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Just thought I'd leave a note here regarding my recent experiences with head tracking technology.

I've been a long time user of TrackIR5.  Its been good to me over the years in day to day use, but;

a) it is very expensive (cheapest now is about £180)

b) the kit is a little fragile in places

 

Now (b) has been proven to me by my daughter knocking the IR camera off the top of my monitor.  From the outside there is no apparent damage but it just doesnt work now.  I can only assume an internal connextion somewhere has been compromised.

 

So, I started looking for something to replace it...and I happened upon TrackHat.

 

Its much cheaper at around £70, is a very robust design and is wireless.   On the downside the opentrack software isnt as good as that bundled with TrackIR, but it does do the job. 

I found it took a little while to figure out how to configure it but it isnt hard.

 

Overall, its an effective, more robust, cheaper head tracking solution than TrackIR.

 

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thanks for the 'heads up'....shame about the little accident, I saw trackhat a while back but until my TrackIR goes wrong I will stick with what I have....but as a replacement that would be an option, is it working on all platforms?

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11 minutes ago, wain said:

thanks for the 'heads up'....shame about the little accident, I saw trackhat a while back but until my TrackIR goes wrong I will stick with what I have....but as a replacement that would be an option, is it working on all platforms?

Absolutely stick with TrackIR if you have it and its working.  If you're new to head tracking or need a replacement then TrackHat is very much worth a look.

The documentation says it will work with anything TrackIR does.  I cant independently verify that as I only use it with P3D, but youtube shows it being used in varying other platforms including XP.

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My TrackIR went south on me a while ago, and is am expencive bit of kit to replace.

 

I bought an old Sony Playstation* camera and removed the IR filter from it.  This I use with FreeTrack and it works just fine.  I think the total outlay was about £40.

 

*If you want to do this then you need the correct version of the camera.  Not all versions have an IR filter that can be removed. Instructions are on the interweb. Google it!

Edited by J G

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2 hours ago, J G said:

My TrackIR went south on me a while ago, and is am expencive bit of kit to replace.

 

I bought an old Sony Playstation* camera and removed the IR filter from it.  This I use with FreeTrack and it works just fine.  I think the total outlay was about £40.

 

*If you want to do this then you need the correct version of the camera.  Not all versions have an IR filter that can be removed. Instructions are on the interweb. Google it!

Thats exactly what TrackHat do.  Their kit is modular so if you already have a Sony playstation camera you can just buy the headset attachment.

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Love my Track IR...can't imagine flying without it.

 

There is an old thread around here somewhere, apologies for being a lame'o at searching for stuff, that shows how I made mine 'wireless' by hot gluing a small rechargeable USB battery pack to a headset to which the TrackIR is also attached and it's wires 'bundled' and taped compactly out of the way in the upper part of the headset...makes sim life so much better as I can just stand up with headset on and walk to the fridge for a beer...no wires attach me to the computer. FS immersion with RL freedom of movement...golden.

 

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Edited by Captain Coffee
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I did what Coff did above, but used a simple plastic battery box (3 X AA) with an on-off switch instead, with the cut-off female end of a USB extension cable soldered to it.  It works great.  Though the TrackIR normally plugs into a USB port, it's not an intelligent device, i.e. it neither sends nor receives signals.  It just needs about 5 volts DC for the three IR LEDs on the ends of the stalks.  Since I already used a wireless headset it was a pain to again be tied to the computer with a wire.  This solves the problem.

 

I've said before and still maintain that the TrackIR is the single most significant hardware game-changer for FS that I can think of. It makes FS a whole new experience.

 

I know I'm preaching to the choir since everyone who's posted here is already using some form of head tracker, but for the lurkers and casual readers, if you don't have this, you're missing something really special.

 

John

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4 hours ago, allardjd said:

.......

I've said before and still maintain that the TrackIR is the single most significant hardware game-changer for FS that I can think of. It makes FS a whole new experience.

.......

 

I would like to echo John's comment above. 

 

My venture into VR was very disappointing.  I don't use it now, it's to cumbersome and, with nowhere near perfect vision, a real pain to use with glasses on. I went as far as to get lens inserts but I was still not that impressed. Being used a to multi screen FS I found being limited to just one screen very irritating. All instrument views had to be layered over the main FS screen such that I couldn't see where I was going some of the time.

 

Tracking software is a much better solution in my opinion as it is far less restricting. Arguably there is less immersion with Track IR, but on balance I prefer it to VR any day. And it is a lot less expensive.

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