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J G

VR is here!

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I am glad to have started this thread as there seems to be good deal of interest.

 

To answer some questions and reply to some comments:

  • Operating system. It runs well on Windows 7 and this operating system is all you need to run Fsx. However to get the best of other VR experiences you need Windows 10. Upgrading from 7 to 10 is a painless operation, or was for me and FSX runs just fine on Windows 10.
  • Motion sickness. I suffer from this a lot. There is a wreck in the English Channel that I have tried to dive on three times and every time I have been out to where she lies in have been too sick to dive!! There is a feeling of movement when flying in VR but not enough to cause motion sickness. Bank an aircraft and your mind is tricked into thinking that you are actually banking yourself.  When you look down from an open cockpit you really get a sensation of being high up. It is a real addition to the experience that you can't otherwise get.
  • Yes my PC  is a Chillblast and yes they are second to none in every way I can think of.
  • VR neck movement is more natural than with track IR, which I own as well. It really is not the same experience. 
  • Operating stuff in the cockpit is done by mouse pointer and wheel. Sometimes this can be hard to master in a non VR situation but seems easier in VR. The Rift has a zoom feature that you can map to a joystick button to zoom in to whatever you are looking at very handy for those small gauges and switches.  The amount of zoom can be set to whatever you want. 
  • No contact lenses doesn't have to be a problem. 3rd party lens mounts are available for the Rift for cheep round uncut lenses. A quick Google search will bring them up.
  • To work with FSX you need to have Flyinside installed. It costs about £50. Again Google it.other PC based software works with the Rift. After installing the Rifts software you are given access to a VR download shop that let's you purchase VR games and download free demo programs. This is where windows 10 is useful as some of the software available via this download shop needs windows 10. I don't know if the Rift works with the PS4, it doesn't come with any PS4 software and the advertised PS4 VR Sets are different.
  • Do I find it weird not seeing my Surroundings?  Well no as my surroundings are the aircraft I am flying.

Lastly, two more things to note. To get the best from VR it is best to use an aircraft with a fully interactive VC as you can't see the keyboard. VR won't add functionality to your keyboard so it is best to use a high end add on. And lastly, to fund my Rift I dismantled my home built cockpit. Having eBay-ed the saitek stuff I was using I managed room raise more than enough to fund the project. When you have VR you don't need anything but a small screen to get you started. 

 

I hope this helps. Any more questions please ask as I will be happy to answer them if I can.

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Thanks for the update, JG.

 

Please let us know how you get along with FlyInside. I'm really curious how easy/hard it is to manipulate things like radio/nav tuner knobs. I expect the trimwheel is fairly easy as well as most switches. It is the multi/segment rotaries that worry me.

 

Do you have/fly something like the PMDG 737NG or the Majestic Q400?

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Thanks for that JG, I will be following your experiances closely, I too have a fair bit of Saitek gear, my concerns are very similar to Johns with regards to the tuning o Rads etc and GPS on smaller GA.....

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So far I have no issues with Fly inside.  I don't use PMDG as it isn't Military.  However there are plenty of military add-on aircraft that are just as complex in the cockpit.

 

John I understand that you have concerns about using in cockpit controls rather than Saitek and the like. I took a punt and sold all of my Saitek stuff to raise money for the VR set and I have no regrets. The Just Flight Tornado provides a great example of the difference between how VR and standard views work with respect to in cockpit controls. 

 

I found the Tornado hard to use with my standard rig. It was difficult to switch views to get the best vantage point to operate a control and to do it in quick enough time (including the time taken to return to the normal view) to avoid hitting the ground.  This issue is more pronounced with the Tornado over say a PMDG aircraft as I need to do it at 500 ft and not at FL350.  There is so little margin for error.

 

VR gets rid of this issue at a stroke. I can quickly move my head to anywhere in the cockpit to operate any given control, no need to set up views, any where in the cockpit is immediately accessible, all cockpit controls are much easier to use.  I am glad that I sold my Saitek stuff.  They are now redundant.  I have kept my throttle and joystick as both are required, with a few buttons and switches to use the Flyinside native controls, for example the zoom function that allows the VR view to toggle zoom in/out.  Very useful when precision is needed.

 

All you need with fly inside is a virtual cockpit with as many switches working as possible, the more complex the better.  If you can only use keystrokes or need external controls as would be found in a cheap or freeware add-on then unless you can map all you need to a joystick and throttle then using VR wont be easy.

 

For Christmas, I am getting a Leap Motion, this should add another layer to my VR experience.  See below:  

 

 

Edited by J G

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Great video. That certainly shows the process for using FlyInside. See, flying a tube 'o 'chairs isn't so hard after all. 

 

Some more questions:

Can you go to full screen to get rid of the flickering menu bar at the top of the screen? Or, is that a function of the video-making process (the flickering)?

 

Can you lean forward (or something else) to get a better view of the instrumentation. Maybe it's easy to see when wearing the OR making this unnecessary, but it looks in the video as if it would be hard to read, for instance; the speed tape or something like the vertical speed reference tape.

