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J G

VR is here!

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For a while I have been dabbling in cockpit building.  I have had mixed success and seem to be forever sorting out something that has gone awry.

 

So I thought I would scrap that and use cockpits that have already been built for me. All I needed was an Oculus Rift. so I bought one.

ocl1.JPG

 

Above is the box.  Its very substantial, heavy and protects the device very well.

 

ocl2.JPG 

 

Above is the opened box. The headset is to the left and the sensor is to the right.  The sensor needs to be placed in front of the set user and pointed toward them.  There is also a small remote like device which is used to carry out various operations with the Rift's software.

 

ocl3.JPG

 

Underneath the sensor is some not very useful documentation (warranties and the like) an Xbox controller and various sundry items.

 

Below is my old rig, which is now dismantled and parts sold off to raise cash for the Rift, and below that is my new rig, some what simpler in its build! 

 

 

 

cp240115.jpg

 

ocl4.JPG

 

 

The transformation is not complete yet.  I use two PC's for my simulator, a beast for FSX and P3D, and another less powerful PC for various supporting applications such as Plan-G, Skype etc. The screen powered off in the above picture is for PC number two. I plan to slim down to one shared keyboard and trackball and to make the keyboard more readily accessible.

 

Ok so that is the last of the pictures as  the rest I just cant capture effectively, it is all in 3D and in the headset!

 

I have completed a couple of flights so far.  Flight one was from ORBX Fairoaks to Blackbush airport in south east England and completed in a Tiger Moth. 

 

Before I started there were a couple of things of note to tell you of: the Rift is not very glasses (spectacles) friendly.  It is very difficult to wear the headset whilst wearing glasses. The space inside the headset is too narrow for my glasses and the space was to shallow for the specs to fit comfortably between the Rifts lenses and my face. Wearing glasses was just possible but very uncomfortable and I found it impossible to position my glasses in a way to get good vision through them. Without glasses the headset was comfortable and didn't feel heavy or cumbersome in any way.There is perhaps a sacrifice in picture sharpness, but I can't yet say if this is the case because of the glasses issue. I will be getting some contact lenses as soon as I can.

 

What was the flight experience like?  I guess the best way to describe it is gobsmacking!  Those of you with a track IR will know how useful it is to use one to look around the upward pointing nose of a tail dragger, and of course the Rift will do that, but it does it in spades. the cockpit looses all of it "flat" properties, the sides actually surround you and, once you are in the air, the ground falls away from you exactly as it does when flying in a real aircraft, dropping away with a real sense of height as it does so. After the climb out I tried my first turn. Looking left, I turned left and as the wing dipped my stomach lurched as I turned.  I know it is not real, but my body was completely fooled! I soon settled down to an interesting flight and began to really appreciate the 3D environment to its full.  I soon found myself getting feedback from the aircraft which actually made flying it easier. For example, when I lined up at Blackbush it was much easier to point at the centre of the runway as tour reference points were all in true 3D and not in a flat rendering of a 3D image.

 

My next flight was just as amazing.  I took to the air in JF's new Hawk. The cockpit was superb, the switches all easy to use through the FlyInside interface and the sensation of flying fast through the Snowdonian mountains was breathtaking. Again the Hawks cockpit surrounded me, snug as a glove and with all the stomach lurching effects of the real thing. Truly amazing. 

 

Lastly I tried a few cockpits for size.  The most amazing, they were all amazing, but the most amazing was the Razbam Harrier.  If you know the harrier cockpit you will know that there are several instrument panels that are at different distances from the pilot. On a flat screen they are rendered so as to appear three dimensional, but in VR they are actually at different levels and the cockpit looks and feels incredible.

 

The flying sensation is truly fantastic.  However the detailed 3D cockpits are truly awesome.  Having done it, I realise there is no point in building a cockpit for your sim. Realistically you can only build one cockpit, either generic or specific, it will only match a maximum of one aircraft.  My new rig has a realistic cockpit for all of my aircraft.  And I get to fly them in a truly amazing environment.

 

I just cant wait to get some contact lenses to get the best from the Rift. 

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Hey JG, a very interesting report and your experience regarding the spectacles is exactly the same as mine. I was stumped at what to do as I need vision correction for both close and long distances. Are you long or short sighted, or both like me?

Will you be investing in Leap Motion too? I never got to try it,

Cheers,

Joe

 

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Pity there isnt a means of focal length adjustment or provision for specs...how does design/engineering manage to overlook stuff like that...? :( Pun intended ofc.

