Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Sound adjustments, inner zones

In my last post I said I would discuss some findings from adjusting the sound parameters of the EcoAims VIS500, so here we go.

I had always been interested to know how things are moving whilst I am shooting with the different aiming devices. Whilst the EcoAims training software allows you to view the position according to the VIS500, I had reason I wanted to ideally use Scatt. Here are some of my reasons:

  1. Scatt is familiar to many shooters, they know how to use the software, they know what its accuracy is like, etc.
  2. It is always nice to have something independently confirming what is going on, it helps confirm how accurate the VIS500 really is.
  3. The EcoAims training software is not particularly accessible with a screen reader. I am not really sure how much information I could get out of it. Also Scatt have some examples of writing software to handle the data from Scatt files, so as a software developer may be I could do other things to process my shooting data.

One problem though is that the EcoAims VIS500 uses the IR LED near the target and this is a similar frequency to the IR used by older Scatt devices, so the two systems would be likely to interfere with each other. However as someone at my club has a Scatt MX02 which is purely optical and needs no IR target, so we gave it a go and I was pleased to find that yes you can use a Scatt MX02 with the EcoAims VIS500 without any issue.

Now my assistant could see exactly what was going on whilst I was shooting, time to observe. The interesting thing which started to come up was that there were occasions when I might get my hold nice and steady, but just in the 8 ring of the rifle target. Yes when I did this normally I would take the shot and get an 8. I just did not seem to be identifying that the tone was not quite right. Using a headphone amplifier with two headphone outputs, my assistant started to listen to the sound as well whilst I was shooting. We reached the conclusion that there just seemed to be something about the tone there which was making me think may be I had a 10 when I did not.

The VIS500 has two zones, one where it produces pulsing tone and one where it is constant. You can adjust the size of these zones and also whether the pulsing is inside or outside the inner zone. Regardless of which zone you are in, the tone still varies in pitch to indicate how far you are from the centre, so in the past I had almost ignored this feature just having it pulsing outside and leaving the size at the default size.

However needing something to make it clearly different between a steady hold in the 8 ring and a steady hold in the 10 ring, it was time to adjust the size of the zone setting. We adjusted the zone to be of a size so that if I am in the 8 ring it will pulse and if I am in the 9 ring or better then it will be constant. Not being sure what the number means in the EcoAims software, we did some testing with the rifle on the bench, with my assistant observing the position on the Scatt and also listening to the tones from the VIS500. Initially we tried setting the parameter to 10, but I was still occasionally getting that 8 ring hold, so we shrank the zone a little more and set the parameter to 8.

Having made this change, I have been told my hold now is a lot more in the middle and never in the 8 ring, or if it is then I am identifying it quickly and not taking the shot. I guess this really should not have come as a surprise as I have seen elsewhere that may be you need a significant tone change as you approach the middle of the target. Wim mentions something similar in a post on the Kedok blog.

Does this mean I am being converted to an inner tone idea and will I start to love the VIASS? Well yes I am now seeing value in having two distinct zones, but I still feel the VIASS has got this slightly wrong. My problem with the VIASS is that once you enter its inner zone area you only have a single tone and no indication of position in the zone or the movement. With the VIS500 and from what I understand of Kedok, the tone will still vary in pitch and give you a sense of the position and movement of the rifle within that zone. Also when you still have this positional information, it means that it is slightly less important to match the zone size to the shooter's ability and may be the VIS500 and Kedok are more suitable as club equipment which may be used by a number of shooters.

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