The photo above shows DryFire projection add-on with our custom DryFire Shooting Stand.
All DryFire setups are different, some people have the luxury of wide open spaces, others have to fit in where they can: spare bedroom, garage, den, shed. There is no doubt that, if you have the space, the projection add-on is the ultimate in realism - but the Laser version provides the same level of feedback in a small space.
Version 5 with older simulators
DryFire Version 5 is supplied with all new systems and is available as a chargeable upgrade for existing Version 4 dual head simulators. If you already have a simulator please read the Version 5 page to see if it is suitable.
You need a PC or laptop running either:
- Microsoft Windows 10 (version 1809 or later) or
- Apple MacOS (version 10.14 (Mohave) or later).
Operating system updates
Microsoft and Apple release frequent updates to add new features, fix bugs and improve security. Check you have the latest updates installed.
You need a spare USB port to connect the simulator and access to a mains power supply.
- You need a room with a blank wall or screen between 3m (10') and 5m (16') wide.
- The wall surface should be smooth - not brick, concrete or any rough finish.
- DryFire works in subdued lighting (not dark!) and detects a pulse of infrared light sent from the Universal Gun Assembly (UGA). It is very important there is no direct light or reflecting surfaces on the wall.
- The simulator should be mounted on the DryFire Shooting Stand, on a horizontal surface or on tripod - 1.5m/2.0m (4' 6"/6') from the wall.
- There must be space behind the simulator, or to the side of it, for you to stand to shoot.
- The DryFire Universal Gun Assembly (UGA) must be fitted to the barrel of your gun.
Projection add-on requirements
The projection add-on can be purchased with the system or added later.
Wordcraft does not supply PC data projectors but a suitable specification is shown below.
You will need a suitable screen or wall to project on to. Special paint is available for walls to increase their reflectivity - use your browser to search for "painted walls for projectors". Surprisingly, a shade of grey is sometimes better than white.
As big a screen as possible
To ensure accurate angles for targets you need the largest possible image so the whole trajectory fits within the area of your projection screen. The further back you stand from the wall, the bigger the image must be.
You have a choice if you find trajectories going beyond the projected image:
- Get a larger screen - or paint a wall.
- Stand closer - and tell the DryFire software you are standing closer. Never stand more than 2.5m from the wall/screen.
- Use laser targets for wide crossers - see "Horses for courses" below.
Horses for courses
With the projection add-on targets can be shown as laser dots or as images of clays.
Some disciplines have very wide targets, skeet station 4 for example, and it is unlikely the complete trajectory of the clay will fit on a projection screen.
If projection is selected DryFire can show a clay image on the screen and a laser dot for those parts of the trajectory outside the screen area. This switching between projected images and laser dots is very clever but it gives your brain one more thing to worry about when you should be focussing 100% on the target.
We recommend using laser dots for targets that go beyond the limits of the projection screen. That's one of the reasons why you should become familiar with laser targets before setting up the projection add-on.
Laser targets first
It is very important that you start by setting up and using laser targets before setting up the projection add-on. This ensures that everything is set up correctly and allows you to become familiar with the system before using the projection functions. You will also see why some targets are best presented as laser dots rather than projected clay images.
Wordcraft doesn't supply projectors so you will need to purchase a suitable projector locally.
Using extended mode projection
The DryFire projection add-on requires your projector to operate in extended mode, not duplicated mode, so make sure you are confident using extended mode before installing DryFire. More details here.
Obviously Wordcraft can't recommend specific projectors (because we haven't used them all) and different manufacturers provide different projectors under different names in different parts of the world. The key thing is to project a large and clear image on a wall or screen in front of you when using DryFire. A specification similar to the one below (taken from the Optima GT1080 Darbee projector) should enable you to locate a suitable projector in your area.
- Short throw type that can be placed low down close to a screen or wall.
- Resolution: 1080p 1920 x 1080.
- Brightness: 3000 ANSI Lumens.
- Contrast: 28,000:1.
- Throw Ratio: 0.49:1 (or similar).
- Zoom Type: Fixed (or variable).
- Projection Distance: 0.5 - 3.35 metres.
- Aspect: Ratio 16:9 Native, 4:3 Compatible.
The projector must be set up to produce a true rectangular image that fits within the boundaries of the screen or wall being used. No part of the image should be off the screen, on side walls, on the floor or on the ceiling.
Most projectors have an "image shift" function - this needs to be adjusted so no part of the image is cropped - it is very important that the whole image is displayed.
Examples of projection setups
The photo below shows DryFire with the projection add-on set up for the CPSA dinner at the Belfry Hotel on 1st February, 2020. Note the large portable screen and the use of our custom DryFire Shooting Stand.
The projector can't be seen - it is on the floor on the other side of the stand.
Note the true rectangular image that fits within the boundaries of the screen.
The two photos below were sent in by a DryFire customer showing the projection add-on being used in a fairly small space. Two pictures have been temporarily removed from the wall so it can act as a screen - the fittings can still be seen.
Note use of the DryFire Shooting Stand and the fact that the whole of the rectangular image fits on the wall.
It looks like this is set up to shoot targets from Skeet stand 1 - the low house is in the distance on the right.
Checking that the projected image is perfectly square and upright.
From a customer using an Apple Mac. Now, that is a good sized image - and it looks like a skeet crosser!
The author's study
The drawing below (done with SketchUp) shows the author's study in a converted attic space. There are two windows, one each side of the chimney on the left, and the one closest to the wall has the blinds down to prevent direct light falling on the wall. There is a door to the right.
The total wall length available is 3.73m (12'). The invisible sloping wall (closest to us) has a skylight which also has blinds to keep out direct light. The radiator in front of the shooting position makes for interesting rabbit targets!
The real world is never as tidy as a drawing so this is what it looks like on a normal day - but things do get moved out of the way when practising shooting and at least the Post-It notes are in the right place!
In fact the clutter doesn't matter because almost all targets, including Skeet Station 4 crossers, fit on the sloping wall above the wallpaper strip. If you can live without rabbits the junk can stay!
The author uses the Laser version of DryFire and finds a few Post-It notes extremely handy for measurements and for marking the top of imaginary trap houses - important when setting up for the correct hold point.
None of this is necessary with the Projection version because all the information is on the screen in front of you - against a photo-realistic background!
- The simulator is 1.79m from the wall and 0.83m from the floor on a peninsular unit. The slope of the wall starts 1.36m from the floor and projects 0.93m into the room which has a ceiling height of 2.4m.
- The first Post-It note has been placed at the "simulator straight ahead" position. This is the point directly in front of the simulator and at the same height as the top of the simulator's metal base.
- The second Post-It note has been placed at the "shooter straight ahead" position. This is found by standing in the normal shooting position and aiming at the wall directly in front of you - with the gun horizontal.
- Because the peninsula unit occupies the centre of the room the shooter will be standing about 0.50 to the right of the simulator and about 2.5m from the wall.
Keeping measurements in a simple spreadsheet means they are available for reference if needed in the future. In the author's case the laser version is used at home and the projection version used in the office.
DryFire Shooting Stand
The simulator may be placed on a tripod or any flat surface - a table or desk would be fine.
The photo below shows the optional DryFire Shooting Stand which provides support for the simulator and a laptop while hiding all wiring.
Please click here for more details