Drone for moving target practice

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    • #62008

        Had this idea recently and played with it a bit with family yesterday.

        Bought a Phantom 3 quadcopter fairly cheap. The thought was to hang a cardboard IDPA silhouette 8 foot or so below it via fishing line and hooks and fly it back and forth hauling the target while a shooter engages the target.

        It worked o.k. right off the bat but I did not realize the amount of down draft of air the quadcopter produced. I went with 20 lb. fishing line but I will probably try 550 and attach via a carabiner or S hook so as to hopefully stop the twirling action on the target that I think is caused by the down draft. I may need to add some furing strip material to the target or even use a heavier target. Supposedly that model can lift upwards of 12 lbs. but I haven’t tried anything heavier than the cardboard target just yet.

        Anyone ever done anything similar? Have any ideas on this? I figure this will be a great way to get some practice in tracking and shooting moving targets at distance.

      • #62009
        Joe (G.W.N.S.)

          Have any ideas on this?

          Were you using a single line?

          One possible idea is to use two lines. Shoulder attachment points on target and the widest points on drone, possibly a light weight spar attached to drone. Might reduce spin.

          Maybe instead of a line use a lightweight spar from drone to target. Possible spar material such as balsa wood, carbon fiber tubes etc…

          This material is available at R/C hobby stores and online.

          Another idea is to split two IDPA targets, one from top center to halfway down, the other split from bottom center halfway up. Slip two pieces together and glue or tape. Then spinning wouldn’t really matter as you would always have something to hit.

          Another trick with any hanging target is cutout a center aim point to insert a inflated balloon. Line is attached to balloon, when balloon is hit target drops.

          Just a few thoughts.

          Keep us updated to any solution you find.

        • #62010

            Check out Gnat warfare. They have some cool videos of their remote control target.

          • #62011

              I have wrecked a lot of drones. Here is a lesson learned the hard way.

              NO CAPES! In the event the taget becomes detached, the line or whatever you have it suspended with can’t be allowed into the prop arch. You should weight the line at a minimum.

              A streamer into one of the props will cause the drone to roll upside down and accelerate into the ground at arounnd 1g. Once on the ground and inverted the non-jammed propps will chew themselves up in the dirt until, they hit something hard enough to activate the emergency breaking mode, or you do something about it. This event does look cool, but it is really bad for the drone and will almost undoubtedly screw up your camera gimbal and your props.

              The ribon cables in those gimbals are madening to replace and the camera data lines are worse. They do sell complete replacements for the whole assembly, but they are not cheap.

            • #62012

                Tried two lines yesterday, each to one landing leg (different sides). Thought that might be enough but I did not consider/realize the down draft of the air from the thing.

                What is a spar? To me it’s about a 5 minute fight five or six times each class :) LOL

                Abacus- good point on the lines. We looked at that yesterday.

                I lightly crashed it yesterday, without the target on it. So for now we are just going to focus on learning to fly it worth a crap and play with the moving target idea.

                My thought was to have a moving target set up that was more erratic and less predictable versus angled cables and runners, etc. I’ve done those before and it gets really predictable quick. The drone operator could run or walk the target one direction, then abruptly change directions, drop altitude to make the target go down (light taking cover in high grass), drag it on the ground a bit then “pop up” and run a different direction/angle, move towards you or away, etc.

              • #62013

                  Check out Gnat warfare. They have some cool videos of their remote control target.


                • #62014

                    I saw it on Instagram but they have a website.

                  • #62015


                      Expensive, but I think one could be made for much less.

                    • #62016

                        Been using RC aircraft for shotgunning for years

                      • #62017

                          Well I crashed the damn thing again… LOL Good thing I don’t need the camera.

                          Tried a new setup this afternoon with a cut piece of pegboard like people hang tools from, along with 550 as the drop lines. It wouldn’t pick it up. So next I’m going to try a F target backer. :wacko:

                        • #62018

                            I’ve never done it, but the large RC 4×4 cars can be outfitted with a target stand and used to attack or move around your position. I have a nephew who is really into these things. These may also be a good option.

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