Just got it and....whoa.

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Just got it and....whoa.

Post by Dart » Wed Dec 15, 2004 8:04 am

Okay, I was a serious doubter as to whether this doohickey wouldn't turn out to be just a trapping to indicate I took flight sims as my hobby (sort of like buying the 6 dollar golf ball - it won't help my game, splashes the water just the same as the two dollar ones, but if you golf with buddies regularly, cheap balls just makes you look like you aren't taking it seriously).

Especially since I fly IL-2/FB/AEP/PF exclusively, which means 6 DOF is likely to be a no-show.

Forty minutes on and I'm sold that I made a good purchase.

The tracking is rock solid, and I found that I didn't need to recenter unless I did some serious wiggling around as I flew. It took me a minute to figure out that leaning left and right (keeping my head straight) didn't work, but the default "Combat Flight" profile fit my spaztic ways pretty good, and the retraining was immediate.

Thumbs high.

Now comes the "room for improvement" part.

I don't know if it was e-Dimension or just the way it gets shipped, but it didn't come in a box. I came in a soft FedEx package. The bill to the had didn't get creased (thankfully), but it was definately sat on (who knew Charlie worked at the Post Office!).

The clip seems unbent (in ways it's not supposed to be) for all of that, and is in fact robust enough to look like it can take some damage. Ever the pessimist, I take comfort in knowing that I have a strip of reflective material I can cut to fit the sections when they get pulled off (I, um, have a kid in my house). Nice spring steel.

The activation code slip fell out of the package (again, they just stuffed all this stuff in a bag) when I pulled out the receipt and instructions, stealthily gliding under my desk.

It's a small piece of paper, 4 x 5 inches.

What's frustrating is that the instruction sheet says

quote:* included in packagingbut there is no packaging!

This isn't a slam on NaturalPoint or e-Dimensional, just a warning to look out for a little square bit of paper.

Sooo, install new software from the website, and get it all cranked up.

The NP hat has a dot sewed into the front of the bill. Even with the Vector selected, occasionally it picked it up and made the view jerk around a bit.

I grabbed another hat and everything's cool. Besides, it works as a dot hat for when I misplace the Vector clip (and it will happen).

A word on the Vector clip. The folks at NaturalPoint obviously think that if you had the good common sense to buy the product you should have the same common sense to figure out how it attaches to a brim of a hat (they have no idiot pictures).

They over-estimated me.

Having just spent 60 USD on this thing, to say that I was handling the clip as if it were made of tin foil would be an understatement. However, one has only to place one of the little tab legs (they're on the short end with the other bit going up the middle) on one side, and gently warp the metal to get the other one under the brim (I closed one eye and squinted the other), sliding it flush against the brim so it stays put.

Hint: push in the middle of the clip. If you push in one side all the way, the other pops out slightly, making the top of the middle off center. If you push the other end at the brim all the way in, it will go off center in the other direction. Repeating this process on the other end to correct for this will place you exactly in the starting point, which will set up a vicious cycle of pushing on one end and then the other.

Check position of the TIR unit to see if it's centered (roughly) and open up the software to see how I'm tracking. Pretty much center in the tracking window, but the gauges are all goofy and the head isn't center of the right window.

Ten minutes of shifting the unit all around, going all the way down to micrometer nudges later (plus raising and lowering my chair, etc), I see that F12 will center the unit to the head and gauges within the software.

So, center of the tracking unit window (and, yes, my unit is straight on with the hat, about three and a half feet from the bill), hit F12 and alles clar, the heads are in sych.

Open up PF and select a track for replay with manual views (bet way yet I know how to train for TIR). I chose the track I used for my latest training video, as it's ground attack on multiple targets.

The whole track is fifteen minutes, and I recentered exactly twice. Once when the mission loaded (standard operating procedures), and once when I shifted my chair a bit. Even with enabling/disabling the TIR it did great.

The speed of tracking my movements is just right under the Combat Flight, not twitchy at all.

So if you have PF and are wondering if one can really tell the difference, the answer is yes. It won't revolutionize the device, but in golf terms, it will take two to four strokes off of your game.

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Location: Wroclaw, POLAND

Re: Just got it and....whoa.

