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DryFire Version 5 User Guide

This Guide

Version 5 is new, this Guide is new.

If you find something badly explained, or not explained at all, please send an email to the address below and it will be fixed ASAP - usually the same day. (Note: this address is for the Guide only.)

"How do I ...?"

We are building up a separate "How do I ..." Guide covering specific things you may wish to do - please try it if you can't find what you are looking for here.

Please let us know if you think of anything that could be added.

Getting started

To avoid tearing your hair out please work carefully, step by step, through this Guide.

Accurate setup is the key to using DryFire so please take your time, don't rush.

Key steps

  • Please don't connect you simulator until asked to do so.
  • Attach the trigger switch and Universal Gun Assembly (UGA) to your shotgun.
  • Download, install and run the DryFire Version 5 software.
  • Connect the simulator to a power socket and to a USB port on your PC.
  • Complete the setup information requested.

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.

About this Guide

This User Guide covers Dryfire Version 5 hardware and software.

User Guides for earlier versions are contained on the CD supplied with the system.

  • DryFire operates with either Metric (metres) or Imperial (inches) measurements - this Guide uses Metric.
  • "Click" means click the left mouse button or tap on a touch screen.
  • "Select" means find the right thing and click on it.

This Guide does not cover every feature of every screen in DryFire because the best time to see that level of detail is when the screen is in front of you. Look out for the small circular symbol containing the letter"i" next to values on various screens - click for helpful information.

What's in the box

You should find:

  • Simulator with two heads - each contains a laser and camera.
  • Power supply with mains cable.
  • Universal Gun Assembly (UGA) and barrel clamp.
  • Trigger switch and cable.
  • USB cable.

Contact us if anything is missing.

Gun assembly setup

The Universal Gun Assembly (UGA) sends out a very short (1/30th second) 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

The gun assembly has two parts:

  • Trigger switch - this wraps round your trigger blade like a tree tie. Wrap any excess cable round the trigger guard and use the supplied clips to keep the cable secure to your barrel. The two way cable fits into the two pin socket on the UGA.

    Set your gun on safe so the trigger blade doesn't move - this provides some resistance for the trigger switch

  • UGA - this clips to your gun barrel with the clamp and Allen key provided - the larger hole is for the UGA, the smaller one for the barrel of your gun. Fitting the UGA close to the end of the forestock minimises weight so it doesn't interfere with your swing.

    The UGA body has a diameter of about 25.4mm (1") so can be fitted to any type of firearm (shotgun, rifle, pistol) with adapters used for things like scopes and flashlights. It can fit directly to a barrel or to a Picatinny rail using adapters available online or from gun dealers.

    The UGA connects to a PC or Smartphone via Bluetooth for configuration and the optional Gun Motion software.

    The UGA is recharged over a standard USB connection to a PC/laptop or USB mains charger - the yellow LED indicates the battery is charging and the green LED will come on when it is fully charged.

    Note: the USB socket is for recharging only, the UGA does not communicate over USB.

Using the Universal Gun Assembly (UGA)

The UGA is triggered by:

  • Pressing the trigger switch.
  • By sensing the vibration caused by the click of the firing pin. This is called "Seismic mode".
  • "Seismic mode"

    Some high end guns have "direct mechanical" triggers which don't require recoil to set the trigger for a second shot.

    Most shotguns have "inertia block" triggers which do use recoil to set the trigger for a second shot.

    Seismic mode detects the physical action of a direct mechanical trigger so the trigger switch is not required.

    However: direct mechanical guns require the gun opening and closing after each target (singles or doubles) to reset the trigger. Some people are happy doing this, others aren't.

    We recommend using the trigger switch with all types of guns: direct mechanical and inertia block. If in doubt, use the trigger switch.

Setting up the UGA

  • Fix the UGA to your gun barrel with the clamp provided. Slightly ahead of the forend is our recommended location.
  • Fit the trigger switch round the trigger blade and plug the cable into the two pin socket on the UGA. Use the clip provided to hold the cable to the barrel close to the UGA and wrap any excess cable round the trigger guard.
  • When you are ready to start shooting switch the UGA on - the red LED will flash as the system goes through a self-test mode before the LED settles down flashing briefly once every five seconds
  • The system is now ready for use - when you have finished shooting don't forget to switch off the UGA.

