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Setup of a new VR lab: Lighthouses and Vive Wireless Adapters


Brainybrown
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Hello together,

we would like to modernize our VR lab. Specifically, we would like to continue using the HTC Vive Pro Eye, but expand our play area to 7 x 7 meters. Moreover, we would like to connect the Vive Pro via the Vive Wireless Adapter instead of cables.

In this regard, I have the following questions:
(1.) Am I correct in assuming that instead of two Lighthouses, we should rather use four Lighthouses to better scan the play area? We already have frequent tracking problems with our existing 3x3 meter playing surface.
(2.) If yes, does it make sense and is it possible to connect the four lighthouses via sync cables?
(3.) We often have several subject measurements in a row. For this reason, it is inconvenient that the battery in the Vive Wireless Adapter is already empty after 2.5 hours. Therefore, my question: Would it be possible to buy several Vive Wireless Adapters and then simply exchange them after 2.5 hours of runtime? Or is it difficult to constantly replace the wireless adapters?


I would be very happy about an answer to my questions.

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  • While a 3x3 shouldn't give you tracking issues with two base stations already, 4 will definitely give you better coverage. For instance, we did 5x5 areas with four players with just  two base stations with SteamVR 1.0 and it worked fine, but with SteamVR 2.0, got improved coverage when players were getting close to each other. Got any reflective surfaces nearby?
  • You won't need the synch cable, the base stations will be modulated to different frequencies to allow the devices to differentiate what station the sweep is coming from.
  • You wouldn't swap the wireless adapter (cause you'd have to untether and unmount it first). You'd simply swap out the power bank that's connected through USB. One important aspect, though: The wireless adapter is notoriously unstable. 60 GHz has a very limited range, so you need to be careful with the antenna placement. It works best when the signal is coming from the top, so you won't run into signal occlusion. However, the cable connecting the antenna with the PCI card is pretty short, which typically leads to having to mount to the computer to a wall, ceiling or truss. Furthermore, the power connection between adapter and power bank is a classic USB-A cable, which was never developed to be used in a moving system. Thus, any little movement happening on either socket frequently leads to micro disconnects, which will have the player white out. This can just be a brief connect with the HMD coming back after a few seconds. Pretty often, it cuts out completely and has to be replugged to re-initialize.
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