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Extending the range of the Oculus

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#1
My normal play area is right in front of my desk and that particular spot is fairly small. 3 foot wide by 5 foot deep. It is doable but certain games like Super Hot are impossible to play without punching something around the play area.

So about 10 feet away in the same room is a much larger area (normally reserved for my home theater). Getting the Rift over to that spot has proved....a challenge. Reading online Oculus links to some Monoprice USB 3 active 15 foot ext. cables and they recommend no more that 6 feet for the HDMI cable.

So I went out and bought 3 of the 15' USB 3 active cables from Monoprice & 1 16' USB 2 Active cable from Monoprice.

Ran all the USB ext. cables and plugged the sensors in. They all fired right up BUT the Oculus suite is detecting them strangely.

Headset USB cable is detected as USB 3 in software.
The two sensors plugged into USB 3 ext. cables to USB 3 ports on my PC are detected as USB 2
The third sensor is plugged into a USB 2 ext. cable and detected as USB 2
(All ext. cables are active/repeaters.)

The headset USB is running off the USB 3.1 gen 2 port on mobo.
One sensor is on a USB 3 port on Mobo
One sensor is on a USB 3 CARD that is installed
One sensor is on a USB 2 port on mobo

This same setup when no ext. cords are used detects everything as USB 3 other than the single USB 2 connection.

Detection problems aside the sensors are detected as good to go.


Next issue was the HDMI extension. 6 foot is not going to do it. My new play area is just too far so First I tried an active HDMI cable...pretty long at over 16 feet. That worked as I had an image but the headset was struggling and the picture kept flashing.

So next I picked up a little HDMI splitter box which is powered. Used the same long HDMI cable but now instead of plugging the headset into it I plug the headset into the little box. Worked. Not only does it work but it works fantastic.

Positioned all of the sensors and then found that the rear sensor was too far away so I had to place it on a stand and after 20 minutes of trying to configure the sensors...finally they worked correctly and I was able to get through the set up.

Testing...

Everything works. No lag, no jitter and I'm able to really move around in the new space but one issue I am having is sound. I assume the sound is sent through USB? I assume this because some people have found using a DVI to HDMI adapter for a longer HDMI ext cable solves any issues with a long run but DVI doesn't pass sound so it must pass through the USB. The issue I am having is a very faint crackling noise...static like.

It is mild and can be ignored but I think the long USB active ext cable can't handle the bandwidth and the sound suffers for it. That is my best guess. I mean the entire system is working great otherwise.

I played several games last night using these extensions and had a flawless experience as far as tracking and visuals go.

Anyways...I will continue to look for ways to improve this. If anyone has any ideas they want to share please do.
 
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#2
With cables that long, with multiple wires, I wouldn't be surprised if the cables were picking up rf/em interference.

Try wrapping the cables in a length of foil, just to see if it is external interference. The foil 'should' reduce the hiss.
 
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#3
Great to hear the HDMI extender is working for you. I've had no luck in that area. If I may ask, what powered HDMI hub are you using? I'm looking for something similar to extend mine to put an overhead gantry system, and no extension cable has worked so far, even powered.

You are correct in that the audio is passed over USB. The only signal sent on the HDMI is the video.

+1 on the RF interference. If the foil trick works, you could just leave the foil wrapped and wrap the cable in electrical tape over the foil as a "ghetto rigged" solution. Actually, this would be really effective as it would also protect your cable, which gets stepped on all the time of course. Otherwise, you'd have to find a better shielded cable for a more professional solution. Please let us know if it works for you, as these are all VERY common problems in the Oculus community. Solutions so far are few and far between.

Thanks!
 
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#4
Great to hear the HDMI extender is working for you. I've had no luck in that area. If I may ask, what powered HDMI hub are you using?
I bought two. A passive and a active unit. The passive doesn't work but the active one does. Here it is at Amazon for $14.99
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01CCMOMM0/?tag=tec06d-20


I'm using this along with a very long HDMI active cable. No ext. used at all.

The HDMI cable I already had. it is 25 feet long but it works flawlessly with the powered switch box.

Select Active Series High Speed HDMI Cable with RedMere Technology, 25ft $29.99
https://www.monoprice.com/product?c_id=102&cp_id=10255&cs_id=1025507&p_id=12611&seq=1&format=2



With cables that long, with multiple wires, I wouldn't be surprised if the cables were picking up rf/em interference.

Try wrapping the cables in a length of foil, just to see if it is external interference. The foil 'should' reduce the hiss.
Good idea I will hit up the kitchen and find out if this works. It just so happens that all ext. cables pass by a wall mounted AC unit that could be putting off a lot of EMI.
 
