Freetrack is it a cheap TrackIR 6DOF?

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nearmiss
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Freetrack is it a cheap TrackIR 6DOF?

Post nearmiss »

This is an alternative to trackIR. It provides 6DOF and it requires some ability to build a hat w/IR Leds.

The software is free.

http://www.free-track.net/english/

I didn't see any profile for Bob II WOV on their site.
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My webcam is unlike everything listed, but I still may be able to modify it.

All you do is remove the IR filter, put some LEDS on a hat or hat brim with a little soldering it looks like a poormans TrackIR w/6DOF.

Sounds good to me. Worst thing I can do is screw up my webcam.
Last edited by nearmiss on 04 Apr 2008, 23:03, edited 1 time in total.
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JJB17463rdBombGroup
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Post JJB17463rdBombGroup »

Wow that sounds good to me too.Perhaps I'll pick up another webcam for it.Thanks for finding the site.
Son of a U.S.A.A.F. 15th Air Force 463rd bomb group 772nd squadron B17 pilot.
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Kwiatek
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Post Kwiatek »

I use freetrack wit webcam. My webcam has 6 IR diods so only thing i made was sth like "trackclip" in my headphones and it works good. Its comparable with Trackir3 - has similar resolution just worse fps - ab.29 fps const - but it is enough. Of course freetrack has full 6DOF and it work good in BoB2.
And the main thing - it cost me 20 Euro only :P

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nearmiss
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Post nearmiss »

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the_soupdragon
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Post the_soupdragon »

I use Free track. Works really well. I had a TIR version 1 which I was never happy with and never could justify spending over £100 on an upgrade. But once I discovered the Freetrack website I thought i would give it a shot.
I built myself a powered 3 (IR)LED hat model because I am too cheap to buy batteries :P , I have to say I am impressed it works just as advertised. I had to buy a webcam so I bought an MS V1000(I think) from ebay for £5 the rest of the stuff managed to scrounge up in my spare parts box :) So i have a working 6DoF setup for a fiver, not bad :) Although I don't know how well it stacks up against a TIR 4 setup but I am more than happy with it. ( It also works REALLY well in iL2 for 6Dof (but sshhhhshhhhhh don't tell anyone ;) )
If you are thinking about going down this route, I would say definately give it a try. If I can build one of these a brain dead monkey with 10 thumbs could do it :shock:
if you do get stuck though The peeps on the forum are more than helpfull and extremely knowledgeable.

SD

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nearmiss
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Post nearmiss »

the_soupdragon wrote:I use Free track. Works really well. I had a TIR version 1 which I was never happy with and never could justify spending over £100 on an upgrade. But once I discovered the Freetrack website I thought i would give it a shot.
I built myself a powered 3 (IR)LED hat model because I am too cheap to buy batteries :P , I have to say I am impressed it works just as advertised. I had to buy a webcam so I bought an MS V1000(I think) from ebay for £5 the rest of the stuff managed to scrounge up in my spare parts box :) So i have a working 6DoF setup for a fiver, not bad :) Although I don't know how well it stacks up against a TIR 4 setup but I am more than happy with it. ( It also works REALLY well in iL2 for 6Dof (but sshhhhshhhhhh don't tell anyone ;) )
If you are thinking about going down this route, I would say definately give it a try. If I can build one of these a brain dead monkey with 10 thumbs could do it :shock:
if you do get stuck though The peeps on the forum are more than helpfull and extremely knowledgeable.

SD
I got the freetrack working after several days of gathering stuff up and then putting it together. I put a bump on my last post after I realized the posting I actually made was too much of a rant. LOL

AMazing how all the little stuff adds up. LOL

Cateye bicycle light - Model TL-LD130-R cost 10.99 at bike shop
MSFT VX-3000 webcam 49.99 at MicroCenter
Shrinktubing 2.19 at fry's
Stiff plastic tube 1/4" hardware store 1.49 (several pieces)
SolderIron 12.99 Fry's
Solder 7.99 Fry's
Solder Braid Radio Shack 1.89 for remove solder
Glue Gun (already had w/glue sticks)
22 gauge 2 strand wire 7.99 for spool

Add that up and the FreeTrack is still cheaper than a trackIR.
When I removed the IR filter from the VX-3000 Webcam it self destructed. It was a extremely thin delicate little square piece of glass. This pretty well makes the webcam worthless now, except for doing freetrack.

