NaturalPoint® TrackClipPRO™ Page 3

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But I’m getting a little ahead of myself. Just how does the TrackClipPRO get the power it needs to run those little LED’s? I have seen posts in the forums where people wondered about batteries, USB, solar power or wind power, nuclear (OK, maybe not solar or wind power). Well, it’s not batteries. The TrackClipPRO runs off a USB connection.

Now before you run off screaming “Oh no, not another USB connector! I’m all out of those, and that includes my nuclear-powered USB hub!”, relax. The wise NaturalPoint people figured this out as well.

The

That is a “pass through” connector. What you do is run the TrackIR receiving unit to this connector, and then the primary USB connector to your PC. The net effect is no more USB ports required than you had before. Now that’s a good idea! And it appears to use very (and I mean very) little power.

OK, now that we’ve got the basics covered, how about we hook this new gizmo up and go flying or driving or both?

First things first, which in this case means uninstalling any previous versions of NaturalPoint software. You know the drill, go into the Control Panel, “Add/Remove” Programs, select the directory and delete it. Then, go check your directory structure and manually remove any remnants. Okay, now you’re ready to go to the NaturalPoint web site here, the “Support” area, then download Version 4.1.029 of the TrackIR software. Make sure you do this, the TrackClipPRO requires it. You can also download the quick start guide, which comes in paper version with your TrackClipPRO as well.

The install of the new software is a snap. Now, as the guide says, go to the Profiles tab, Motion tab, and select the button for TrackClipPRO. While you’re there, select the option for True View. More on that later.

Now connect your TrackIR, into the TrackClipPRO’s USB power tap, and the remaining USB connector to your PC. Oh, don’t forget to attach the TrackClipPRO to your headphones. It goes on over your left ear, and because of that, NaturalPoint recommends you place the TrackIR unit towards the left side as you are facing your monitor, so that it’s pretty well squared up in front of the TrackClipPRO. Remember you want to have those big green reflectors on the tracking screen right smack in the center. Also, take heed of the positioning instructions so you get the correct alignment of the active LED’s.

Ready? Well, I sure was, but at this point I came upon an unexpected snag. After firing up the software, my Creative Lab headphones in place upon my head, I tested out a few profiles. Something wasn’t right. At first, I could not get a good read on my actual head position. Then, I would look left, OK, look right…not OK. The right view translated into a down and zoom view. Further, the up view went down, down view stayed down and zoomed in.

What the heck, I thought? I tweaked settings, adjusted the TrackIR and the TrackClipPRO, clicked True View off, then on again, made sure the TrackClipPRO button was selected. Nothing seemed to make any difference, and I was getting a little discouraged. In game, using LockOn Flaming Cliffs, Wings Over Europe, EECH, and GTR2, it was even worse. Completely unpredictable, except my view wasn’t tracking. There was a lot of jerkiness as well.

Frustrated I checked the NaturalPoint support forums, but couldn’t find anyone with a similar problem. I decided to uninstall and reinstall the software, making sure to delete the directory. I also removed the backups of my profiles, just in case that was creating some type of issue.

While the new install was a little better, it still wasn’t working right. I got good results in the Heads and Tracking windows, but in-game was a different story. Then, exit out of the game and the Heads window showed the same bizarre behavior I was seeing in-game. I wrote NP a request for help, outlined the situation. They responded right away, had some good suggestions, but unfortunately all were things I had already tried. Nevertheless, good customer support, which I always appreciate. Thanks Vincent!

I almost gave up after a couple days, and then, out of nowhere the problem fixed itself. Like magic. I decided to try Wings Over Europe one more time and it was awesome! Wow, could it be? Is it just that simulation, or were the others working as well? They were, all of them. Just like that. I have no idea why.

The mysterious world of computers. They break themselves. They fix themselves. Sometimes.

Now, the performance is terrific, very smooth, precise, predictable. I think you can probably move a little further back from the TrackIR or monitor if you want or need to.

It works great in EECH, Wings Over Europe, First Eagles, IL-2, LockOn Flaming Cliffs, GTR2, and rFactor. The only nagging issue is an occasional problem when I turn way to the right, looking over my shoulder, and the view wants to go up. Probably a tweak in the profile, but again it’s intermittent.

Oh, and if you’re a fighter jock, there’s a new feature in the software you might like, called “True View”. What’s that? Well, it’s a little complicated, but as I understand it, it keeps your view orientation to where you are facing instead of where you started out. For example, if you want to check six, you turn your head and now you can lean out and see behind you. Or you can zoom in at any point in the rotation. Assuming of course you have 6DOF. True View can be turned off or on in the Profile section of the TrackIR software. I have used it in EECH quite a bit and it is a very cool idea.

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