View Full Version : Track IR?

05-07-2004, 12:27 PM
Could any of you tell me what Track IR is? Is it a free download? Something you buy? Tell me! Thanks.

05-07-2004, 12:27 PM
Could any of you tell me what Track IR is? Is it a free download? Something you buy? Tell me! Thanks.

TgD Thunderbolt56
05-07-2004, 12:30 PM
It's a head tracking device that you buy and you can get it here: http://www.naturalpoint.com

It's usually around $100 USD and is likely the single best device available for immersion and enjoyment for IL2:FB


05-07-2004, 01:26 PM
here is a good explanation , this was taken from a poster named loke1169th........On all the flight-sim related forums that I normally browse I see the question about TrackIR pop up quite often. Most people ask if the feel realistic, and how you are able to see the screen when you turn your head. I'm a die-hard TrackIR fan these days, and I feel that we, fans of the TrackIR, don't do it justice by just saying "it rocks" and "buy one". Therefore I decided to write something a bit longer on the subject.

First of all, for the people that haven't seen or heard about it before, let me explain what the TrackIR is and what it does.

The device consists of two parts: The IR camera and a reflecive dot. The IR camera is the device you usually see placed on top of the monitor. It contains an IR emitter and a small camera that sees IR light. The camera then tracks the movement of the IR source and converts it into numbers that can be used by software to control stuff, for example the mouse pointer on the screen.

Note that the TrackIR does not track the head movement. It tracks the reflected IR source. You can place the reflecive dot on anything and use it for control. It's just that for flight sims the most natural place to put it is somewhere on your head.

So, what's it like to fly your favourite flight sim using the TrackIR? The answer is that it depends on wether the sim had native support for trackir or wether you have to use the mouse emulation. Allow me to explain the difference.

If your sim does not have native support but it has mouselook, you can use the TrackIR in mouse emulation mode to move the "mouse" around when till then pan around the cockpit.

The TrackIR always tracks the IR source, this means that it always know exactly where your head is. If I turn my head a bit and then turn it back to the "ahead" position, the driver knows that my head has returned to this position. However, a mouse works differently. A mouse it controlled using realtive movement, not absolute. I.e. there is no "centre" position for a mouse. If you place your mouse in the middle of your mouse pad the pointer remains where it was on the screen. The same is true when using TrackIR in mouse emulation mode. This means that when looking to the right and then forward again, you probably will not be looking excactly forward. It's the same thing with the mouse. Try it, try to move the mouse from the centre to the left edge of the mouse pad and then back again. The mouse pointer will most likely not be in the exact same spot as where it started out. In a flight sim, especially during combat, this can be very annoying. Annoying to the point where I'd rather not use the TrackIR at all.

If the sim supports native mode all this changes. In this case, the sim reads the position of the IR source directly from the driver and uses this information to set the direction which the virtual pilot will be looking. The difference is night and day. All of a sudden I can move my head in any direction I want and in a fraction of a second return to looking forward without having to either press a button to centre the view or trying to find out where the front of the plane went. This is certainly the way TrackIR should be used in flight sims. The reason why I don't fly Flanker 2.5 anymore is that it doesn't have native TrackIR support. I just can't fly without it anymore.

And what about looking at the screen while moving your head? Try it right now. Look at the screen, and move your head to the left and right while still looking at the screen. Not very hard is it? I can move by head approximately 20 degrees to either side before my eyes start to strain. This is certainly enough to give me a very precise view control without losing track of the screen. Also note that the amount of head movement required is configurable in the driver.

Most regulars on flight sim forums have at one time or the other read (or perhaps been actively involved) a thread about how realistic the padlock view really is. I don't intend to argue about that here, but suffice it to say that most people seem to agree that it is a more or less useful compromise for the limitations a small monitor imposes on you compared to a real pilot being able to look around in the cockpit. The problem has always been: either I suffer from having to use the hatswitch to try to keep track of the enemy. A task that is next to impossible for most of us. The alterantive is to use padlock, which just doesn't feel right since I'm not in control of my own view anymore.

TrackIR gives us a third choice. And it's an amazing choice. It combines the realism of no padlock with the simplicity of padlock. You turn your head to the right, and you look to the right. It just takes a few minutes to get used to the fact that you turn your hedd much less than in real life. Trust all of us TrackIR users about this: it really becomes second nature.

In fact, it becomes so natural that if I'm flying and I look around and see an enemy plane I know exactly where it is. Even if I have cockpit reflections turned off. I know this without any information other than me knowing in what direction my head is pointed. All arguments about cockpit refletions, and other visibility hints suddenly don't apply to you anymore. You don't need them, because you are no longer constrained to fly with a small window on the world controlled by a clumsy hat switch. You are a virtual pilot.

Again, we can thank the TrackIR for changing all this. All of a sudden we can take the role of a real pilot using the helpet mounted sight to target an enemy. And we can do it the same way as the real pilot can. The feeling you get when you lock on and nail that Mirage with your helmet mounted sight when you are in the middle of a furball fight is something incredible. If you haven't tried the TrackIR you can't imagine it, but trust me when I and all other happy TrackIR users say this: You will not be disapointed. This truely is a device that has changed flight simming.

