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Posts posted by Bighouse

  1. Has anyone ever run a fully-charged Vive Power Bank for the wireless adapter down from a full charge to dead in one run before? If so, how long did it last?

    I need to plan for a six hour event and will need to bring additionally, fully charged batteries. I’ll have a quick charger available, but still, I want to make sure I’m covered.

    Same question for controllers too...what’s the standard maximum play time from fully charged to dead?

    (I never play more than 30 minutes or so at a time and often don’t put my headset on for days or weeks between play.)


    Edit: I see from the Vive website, that the power bank can give UP to 2.5 hours. But does this time match what users who use it for extended periods of time are finding?

    I also see that controllers, fully charged, should give 8 hours of play time! So that's good, I won't have to bring an additional set of controllers.

  2. Well, after telling myself that I wouldn't install Viveport because of all the troubles I had with it long ago, I decided to take advantage of my two month subscription offer and then try to purchase the five very popular titles for $1 each. I did manage to purchase, via the website 2/5, but alas, the others were sold out.


    I'm fine with that. I'm NOT fine with Viveport STILL not working right. I was able to launch SteamVR without any issues just now, but when I tried to luanch ViveportVR, no love.


    I get to see and stand on the Viveport platform, and I get a progress bar for "acquirng content"...but then I get a black message billboard that tells me I have to go to the computer and launch and sign into my Viveport desktop app...which I am already logged into.

    I've screen captured the message code as well as the error on my SteamVR app...and my WiGig app.



  3. SuperNikoPower,

    Thank you for the reminder. I do have the WiGig adapter, but I let my Viveport subscription expire intentionally when it became very buggy and was causing some serious issues with my installation. After removing Viveport, and using SteamVR alone, I was fine.

    Honestly, my system is working great right now, so I'm very leary about going back to Viveport. If the Viveport portal had some built-in interactive interest, like the SteamVR Home hub does, I'd reconsider- but the Viveport portal always felt empty and sad to me.

  4. You might want to consider getting the WiGig adapter for your classroom use. The tethered cable, while it has no latency or video compression applied, can really be a nuisance for students. They'll get tangled in it, step on it, pull on it, and it ruins the effect of immersion. (Doh! You're going with the backpack modality...sounds like a problem waiting to happen in a school environment, students drop things, break things, etc. and recharging and weight becomes an issue. I'd consider going with a fixed, higher performing desktop with the WiGig. Though, honestly, I've not tested two WiGigs in the same room, so my comments may be pointless!)


    I'm an instructor rolling VR out in several venues on our campus...with plans in place for a 25 station VR classroom once our new building is constructed this next year. I've given it a lot of thought and I'll share some other recommendations:

    1. Get some wall-mounted remote controlled fans to aim into the center of each space, even if you have adequate air conditioning in the room. These headsets generate heat and make for a lot of sweat, especially if your students are going to be playing active games like Beat Saber. I've found that the air fan is also a nice way of providing some orientation to the real world space while in VR.
    2. Get some "VR Covers" and replace all the foam face gaskets with leatherette ones that allow for wiping with non-alcohol wipes between use. Students sweat, wear makeup, wear skin ointments/treatments, etc. So making it the repsonsiblity of each student to clean the gasket after each use, or before, will preserve the unit and keep kids from spreading stuff around. There are also disposable paper masks that can be used as well.
    3. Keep those wipes readily available for student use, not locked away in a cabinet or room.
    4. Post signage up reminding students about safety issues, cleaning, charging and hygiene. Singage indicating the functions of the Vive headset adjustment controls is useful, as are the controller typical function buttons/pads.
    5. Have charging stations easily accessed for the wands and the batteries if you go with the Wigig- and many replacement batteries for the Wigig cycling through charges.
    6. Make certain you have window coverings on the exterior windows that will NOT allow direct sunlight into the space. A headset display can be ruined by sunlight magnafied through the fresnel lense on the HMD.
    7. Reflective surfaces are the enemy of tracking. Eliminate all shiny surfaces in the room as much as possible. Reflected IR laser beams will lead to very poor tracking for the HMD and the controllers. Another good reason to cover the windows!
    8.  Have lockers or safe places for students to place items. If they're inside VR, they can't keep an eye on their personal belongings.
    9.  For security, consider camera monitors. Due to the possibility of unwanted touching when someone is blindfolded by VR, it may be prudent (based on the age of your students) to let students know that they are being recorded for their own safety.

