Interactive Archery Target Using Old Smartphone and Free App




Introduction: Interactive Archery Target Using Old Smartphone and Free App

After getting tired of shooting the same target over and and over, I started building a back yard version of a TechnoHunt or Bigshot Video Range. While the video setup is still a very big work in progress, I wanted to share a really cool feature that you can use now with any static target (bag or 3d target) to get some shot placement feedback on the cheap.

This setup uses the (free) "Manything" App for iOS and Android to give the shooter immediate shot placement feedback and it saves the video of each round of shooting.

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Step 1: Materials

1. Archery backstop and/or target of your choice.
2. 2 smartphones: one smartphone placed at your target to record arrow shots (I used an iPhone 4); and one phone (or tablet) with you down range to view shots from the target phone (I used my current iPhone 7 as the viewer)
3. Wifi or hotspot (I used the hotspot on my iPhone 7 because my wifi signal was not strong enough from inside my house). At 20yrds, my iPhone hotspot connection worked perfectly.

Note the picture shows my first iteration of what I'm calling "The Backyard Bowhunter." When I workout more of the kinks, I'll post all the steps and materials, but from the picture you should get the idea of what I'm doing.

Step 2: Setup Manything... App to Record Shot Placement

You'll need to download the app onto two devices. Again, I had an old iPhone 4 so I used it for the remote camera. I used my iPhone7 as the viewer and since my wifi did not reach the backyard, I used the hotspot on my iPhone7 to connect to the iPhone 4 near the target. You'll need to create an account to use the app and login to your account on each phone.

On the target phone, hit the settings gear button in the upper right. Scroll down to "Sensitivity Threshold" and lower to 1. See pics.

Next, enable push notifications on the target phone. See pic.

Next, tap the "detection zones." Point the phone's camera at the target and set the detection mask to black out the areas on the target where you don't want the app to detect movement. See pic.

The effect is that if your arrow hits the target in the movement detection area, the app will send you a push notification that motion is detected, which means you've hit the target where you set the app to detect movement (vitals, scoring rings, zombie eye, etc.). You will have to adjust the detection mask to get it right and place the camera so the detection zones line up with your target, but once set up you'll be able to see the target and your arrow placement using the other phone (or tablet) down range.

Another cool thing (other than the app is free) is that the app records when it detects movement so you can watch each arrow hit in sequence. Also, there is a setting in the app that allows recording of still photos instead of video upon motion detection, which you may want to use, but I like hearing the impact. Play around with it and see what works best for you.

Again, you can use the phone setup and Manything App with any target you currently shoot. I've even used a mobile jet pack hotspot (from Verizon) to connect the two phones for longer shots with success... Happy shooting.

PS. This is a link to one of my (terrible) test shots:

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    4 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Excellent idea! I have several friends who are going to want to see this

    This would be really cool to use at night with tracer arrows (the ones that have the light up notches when they are fired).

    DIY Hacks and How Tos

    That looks really cool. Did you make the backstop yourself or did you buy it.


    Reply 3 years ago

    Thanks! I made it using six 10.5' galvanized fence poles (the top pole used in chain link fences ~$10ea) , (12) T-connectors (~$1.50ea) and (8) 90 degree connectors (~$2.50ea) (all from bought at Lowes for under $100). The actual backstop is not pictured, but is one 6'X4' horse stall mat (~$45 at Tractor Supply), which I cut into two 4'X3' pieces and mounted to the frame. The white screen is actually in front of the backstop. I made the screen as well, but it needs more work. And I am thinking about putting the whole thing in or under a tent for shade so the projector image will be brighter. Once I get it in better shape, I'll post the full details and materials used.