Electronic targets up and running 2008
The electronic target system was delivered on 12 March, over 10 weeks late, giving us only 11 days to unpack and get everything checked and set up. The task was not made easier by the fact that several bits, and much of the software, were missing. The crate arrived at Richard Scott's house, where fortunately a friendly farmer with a fork-lift unloaded the crate (which weighed nearly a ton) and placed it neatly in the middle of Richard's drive. It took five of us most of an afternoon to unpack the crate and stow everything in the garage. Over the next days much time was spent talking to the UK agents about the missing material and setting up the monitors, radio link etc.
There were an anxious few hours when it looked as if we had spent a large amount of money on targets which we could not manoeuvre into the target frames without helicopter assistance. Eventually with great difficulty, partial dismantling of the frame stays and much cursing, four men could just get each target under the mantlet then back into the modified frames. Any idea that we could easily exchange electronic targets and conventional one is best forgotten. Three men can lift a target, but it takes four to manoeuvre one with safety.
The system is now fully functional (except that we are still waiting for the 400yard faces/heat shields) and has been used 3 times, without problems. Power is supplied in the butts by a battery which is constantly charged by a solar panel on the target shed, and on the firing point by a petrol generator and transformer. Data transfer from the butts to the firing point server is by radio link.
About 150 man-hours have been put in by a small group of people. Special
thanks are due to:
Richard Scott, for allowing his garden and garage to be taken over, for numerous phone calls to the UK agents, for sourcing the additional needs such as generator, solar panel etc, and above all for electronics expertise without which the system would still be unuseable. Also to Susan Scott for tolerating the unreasonable disturbance with patience and good humour (at least when the rest of us were present).
James Bell, for metalwork, sourcing wood and metal, sourcing the huge amount of extra counterweights needed, providing trailer transport for some of the system and for keeping an eye on the ever-escalating costs of getting the system going.
Peter Burbridge, for machining the new heavy duty uprights and for the loan of a boat trailer to allow us to move half a tonne of targets from Bridge of Cally to Jubilee Range in one trip.
WARC chairman, who watched with interest and gratuitous advice while others worked, and selflessly drove into Blairgowrie to collect the workers' sandwiches.
All the above provided muscle power, as did Gerry Hogston, Jim McCall and Jackie MacLean.