Recaliberate an EcoAims Laser Pistol with a Mac
We have had the EcoAims PP500 laser pistol for modern pentathlon competitions for a few months now and used it out of the box without any adjustments. Recently I found a new place at home which made a decent ten metre range however no of us could hit the target. From five metres it was generally fine but pulled a bit to the left but we compensated for it. At ten metres we were off by easily ten cms so I needed to adjust the rear sight.
The PP500 can be set to fire a pulsating LED to help adjust the sight. To enable this mode you have to plug the pistol into a USB port and run an app that EcoAims supply. The issue for me is that it is a Win32 or windows app.
There are only two ways to run it on a mac:
I didn’t want to install any virtualisation software and certainly didn’t have a windows license anyway so I tried the first option.
Wine is a framework that pretends to be the windows operating system to a windows app when run on a different host such as a Mac. Quite a lot of software does run but not in the case of the EcoAims laser control app. I was unsure if it was the version of wine I was trying or missing this or that but I could not be bothered to explore that rat hole any more than I had.
I wanted to avoid this option simply because of licensing issues but it did work! I’ll explain how to do it.
Virtualisation meant running a complete windows 10 installation on my mac and the laser control app in that. I used VirtualBox as it is free and works very well. I also found that it is possible these days to install Windows in it without a license. I don’t know how long that has been an option as I have not had to install windows for at least ten years.
- Download and install virtualbox for the Mac. Choose OS X hosts for a Mac.
- Follow these instructions to create a vm.
- Download a windows 10 image from Microsoft.
- When starting up the vm choose the Microsoft windows 10 ISO you downloaded.
- Start it up and login using the account you created on Microsoft’s site. Personally I used my old Skype login (owned by Microsoft these days).
- Open the browser inside the vm and download the EcoAims Laser Control 1.0 software.
- Download the recommended drivers that it needs to connect to the pistol. Install them.
- Reboot the windows VM in virtualbox.
- Plugin the pistol via the USB cable and turn the pistol on. In the VirtualBox menubar will be an item for USB devices select it and choose
- In the windows VM double clicke the downloaded laser control software which will open and hopefully have COM1, COM2 or COM3 in the field. If so click the Connect button.
- Point the pistol at the target and adjust the rear sights for horizontal and vertical differences.
- Shoot to test.
- Readjust as necessary.