Jump to content

Using the Base Station 2.o and VIVE Trackers without a headset


Recommended Posts

Hello! I am currently trying to use two VIVE 2.0 base stations along with the VIVE trackers. Does anyone know if it is possible to run SteamVR without a headset? (I do not own a headset, so I am trying not to use it even in the setup process). If so, does anyone have any tutorials/resources for this setup process? Ultimately, I am trying to track objects in the real world and import their location into Unity, so that moving a tracker will affect the virtual object's location in real time. Is a headset required for this process? 

Any help would be much appreciated!! Thank you!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi @rheamw ,

You can use what's called a null HMD driver. Triad (the company Valve contracts to make the SteamVR sensors) recently released an updated guide to the workflow you need to use within the last week - I haven't been able to test out their new recommended flow. In any case, the null driver is the way to achieve this - I'm not super sure about the python stuffs.

Please keep in mind:

  • Each one of the trackers will require you to have a corresponding Vive tracker dongle for RF
  • The 2.0 basestations are only compatible with Vive Tracker 2018 which are easily ID'd by the blue Vive logo/power button. The first gens have a grey logo and won't work with 2.0 tracking.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@rheamw - Good question. You should only need the linkbox if you want to control or configure the basestations or use bluetooth power management. I'm honestly not sure how this would work with SteamVR 2.0 tracking because the units may by default ship all on channel 1. On the back of the 2.0 stations, there's a pinhole which you can use a paperclip to manually change the channel if there are conflicts. I believe that manual channel change button still works but I can't confirm it as I'm currently remote working and only have 1.0 stations. You'd probably also have to plug the stations in via USB to update them - this may be required to get everything on the same SteamVR version so tracking works.

Just remember - moving around a basestation while it's spinning will damage it so be extra careful if you try to plug it in via USB or change the channel. Have a plan and minimize the shock you apply to the station.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...


I am trying to setup tracking without headset using the null driver according to the Triad guide.

I am facing an issue "The base station is not currently tracking.any devices. Make sure it is in view of your headset.".  My devices from system report are listed below. I would appreciate if anyone could help.

Device 1 - Serial Number Headset Null Model Number Null
Dongle Version: 68A7C206D9 Version: 1461100729 / 0

Camera Firmware: Version not available.

VSync to Photons: 0.0111111

Display Frequency: 90

User IPD (m): 0.063

Current Universe ID: 2

Previous Universe ID: 0

Device Path: /devices/null/Null Serial Number

Best Alias: /user/head



Device 2 - Tracker VIVE Tracker Pro MV HTC LHR-3FD8FA1A
Firmware: 1541806442 RUNNER-WATCHMAN$runner-watchman@runner-watchman 2018-11-10 FPGA 531(2.19/7/2) BL 1513896911

Hardware Revision: product 132 rev 2.0.6 lot 2000/0/0 0

Hardware Id: 0x84020006

Watchman Firmware: 1541806442 / 0 (2018-11-10)

Watchman FPGA: 531 / 531 (2.19)

VRC Version: 1541806442 / 1541806442 (2018-11-10)

Radio Version: 1518811657 / 1518811657 (2018-02-16)

Dongle Version: 1461100729 / 0 (2016-04-20)

Supported Buttons: 0

Connected Dongle: 68A7C206D9 Version: Unknown Version

Device Path: /devices/htc/vive_trackerLHR-3FD8FA1A

Best Alias: Invalid



Device 3 - Base Station HTC V2-XD/XE HTC LHB-154111B3
Firmware: 436

Hardware Revision: 0x09000009

Hardware Id: 0x09000009

Firmware Version: 436 / 436

Mode: B

FOV Left: 60

FOV Right: 60

FOV Top: 60

FOV Bottom: 60

Range Minimum (m): 0.5

Range Maximum (m): 5

Device Path: /devices/lighthouse/LHB-154111B3



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...


I also followed the Triad guide to archive tracking without a HMD. SteamVR now starts without the HMD but except my "false" HMD nothing else is detected. Trackers, Controllers and Base Station wont appear and can't be addressed in Python. Has anyone else faced this problem?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello @fb_sigma,

We don't support using the tracker without an HMD as a standard use case and further we don't provide support for Triad's python method - they provide it via info@triadsemi.com.

When using this type of configuration you need to ensure:

  • You're using the included Bluetooth dongle that ships with the Vive tracker. Without it, the tracker and and basestations will be completely invisible.
  • If using more than one 2.0 base station - you need to ensure the basestations are not outputting on the same channel. By default, all 2.0 basestations ship on channel 1/16. If using two - out of the box they'll conflict with one another. When using an HMD, you'd use SteamVR's GUI to configure the channels. Without it - you'll have to use a paperclip to activate the pinhole on the back on one of the units. Each press will cycle it up an index number (1, 2, 3.... 16 -> 1).

Overall, SteamVR is a consumer VR tracking solution. The tooling was designed for use with an HMD (i.e. room setup) and I'd generally recommend having an HMD and controllers onhand whenever you're working with SteamVR because that's ultimately the supported use-case and having them will likely save you time and frustration.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Seems like a pretty close-minded answer. You might want to consider this use case as many of your users are working with the base stations and trackers for other purposes: virtual production, research, etc. You can force the use case on users or expand your market to where it leads you. As your competition increases in the HMD world, you may consider other use cases for your base stations as you are one of the few that have that advantage. As for me, I don't own a vive headset and I would sure hate to return the two base stations and tracker i just bought and find another solution because there is no support for a use case the product should naturally achieve. Let me know now if I should return them.

Edited by bkfichter
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...