Same here with P3D4. Group flights are just too much fun.
Sounds like a good reason to buy Oculus when I'm ready to jump into VR. I know IPACS cannot say "Use product A over product B", but this seems to be a potentially important issue.
Roy seems to have had a problem with a WMR headset. I fly with the Vive and it works perfectly in SteamVR. No problems at all.
His setup works great now that he has reinstalled things. It's hard to conclude from one person's experience - which now works properly - that one or the other headset is the better choice.
Ray, I think they have all been of the same version of headset. It’s just that many were hoping for eye tracking, foveated 4K rendering, and field of view approaching Pimax, but the technology just isn’t ready yet. So an almost doubling of the pixel counts and other features disappointed some reviewers. The Pro is really just what could be done now without a complete overhaul though it does have the new tracking sensors that can use either 1.x or 2.x version Lighthouse base stations.
The true gen 2 headsets are going to need a lot to come together and work properly to pull off. First is just bandwidth. Those pixels at 90 fps at too much higher resolution have to be calculated and shipped to the headset which is already difficult on long, thin, flexible cables that can withstand being stepped on or sent wirelessly. There’s going to have to be on the fly compression and expansion of some sort. Eye tracking and foveated rendering will need to be there to reduce GPU and CPU loads, and it will probably be needing GPU driver support to work most efficiently so coordination with GPU manufacturers is probably in there too. Maybe even optimized silicon to do it right.
What we are getting is a resolution increase that is enough to really address the thing flight simulators have the most difficulty with - text and gauges. The big increase in text readability is something everyone mentions in Pro reviews and where GPS and comm radio displays are tough to read now, it should make a big difference. I’ve not seen anyone specifically say that yet, but it stands to reason from the way reviewers have described it. And the differences where the Pro has had through the lens video are to me stunning. There’s one video where a dev got their Pro, put it on, and just started saying "oh wow, oh wow" and commenting on how much more detail he could see. It won’t be perfect and it isn’t gen 2, but some reviewers were expecting way too much I think. Sure, Pimax is trying to run at "8k" but it’s LCD, they are having trouble hitting 90 Hz, they are upscaling lower resolution images, their lensing has issues, and they are behind schedule with no announced ship date. I don’t mean to bash Pimax by any means. I’m just saying with the choices being a much needed bump in resolution that has significant benefits now, vs. true gen 2 that nobody has even announced and isn’t expected by many for at least another year, I’ll go for the headset I’ll be able to get in the next month or two.
There are a few early looks at the Vive Pro on Youtube, but most, if not all, seem disappointed at the lack of any large scale improvements.
That’s not what I’ve been reading and hearing. At least some are very impressed and note how the resolution increase is enough to really make a difference. But we'll know for certain soon enough. The reviews I’ve seen have me very eager to get my hands on one.
RoyPettit - you could also look into the USB button boxes and expanders. There are threads over on xsimulator (net) about them where people build cockpits. I’d post links but it seems those get deleted here. But if you don’t mind a little DIY, and can handle a soldering iron, you can rig up switches, levers, and all sorts of things to make the journey in VR more enjoyable.
Yep. For now it’s very much a nobody's perfect sim world. For multiplayer flights (so much fun) it’s DCS and P3D, but for the most realistic, though static, scenery and best presence and immersion, its FS2.
I sprang for KEGE too and was exploring it today. Sure wanting a helo to really explore these. The scenery is beautiful!
Very nice video!
Hey Ray, it looks like your amp has some tone controls. You might be able to pick up the Corsair gear thumps if you turn up the volume and accentuate the bass a bit. I might have a higher frequency cutoff set on my amps but I do feel the wheel retraction and extension thumps.
But the Cessna and Corsair are definitely light on the bass notes in FS2. If you are into some driving sims, that shaker will add tremendously to those experiences.
Hey Ray, one comment since you are mounting to wood which will then be mounted to your chair - you want to use some sturdy wood in that case otherwise the wood can flex and dampen out the vibrations. It probably wouldn’t be too bad though anyway, but you might also hit resonances.
If you are thinking about a 6 dof sim, you might look close at Six Degrees of Flight's build thread. He goes into a lot of detail and also did full parts lists with pricing. And if you want to just get a huge case of lust, Robson Swiss' 6 dof (he's going to be selling them).
There are a bunch of really good ones - Silent Chill, Kermit Kong, and Seat Time, and others all have some neat builds.
For a 6 dof, be sure to check the motion cancellation thread since it's fairly necessary for a 6 dof design if you are going VR. If going monitor, it's not an issue.
Thanks for the words on my sim. It really adds a lot to flying and driving. Spit40/Phil is another motor head going the G-Seat route with surge and heave which is another option.
Hey John, unfortunately there isn’t a one size fits all "volume" setting. Some sims have less bass than others. PCars2 and AC both have dry strong bass. AFS2 seems a little light in the piston aircraft. I was flying P3D the other day in an A2A 182 and it was so strong it caused my shakers to thermal out and stop working until they cooled. It’s one of the problems with piggybacking shaking on audio. Putting your amp where it’s easy to tweak levels "in flight" is a good solution.
Also fun is raising/lowering the gear in the AFS2 Corsair as well as folding/unfolding the wings. There’s a strong base clunk that comes in as each gear or wing hits the stops. It’s kind of a trip to feel that.
Hey Jay, it’s DIY. My build thread is over on xsimulator
Happy to answer any questions. It was a lot of work, and I invested a fair amount of money in it, but I now have my own flight and driving simulator.
But if you check out the other guys' sims, there are some masterpieces. I lust for a 6 degree of freedom where you really feel the heave, yaw, etc. I’ve just got pitch and roll and approximation of the other forces.
