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Roman Design

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About Roman Design

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  1. That's very impressive. They don't use MSFS though. Maybe it the corporate version of XPlane or something else. And they have custom Varjo setup with some extra cameras that do amazing hand tracking with full 3D model of your fingers rotating knobs. Such presition is not possible with Leap Motion at least. And hand tracking is not supported in MSFS at all, with OpenXR Toolkit it is possilbe but there are still problems with it. I'm involved with it from the beginning and testing betas. Because it has to overcome MSFS VR implementation problems it's not exacly possible tot hat degree yet. Regardless, you can model a cockpit with all switches and use virtual displays in the similar way, and just use hand tracking for visually seeing where your hand is, not the actual interaction, it should work fairly well.
  2. VR users are only about 2% of gamers, and I guess the market is just not there for something specialized like that. That's the use case I haven't though of. Yes, that would be very useful. Even let's say, if my encoder box and switch box would be visible in VR they would be easier to work with or could be made more elaborate (though not very realistic). Or Radio/AP panels could just be replaced with your setup, where you can see your hand operating these, while glass panels could be left in VR. That actually sounds like a very useable idea. With a bit of work one could integrate his compact Ratio/AP/Switch panel setup into most aircraft that would look plausible in VR. Throttles could be added that way too, along with yoke/joystick. There are many things that don't need very hi-res display for. And this would be especially valuable for people who already have expensive panels set up (like Logitech radio/AP etc. and large throttle quadrant setups). This would let you integrate your existing setups that you spend many hundreds of dollars for, into VR. I hope when the next generation of HMDs introduce high quality passthrough feeds, this will become more common and easy to do.
  3. I didn't mean that the price is generally unreasonable. It's just unreasonable for me 🙂 This kind of solution is mostly used for corporate and training applications, where it makes a lot of sense. We see that it makes sense at least for some high-end simulation fans, who spend many thousands on their setup, though I don't really get why: Think about how strong people's reactuons are for not perfectly crisp glass panels with DLSS in MSFS SU10 beta, or when recuding TAA to 70%. And then think how even the best glass panel would look after being displayed on external monitors and then passed through cameras, then post-processed and distorted to fit the HMD FOV. Zed mini vertical resolution is not great: 4416 x 1242 but only at 15 fps which is unusable, and with 30fps (which is also far from perfect) it's just HD 1080p x 2 eyes (3840 x 1080). My Reverb G2, as all the best HMDs are 4K. Add resizing and berrel correction distortion etc. and you can see the picture (or not see it LOL). I'm sure it will be far worse that what you'd get in VR. It may barely be OK for steam gauges or military simmers who don't care that much about instrumentation, but then why build expensive and time-consuming panel and limit yourself to a single plane, and then get a low-res image in your HMD? Plus, generally, upcoming Meta and Pico HMDs specifically state high-quality color pass-through cameras for augmented reality. But I'm sure they won't be any better in terms of resolution. Enough for typical augmented reality applications, but not enough for passing through precise instrumentation and other small and high-resolution objects. I think hand tracking makes much more sense. Perfect sense in fact. In my case you would interact with a virtual cockpit and some strategically (but not always realistically) placed hardware, but if you really want to, and you're OK with being limited to a single plane, you could build 1:1 cockpit control replica, and use hand tracking just for seeng where your hand is, operating real knobs and switches placed at same locations, while seeing crisp and realistic instrumentation in VR. In a way that would also be augmented reality.
