Monday, December 11, 2017

Wildlife as viewed by Thermal Camera

Here are some comparison videos showing a raccoon and some deer moving through the trees.

The raccoon was about 25 yards away and tough to see even with a flashlight in the early morning.  Lit up the thermal camera, though.

I never saw the deer until i put up the thermal camera and there were some bright red spots.  About 40 yards away as they moved off slowly through the trees.

Thermal Camera and Suppressors

Yep, more thermal camera pictures.  Here are some of the weapons we took pictures of after heating up the cans.

Warning, plenty of targets were harmed in the making of these images.

Here's video of a 22LR:

a Glock 17 (Liberty can):

Knife Making and Forge with the Thermal Camera

Yeah, we are pointing the thermal camera at about everything these days.  Technology lets us see the hidden world.

We did a comparison of quenching tool steel in water vs. motor oil.  i was quite suprised how quickly the oil heated up and how slowly it cooled the steel.  impressive.

Here is a better comparison of the two.

Thermal Camera Video for Target Practice

This thermal camera (Seek CompactXR) we are playing with for Drone use is also a ton of fun out shooting.  Shooting is fun anyway, so we took a bunch of video.

Here's snapshot of a 50 BMG (BMG = BigMammaGun!).  Before the shot...

During the shot...

After the Shot.  Barrel didn't really heat up as much as i expected.  that hot forehead caught the camera's attention, though.

Here's one of the videos.  more on the FaceTube channel.

The suppressors were great fun, too.  22LR really didn't heat up much.  Here is a Liberty Suppressor on a Glock 17.  165*F is the hottest the camera recorded.

Here's one of the videos.

An AR chambered in 7.62x39.  Love this gun!  The pucker factor is great - LOUD, belching flame, and throwing a 30cal projectile.  Gets everyone's attention quick!

Here is a lever action 357 (Ruger) with the suppressor on it.  We were only shooting 38s, so it was quiet, cool, and almost boring.  almost...

Lots of video on the FaceTube channel.

Thermal Camera for DJI Phantom 3

Working on a thermal camera to see through the trees and locate stray cows...

No pictures yet on the design, but the test flights are AWESOME!

here is some early test video... i'll try to upload more later, but we hare having too much fun lately.

Those stray cows don't stand a chance hiding from us...

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Laser Attachment for DJI Phantom 3

We are now shipping a laser attachment for the DJI Phantom 3 (Advanced) with the 4K camera. 

The package includes a custom, 3D printed camera attachment with two (2) laser diodes, a battery holder / gimbel protector, protective case, and a rechargeable CR123a battery.  The lasers point where the Phantom 3's camera is pointing.  The laser attachment glows-in-the-dark for easier handling in low-light or dark conditions.

2 different models - one where the lasers are always on, and last up to 1 hour on a single charge of the CR123a battery.  

On the 2nd model, you can remotely turn the lasers ON or OFF using the DJI Go App.  Easy Peasy!

 The laser attachment glows in the dark.

Here is the total assembly.  It weighs 1.2 ounces, so is light, balanced, and easy for the drone to carry.  The attachment on the camera is ~0.2 ounces, and does NOT inhibit the camera or gimbel in any way.

To see video of the lasers in action on a drone:

Video of the Drone flying at twilight with lasers on:

Video of the Drone at night with lasers on:

Video of the DJI Go App while the lasers are on:

To see a simple, easy-to-install instruction video:

Always on version is $28.95 plus s/h.

The remote control version (remote on/off) is $44.95 (plus s/h).

Just in time for Christmas!

send us an email at

Friday, October 13, 2017

Drone with a Knife!

Just kidding.  Not a drone post!  Some cool knives one of the boys has been making lately.  We have a separate blog to show them, and even some video HERE

The blog is

Drone Range Finder

Yep, another drone post.  There will be many more...

Out shooting the other day, we used the drone to not only range the distance but to give feedback on where we were hitting.  It was great!  The range was much farther than we guestimated, and with the drone overhead we could see where the bullet strikes were and quickly compensate.  We are taking the bird every time now!

The distance to the target was ~1858 feet.  The argument was wither it was 450 or 550 yards away... we were both wrong!

In the image above, we could see (real-time) the bullets hitting at the base of the right leg of the target.  Having a larger tablet to fly the drone is a BIG deal here, to see better where the strikes are.  My old eyes could barely make it out on the phone we were using.  A quick adjustment was ready.

Here is a view from above the shooter.  Target is at the base of the taller trees, to the right of them.  You might even recognize the spot...

No real good video to show what we were seeing... but here is from a different time when the drone could show us steel strikes.

A Drone with Freakin' Lasers

It didn't take long flying our drone before we started thinking of fun things to do and add to it.  How about Freakin' LAZERS!

We had some caps 3D printed to fit and stay in place on several different drone cameras.  The plastic they are printed with is Glow-in-the-dark!  Of course, just having lasers wasn't enough - we wanted to remote control them, on-n-off, while flying.  The easiest way to do this is using the remote control's ability to turn the drone's LEDs on-n-off.  That way we get a farther range on the control.

Under settings, a simple switch turns them on for us.  easy peasy.

Two lasers are added, and the whole thing, including battery (rechargable) is under 1 oz.

 The tolerances on the 3D print weren't good... but some slight modifications were all that was needed.  for the Phantom 3's 4K camera, we also cut down the length of the cap to be less obtrusive.  There are tabs for a rubber band to secure the cap to the back of the camera, but with the radial force exerted by the cap itself, it stays in place very well.

Everything is installed quickly so we don't have it permanently on the drone.  One mod we did make to the drone was to drill into the LED cap and hot-glue the light sensor directly to the bird.  We are using this sensor for other control projects, and it is easy to attach to the laser's control when we put the cap on.  You can see how we secured the sensor's wire to the drone's leg to keep it in place, and keep the wires from flapping about.

If you are interested in buying a cap or a whole setup, shoot us an email!  we've made a few of them and can make more.

Some demo videos:
Laser control demo

A Drone for Exploring

Finally got one, and now that we have it, I wish we had gotten one sooner!  This thing is so fun, so easy to fly, and really expands many options in exploring the world.

One favorite has been to fly around all the large ships and fishing going on along the big river.  It is a bit freaky flying so far over the water... but worth it.

With an app showing what ships are passing by, we can run down and fly about them.

 Here is the Queen of the West from the air.
You can see video of her (and other big ships) here:

Night flying is also tricky, and unnerving.  Be sure to scout out all the power-lines and trees before going back at night!   Here's a rodeo practice going on at the Fairgrounds.

here is a race at the local race track.

So much fun.  All the new features and capabilities make this really easy to pick up and fly.  The 4K camera is especially awesome!

Stay tuned for some of the other modifications and projects...

Sunday, February 19, 2017

One Big Bullet

Biggest one I've seen in the wild, anyway.  While hunting firewood for cooking my fish along the bank of the Sea of Galilee i found this dude.  I was only about 300 yards from the entrance to Capernaum on the northwest side.  In the rocks, and seemed to have been there a while.

For reference, that is a size 15 shoe.

Looking East toward the Golan.

From the looks of it, could have come from any number of old tanks still in the area from '67.

I may take it back to see if it will 'fit' any of the memorials that are around, or the Armour out in the pastures.

 Visiting with a friend who served on a tank crew in 1972, he said it was an AP Tracer round.  He wasn't sure if there was any explosives inside it as he had never seen one still in a single piece.

A little video.  Any inputs or clarification about the round are appreciated.
FaceTube Video

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!