Post by steku » Wed Dec 15, 2004 8:30 am

Great review! Thanks!

Posts: 111
Joined: Tue Feb 11, 2003 5:00 am

Re: Just got it and....whoa.

Post by 609IAP_Recon » Wed Dec 15, 2004 10:13 am

I just got my Trackir3 and Vector (I had a TrackIr2).

How do you turn off vector? I want to just compare normal Trackir3 and vector.

I took the clip off and now the FB game doesn't pick up my trackir3?

I'm sure it's something small

Good right up - I admit, I did the same as you with the clip

Posts: 111
Joined: Tue Feb 11, 2003 5:00 am

Re: Just got it and....whoa.

Post by 609IAP_Recon » Wed Dec 15, 2004 10:13 am

nevermind, I found it - knew it was something small


NaturalPoint Employee
NaturalPoint Employee
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Re: Just got it and....whoa.

Post by Jim » Wed Dec 15, 2004 10:17 am


Glad you like Vector, we really think that you just have to try it to get how cool it is.

NaturalPoint only ships in hard cardboard boxes. All Vector and TrackIR shipments are in such boxes. It is totally irresponsible to ship a flexible metal clip in a padded envelope. I hope that you make eDimensional aware of this oversight and that they replace the clip for free with a properly bent one, if that is a problem.

Posts: 111
Joined: Tue Feb 11, 2003 5:00 am

Re: Just got it and....whoa.

Post by 609IAP_Recon » Wed Dec 15, 2004 10:26 am

ok, at first I was skeptical - I thought, I bet there isn't much difference.

Well, I am wrong, there is difference.

Vector is much smoother, it's a difference that is subtle, but quickly noticable when you switch back and forth.

I will install CFS3 to try the lean, but in a way, I'm glad there is no lean, it seems to help me not get my center all screwed up

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Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2004 5:00 am

Re: Just got it and....whoa.

Post by DocLotus » Wed Dec 15, 2004 10:40 am

Hi Jim;

I'm a little upset with what I have read about the way e-Dimensional packed the Vector hardware for Dart.

When I got my TrackIR2 last November 03 the hat was curled up & to this day the brim has never flatten out. I got it through NaturalPoint.

Before I buy Vector I want some assurance that this will not happen again and that the pieces will not simply be thrown together into an envelope and hope the shippers are gentle (Ha).

Any thoughts?

Should I get it through you guys or e-Dimensional?


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Re: Just got it and....whoa.

Post by oqvist » Wed Dec 15, 2004 11:10 am

From it sounds not Edimensional if you read .

I ordered mine from edimensional without the hat. Will pray tonight

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Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 5:00 am

Re: Just got it and....whoa.

Post by BM357_TinMan » Wed Dec 15, 2004 11:38 am

My first impression is....It's pretty cool.

The hat is really nice -btw...

I have to do some tweaking to get it work the way I think it should so I can't really say how impressed or unimpressed I am just yet.

Initially though, it is pretty amazing that they are able to pull this off...it actually lets you lean, slide to the side, raise and lower eyepoint, and slide in and out..pretty cool.

As I said, I can't say just how good it works or doesn't yet, because I have to finish tweaking my settings, as it is, it doesn't work as good as I'd like, but i think that can be solved with camera placement and curve adjustment.

That being said.

One VERY IMPORTANT thing I've already noticed is, the x and z axis' do NOT rotate with the "in game" head. This is a problem and should, if possible, be fixed.

Imagine, you are looking 90 degrees to your left and you wish to slide your view slightly to what is now you left (would be toward the back of the plane), intuitively, you'd lean in the direction you'd want to go, but since the axis don't rotate with the head, you have to pull away to lean to the left and move in to lean to your right.

It's kind of wierd and doesn't work all that great in a dogfight situation.

This should really be addressed, so if I don't make myself clear, please let me know and I will try to clear it up.

Thank You,

Edit - I hope i said that right, it gets kind of confussing if you aren't in the game.

[ December 15, 2004, 06:41 PM: Message edited by: BM357_TinMan ]

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Joined: Tue Feb 11, 2003 5:00 am

Re: Just got it and....whoa.

Post by 609IAP_Recon » Wed Dec 15, 2004 11:51 am

received mine from Naturalpoint, the box was good condition

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