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Old 09-27-2011, 03:59 AM #1
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Default Police Officer here for help.

Hello everyone!

I'm a police officer wanting to develop some firearm training lasers that are vibration activated, similar to the LaserBlaster-X and LaserLytes LT-Pro.

I'm planning on trying to develops these to work with gas operated air-soft pistols for affordable realistic firearm simulator training. I currently have a projector, special laser tracking camera, LaserBlaster-X (in 650nm and one in 780nm), and a Beretta 92FS that I practice with. I currently have small programs for developing marksmanship, but I'm developing software similar to the old Police Quest Swat game where depending on what you do, there can be many different outcomes.

I plan on making all these plans, and the software Open Source. These firearm trainers cost on the low end of $8000 for police departments, and on average $20,000. Some of the higher end firearm trainers cost $250,000. Unfortunately, not all police departments have the funding - case in point, where I'm from there are sometimes no police, sheriff, or state troopers for several hours during the night because of budget. Hopefully, my project will save police departments and the taxpayers money and increase training.

If anyone wants to help or has questions, feel free to shoot me a message.

Take care and stay safe!


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Old 09-27-2011, 04:19 AM #2
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Default Re: Police Officer here for help.

Quote:
If anyone wants to help or has questions, feel free to shoot me a message.
I see what you did thar

So basically you are looking at running a diode for only a tiny fraction of a second, picking it up with a camera and using software to calculate the trajectory?

If that's the case you may want to look at a physical switch like a limit switch that can be activated via the guns trigger. You can then use a simple 555 timer circuit and a TTL modulated laser driver to turn the laser on for a specific amount of time then turn off till the gun is fired again.

That's the way I would do it... but we need more info on what the specific action it must do.
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:03 AM #3
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Default Re: Police Officer here for help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobhaha View Post
I see what you did thar

So basically you are looking at running a diode for only a tiny fraction of a second, picking it up with a camera and using software to calculate the trajectory?
Thank you for responding!

Yes. The system I have currently setup is a LaserBlaster-X with a 650nm visible laser (I also have a 780nm) that goes into the bore, and every time I pull the trigger it turns on the laser for a split second through vibration. I use a Beretta 92FS because I do no have to rack the slide of my other semi-automatic handguns to reset the trigger.

When the trigger is pulled, the laser is then picked up by the KeyTec ViewTouch camera I have. By the way, I found out it's simply a cheap generic wholesale web camera with some laser tracking software code. In short, not worth $250.

Every time the laser is displayed the camera emulates it as a mouse click, and moves the mouse on the screen - it's a digital whiteboard. I made a simple application that detects the mouse click, then records the X & Y coordinates on the projected screen. I have a simple application that you have to shoot a moving ball, and every time you shoot the ball moves faster and faster. I'm also making a program similar to Police Quest Swat

I'm trying to develop a way that I can modify an air soft gun to include a laser diode that is vibration activated. Most of the air recoil gun adapters run $1200 and use a real firearm with an air compressor (click here for what I'm talking about). I figure I can bypass all of that, and save departments money by using a modified, but realistic, air soft gun

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobhaha View Post
If that's the case you may want to look at a physical switch like a limit switch that can be activated via the guns trigger. You can then use a simple 555 timer circuit and a TTL modulated laser driver to turn the laser on for a specific amount of time then turn off till the gun is fired again.

That's the way I would do it... but we need more info on what the specific action it must do.
Would the physical switch be connected to the actual trigger, or it would it simply be activated by the trigger pull creating the vibration? Also the 555 timer, would that be an actual integrated circuit chip? Sorry, but my level of understanding of integrated circuits are a little above minimal.

I think the biggest challenge this project will have is trying to enclose everything in the air soft gun, and having the laser not move while the gas blow back occurs.

The laser needs to be displayed only for a fraction of a second. I would not know the actual display time, but to be picked up by a 30 FPS camera, so more than .033 seconds?

What other specifics do you need?

Again, thank you for replying!

Last edited by SamuelW; 09-27-2011 at 05:37 AM.
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:39 AM #4
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Default Re: Police Officer here for help.

The limit switch can be mounted on the outside of the gun or if there is space could be adapted to fit inside. It's basically a very small movement switch, similar to a micro switch that is used in many applications. You may like to have a look at micro switches also.

The 555 timer chip is an IC, yes. That response time is fine for a 555, check out this link for more info in developing the circuitry.

555 timer IC - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It's not very hard at all, you will only need a hand full of parts, which would cost about $10 at the most.