    I'd like to hear more about what your students will be doing in the classroom. Is it purely a VR experience room, or are there computers and other activities the space will be used for? What is the age range for your students?


    How are you approaching what VR apps to load onto the machines? Are you using SteamVR and Viveport? Will each machine have duplicate titles, or are you offering different VR apps on them (to maximize software experience opportunity and dollars).


    Our planned 25 station lab will have an assortment of software titles for VR use and creation of VR content: Revit, Enscape3D, Lumion, 3DSMax, Unity, Unreal Engine, SketchUp, Rhino3D, Inventor as well as the usual graphics and office suite products. So, our students will use VR not just as an experience in and of itself, but as a secondary way of accessing their data they create. I see a day coming when it won't be unusual to have a VR headset at many workstations, similar to having two monitors at a desk now.

  5. Which headsets are you using, VivePro or HTC Vive? If you plan on using the original Vive HTC, then you'll have to very carefully locate the lighthouses so that one play area does NOT interfere with the other. One way I've done that in a setting where we had multiple setups was to put the lighthouses BETWEEN the two areas pointing towards their respective areas only. It's not ideal, and better if they are diagonally opposite each other, but it worked. (DOH! You stated the "pro", I missed it as it wasn't Capitolized!)

    If you're using the Vive Pro with basestation 2.0s, then you could load the ceiling up with as many as 16 basestations, and each headset will find a maximum of four two work with. Each can be assigned a different channel number through the linkbox bluetooth software that you'll need to install as part of the setup process. Properly placed, though, you only need two basestations 2.0 fore each square area, but the point is that the other basestations, if seen by the sensors on either headset, won't interfere with the tracking on each other.


    I'm envious of your generous space allocation for this! I'm an instructor at a school and I'd love to have this much space to allow for room-scale use in a classroom like you have shown.

  6. David,

    Thank you  for that GREAT explanation of why the Vive should NOT be set up outdoors. I was aware of the "burn-in" issue for the fresnel lenses/display, but I was unaware of the other potential issues as regards the sensors and the "giant IR emitter" we affectionately cal "Sol".

    I was hoping to do some outdoor demos with a pop-up, fully enclosed shade structure, but I think you've persuaded me against doing so.


  7. John,

    Is there a way to see what the promo code that was packaged inside our Vive Pro was for? Due to keeping things clean and less prone to problems, we are not installing the Viveport component on four new Vive Pro stations at our school that we just finished the installation on today. I really don't want to plug the code into the Vive website to find it's just two months of Viveport, as we won't be using that on these stations.


    However, I'd love to get a free copy of Tilt Brush if that's what the promotion code has in it!



  8. Well, we now have four functioning Vive Pro stations all working with SteamVR within the same area, served by 6 base station 2.0s. As we added more base stations to the perimeter of the space, the tracking seems to become more stable on each of the setups. The number of differently "seen" base stations differs on each setup. One base station is not visible to one of the setups at all due to the odd configuration of the room's interior walls. But even that station sees three base stations. One station sees all six base stations, though, of course, will only utilize four for tracking.

    We used the bluetooth configuration utility to autoscan the room and then made minor number changes to the duplicated numbered base stations. It only needs to be done on one of the stations and afterward, each other station knows the correct number of each base station.

    Some hassles: In order to make it work, we had to create separate email accounts for each station. We just used a Gmail account, for now, but hope to migrate that to our school domain in the future. It will be very problematic to use a Gmail account for a classroom full of 25 stations- which is where we will be heading in the Fall of 2019. I'm hoping to have a better system, like an arcade type of distribution, in the future. Vive, if you're listening, please get in touch with me and offer me a solution that would work. Heck, we'll even consider being your Northern California testing station for such a classroom effort, with your help.

