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J G

VR is here!

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Thank you all for your contributions to this thread.  A very interesting read.  Seriously thinking of taking the bull by the horns after the holiday.  Already have a new MB, CPU and Graphics card for a rebuild.  Once I am up and running and all is well, think I shall jump into the pool.

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As you are doing a complete rebuild then go for it.  But I would warn you that you need some power in the PC to get the best out of it. my specs are:

 

i7 cpu overclocked to 4.6, and a Nvida 1060 graphics card, together with a quality MB (cant remember the name off hand)

 

It is also worth installing Windows 10. It isn't necessary for FSX or P3D but there are many other things in the VR world that do require Windows 10.  Incase you are concerned, FSX and P3D run well on Windows 10. 

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Thanks John.  Have very suitable hardware, bought some time ago.  Before the arrangement that M$ made with Intel & AMD over CPU compatibility, so sticking with W7.   Not into computer gaming myself, the machine is dedicated to FS. 

 

Have W10 on my new laptop for general use, not too impressed with the GUI so installed the Classic Windows Shell.  Which gives me the feel of W7.

 

Only real complaint with W10 is the non optional updating and its invasive manner.  It can be tamed and controlled to some degree but not enough that I would want to run my Sim in it....maybe one day, if I live long enough.

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My PC arrived back from the menders yesterday but there has been no time to look at it what with Christmas excesses answer such.

 

Santa has clearly thought I have been a good boy as he has dropped a Leap Motion down our chimney this year. And that's no mean feat as we have no working chimney. The new year will bring some interesting adventures as I build up my VR sim and start to look at various aircraft and how they perform in a VR environment.

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On my meagre flight sim set-up  I have ProATCX which involves using the keyboard to communicate and respond to ATC, not like voice activation as in VoXATC.

Does this exclude me and others with similar software from a VR set-up? Just wondered.

 

BTW, a happy New Year to you, John, and all at Mutley's Hanger.

 

Richard.

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Happy new year Richard!

 

Quote

Does this exclude me and others with similar software from a VR set-up?

 

The short and happy answer is no.

 

You can still map buttons to joystick controls, I use FSUIPC to do this.

 

Before you complain that you already have other things mapped to my joystick and/or throttle, note that when you use VR there are a shed load of mappings that you wont use anymore.  In most cases the only aircraft controls I have mapped are the stick and the throttle leavers.  All the rest can be done in the VC of a quality add-on, so you will have freed up a whole load of buttons.

 

My advice would be not to use older aircraft with poor VCs, they wont look good in VR and will be hard to operate. Stick to anything that has a good VC and do the work using the mouse.

 

Some folks are going to counter this by saying that some VC controls are tricky to use. I have found this with many add on aircraft, but those I have, loose all of that awkwardness when in VR, I don't know why, perhaps because the controls have real depth to them or some other way you perceive them is different.  It seems all of those hard to use controls are suddenly intuitive.

 

My best example of this is the Just flight Tornado. This aircraft has a complicated throttle arrangement where the throttles have several different modes that are access by moving the throttle leavers left or right before using them. You cant map this to a joystick and so throttle use is an awkward juggle between throttle quadrant and VC, it is a hard thing to get right and it's usually happening when you don't have the time to get it wrong a few times. In VR its a piece of cake. I still use the throttle leavers, but the left right movement, still achieved using the mouse, seems intuitive and is easy to get right first time. VR vastly improves this aircraft in my opinion.  

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After a complete rebuild from the ground up and with Windows 10 I am getting near to rebuilding the VR side of things.

 

I am going to use Simstarter to setup a VR configuration and a standard configuration so that I can fly in either mode at will.

 

There will be a further delay in getting the Rift to function properly for me as it seems that I cant get along with contact lenses, my eyes are too dry and the lenses soon  become dehydrated and then they stick to my eyeballs.  Not good, and nasty to remove, so I have ordered some lense inserts. To make matters worse our dog became over enthusiastic with welcoming me back into the house after being away for 10 mins and headbutted in the face breaking my normal glasses. So I cant put these under the visor at the moment either. 

 

Incidentally I found a couple of good tweaks to make FSX more stable:

  • If you have a very good graphics card, set your frame rate to unlimited, this then frees up CPU resources as it dosent have to monitor what it sends to the graphics card.
  • Again, if you have a very good graphics card, set all the sliders to max. I know iths seems counter intuitive, but it works for me, I guess it lets the graphics card sort out the graphics output instead of using CPU resource to monitor and restrict output. 
  • The other is to set FSX to go straight to the default flight rather than to the start page. I dont know why this works, but it just does.

