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Longshot HAWK Smart Scope

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Longshot HAWK Smart Scope Empty Longshot HAWK Smart Scope

Post by GME 10/13/2021, 1:03 am

In September, there was a thread about spotting scopes and that led to a discussion about cameras.  It just so happened that I ordered a camera, so I said I'd provide a review.  This is it.

Conclusion:  It's a quality device and in my never-to-be-humble opinion, it's worth it.

Price:  $249 List.  Midway: $224.10; Optics Planet: $249

I bought it for $199 at Optics Planet.  Immediately after buying it, the price went up.

Pictures can be seen here: Pictures of Camera

The camera box has two parts.  One contains the camera lens; the other contains an ingenious mounting system.  I've never seen anything like this camera's mount.  As you tighten the clamp to the eyepiece, the two halves of the camera offset.  This offset keeps the lens centered over the eyepiece, so, unlike the mounts for cells phones, it goes on centered the first time and every time.  As long as you hold the camera firmly and squarely over the scope lens, you can't screw it up.  The clamping portion holds tightly.  I found no tendency to come loose or slide around (unlike cell phone mounts, which are pretty much useless).

Another ingenious design element involves the split case offset.  Once you have the camera mounted, you can hold the attachment half and rotate the lens/camera half.  By rotating, you ensure that the picture the camera transmits matches the cell phone orientation, i.e., the picture doesn't look cocked at an angle.

Time to install the camera on the scope:  It takes me a less than a minute to get the camera mounted, once the spotting scope is set up.  I use a tripod, but assuming the scope mount on a pistol box will tighten up enough, it will go on a box mounted scope just as easily.  Personally, I would prefer a tripod. 

As much as I like the camera, it was an exercise in frustration figuring out how to make it work.  I'm going to give you the trick, so you don't have to figure it out for yourselves.  

BE WARNED:  There are two apps available for the camera: Targetvision and Longshot.  DO NOT BOTHER WITH TARGETVISION!!!  It's clunky, jumpy and not worth bothering with.  If I had to use Targetvision, I wouldn't bother.  Longshot, on the other hand, has some nice features, provides a good resolution picture, and has a respectable refresh rate and isn't at all jumpy. 

The camera broadcasts self-contained wifi, so you log your phone onto the camera, and the phone receives.  It doesn't have internet access but why would it?  The camera just transmits like a TV camera.  All the fancy stuff is done within the App on the Phone.

Once the camera is mounted, you flip a switch on the camera to turn it on.  It starts broadcasting.  It takes several seconds before my phone recognizes the network.  Once it shows up, you select it as your network.  

Here's where I hit frustration.  You must wait at least 2 minutes between selecting the Longshot network and opening up the Longshot app.  If you don't wait, Lonshot will open, but won't recognize the camera.  No amount of refreshing or restarting will help.  You have to turn off the camera for a minute or so, turn it back on, reconnect with wifi, wait 2 or 3 minutes and then start Longshot.  If you wait to start the app, the camera connects every time.

The spotting scope allows you to confirm that the bullet went where you called it (or didn't, as the case may be), or aids in zeroing in your sights.  The app lets you touch the screen wherever a bullet hits, and marks and consecutively numbers it.  If I try to shoot more than 10 rounds at a target in practice, I quickly lose where the shots have gone.  By marking them, I always know where the last shot landed (assuming it's on the paper).   lol!

There is also a function that will measure the size of the group you've shot, and will adjust for each shot fired.  As far as I can tell, there is not limit on the number of shots recorded.  You can take pictures and save them.  Ditto for video.  The video might be useful, if the camera was pointed at the shooter.  You could see what you are doing, and if you are good at spotting the fundamentals, you might be able do some evidence based self coaching.

Here's some more advanced stuff.  I thought I might like a larger screen, and have a laptop I could call to duty.  I installed Bluestacks, which is and android emulator.  For reasons I don't understand, the Google store offered Targetvision as an option, but concealed Longshot.  After fussing around Google for awhile, I found a message saying the Longshot app wasn't compatible.  I tried a variety of settings in Bluestacks, but I couldn't get it to work.  I've toyed with the idea of getting a Samsung tablet, but haven't committed yet.  I would prefer an Amazon Fire, which is Android based, but you have to go through a process to get to the Google store and download anything.  Amazon wants you to get stuff from Amazon and nowhere else.  I'd hate to spend the money and get the same message as I got on my computer.  I don't need or want an android tablet for anything other than this camera.

I just remembered.  When you first start Longshot, it comes up in portrait orientation.  When you go to the broadcast image, it flips to landscape.  As long as you are receiving the camera image, you cannot go back to portrait.  It makes no difference to me one way or the other, but it's a little startling when when you're holding in portrait and the image suddenly flips 90 degrees.

I haven't explored the range of the wifi.  I've not noticed degradation at 10-15 feet.  I get a decent image from my 20-60x60mm scope, so I'm content with having the scope sitting next to me.

Here's a link to a few tutorials, which explain how to set up and use the camera, and discuss the main features:  Longshot Tutorials. I recommend them.

GME

Posts : 105
Join date : 2020-09-27
Age : 72
Location : Gig Harbor, WA

Mac2 and RoyDean like this post

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