Tracking issues only with pimax hmds

I was using a quest 2 with index controllers, 3 vive trackers, and 5 steamvr watchman dongles plugged in. The tracking has always been a bit shifty, but the dongles did better with the controllers and hip tracker than the pimax itself. I would like to ask if there is some way to ignore the pimax software and connect trackers straight to steamvr instead? That would also fix some of the issues I have also been having like batteries for trackers not showing up in OVRToolkit. Is there a workaround way to connect trackers/controllers straight to steamvr?

Not that I have seen. You might be able to put the hmd into 9 Axis mode. But then you will loose 6dof on the headset unless you use a tracker on the hmd maybe.

You may need to backup your steamvr quest settings and other lighthouse related settings.

You may need to adjust the angle a bit in lighthouses.

What pitool fw are you using?

I’m using a Pimax 8KX with 3 Vive 3.0 trackers and 3 dongles. It’s working very well.

No, that is not possible. And also shouldn’t be needed.

You don’t mention what problems you’re actually having. What’s going on?

This is the one limitation with using them with Pimax. The battery info is not available. But otherwise my own experience with them (once they’re setup properly) has actually been that they were a little more stable under the Pimax software than when I was using SteamVR alone with my Index.

using most recent firmware, always keep it updated.

my hip tracker has got noticeable worse tracking, and my controllers have too. Im mostly curious if testing the tracking of controllers and trackers directly to steamvr would be a useful test. Seems like allowing pairing of devices without any pimax software could clear up issues with custom controllers as well as tracker battery and other similar stuff. Also trackers do not turn off automatically with steamvr as compared to other headsets.

The version number of pitool/pimax client abd Firmware numbers may help.

Firmwares are packaged in pitool/pimax client.

Pimax site sometimes has an older version for download than what is often posted by there reps on OpenMR and Reddit.

As you can use pimax to play Oculus pc games using Lighthouses it needs to be acailable with SteamVR closed. Unfortunately pimax does not have there own way to tell the dongles to turn off devices with pimax software closed.

Worse tracking is probably not actually related to the Pimax software. I think you’re barking up the wrong tree with the idea that there’s something wrong with the Pimax software that will make its tracking worse and so you want to bypass it to go direct to SteamVR somehow. I’m not completely sure of the internal details, but I think the tracking is actually being performed by the same code either way.

What’s different between Pimax and direct SteamVR is the path that the tracking data is being routed through. The controllers should be connecting to the bluetooth in the Pimax headset. If you’re not doing that, I recommend that you do.

First, clear all of your pairings by following the instructions here: vive tracker not connecting - VIVE & VIVE Pro - Community Forum

Then unplug all of your dongles. And then pair the controllers to the headset without the dongles present so there’s no chance of them pairing to the dongles rather than the headset.

Then plug in 3 dongles and pair them to your 3 trackers. You won’t need and probably should not use the other 2 dongles (unless you use them with more trackers later… like adding elbows for VRChat).

See how your tracking is working at that point with the pairings all properly setup from scratch.

I think that your “worse tracking” after making the change to Pimax is probably actually coincidental. The main problem that happens is interference in the 2.4GHz band (Bluetooth and older WiFi). Each of your trackers and the controllers are auto-selecting channels. There aren’t many channels to choose from, and in particular they also affect the adjacent channels. With 5 tracked devices, there are not actually enough channels in the band for them to not interfere with each other even if they all automatically selected the most ideal spread of channels.

In general, the trackers pick up the same channels they used last time. But sometimes they change. This is why people will sometimes complain that their tracking suddenly got worse for no apparent reason out of the blue. And then the bad tracking persists until they kick it enough and then it’s working better again. I’m pretty sure what’s happening in this case is one or more of the trackers decided to change channels. And in their efforts to kick it, they got it to change channels again.

When you do something like switching to a new VR headset, this will probably cause all of the channels to change again. And the new channel arrangement may happen to not work well. This is what I think likely happened to you.

When tracking fails, different behaviors point to what the problem is. I’ll bet what you’re seeing with “worse tracking” is when trackers or controllers kind of float away in VR. When this kind of failure happens, it is not actually caused by a tracking failure at the device. It is a bluetooth failure. The device is probably still tracking correctly, but it’s unable to send its position data to SteamVR, and SteamVR responds by having it continue on its last known heading and speed for a second or two before it gives up and freezes its position.

The main way to avoid this kind of problem is the positioning of the dongles. The farther apart you can get them from each other, the better. It makes them insensitive to channel selection and interference with each other. And I don’t mean just a few inches. I’ve used active USB cables to move my USB dongles to the left, right, and front edges of my placespace so that they are maximally far from each other while still being as close to my trackers as possible. This cures Bluetooth interference issues between them completely. But if you can’t do that, just get them as far away from each other as you can.

Moving around their positions and orientations will also make a difference. Even positions that seem like they should be worse will sometimes be much better. RF is like that. Unless you have sophisticated equipment to determine what’s actually going on in the RF environment, all you can really do is experiment randomly until you find positions that work well.

Another thing that can help is eliminating use of 2.4GHz WiFi in your home. This occupies the same band as Bluetooth. If you don’t need it, turn it off. Or figure out how to switch to a different band instead (unfortunately other bands offer higher speeds, but also less penetration through walls). You might consider at least turning off 2.4GHz WiFi just temporarily to test whether your tracking improves.

One of my friends at one point was having lots of tracking problems. And I was able to track it down to a repeater in her room that was using a 2.4GHz backhaul to her main wireless router. Turning that off suddenly eliminated her tracking problems completely.

I think you will have a lot more success straightening out your tracking issues by approaching it this way. A lot of people have their dongles right next to each other connected directly into adjacent ports. And this will sometimes work just fine, and then at other times it will start suffering terrible interference. It’s very common to think that its caused by something else that they changed which is actually unrelated other than it provoked channel changes.

Hope that helps!

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This can be the problem as some users have had to use dongles to fix tracking issues related to some pimax hmds have a bad internal watchman. However if the op is okay with losing 6dof on the headset. Should be able to use 9 axis mode to use controllers and such. But I don’t recommend as pimax does not have cam tracking.

this is actually a pretty useful part about the trackers technology. Ive almost always had the best tracking of everyone i know, and only used a small usb hub with all 3 dongles jammed directly next to each other. Ill try the dongles spread out idea, that is something I’ve heard but never had to deal with. Also i believe we do not have 2.4GHz wifi in our house. With as much as i know about steamvr technology I had no clue that flying off was a bluetooth issue, so thanks for that information! When im back and able to play after christmas with family I’ll see how that all works and try some of that info, thank you so much!


For 2.4ghz keep in mind cordless phones are usually also 2.4ghz. If not mistaken they were one of the first consumer devices to use they band.

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