IR Head Tracker

So I play IL2- Strumovik on and off. I’ll go a year or so without touching it, then fiend on it for a few months. Two things have always bugged me. My lack of real rudders (I’m tempted to build a rudder setup instead of spending 100+ dollar on some loose CF rudders that don’t even feel that nice, or even more for a decent Saitek setup) and the difficulty of tracking targets. I always wanted a headtracker, but IrTracker used to run for about 200 dollars. Now it’s about 100, but even then, I read about FreeTrack. Freetrack lets you convert a webcam and use IR LEDs to make a headtracking setup. Usually it involves taking the IR Filter out of your webcam and putting something like magnetic tape over the lens to block out normal frequencies of light. I instead opted for a Wii-Mote.

So I made a 3 point LED baseball cap, with a 9 volt battery just taped to the brim. It works quite well. The video doesn’t really show it’s true usefulness as I was flying with one hand and it was poorly calibrated. When I have it in the zone, I have great visibility in all directions, with the only trouble spot being totally behind me. I can usually manage a good peak though. Anyways heres the video. It’s really rough, but you should get the idea.

For reference sake, I used a wii mote through a bluetooth dongle connected with Bluesoliel. The IR LEDs are rated for 200ma and I have about 80 ohms of resistors connected to them. It’s pretty much super simple wiring wise. They’re wired in series. Also the LEDs are ground down so they produce a more defused light with a wider viewing angle. All and all, this crap cost me about 15 dollars, excluding th wii-mote which was just lying around.