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Making the Most of Track IR

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After replying to another help post, ivanwfr suggested I make a proper indexed thread about Track IR with the response I had given. So I decided to start a proper thread about maximizing Track IR.






Setting Up Track IR:




After over 4 years of TiR experience:


#1 Seems obvious, but, the Pro-Clip arm does have to be in the correct orientation for it to properly work, which is having the longest arm on the bottom. I've always used it with the most success on the left side of my head, right side never worked well.


#2 The camera should be centered on the Clip not on your head, which is over to the left side a fair bit. Using a 22" LCD, the camera is basically 0.5 - 1 inch from the left corner of the display if clipped on the top of the monitor.


#3 Use the software to get the alignment of the dots pretty well centered in the camera's FOV.


#4 Check head movement against camera dot tracking and look for places where 2 dots merge or come very close to each other (called "binding"). When this happens, the camera has a tendency to lose accurate tracking. - The camera may need to be raised or lowered accordingly to allow for proper angle tracking when moving your head around.


#5 Just as vertical and horizontal centering matters, so does the distance from the clip to the camera, you may benefit from the camera being a bit closer or further away from your head based on tracking tests. Easy to test, just put your head further or closer when using dot tracking view looking for "binding" where multiple dots merge together and the camera loses track.


#6 Dot tracking size and light filtering settings should be set accordingly. I've always had the best performance from the smallest dots possible and adjusting the dot tracking size lower to accommodate. It basically means the dots stay separate from each other more when certain angles bring them close to each other. - Setting light filtering lower to make the dots smaller will also help cut down on unwanted IR noise in the background of the camera's FOV, which can wreak havoc on tracking.


#7 The motion allowed in the cockpit has a couple weird limits. For instance, if I look down and zoom in at a part of the lower center dash, and then return to HUD, it may be a bit off, but if I zoom out, by pulling away before I sit back up to look at HUD, it centers properly, almost as if without doing that, the camera in the sim is colliding with an invisible "shelf" that wont allow the camera to retract to original position.


#8 I do reset my TiR centering often. But it's not always necessary for me to do it, I do it mostly from habit. And since i'll lean off to the side to blow a smoke out the window fan quick on auto-pilot navigating to/from airfield. When repositioning myself back to normal placement, re-centering isn't always necessary, but restores the precise alignment.


#9 The more you use it, and fully experiment with the settings and configuration of your TiR setup, the better it will get, and be more natural.


#10 Using TiR really shows you how much your head moves around without you noticing it. Takes some discipline to keep your head centered and aligned unless you want to look around.


#11 Check the sim's G-Force settings as well, it will pull your head cam around without you moving TiR and it will affect your view.


I initially started out with a dead zone in the middle so it would re-lock to center, and gradually over time, my preferred curves became more aggressive and the center dead zone was eliminated. Now, I run a completely FLAT response line on every axis, with increased sensitivity on zoom, reduced on roll and x, y, pitch and yaw all the same.


For some time now, I can accurately track planes, missiles, and ground targets visually using TiR looking out of the canopy while jinking, or the other aircraft conducting aggressive maneuvers, or both at the same time. If you spend the time to really experiment and get it properly setup for your environment, it becomes more than an immersion booster, it is a real weapon.






Auto Precision Mode:



You can toggle the Precision mode by default with F7 which slows down movement severely making the tracking very fine and precise; for when you are focused on something, like your gun sights....


- Edit the Profile Hotkeys for the TiR profile you use with DCS.


- Change the Precision Hotkey to your First Stage trigger. (or PACs button / key)


- Uncheck "Toggle" box.


- May or may not have to check / uncheck "Trap" box depending on results in sim. It may prevent your key / button functioning in the game and only work for TiR controls. Unchecking by default will make the button work in both TiR and simulator.


Now when you run in for guns, you trip your First Stage Trigger to enable PAC for precision flight AND you enable TiR Precision which prohibts jerky, floating or drifting effects in head tracking.






Adjust Your Seat



DCS A10C allows you to adjust your seat height. I'm not sure about BlackShark, don't own it. Next to your Flaps Gauge, in the corner, is a switch that allows you to raise / lower your seat in the cockpit.


This comes in handy quite a bit for me actually. Night Ops for example, I tend to sink into my cockpit panels a bit, so rather than constantly leaning down, I lower the seat a bit, and look into the HUD by sitting up.


When you are constantly performing gun or CCIP runs, Taxiing, Mid-Air Refuel, Formation flight, or anything else, you may want to raise your seat up a bit and get your head out of the cockpit.






Making Track IR Work FOR You



Since I have TiR, I decided I didn't need all those view controls on my numpad. Instead I mapped them all to my CDU number input buttons. So now, anytime I need to enter digits into the CDU, I can simply type them onto the numpad of my keyboard.


Numpad Enter is set to the CLR button.


Futher Improvement:


With the G940 having all my Hat Switches and everything else programmed, I mapped A-Z on the keyboard to the CDU input letters as well.


I still have Shift, Ctrl, Alt, Win, Etc + those keys mapped to other controls as default,


But since the logitech profiler doesn't play nice with the simulator for correct input response, I had mapped out all of my stick controls directly in the game for much smoother and consistent response. Even if your controls are mapped in an external profile of some sort and rely on the keyboard commands, you can redefined those commands in the game and fix the profiler controls accordingly.


And I know, it sounds like a lot of work, but we are only talking about 26 letters total and 1/2 of them aren't mapped in the sim by default.


Backspace Key is set to backspace on the CDU.


Spacebar set to space on CDU (Was fire guns, careful)


Despite the work, Entering anything into the CDU or MSG pages is a breeze now. I use the scratch pad to enter the MGRS given out from JTACS, send MSGs to wingmen along with taskings via SADL, request channel frequencies from other SADL units, name NavPoints entered in CDU and Flight Plan names.



Eyepoint and Head Position: http://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=68821





Background Light Issues: http://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=68605











Feel free to reply with any other great tips or tricks.


I will be performing upkeep on this thread from time to time to include more content and consolidate it into this first post if I can.


Feedback appreciated.



Edited by Seil


WotG Founder & A10C Lead

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Thanks Seil, Now, I have a bookmark for a TrackIR knowledge base.


And thanks Cayenne for these links that make a good addition for those like me who are still having a hard time to decide what needs to be done to adjust environment and user discipline with so many parameters to be taken care of.


What I would appreciate most would be that this thread be kept about the most important bits of advice from those who have used this device for some time.


Specific problems like those indicated by Cayenne would be welcome as well as long as they are links to their own thread rather than detailed discussions better focused separately.


;) But, please with some topic label to tell what the link is about

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