Build Guide: Introduction
Build your own archery simulator!
Update 1/27/2023: with version 2023.1, it is possible to configure the software to support both a build that uses blunts/impact screen as well as a build that uses field points and a target wall. This build guide is for a configuration that uses blunts and an impact screen. If you are interested in building the configuration that uses field points, you should ignore the backstop parts of this build guide and just focus on mounting the sensor in front of a target wall (still protected as you'll see).
Thank you for your interest in MinumOS! Several years ago I had this crazy idea of building my own version of an archery simulator. I have fond memories of often shooting one such commercial system growing up in particular and have been surprised over the years as I have watched technology grow more advanced, but these systems remain cost prohibitive to all but the most lucrative of archery shops. And so, throughout the last few years, I began tinkering with various technologies on both the software and hardware side until I found something workable at a low enough price point to be accessible.
Unlike the big commercial systems on the market, the hardware rig required to run MinumOS is relatively simple in design. Rather than arrays of various sensor types that need to be carefully calibrated and used in only very controlled and consistent lighting conditions, the Minum design uses an off the shelf sensor, an infrared touch frame designed to mount in front of large monitors to enable them for touch. This connects to your computer via a standard USB cable and just works out of the box for most systems.
The rest of the rig is designed around the aforementioned touch frame. An EMT conduit structure is used to mount a backstop behind it in a way that will stop an arrow (while the arrow is still inside of the frame sensor, giving the sensor more time to get an accurate reading), while this same conduit structure supports and protects the touch frame (if an arrow doesn’t fly where we want, it will hit the conduit instead of our touch frame -- thus saving of the more expensive parts of the build from impact damage).
Everything is designed to be portable (though of course you could build a permanent installation in an outbuilding or basement). And to this end, I have also tried to make calibration of the projected image to the sensor frame as simple as possible. Upon launching MinumOS, you will be prompted to touch four crosshairs with the tip of your arrow. From this, the software learns the alignment and keystone of the projected image. Every time I set up my rig, the projector is inevitably in a slightly different position, but the easy calibration sequence means this just works anyway. The sequence can even be rerun if I bump things out of alignment mid session.
I have tried to outline everything in this build guide to the best of my ability. However, as you work through these instructions, I certainly welcome questions and I will do my best to answer. And depending on your space requirements, you may want to alter the dimensions of the build. While I will be including the measurements of my build, I will also do my best to explain why these measurements are what they are to make it easy to alter as desired.
If you do wish to alter the dimensions, just be sure to keep in mind these primary factors:
- The size of your backstop (often easiest to purchase in standard sizes instead of custom order)
- The size of your sensor frame (and thus the size of your active shooting area)
- The properties of your projector (the throw angle should match up well with the size of your sensor frame at a distance where the projection is still bright enough to be seen in whatever ambient light is in your space).
- If your shooting space is outdoor, I recommend the dimensions you choose fit within a standard popup tent with 3 walls. This will make sure you are maximizing the brightness of your projection even with larger amounts of ambient light from the sun.