In terms of programming I'm happy to help out where I can, but there are a few better coders then I on this forum, so feel free to ask if you need help in that field.
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632.8nm - Red He-Ne laser ~1mW
593.5nm - Regal 5
542.8nm - Green He-Ne laser ~2.5mW
532nm - 620mW+ lasersman Firedragon III* - 100mW PGL-III-M from JETLASERS* - 70mW Rayfoss Host*
~~~ - 175mW Rayfoss Host - <5mW WL Core - 55mW DinoDirect review laser*

488nm - On the hoist
473nm - 2x CNI lab lasers ~40mW
445nm - 3W Big Boyz Laser - >1.1W Cree C6 Host - 650mW WL Arctic
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Eagle Pair Red OD4+ goggles
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Last edited by bobhaha; 09-27-2011 at 05:40 AM.
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Old 09-27-2011, 07:06 AM #5
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Default Re: Police Officer here for help.

The main problem, there, is that you can not build something similar to the ones linked in your post, without industrial machinery (i mean, never build a small unit like these ones, to fit them inside the barrel of a real gun)

BUT, if you want only to build a training system, and you want to use airsoft guns for that, it can be done relatively easily (i made 3 of them til now in different weapons, for friends that works in a similar "environment" than yours , and actually planning a fourth one, and i have no machines, so it can be done, also if it require a lot of time )

For this, you don't need a specific piezoelectric switch, like in those commercial units, only a standard "robust" microswitch, a bounce-cancel circuit and a one-shot circuit.

Things becomes much more difficult if you also need to simulate the recoil, but without that, it's relatively easy ..... the worse thing, in fact, is to align perfectly the laser with the line of sight of your weapon (that, in airsoft guns, is usually never coincident with the axis of the barrel)
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Old 09-27-2011, 07:33 AM #6
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Default Re: Police Officer here for help.

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Originally Posted by HIMNL9 View Post
The main problem, there, is that you can not build something similar to the ones linked in your post, without industrial machinery (i mean, never build a small unit like these ones, to fit them inside the barrel of a real gun)
I have no intention on trying to build the ones in the photo due to me not having the machining equipment. Plus, I want to post the plans on the internet for other departments that don't have large amount of money to build their own.

My goals are to use off-the-shelf items with some modifications required. I'm trying to make this easy for someone with little background to do this themselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HIMNL9 View Post
BUT, if you want only to build a training system, and you want to use airsoft guns for that, it can be done relatively easily (i made 3 of them til now in different weapons, for friends that works in a similar "environment" than yours , and actually planning a fourth one, and i have no machines, so it can be done, also if it require a lot of time )
I'm thrilled there are people already doing this. I'll make sure to send you some messages for input, swap photos, and possibly buy one from you - that's if you don't mind?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HIMNL9 View Post
For this, you don't need a specific piezoelectric switch, like in those commercial units, only a standard "robust" microswitch, a bounce-cancel circuit and a one-shot circuit.
Thanks for the information. I'm assuming you've played around with the commercial training units?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HIMNL9 View Post
Things becomes much more difficult if you also need to simulate the recoil, but without that, it's relatively easy ..... the worse thing, in fact, is to align perfectly the laser with the line of sight of your weapon (that, in airsoft guns, is usually never coincident with the axis of the barrel)
Thanks for the heads up with the air-soft, and all the information you've told me. I've played around with some of the commercial training units and the hardware were not exactly accurate or reliable, but that could have been because they were used extensively.

I'm really liking this community
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:52 AM #7
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Default Re: Police Officer here for help.

^ well, i made them as "passtime" in the free time, for friends ..... i don't have commercial capability to made them on order or sell them, sorry .....

Anyway, with airsoft guns, the main problem is the intrinsic "precision" of the assembly, and for this, the maximum precision that you can get in result.

Commercial units have, usually, the precision limit of the real weapon where you mount them ..... and, ofcourse, a real gun is, constructively, much more precise than any airsoft gun (as example, i have some airsoft guns around ..... the more precise ones are a "glock 9x19" replica, and a "baby hi-capa 45ACP" replica, both very accurate ..... well, the "baby" one still have a "wobble" (summing the one of the floating barrel and the one of the carriage) of 0.75mm, at the end of the barrell ..... the "glock" one have less than 0.5mm in horizontal, but almost 1mm in vertical of total "wobble" ..... this means that, if you want to build an unit with "realistic recoil" capability, your final assembly will become less precise that what you can expect (0.75mm can look a very small amount of space, but consider it's on a 97mm long barrel ..... prolounge the deviation to a target far 15 meters or more, and you will see that the possible deviation is not so low, at the end)