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Naturalpoint or any of their resellers other than being a happy customer.

http://www.2-60inf.com/2-60_crest.gif 84-91

05-08-2004, 08:04 AM
S` Guys

Excellent reply there tenmmike!

TrackIR 2... Best thing since sliced bread for the Virtual Pilot !!!

I've flown in Flight Sims a fair while now (OIC of the Aussie WTE Group) & for the last two months, I've been enjoying the "Total Immersion" of TIR 2 as I've heard it described b4... its that & more!

I've spoken to others who have it as well as others who have/had the original Track IR. Most simply love it, some (few) found it a little too daunting. The best judge of how effective this can be though is yourself. True, it is "strange" at first & there is much tweaking to be done, but its money & time well spent! Keep tweaking & practicing.

Of course, as mentioned in previous postings, ppl mount the IR monitor & reflective dot/square in different locations form top of pc monitor to below & from BBall cap brim to glasses to mic etc. My IR monitor sits on my pc monitor... the reflective stuff... now this is where it gets interesting...

Saw this idea in another forum & thought, yep, might try that.
Glad I did, it works a treat, read on...

This little trick will help maintain an infared contact between the IR monitor & yourself without getting "sticky" at its extremes of left/right or up/down.

Get a sphere made out of polystyrene (my choice)/wood whatever around 20-25mm... 3/4 -1" & then using the reflective stickers (larger square ones), stick them on the sphere with one in the middle then one on each side so you form a cross. Of course, you could use some other material that has the same type of reflective qualities as that provided with the trackIR 2 package. You can use a cap or whatever you choose to mount it on.
My choice is a headband of the type that is velcro adjustable & was intended to be torch holder on your head/helmet. Its a simple lightweight strap with a velcro adjustment thingy, lets my headset/mic fit over comfortably. All I did was to superglue the sphere to the front of the strap & thats it. As the head is turned, so the tracking is fully maintained given that the surface area provide to the IR monitor by the sphere is constant.

Well... no more sticking at extremities, I can see anywhere around my cockpit in an instant with a simple easy look in any direction.

BTW, just to clear up some probable misconceptions about the "Looking" & "Peripherals". The head movement required to "Cover" the full field of view (approx 340-350 deg in cockpit) is actually done with "Scaled down" real movement. That is, my head only moves slightly (maybe 20 deg max) in any direction & so therefore I don't have to move to the point of having to use extreme peripheral vision but rather, I can easily maintain full comfortable vision without strain. Its probably good excercise for the eyes truth be known.

Hope this helps those with TrackIR 2, as well as encouraging others as to its outstanding value for the virtual Pilot & clears up the odd concerns as well.

Cheers http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

05-08-2004, 10:06 AM
Well there is a link in my sig about it and a modification to enhance its ablilities. There are some tracks and pictures of other posters mods aswell. If you read the whole thread and click and read all the links including my last post you will find some really fine examples of it it and explanations.

Have you checked your Private Topics recently? (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums?a=ugtpc&s=400102)
131st_Toad's Squad link (http://www.geocities.com/vfw_131st/)
My TrackIR fix, Read the whole thread (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums?q=Y&a=tpc&s=400102&f=49310655&m=15310285&p=1)
2.11 drivers (http://home.mchsi.com/~131st-vfw/NaturalPoint_trackIR_2_11.exe)

05-08-2004, 06:25 PM

First of all, my apologies to you for not recalling/referring to your original thread on this... fading memory lol.

Secondly, Thanks for the info in the first place, it works perfectly!

Excuse me for now, gotta go fly & enjoy the scenery/action with my real to life viewing.

Cheers http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

05-08-2004, 08:07 PM

Not to worry didn't post it all to get famous LOL Just to help the rest of you enjoy it as much as me!


Have you checked your Private Topics recently? (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums?a=ugtpc&s=400102)
131st_Toad's Squad link (http://www.geocities.com/vfw_131st/)
My TrackIR fix, Read the whole thread (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums?q=Y&a=tpc&s=400102&f=49310655&m=15310285&p=1)
2.11 drivers (http://home.mchsi.com/~131st-vfw/NaturalPoint_trackIR_2_11.exe)

05-08-2004, 09:43 PM
What about the expensive (one thousand dollars and over) infrared tracking headset monitors? Those have a monitor that you wear on your head, so that when you turn your head ninety degrees, your view in the game turns ninety degrees. And your eyes are still looking straight ahead.

The only problems, other than the cost, seem to be low resolution (eight hundred by six hundred) and the bad effect that they must have on your eyes (they're only a few centimeters away from the monitor).

Does anyone here have one?

05-08-2004, 10:33 PM


05-09-2004, 12:06 AM
I also have a trackIR 2, and it's true. It's changed gaming forever. It is without doubt the most important device I have for lock on other than my joysitck. It does take some getting used to and configuration is necessary but once you get it right it's just so... AWESOME! It's brilliant, fantastic fun to use. I love my trackir 2, I feel like a real pilot! It's worth saving up for one if you really want to take LOMAC or any other flight sim seriously.

05-09-2004, 02:25 AM
men, can anyone post a track with it? My TIR is about to come next week http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Letka.13/Liptow @ HL