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12 hours ago, Quickmarch said:

Some more questions:

Can you go to full screen to get rid of the flickering menu bar at the top of the screen? Or, is that a function of the video-making process (the flickering)?

 

When you are using the VR headset you have no menu bar.  You don't need one and it would look out of place.  What you see in the video is a 2D rendition of the VR experience.  It looks like a track IR with hands.  VR is nothing like a Track IR, it is a true 3D experience. If there was a menu bar, I guess you would be able to view it from the rear if you wanted to! The video in no way represents the 3D experience the Rift provides, its purpose is to demonstrate the Leap Motion and how it gives you in cockpit hands.

 

12 hours ago, Quickmarch said:

Can you lean forward (or something else) to get a better view of the instrumentation. Maybe it's easy to see when wearing the OR making this unnecessary, but it looks in the video as if it would be hard to read, for instance; the speed tape or something like the vertical speed reference tape.

 

Yes you can lean forward to view things closely, The flyinside also provides a zoom facility that let you zoom in and out to see those very small gauges. In theory it is not necessary as you could achieve the same result by moving your head closer, it is just easier to use the zoom, I have the zoom mapped to a joystick button.

 

About 15 seconds into the video you can see the Flyinside controller being mover around in the cabin.  This device allows you to access the flyinside controls, it is using this control that you would change aircraft etc. This control device san be dragged to any place in the cockpit or made to autohide.

 

It is hard if not impossible to show the full effect of the rift in a video as the video will not have 3D properties. Take it from me that what ever you do in the headset is reproduced in the simulator. For those of you know P3D's avatar mode, where you can look through the eyes of the pilot whilst he is out of the aircraft, I you placed the physical sim in the middle of an aircraft hanger in theory you could walk around the hanger and experience walking around the airport in the VR world. 

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Thanks JG,

 

Clear.

 

I'm now real anxious to find the financing to get started on this project. First up is buying a computer with enough muscle to handle the OR. I might have to sell a boat (he says as he goes into withdrawal).

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15 minutes ago, Quickmarch said:

Thanks JG,

 

Clear.

 

I'm now real anxious to find the financing to get started on this project. First up is buying a computer with enough muscle to handle the OR. I might have to sell a boat (he says as he goes into withdrawal).

sale the boat? no way....

 

I like the look of this, thanks JG for the great insight and thanks John for asking the questions, my problem is I will need to update the PC first, only an i5 3570 here and to update will mean a new board, RAM and by then the 970 gpu might well need changing to. If it was ok with my system I would do what JG did and sell my Saitek gear to fund the OR, not sure ifthis all works with XP anyway so as XP11 is still in BETA it may be good for me to hang on and wait.

 

Seems like you  (JG) are having a great experiance with this, please keep us updated in your adventures and how it goes, I also saw with some kits 2 hand operated things, not sure what they are or what they do, guess we just need the yoke/stick and a throttle of sorts.....

 

Best of luck with it.....I am a little envious and find it hard not to just get out there and buy it......

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4 minutes ago, wain said:

sale the boat? no way....

 

Just one of them. Many years ago my father told me: "Son, you can never have too many boats". Wise council, indeed.

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7 hours ago, Captain Coffee said:

 Do you have the BoB avatar from ORBx J.G.? That would be interesting in VR :)

 

I have BOB but not installed at the moment, it might be interesting to give it a go.  Sometime in the new year...

 

7 hours ago, Quickmarch said:

 

Just one of them. Many years ago my father told me: "Son, you can never have too many boats". Wise council, indeed.

 

I am sure you could find a virtual boat.....

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I thought I would start up my own register of aircraft used in VR and let you know if they worked will or not.

 

The aim of this post is not to provide an exhaustive list of compatible aircraft but rather to see if there are any common points across the aircraft used and thus provide a guide as to what to look for in an add-on to a VR rig, and of course, what to avoid.

 

  1. Ants Airplanes freeware Tiger moth.  Works very well, no issues with the cockpit at all, excellent 3D effects.
  2. Just Flight's Chipmunk. Works very well, no issues with the cockpit at all  excellent 3D effects.
  3. Just Flights Hawk T1. Works very well, no issues with the cockpit at all, excellent 3D effects.

More to follow.

Edited by J G

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I would think any quality aircraft would look great using VR JG.:) I would think the only problem you might come across would be something with a very tight canopy, like the Spitfire, which might cause clipping but then again I'm not sure how the field of view works with VR.

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The first aircraft I used was Ants Aircrafts Tiger Moth which has a very tight cockpit and that aircraft worked well with no clipping. Indeed it seems that the cockpit position and view perspective is exactly the same as in the standard cockpit. The only way I see this being an issue is in view perspectives not usually accessible from a standard FS view point and something like a Track IR.

 

I have noted this comment and will add this to my testing of the VR set - thanks Brett.