Optional: configuring the UGA

You probably don't need to do this because the system is pre-configured to fire when you press the trigger - exactly what most of us want.

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. Also called "seismic release".
  • 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 is a great idea - in theory. It usually works fine when streaming audio but it can be a little "sensitive" when connecting devices for data exchange. It can also "drop out" as anyone who has used their mobile phone in certain cars will confirm!

The best advice is to 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"?)

First time software setup

  • Make sure your PC speakers are switched on and at a reasonable volume. They provide audible feedback when you press the trigger - very important during setup.
  • Download and install the software. Respond positively if your PC asks for any permissions during installation.
  • Place the simulator on a flat surface, or tripod, about 1.50m/2.00m from the centre of the wall and about 0.50m/1.00m from the floor. The ideal setup is with your standing directly behind the simulator.
  • Connect the simulator to your PC with the USB cable provided.
  • >
  • Connect the power supply to the left-hand socket on the simulator - do not switch on yet.
  • Fit the UGA and trigger switch as described above.
  • Switch on the UGA and wait for the red LED to settle down to flash once every five seconds.
  • Switch on the simulator power supply - the head(s) should nod slightly.
  • Click on the DryFire icon to run the downloaded app.

Setup procedure

This is really, really important, we can't emphasise enough how important it is - it is really important!

Accurate setup = accurate targets and accurate feedback

DryFire can provide accurate targets and accurate feedback only if:

  • you have entered accurate setup measurement data,
  • you have carried out accurate muzzle alignment.

Simulator setup

Please see the Typical setup page for an example of a room setup - and for details of a simple DryFire cabinet.

Place the simulator on a flat surface or tripod - ideally between 0.5m and 1.0m from the floor.

The power supply is connected to the left hand socket on the back of the simulator.

The USB cable is connected to the right hand socket.

Take care to keep trailing mains or USB cables away from where you move around the room - use a cable protector if possible. (Search for "cable protector" in your browser.)

Simulator location

The simulator should be horizontal - check with a spirit level.

It should face approximately the centre of the wall and be perpendicular to it - with its front face parallel with the wall.

All simulator measurements are taken from centre of the circular insert in the top of the metal base.

If you are using the optional projection version of DryFire the simulator is located behind the short throw projector.

Laser version - Post-it notes

The projection version of DryFire puts all the information on the screen in front of you - you can see the trap so you know where the clay is coming from.

For the laser version Post-it notes can be extremely useful.

The photo below shows a room with a sloping ceiling and where the shooter stands about 0.7m to the right of the simulator. The three Post-it notes indicate key positions:

  • The straight ahead position of the simulator - where the simulator is facing and at the same height.
  • The shooter straight ahead position. This is directly in front of the shooting position and at the shooter's eye height when in the shooting stance.

    This position is used when doing gun alignment - which will be described in more detail later.

  • The trap position. In this case is is the location of the trap for DTL. Obviously the shooter will be looking slightly downwards toward the top of the trap. The laser targets will start at this point on the wall.

The first time you run the software you will see the screen below:

Note: in many screens you can return to a previous screen by clicking the left arrow top left of the screen.

  • Select how you want measurements displayed or entered: metric (in metres) or imperial (in inches.
  • Enter the three distances required: simulator to wall, simulator to floor, shooter to wall.
  • Click on "Advanced setup" if you wish to enter slope values, side wall distances etc.

Click on "Ceiling mounted simulator" if you have fixed your simulator upside down to the ceiling - the button will go red when you do this.

You may enter the location of the left and right hand walls if you wish - i.e. how far they are to the left/right of the simulator. This information is used when DryFire displays laser targets which start/end on the side walls (Skeet station 4 perhaps) - the software automatically adjusts the target speed so the angular speed seen by you is correct.

Click "Next" when done.

Select which display mode you will be using:

  • Extended projection: the projector will show the current layout and targets, the PC/laptop will show layout selection, results etc.
  • Device: no projector, everything done on the PC/laptop screen, laser targets only.

