Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Coward Gun Scope Demo

This is a fun project in the works - a DIY Felin handgun scope.  The small camera is coupled to a laser and transmits its video to ANY smartphone or tablet... allowing the user to shoot around corners or cover without exposing any personal area.  Look and shoot in relative safety - hence the name "Coward Scope".

Pretty simple, and WAY cheaper than any commercial products out there.  Simple, uncomplicated, and disposable!

Here is an example of a commercial product...

We posted about the details of the camera already.

Did i mention cheap and disposable?  The camera itself is less than the cost of a cheap box of 9mm!

Here are some videos if the prototype in action.


Here is video off of the smartphone

Indoor Shooting

A friend has let us in to do some social shooting at his indoor range.  Very simple, but perfect for just a couple guys getting together for handgun practice.

Simple wooden frame, about 3-4 feet deep, in the corner of his shop.

The stop is built with sand and old tires - staggered.  The tires hold the sand in place well.

The range is < 10 yards, but that is more than enough for checking new loads, or putting a few magazines through the handgun each day.  The key to accuracy is PERFECT practice...  The black bag in the picture is a brass catcher.

Best part - its out of the weather!  Nice and dry, and with a space heater, it is more than enough to be comfortable.

If only he lived closer - i'd be there every day!  You'll see more project testing to come here in the range.

A quick video showing the range in action:

Trapping Project - the TrapTalker

Besides our raccoon efforts, we are interested in catching a bobcat up in the hills.  One idea to help improve the interest in the area where we might put traps is to add audio - an automated caller to help peak interest and bring a feline in closer to the baited area.

It has to be cheap (even disposable).  It has to last days, even weeks.  It has to be flexible - different audio for different 'target' animals.

Here is the first prototype of the TrapTalker.  It is cheap, even disposable.  It is flexible - load any sequence of calls, pauses, etc. onto the SD card and let it go.  And its small.


Here is a solar option - to charge and extend the internal battery on the MP3 player.  Only issue with this, eventually the amplified speaker (internal AAA batteries) will wear out and hamper the sound.


Several options - amplified sound vs. un-amplified (less expensive, less range).  Both speakers can be used together... or individually.  This combination will keep broadcasting even when the amplified speaker dies out.

Initial testing is just a zip-tie holding the TrapTalker inside the cheap plastic container and out-of-the-weather.  We'll keep you posted as we do some field testing... maybe with a trail camera too ;-)

Here is a simple demo out in the back.



Trap-line Activity

With the low price of fur we've kept our trap-line very small.  Basically, just a couple of dog-proof traps in the back woods to thin out the big raccoons.  This area of the PNW has a higher-than-average rate of Rabies, so fewer critters helps keep the dog safe.  Plus, it is fun getting the bigger raccoons, and it keeps them off our back porch and out of the chicken coop.

Even more fun is the trail camera, posted at one of the trap sites.  One night, a big critter came and got caught, and the camera captured more than 10 hours (and 1000 pictures) of that coon - up the tree, down the tree, and every which way in between.  The last 4 pictures in the sequence shows it twisting on the trap, and then walking away free.  Less than an hour before my trap check.

Next night, he was back (or at least his twin) and hand caught again!  I think I've hit on a super bait recipe ;-)

Check out all these pictures - most of them over just a couple nights of the trail.  Lots of activity.

Coyote encounter!  Even with one paw tied behind its back, the raccoon must have been too intimidating for a hungry 'yote to tangle with.  Funny thing is, 3 days before this we had trapped a opposum (i think) in that same trap, but lost it to a coyote before the early AM trap check.


Maybe he is thinking of jumping...

Lots of fun (and impressive) acrobatics...

The local herd was curious...

This is why dog-proof is the only way to go in the neighborhood...

A not-so-rare Puma domestica siting.  Again, proof of the value of a dog-proof strategy.

I think the trail cameras are MORE fun than the steel traps.  Certainly less work, more drama, excitement, and MUCH less frustration when the steel is empty!

With all the snow lately, the tracks are fun to read and see - but nothing as great as date, time, and picture!

Monday, December 12, 2016

4x4 Camera

Yeah, with little WiFi cameras, a lot of the fun is finding new places to put them.  These cameras are ~$10, and you can even put an SD card in them to record the video.  With the WiFi, your phone/tablet can let you see things real-time.

Like underneath a 4x4.  We bent a quick-n-dirty bracket for the camera, to hang off the tow-hitch in the back of the truck.


Or, we also glued 2 rare earth magnets and it will attach ANYWHERE...

This one was really fun.  Fun and fast to build, fun to test, and worked GREAT!  Mud and water covered the camera over and over, and with a quick wipe, it was back in action.  Need to figure out a splash guard or something.

Here's some of our highlights:
4x4 Cam in ACTION!

Plus, you can check out that roadkill along the road BEFORE you have to get out of your rig to pick it up!  Efficiency!

Another Gun Camera - WiFi for Around Corners

Small, inexpensive cameras are everywhere now.  They have WiFi available, too.

Here we put a small wifi camera on a laser for a handgun.  Any phone nearby can see the laser in the broadcast image.

Really fun to use, though I'm not a big fan of gadgets on my guns... especially electronic gadgets.  Here we put the camera in the handle of a cheap foregrip.


I think these would be most fun for Airsoft.  Easy to shoot around a corner, not life critical.

Here is a different mount on another cheap laser.

The camera weighs only ~1.5 ounces, so it is hard to notice on the end of a handgun.  They are pretty inexpensive on eBay, too so that makes them even more fun.

Also, the camera can detect IR light - so if you have an IR flashlight or spotlight, you have night vision!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Spring Miscellaneous

Lots of stuff going on, besides new leaves on the trees.  We've started planting the garden early this year - almost 1 month early... so we'll see!  With the garden in, the fences go up to keep the chickens OUT!


Some blacksmithing going on, too.  A new sword this time, and finishing up the handle on a knife.  Here he's making a few precision adjustments...


"yeah, straight enough for battle!"

The texture on the knife blade is pretty cool.  Handle is birch (from the Yukon), with brass mechanicals.

We got rid of one of our roosters, and with one left (for now...) we thought we'd break out our egg incubator.  Here's a little circuit for sending the temperature and humidity to the internet for graphing every 15 seconds.  Testing now to see how many days we get off the battery.

Oh, and it is spring, which means Trout Fishing!  So, we may not post projects for a while...


Livin' the good life!