I have an Nvida  GTX 1060 card and the above seems to work well on that.

 

I have heard that Steves DX10 fixer does not work with Flyinside/Oculus Rift and so at the moment I am not using it. If anyone knows different pleas post here!

 

 

 

Edited by J G
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seems to be moving along steadily, I couldnt even try contact lenses so power to you for having a go.....hope you get there in the end JG...

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On ‎10‎/‎12‎/‎2016 at 16:38, wain said:

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?

 

VR works well with a 3D cockpit which has all the switches and dials working in the cockpit. So if I want to, say, switch on the landing lights I can use the mouse to click on the switch in the VR view.  If the VC is poor then this is going to be a pain as, as you rightly say, you can't see the keyboard.

 

Having said that, I tend to use only the newer and more high end add-ons and have had no issues as they have all singing, all dancing VC's. Interestingly, in a VR world, using mouse operated switches, leavers and dials is much easier than trying to do it in a flat screen VC.  I don't know why this is so but it is.  Probably because the device that you are trying to operate is actually 3D

 

Quote

 

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

 

 

My eyes are a mess as well, probably worse than yours!  For me everything over 1 ft. 6 ins. away is blurred and so looking at the Rift's image is blurred. There is no focus adjustment on a rift.  The only adjustment that can be made is for the distance your eyes are apart. Options for vision correction are:

  • Wearing glasses inside the Rift headset is an option, but personally I found it very uncomfortable and difficult to position properly. Not to be recommended I think.
  • Contact lenses are an answer if they suit you, and I have given them a try and find that my blink rate slows when using the FS and so they dry out on my eyes and become rather uncomfortable, I just cant seem to get on with them and so I wont be using them unless the third option is no good.
  • The third option is lens inserts.  Basically these are prescription lenses that fit into the Rift headset so they correct your vision like glasses from within the headset.  An example company selling these can be found at: https://vr-lens-lab.com/  I have some of these on order so I will post here when I have tested them.

 

On ‎10‎/‎12‎/‎2016 at 16:38, wain said:

 

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

 

 

Everything you need comes in the box.  The headset, the sensor, the little remote device (for selecting things in the VR world) and an Xbox controller and dongle for playing VR games with. I haven't actually used the Xbox controller yet as it is not needed for FSX, and the remote device is only used to navigate the Rifts software set-up pages.

 

On ‎10‎/‎12‎/‎2016 at 16:38, wain said:

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?

 

 

Weird? No. it is more like gob-smacking! It is not a case of not seeing your surroundings, as the VR world is a 360 degree experience. Sitting in a cockpit you have surroundings, it is just that they are part of the image you are seeing (instead of a table lamp and a window out to the road in my case)  Actually trying to explain a 3D environment is next to near impossible.  What it is NOT like is looking at a 3D TV.  3D TV gives you a framed three dimensional image that sits in front of you, The rift is a 3D world you sit in, Turn and face any direction and you will still see the world you are in.

 

I am still rebuilding my PC after an upgrade to Windows 10 went wrong. but I am nearly at the stage where I can get the Rift going again. Then I can test the new lenses and the other new bit I have for the 3D experience. I have bought a thing called a Leapmotion, which allows you to use your hands in the 3D environment instead of a mouse.  I have not got it going yet but you can find out more about this at: https://www.leapmotion.com/

 

J.

Edited by J G

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That was quick, my lens inserts have arrived!

 

They were boxed in a small but sturdy cardboard container, wrapped in bubble wrap.

 

VR-Lens1.JPG

 

Inside the bubble wrap there is a lens case and in the bottom of the box is a lens cloth. 

 

Instructions on how to fit the lenses are found at a website detailed on the lens cloth. Have a look here if you are curious: Https://vr-lens-lab.com/howto

 

VR-Lens2.jpg

 

The lens case is of good quality and neatly fits both lenses in it. However there was no lasting individual lens pocket so when you want to store the lenses away be sure to use something to separate them. I use the lens cloth supplied to keep my lenses apart in storage. The lenses are plastic, so you must be careful to avoid scratches.

 

VR-Lens3.jpg

 

The lenses fit into the Rift using two lugs top and bottom to wedge them in place. This is not a perfect solution as they can move if the headset id knocked. Another thing that I found slighting irritating is that the lenses are not marked as left or right. One lens comes with a red spacer and the other with a black one, but I couldn't see which side lens was red.  There are no instructions as to this important matter and I had to resort to looking through the lens to see which eye was which.  This was not an easy thing to do especially as my prescription differs only slightly between my eyes.  Below you can see the right lens in place but not lined up yet.

