XCSoar PDA on Quest 2

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k6chris
Posts: 166
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:34 am

XCSoar PDA on Quest 2

Post by k6chris » Sat Jan 16, 2021 6:44 pm

I have put together some notes on how to get a working XCSoar “PDA” display working in Condor 2 VR. None of this is new, but hopefully this is all you need in one place. I have been using the Oculus Quest 2, but I would imagine other headsets can do a similar thing. The basis of the solution is to pin a desktop window running XCSoar, into the VR view of your headset, which is then superimposed over the Condor simulation.

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1) Get the XCSoar desktop app ( https://xcsoar.org/ ) running on your PC and link it to Condor 2. This is best done initially with Condor 2 not in VR mode. The instructions to do this are in the Condor 2 manual at the end https://www.condorsoaring.com/user-manuals/ . It requires installing a virtual serial port app VSP3 (link is in the Condor manual). The only missing piece of information is that the IP address you need to include when configuring VSP3 is “127.0.0.1”, as you are running XCSoar and Condor 2 on the same PC. (Thanks, Bre901). Test this in flatscreen Condor mode to check all is working.

2) Configure XCSoar as you wish, ideally to match the set up you fly with IRL. You will need to include maps that match the area you intend to fly on in Condor 2. For this simplified way of getting an XCSoar PDA in Condor VR, I am sticking to a single page display in XCSoar, so make sure that all the nav boxes you might want are on the same page. Anything that toggles automatically in XCSoar, like the thermal assistant, will still work. You won’t have access to any XCSoar buttons or settings once in VR mode!

3) Now to get the display in VR mode! Start up the previously configured serial port app and start up XCSoar. Adjust the size and shape of the XCSoar window until it looks like a PDA. Put on your VR headset so it is connected to your PC (via Link for a Quest 2). Use the VR controllers and menu to view the monitor that has your XCSoar window on. Now you need to select the window with the VR controller and move / scale it, so it is the approximate position in your VR view, where you want the “PDA” to appear in Condor. This is a little fiddly, but involves using the right controller and trigger button to select the window, and then also squeezing the middle finger button to relocate the window. The thumb joystick resizes and adjusts the position of the window. Give it a go! Once in the right place, the “B” button on the right controller gives a menu that has a “PIN” option. Select that PIN option using the pointer. Now, your XCSoar window should be pinned in your VR view at all times.

4) Now start up Condor 2 in VR mode (I use the excellent Condor 2 Revive helper). With luck, your XCSoar window should be in the right place. You can make minor adjustments by resetting your cockpit view in Condor. The XCSoar display is slightly transparent, so it makes most sense to move it to a non-cluttered part of your cockpit view. Unlike in real-life, a large display does not hamper the stick or your knees!


5) Finally, if you want the right task to be in your XCSoar PDA, you can either enter it manually (prior to going into Condor VR) or use the CoTaCo task convertor utility (https://condorutill.pagesperso-orange.fr/). The utility can be configured to automatically convert the Condor task into an XCSoar one, and load it into XCSoar as “Flightplan.tsk”. The manual on the CoTaCo website explains the options. You will need to make it live in XCSoar via Nav > Task > Manage > Load.

6) Now start your flight in Condor 2 and have fun! The XCSoar PDA should give you all the information you would be getting IRL, including wind etc.

Using XCSoar in Condor VR is an excellent training aid for learning to use a PDA in real life! Plenty of time to see what the settings do and what the nav boxes mean. There is a useful video on doing a more complicated (functionally rich!) version of the above here:
https://youtu.be/_shMNaO6cC4

If all is working, you should get something as per this brief YouTube video. Note that the PDA moving slightly in the middle is me adjusting to Condor 2 cockpit view, relative to the fixed PDA position.
https://youtu.be/u_Tswk22ZYc

Good luck, it really is useful for practicing with your PDA safely, ready for keeping a better lookout in the real world!

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Bre901
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Re: XCSoar PDA on Quest 2

Post by Bre901 » Sat Jan 16, 2021 7:08 pm

Re: 5) you can even set CoTaCo to write a profile file for XCSoar and write the task to default.tsk which make starting XCSoar even easier.
CN: MPT — CondorUTill webpage: https://condorutill.fr/

Jeffchrisope
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2019 11:21 pm

Re: XCSoar PDA on Quest 2

Post by Jeffchrisope » Mon Jan 18, 2021 7:11 pm

I’d also add checking out checking https://www.condorsoaring.com/forums/v ... 29&t=18891, if you haven’t already, to give you options to actually very cleanly interact with XCSoar while flying. It’s a bit hacky but mostly works well.
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brucesailor
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Joined: Wed May 27, 2015 8:57 pm

Re: XCSoar PDA on Quest 2

Post by brucesailor » Wed Jan 20, 2021 3:34 am

You might also check out viewtopic.php?f=43&t=19451 . I have a link to a video I did using Oculus Rift-S that shows how to place XCSoar in the VR cockpit and some hints on how do it. I still use this process, I'm not familiar with the Quest but suspect it is about the same.

Bruce

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