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gpbarth

Track IR - With or Without the LEDs

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Sorry if this has been covered elsewhere (is this the right forum?), but I'm getting ready to finally get the TrackIR, and want to find out if buying the headset is a necessity. Right now, it's looking like $190 USD for the set, but $150 for just the sensor.

 

Opinions?

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You're referring to the TrackClip Pro right? if so, get it. It gives the best tracking over just the reflective 3 point thing that clips onto a cap.

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Yep! That's what I was referring to. Although I figured it was better, I'm on a tight budget, and $40 more is a lot of money. I guess I'll bite the bullet and spend the extra cash.

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You could probably get away with buying the trackclip pro later if you're on a budget.

Just remember that the TC Pro tracks better, filters out ambient light better and lets the sensor itself run cooler (the sensor runs passively with the trackclip pro, without it, it's active and has internal LEDs buzzing away constantly!) the heat probably shouldn't cause a problem but it might over a period of time.

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There is obviously a major advantage to buying the TrackClip, so I shall spend the extra bucks and get it. I think this will be the last major purchase for FSX for me for awhile, and it looks like NaturalPoint has a slight discount right now when both are purchased together. Thanks for the info, guys. I always like to make informed decisions.

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I prefer the Trackclip pro also. You'll find the leds get less interference from outside light sources.

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I've used TrackIR for a number of years, but with the passive cap reflectors. I have had very few issues with the system (mostly software related), but as I have never used it, must defer to the other posters when they suggest the active system is superior.

 

Do bear in mind that the active system requires a headset to mount and a USB port for power. I believe you can rig up a battery pack to power the LEDs. But I dont know anyway around the headset. I am not instructing you. Just a couple of things to consider.

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The Pro Clip has a rep for breaking pretty easy. Mine did - but it took 4+ years before it broke for good. 2 for plastic 4 for wires.

 

I did have it taped and twist tied on before the final break - which was the super skinny wire broke inside the attachment coupling. Try as I might I could not splice it back in.

 

I immediately ordered a new pro clip. But in the interim used the reflective hat clip.

 

I have now had the pro clip for a couple of months and not used it - sticking to the reflectors. Mainly due to the PIA wires going up the head phones and the very fragile clip plastic. (hint use a headphone stand when not wearing headphones and treat the proclip with kid gloves)

 

Since I only get time to fly at night the reflectors work pretty good. Recently -during the day- I tried TrackIR with only the reflectors and with my office facing the water, large windows, and the bright Florida sun reflectors did not work so good- got kinda jumpy.

 

With the ProClip I used to adjust Light Filter and IR Brightness to compensate for day time use.

 

Hope this helps. You will LOVE your new head tracking!!! EZDOK and Opus require a little text editing, but nothing too complicated. Ask here if you need help. :)

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I've used TrackIR for a number of years, but with the passive cap reflectors. I have had very few issues with the system (mostly software related), but as I have never used it, must defer to the other posters when they suggest the active system is superior.

Do bear in mind that the active system requires a headset to mount and a USB port for power. I believe you can rig up a battery pack to power the LEDs. But I dont know anyway around the headset. I am not instructing you. Just a couple of things to consider.

I played around for a bit with NotrackIR, the freeware answer to TrackIR, and although it was supposed to work without any LEDs, there was a version that used an IR LED setup powered by a battery pack.

 

I ended up buying the LEDs, and used a webcam with a negative film filter as the receiver. Never did finish the build, but I still have the LEDs. So I'm wondering if I could use them to build the LED headset myself, instead of buying it.

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I ended up buying the LEDs, and used a webcam with a negative film filter as the receiver. Never did finish the build, but I still have the LEDs. So I'm wondering if I could use them to build the LED headset myself, instead of buying it.

 

 

Hey Gary,

 

That's way over my head. Maybe Neil could speak to that. There's a reason that folks pay significant dollars for TrackIR. It just works. My preference would be a cap mounted LED setup with a battery pack. Invent one. I'll be first in line for the purchase :)

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Hey Gary,

That's way over my head. Maybe Neil could speak to that. There's a reason that folks pay significant dollars for TrackIR. It just works. My preference would be a cap mounted LED setup with a battery pack. Invent one. I'll be first in line for the purchase :)

It's relatively easy to set up a simple LED circuit using a 4-AA battery pack and 3 IR LEDs. It took me about 30 minutes to wire it up. Trick is designing a bracket for the LEDs. Should work with the TrackIR camera.

 

The LEDs are cheap, as is the battery pack. It could be done for way less than $10 USD.

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I've been using a TIR4 with the reflective clip since 2007 and I've noticed no sensitivity issues, except...

Once my tracking became very poor.  Upon a closer inspection I noticed that the reflectors on the clip were bent out of alignment with the sensor.  Bending them carefully back (really not a big deal) fixed it.  I've found that it helps to keep the reflective surface clean as well.  I've always thought the pro clip not worth the hassle of yet another tethered device attached to myself, when the passive clip, sans any tether, works just fine for me.

