Sign in to follow this  
Demious

TrackIR stability compared to other headtrackers

Recommended Posts

I've been looking at TrackIR quite a few times already, but I'm still pretty doubtful, to be honest.

 

I've tried several head trackers, but they are all so jerky that I cant use my mouse in the cockpit, they never center very well and are hard to tune and then I read in several posts that those programs work as well as TrackIR...

On the other hand I cant imagine that people would pay 180 dollar for a product that that is so jumpy that it makes the sim this hard to use as say, FaceTrackNoIR.

 

I would love to hear some experiences from people who have experience with TrackIR, as well as other headtrackers, that can confirm a better stability of the camera movements and a proper stability when using the mouse in the cockpit.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

It costs a fortune, but nothing beats TrackIR. It's a shame that they haven't really got any solid competition.

 

I started off with TrackIR 3 years ago, it was only 3 axis but worked great in IL2. then I sold it and got a TrackIR 5 Pro a few years later for DCS World..then I took a break from simming for a while and sold that...got back into sims and though 'I'm not spending a fortune on TrackIR again, let's see the competition.' I tried FreeTrack with a decent webcam...worked 'ok' but I was constantly tweaking. Then I tried EDTracker, again it was 'ok' needed a lot of tweaking and had to be recalibrated quite a bit due to temperature changes etc. was only three axis too.

 

In the end I had to just bite the bullet. Spent the ~200 quid, spent half an hour setting up my profiles again and now I don't even know it's there. It works flawlessly every time. I've got enough tweaking with P3D settings, I don't want to tweak the hardware too!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That sounds very promising, thanks for your input, Neil. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would love to hear some experiences from people who have experience with TrackIR, as well as other headtrackers, that can confirm a better stability of the camera movements and a proper stability when using the mouse in the cockpit.

 

TrackIR is fantastic. It is mature hardware and software that works very well and adds a huge amount to the sim. I was dubious when I first heard about it because I did not think something that worked on IR could track so precisely and consistently. Do not worry, it does. It has its nay-sayers but they are vastly outnumbered by its advocates. If you have it set up correctly it is perfectly smooth, not jumpy or jerky at all. The basic package uses a passive reflector target but you can choose to buy the additional active target, called 'Track Clip Pro'. You do not need the active target as long as you keep the lighting conditions under control. (It also needs to be plugged in and you need to contrive some way to mount it on your head if you do not routinely wear a headset. The Track Clip Pro is also made of cheap brittle plastic and you will find many reports of how to fix it when it breaks.)

 

TrackIR does not use magic, it is a machine that tracks a moving target using reflected (or projected) infra-red light. Keeping this in mind will help you wade through some of the common 'criticisms'. You need to wear a target on your head, either the passive reflector or the active emitter. If there are other IR sources of comparable intensity within the camera's field of view you will have problems because it won't be able to distinguish the target from the background. A common problem is if you wear glasses and the camera is positioned so that they reflect the IR beam back into it. This is solved by moving the camera slightly (or using the active target). Other more obvious problems are windows or reflected sunlight on walls behind you. All of this is easy to debug using the TrackIR program's camera view to show all the targets in its field of view. There are those who say you will need to re-centre TrackIR frequently because it drifts. It does not drift - you need to re-centre it if you drift - i.e. if you shift your position in your seat. If you do not shuffle about or get up and sit back down frequently you will not have 'drift' problems, but it helps to have the 'centre' function on a joystick or panel button. If you routinely move the eyepoint manually (e.g. to raise or lower your seat) you will lose this ability if you use TrackIR - unless you also get EZCA. If you watch my Twin Otter videos (this one around 10:13, for example) you will frequently see me move the seat up and down (also back and forward) with a knob on the control panel - this is controlled by EZCA and as you will see it remains active when using TrackIR. (This is because EZCA works 'downstream' of the TrackIR.)

 

Of course, using TrackIR (or any head tracker) does make it more fiddly to operate the VC controls with the mouse because you can be aiming for a moving target. However, with careful creation of your profile you can establish null zones or slow zones where the tracking is slower or absent, typically towards the centre. Don't just copy someone else's profile (or the often-hyped 'seth flight' profile, which is just another works-for-someone-else compromise) - find out how to do it and make your own according to your needs. For an excellent primer on setting up a TrackIR profile, look here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 


[stuff that I couldn't have said better myself!]

 

Mark, that is a brilliant description, thanks!

Using a rotary encoder to shift the eye position in EZDOK is a stroke of genius. subscribed :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your explanation, Mark. It all sounds very interesting, I think I'm going to take a chance on it. I already got EZCA, so that would work out perfectly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

maarten

 

for me the "secret" to using any headtracker - I don't leave the gate without it - is having other hardware such as autopilot / cdu's etc and / or a gaming keyboard / game pad (Logitech G510, G13) which minimise & almost avoid the need for your mouse input.

 

of course you'll need fsuipc & fly planes that can be assigned that way !!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got a joystick or yoke button assigned to Pause Trackir when I need to click something with my mouse.  Another button to recenter it.  The recenter function is great if you want to move your viewpoint up or down... just shift your body in the opposite direction, hit the center button, then go back to your normal sitting position.

 

I couldn't fly without it now.

 

Hook

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The recenter function is great if you want to move your viewpoint up or down... just shift your body in the opposite direction, hit the center button, then go back to your normal sitting position.

 

This works good for left and right but not so well for up and down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I could say that, other than my X51 Pro and rudders, and the PC itself, TIR5 was the best hardware add-on I ever used for flight simulation!

 

I couldn't do without it, specially now that I am a lot into simulated air combat.  Il2 Bos and DCS World wouldn't simply be possible to play, for me, without a TIR5 :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just got the TrackIR 5 with pro clip delivered and I notice I gotta get a little used to it, but this works like a dream.

Thanks for giving me the confidence to finally make the purchase, guys. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This works good for left and right but not so well for up and down.

If that's the case, you might want to adjust your profile. Make up and down movement more sensitive.

 

Demious, glad you decided to go ahead and get it! Have a great time.

 

Hook

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can HIGHLY recommend the Track IR 5. Everything Mark DH said above pretty much sums it up. For me the hardest part was learning, and truly understanding, how to use the profiling software. For that I found this video to be very helpful.

 

https://youtu.be/TASEXUd4Oto

 

It is created for DCS A-10, but the principles are the same. Ultimately, I found a profile online called FSX-PMDG that requires you to run with the precision mode checked. I then made a few tweaks, and have not looked back. Its what I use for both P3D and FSX SE.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the OP, congrats:  The only downside I've found with TrackIR is that once you are use to it, you find it odd and irritating that the view does not change when you move your head when watching FS videos.  Believe me, it happens! :o :lol:

 

As mentioned above, for CFS TIR is as essential at a good 'stick.  Combat in RoF is futile without it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If that's the case, you might want to adjust your profile. Make up and down movement more sensitive.

 

It has nothing to do with the profile, it's about the limitations of the human body.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For that I found this video to be very helpful.

 

https://youtu.be/TASEXUd4Oto

 

Very helpful, thanks Matt! :)

 

 

 

 

Ultimately, I found a profile online called FSX-PMDG that requires you to run with the precision mode checked. I then made a few tweaks, and have not looked back. Its what I use for both P3D and FSX SE.

 

I tried googling for it, but no luck. Do you remember where you found that profile, by any chance?

 

 

The only downside I've found with TrackIR is that once you are use to it, you find it odd and irritating that the view does not change when you move your head when watching FS videos.  Believe me, it happens! :o :lol:

 

I tried it, but yeah, it's true. :P

 

They should adjust youtube to TrackIR! ;)

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this