 

My expectation is that some lower quality, older and freeware aircraft  will be difficult to use in VR as the virtual cockpit will be limited in function and thus unusable where you have no visual access to a keyboard. There may be a way of coping with this by using FSUIPC to map various functions to joystick buttons, but this will be limited to the number of buttons and switches on the joystick. 

Edited by J G

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On ‎12‎/‎1‎/‎2016 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 have now had a contact lens fitting and have three types of lens.

 

Like Joe I am both short and long sighted and wear bi-focal glasses.  There are no lenses to deal with this issue, and so the usual solution to this is to have one long distance lens and one short distance lens. It sounds a bit weird but works when your brain learns to adapt. So I have a long distance left lens and a short distance right lens. I haven't tried the lenses with the VR set yet and I don't know if this solution will work with the VR setup. However I also have long distance right hand lenses so that I can see the VR image with both eyed focused at long range if I need to.

 

It is my intention to try the double distance first and then I will be able to look at the VR image at short range and then long range individually to see what's best. If it is long range then then I an setup with the double long range setup, if it is short range then I may have to find a different solution.

 

Incidentally, this is not an expensive option as most options will give you a few pairs of lenses after a contact lens eye test for free to see how you get on with them, so if they don't work out I am going to say I have decided to stay with glasses.

 

If it turns out that the short range method is the best than I can buy some cheap reading glasses and find a way of mounting the lenses in the VR set.  I can make a dogs breakfast of this a few times as theses reading glasses are very cheap.

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Just a quick update on my testing. In an earlier post I mentioned that I was having trouble with my graphics card not being recognised after an upgrade to windows 10. My PC manufacture have very generously upgraded my graphics card to a better model but alas that has the same issue.  I have now sent the PC back to the manufactures to be fixed. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible, which from past experience with the PC company wont be long.

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Nice that you are on the same continent as the manufacturer. Wish they had a US outlet...if so, one might become my new PC when I make the switch away from FSX eventually.

No Rush Chillblast, still recovering from loss of job over here, you have at least a year before I could possibly be in the market for any serious upgrades...and there is even a chance I might ex-pat from this apparently insane USA and move closer to Chillblast headquarters. :( 

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Bad news on the PC front.  The PC doctor says I have a corrupt Windows 10 and the O/S will have to be reinstalled.

 

That means a painstaking rebuild of FSX and P3D. Not fun as just the FSX build consists of 58 different software installs to return it to where I want it.

6 base installs to get FSX and P3D in and running in tandem with my other FS PC

5 Global scenery installs (FSX)

3 Environment installs (FSX)

8 Region installs (FSX)

13 detailed location installs (mostly airports) (FSX)

3 VR headset based installs (FSX)

20 Aircraft installs (FSX)

 

And on top of this I have to do a bunch of configuration work for FSUIPC, the VR headset and the Leap Motion!

 

And then I start P3D.....

 

It cant be helped, its got to be done. fortunately I have a spreadsheet to help me get it all done in order and not to miss bits out. 

 

 

Edited by J G

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22 minutes ago, J G said:

Bad news on the PC front.  The PC doctor says I have a corrupt Windows 10 and the O/S will have to be reinstalled.

 

That means a painstaking rebuild of FSX and P3D. Not fun as just the FSX build consists of 58 different software installs to return it to where I want it.

 

 

Is that the final word, JG? If it is, that's terrible. Windoze Virus strikes again!

 

Can the hardware company not simply re-install the O/S? Worst case might be to supply a new disk, install the O/S and then clone your software. I'm afraid I've not got the experience with this particular problem, but years of computer use have seen quite a few similar. I'm not sure how Windoze handles the registry, but it seems to me that a complete re-install of all your software is out of line.

 

As them about a RAID system - if nothing else this would (might) prevent another occurrence.

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Bad news there for you JG, all seemed to be going so well too, hope it gets sorted and works out well for you....I think we have all gone through similar issues and it is such a headache and time consuming problem to have to reinstall everything.....

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Thanks Wayne.

 

I actually don't mind that much as there were a couple of things I wasn't happy about in my current install. And it will give me an excuse to get to the tranquility of my study when the relatives are all here and the house is hectic. :whis::D

 

Somebody mentioned Orbx's Bob earlier.  This is one of the first things I want to try when I am up and running again, it should be interesting.

One of the interesting thinks about VR is it gives the user a lot more feedback than on a flat screen. I have the very good MilViz chinook which I constantly crash when I try to fly it. This is entirely due to my complete incompetence when it comes to helicopters. I am hoping that VR goes someway to changing that, hopefully for the better!  

 

Edited by J G

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On ‎12‎/‎5‎/‎2016 at 17:21, Captain Coffee said:

 

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

 

Whilst I wait for my PC to return I thought I would look at this in more depth.

 

The making of a new view seems easy enough, but I suspect some trial and error will be needed. 

Unfortunately it seems that http://createguid.com/ is dead and so the creation of a new guide number is still an issue for me as I don't know how it is made of or what its significance  it has. 

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