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Addressing The Widest USPSA Steel Challenge Stages At Home

It's awesome to hear from folks who have started to receive the USPSA Steel Challenge Practice Posters. Most have seen that the posters range from 3' wide to the longest SC-101 5 To Go & SC-103 Smoke & Hope, both 6' wide.


The widest from a perspective is Smoke & Hope since the minimum stand-off distance is 4' as opposed to all the others with a 5' stand-off distance.
SC-103 Smoke & Hope 6' wide requires a 4' standoff distance to get the same perspective you would from the shooters box.
SC-103 Smoke & Hope 6' wide requires a 4' standoff distance to get the same perspective you would from the shooter's box on match da

With Smoke & Hope, I had to balance how big to make a poster vs. what most Steel Challenge practitioners may have as a space on their wall. Then weigh that against how close it is too close to stand to the poster while not punching a hole in your wall at the buzzer. It also is cause for some using LASR to ask,


"Well, how the heck do I get the camera or my device to watch the target if I'm supposed to stand only 4' away?

Here are some solutions we have used to address similar use cases. Because it is impossible to account for the different combinations of webcams, electronics, and setups, these are intended as general solutions that work; your mileage may vary. Additionally, because our gun hobbies can become expensive, I did my best to make any additional hardware or electronic components no more than $200. Finally, note that while I am giving links to certain brands, they are not being endorsed, nor do they endorse LASR. I am doing this just for ease of identification of similar items.

The solutions should work with LASR X and Classic, but not all combinations may work with all smartphones or devices vs. a PC or laptop. For example, I'm unaware of a successful use case of a USB IR webcam with an iPhone.

First up is a USB Cable webcam solution (visible lasers only).



I've used this with LASR Classic to do drills in a single room with targets on all four walls. It is the 360° All Around Webcam by j5Create. I bought my unit from BestBuy for $108, including tax, here in Texas.


Because it takes a 360° view, unlike the other solutions, you can set it up in front of you in the space between the target and the camera and go to town with the widest of the Steel Challenge posters without the need for additional lenses. Yes, you can also use it as a regular webcam.





View of SC-103 Smoke and Hope with j5Create
View of SC-103 Smoke and Hope with j5Create


The next solution I have used is the Logitech Brio.

Logitech Brio 4k
Logitech Brio 4k (remove the detachable mount so you can screw it on a tripod or c-clamp)


This one is a bit more expensive for a webcam, $132 on Amazon before tax. However, it is a fancier webcam that has 4K.


Because of the way LASR X & Classic work, analyzing every single pixel in the target zone, I wouldn't recommend using the 4K settings unless your computer or device has some hefty CPU power, and even then, LASR only needs to see the laser hit inside the target zone not which exact pixel you hit.





Logitech Brio 4k mounted on light pole and camera c-clamp
Logitech Brio 4k mounted on light pole and camera c-clamp


The only reason I bring it up is that the Brio has a wide field of view (FoV), avoiding the need for wide lenses, and if you mount it high behind you, you can run your drills without cutting through the camera's FoV and your target zones.


To do this, I used one of our photographic light stands and a Camera C Clamp to get the Birio high and out of the way. These are the components I got from Amazon.








View of SC-103 Smoke and Hope with j5Create
View of SC-103 Smoke and Hope with Logitech Brio


For those who shoot IR to push their training.

Laser Advanced Camera (LAC) mounted on light pole and camera c-clamp
Laser Advanced Camera (LAC) mounted on light pole and camera c-clamp





If this is you, neither the j5Create nor the Brio will see IR. So you'll need an IR-capable camera like the LASR Advanced Camera (LAC) or LASR Classic Advanced Camera (LCAC) and possibly one of our wider M12 lenses in addition to the light stand and Camera C-clamp I mentioned above. This will keep the camera out of the way while you shoot with your IR training pistols.


















View of SC-103 Smoke and Hope with LAC.  Note the pinkish hue do to the lack of an IR Cut filter enabling the camera to detect IR light.
View of SC-103 Smoke and Hope with LAC. Note the pinkish hue due to the lack of an IR filter enabling the camera to detect IR light.

While these do work as solutions, by no means are they the end-all for what might work for you. If you have additional suggestions or kit load-outs, I hope you'll share them. I'm always surprised by the ingenuity of folks in our 2A community and the various ways you all train with LASR.

 


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