A year or so ago I backed the Elite : Dangerous project on kickstarter. I had not paid much attention during development until I noticed it had a release date. I started to watch some videos on the beta and some streams on twitch.tv. One thing that became instantly apparent was that in the majority of videos pilots were using head tracking. To me this seemed a bit like a gimmick but I did a little research into it and all reports said it made the game more immersive. Having just purchased a joystick to improve the game I thought I might as well have a go at this too. I did not want to spend a great deal of cash on a solution and I did not want to look foolish (so webcams and IR headsets were out).
I decided on the edTracker because it was cheap and required me to build it, this meant I could make it into a weekend project. Also all the software is open source so fingers crossed I can have a play next year (osx client?).
I purchased the following parts.
- DIY Head Tracker Bundle – With the MPU-9150
- edTracker PCB
- Project Box
I was going to take some pictures during the projects to help people on the way but the documentation and video’s on the edTracker website are fantastic so there was no point in the end. Building the edTracker was a breeze made really simple and tidy with the PCB, I would highly recommend buying it. The edTracker 2 software is really simple to use. This is the first electronics project I have attempted that ran without any issues (mainly due to the fantastic documentation). I made a little mess of the USB hole and in the future I may buy a new project box and tidy it up but it’s not the end of the world.
Here are a few pointers that may help anyone out doing this project.
- The Switch provided by Hobby Component is not long enough for the case recommended by edTracker and it is pretty much impossible to press while it’s on your head. I would recommend not installing the switch as there is now a hot key to press to set your home position.
- The document for the project box installation looks to be for a different box but it gives you a good idea of what you need to achive. I ended up masking taping up my box and drawing what I needed then going for it with the Dremel.
- When flashing the calibration firmware I could not flash the MPU-9150 firmware to a blank device, I had to flash the GY-512 firmware then the MPU-9150 firmware. (This might have been an issue with my machine.)
To tidy the my little project I put some braided sleeving over my two usb cables and used some red cable ties to make sure nothing was going to move.
Here are some photos of the final product.