Multiple screens and "where's the cursor?"

Most PCs and laptops can support more than one display screen - which can be confusing for those of us normally sitting in front of one only!

When using DryFire's projection option one display will be on your PC/laptop and the other will be on the wall/screen in front of you.

Inside the computer's memory the two displays are laid out side by side: the left one on the PC, the right one in front of you.

The cursor can't be on both displays at the same time so, if you can't see it, try moving it a long way to the left or right until it appears on the display you want.

Muzzle and projector Alignment

Ensure things are square on:

  • Check your Universal Gun Assembly is mounted firmly directly under your barrel(s)
  • Check that the simulator is facing the wall squarely.
  • If you are using the projection version please check the projector is central to the wall/screen and adjust its the location so the image is as large as required and square on. Check the top and bottom of the image are horizontal.

Check that your PC speakers are enabled and at a suitable volume so you can hear each shot.

Important

Accurate alignment is critical for accurate use.

You can return to the alignment procedure at any time while shooting by selecting the "Settings" option from the menu.

Return to alignment if the software displays "Miss" when you are 100% sure you have hit the target.

Muzzle alignment

The alignment procedure has the following 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:

Projector alignment

These additional steps are required if you are using the projection version:

  • Check the projector is central to the wall/screen and adjust its the location so the image is as large as required and square on. Check the top and bottom of the image are horizontal.
  • A laser dot will appear close to the centre of the image - use your mouse or touchpad to move the cursor so its tip touches the dot then click left.
  • 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 simulator will display a laser dot and the software will project a large arrow pointing to the top left hand corner of the screen.

    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.

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 0.38s 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

"Alignment" - this is critical for accurate targets and accurate results.

Select "I'm not using a projector" if you are using the laser-only version and you have not purchased the "Projection" add-on.

Measure the distance from the simulator to the wall, the height of the simulator from the floor, and the distance from the wall to where you will be standing to shoot. Enter the values in the boxes shown.

Stand at your shooting position, gun mounted as if you were about to take a shot, and aim directly ahead of you with the barrel horizontal to the floor. Note where you are aiming and put a Post-It note there.

Now, click and hold on the "+" cross on the screen and drag the laser to the centre of the Post-It note - release when it is there.

Click on "Done" at the bottom of the screen when everything is set up.

Click on "Configure overflow" to set up areas that may be outside the width/height of your wall or if your wall has a sloping surface.

Use the sliders to move the laser to identify the points where the wall meets the left and right side wall and where it meets the ceiling.

Click on "Sloped walls" if you have sloping walls then select which has a slope - normally "Ceiling" when the wall slopes towards you. Click on "Save" after you have selected.

Measure and enter the ceiling height then use the sliders to move the laser to the points where the slope starts and ends.

Click the left arrow (top left) when you have finished.

Click on "Adjust shot detection" to adjust the camera sensitivity so that it sees shots but doesn't see stray light.

The DryFire camera(s) are sensitive to Infra Red (IR) light so they can detect the short pulse of IR laser light fired from the Universal Gun Assembly when you shoot. The sun, bright lights and reflections are also sources of IR light so DryFire works best in subdued lighting with no external sources of bright light.

The first step is to move the camera head around the room looking for stray light. If any is seen, through a door or window perhaps, try masking it off in some way - close the door, pull the curtains etc. In extreme cases you may have to cover up the source of light in some way.

The next stage is to try shooting at targets at different points on the wall. Move the laser to different points in front of you, where you would normally expect to take shots, and try a shot.

Click on "My shots aren't being detected" if DryFire doesn't see your shot - this will give you a chance to adjust the sensitivity of the camera before trying again.

Click on "Align current shooter" to take a muzzle alignment shot at a laser dot directly in front of you. Click on "Done" when you are happy - DryFire remembers the location of the last shot only.

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!

Target release

The normal method of release is acoustic (calling "Pull") using the microphone in the simulator or in a PC/laptop. You can adjust the microphone threshold so it responds correctly without picking up external noise.

When not using the acoustic release, targets can be released automatically.

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.

Results

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

Support

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

... 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.

Warranty

For warranty details please see our Terms & Conditions of sale.