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The Pro Clip has a rep for breaking pretty easy. (hint use a headphone stand when not wearing headphones and treat the proclip with kid gloves)

The build quality of the TrackClip Pro is borderline acceptable. NaturalPoint cheaped out on this big time and it honestly feels like it would break if you even so much as look at it the wrong way. But saying that, they don't have any competitors so they can charge what they want, and they do!

 

At the end of the day though, the TrackIR is brilliant and it works really really well. 

 

 

Never did finish the build, but I still have the LEDs. So I'm wondering if I could use them to build the LED headset myself, instead of buying it.

 

Yes. This should work without a problem. Let us know how you get on!

 

 

Invent one. I'll be first in line for the purchase :)

 

I recently came across an alternative and I'm seriously considering picking one up as a backup to the TrackClip Pro

 

280751011.jpg

 

It's called a Delan IR Clip, it's made by a guy in the UK. The frame itself is metal and I'm pretty sure the components he uses are far superior than the Naturalpoint ones. (also comes in a battery powered version)

 

http://www.delanengineering.com/

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Well, I thought that, as the reflective pieces could be placed on a hat, so could IR LEDs. I already have the LEDS and battery pack, and a baseball cap, so all I need is the suggested pattern for the reflectors, and I'm good to go.

 

I'll keep everyone posted on my results.

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I'll keep everyone posted on my results.

 

Excellent. The guys at Naturalpoint are really good to deal with. Bet they'd give you all the pointers you need.

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I've had no problems with the reflector. Of course, I have nothing to compare it against, so I can't say if it works more or less smoothly than the Pro Clip. I avoided buying the Pro Clip after reading that many people were breaking their units unintentionally.

 

Good luck!

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Yes Ebs that  link looks like a good alternative,  I emailed a query and got a fast responce from him so may well pick one up as a spare. 

My Pro Clip is currently held together by tape, for the cost of the product the quality of the  Track Clip Pro attachment that goes on your headphones is pretty shocking to say the least!  May go for this alternative as you only seem to be able to buy the entire product including the camera here, and not just the clip?

 

Anyone tried this out yet?

 

Cheers

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Reading the NaturalPoint manual, it shows the TrackClip with 2 reflectors on either side of the cap bill and the 3rd above and slightly behind the other two. The TrackClip Pro, OTOH, has the LEDs mounted vertically on one side of the head. So I'm wondering right now if I can replace the reflectors on the TrackClip (or build my own) with my IR LEDs and have it work the same. I have a small 4-AA battery pack with a switch for the power, so no USB connection needed.

 

I might just mount the LEDs directly on the cap bill (hot glue?) and figure out some rigid mount for the top LED, and mount the battery pack on the back strap. Back to the work bench. Got to figure out if the distance between the 3 LEDs is critical.

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Yes Ebs that  link looks like a good alternative,  I emailed a query and got a fast responce from him so may well pick one up as a spare. 

My Pro Clip is currently held together by tape, for the cost of the product the quality of the  Track Clip Pro attachment that goes on your headphones is pretty shocking to say the least!  May go for this alternative as you only seem to be able to buy the entire product including the camera here, and not just the clip?

 

You don't have to buy the entire package. The TrackIR camera is available for $149 directly from NAturalPoint, and comes with the TrackClip. Hopefully, I can build a LED alternative to the TrackClip Pro. I have the parts, and you can get everything for under $10 USD.  The schematics/diagrams/parts lists are available at http://forum.free-track.net/index.php?showtopicgroup=11 .

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I might just mount the LEDs directly on the cap bill

 

Gary,

 

You can order a track clip from Naturalpoint for 10 bucks. You could mount the LEDs on that and give it a whirl maybe.

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So here's a stupid question from a noob...

 

I see ezdok is mentioned. But if you have the trackir for camera movement,etc. what do you still need ezdok for? What would a complete setup use/involve?

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Gary,

 

You can order a track clip from Naturalpoint for 10 bucks. You could mount the LEDs on that and give it a whirl maybe.

I might just do that if I can't get the right effect using the cap directly.  I re-tested my light circuit tonight and everything is working fine. Just gotta dig up an old cap and modify it, and then the most important part - get a TrackIR camera. I did initially try the FaceTrackNoIR program, and it sorta worked, but there were still bugs that I didn't want to deal with, so I un-installed it. Hopefully, I will get the TrackIR shortly. It's the last thing I really need to complete my FSX "experience".

So here's a stupid question from a noob...

 

I see ezdok is mentioned. But if you have the trackir for camera movement,etc. what do you still need ezdok for? What would a complete setup use/involve?

The TrackIR uses the EZDok camera set-up. I suppose you could use it straight up, but EZDok makes it so much easier to arrange the visuals.

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I'm using the reflectors, I have the TrackClip Pro but I rarely use a headset.  The only issues I have with the reflectors is my now "silver reflective hair" :(

 

For night flying I don't really like the LEDs and they reflect on my monitors also.

 

Cheers, Rob.

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