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DryFire Version 5 User Guide

This Guide is for DryFire Version 5. Guides for earlier versions are provided with the software on CD.

Safety

You are personally responsible for your own safety and the safety of others around you.

  • Ensure your gun is unloaded before using it with DryFire - double check semi-automatics.
  • Just as at the shooting ground, never point a gun at anyone.
  • Keep batteries and other small parts way from young children.
  • Avoid explosions and fire by never recharging batteries unless they say "Rechargeable".
  • To prevent damage to your eyes, and the eyes of others, never look into a laser and never point it at anyone.
  • Use a cable protector to ensure you don't trip over trailing mains or USB cables.

Wordcraft International cannot be held responsible if you ignore these warnings.

Please read this first

  • Please read the DryFire Setup Guide before downloading and installing the DryFire software.
  • This Guide keeps things short. Click More ... where shown for more details.
  • DryFire carries out calculations in SI (metric) units. You may enter measurements in metric (m and/or mm) or imperial units: feet (') and/or inches ("). This Guide shows approximate conversions from metric to imperial, e.g. 1m (3') is a gross approximation but good enough.
  • Version 5 requires Windows 10 (version 1809 or later) or MacOS (version 10.14 (Mohave) or later) - it does not run on earlier versions. More ...
  • Please contact us with suggestions for changes or additions to this Guide.

Other things to help you:

DryFire v Swing

Version 5 software works with both the DryFire simulator and with Swing.

Some of the information below is not relevant to Swing: the gun assembly, results of shots, etc. but it makes sense to cover both sets of hardware in one user guide since the software operates in the same way.

Important note:

Swing shows target trajectories (single targets only) but does not detect shots or report the results of shots.

Start here for Swing setup.

What's in the box

Check you have (DryFire):

  • Simulator with two heads.
  • Power supply with mains cable.
  • Universal Gun Assembly (UGA) and barrel clamp.
  • Trigger switch and cable.
  • USB cable.

Check you have (Swing):

  • Swing
  • USB cable
  • No power supply is required for Swing because it has an internal battery which is being charged continuously over the USB port. The battery provides the energy for the two servo motors moving the laser spot.

Contact us if anything is missing.

Gun assembly setup

The Universal Gun Assembly (UGA) sends out a short pulse of infrared (IR) light when you press the trigger. IR is invisible to the human eye but can still be dangerous so never look directly into the laser and never point it at anyone

  • Wrap the trigger switch round the trigger as tightly as possible.
  • Clamp the UGA under your barrel - close to the end of the forestock.
  • Plug the trigger switch cable into the socket on the back of the UGA.
  • Secure the excess cable out of the way.
  • Switch on the UGA - the red LED will flash.
  • Press the trigger switch - the red LED should flash each time you do this.
  • The red LED will continue to flash periodically to show the UGA is switched on.
  • Switch off the UGA after use.
  • Recharge the UGA from a USB port or USB charger.

The UGA comes ready for normal "press to shoot" mode - see the Advanced UGA setup section for "release to shoot" mode.

Software setup

  • Check your PC speakers are working.
  • Place the simulator on a flat surface (or tripod) about 0.5m (1' 6") to 1.0m (3') from the floor and about 1.5m (4' 6") to 2.0m (6') from the centre of the wall. More ...
  • Connect the power supply but do not switch on yet.
  • Connect the USB cable.
  • Fit the trigger switch and Universal Gun Assembly to your gun - test the switch. (See below)
  • Switch power on - the two heads should nod.
  • Download and install the software from the support page. Do not run the software yet.
  • Read the notes about the Laser version or the Projection version before running the software for the first time.
  • Run the DryFire software.

Projection or laser

If you have purchased DryFire Projection, or the Projection add-on, you will be given a choice during setup between using "Extended Projection" (the PC data projector becomes a second screen for projected targets in addition to the screen on your PC) or "Device" (using your PC alone with laser targets).

Obviously, even if you have the Projection version or add-on, you can opt to use laser targets alone if you wish. To change from Projected to Laser targets (or v.v.) select:

"Settings", "Calibration", "Full calibration", "Calibrate", "Advanced", "Next".

Measurements

Different measurements are required for the Laser and Projection version of DryFire.

The reference point for measurements is the centre of the circular indentation on the top surface of the simulator's metal case. More ...

The first time the software runs you will be asked to enter basic measurements.

Additional measurements may be entered into the "Advanced setup" screen.