A different thing, is if for you is enough to build a training weapon that have a weight similar to the real one, but not with the "recoil" feature (like using those commercial units, single shot "inert" recoil rearming the hammer on each hit) ..... in this case, the barrel part can be fixed permanently to the body, and once aligned, it's difficult to displace it, if not left dropped or used as hamer (), and also the final alignment can be made very precise (the only problem, here, is to choose if you want to have the hit point parallel to the sight line, so you have to compensate the small difference in height, but can use it for any distance, or if you want to have the hit point aligned on the sight line for a specific distance only, and in this case you can use the weapon only at that distance ..... also, there is no ballistic decay, but there's nothing to do about that, we still cannot curve a light beam )

Yes, i tried some times those commercial units ..... they have usually a piezo-switch that collect the vibrations of the weapon, and a circuit that discriminate the "hit" of the hammer on the dummy bullet from the other noises, and drive the laser with it, so the unit "fire" the laser only when you pull the trigger and not, as example, when you knock on the gun or place it on somewhere or rearm the hammer ..... some older models had an impact switch that was acting as "dummy bullet" and collect directly the hit of the percussor, but those was abandoned, the switch was too subject to damage (the strenght of the percussor on the capsule is not exactly "weak", in a real gun )

For an airsoft modification, also a common industrial microswitch can be used, cause you don't need to place it at the end of the hammer, for get the full impact ..... it can be placed also near the rotation axis ..... or in any other point where it can be turned on when the hammer reach the end of the course ..... the only problem, here, is to find an airsoft unit that have enough space, inside, for all the modifications ..... absurdly, i have found that "cheapy" chinese toys have much more space, inside, that "real-looking replicas" airsoft guns ..... less details and precision means also less material and complex mechanical assemblies inside.

But i think is still difficult to use "off-the-shelf" items, cause for each model, you need to disassemble it, and calculate the spaces and parts positioning and modifications, and will probably end needing to build some parts on measure .....
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Old 09-27-2011, 01:23 PM #8
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Default Re: Police Officer here for help.

You just need to adapt an optical sensor that the airsoft bb breaks the beam to register the shot as it leaves the barrel.
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Old 09-27-2011, 01:47 PM #9
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Default Re: Police Officer here for help.

But that won't be as accurate as a laser aligned with the barrel
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Old 09-27-2011, 01:55 PM #10
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Default Re: Police Officer here for help.

sounds like a really cool project. its way over my head though, good luck

keep us updated on your work it sounds awsome
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Old 09-27-2011, 01:56 PM #11
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Default Re: Police Officer here for help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LaZeRz View Post
But that won't be as accurate as a laser aligned with the barrel
You're missing the point:
An airsoft gun isn't all that accurate. If there is a beam on target, (evaluates shooter accuracy), and an optical sensor to register when the shot is made, it's a piece of cake. The whole vibratory sensor thing is inherently bad....without a lot of coding to elimninate every false shot that would occur whenever the unit was jostled, it would be near useless.
Need: Register the location of the targeting beam on the screen when a shot is taken.
Not needed: Register the point of contact of each airsoft bb that hits the screen.
See what I mean?
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Old 09-27-2011, 02:04 PM #12
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Default Re: Police Officer here for help.

And I give myself a DOH!!!!!
Forget the optical sensor as the bb is meaningless. Capturing the location of the targeting beam when the trigger is pulled is all that's needed. Take it a step furthur, and you could also use the software package to allow for range and windage. Everything from five feet from the target in an enclosed range to 50 yards away in gale force winds...
Whatever :-)
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Old 09-27-2011, 02:25 PM #13
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Default Re: Police Officer here for help.

^ yes, also that can be done, but you need a specific software for that ..... if you remember the first "shooting games" for TV consoles, they was working exactly in that way ..... a lens that focus the sensor on the screen, as more precisely as possible, and a software in the console that was "reading" the position of the scanning beam when the trigger was pulled.

For LCD monitors and LCD or DLP projectors, anyway, the software must be a bit more complex ..... you need to "flash" the screen in blocks, and read that what is pointed ..... but, for more precision, needs small "blocks", and at the same time, all those "flashing" must be done at a speed high enough for not become visible at the eye (at least 25 Hz, better if more) ..... and usually DLP projectors works at 120 Hz or similars for each frame .....

This means if you want to divide the frame in, say, 100 "zones", they must flash at 100 times faster (not as scanning, as persistence time), and i don't know if this is possible with actual LCD projectors .....
