Bones visits Xpendable

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Xpendable
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Joined: 07 Apr 2021, 16:40

Bones visits Xpendable

Post by Xpendable »

Bones finally got to come over and see my Harrier cockpit in person this weekend. He also brought over a ton of flight gear. I'm amazed at all the detail that he has collected. We ended up attempting to a "photoshoot" with Bones sitting in the Harrier in front of a green screen. It was kind of a last minute thing, with the thought being that maybe I could edit the photos, removing the background, and plopping him into a real Harrier. The jury is still out on whether I'll be able to pull that off! If I had planned ahead, I would have thought of selecting a few real Harrier photos and then trying to replicate the exact angle with the pictures I was taking from my phone. Without that planning, I've been trying to find some photos that are close to the some of the angles we shot. Surprisingly, there are as many photos of the Harrier then one would think. Anyway, here are a few pictures of Bones:
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Xpendable
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Re: Bones visits Xpendable

Post by Xpendable »

He also tried out VR for the first time with DCS. I think he was impressed with the depth perception.
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Xpendable
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Re: Bones visits Xpendable

Post by Xpendable »

A couple more photos, with a different survival vest on...
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Bones
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Re: Bones visits Xpendable

Post by Bones »

That was alot of fun! Thanks for having me.

VR was definitely an experience. Yes, i was amazed with the depth perception. I knew VR would immerse you but I didn't expect that it would also be in 3D. The ACM panel for the Tomcat protruded out toward me like it would in real life over the VDI and HSI. There is some perspective in the 2D version, but I was not expecting this much realism! Plus, in 2D, the right and left panels to either side of your legs are "ahead" of you on the screen, but in VR, they are properly located physically next to your thighs. I actually had to lower and turn my head all they way down to see and manipulate them as I would in real life. The pilot body that I'd see in 2D was gimmicky to me, but now in VR, I can its true worth and why people like it so much. Looking down on myself the VR pilot body really did feel like my own! Its like it tricks your brain into thinking it is reality. I would reach down to put my hand on my thigh and feel nothing, it was so weird but cool. Then of course full range of correct motion--I had to actually turn my head all the way around to check six like I would have to in real life.

The cons were I wear glasses. I tried without glasses but things were still fuzzy for me, I don't know if they have a diopter adjustment version but when putting glasses on it was better. Still a little fuzzy though. If I manually adjusted the headset on my face things would sharpen up but not everything. I chalk that up to either my progressive lenses (hey, I finally needed them last year at 52!) or the resolution which Xpen was saying he doesn't have the best graphics card yet but will have a way better one real soon. It was also rough not being able to use the mouse well. First finding it in real world space iwth the headset on (Xpen had to physically pick up my wrist and move it to the mouse, haha), and second even with mouse in hand it was tricky to navigate the cursor. The headset seems a little heavy and in long missions, I can expect that my neck would be pretty tired or sore. There is a little bit of vertigo going on too, but I got used to that relatively quickly.

I did a gunzo mission against an Su-27 with VR and it was a hoot...I managed to ping him a few times in VR but without radar controls I could only hit him with WWI and WWII level accuracy, then I'd run out of gas, haha! I did my first carrier landing in VR with a SHB and got a bolter on the first pass and a 3 wire on the 2nd. It was so cool, but again, the details of the boat for instance were fuzzy to me.

Overall, it was a really fun toy. I wold have fun with it for as long as my neck would hold out, but at the same time I can't justify the price tag for it at this point in my budget. I know there are things like the gloves that facilitate the keyboard/mouse thing, but that's even more expensive. Maybe someday...

Thanks Xpen!

v6,
boNes
"Also, I would prefer a back seater over the extra gas any day. I would have 80 pounds of flesh to eat and a pair of glasses to start a fire." --F/A-18 Hornet pilot
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PanzerMeyer
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Re: Bones visits Xpendable

Post by PanzerMeyer »

Great photos! if I ever make the trip out to Chicago we'll all have to get together for lunch or something.
I have learned from experience that a modicum of snuff can be most efficacious - Baron Munchausen
Xpendable
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Re: Bones visits Xpendable

Post by Xpendable »

For sure, Panzer!

There are companies that make custom prescription lens that get get fitted to an adapter that you can install in the headset, eliminating the need to wear your glasses inside. I haven't yet done that, but one drawback is if you want friends to be able to tryout your VR headset, you have to go to the trouble to remove it. I'm not sure how easy that is or whether that will cause a lot of wear and tear.

I do have to move my glasses in the correct position on my nose in order for everything to be in focus. If it's too close or too far from the headset lenses, it'll be blurry. I reach up inside while I'm wearing the headset and move the glasses forwards or backwards until it's right. It'll stay in place because the headset foam compresses down on everything and keeps it in place.

