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How I fixed my hand tracking problems without spending any money.


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Hello, I'm sort of a noob to VR technology in general. I chose to get the Vive Cosmos Elite as my very first VR. After doing lots of research in how to get started in VR and to figure out what I'd like to experience, etc. I ended up also getting a pair of Valve Index Controllers to use instead of the vive controllers that came with my Vive Cosmos elite kit (VR helmet, 2 base stations, 2 VR controllers). And after messing around with the technology, I decided to experiment with making the helmet wireless so that I can enjoy beat saber a little more, so I purchased the wireless adapter that comes with a PCIE card and a tracker that it communicates with. I ran into some issues with all this technology as a beginner. I wasn't able to crank up the graphics very well because I had an older computer with a 1070ti. I also had serious hand tracking problems where my right hand while playing half life alyx kept drifting away from me when I was in a certain spot in my play area. I also had to go down that long rabbit hole of trying to figure out exactly what I need in a gaming PC to be able to play half life alyx on max graphics settings without FPS issues. I have no idea how to tell what my exact FPS is while in game, but I know that I got fps issues if playing half life alyx makes me feel like I want to throw up afterwards or if there's an obvious studder in the frame rate. 

I eventually solved both these problems, but when I tried talking to vive customer support via the chat and they were completely useless in helping me figure out what I'm doing wrong. They were telling me that I need to put a blanket over my 65inch LGCX that I use as a PC monitor, purchase body trackers, use dongles, etc to fix the hand tracking problems, and they wouldn't tell me exactly what specs I need to specifically run half life alyx on max settings. 

I solved my FPS problems by getting a PC with the following specs and I have no FPS issues. My GPU sits at 70c and my CPU sits at 45c when I'm in the thick of things on half with life alyx with graphics settings set to the highest fidelity. These are the same temps they are at when playing Doom Eternal on max settings in 4k:

CPU: i910850k(with the Kraken liquid cooler)--------RAM: 64GB DDR4 Dual channel Ram----------GPU: TUF RTX 24GB 3090----------PSU: 1000 watt'ish(can't remember my wattage lol but I know it's at least 1000 watts.) And I have two SSD cards that I store my OS and everything else on. 

As for the hand tracking problem, I solved it by finding the correct placement of my base station. I know this is some pretty basic stuff on how to get your VR stuff to work right, but wanted to leave it here for any other VR noobs like me who are having a hard time figuring the basics out just like I did and are browsing this forum for advice. Below is a link to a picture I made showing what I did wrong with base station placement that caused my hand tracking problems and what I did to fix it. Keep in mind that I have perfect hand tracking without any extra trackers and without having to put a blanket over my TV. 

Also I solved another problem: If you are going to spend the money to get the wireless adapter to make your Vive Cosmos Elite headset wireless, then make sure you get TWO of the battery packs. They both have a couple hours worth of life in them and it's always useful to have an extra charged battery incase you forget to charge one. Another thing I did to improve the performance of my base stations is that I take the microfiber rag and spray bottle that I purchase as a kit at an electronics store and clean my LGCX with, to clean the face of the base stations if you accidentally get finger prints on them in the process of wall mounting them. 

  https://ibb.co/L547NKz

NOTE: The red circles indicate my base station placement. Also when I placed the base stations in the "after" configuation, I then #1 pointed them directly at each other, and then pointed them both down as far as I could to get them to be pointing directly at the center of my play area, and they are both mounted on the walls at exactly 7 feet.

Edited by Burned_Follower
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Glad you have everything working fine.  I pre-ordered the original Vive Cosmos and went through similar frustrations trying to get it's inside-out tracking working satisfactory.  Support for this was, and still is, pretty useless regarding this and current software updates have done nothing to fix this.  My solution was to go out a buy a Vive Pro full kit w/2.0 base stations/controllers.  I later also bought Valve Index controllers and etsy gear VR lens mod.  Forgetting what this all cost me, at least now I think I have a very nice PCVR setup.  I also have a pretty good gaming desktop pc (i9 9900k, rtx3090, 32Gb 3000 ram).  I guess I could buy the Cosmos Elite faceplate (aud$400 in Australia) but I don't see the point since I think my Vive Pro is better quality and its OLED screens are fantastic.

I also have had the Vive Wireless Adapter for over a year and while it works ok for most games, it is too much of a cpu-hog with my VR flight sims.  So, like my OG Cosmos, it's back in its box.  At least the 2x wireless batteries I have are useful for charging up my VR controllers.

Aside; I actually get better wireless results with my Oculus Quest wireless w/Virtual Desktop.  The funny/sad thing is that I paid about the same for my Quest as I did for just the Vive wireless adapter, lol!

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Another hard lesson that I learned I forgot to share: I eventually figured out that you can physically remove the ear pieces without damaging the headset, they basically just clip on and off. You have to be gentle when unclipping them to avoid damaging them. And they connect to the headset via a hidden headphones jack. So if you want to plug in better quality headphones, you are able to do it. I replaced them with a set of wireless headphones that cup over my ears but after a month I put the hanging ear pieces back in because as hot and sweaty as you'll get playing exercise programs like beat sabre or thrill of the fight, the skin on the sides of your head will thank you when you go back to hanging ear pieces. The hanging ear pieces only SEEM like a dumb idea, until you're using something else. 

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I personally took out the deluxe audio pieces and used BT earbuds when I do wireless Vive VR and it works great for the most part. Just put my light houses on adjustable lightstands and I can put them anywhere anytime its great for a smaller room.

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