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Need help with my HomeLeSS- Home Laser Shooting Simulator

Discussion in 'Technical' started by gunbunny, Dec 19, 2014.

  1. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    I need help getting this system to run.

    homeless system 3.

    Here's the pictures of my equipment temporarily set up in my living room:
    homeless system.
    homeless system 2.

    I have a handle on the hardware- I'm good with that. I used to be an electrician, and will be seemlessly integrating this system into my living room after I am sure everything works the way I want it to. Most of the equipment is still analog, and only a fraction is all digital. I also have to figure out lengths of cable I have to make and how to hide it in the trim along the ceiling.

    I have set up the other stuff in the photo not directly related to the HomeLeSS; surround with subwoofer, Sony entertainment system, old VHS (I still have a vast collection of movies on tape), and Atari system for fun. The dedicated hardware is: the new projector, web cam, PC (windows 8), and Laserlyte SIRT handgun trainer.

    I was planning on getting the entertainment system (the old remanents can be seen still hanging on the wall) updated with a projector. When I first saw the article on the HomeLeSS, I got excited. I had most of the needed stuff lying around, I just needed a trigger to get the rest and rip apart my living room.

    Now I need help getting the software (since it's open source it doesn't have a "press here to play" button) to run. I believe I have all the necessary files downloaded and unzipped, including the GStreamer.freedesktop.org and Processing.org files.

    I try to run a file, but it says that I don't have the software to open it. I don't even know which file to start with. Luckily, I downloaded everything and unzipped them into a single folder.

    I need someone to translate the programmer written stuff and dumb it down for me. I want to run the Bubbles program- where targets float around on the screen and you shoot them with the laser trainer for a time reading. The Target Acquisition program looks like fun, but not in the living room (at least not now).

    I can't wait for this to get more mainstream- when people other than myself write programs for it and create a bunch of different scenarios and games to use the system with.

    Here's some information on it if anyone hasn't heard about it yet:

    Open-Source Laser Shooting Simulator | Hackaday
    Home LASER Shooting Simulator preview - Page 2 - www.ShootForum.com
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 28, 2015
    stg58 likes this.
  2. techsar

    techsar Monkey++

    When you start HitAnalyzer, (Hit_Analyzer_win.bat) it says ...what, exactly? This is going to be the starting point, since The Bubbles TD uses HA to interconnect...if HA doesn't work, nothing else is going to link up properly (if at all.)

    BTW, GStreamer isn't needed for MS, just GNU/Linux.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2014
    gunbunny likes this.
  3. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    That shows you the extent of my computer savvy. It figures, GStreamer was far easier to download than Processing.org- Processing was a list of files to download, that mostly seemed to be updates to themselves. I just chose the latest one and was done quickly, but I'm still not sure I downloaded the correct file.

    I'll play around with the system tomorrow and get back to you, I don't want to wake everybody in the house tonight when I cuss because the stinking computer won't work.

    Thanks for giving me a place to start, Techsar, that's where I'll crack on.
  4. techsar

    techsar Monkey++

    No problem...well, other than my wife thinking that something like that would be nice to set up.

    You may have been instrumental in creating a monster ;)

    But back on topic - did you download the Win 32 or Win 64 zip file (to match whichever system you are running?) There is a pdf manual included that has some setup info in it that may be helpful.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2014
    gunbunny likes this.
  5. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    I'll keep in touch as this thing unfolds. My children resent not having free use to their LEGO table because I won't let them play in the living room until I get everything straightened out. I also have friends coming over for new years and they would absolutely love it. When it works I'll write a review showing all the components, including the SIRT.

    It is actually nice to have the SIRT around just to train with all by itself; it will show you any weaknesses in your trigger technique, and will help build up the muscles in your trigger finger. Why? Because you want to point it at ALL the inanimate (including TV) objects in your house just to see if you can keep the dot hitting small, and from moving as you follow through.

    (Current targets include but not limited to power receptacles, light switches, lamps, pictures on the wall, individual nail holes in the paneling, cracks in the plaster, flies on the wall, etc.)

    I have a feeling that if more people catch on to this system, more people will write interesting programs for it. There is a German company selling software for a similar hardware setup, but decline to give any information about the price or what actually makes the software run. I think they want to keep their stuff proprietary so they can sell it to arcades, large gun shops, etc.

