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Hardware Setup


StevieBoy

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I'm about to take the plunge and buy a Vive headset as well as a laptop capable to run it on. To try to ensure that I don't have a post '**bleep** I should've thought of that' moment, I'm looking for some advice. My questions, so far, are:

1. For portability, I'm thinking of getting tripods for the base stations. Do the base stations have standard 'camera' style mounting attachments i.e. threaded female holes, or do I need to use double sided adhesive patches?

2. Can the system be used outside e.g. in the garden? Is it affected by sunlight, wind etc.?

3. I would like to be able to display the game zone onto a monitor so others can watch what the player is experiencing (I've seen this in demos). How is this achieved if the laptop only has 1 HDMI output port?

 

Thanks for your help and advice,

StevieBoy

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Hi , you're making a great choice. :D

 

To your questions - I'm sure others can chime in here too:

 

1) Most people will go for lightstands, designed to hold (surprise!) lights for photography. They get up to the height you need (6.5ft or just under 2m). Here's a set of two on Amazon.com, as an example. The base stations do have threaded holes, but you will need to adjust the base stations (tilt downwards), so you'll probably want a mount for that. Here's a set that is 'often purchased' with those lightstands. Shop around, of course.

 

2) Good question! It's theoretically possible, but it's probably going to be tricky. Wind is only going to affect your lightstands/base stations potentially, ie blowing them over. Sunlight is a bigger deal, because...

 

- Biggest warning: Do not allow direct sunlight to go into the HMD's lenses. They will do damage to the internal LCD screens. So rule number one: if you take it outside, keep the lenses covered at all times.

 

- The base stations are sensitive to light so your tracking may go awry, especially during the day. (At night, not so much.)

 

- Finally, you'd want a flat surface to stand/move about on, and remember you'll probably have your headset cable behind you... so maybe don't set up on rough / wet ground.

 

All this said, it is definitely possible. Here's a handy YouTube video where someone did it themselves. :)

 

 

3) You should be able to display in-game content on your laptop's screen, but displaying to a second, external monitor might be difficult.

 

Your HDMI's going to be occupied connecting to your Vive link box and out to the headset. It might be possible if you have another external video connection (eg DVI?) but you also need to make sure you get a laptop that's beefy enough to be able to handle the simultaneous output. VR's taxing. :)

 

Would love to hear other people's thoughts on this too - perhaps on laptop spec?

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Thanks Rockjaw for the advice. I'm thinking of getting a laptop with a I7 CPU and a GEForce GTX 1070 GPU card. Hopefully that should have enough grunt. It has 1 HDMI and 1 mini display port, so I'm hoping I can configure the mini display port to clone the laptop display onto a big monitor whilst the HDMI is connected to the Vive. Would that be possible?

Finally, what type of cable is the sync cable - is it a generically available cable or is it unique for Vive, and if so where can I get one?

 

StevieBoy

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I'm not going to pretend I'm a guru for hardware advice, , and especially with laptops - but the GTX 1070 is a good GPU for VR and should run pretty smoothly. If in doubt, ping your manufacturer; they'll be able to tell you if it's VR-ready.

 

I think the mini-display port should be able to output to a second monitor, in the same way it would if you were running anything else. If the laptop screen isn't running that'll probably help too.

 

The sync cable is used to connect the Vive base stations together if you have sync issues. It's in the box along with the rest of the hardware, although it's usually not necessary in most setups.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks Stephen.

One last question that just occured to me - are the base stations, headset etc. power supplies dual voltage? I travel around a fair bit and would like to take the system with me; would I need 110/220V convertors or just standard travel adaptor plugs for different countries?

 

Thanks again for your feedback

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I use support stands with clamps myself but that will really depend on the ceiling height.  As for outside if it's sunny you will have lots of issues tends to lose tracking in sunlight I've noticed.  

 

As for displaying it on a monitor that's going to be a bit tricky a 1070 is more than up to it though it's the display ports that will let you down as rockjaw said if you could get one with a DVI port and get an adaptor it will do the trick.

 

As to power I'm not 100% but jusding by the fact it's the same units they are shipping around the world I would think a plug adaptor would do the trick

 

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Hey , good question about power! Checking the adapter I have here at home, the power range listed says 100-240V, so I believe you'd be okay with plug adaptors in most countries.

 

I love the idea you're traveling with the Vive. Send us a postcard. ;)

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