As for the weight of the thing, that's something you do have to get used to. I don't even notice it anymore, although I've been doing VR for many years now. I believe you can also get a counter balance weight to put on the back of the headset that alleviates the feeling of the weight on the front. Maybe it just feels like you are wearing a heavy hat at that point. Some of the newest VR headsets are even heavier on the front and it's even more of a problem, and I'm told that counter balances solve that problem usually.

As for cost... I actually got both of my headsets for free, but it was because my work has a cool recognition program where every employee gets 2000 points that they can aware to other employees each month (500 points per recognition). So you can recognize up to 4 employees a month. 500 points is worth $5. They accumulate and never expire. And then we have certain awards that grant you $500 worth of points. I've received a couple of those over the years. You can then exchange those points for gift cards - and we used to have a reloadable VISA debit card where points could be transferred to the card and then you could buy anything you want with it. That's how I got the original Oculus Rift, which at the time, cost $600 and didn't come with hand controllers back then. I had accumulated more than enough points to get it for free. When the hand controllers came out, they were initially $200, and I used points to buy that too. Eventually I bought a Rift S, also using points so it was free to me, and at the time it only costed me $299 and included it's own set of controllers.

Sadly the Rift S is no longer available. The Quest 3 is, although it's now $499 and you have to buy a separate cable to connect it to your computer. There are some other options out there, but I haven't looked at them from a cost standpoint. I don't feel like I need to upgrade my VR yet, but I could see doing that maybe next year.
Bones
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Re: Bones visits Xpendable

Post by Bones »

I did an eBay search for the Meta Quest 3. Someone was selling a brand new still sealed 1 512 GB one at a Buy it Now price of $240, but shipping was over $100. In their description they said that eBay is forcing them to make the shipping that much, to contact them by phone and they can work something out for $14 shipping instead.

I was really tempted to go for it, because that version of the Quest retails for $600+. Then I thought it fishy, plus the guy had no feedback. I watchlisted it anyway.

I went back in the afternoon and the listing is nowhere to be found. I wonder if my suspicions were correct, if it was a fake listing or maybe it was hot, or maybe eBay caught him for circumventing the shipping (which to me is none of their business) and pulled his listing.

Anyway, as I stew in the thoughts some more, I think I will stick with my TrackIR for now. I just bought a replacement ProClip for $50 and last year I spent $700 for the RTX4070 OC--I'm assuming that when you have the headset on, your RTX has nothing to do with it, it's all in the headset display now, so I feel like I'd be wasting my $700 on the graphics card if I went straight VR. Maybe after a few years when I've gotten my $ worth on the card, and/or by then, it will be obsolete and the new VR will presumably be better then and I'd have better justification to get it.

But thanks Xpen for the demo! It was pretty amazing.

v6,
boNes
"Also, I would prefer a back seater over the extra gas any day. I would have 80 pounds of flesh to eat and a pair of glasses to start a fire." --F/A-18 Hornet pilot
Xpendable
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Re: Bones visits Xpendable

Post by Xpendable »

Actually that isn't true that your video card would be wasted. When it is being run by DCS wirh the link cable, all the rendering is performed by your video card NOT the Quest 3. You can think of the headset as another monitor connected to the video card. The only time rendering is handled on board by the Quest is when it is being used as a stand one device. Tjen it HAS to be done by the headset. But those are more mobile like games because it relies on the on board processing power to run the entire game. That can't be used to play DCS. DCS runs only on Windows, and when VR is being used with DCS, all computation and rendering are done on the computer and video card. The headset just acts as a monitor but with head tracking fed back to DCS. When doing VR, your computer and video card have to render 2 frames instead of 1, each from a slightly different perspective (1 frame for each eye). This is what gives you the depth perception. Also advanced rendering features of a high end graphics card come into play. Anti aliasing features, etc are all handled by the video card and very much applicable.
Bones
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Joined: 27 Jun 2019, 11:29

Re: Bones visits Xpendable

Post by Bones »

Thanks, yes, Recluse was explaining that to me too. All that's left is the price tag, which I can't really justify right now. A 128GB one which would be fine for my purposes is still like $500.

In the near future, or with enough saved gift cards haha.

v6,
boNes
"Also, I would prefer a back seater over the extra gas any day. I would have 80 pounds of flesh to eat and a pair of glasses to start a fire." --F/A-18 Hornet pilot
Hammer
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Re: Bones visits Xpendable

Post by Hammer »

"There are companies that make custom prescription lens that get get fitted to an adapter that you can install in the headset, eliminating the need to wear your glasses inside. I haven't yet done that, but one drawback is if you want friends to be able to tryout your VR headset, you have to go to the trouble to remove it. I'm not sure how easy that is or whether that will cause a lot of wear and tear. "

this sounds like gas masks in the military. If you have a prescrition, you get a set of lenses that fit into your gas mask!
Helmut
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