  4. Oh, I don't deny it's a very cool technology 🙂 However this camera is worth almost as much as my whole motion rig 🙂 The question is - is it worth it for someone's particular goals? Not for me. Although I've never seen it, I doubt the physical glass cockpit would be sharp enough, passed through the cameras, compared to what we get in our virtual cockpits. The plus side is of course the ability to build a true-to-life physical cockpit to interact with, but it kind of defeats the purpose of VR, because you get a inescapingly reduced quality passthrough feed of reality that does look a bit "pasted" over the VR picture which can't be good for immersion, and you are limited by the very specific cockpit that you built. Why build a whole cockpit if you already wear an HMD, where it can be recreated in perfection? In VR there's no limit. Yes, it's cool to see your hand on the joystick. But for "real" interaction with the cockpit, hand tracking should be functional very soon, it's almost there already, and every cockpit elment would then be properly reachable without the use of controllers. A mint condition Leap Motion controller can be found for less than $60. For me the goal is not building the ultimate possible cockpit - I'm not rich enough for that, as there's no limit. The goal is the get the ultimate experience I can get for spending as little money as possible. I beileve that for me I got hte best price/performance point at under $500 budget. The experience can be better of course, but spending $5000 will not get you a 10x experience, but maybe 10% better. Spending $50,000 will get you 30% better, etc. It's the law of diminishing returns. But to each his own, and everybody's budgets and ambitions are different. I couldn't justify spending more than $1000 on a grown-up toy like this. But some people spend tens of thousands on full-cockpit simulators.
  5. No, that wouldn't be practical. on the other hand (pun intended) you cad get Leap Motion in perfect condition for around $60, and hopefully when hand tracking keep-alive will be implemented, it's going to be awesome.
  6. It's a Leap Motion controller in a custom holder I 3D-printed. It foes hand tracking, which almost works with OpenXR Toolkit, which I demonstrate in my long video (see chapters, there's one about hand tracking). It need a few bugfixes/workarounds to be fully usable, but it already is amazing. When your hands are on yoke and throttle, there is a problem: when you need to operate any switches or buttons in an airplane, you have to either grab a mouse - which is both unrealisting (or immersion-breaking as us VR enthusiaasts call it) and inconvenient, or you need to grab a VR controller. Which is also not ideal, because you have to keep it on your lap and do extra movements every time, which is also immersion-breaking. On X-Plane I strapped my controller to my hand with a special mount, and it worked, but it was perfectly possible to operate throttles with a VR controller. In MSFS it's impossible - not just is it not possible to move two throttle levers together (in X-Plane you grabbed the center between them), but even operating both VR controllers at once it not possible in MSFS. It's extremely bad controller implementation on Asobo's part. I think it's the only VR title I ever saw where you can't interact with both controllers at the same time. Doesn't make any sense. Also, many switches don't work properly and roating knobs is random, unpredictable and imprecise (X-Plane was great in that respect - you could just rotate your writst after grabbong a knob, very natural). Actually the whole grabbing is not working well in MSFS. Anyway, I solved this issue by making most important hardware controls so I can operate and memorize them while in VR, but for the rest I hope soon to use the hand-tracking full time. It emulates VR controller and you just use a "finger gun" gesture to point and press with your thumb. There are several gestures that allow you to emulate trigger, grab, A and B buttons. It's a tad less precise than a proper controller, but how cool is just flipping switches with your hand! You can see me demoing it. But there is a intermittant interaction loss bug, which is aggravated by Asobo controller implementation, as even the hardware controller loses interaction very soon and has to be "woken up" but gripping every minute or so. I hope OpenXR Toolkit will have a "keep-alive" feature which I suggested, and if it solves the problem, I will use hand tracking full time.
  7. Update: all design files, Blender design files, 3D-print STL files, build photos and part lists for my Motion VR Cockpit and all controllers are now available for FREE DOWNLOAD (optional donation) on my website. If you are looking into building a similar rig - feel free to use my designs as a starting point. Absolutly! Actually, most motion rigs people build in XSimulator are for racing sims. I want to try that too, just didn't get to it. FlyPT Mover supports many games. So far, beside MSFS I tried DCS, Elite Dangerous, Epic Rollercoasters (Great fun! Motion sicknes after 2-3 rides though) , Star War Squadrons, IL-2 Sturmovij Battle of Stalingrad.
