Closer Look: TISS-III
The Target Impact Signal System is an electronic bullet-hit indicator by Equu-Pulse Company. The latest version, Target Impact Signal System III (TISS III) is sold online for $170 (targetimpactsignal.com). Kit DK8-001-III includes the following components: VS-210 strobe flash unit, DK8-002 target box bullet-strike sensor unit, fastening tape, tie straps, and 20-foot target box flash sync cable DK8-003-20.
The strobe flash unit is a standard on-camera model, specified as visible to 1400 meters (1531 yards / 0.87 mile). This is a sensitive electronic item that is not waterproof, so outdoor use should be limited to fair weather or under protected cover. Not much larger than a baseball, the flash measures 2.0″ L x 2.6″ W x 3.9″ H (54 x 65 x 98 mm), and weighs 4.6 ounces (without batteries).
An adjustable tilt head with five set positions: 0, 45, 60, 75 & 90°. VS-210 is powered by two included AA batteries, so it’s ready to work right out of the box. At the front of the flash is an auto sensor, which is meant for photography purposes and not used by the Target Impact Signal System. The bottom mounting foot fits into most universal “shoe” style flash holders, such as the bundled adjustable low-profile tripod that comes with this kit.
Since the strobe unit is not attached to a camera, it’s manually activated through a flash sync cord. This 20-foot modified synchronization cable uses 2.5mm male jacks at each end, as opposed to 2.5mm plug to flash PC connector, and connects the strobe flash unit to the target box sensor.
The flash sync cord is not shielded and the manufacturer urges the use of steel conduit pipe, so to avoid damage to the cable some wire routing discretion is advised. If the cord is damaged, or you merely want a spare, there are many inexpensive options available online (starting at $3 Amazon). Alternatively, several adapters are also available ($2 Amazon) for converting the 2.5mm plug into the more common 3.5mm standard.
At the heart of all Target Impact Signal Systems is the target box sensor unit. This device measures only 1.97″ L x 1.38″ W x 0.79″ H (50 x 35 x 20 mm) and weighs a mere 1.1 ounces. The Target Box is bundled with Velcro-style mounting tape.
The idea is that this Target Box sensor will be attached directly to the back of a steel plate target (preferably AR500 to avoid penetration), however the sensor might also pick up impacts if the target is secured to a post or rail. Targets attached by chain or strap may not transfer enough energy to trigger the sensor if it’s mounted far away, so experimentation may be necessary.
A basic yet complete flash tripod is bundled with each Target Impact Signal System. While this low-profile universal solution lacks premium features desirable in camera or spotting scope supports, the 5″ stand is enough to ensure the flash isn’t sitting on soil.
If you’re a shooter who needs a bit more lift to see the flash above brush and vegetation, consider some of the other flash shoe holders available and build a custom stand to fit your needs.
Please continue on to the next section, where some of the more advanced features are detailed and explained…