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#5
Awesome, thank you! That is a lot cheaper than the active HDMI repeaters I have found! I was dreading the process of buying several $50 parts until I found one that worked...

Also before you go wrapping things in foil, make sure every component you have in the system is properly grounded... the computer, the HDMI splitter, the monitor, everything. Make sure they're on circuits with the third prong on the plug. Dirty power can cause signal degradation, which is compounded over the length of a cable. Being that this is over USB... it isn't likely that this is the culprit, as surely your computer is grounded (if it's not it REALLY should be, and the motherboard should be cleaning up the power to the USB cable. But there is always the possibility of another component like the monitor feeding back into the system. It doesn't cost anything to check all your cables and make sure they have ground pins.

If you have the third pin on all your plugs, try the foil trick. If that still doesn't work, it may be worth it to check the wiring in your wall to make sure the ground pin on your plugs are *actually* grounded. Some older houses have retrofitted new three-prong plugs, but the third plug isn't connected to anything. Lazy contractors or ignorant homeowners. I've run across this many many times when I was in the HVAC business. A disclaimer... of course if you're not knowledgeable about electricity, don't do any of this on your own... get some help from a professional. And of course turn the breaker off before touching anything.

If all of that checks out and it still doesn't work... may have to have a powered USB hub? Seems from your description you're using an active cable to connect the headset, but not a powered cable. If I'm correct the "active" cables just amplify the signal using a small transformer, basically. They don't provide any power on their own. Might have to get a hub that actually plugs into a power outlet and provides power.
 
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#6
Thanks dude. Yeah everything is grounded properly and my main electronics run through a conditioner and surge protection. All the wiring in this room (Detached garage) I had completely redone before moving my electronics into it back in 2016.
I'm pretty sure my problem is the game because I played 3-4 other games in VR and there is no static. Only when I play Lone Echo do I hear it and not all the time.

I ordered another HDMI cable. The same one I already am using but a 15 foot version. The 25 foot version is used for my gaming cockpit so I need to put it back.
 
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#7
Thanks dude. Yeah everything is grounded properly and my main electronics run through a conditioner and surge protection. All the wiring in this room (Detached garage) I had completely redone before moving my electronics into it back in 2016.
I'm pretty sure my problem is the game because I played 3-4 other games in VR and there is no static. Only when I play Lone Echo do I hear it and not all the time.

I ordered another HDMI cable. The same one I already am using but a 15 foot version. The 25 foot version is used for my gaming cockpit so I need to put it back.
Ah... Very nice. I'm looking to buy a home sometime this year or next... One thing I hope to be able to snag is a detached garage for just such a use lol.
 
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#8
Yeah converting the garage is great. I insulated, dry-walled, installed a big AC unit. Having it detached means I can get loud back there at night without bothering the family. It's great.

The only downside is my Harley and truck sit in the driveway under covers and I have to work on my vehicles outside. Small price to pay though for having a theater and game room.
 

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#9
USB is only good for about 5 to 8 foot at 3.1 speeds
 
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#10
USB is only good for about 5 to 8 foot at 3.1 speeds
Officially, sure. But something as simple as providing thicker wires can increase that dramatically. I've got a passive 16 foot USB cable that works flawlessly with both the headset and the cameras. At least Oculus still registers it as 3.0.
 
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#11
All of my USB 3 extension cables use thick wire and are active repeaters. I'm running 15 foot extensions without issue but that may explain why the Oculus system detects the cables as USB2. Everything works as needed though.
 
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#12
Yea, these things are super finicky. Sometimes what works for one person won't work for others. I have no idea why, but mine detects full 3.0 ever over a 16 foot passive cable. Maybe my USB ports are higher power or something? No idea.

I'd be happy to trade my USB luck for some HDMI luck though lol...
 
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#13
Buy that HDMI splitter I have. It is not a switch. It is designed to boost the HDMI signal from one to two outputs. I'm telling you for $14.99 it can't be beat. Works a treat with my headset. I have all my sensors mounted now and all the cables secured away. I did have to buy a 10 foot power extension to reach the splitter but as of now the entire system works flawlessly.
 
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#14
Buy that HDMI splitter I have. It is not a switch. It is designed to boost the HDMI signal from one to two outputs. I'm telling you for $14.99 it can't be beat. Works a treat with my headset. I have all my sensors mounted now and all the cables secured away. I did have to buy a 10 foot power extension to reach the splitter but as of now the entire system works flawlessly.
Will definitely try that! Thanks!
 
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