The reviews I have read so far say that the resolution increase is obvious, and that the screen door effect is almost completely gone. I hope they send out demo units to Best Buys across the country so we can see for ourselves before spending $$$$ on the upgrade.
Oldar - I’m getting it no matter what. VR flying and driving is just too much of a thrill for me not to. As soon as I can get hold of one, plug it in, and try it out, I’ll let you know!
J van E - have you heard about the Vive Pro? It’s hitting as an upgrade for current Vive owners this quarter and as a full set soon after that. Instead of the 1080 x 1200 pixel resolution panels of the Vive and Rift, the Vive Pro uses 1440 x 1600 pixel panels. It has a number of other improvements as well.
It’s not a huge step up in resolution but those who have tried it say it’s a very noticeable improvement. If resolution is the main issue with VR for you, it may be something to watch for. Pimax may also be a solution.
A few other bits that may or may not be of interest. If you are driving them with a splitter off a regular audio signal, you should consider an amplifier with an adjustable cutoff filter for most flexibility. A fixed low pass will also work, but obviously you can’t adjust it to suit. Or use a subwoofer output.
The SteamVR software lets you mirror audio if you have a Vive. It may work with the Rift but I don’t know. With mirroring you get audio in the headset using the sound device in the headset and can have audio for the shakers come from another audio card. Where this gets important is if you are doing voice comms with something like TeamSpeak where you can designate an audio source to use. That way you hear other players in your headset but don’t feel their voices in your shakers.
Some of the guys over at Xsimulator.net have shakers under their seats as well as at their pedals. As Phil mentioned, there is now Game Vibe which lets you use all sorts of channels and shakers and it doesn’t use the regular audio at all. It’s still using audio cards (I use little USB sound "cards"). It takes a Pro ($70) license to get the Game Vibe component so may not be of interest unless you are wanting to build or have a motion sim. There is other software available just for vibrations like SimVibe too. I chose to just go with two amps for stereo so I could have shakers for the right and left side. I used four Buttkicker Minis since they are fairly inexpensive and if I put 2 of them in series they would match the output impedance of the amps I used. I have the cutoffs set to just pass the really low stuff (~125 Hz). It works great on the mirrored audio.
One thing for sure is for me vibrations add a lot to the experience. Speed-dependent wind is another amazing cue but the Aerofly FS2 plug-in doesn’t support wind yet. Other sim plugins do and it’s great stuff!
This photo shows my four minis under the chair I use. They are basically at the four seat attachment points. The seat isn’t mounted in the photo.
Well, whatever you do, don’t wonder what it would be like with motion cues too...
VR in Aerofly FS2 is just stunnng. I alternate between the Cessna, the Bücker, and the Corsair. Had just a gorgeous session last night shooting touch and goes at Monterey.
But Buttkickers add a huge amount to the VR experience. Highly recommended.
And welcome to VR. It’s the kind of thing that’s impossible to describe to people and they just have to see for themselves to understand why we rave so much about it.
If you are on a motion rig with small displacement movements, you'll be fine. The motions aren’t generally enough to notice though if my rig rolls enough it becomes noticeable but most of the time it isn’t. The guys with the 6 degree of freedom rigs notice it because their point of view can poke their head through the virtual roof, etc.
Phil is right, Higgy. You would think mounting the camera on the moving rig would just give you the motion of the headset relative to the rig, and it would if the motion sensing was only based on the camera images, but there are inertial motion sensors in there too.
Not sure what Oculus changed but it broke motion correction. There is one guy on xsimulator that was even experimenting with a camera gimbal to actively correct for the discrepancy somehow but I don’t believe he’s gotten it to work.
That motion rig is very similar to another one that has been being developed very slowly - the Feel Three. It’s a very cool design but the Kickstarter one has some questions about it. It’s pretty slow so maybe wouldn’t be appropriate for driving. Flying might be OK though.
The Feel Three developer was the first person I’ve ever seen do motion cancellation and he did it well before the plugin software came available to do that. Phil is exactly right that motion rigs with any significant motion displacements need cancelling of the rig motion or you end up sticking your head out of vehicles, etc. Thing is that in VR, it’s generally accepted you don’t need as big of displacements to get the feelings of motion because the brain feels motion that isn’t there if it sees it in a headset.
There is a plug-in/driver available that lets you attach a tracked controller to your rig and subtract its motion from your VR headset's motion to cancel out rig motion. It used to work for both Vive and Rift but Oculus did a software update that broke it for the Rift and it hasn’t worked since. But it still works for the Vive. I asked the folks at Valve directly if they could add cancellation in their drivers and they said it was already on their roadmap but couldn’t give a schedule for when it would actually happen.
The Kickstarter rig looks really cool but may be underpowered. It’s definitely a good concept. I wanted to go the Feel Three route but that dev still doesn’t have a product available. It’s why I finally just built my own conventional 2 dof motion rig. If they end up doing a good job on the Kickstarter one it could be pretty cool.
@J van E - You probably already know ORBX gives discounts if you have products on FSX/P3D. Performance is a different story though. Nvidia is due for announcing the next gen of GPU if they stick to the same timeline that they’ve kept with Maxwell and Pascal. Things are a bit jumbled though. Volta is already out but seems aimed more at AI. It’s got HBM2 memory and screams. The pundits say Ampere will be the next consumer card and it should have similar performance over Pascal. If Volta is a guide, that could be a 2-4x increase and help make up some of the performance issues in FSX/P3D. It’s not here yet, though, and if the other releases are a guide, won’t be available until late spring/early summer.