    The other nice thing is that any LaserLyte training cartridge will work with this system. I was going to just buy the 9mm Laser Training Cartridge, Amazon.com : NEW SIRT 110 Pro Training Pistol with Red/Green Lasers & Red Metal Slide by Next Level Training. Includes Case, Weighted Magazine, Manuals, DVD & Tools : Airsoft Pistols : Sports & Outdoors

    The nice thing about the training cartridges, is that you can use YOUR carry gun, YOUR carbine, etc to practice with. It may not be exactly like going out to the range and shooting, but since I got the SIRT, my trigger finger has gotten a workout. It is easy and convenient, HomeLeSS system not required for fun; but I'm betting it will be a lot more after it's up and running.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2015
  6. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    I have gotten the target analyzer to work and was shooting at the 25 Meter pistol target calibrated for a 9mm hit indicator, while shooting at the target with the SIRT at fifteen feet. The computer doesn't read the camera as fast as I can shoot at the target, though. I'll have to read about it some more and see where I can adjust the settings to work a little faster or get it more sensitivity.

    I have gotten the bubbles program to run, but have yet to figure out how to get the target analyzer to work with the bubbles. I wonder if I have to get my laptop out and connect the two together (like in the first photo) for it to work, to have both programs running on the forefront of the desktop?

    The big difference was: 1) realizing I needed a starting point to run the programs 2) downloading JAVA- it won't work without it.
  7. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    I've been playing with the target analyzer, but I still can't get the bubbles TD to run fully. The program runs well, the targets float around and bounce off each other, even make noise when you click on them with the mouse, but there is no target acquisition.

    I've looked on the original HomeLeSS website, reading in the support menu. It seems that others have had similar problems. Processing settings :: HomeLESS.eng

    I was trying to run processing 2.21 in my downloaded menu package, double clicking on the udp sender and receiver files. I kept getting- Package 'hypermedia' does not exist. Libraries must be installed in a folder named libraries inside the 'sketchbook' folder.

    So, as per the text files, I tried to create the sketchbook folder full of the needed files. /xxxxx/xxxxx/sketchbook/libraries, then /modes, then /projects, then lastly /tools. I obviously picked up the wrong files as I would run the processing file and nothing would happen.

    The programmer wrote that I needed to download files labled IMPORT from this site: laabicz/HomeLESS · GitHub

    I can't find it. Anyway, I always have YAC (yet another cleaner) scan the files as I download, but since the computer that I am installing this on is for entertainment only, I am willing to experiment a little bit. Well, after I ran the virus scanner, I found four trojans within the files. YAC quarantined them, and the program still runs (hit analyzer) fine without these files.

    Still trying.

    I'm not good with this type of tech, I need help. Downloading is one thing, having to make my own directories and file setup is another.
  8. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    The PDF manuals are frustrating because the writer's grasp of English (although it's very good, if he was talking to me I would be able to understand easily), but since he's dealing with a topic that I myself am fuzzy on, makes for less than ideal communication.
  9. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    I gave up on the open source freeware, and went and paid for a program called LASR: Laser Activated Shot Reporterafter looking at several programs. I finally decided which one after talking to the one and only company that would take my call. Support for your system is graciously provided by the Lasrapp guys.

    I told them what I was planning on doing; that I wanted to project a target on my screen and shoot at it with the laser SIRT pistol. He stated that only one other person did that, and they used a flat screen LCD TV with a slightly dulling film over the surface to reduce glare while still allowing the laser to reflect.

    So, after buying the software and downloading the files, I got to work. Because there is still a lot of ambient light in the room (the projector is fine, but my camera is a little fickle), I had to play around with the shading of the targets. The LASR program will allow up to 9 targets on the screen at one time.

    Here's a screen shot of the target (that I made in five minutes with Microsoft Paint) that I was shooting at:
    9 target (10).

    I also played around with the random shot caller to call out (my system is set up with a surround sound system) targets to shoot at random, having a set or random nuber of shots needed to "knock down" the targets. There is a lot of configurability with the system- you can shoot at precise targets and practice IDPA type senarios, or you can just play around like me and shoot at small "plate" targets.

    The feedback is sound only, but after talking to the staff at Lasrapp, they may be motivated to providing some visual feedback for people like me who have it set up with a projector. The modularity of the program is nice; as there are several apps that you can buy separately if you are really serious about shooting matches.

    The system is fun, and after shooting over 250 "rounds" I noticed my hand and arm was tired. The realism will depend a lot on the shooter, and the laser pistol device used. The SIRT pistol is surly a good investment, the trigger is somewhat like that of a Glock pistol. It isn't perfect, but since shooting live rounds in my living room is not possible, this is. It is a lot of fun, too.

    I plan on getting another SIRT once they start to sell their M&P SIRT, and I'll make sure the laser is red. That way, my wife and I can shoot simultaneously (my SIRT being green and her's red, the program can tell the difference and score accordingly).

    Although I was able to mostly integrate the system into my living room, I have yet to finish the small details, like a few pieces of trim, a proper clean up, and tying the chords up and out of view. Here's a few views of the system:

    PC310020 (912 x 684).
    The QUMI digital LCD projector mounted to the ceiling. It runs nicely!