  8. It's right there in my post: it cost me ~$430 in parts, but I already had pedals, PSU was free (you can get it for $20), and I had lumber scraps I used. Pedals I could make for $10 in parts, same as other controls, but Saitek work OK for me. I also had some bolts. If you have to buy everything, it would come to around $520.
  9. Sure, my pleasure. It really doesn't take much more space than an office chair with a person sitting in it. It is an office chair actually - my old IKEA chair. So if you have a corner you can place it in - go for it. I have it in a really small home office room where I work all the time. It stands diagonally closer to a corner, not directly in front of PC as in the photo. I can slide it on felt pads, but it's not easlly movable, so it mostly stays in place.
  10. Update: all design files, Blender design files, 3D-print STL files, build photos and part lists for my Motion VR Cockpit and all controllers are now available for FREE DOWNLOAD (optional donation) on my website. If you are looking into building a similar rig - feel free to use my designs as a starting point. Some of you may know me from the 4 Canadian airports I made, but now I want to share a latest iteration of my Home-built Motion VR Cockpit - a whole new immersion level for MSFS on a $430 budget. I had an old post about the first version, but this one deserves its own. A frief history: I became interested in adding some motion to VR, but I quickly learned that commercially available motion rigs are very expensive, and there is no motion compensation solution for WMR OpenXR (Reverb G2) yet, rendering some solutions unsuitable. So that was disappointing. Then I learned that people are building those rigs themselves. I read about that and I was hooked. Research followed, parts were ordered, and soon I started building. The budget is only about $430. It's literally about 10% of what you would pay for an off-the-shelf comparable system, and I don't believe there is one that can be customized quite this way. When I finished the initial tuning and tried it in VR on my HP Reverb G2 for the first time, I was speechless. The result surpassed my expectations. Similar to switching to VR, this is another moment of **OH MY GOD!!! This is what VR is meant to be! I can never go back now...** This is what I wanted, the project is so worth a few days’ work invested in it and more. I can never go back from VR+motion for flight simulation now, that’s official! The level of realism and immersion is like going from pancake to VR again. In recent months I have followed up upgrading, adding features, and building new devices to my motion rig, making it a full-blown Motion VR Cockpit. I added all the controls that was feasible to train my muscle memory for using while wearing the HMD. After the first version was fully working, I kept adding controls to it, to make is a full VR cockpit, not just the motion rig. I engineered, 3D-printed, built and programmed a bunch of castom-designed devices: large-throw Pendular Yoke that converts to a large-throw Joystick / Cyclic controller, 6 Dual Encoder and 8-button VR Control Box, Switch Box with Gear lever, 8-axis Throttle Quadrant with thrust reversers and trim wheel, HOTAS Throttle that converts to a heli Collective along with another switchbox, DIY vibration transducer system (buttkickers) This is a 1-minute teaser video: And here is a full video! It's 1 hour long, but you have chapters so you can skip to what you find interesting. It has a detailed control overview, short test flights in different configurations - Yoke + Throttles, Joystick + HOTAS Throttle, Cyclic + Collective (helicopter), encoder and switch boxes walkthrough and implementation, and even an experimental hand tracking demo. - 2x 12V motors: 180 WATTS (.24 HP), 50:1 gear ratio, 60NM torque - Arduino Uno R3 with customized SMC3 firmware - IBT2 motor drivers - FlyPT Mover - DIY vibration transducers (buttkickers) connected to SimShaker for Aviators + Sound Module - HP 750W power supply, - Custom-built hall sensor pendular Yoke, convertible to a 3D-printed joystick - Custom 3D-printed VR dual encoder control box - Custom 3D-printed VR Switch and Gear box - Custom 3D-printed 6-axis Boeing style Throttle Quadrant with