In the image below the simulator is 1.75m from the wall and the shooting position is 2.5m from the wall. Two Post-it note have been used. The lower one marks the position directly ahead of the simulator and at the same height. The upper one marks the shooter's eye height when in the shooting stance.

The shooter's eye height is the point where the gun barrel is facing when it is held horizontally with the shooter in the shooting stance. It is not the physical height of the shooter's eyes.

Note: this is an example only - your room size and other measurements will probably be different.

Laser version setup

  • Prepare two Post-It notes by drawing diagonal lines to mark their centres.
  • The DryFire simulator should face the centre of the wall/screen and be absolutely parallel with it.
  • The reference point for DryFire measurements is the centre of the indented circle on the top of the simulator's metal case.
  • Place the simulator on a flat surface (or tripod) about 0.5m to 1.0m from the floor and about 1.5m to 2.0m from the wall.

    The optional DryFire Shooting Stand is ideal for this - the simulator will be 0.65m from the floor.

  • Put a Post-It note on the wall directly in front of the simulator and at the same height - this is the "simulator straight ahead" position. Measure the distance from the wall and the height from the floor.
  • Measure how far the left and right walls are from the simulator.
  • Measure the ceiling height.
  • If the wall has a slope, measure how far up from the floor it starts and how far the top extends into the room.
  • Decide your shooting position and measure the distance from the wall.
  • Write down all your measurements before running the software. Keep the list safe for future reference
  • Stand in your shooting position, adopt a shooting position pointing straight ahead with your gun barrel horizontal. (Get someone to put a spirit level on your barrel to ensure it is horizontal.) Use a Post-It note to mark the position your are pointing at on the wall. This is the "shooter straight ahead" position
  • If your shooting position is not directly behind the simulator measure how far it is to the right (entered as a positive value, e.g. 0.60m) or left (entered as a negative value, e.g. -0.60m) of the simulator straight ahead position.
  • Run the software, enter your measurements (select "Advanced setup" for additional measurements) and select the single screen option for the laser version.

Projection version setup

Using an "Extended" display

PC projectors can operate in "extended" or "duplicated" modes.

In extended mode the two displays are independent - they can contain different things.

In duplicated mode the two displays are the same - the projector is showing a copy of your PC screen.

DryFire Projection must operate in extended mode - it will not work correctly in duplicated mode

An easy check for extended or duplicated mode

The left-hand sidebar, with the "Settings" button in the bottom, must appear only on the PC screen when the DryFire software is running with the normal simulation background displayed.

Things are wrong if you see the "Settings" button on the projected display.

Reported problem with projectors and Windows 10

Please see below for a report of Windows 10 failing to stay in extended mode.

Two displays but one mouse cursor

There is only one mouse cursor shared between the two displays - and you will probably lose it sometimes.

Keep moving the mouse left and right until the cursor appears on the screen you wish to access - it may be hiding in a corner or at the top or bottom of the screen.

Hint: a bigger cursor may help so on Windows 10 click on the Windows logo key (bottom left), then "Settings" (the gear icon), then "Ease of access", then "Cursor and pointer" (from the sidebar), then "Change pointer size".

  • You must be confident using your PC, projector and mouse in extended mode before installing DryFire.

    The procedure for Apple Mac is described here.

    The procedure for Windows 10 is described here.

    The simplest setup for Windows 10, assuming your projector is plugged into your PC and has power on, is:

    • Press the Windows Logo key plus the "P" key.
    • Click on "Extend". You'll see everything across both screens, and you can drag items between the two.

    Once you are happy using your projector in extended mode you are ready to install DryFire.

  • Your short throw projector must:

    • be central to the wall/screen,
    • be parallel to the wall or screen,
    • give the largest possible rectangular image,
    • display the top and bottom of the image horizontally - with no distortion.
  • The DryFire simulator should face the centre of the wall/screen and be absolutely parallel with it.
  • The reference point for DryFire measurements is the centre of the indented circle on the top of the simulator's metal case.
  • Place the simulator on a flat surface (or tripod) about 0.5m to 1.0m from the floor and about 1.5m to 2.0m from the wall.

    The optional DryFire Shooting Stand is ideal for this - the simulator will be 0.65m from the floor.

  • Measure the distance from the screen and the height from the floor.
  • Decide your shooting position and measure the distance from the screen.