    Our next phase is to install all the (non) Vive software we'll be using for our students to work with: Unreal Engine, Unity, 3dsMax, AutoCAD, Revit, Sketchup, Inventor, Rhino3D, Enscape3D, Lumion. And then all the SteamVR apps that we want students to use for becoming familiar with VR and even some games for just enjoying the entire VR experience.

    None of the stations have room-scale use. All are for standing/sitting use only. I have plans to allow for that in the future.

  9. Well, out of the blue, well after it was mounted properly on a wall and was working for many days, a base station 2.0 has started blinking red. I’ve tried to power cycle it, but it’s still blinking red. The base station was never abused or damaged. It was carefully mounted on the wall, and power was not provided for it until it was securely attached to the support. Nor was it ever moved or adjusted with the power turned on.


    This is the second base station I’ve had turn to blinking red status. The first one was sent back to Vive and was replaced. Disappointing to say the least. My IT department (I work at a college) is going to start wondering about the overall quality and suitability of the Vive Pro at our college if this continues and I don’t get it resolved.

  10. Is there a way to pair an iPhone with the Linkbox without having to install the Viveport app? I let my Viveport subscription expire and don't want to install it due to some huge conflicts I had with the application running on my machine. I'd rather just stick with SteamVR alone.

    I would like to receive notifications in my HMD when I've got incoming calls.

  11. I'm not seeing any way to configure the channel numbers for the base stations. I have fourl up with my WIGig adapter connected to my Vive Pro, and all base stations are GREEN on SteamVR, but two of them have channel 2, and I can't seem to find a way to change one to channel 3. So, they are currently 2, 1, 4, 2. When I get the Sync On Beam Channel Conflicte message and hit the Configure button, though I am able to check the box to Enable Bluetooth Communication, the red X below tells me the Link Box with Bluetooth capabilty not detected exists. Do I need to provide power and----

    EDIT: Sure enough. I stopped writing my message and plugged the linkbox back into a USB port and power supply. The channel configuration was then available. I was hoping I didn't need the linkbox anymore since I'm using the WiGig "linkbox". Is there a plan to make that bluetooth capability work without the actual linkbox and just the WiGig linkbox?

  12. As the OP, I can tell you that a blinking red base station must be returned for repair. I sent mine in, and about a month or more later I received a replacement. It did look like the one they sent me may have been a refurbished unit. The serial number wasn't the same and the unit didn't have that "brand new" look. As I have more base stations that I needed, I did not retest it yet, but will be doing so tomorrow to see how four base stations work together with a Vive Pro.

  13. There still seems to be an issue with base stations needing to be no more than about 15’ away from each other though? I know when I set two 2.0 BS up recently and they were about 18 feet apart, I received the alert message in the SteamVR app that they were too far apart. So, do they “see” each other to determine that?

  14. Oh, I didn't see that that was the case. I thought it was still a beta ability. GREAT!


    So, if I have a room where I can install four base stations for three headsets, all of them should be able to track pretty flawlessly, in theory, if they see at least two, three, or all four base stations?


    Do the base stations all need to see each other, or can some be obstructed from the views of others?


    Do they all automatically sync up with each other?


    Do they negotiate channels with each other, or do I need to assign a channel to each somehow?

  15. Is the WiGig card a standard type of device, or does it contain proprietary technology that does special magic to make it perform its work with the wireless linkbox?


    I'll ask it another way:


    Is it possible to use a built-in WiGig on my Asus Prime X299-Deluxe motherboard, instead of the Vive adapter? I do have the exact coaxial connector for my WiGig port.

  16. When I followed the directions on the wireless setup site, everything SEEMED to go well. I had a port of the right size on my mobo (Asus Prime X299-Deluxe) to use that matched with the preferred form factor. But, when I powered up my computer, I received an error that in using that port I would be disabling a Sata6 port. "OK", I thought, "we can deal wwith this" and opened up the BIOS to just look around. I didn't see anything untoward, so I saved the Bios without making any changes.