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Old 09-27-2011, 03:01 PM #14
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Default Re: Police Officer here for help.

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Originally Posted by vdefazzio View Post
And I give myself a DOH!!!!!
Forget the optical sensor as the bb is meaningless. Capturing the location of the targeting beam when the trigger is pulled is all that's needed. Take it a step furthur, and you could also use the software package to allow for range and windage. Everything from five feet from the target in an enclosed range to 50 yards away in gale force winds...
Whatever :-)
The camera is a Keytec Viewtouch that detects lasers on a projector. The Keytec Viewtouch is no different than a Intopic Livecam 630. The software program uses Touchlib/CCV/OpenCV. The Viewtouch works if there is a strong enough laser on the projected screen when it's somewhat dark.

I am not going to develop software that takes into account range and wind, because this will be for pistols and short distances. This is to develop situational awareness.

The software I have developed plays pre-recorded videos with people acting out different scenarios. Depending on how you talk or what you do, the firearm instructor on the computer can influence how the scenario unfolds. Think of it as similar to the old game Police Quest Swat. I have plans to film lots of scenarios, such as hostage situations, robberies, domestics, and traffic stops. The way I made the software, anyone can make their own scenarios if they record it a certain way. The software I have made is very simple at this point, but gets the job done.

I'm focusing more on the hardware at this point since I've got the software down. I'm trying to figure out how to create a realistic recoil system that is affordable. I believe the only viable option I have is to use an air-soft gun.

I've placed an order for an air-soft gun (KSC Glock 18), and I'll keep you all updated.
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:11 PM #15
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Default Re: Police Officer here for help.

Consider one thing, anyway ..... if you want to have a "realistic recoil" and a laser shooting at the same time, you will probably end needing a lot of space inside the weapon, so need to get a big gun (and also, any modifications will be permanents, no way for turn the airsoft back to shoot BBs)

Anyway, as far as i've seen, all the "recoiling" airsoft guns (or, at least, the ones that i have dismantled for repair them til now) uses a "trick" for have a recoil function ..... the expansion chamber for the gas is a double-body cylinder, with a valve that is kept opened from the presence of the BB bullet, and til that point the gas is flowing to the barrel ..... when the BB start to move, the valve closes, and the gas only expand in the cylinder chamber, that "push back" the carriage ..... at the end of the back-course, a lever disengage the gas valve, closing it, so the carriage spring push it back in the original position.

The gas tank is usually in the handler, as part of the cliploader ..... you can take away the front valve, BB guide and tube positioner, and the part that hold the BB bullets in the cliploader, but about the rest, all that mechanism need to be left in place, also if modified, if you still want to have a recoil without the need to have the gun connected to an external air tank (like the military professional units), so there is not too much space remaining inside the gun, for the modifications.

I modified in the past 3 BB guns that was too broken for be repaired ..... two was 9mm "beretta" replicas and one was a m1911 replica, no recoil function on them ..... the one i'm planning, well, this is for myself, but ..... i'm studying about the possibility to turn a "recoiling" one into a training unit, bu til now i had no luck in finding a decently big one, and i really don't have enough money for buy a new one and "mangle" it for that ..... probably a desert eagle have enough space inside, but they cost a lot ..... so i'm waiting for see if the shops that i know, first or after, get one broken big enough (or if the prices goes lower, here )

As alternative, you can use a "normal" gun with an add-on, like those underbarrel lasersights, using that part for contain almost all the electronic ..... not too much practical, as "street gun", i know ..... on the "funny" side, i've seen on youtube an airsoft gun big enough for hold inside almost anything, pity it's a cartoon gun (gungrave anime serie ..... a "little bit" too big )
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Old 09-27-2011, 06:09 PM #16
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Default Re: Police Officer here for help.

Just throwing it out there... would a simulated recoil affect in the software have its benefits? Because as far as I can see... once you press the button the laser will be on its target... then your hand will react to recoil... (light moves faster than your hand :P). The response time between laser being turned on and hand moving will be too great to bother in my opinion.

What if you had a recoil function in the software that will alter then users laser position to factor in recoil/wind/ricochet etc.. This amount can be altered to factor in other variables like old weapons/bad sight/bad alignment. Also it can be changed for other factors like using a rifle/pistol etc.

EDIT: There was a mythbusters episode of it where they filmed a gun being shot in high FPS videp where they pressed the trigger of the gun, the LED turned on, then there was a long pause till the recoil was initiated. Of course I can not find that clip anywhere on the internet!
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Last edited by bobhaha; 09-27-2011 at 06:19 PM.
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