Thrust Reversers, TO/GA and A/T disconnect buttons and Trim Wheel. - Reverb G2 WMR HMD - Microsoft Flight Simulator. - OpenXR Toolkit - Construction is mostly wood, with DIY universal joint made of 4 pillow block bearings; repurposed office chair. **Here’s a summary of the experience:** **Pancake**: you are looking at a plane that you are flying. Fully disconnected. **VR**: you ARE INSIDE the plane that you are flying. **Motion rig + VR** you ARE INSIDE and FEEL LIKE YOU’RE INSIDE the airplane. It really affected the way I fly - much more like in real airplane I avoided sudden control movements, steep turns and hard landings (other than for testing) and tried to fly smooth, so I won’t be jerked around. It got my flying much closer to realistic instantly. The difference is between knowing you shouldn't make sudden movements but not feeling anything when you do, and actually feeling everything you do with your controls. And a hard landing would really kick your butt hard! It’s just 2DOF, but this is another level of immersion. This is amazing, I was grinning and laughing during my first test flight. When I stopped after a hard emergency landing, I just started laughing for a minute like an word not allowed, and couldn’t stop. And I'm still grinning each time I have a hard landing, do a high-G maneuver, or break too fast. I just calculated my precise budget. I wasn't far off the mark in the video: My budget: - Motors: PGSAW 12V 75-80RPM 50:1 x 2 = $243 - Motor Driver: IBT-2 x 2 = $11 - Power Supply: HP Server 12V 750W = ~$20 - I got it free from a friend but you can get them for $20 - Hall effect frictionless position sensors (10-pack) = ~$3 - Magnets = ~$7 - Arduino R3 clone = $10 - Arduino Pro Micro clones x2 = $14.5 - UCP202 Pillow Block Bearing x 4 (for U-joint) = $20 - Rod Ends M12 x 4 = $15 - Rods M12 x 25cm x 2 = $17 - Bolts and nuts = ~$30 but I had them lying around so free for me - Lumber = ~$30 but I had some 2x4 and other scraps lying around as most people have. - Fighter-style swithch covers = $5 - Large switches = ~$15 - End switches = ~$4 - Arduino Leonardo x2 = $16 - Assorted Switches = ~$8 - Assorted Buttons = ~$9 - Potentiometers = ~$4 - Power switches = ~$5 - Bearings = $3 - Encoders = $9 TOTAL: ~$430 in my case, but if you add PSU and lumber and bolts with nuts and washers it gets to $510. No taxes paid on any of that, in my case but pillowbox bearings, as most of the rest is Ali Express and motors are from Ebay (new). I'm not counting old pedals which I already had, but I could just as easily make my own. Actually I am considering doing that and making pendular pedals would would feel much more realistic. Cost is really $10 (3 pots and Arduino Leonardo/Micro) plus some scrap wood and bungees, it's just the design and making that's a lot of work and I'm OK with Saitek for now... Also not counting 3D printer plastic, but it's so cheap it would amount to maybe $10 at the most, and if you have a 3D printer like I do, it's probably just sitting there and would just spoil in a couple of years unless you print something... Roughly equivalent off-the-shelf rig budget (USD): - DOFReality H2 2DOF 2-motor motion platform (with shipping) = ~1730 - Racing seat (basic) = ~$100 - Thrustmaster pendular yoke (smaller travel and less rotation than mine) = $358 - Honeycomb Bravo Throttle Quadrant = $250 Thrust Reversers on it act as buttons! Also only one button on the lever. Mine are full range axes, and has both TO/GA and T/A disconnect buttons. I also have a better gear lever. - Logitech pedals = $170* - Thrustmaster HOTAS + Joystick with extension = $610 - HOTAS Mounts = ~$180 - Logitech G Pro Flight Switch Panel = $85 I have more and better switches and better gear lever. - Logitech G Pro Flight Radio Panel = $150 it has displays but in VR they aren't usable - Logitech G Pro Flight Multi Panel (AP) = $130 It has displays but in VR they aren't usable, and finding buttons in VR would be virtually impossible. Mine are logically placed for easy tactile feedback. - Virpil Helicopter Collective controller = ~$450 Mine isn't as realistic, but has all same functionality. This is the cheapest collective controller I could find for comparison. TOTAL: ~$4213 USD (not including taxes). Now that