    Write down all your measurements before running the software. Keep the list safe for future reference

  • Run the software, enter your measurements and select the twin screen for the projection version.
  • You will be asked to align your gun by shooting directly ahead of the position you will be shooting from when using DryFire:

    • take up your usual shooting stance,
    • keep your gun absolutely horizontal (get someone to put a spirit level on the barrel!),
    • press the trigger (you will hear a shot sound from you PC),
    • shoot directly at the first laser dot that appears,
    • shoot directly at the second laser dot that appears.
  • A laser dot will appear close to the centre of the projected image - use your mouse or touchpad to move the crosshair cursor so its centre is over the dot, then click left.

    Note: you will need to move the cursor from your main screen on to the projection screen, which will usually be to the right of your main screen, but may be above, below or to the left.

  • Next you will see a vertical white bar projected in the centre of the image. Measure its length and enter the value on the PC screen. The measurement should be accurate to the nearest millimetre.
  • The simulator will display a laser dot and the software will project a large arrow pointing to the top left hand corner of the screen. If the laser dot is more than 150mm from the tip of the arrow, it suggests that one of the measurements that has been entered is wrong, so restart the calibration process.
  • The PC screen will show a pad to control the location of the laser dot using up/down/left/right buttons. Move the laser dot so it is as close as possible to the tip of the arrow then click on "Next".
  • This will be repeated for the other three corners.

Report of problem with Windows 10 and extended mode

We received the following from a DryFire user in South Africa who was having problems with his projector. Unfortunately Wordcraft cannot help with Windows problems but we are really pleased it got sorted out in the end - and we now have an enthusiastic DryFire user!

  • Resolution was set to 1080 for both screens but the computer was saving the projector and laptop resolutions differently. Windows also failed to save settings entered into the extended screen options.
  • My computer guy reinstalled Windows and changed some advanced settings which had caused the extended screen to switch back to duplicate screen as soon as I opened any program including DryFire.
  • The refresh speed on the laptop was at an odd setting which was causing delays between the projector and the laptop. Now sorted.
  • Needless to say, once it was working I shot until I couldn't lift the gun any more!
  • I am so impressed with this system I hope it never breaks as I now using it every day.
  • More importantly, I am going blind in my right eye which was dominant. Within 4 days I have taught myself to shoot left-handed with 90 percent scores on most trap setups.

Muzzle alignment

Muzzle alignment is critical to the accuracy of DryFire. Do it each time you start a session and when you feel your shots may be off a little.

Click "Settings" then "Alignment" and follow these steps:

  • Shoot directly at the wall with the gun level and directly in front of your eye position - no laser dot visible.
  • Shoot directly at the laser dot for the first time.
  • Shoot directly at the laser dot for the second time.
  • If everything is OK you will see:

If things go wrong

Try the "Adjust position" option:

Swing setup

Please see the Swing Setup Guide.

Screen layout

In the example below the "Down The Line" simulation has been selected and the fifth target from Stand 3 has been released. The clay can be seen travelling up and to the left with a small cross above and in front of it marking the required lead.

The horizontal bar, on the left, towards the top, shows the clay was 0.38 seconds into its 4.00 second flight when this image was grabbed.

The left side of the screen contains menus, details of the current simulation, score card etc. while the remainder of the screen shows the current target.

When DryFire is first loaded the top left of the screen allows selection of simulations, shooters and firearms.

Selecting a simulation

Selecting "Simulations" from the top left of the screen brings up a list of available simulations.

Select "Trap" to bring up a list of the trap layouts available.

In some cases, like the American Amateur Trap Association (ATA) layouts shown here, there may be different sub-categories to choose from.

In the example below we have selected "Skeet", "English Skeet", "Standard".

Clicking "Start" will select the simulation.

Releasing targets

Having selected the English Skeet layout we are now ready to practise a complete round or to select an individual target for repetitive practice.

The three dots in the control bar bring up a context sensitive menu providing additional options depending on which simulation is selected.

In the example below "Station 4 Double" has been selected (by clicking on the third square next to "Station 4" on the score card) and we are offered four options after clicking on the three dots - the top one being "Repeat target" which would provide repetitive practice on this target.

DryFire is designed to help you with the hard ones so the repetitive target function is highly recommended.

Selecting "Repeat target" shrinks the list of targets to just this one - "Station 4 Double".

The control bar (below the target name) now offers us the single "play" button - we are ready to start!

Clicking "play" will display a microphone indicating that DryFire is ready for you to call "Pull" - so, take up your shooting position and try it.

More information about targets

In this example the "Sporting", "Ground Traps" simulation has been selected. The target chosen is simultaneous double with a rising teal and crosser to the right - both from a trap in front of the shooter.

