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TrackIR - Mmm...


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Okay - great example of a product designed in the early 2000s. Who the hell has a monitor bezel this thick? The sensor unit won’t sit on top properly. Bit rubbish really.

 

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Edited by C3PO

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FIXED IT!

 

Idiot User error, sorry 😣 


Edited by C3PO

My Rig: rSeat N1 + 3x40" Samsung KU6400 screens + Water-cooled i7 6700K @ 4.5GHz + 16GB DDR4 3200MHz + GTX 1080 + HE Pro Pedals + OSW 20NM Direct Drive + Custom MOMO Open Cut Wheel with carbon paddles and buttons

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HOLY CRA9!!!

 

TrackIR is AMAZING! No more hat switch moves ❤️😎😎

My Rig: rSeat N1 + 3x40" Samsung KU6400 screens + Water-cooled i7 6700K @ 4.5GHz + 16GB DDR4 3200MHz + GTX 1080 + HE Pro Pedals + OSW 20NM Direct Drive + Custom MOMO Open Cut Wheel with carbon paddles and buttons

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For any others wondering, the clip is adjustable in multiple ways and I've never had issues getting it to fit newer monitors, as I'm sure OP has found out.

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Track IR was a game changer for me. As you use it more and more, don't be afraid to make adjustments to the curves etc. I have mine set up where I have about 7-8 deg of head movement in both directions in roll, pitch, and yaw before the screen picture moves. This keeps the screen steady around the center even w/ slight head movement. Then I have fairly steep angles. I can easily look straight backwards in yaw for example. I also find it's a good idea to check for proper pitch travel every time I put the sensor on. Seems I don't get my hat on at exactly the correct angle every time, and that is even more of a problem w/ the sensor on my headphone.

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early 2000s so I guess the price has drop... oh wait!!

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I'd not used mine for years before FS2020 was released with no VR support. Quite enjoyed the nostalgia, and definitely has advantages over VR when using a second monitor or tablet. Not to mention performance, although that's less of an issue in DCS.

 

Personally I hated any deadzone and got rid of them completely. To me it always felt much more natural for every head movement to be conveyed on-screen.

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I love the maxed out image quality and stable vsync frame rates of the flat panel vs VR, but after using 1:1 head tracking with stereo vision, TrackIR doesn't cut it for dogfighting, helo flying, formation flying, or carrier landings any more.

 

One problem I have always had on a flat panel is the canopy frames. Somehow, AI always gets on the frame and disappears during the time I can't see him. TrackIR makes it easy to shift your view, but I still frequently lost track of contacts that crossed the canopy frame. Whereas stereo vision makes it much easier to see around or "through" the canopy frame with little or no head movement.

 

Even after years of flying with TrackIR, I could get disoriented. I might not be sure which way I was really looking with a clear bubble canopy and amplified head movements, especially at the fringes of the TrackIR's tracking ability. With VR, the 1:1 head movement guarantees I know exactly what my view angle is relative to my aircraft's nose, which is a good thing.

 

The one strong advantage of TrackIR's amplified head movement is checking your six. Aside from the aforementioned disorientation issues, you can quickly and easily look behind you, which is really useful when trying to shake someone off your tail in an aircraft that doesn't have mirrors. But I don't have any issues with physically turning my body/shoulder/head to look behind me in VR despite being over 50 years old, so I enjoy the realism in having to move so much in a close-in dogfight. Of course, pulling high-g's in the game doesn't impair my head/body mobility, so it isn't that much harder than using TrackIR's amplified head movements. But after a long series of desperate rolling scissors with enemies near my six, I can be pretty tired and maybe even my neck is a little sore.

 

When I had the Rift CV1, the resolution in VR was so poor that I spent about 50/50 time between TrackIR/flat panel and VR. I bought the Rift S as soon as it was available and that was a huge step up. I flew about 80% VR, 20% TrackIR/flat panel. Now that I have a G2, resolution almost isn't an issue, just the lower quality settings I have to use to struggle to try to keep 45 fps, so I am flying nearly 100% VR.

 

But I am not giving up my TrackIR. I have enjoyed three generations of TrackIR: TIR3 with vector, TIR4, and TIR5. My only real complaints after years of use are:

1. Insane price for what you get (a Rift 2 or Quest 2 isn't that much more expensive and is a much better choice if your PC is strong enough for VR).

2. Relatively poor quality of the Track Clip Pro. You can find countless posts about how delicate it is with both the plastic construction and wiring causing various problems.

3. Over the years, I have had some issues with light sources and reflections blinding the sensor, particularly at certain times during the day when bright sunlight would come in through windows and reflect off white walls or glossy posters and confuse the sensor. While using the LED Track Clip Pro or a 3rd party equivalent minimizes that problem, I still had issues in on really bright sunny days. So much so, that I put cardboard behind the blinds in the offending window to block out the sun (inadvertently lowering my electric bill due to air conditioning).

 

I would presume that if you have the money to have a PC that can handle VR, you would pretty much have the money to buy hardware as needed/wanted. But for someone new to flight sims and on a budget, I would prioritize hardware purchases as follows:

1. Stick.

2. Throttle (of course a complete HOTAS is the most cost effective way to get both a stick and throttle if you have enough money to do so).

3. TrackIR.

4. Rudder pedals.

5. MFDs and/or aux control panels.

 

You would thing with all the competition from VR, Natural Point would lower the cost of TrackIR to try to grab a larger market share. But the fact that they haven't tells me they are still selling decent enough numbers to keep the price where it has been, which is effectively a lower price when you account for inflation.

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2 hours ago, streakeagle said:

You would thing with all the competition from VR, Natural Point would lower the cost of TrackIR to try to grab a larger market share. But the fact that they haven't tells me they are still selling decent enough numbers to keep the price where it has been, which is effectively a lower price when you account for inflation.

VR is only being used by a constant 11-12% of flight sim players over the last 3 years and isn’t really growing, according to the Navigraph Survey. So it’s not much competition. 

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What percentage of flight sim players use TrackIR? What percentage use some third party alternative to TrackIR? What percentage have have any form of head tracking and just use a HOTAS or keyboard/mouse?

 

To go from 0% to 12% of the flight sim market is a big chunk. Most of those probably used TrackIR previously. So, say TrackIR was in use by about 30% of the market, which is probably a reasonable number, 12 of 30 is the same as losing 40% of your long-term customer base. 

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2 hours ago, streakeagle said:

To go from 0% to 12% of the flight sim market is a big chunk. 

Flight sims have not really been a big market... and the rate has remained at a constant 11-12% from 2018-2020 ie it’s not growing. VR is basically stalled in the gaming market. Now it will be interesting to see what effect MSFS has because it represents a giant growth in the flight sim genre. It’s the 4th top selling PC game right now. But TrackIR has nothing to worry about. 

2 hours ago, streakeagle said:

What percentage of flight sim players use TrackIR? What percentage use some third party alternative to TrackIR? What percentage have have any form of head tracking and just use a HOTAS or keyboard/mouse? 

My guess would be a very high % of players in combat flight sims use head tracking. Since the game is nearly unplayable without it. Plus you can DIY it for free. 
 

The Navigraph survey is 80% civ sim players who I suspect don’t need head tracking as much, (just guessing from videos) perhaps they don’t use VR much either. Navigraph doesn’t have stats for head tracking. 


Edited by SharpeXB
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