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.

2 thoughts on “IR Head Tracker

  1. Hey I saw your video on youtube and I want to make one to but I need to know how to make the led lights work do i just wire all 3 together like hwo you have them on hat and the connect to battery and thats it?

  2. You wire them in sequence.

    Use that to calculate the power and wattage. Basically you’ll want a battery (I like 9v because connectors for them are cheap). The positive wire goes to a resistor (which you’ll calculate).

    Wire based off of this diagram (ignore the switch unless you wanna add one).

    So you solder to the long leg. Then you wire from the short leg to the next leds long leg and so forth. This is positive to negative I believe! Once thats done you should be good to go.

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