The slider has been used to show the positions of the clays, and the aiming points (red crosses), 1.14 seconds into time of flight. The information boxes show the lead required and other details.

The rising teal is almost at the top of its travel and is moving very slowly so no lead is required. The crosser is moving at 16.37m/s to the right so 1.14m of lead ahead is required - plus a very slight amount above.

Results and feedback

The image below shows the result of shooting a round of "Down The Line". The score card shows 25 shots were taken and the score was 24/25 or 72/25 in DTL terms (3 points for a hit with the first shot in DTL) - the fourth target on stand 4 was missed!

Clicking on any target on the score card brings up a replay - in this case we can see that the shot was below and to the left of the clay

The main view shows the trajectory of the clay and the shot pattern in relation to it.

The close up at the bottom of the screen shows the shot pattern in relation to the clay - 0.41m to the left and 0.74m below. The shot was taken 0.96 seconds after calling "Pull" and the shot pattern had travelled 31.1m when it reached its closest point to the clay. The centre of the shot pattern was 0.84m from the centre of the clay at it's closest point - this is the "error" or "aiming error".

The bottom left of the screen offers the "Statistics" option and clicking on it brings up the sort of detail that really serious shooters will be interested in.

The example below shows a different background and two shots taken at the same target.

  • The first shot was high and to the left - as shown in the left hand result box. Note the green line at the bottom of the box - this matches the border of the circular image of the shot pattern shown in relation to the clay's trajectory which is displayed as a dashed yellow line.
  • The second shot, with the blue border, was very low and to the left - it was also taken very late with the clay over 52m from the trap.

Shooters

Selecting "Shooters" from the top left of the screen allows you to set up details for each shooter.

Firearms

Selecting "Firearms" from the top left of the screen allows you to set up details for each gun you will be using.

The "Basics" tab alloows you to change basic details, including the name, from the first screen or you can click on "+ New Shotgun" to create a new gun.

The "Chokes" tab allows you to have the same or different chokes in each barrel.

Chokes may be selected by name or you can create a custom choke - but you will need to know the spread (diameter) produced by the choke at two different distances. This can be done using a Pattern Plate if one is available at your shooting ground.

The preview shows the diameter of the shot pattern at a specific distance - 30m by default.

The "Cartidges" tab allows you to have the same or different cartridges in each barrel.

Cartridges may be selected from the list provided with DryFire or you can create a custom cartridge by entering a name, material, size, weight and muzzle velocity - this information should be on the cartridge box..

The "POI" tab allows you to define the Point Of Impact for your gun.

Skeet guns tend to shoot "flat" - 50% of the pellets go above the point of aim, 50% below.

Trap guns tend to shoot high because you are chasing a rising clay - 60%, 70%, 80% or even 90% of the pellets will go above the point of aim.

You can check your POI in the real world using a Pattern Plate if one is available at your shooting ground. Put a marker (Post-It note) at the centre of the Pattern Plate, step back a known distance (32m is DryFire's default), aim directly at the marker and shoot. Estimate what percentage of pellets went above the marker.

POI is normally the same for both barrels - but it doesn't have to be - check with the Pattern Plate.

Settings

Select "Settings" from the bottom left of the screen to configure how the software functions.

Calibration

Click on "Alignment" then "Align current shooter" and follow the alignment procedure above.

Click on "Shot detection" then "Adjust shot detection" if your shots are not being seen or the system is reporting random shots.

  • Make sure no direct light reaches the wall/screen Check windows, doors, ceiling lights and wall lights - and possible reflections.
  • Use the compass rose to move the camera head around and try shooting at the area it is pointing to. You should see the "SHOT" message if the system detects your shot.
  • If your shot isn't detected, drag the white spot slightly to the right to increase the camera sensitivity then try again.
  • You must find the maximum sensitivity without the system seeing background light.
  • If you can't get the right setting there will almost certainly be stray light reaching the wall or screen.

Click on "Full Calibration" then "Calibrate" to set up and check all measurements and to do muzzle alignment

Background

Select a background from the list provided.

Scaling

Things can look very small on the screen, particularly clays!

Scaling things up makes them easier to see but it doesn't change the accuracy of the system - clays aren't really bigger (unfortunately!), they just look bigger on the screen!

Increase "Results text scaling" (say, 250%) when using the laser version if your PC screen is some distance from your shooting position - this will make it much easier to see the result of each shot.

Target release

The normal method of release is acoustic (calling "Pull") using the microphone in the simulator or in a PC/laptop. Call "Pull" as you adjust the threshold - the system will respond to show it has heard you by showing "PULL" in a red box.

