I posted my first impressions after building my Obutto Ozone, I’d barely had a chance to try it and it was all very new and I was definitely looking forward to trying it out for an extended period. Unfortunately I was away that weekend and didn’t get to try it until late on Sunday night for about an hour.
In my first flights in BoX I found quite a difference in the experience. The position of the stick lends itself to giving better control, and is far more akin to where I was used to a stick being from my flying days. Having said that, I have been very pleased with my MonsterTech Desk Mounts. However, using it with a wheeled office chair meant I wasn’t always in the same seating position, plus I was still using an office chair, with an office chair seating position. The seating position has made a quite a difference to the experience. Somehow it is giving a far better sense of movement and immersion. I didn’t have the difficulty that I expected in looking over my shoulder. The seating position is perfect; I have now reclined the seat a bit and I’ll see how I get on with that, but I don’t think I will leave it that way. Having the rudder pedals mounted at an angle I have found that I have better rudder control. What’s even better is that they do not move about under my feet. They are staying in the position that I put them in. This, again, makes a big difference to the controlability of the aircraft.
I’ve also found that I can make the CH Throttle Quadrant fit onto the Gear Shifter Mount. The positioning could do with some tweaking. Ideally I need to raise it about two or three inches so that I can reach the switches easily. At the moment the switches are below the level of the Warthog Throttle. I’m trying not to mount it on the right hand side, with my keyboard, as it will get in the way.
Follow up experiences:
I have now returned the seat to a more upright position. I didn’t feel comfortable reclined, I felt like it was putting more strain on my neck. I have now got the Gametrix Jetseat set up on my chair and it’s really adding to the immersion factor. Unfortunately it only works based on sound output in BoX and Cliffs, but with DCS is works with specific aircraft and replicates the sensations of different controls being used and even taxying over the cracks in the taxyways and runways. It hugs the racing seat well, unfortuantely the straps, that secure it to an office chair, are not quite long enough to secure it properly around the seat, but I have bodged a fix for it.
I’m finding my flying experience even more enjoyable now that I have the Ozone. That extra level of immersion and comfort means that I am logging off feeling better. I am enjoying the sensations offered by VR and extra immersion of the combination of force feedback and VR. The positioning of the stick, throttle and quadrant is working well and allowing easy access to all of the controls.
So I’ve taken a slight detour from flight simming. I decided to break out the steering wheel and test the Ozone for it’s original purpose. Racing. Ultimately I found faults with my wheel and not the rig. The rig made the driving experience far better than sitting at a desk. The monitor is in just the right position, the seating is perfect for driving – no surprises, as it is a car seat. The wheel clamped to the wheel mount without issue, it was really stable, despite playing Dirt 3 and having a rally car requiring regular turning of the wheel from lock to lock. It passed this test with flying colours, and made me realise that I miss playing the racing games…
The desk top arrived on Monday. I didn’t expect it to come with attachments, but it did. Five, 3M, sticky pads. These seem to have stuck the desk down fast, it’s not budging without a fight.
The difficulties arose that it does not fit over my Warthog, due to the stick extension. So I have to have the desktop quite low, which means that it is further away from me.
Also, because of the centre mount of the Warthog I can not have the keyboard tray across, because it is in the way. This is not a problem when I am not flying as I do not keep the stick in the mount, but it is a bit frustrating. It also does not sit well with the throttle still mounted.
As a result I have taken the keyboard tray off and put the keyboard and mouse on the desktop. This works, but it is not so well positioned. I also found that the keyboard tray made the Ozone too wide for the space that I had cleared for it. In the end it was just better, for the time being, to take it off and leave it until I have a bit more space.
The upside of the desktop is that I have been able to mount the CH Throttle Quadrant on it and it now sits just above the Warthog throttle, so I have easy access to the switches and levers. The difficulty is that this means I have even more reduced space on the desktop. The Quadrant did fit on the shifter mount, but with the desktop on this extedned too far forward for me to be able to use it and have the desk top on. I think this is where the Revolution’s split, movable desktops come into their own – that and they have a VESA mount so they can be used for small monitors if they are not used for work surfaces.
Have any of the above issues made me rethink my purchase? No. I really am happy with the Ozone, but I recognise that it is going to take some time to perfect my set up. I’m finding that it is adding so much to my flying experience that I would not swap it for anything. That is the primary purpose for my PC. I don’t really work on it, I use my MacBook for that. I haven’t even installed Microsoft Office on my PC anymore.
When it comes to other games though, such as a First Person Shooter, I will need to put the keyboard tray back on. There is no way that I can sit for extended periods pressing keys on the keyboard to move around, it is too far away, and if I bring it closer it becomes too high (It is on the steering wheel mount afterall). This is easy to do, but it is something that I would prefer not to have to do. If I didn’t have the stick extension on the Warthog then this would be far less of an issue, but seeing as this also adds another dimension to controlability I will not be taking it off.
I am considering purchasing the articulated keyboard tray from the Revolution, but I am not entirely sure whether it will make much difference to me; and it is another cost. I would like to have the surround sound speaker mounts, but this will have to wait until my rig is not in the house!
Final thing…I still need to attach the cup-holder! This is less of a priority though as it’s hard to drink from a glass while using VR…so I’d need a straw all the time!