How to Troubleshoot sync issues with HTC Vive base stations

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HOW TO TROUBLESHOOT SYNC ISSUES WITH HTC VIVE BASE STATIONS

In case you are an HTC Vive user, chances are, you may have spent a significant amount of time mounting its base stations.

Take note: regardless of whether the mounting is done through the included mounting kit or better yet using any additional accessories, fact remains that: keeping the base stations tied down is an extremely important aspect of the entire set up process.

Unfortunately, sometimes things might not always work out as planned or as expected hence the question: What next in the event that the base stations completely refuse to communicate?
In the event that: the base stations refuse to communicate, proceed as follows:

Checking for firmware updates

Prior to initiating the rest of the manufacturer’s trouble shooting tips, it is strongly advised that you take time and carefully check for any pending firmware updates. Doing so is very important since it will help rule out the possibility of a software based technicality which can easily be fixed by an update. Even though such issues are not very common, this cause of action is strongly advised since it stands to save a lot of valuable time.

  1. Run SteamVR
  2. Open the drop-down menu
  3. Click Devices
  4. Click Update Firmware
  5. If an update is available you should connect the base stations to computer via USB cable.

The base stations can also be firmware updated via Bluetooth. Enable Buetooth communication in the setting for that.base-station-bluetooth-setup

Ensuring the base stations are properly installed

Just so you know, one of the most complex aspects is the set up process (it has proven to be way much more than any other phase of the set up process). All of this comes down to the headset’s tracking set up which usually requires at least two mounted base stations in order to function. Make sure that the stations are installed as on the picture below.

HOW TO TROUBLESHOOT SYNC ISSUES WITH HTC VIVE BASE STATIONS

Checking the channels of the base stations

First off, it is very important to understand the fact that the Vive base stations usually operate on different channels which is what the hardware depends on in order to establish the sync method. Take note, each and every base station’s channel can easily be changed by simply using a button (5) present at the back of the device. Current channel is shown by indicator (3).

HOW TO TROUBLESHOOT SYNC ISSUES WITH HTC VIVE BASE STATIONS
In case you have opted for wireless optical sync for the stations, make sure that one is on channel “B” while the other is on channel “C”. However, in case you are using sync cable for the stations then it is strongly advised that you make sure that one is set to channel “A” and the other is set to channel “B”.

Ensuring the base stations are properly mounted

Just so you know, each of the Vive’s stations have a spinning motor that serves to emits infrared light. Take note, the vibrations which are caused as a result can easily leave the entire station in an unstable state especially if it is not properly mounted. In the event that these vibrations affect synching and tracking in any particular way then expect this to be indicated by a blue LED usually on the front of the base station.

The most reliable way to securely mount the base stations is by using the provided for mounting kit provided for. In order to make sure that the base stations don’t drift simply tighten the clamping ring and the wing nut that is used to secure the base station’s position. Remember, in case your plan is screwing the HTC Vive’s base station into the wall permanently, there are a number of other options available for consideration:

  • Tripods
  • Gorillapods (wrap around tall furnature)
  • Heavy-duty adhesive tape
  • Shelves

My choice was tripods, they are very simple to use and setting up.

I bought a Set of Two tripods  plus  two EXMAX Tripod mini ball heads.

For Vive base stations they’ve been excellent. They don’t magnify vibrations, which I know some people have been concerned about.

Carrying out a cable sync

Switch your base stations over to a wired sync, doing so is very important since it will help get rid of any complexity in the HTC Vive’s tracking technology. The required cable is always available inside the box alongside the HTC Vive.

HOW TO TROUBLESHOOT SYNC ISSUES WITH HTC VIVE BASE STATIONS

Connect the two base stations to one another using the sync cable as on the picture above. Press the Channel buttons at the back of the stations so that one base station is set to channel “A”, while the other is set to channel “B”.

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