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Tracker 2018 calibration


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whats the best way to calibrate a tracker 2018? I want the z-axis value to be zero when the tracker is on the floor.

Calibrating with the HMD and SteamVR, where i put both controllers on the floor, is not accurate. Sometimes up to 5-10 cm... (btw. do both Basestations have to be on same height level?)

Calibrating only with the tracker and a Basestation is better, but I have to substract the height of the Basestation... Error is about 2-5 cm...

I am confused, do I always have to fix this manually?


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@stu81ffm - The trackers use the tracking universe and parameters that are defined by the roomsetup procedure. The tracker's can't be miscalibrated per say - it would be the entire roomsetup that would be mis-calibrated.

One thing that can cause offset is if you floor is somewhat polished/reflective which can cause the controllers to "jump" around and judder when you place them on the floor during the calibration step. You should be able to easily test this by placing the controllers on the floor as if you were doing room setup and seeing if the virtual representation of the controller is firmly anchored in the virtual SteamVR environment or if it's bouncing around. If they don't stay anchored firmly in place, it's a reflection issue from the floor.

OpenVRAdavncedSettings has a floor fix option that's super useful.

Sometimes it's the virtual environment that's miscalculated. Developers sometimes don't set their floor height correctly in their app or the offset the floor height upward so you can pick stuff up off of the ground without your controller bashing into it. Always use a blank SteamVR compositor to troubleshoot this stuff (i.e. no app running, SteamVR home disabled).

The stations do not need to be at the same height. With 2.0 stations it doesn't really matter. WIth 1.0 stations, both stations need to be .25-1.5 meters overhead of the player and pointed towards each other for the optical sync system to work.

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  • 2 months later...

@VibrantNebula Hi! I am trying to figure out how to calibrate my Vive Trackers without a HMD or hand controllers -- just using two 2.0 base stations and the trackers. Is this possible?  I was able to get the trackers to register and work in Unity just using the base stations, however, the trackers seem off and need to be calibrated.

I understand that "room setup" helps with the calibration process, but it seems that we cannot complete room setup without a HMD or hand controllers -- is there a way to do this without them? 


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@rheamw - Not within the context of SteamVR's native room setup and chaperone system. It's a consumer VR front end. The company that makes the SteamVR sensors has a guide on using a null HMD driver here but they don't cover the coordinate system (they list a contact address at the bottom that may be able to provide support). SteamVR's chaperone system requires an HMD at a minimum to calibrate (via SteamVR -> Developer -> Developer Settings -> Quick calibrate). This only provides approximations for walls though and mainly is used to set the origin and the floor plane.

You can try scripting out a calibration sequence within Unity where your translate your project's coordinate systems based upon known positions of the trackers (i.e on the floor in specific locations). Some LBE content takes this approach. I'm not personally aware of an example project or example code.

Vive does not consider this to be a supported use-case as it gets pretty deep into the SteamVR/OpenVR weeds and we officially support standard roomsetup scenarios.

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