    After sever false attempts at starting, my machine properly booted up to a Windows OS and I was able then to install the app. The app downloaded and I was able to pair the adapter to the wireless linkbox, though directions on the website are nearly non-existent for this step. There wasn't any kind of a wizard to allow me to pair it, nor did I really know which buttons to press to enable paring.


    So...I get it paired, at first all I see is grey mist...and I get sound, but no video. Then video comes on and I'm able to easily navigate through the STEAM VR Home and play a few games out of Oasis Beta. Just to give the headset a try.Was working pretty well, until suddently I was staring at a grey mist all around me.


    I pulled the headset off to see a blue screen on my desktop that was Windows telling me we had some kind of problem and Windows needed to reboot....SO, I'm thinking there's something not quite figured right. My system did say it was gathering logs and info to try to resolve it. So, maybe there's something there that might be of use to Vive techs if you let me know where I can find such logs I'd be happy to pass them along. FWIW, my system NEVER crashes, so I'm a bit concerned that there's something going on that may cause me to always approach using the Vive now with a bit of fear and trepidation. That shoudl NEVER be the case with any technology.


    Some observations about the Vive wireles setup website:

    When selecting the Vive Pro model for setup, the first few slides are the Vive Pro, but the remaining slides are NOT and show the DAS instead. So, the pictures do NOT match the foam or strap/cradle elements on the Vive Pro adapter kit. This should change, or have an option, to show the proper installation of that element.

    There's a sparse amount (read none) about the Wireless app. There shoudl be more information so users will know what to expect when they install and try to pair the system up.

    Heck, I don't even know how to turn the darn thing off, so I just unplugged the USB battery cable to turn off the adapter.

    Some observations about use:

    Didn't really see any latency issues! I thought the play mechanics seemed normal and I sure liked NOT having that tethered cable hitting me. I did NOT like having a heavy battery clip on my shorts as I had to keep pulling them up during play. Could be VERY embarassing in a crowd of users watching someone use the wireless adapter in real time! I also kept feeling the small power cable bumping into my arms as I moved my controllers around. There really should be a Vive supplied adapter/cradle that allows the batter to fit, somehow, on the back fo the headstrap.


  17. I'm trying to setup the last of our four Vive Pro kits that we purchased- we're a school. I unpacked everything, but noticed that when I got the Vive Pro white box out of the bubble wrap that the transluscent plastic circle factory seal was torn from end to end. I thought, "Well, maybe that happened in shipping somehow".

    I opened the kit, set up the base stations, the software was already installed and working from a prior test kit. And NOW it seems I can't get the HMD light to turn green no matter what recommended troublehshooting trick I try.

    The shipping brown cardboard box had it's tape on it just fine, but now I'm thinking that somehow a defective HMD was replaced into the white/blue Vive box and sent out to a customer, us.

    This is VERY distressing. We're going to soon be ordering 25 of these kits. This is really NOT good.

    I've sent in one base station from a prior kit. Two out of four is a bad ROI for our school and now I'm seriously having second thoughts about going with Vive Pros on this VR lab we're setting up.


  18. David,

    Will having multiple base stations for tracking improve the tracking to help eliminate jittering at all? I understand that some jittering may be caused by reflections, but if the HMD and Controllers are being hit with multple laser sources, it seems the reflections might not matter as much and smoother tracking may occur. (Of course, the opposite could be true- more base stations might just mean more reflections!)


  19. It should also be pointed out that you must have each HMD connected to its own computer capable of supporting the HMD. The controllers are paired to each separate HMD and don't talk to the other one. The HMD sensors don't talk to the base stations, so they don't care where the IR laser beam comes from. No reason it can't be done (and I've done it) but there are issues you have to be aware of. Don't overlap their chaparone areas when you set them up and even leave some space between so if users are reaching outside the grid, they don't hit each other. The other issue is that some users may cast shadows and block the base stations from being seen by the other user.

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