When not using the acoustic release, select "Auto release" and the number of seconds the system should wait (after showing the results of the previous shot) before releasing the next target.

You can create a "Wait time" - forcing you to dismount and relax for a few seconds between targets.

DryFire can generate a short random "Release delay" after calling "Pull" to simulate a human buttoner. Note: some simulations will impose a random delay anyway - because that's what's in the rule book!

Clays

You can change the screen colour of the clay and it's scaling - the on-screen size, not the real world size! Changing speed makes things interesting but can lead to strange results since going faster will improve your reaction times but the amount of lead required is not changed

The "View" option allows you to select different types of clay and to see the very complex data that defines them. It is this data that enables DryFire to accurately reproduce the paths followed by clays in the real world.

Note about clay speed

The ability to speed up or slow down a clay was added at the request of DryFire users but it is not as simple as it looks.

The real world speed of a clay is determined by the spring tension on a trap.

In DryFire the spring tension is defined in the simulation file according the rule books - this cannot be changed.

Changing the speed in this screen is like a slow motion or fast motion function - it doesn't change the spring tension. The clay will appear to be going slower or faster but things like the lead required do not change.

So, be careful when speeding up or slowing down clays using this function - you could learn bad habits because the amount of lead will look wrong.

Results

For a complete description click, on the small circle containing an "i" next to each option

Wind

DryFire will generate gusts of wind from zero up to the speed specified and from the direction specified.

Set the direction by dragging the white dot on the slider or by entering a value directly - in degrees. Zero would be wind coming from the North, 180 would be from the south.

Sounds

You can select what level of helpful voice messages DryFire should provide through your PC/laptop speaker.

It can also simulate the sound made by the trap when the clay is released.

An echo sound can be played when the clay reaches a certain distance - perhaps the distance at which the energy from the pellets would be insufficient to break it.

Localisation

Select language and measurement system: Metric (metres) or Imperial (inches).

Add-ons

This displays a list of optional software add-ons enabled in your version.

It also allows you to enter the "key" provided by Wordcraft when you purchase an add-on.

Support

You will need the information provided here should you ever have contact us for support.

If you have a problem we may ask you to send us a log file. Click "View Advanced support" then "Download support data" to create the file. A window will open showing where the file, "dfv5_support.txt" has been created so you can attach it to an email for us.

... Miscellaneous

"Out of ammo" means you have fired both barrels and at least one target is still moving.

You can "Wait for targets" to reach the ground, "Skip" straight to seeing the results of your shots, or set a "Timer" before showing the results. The timer starts from when you took your last shot.

"Laser targets" defines when laser targets should be used with the projection version of DryFire. "Auto" lets DryFire decide so it uses lasers for targets that won't fit within the projection area.

"Single head target select" determines how a single head simulator behaves if you miss with the first target on doubles. "Switch" will display the remaining path of the second clay while "Stay" will continue the path of the first clay.

"Reload" and "Development tools" are for development use only.

Advanced UGA setup

The UGA is normally triggered by the pressing the trigger switch and it normally operates in "press to fire" mode.

Configuring the UGA

Should you need it, the UGA Bluetooth configuration app runs under Apple iOS, Android or Windows 10 and connects to the UGA via Bluetooth. Click to download the version you want:

The app will look slightly different on each "platform" but the functions are the same.

This image is from the Windows 10 version.

  • Fire on press: the gun "fires" when you press the trigger. This is the way most people shoot.
  • Fire on release: the gun "fires" when you release the trigger. Also called "set trigger".
  • Universal: the gun "fires" when the UGA detects the vibration caused by the firing pin.
  • Laser pulse length: the length of the pulse of IR light released when you "fire".
  • Trigger sensitivity: the lower the value, the more sensitive the system will be to vibrations.
  • Advanced: options to control the accelerometer which measures vibration - leave these alone unless we suggest changes.

Bluetooth problems

Bluetooth can be flaky so keep the UGA fairly close to your PC or smartphone and to run the app immediately after switching on the UGA. The UGA "advertises" its presence for one minute after being switched on so the app should detect it. If not, switch off the UGA, close the app, wait 10 seconds, switch on the UGA, run the app.

Not all PCs and laptops running Windows 10 have decent or up-to-date Bluetooth devices inside them so if you have problems we recommend trying the Belkin F8T065BF Bluetooth USB dongle. (By the way: did you know we invented, and named, "dongles"?)