 

VR-Lens4.jpg

 

I eventually went for red is left but I could be wrong! The lenses are installed in the opposite way to a standard spectacle lens.  That is the lens curvature bends in toward your eye rather than the conventional away from the eye. 

 

VR-Lens5.jpg

 

Lenses in, I am ready to go.  Watch this place for my evaluation of the lenses when used in a flight sim.

Edited by J G
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cheers for this info JG, I hink this is something I may look at a bit further down the line,(just updated my CPU,RAM & mobo) I maybe need to try a demo at one of the shows.....however it is still fairly new tech so plenty of time...hats off to you sir for being a bit of a trailblazer and keep up the reports they are very interesting and thought provoking....

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Indeed thanks to trailblazers who pounce on all new tech. You are the folks that are buying the High Priced early models...bless you hardy walleted souls!

 

I will definitely be going VR at some point in the hopefully near future, I suspect it will be The Way of The FSFuture down the road, and folks flying with monitors 10 years from now will  probably be very very "old school" or very very poor. :(

 

I am enjoying watching your experiences with it over your shoulder so to speak JG, a great walk through for those of us lusting to get into our own waiting 3D cockpits. Seriously frustrating knowing that there IS a 3D cockpit in my machine that I can't hop into because I'm missing a bit of hardware right now (well, probably several pieces due to my older machine).

 

 

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7 hours ago, Captain Coffee said:

Indeed thanks to trailblazers who pounce on all new tech. You are the folks that are buying the High Priced early models...bless you hardy walleted souls!

 

 

The way I see it is that everything is going to be obsolete one day. As that thing gets nearer to being obsolete, the cost of it will go down. Is going to happen anyway no mater when you jump on to any particular boat, it just the cheaper it is the nearer it is to being yesterdays toy. So if you see something you like and can scrape the cash together for it then go for it!

 

I know that in five years time I will be able to buy something better for half the price, but that is then and this is now. :)

Edited by J G
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3 hours ago, J G said:

I know that in five years time I will be able to buy something better for half the price, but that is then and this is now.

 

LOL... so very true, sound philosophy there John.

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John, I returned to flight simming recently because of VR.  Bought myself a kick-ass Chillblast, rift, heli controls and it's fantastic despite a few headaches (literally) now and again.  A glasses wearer myself, I'm very keen to know how you're getting on with the lenses...

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Hi Keith and welcome to our forum.:hat: It seems the folks that have it love it, I hope they don't stop making them as the news about closing down many of their in-store kiosks isn't a good sign. :(

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Hi Guys,

Life sometimes gets difficult and priorities have to change.  My dad had a stroke late last year and so my family and I have been busy getting the best care for him.

 

I still haven't had a chance to use the lenses yet and I also haven't had a chance to try out the Leap Motion as yet.  However I haven't been completely idle, I have done a complete rebuild of my FS PC and have built it with a history of military aircraft from 1906 to modern times.

 

In order to get as complete history as I can I have selected the best version of each aircraft I can to complete a good history.  I have done this with two things in mind.:

  1. I want a complete history of British military aviation on my FS PC
  2. I want to see how each add-on fairs with the VR set.

In order to complete point 1, I have had to compromise in quality where period aircraft are in short supply. This has included some interesting pockets of FSX drought, Between the wars was hard to fill, as was pre WW1, and late WW2. 

 

The last of these is covered well in its early period with several high quality Spitfires available, but not so good for such aircraft as the Tempest and Typhoon. I am grateful to Jankees for bringing the Aeroplane Heaven Typhoon to my attention with his repaints as I can now get rid of the Hawker Heroes version I currently have. If anyone knows of a 1920's or 30's military aircraft of excellent quality then please let me know.

 

The plan is to fly all these various aircraft through the ages and remove all of those that are not good with VR. My expectation is that those with poor VCs with a low degree of interactivity will be the first to go as control from the cockpit is vital for VR.

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Sorry to hear about your dad J.G. RL makes VR and FS take a backseat often...way to often as the RL goes on I suspect/fear.

 

Regarding your computer rebuild, sounds productive and ambitious. Best of luck on a worthy History project, as well as your VR 'suitability' project.  I suspect your list of VR suitable aircraft will prove to be a boon to other VR users once you compile your hangar.

 

Regards to your family.

Matt.

 

Oh...and welcome to new member Kieth MasterBear Walton!

Cheers.

Coff.

Edited by Captain Coffee

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Hey JG,

Best wishes for a more comfortable life for your Dad.

Hope everything works out for you all.

