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With winter break off college comes boredom, and with boredom comes fun with PVC and arduino!

In about two hours, we hacked together a basic servo-controlled automatic airsoft target. The target moves, allowing us to improve our skills before they're tested in the field.

Step 1: Acquire Parts

For this project, we used:

1) Arduino Uno
2) 2X Hi-Tec HS-311 hobby servos (180deg rotation - link)
3) roughly 10' of 1/2" CPVC pipe (regular PVC also works... we just had extra)
4) Scrap plastic for the levers (we used bits from a NERF tripod)
5) Dental floss (fishing line would've been better)
6) 12V, 6A power supply for arduino & servo control (connects directly to the arduino jack - link)
7) Two 1/2" CPVC right angle connectors 
8) Two 1/2" CPVC T connectors
9) Spare cardboard for the target
10) A nutri-grain bar (LOL) and duct tape to weight down the cardboard. Can use pretty much anything here.

The pipe and pipe connectors we found at Lowes. It's also helpful to have a pair of pipe cutters handy to ensure clean cuts on the CPVC. A drill is also required for the lift holes

Step 2: Assemble!

As you can see in the pictures, just cut three lengths and join them together in an upside-down U formation. The bottoms are stabilized using the T connectors and roughly 6" of extra pipe inserted into each side. 

To mount the servos, we cut away a bit of the PVC that the servos fit snugly into, then applied liberal amounts of hot glue and finally wire-wrapped the servo on. 

For the plastic arms it's up to you - we cut a little bit in so the servo handle would grab the plastic, then repeated the hot glue and wiring that we did on the servos. It helps to pop the handle off the servo for this. 

After this, we drilled holes in the top horizontal bar for the line/floss to go through. Nothing special here, just drill a horizontal hole on each side and ensure the line move smoothly through.

The cardboard piece (and ever-essential Nutri-Grain bar) are then tied on with a simple double knot on the top corners. 

Servo wiring is standard - see the Arduino site for information on wiring and considerations. We put the signal wires into pins 10 and 11. 

Step 3: Code!!

// Sweep
// Some code borrowed from the Arduino Servo example.
// Upload this to your arduino to run the automated turret!

#include <Servo.h>

// servos
Servo s1;
Servo s2;

// servo positions & movement goals (#2 is reversed)
long p1 = 0;
long p2 = 180;
long p1_goal = 0;
long p2_goal = 180;

void setup()
{
  s1.attach(10);
  s2.attach(11);  // attaches the servo on pin 9 to the servo object
 
  Serial.begin(9600);
  randomSeed(analogRead(0));
}


void loop() {
  if (abs(p1 - p1_goal) > 1 || abs(p2 - p2_goal) > 1) { // move
    if (p1 < p1_goal) { p1 += 1; }
    if (p1 > p1_goal) { p1 -= 1; }
    if (p2 < p2_goal) { p2 += 1; }
    if (p2 > p2_goal) { p2 -= 1; }
    s1.write(p1);
    s2.write(p2);
  } else { // assign random goal
    do {
      p1_goal = random(180);
      p2_goal = random(180);
    } while (abs(p1_goal - p2_goal) > 80);
    delay (1000);
  }
  delay (5);
}

Step 4: Done.

If all goes well, you, too now have a ghetto automated airsoft target. Happy shooting! 

As always, if you have any questions just throw me a comment or PM and I'd be glad to help.


Yo, neat ible but you lost me with &ldquo;Ghetto Style&rdquo;; there are so many it is difficult to adjust my thinking to any one in particular.

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