Sparrow shooter is dead

I regret to say that after seven hard years of work, I am abandoning the Sparrow shooter aka, Thunderbird, RBS, or GSAR. In the end, it was a great experience to learn from but the results were not the direction I wanted to become known for. Ultimately, the Sparrow shooter was a tool that eliminated sparrows which in turn kept my Martins from suffering and made it easier for me to deal with the Sparrow problem. Like all Martin Landlords, it’s a problem you have to deal with one way or another and I thought if I could make it easier for me, in turn, I could make it easier for others. But, economically and morally my Gamo “whisper” pellet gun with a nice “Swift” scope provides good results and makes the best sense. It is difficult to obtain the skills of a good marksman and after years of working on my skills all I can say is that I can meet the challenge of protecting my Martin Colony. Designing and building a remote controlled pellet gun was quite the challenge and once I neared completion, I could see the expense and ethical/moral issues would never add up and make good sense. So, it is time to move on and to all of you working at fighting off the sparrows, just keep working at it and you will always be able to maintain control and protect your Martin colony using a good pellet gun and by trapping.

Wireless remote control for a digiscope or videoscope user

I’m new to digi/video scoping but in my experimenting have come up with a way to control and move my Handycam super slowly from a remote location using DC motors. I’m wondering if I’m on to something new or unique that anyone else would find useful?

What motivated me to build this thing  are the problems I’ve run into.  I won’t be telling people who use digi/video scopes anything new but I think they are important to mention- I wanted a high resolution picture using a telephoto/zoom lens where I could see and overall picture and then zoom in on a bird of choice and found out it can be hard to take a clear picture from long distance using a large amount of optical zoom. Wind and hand movements caused unwanted and non-precise movements. Also, when trying to locate my tiny subject from a great distance it was like finding a needle in a haystack. Obviously the very reason I wanted telescopic pictures, I couldn’t get close enough to the bird to see the details. When you’re far enough away from what it is you want to see in detail so that you don’t scare it off, you are likely to be to far away altogether to even see it in the first place or worse yet, even have a chance at finding it. I needed to be farther away with greater zoom and the more distance you create between you and the subject seems to jack up the cost exponentially of everything available to do such a thing. My thinking was, if I could be invisible or removed from the area, then I could use a shorter zoom lens, have better quality pics and not scare the birds off. Continue reading Wireless remote control for a digiscope or videoscope user


Yesterday I wrote about prioritizing and how important it was to achieving my goal.  Without a thought I was motivated to do so because I could see the nearing of my retirement.  Today, I found out how important motivation is and how much I lack it.  So, I dug around in my outline notes on building this thing I call Thunderbird.  I found this:

Continue reading Motivation

Hack A Day

Like Rodney Dangerfield use to say, I don’t get much respect…well, most the time and it’s good to know I can accept that.  Not much for kudos either and that’s Ok with me, I like flying under the radar.  But when it comes to getting Thunderbird pasted to the hacker public on “Hack A Day” I’m pretty humbled and excited to break out of the confines of being unknown.  I hope the exposure creates opportunity and not mayhem!