Keep it simple
We have seen thousands of DryFire installations in houses, barns, sheds, offices, garages, dining rooms, dens, outhouses, factory units, bedrooms, attics - and our advice is to keep things very simple to start with.
- Indoors. (DryFire is designed for indoor use only.)
- Subdued lighting - not dark but no light falling directly on the wall.
- A wall 3m to 5m wide and 2m to 3m high.
- Simulator about 1.5m/2.0m from the wall and between 0.5m and 1.0m from the floor.
- Shoot from behind the simulator so you are about 2.5m from the wall.
- Laser targets first - even if you have purchased the projection add-on.
- Accurate measurements - in metres (not mm, not cm) or inches.
That's it. You can add the more advanced stuff later: projection, large screen, projector on the ceiling, simulator on the ceiling (possible, but not really recommended) etc.
So: get the basic system working first.
Shooter to wall distance
Many people find it strange that DryFire can replicate all clay shooting targets indoors when you are standing so close to the wall or screen. Some people initially feel "crowded" by this closeness - don't worry, the feeling soon goes away!
Clay shooting, indoors and outdoors, is all about angles: the angle through which you swing and the angle of lead required to break the clay at any point during its flight.
The diagram below shows the shooter's location at the bottom and two clays crossing 25m in front. The clays start about 50 degrees left and right of the shooter - rather like skeet station 4. A more detailed and accurate drawing of the angles in a skeet layout may be seen here.
At that distance and angle the distance between the extremes is just under 60m.
Now let's imagine we were in a room and standing 10m from the wall. For the same angle of swing the wall would have to be just under 24m wide - a big room!
If we stand 2.5m from the wall it can be a lot shorter - 6m.
So, the closer you stand to the wall, the shorter it needs to be.
The DryFire software needs to know how far you are from the wall so it can generate accurate targets. You can stand further away for most targets if you wish - as long as you tell DryFire what that distance is.
Failure to tell DryFire the distances it needs to know will result in strange target trajectories and inaccurate feedback - missed shots.
You need a PC or laptop with a spare USB port running either:
- Microsoft Windows 10/11 (version 1809 or later) with an Intel or AMD processor (not ARM).
- Apple MacOS (version 10.14 (Mohave) or later).
Check you have the latest Windows/Mac updates installed.
- 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.
Animation of a typical room setup
Click the image below to view or download an MP4 video showing an animation of a typical room setup. In this case a projector and screen are shown but the room requirements are the same for laser and projected targets.
The room is about 4m x 4m with a ceiling height of 2.4m. The simulator is mounted on the DryFire Shooting Stand so is 0.65m from the floor and 1.75m from the screen. A short-throw projector is on the floor immediately in front of the Shooting Stand. The shooter will be standing behind the simulator, 2.5m from the screen.
Important note: the vertical bar, arrows and Post-it notes are used at different stages during projection setup - they, and the background image, are not all on the projection screen at the same time.
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.
Screen or wall?
The further you stand from the wall/screen, the wider the wall/screen must be - so, don't stand too far away - 2.5m (8') is more than enough.
It is worth remembering that you should be taking your shots within your comfort zone - directly in front of you when facing the wall/screen - you should not be chasing crossers into the ground!
You can use a plain wall or a home cinema projection screen with an aspect ratio of 16:9. Large screens are not cheap but they may be brighter than a painted wall. Try a web search for paint for home cinema screens if you want to try painting a wall.
You have a choice if you find trajectories starting or ending beyond the projected screen 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 or ultra short throw. These can be placed low down close to a screen or wall.
- Resolution: 1080p 1920 x 1080.
- Aspect: Ratio 16:9 Native, 4:3 Compatible.
- Brightness: 3000 ANSI Lumens or more.
- Contrast: 28,000:1.
- Throw Ratio: 0.49:1 (or similar).
- Zoom Type: Fixed (or variable).
- Projection Distance: 0.5 - 3.35 metres.
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.
Ensure the projector's aspect ratio is set to "Native" or "Auto" and that any "Image shift" or "Zoom" features are set to zero.
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