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There is an adjustment you can make Coff, like binoculars to get the focal length the same for both eyes. Also, they do recommend a maximum size for specs that can fit in under the visor but John's idea is best, to get contacts fitted.

 

PS thanks for amending your first post, previously, I could read it without my glasses on :D

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On Thursday, December 01, 2016 at 21:20, mutley said:

Hey JG, a very interesting report and your experience regarding the spectacles is exactly the same as mine. I was stumped at what to do as I need vision correction for both close and long distances. Are you long or short sighted, or both like me?

Will you be investing in Leap Motion too? I never got to try it,

Cheers,

Joe

 

 

I am both long and short sighted like you which makes things difficult. 

I have played about with both bifocul and standard glasses and I think adjustment for my shortsighted problems should be OK. 

 

There is another option and that is to buy insert corrective lenses for the Rift. There are a couple of companies doing this already, it works out at £60 for the lenses and mounts. If I can't get on with lenses then I will try these.

 

As for Leap Motion, it is on the Christmas list. At under £70 I have got to give it a go.

 

J.

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On 12/1/2016 at 12:04, Captain Coffee said:

So jealous...small words can not describe the intensity of jealousy. /Draws line at All Caps. :D

 

DITTO! (Does not draw line at all caps)

 

I will be watching this thread for more information on this experience

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A few more observations on the Rift:

My favourite aircraft have changed. I have a different criteria for enjoyment of my various add-ons and so my view of several of them has altered.  For example I was never too keen on the Just flight Chipmunk.  I don’t know why, I just didn’t enjoy it back in the 2D world.  Now, I think it is fantastic. It translates very well into the VR world and is a delight to fly.  I think this feeling is heavily influenced by the quality of the cockpit, but also in VR you get to see so much more of the aircraft.  I didn’t know that it had fuel gauges on the top wing surfaces for the wing tanks! 

To get the most out of the Rift it seems you need Windows 10.  Note this is not for FSX as that works well under Win 7 with no issues.  To take advantage of some of the other VR apps that you have access to you need to have windows 8.1 or 10 installed.  Guess who wishes he had upgraded when it was free now!!!

You cannot run Flyinside and the Rift with EzDok or Soundstream installed. FSX just crashes and wont run until both are removed. Not that you need them anyway.

I havent found a way to produce a second viewpoint such as a co-pilot view.  With EzDok it would be easy but EzDock cant run with the Rift.

 

 

 

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You say you haven't found a way to switch views... Does that mean that the default keystrokes for view changes are deactivated when in virtual reality? Did your default view keystrokes get deactivated while the ezdoc was installed perhaps?

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The default views are still there and you can get to them "in flight" but there is no easy way to create an new internal view as you would do in EzDock.

I havent trised to create a new view the hard way by adding the view manualy, I am not sure how to do that!

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On ‎02‎/‎12‎/‎2016 at 08:24, mutley said:

There is an adjustment you can make Coff, like binoculars to get the focal length the same for both eyes. Also, they do recommend a maximum size for specs that can fit in under the visor but John's idea is best, to get contacts fitted.

 

PS thanks for amending your first post, previously, I could read it without my glasses on :D

 

I have just read this.  There is no focal length adjustment on my Rift that I know of.  The only adjustment I have is for the distance your eyes are apart.

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On 12/3/2016 at 16:04, J G said:

The default views are still there and you can get to them "in flight" but there is no easy way to create an new internal view as you would do in EzDock.

I havent trised to create a new view the hard way by adding the view manualy, I am not sure how to do that!

 

This was quite illuminating..there are parameters for zoomoing and panning i wasnt aware of... I may play around with some of them.

 

Making a CoPilot view or new VC view might be as easy as copying your VC camera view and changing a few items...The ID #, titles, and xyz coordinates. 

 

 

http://www.fstipsandaddons.com/tutorials/understanding-fsx-cameras.html

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Wish you the best of luck and enjoyment with it JG.:thum:

 

I'm sure it is a great experience but not sure I would like wearing one for home simming, I don't even like wearing headphones.:D

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On 04/12/2016 at 00:08, J G said:

 

I have just read this.  There is no focal length adjustment on my Rift that I know of.  The only adjustment I have is for the distance your eyes are apart.

 

You are right JG, it helps focus not not focal length.

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To get the best from a Rift you need to run Windows 10.  This is not for FSX or P3D but the VR world has much to offer besides, and a lot of it needs Windows 10.

 

So I have upgraded to Windows 10, and it has gone perfectly.  Except Windows 10 doesn't wont recognise my graphics card.  I get a code 43 error.