Take care

Brian 

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Many thanks Brett.  Likewise thoughts concerning your father JG.

 

I need multi-focus so I think your lenses would be a problem for me.  I've just acquired leap motion so now utilising what is at the moment the 'full monty' package.  First impressions are mixed - you have to get your finger motions just right otherwise the hoped for door opening or switch clicking doesn't happen.  Interested to hear from other other users as it could be I just need to practice more.  When it works first time it's brill and adds to the immersion.  Cranfield in the UK is my home base and I have Orbx and UK Airports 2000.  After touching down in the Cub yesterday I opened the door, the sun was shining and wow I really really could have stepped out (yeah, and hit my head on my wall!).  We all know that VR is at it's earliest stage and picture sharpness isn't great but never mind, once you've experienced immersion like this I'm not sure how anyone can go back to a 2d screen.

 

Have to say I'm irritated by simmers who have the money but say they would rather wait until the technology is spot-on.  If people don't invest and make a contribution to the efforts being made now then that beautiful moment in the future when our hobby really takes flight will never arrive!  

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4 hours ago, MasterBear said:

Have to say I'm irritated by simmers who have the money but say they would rather wait until the technology is spot-on.  If people don't invest and make a contribution to the efforts being made now then that beautiful moment in the future when our hobby really takes flight will never arrive!  

 

I couldn't agree more.  If those who can afford to take on something innovative don't do so then there will be no perception of a market and therefore no investment for development.

I didn't buy a 3D TV, I didn't do it because I tried my sons 3D TV and thought it was a gimmick. 3D TV's are disappearing from the shops now as I expect many others thought as I did but at least I tried it.

 

VR is a different ballgame. would I watch a VR movie? probably not as I enjoy watching films with other people, VR is great for solo pastimes or pastime that have a solo element to them. Most gaming falls into this category. yes you can play games with friends around a TV, but who, like me, consistently lost at split screen games to others were better at screen watching? VR in this type of event would work very well indeed as not only do you benefit from the emersion aspect, but your view on the world is private to you. It is the way forward, but unless you try it and support it, it wont be and, trust me, you will have missed out.

 

I chose to go down the VR route.  Not because I could afford to, but because I believe in the concept. To buy into VR flight sim I had to sell all my cockpit hardware to raise the cash for the headset.  I bit of a gamble if it didn't work. but it had to be done! I have no regrets, and I fully understand that in a few years I will be able to buy a better replacement at half the price**, and I will upgrade when that happens. As I said, but that is then and this is now.

 

** Yes I do have an IBM XT in my loft!!!  

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On ‎09‎/‎03‎/‎2017 at 13:05, MasterBear said:

 

I need multi-focus so I think your lenses would be a problem for me. 

 

 

I use I have the same issue I think. My glasses are vary-focal and with distance vision only lenses I cant read things close up. This is not an issue with VR.

 

I have finally got round to testing out the lens inserts and I have to say they are very good. The lenses are for my distance vision prescription and they work very well with every aspect of the Oculus headset. It seems that my brain thinks that all parts of the image are a good distance away and so all vision is at the distance setting of my prescription.  They are a great addition for the person with knackered eyes like me. 

 

This is a much better solution than contact lenses, especially if your blink rate drops in front of screens. 

 

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38 minutes ago, J G said:

This is a much better solution than contact lenses, especially if your blink rate drops in front of screens. 

 

 

I am sure this applies to most of our viewers (especially me) 

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Thanks JG, that's good to hear of your experience and I might well join you and order a pair.  Your comments re video gaming hit the spot with me, as an adult now my daughter still battles me with Wave Race on the N64, there's nothing to beat excellent gameplay and it was out of my love for (what is now retro) gaming and my real flying experience resulted in my FSX hobby.  Trouble is I'm no pc expert and the amount of time I've spent over the years frustrated with FSX.  Having recently come back to simming I'm buiding up my add-ons and I've just purchased another A2A GA plane, the Comanche.  Unfortunately, I immediately had engine starting issues with it and it seemed to also cause sound issues with my other aircraft.  Uninstalled the Comanche this morning and the sound with everything else is now back to normal!  It feels like here I go again...

 

Apologies I digress, I was going to report that the jury is still out on Leap Motion.  It can be difficult to position your finger on some of the control inputs in VR because my CH yoke (in the real world) actually gets in the way.  Also, there's a tendancy for your hand to go from blue (active) to white (inactive) for seemingly no reason as all just when you need to lower those flaps or do something else equally important.  I will persevere because the idea is grand but I'm starting to unplug the LM just to keep things simple.

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