    P1220014 (684 x 912).
    The computer and Sony Entertainment system built decades apart that I was able to get running together. Full surround sound will be accomplished in the near future, as I started the new semester and won't have much time for that right now. The LASR program is seen running on the second monitor. I'm thinking about replacing it with a touchscreen instead, but would still need a mouse to run the primary screen from the projector. I'm still thinking about that.

    P1220013 (912 x 684).
    The picture of the targets didn't turn out that great, but I numbered them so I knew which ones to shoot at when the computer shouts commands. It looks much better in person.

    P1220012 (912 x 684).
    How the system fits into the room. I still have a lot of cleaning up to do, as remodeling tends to be a messy affair. But from here, you can see the size of the targets in relation to the shooting position. I've only just begun to tap into the capabilities of the LASR system.

    Trust me, I've had my share of problems with it, mostly stemming from changing light conditions and my web cam (logitech 310) being a piece of crap. The system can only run that particular camera on low resolution, and the temporary position of the camera makes me have to zoom it to full capacity to just capture the image of only the screen. I have nine different gray scales of the same 9 target picture loaded up, so that as lighting conditions change I change the gray scales (lighter for daylight to darker for nighttime) and autoreconfigure the lighting conditions with just a keystroke.

    Fun, fun, fun.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2015
    techsar and kellory like this.
  10. techsar

    techsar Monkey++

    Glad to see you're making some headway on this...and glad my wife hasn't seen it yet ;) That means I'll have some time before she demands a similar setup!
  11. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    She probably won't want to see the pictures of my living room. It's a pigsty right now.

    Mrs Gunbunny was trying out the system last night, and had a ball with it. I'll experiment a little more with getting a better looking target.

    You can save the target indicators in the program, so when the camera is in a permanent and fixed location, you just look through a file of .jpg or .gif and display them on the second screen, run the LASR program on the first screen, and pull up the target indicator files you previously made for that specific picture.

    It's just point and shoot after that.

    I'm thinking of: a row of nine bottles on top of a wood fence in a field, a set of nine steel rectangles or circles in the middle of the woods, and possibly a picture of a bad guy behind a hostage with no shoot zones. Just as long as the contrast and lighting are right, you can really make a picture of anything into a target.
  12. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Political figures? [sarc1]
  13. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    I've swapped out computers and my software license for the LASR program. My new processor is 3.3Mhz instead of the old "laptop in a box" piece of un-upgradeable crap with a 1.4Mhz processor.

    I also permanently mounted the target actuating webcam to the projector package so it will not move anymore, and is twice as close to the target screen than before. The faster processor helps quite a bit with the camera resolution through the LASR program.

    The lasrapp program responds much better, but I still have to change the lighting conditions between day and night.

    I love the feature that you can save target data, so all I do is pull up a picture on screen 1, and load up the target data for that particular picture, set the options (number of call outs, multiple hits required to knock down, timer, etc), and ready to go. The only thing better would be to have the options saved with the target data.

    Here's some samples of targets I've been working with:
    2 square shoot no shoot.
    9 round rifle targets.
    summer biathlon 25 and 50 M.

    I'm going to have to adjust the size of the biathlon targets once I project them on the screen. I have no clue as to what size they would be in relation to where my screen is and distance to me. Trial and error will be the name of the game.

    9 beer bottles sitting on a fence.

    I pulled this picture off the web, and modified it a bit to work better with the LASR program. The contrast has to be lower than usual or the laser dot gets lost in the bright spots. The white labels may cause the LASR program to think they are laser hits, I won't know until I run this picture and find out. If so, I'll modify the picture some more by putting a filter over it to darken it some more until it works. The program wouldn't be so finicky if I wasn't shooting at the highly reflective surface of the projector screen.
    9 beer bottles sitting on a fence (2).

    If there was some way I could add a short soundbit of breaking glass every time the LASR program detected a hit, it would be perfect.

    This system is fun, it really is a shooting gallery in my living room- just no movement from the targets. Maybe someday they will make a plugin for that.

    In the meantime, I just received Laserlyte's LT-LR (laser trainer .22lr)- a device that fits into teh barrel of a .22lr pistol or rifle, and emits a red laser beam for a half second when it recognizes the hammer falling. It is a little sensitive, when I have the unit attached to my Winchester Model 69, it blinks when I pull the cocking bolt back. It is still more fun than anything just short of actually shooting.

    LaserLyte — Trainer 22 Caliber

    I'm working on a way to make an adapter so the unit will fit securely on a barrel with a 1/2-28 pitch thread on the end, like my AR.

    I would recommend the LASRAPP software to anybody- you don't need a projector screen to operate it; it is made to point a web camera at a target pasted on a wall and shoot lasers at it.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015
    Sapper John and techsar like this.
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