrigued?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 3:52 pm

Thats a novel use for a Pi :lol:

Depending on how brave you are (and having spare SD card to try this on), this issue may help

Looking at the read me you may be able to change things over int eh main menus (configure hotspot and client options) but may need to change / duplicate the /etc/sudoers entries with wlan1

Sorry I cannot be any more help - I'm a short range WiFi user only :D

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Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2019 4:23 am

Re: Target Camera for Long Range Shooting - Intrigued?

Tue Apr 02, 2019 5:31 am

Andyroo, thank you for the tip. I will give that a shot.

I am pretty confident I will get the range I need if I can get it configured properly. I will post updates once I get it working.

Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:48 pm

Re: Target Camera for Long Range Shooting - Intrigued?

Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:56 am

I've been working on putting a Pi Zero in my scope instead of on the target. I don't need the long range radio, but I have the same dual "at home with internet" and "at the range" problem. I found out that with the built-in Pi Zero W WiFi I can have it both as a WiFi client and an access point at the same time. I used this guide, but there are others: ... mode-wifi/

One thing this guide mentions is that the default creation order for the client wlan and the AP wlan is problematic, and they show a workaround. Maybe you can use that as inspiration to fix your dual wifi problem.

Also I noticed the Pi Zero W has the footprint for a miniature coaxial connector. If you've got steady hands and fancy doing some fine soldering, you might be able to use the built-in WiFi chip instead of a USB one.

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Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2019 2:07 pm

Re: Target Camera for Long Range Shooting - Intrigued?

Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:28 pm

Hey! I've had the same idea. The only thing stopping me is I need to order the camera module.

For networking I'm using ubiquiti equipment. You can get dishes used on Ebay for $35. Its the gear they use for wireless broadband. So you can shoot a signal like 20 miles.

My plan is to put the pi in front of the target. Then run the network cable laterally with 100 foot cable to the dish then shoot it back to the truck.

Once I get a free day I will get that camera ordered and show you what kind of output I'm getting.

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Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2019 7:55 pm
Contact: Website

Re: Target Camera for Long Range Shooting - Intrigued?

Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:15 pm

I have the bullseye long range camera system . i know its not the caldwell one but i love it .
I did buy mine early on and ended up sending it in to have it replaced with the newer hd system
It is a costly system but has a lot of great features . I would recommend it. The fact that i can find a single
shot or a new group on a target that has multiple hits on it already is priceless and i save a lot on targets .

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