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Eye Strain

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Does anyone suffer from Eye Strain :-roll as a result of simming too much?Apart from taking breaks regularly (ah! is that what autopilot is for :-)), is there any clinically proven optimum screen resolution that people know about? Are there any good combinations of brightness versus contrast that work well? Are glare gaurds good for simming for instance. I feel that MSFS 2002 is a little on the dark side to begin with so perhaps a glare guard may make things even darker...Do two types of light affect ones eyes? For example a desk light contrasting with the monitor glare? Is it better to have the main lights on apart from a single desk lamp?Do softer or stronger light bulbs make a difference?I'd especially like to hear from simmers who have previously suffered and are now cured? Has anyone done any research on this topic?Many thanksMothEGLL:-beerchug

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Not done any research, but here's what I have found from personal expreience mostly.You should sit in a well-lit room. However, you should make sure you don't have the lights so that the reflect on the screen.What refreshrate are you running at? I personally think 100Hz is optimal. I feel much better when using 100 Hz than 75Hz or even 85Hz.Drinking much water. I don't meen like 10 litres an hour, but take a glass of water or other (soft :) -)drink now and then.Also, remember to blink your eyes. It's easy to forget and you could stare for minutes without blinking, without noticing it.

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Its an Iiyama Vision Master Pro 450 flat screen CRT 19". I think it is running at 60.0khz! This would appear to be to low right?Many thanks,MothEGLL

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By flat screen I presume you mean a flat faced tube rather than the minimal, screw on the wall, 2" deep things now becoming available..Refresh rate is almost always set at 60Hz when you first plug your card and monitor in. Many people never change this (or know how to) and it's bad news. At 60 you get constant screen flicker (more apparent if you are looking away from the monitor and see it in peripheral vision only). It's bad for your eyes, it gives you headaches and it really shouldn't be that low. It's a hangup from the past when low standard monitors were around.In the UK Health and safety regs now demand a minimum 75 refresh rate but I still see a lot of machines that haven't been changed from the default. You can alter the setting easily by going into the graphics card settings and increasing the refresh to a higher rate. What value? You'll have to read the docs because too high a value might damage the monitor if it can't cope. Having said that I am sure most monitors are capable of at least 75 these days. You may be able to go higher but I can guarantee that at 75 you'll find a world of difference from the 60 you have set right now.

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60Hz is very low and will certainly cause eyestrain.Looking at the specs of that monitor, it should have no problem running 100 Hz at 1024x768.Do you have the correct monitor inf driver file installed? What operating system are you using? Windows XP and Windows 2000 will usually default to 60Hz unless you change a few values. Windows ME/9x should use the optimal refreshrate by default, provided you have the correct driver for the monitor and videocard.

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JimmyG and BonesThanks for your help and advice - My graphics card goes up to 100mhz.I suffered from the flickering that you mentioned big time - I used to feel like a Zombie after finishing a flying session - I could hardly talk! I'll whack it up to 85mhz as a halfway house and see how it goes :-)Cheers guys,MothEGLL

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That is correct. However, modern monitors will not be damaged by setting a too high refreshrate, because they will turn themselves off if they detect a high refreshrate, and usually display a message like "Signal out of range".Also, if you set a too high refreshrate and you're using Windows, the screen will turn black for 15 seconds, but if you don't touch anything, the display will come back at the old refreshrate.

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What OS are you using? If you are using WindowsXP or 2000, setting the refreshrate through the options in Windows will only affect the refreshrate when working with Windows. It will not change the refreshrate of 3D games like FS2002. You'll need to do a few tricks to change the refreshrate in FS2002 and other sims/games.If you're using 9x/ME, setting the refreshrate through the control panel should be enough.

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JimmiGI have XP home and it was on 60mhz as default - I have put it to 85mhz and I'll see how that goes for a while. I'm not sure about the correct monitor inf driver file though?Thanks for your helpMothEGLL

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To see if you have the correct driver, right click on the desktop->properties->settingsit should read on for example:Sony G400 on Nvidia Geforce2if it sais "Default Monitor", you don't have the correct driver, and that can sometimes cause problems setting the refreshrate correctly.If you are able to set the refreshrate, it should be OK though.

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it does indeed say the monitor and on the correct card!looks like everything is on the button.Thanks againMothEGLL

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>What OS are you using? If you are using WindowsXP or 2000, >setting the refreshrate through the options in Windows will >only affect the refreshrate when working with Windows. It >will not change the refreshrate of 3D games like FS2002. >You'll need to do a few tricks to change the refreshrate in >FS2002 and other sims/games. >>If you're using 9x/ME, setting the refreshrate through the >control panel should be enough. Hi Jim,Could you please post these tricks for updating the refresh rate of 3D games in WinXP?Thanks,

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As a designer by trade, I sit in front of a monitor pretty much all day. So I guess simming is probably not the best hobby for me! ;)The biggest & most important things for me are threefold and as mentioned above: Have a good light. Lots of people like to sim in a darker room with a red light to see the keys. Ouch!! That's a shocker on the eyes. It's better to have a light behind the monitor to balance the light accross your field of vision & it stops your eyes from getting whacked in one spot on your retina for hours. I have suffered from crazy patterns appearing in my peripheral vision before for about an hour after a long session at the monitor. Very disconcerting (no.. make that SCARY!!!) and was closely followed by a migraine that wouldn't be believed.Secondly is the refresh rate. I wouldn't recommend anything under 85mhz. As mentioned in the other posts, 100mhz+ is better. Set your monitor the the highest refresh rate it can handle. Some lightbulbs are worse than others when it comes to refresh rates too. Strip lights are a nightmare because they blink at a similar rate to a monitor's refresh rate. Avoid them. Daylight bulbs can be found easily and will help alot. Halogen lights are great too.The third thing is to have something like a window near your monitor that you can look out of. It sounds silly but every now and again, you should look out and let your eyes relax by focusing on something far away. Otherwise your eyes are focussing on a fixed, close position for way too long. Often just a blank wall that you can stare at and let your eyes defocus can help.They're my most important things. there are also some exercises you can do. Cup your hands across your eyes so no light can enter. Blink a little and just let your eyes relax with the darkness... it's soothing (check out those great flight simming patterns... wooo! heehee). After they have relaxed, turn your eyes in circles as far as you can , like you are trying to see right around your head... up down sideways, etc. That'll get your eyes moving. After sitting at a monitor for a while, I find that this circular eye motion often gives a strange feeling. In which case it might be worth getting up and making a nice cup of tea. :) An old colleague of mine used to have a piece of paper with a plate-sized circle drawn on it with 12 dots at clock points. Every day she would walk up to it, place her nose in the middle and look at each point of the circle about three times. She said it helped her eyes to exercise.You can also use an eye bath to sooth your eyes, such as optrex. The witch hazel ones are good and there some herbal ones which I've never tried but look good too.A glass of water is a good one... I never thought of that, JimmiG. Cool! You could even splash your eyes at the sink every now and again.Anyway... this turned out to be a bit of a mammoth post, but I think its important to look after your eyes. I hope this is of some help, Moth.Cheers,Simon.

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