 

This can be a driver error or a hardware error. I have been in touch with my PC vendor and they have been through the mill with them trying to clear this error.  No joy.  The only solution is a new graphics card. Being the great company they are they are going to send me an upgraded card as a free replacement. It will be with me early next week.

 

So this VR experience thread is suspended until I get the new card.

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I just hate it when I get stymied by things like this. Glad to hear you have a really great supplier in that they will help out with the new card. 

 

When I looked into the Occulus Rift (as available in Canada) there was a page of info on prepping your system to use the device. Here's the list as copied from the OR website:

 

Video Card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970/AMD R9 290 equivalent
or greater
CPU Intel® Core™ i5-4590 equivalent or greater
Memory 8GB RAM or more
Video Output Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output
USB Ports 3 USB 3.0 ports plus 1 USB 2.0 port
Operating System (OS)

Windows 7 SP1 64-bit or newer

 

Interesting to note that OR only specs Win7.

 

In any case, the cost to go to OR is not restricted to the cost of the device, itself. Serious computer system upgrades are needed too. I think you did the right thing, JG, by buying a new platform at the same time. 

 

In my case it is the USB ports and the GPU that will kill me. I'll have to move my motherboard into a larger box as I don't have the room in the existing box to mount the full length graphics card. My box is a "half height" (a legacy from using this computer on the boat). I'll also have to check that I have one other spare slot for a USB expansion card as I might be short one USB 3.0 port.

 

Ah well! Wait till SWMBO sees the bill for this. Anyone got a spare bedroom? I might wait until after Xmas to pull this trigger.

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Some folks get a slight motion sickness using a VR headset, wonder if using one on a boat would exacerbate that problem. :D:stars:

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Wow JG, so many hoops to  jump through.

 

It's worth mentioning your PC supplier though... Chillbast ! a quality UK outlet. (Waits for royalty cheques!)

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5 hours ago, brett said:

Some folks get a slight motion sickness using a VR headset, wonder if using one on a boat would exacerbate that problem. :D:stars:

 

Thanks for the concern, Brett. You're talking to a guy who can spend hours hanging upside down fixing stuff in the bilge (at sea). I've yet to find the condition that can make me sick. One of my favorites is turnin' and burnin' in an Extra 300 (not simulated). Try an inverted loop at an aerobatic school near you - ask for the full -4G treatment (don't try this in a C172).

 

That's not to say that the VR thingy could just be the death of me. I guess we'll see. Might take a while, though as the price keeps going up as I find more and more 'necessities' to make this work. The up-front cost of the headset is a small part of the total.

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6 hours ago, brett said:

Talk about blatant plug for Chillblast Joe, LOL.;):D

 

My omniscient being, that blatant BLAST was CHILLing. :cool:

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I saw someone using this technology at Cosford this year. It looked like he was impersonating Stevie Wonder the way his head rolled around. I think my wife would think I needed a check-up from the neck up if I bought into this.

Nothing new there, I suppose!:(

 

Regards,

 

Richard.

 

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5 hours ago, Richbro said:

I saw someone using this technology at Cosford this year. It looked like he was impersonating Stevie Wonder the way his head rolled around. I think my wife would think I needed a check-up from the neck up if I bought into this.

Nothing new there, I suppose!:(

 

Regards,

 

Richard.

 

 

Spotted a potentially useful connection in that^ to my health situation:

 

My arthritic neck requires me to roll my neck around all the time anyhooo, which is a bummer while using TrackIr let me assure you, but sounds like AuNatural using VR. Maybe VR could be included on my health plan as a Physical Therapy device...if there is there a lawyer in the house that can write up a compelling argument for me for less than the cost of a VR setup, contact me via private message!!! :D

Edited by Captain Coffee
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Sounds like you are having a ball JG, OR is something I have always said I would not bother with but it sounds like it could be an option when I build the next PC, prices may be better then too.

 

The bit I dont understand is how you operate the controls in the cockpit? How do you move the switches when you are unable to see the keyboard? Or are you able to click with the mouse and see a cursor on the screen?

 

Only wear glasses for driving as far away looks bluury and I cant do contacts so will that rule me out or is that what the focus adjust is for?

 

What other hardware/software do you need to make it work and does OR work with things like a PS4?

 

Keep us posting with how you are getting on, you seem to have given the impression that it all comes to life more, do you find it weird not seeing your surroundings?

 

Sorry for all the questions but it aint cheap so need to be sure.......

 

Cheers

 

Wayne

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