unintentionally (honest!) came to almost precisely an order of magnitude larger than my budget! So for 10 times the money you can have a nicer-looking, more polished and possibly more reliable rig, on a more rigid metal frame (that can be a disadvantage from what I hear, as movements are too jarring) that's more difficult to convert for each task, and in some ways has worse controllers, definitely less suited for using in VR blindly. Otherwise functionality is the same. And how it looks is not important, as you can't see it while flying in VR anyway! BTW I may be biased, but my rig doesn’t look half-bad, in a geeky-wire-exposed-rough-cut-visible-circuitry way. And while I haven't tried the new Thrustmaster yoke, I doubt it feels as smooth and fluid and my yoke has longer travel - 24cm vs 21cm in theirs, and a larger rotation range: 180 degrees vs 150 degrees, and much larger pivot so it's closer to the real one as it doesn't rotate as much as it travels back and forth. And Thrustmaster has a kind of a soft center detent, mine doesn't, which is much more realistic. You can't feel the center with mine. If you like to design and build your stuff and can enjoy building such a rig, it's a no-brainer! Do it! If you have any questions - feel free to ask!
  11. Great research, I'm impressed 🙂 I'm actually in communication and waiting for two of them to send me some photos, I already messaged them. I listed a lot of requests, so not sure what they could actually do, and didn't want to overburden them. I just thought maybe you do fly there in real life so it would be easier for you.
  12. Absolutely! I intend to do that, already started the work on CYYJ. If you have any real life photos - send them to me. That area is difficult to find photos for.
  13. Thank you all for valuable feedback! I actually made a spreadsheet, counted the votes from all channels and added notes. After sorting it out, heavy brainstorming, and coordinating future development plans with FSim Studios, I can now announce that I will develop CYYJ Victoria for MSFS next! When I'm done with it, I will most likely proceed with St. Jon's, possibly followed up with Soult Ste. Marie, but we'll see when we get there. Depends on what other developers are doing and what's available by then. In any case, all requests are noted and will help determine my future plans. Happy Canada Day!
  14. Great discussion, thanks everyone! I will make a list and count all votes and think it over. BTW I'm not limited to my list, I'm open to all suggestions. One comment: I'm OK with creating something that's already available on Simaddons, as I did with CYOW. From what I see, I may be OK with redoing airports that FSXCENERY did as well. I just don't want to clash with any of the well-known top tier developers for obvious reasons.
  15. Some of you may know me from my airport sceneries. Now when CYOO is released, I’m considering my options for which Canadian airport to do next. I’m open to suggestions regarding what are the most demanded airports that have not been done by anyone else and are not in the development currently by anyone, or are available in poor enough quality to be largely ignored. Naturally I would like to avoid unnecessary competition with other fine scenery developers by working on the same area, but rather work towards covering more Canadian airports instead, so we all win. I was going to proceed with work on CYQB next, however a fair quality freeware was just released this month that clearly uses on-location photos for texturing, which I don’t have. So I don’t think it’s worth it to do CYQB now as I may not be able to offer a large enough gap in quality to warrant the price. I’m sure some of you are in the loop of who’s developing what - I’d appreciate any advice. I will contact some developers directly, but I’d like to narrow down my options before I do. Some options I am considering: CYYT St. John’s CYYC Calgary CYAM Sault Ste. Marie CYWG Winnipeg CYEG Edmonton CYXX Abbotsford CYXE Saskatoon CYQT Thunder Bay I haven’t thoroughly checked if they are available or in development, but on the first glance they weren’t available from most respected developers. Anyway, let me know what you think!
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