The Cateye was an OK way to build the LED pointer thingy. The LEDs in the CATEYE are very bright and it was practically impossible to get freetrack working well with them.

So replaced them with Red LEDs I bought at Radio Shack... $1.49 for 2. Here is the spec- Red 5mm LED 2.6 volt 28mA - 10mcd Part#276-0041.

I took an old floppy disk and cut out and created a little screen filter to make things especially dark. I cut out a small circle from the floppy disk (opened it up and used disk material as filter) and taped it to the front of the webcam. So the webcam looks funny with this black plastic over the front of it.

The floppy material does seem to make a good filter.

I then fired it all up and freetrack worked. Setting up the freetracks software was tedious. I finally went to the website and DL some profiles and then applied a few of them to get a fell for setting up the freetrack software. It went pretty smooth. I found a simple IL2 1946 profile and put it into the freetrack profile folder.

Then I went into the BDG.txt file and enabled everything I could find that deals with TrackIR. Voila! the gadget worked right off the get go in BOB II WOV 2.07.

I could just move my head around to see and that was pretty good. I have a problem. lean my head side to side alot, and didn't realize how that would affect something like freetrack. I had a terrible time fixing my head straight and aligning on targets. It was very frustrating, and I mean frustrating. There has gotta be a better way I've not found yet for flying with a head tracker and having accurate shooting.

One thing that distrubed me when I finished a couple hours session with the lighted LED thing mounted on the right side of my headset was the LEDs were not visible to me peripherally at anytime. Somehow my brain and peripheral vision had something going I didn't know about. After I quit for the night I kept getting these flashes in the right most corner of my eye. I didn't realize when I was using the tracker that I was even seeing those LEDs.

IMO, it would be best practice to have the LEDs mounted on a hat or something where you were physically blocked from seeing them at any time. I don't like to mess around with anything in the way of a visual anomalie. It was like someone was using a flash camera just outside my peripheral vision, just enough I could see a flash. Stange stuff.

I wouldn't say don't do the free track. I do think it should NOT be downplayed as being simple, because it isn't. I haven't had enough time to say I believe it is bug free or works well. It works I give you that.

Freetrack has a competent site with forums, so you can learn alot there about building a freetrack device.

If you have a webcam that is recommended on the freetrack site, you can solder abit you might get into headtracking cheaper. I had to pretty well start from scratch so it wasn't a budget deal for me.

My honest opinion.... I should have just bought trackIR, a professional product and gone on with my life. I could always sell it on Ebay or one of the sim sites, but as it is my homemade head tracker is probably not saleable.
Last edited by nearmiss on 04 Apr 2008, 12:18, edited 1 time in total.
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Buddye
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Post Buddye »

Hi nearmiss,

A outstanding report and I agree with you bottomline conclusion.

If you want headtracking, go with the Pro's. TrackIR4 is not for everyone (Bader does not like it and I am still on the fence) but it now has many years of of use with customers on many games with most all the bugs smashed.
Buddye

Intel I7 920 processor (2.66GHz, 8MB cache), 6GB DDR3 Triple Channel @1333MHz, 1.8GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295, Sound Blaster X-Fi PCI Sound Card, Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit , CH Fighter Stick & Pedals ,TrackIR4 Pro thanks to BobII crew.

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nearmiss
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Post nearmiss »

I spent couple hours last night working on a profile setup for the BOB II WOV Freetrack.

It was tedious and hit/miss kinda thing. I just finished doing some missions in the BOB II and my profile is working pretty darned good. It is improved for sure.

I bought some new LEDs today and I plan to build another head pointer tomorrow, if I get time.

The tweaks I did on the software made a lot of difference and I'm getting much better registration and plenty of hits on targets tonight.

Mostly, it wasn't as noticeable as previous so I think with some more work this thing might actually be worth the effort.

When I finally get it working well enough I'm going to put up a complete list of parts and what I did. Then if anyone wants to give it a go it won't be as difficult.

The free-track.org site has good information, but it's mostly in pieces like on this site. You've just gotta read alot of threads and work through things.

This freetrack is 6DOF so it's pretty state of the art as far as head trackers go.

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