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With our Prime 41 series setup, usable capture volumes up to 75’ x 150’ (11,250 square feet) are supported.
The maximum distance from the host PC to the camera depends primarily on cable length limitations. Every cabling type has its allowable cable length, and attempting to cable at a longer distance will result in degraded data transmission.
For USB: The maximum USB cable length for a direct connection is 5 meters (16 feet). Hubs and active extension cables can be used to increase the usable distance. The recommended configuration for large volumes is to connect hub(s) to the computer using active extension cables, then connect cameras directly to the hub(s) with no extensions in between.
For Ethernet: Ethernet PoE cables can transfer data and power up to 100 meters (328 feet). In other words, the maximum length of 100 meters is allowed for both the cabling from an Ethernet camera to an Ethernet switch and the cabling from an uplink switch, or a host PC, to an Ethernet switch. Multiple Ethernet switches/repeaters may be used.
Cameras should be setup so that they do not shake and are not easily moved. If any camera is moved once calibrated, tracking accuracy will be affected and the cameras should be re-calibrated. Suitable mounting hardware includes tripods on concrete floors, truss work, and wall mount brackets.
The cameras are compatible with both active and passive markers. Active markers work best when using LEDs that produce output in the 850 nm wavelength.
Find more about configuring active markers through our knowledgebase.
Ethernet and USB cameras cannot be used together on one system.
All OptiTrack Ethernet cameras can be used together in the same system. All USB cameras can be used in the same system except for the Flex 13, which uses a different timing mechanism.
Yes, OptiTrack cameras can track any surface covered with retro-reflective material. For best results, markers should be completely spherical with a smooth and clean surface. Hemispherical or flat markers (e.g. retro-reflective tape on a flat surface) can be tracked effectively from straight on, but when viewed from an angle, they will produce a less accurate centroid calculation. Hence, non-spherical markers will have less trackable range of motion when compared to tracking fully spherical markers.
A variety of retro-reflective passive markers that are optimized for motion capture are available for purchase on our webstore.
For USB cameras:
Using a 5m USB cable from an OptiTrack camera may result in a “Device not recognized “ or “unknown device” error on some computer systems due to USB limitations. Using a shorter USB cable often resolves the issue. When plugging 5m USB cables directly into a computer, avoiding ports on the front of the tower will reduce the likelihood of cable-related errors.
Flex 13 cameras will not work when directly connected to the PC. Flex 13 cameras require more power, and they need to be routed through the OptiHub 2.
Technical Note: USB ports on the back of the computers are usually connected directly to the motherboard while ports on the front are often connected by a cable (which may be of low quality). This extra cable length, when combined with a 5m cable, can exceed the maximum USB signaling distance.
For Ethernet cameras:
Ethernet cameras will not work when directly connect to the PC because standard PC Ethernet ports do not supply power to the cameras. Instead, Ethernet cameras must be routed through PoE switches to deliver sufficient power over the Ethernet for each camera to operate.
All OptiTrack cameras are synchronized at the hardware level of the system.
For V120:Duo/Trio, all cameras are synchronized within the device itself.
For Flex series, all cameras are synchronized through communicating the sync information over the USB cable and the OptiHub*, without requiring separate RCA synchronization cables.
Prime series cameras are synchronized by communicating the time information with each other through the camera network itself using a high-precision algorithm for timing synchronization.
When configured correctly, an OptiTrack system can be synchronized with most external devices (e.g. shutter glasses, video recorders, and force plates) for specific applications. The OptiHub* and the eSync are used to receive and send synchronization signals.
All OptiTrack cameras (other than the V120:Duo and V120:Trio tracking bars) can be re-focused to optimize image clarity at any distance within the camera’s tracking range. By default, OptiTrack cameras are focused at infinity, which means that they are tuned to track from distances as near as a few feet away up to their maximum tracking range. For very close-up configurations (e.g. tracking markers from 1-4’ away from cameras), tracking quality can be improved by refocusing for clarity at that range.
Visit our knowledgebase for more information on adjusting the focus.
OptiTrack cameras, except for Slim series, already have a built-in IR LED ring around the camera lens to be used as a lighting source, and the illumination setting can be adjusted easily through the software. The LED ring usually provides enough illumination for each camera in various applications. However, when configured correctly, it is possible to use an external illumination source to provide extra lighting for detecting passive markers.
Visit our knowdedgebase for more information on implementing external illumination sources.
Only Ethernet OptiTrack camera models are compatible with the eSync, which includes Prime series, S250e*, and Slim 13E. The eSync allows synchronization of the motion capture system to almost any signal or source. Only one eSync is necessary per system.
OptiTrack Ethernet cameras require PoE (S250e, Prime 13, Prime 13W) or PoE+ (Prime 17W, Prime 41) Gigabit (1000 Mbit/s) Ethernet switches.
Standard PoE switches must provide a full 15.4 watts to every port simultaneously, and PoE+ switches must provide a full 30 watts to every port simultaneously. Even though Prime 17W and 41 cameras can still operate with the PoE switch, the PoE+ switch is required to operate the LED array at its maximum performance. Furthermore, the switch must support Gigabit transmission, 1000 Mb/s, for every Ethernet port on the switch in order to accommodate for high data traffic.
All Prime series cameras come with a status indicator ring. It provides information about the current camera state. Please visit our knowledgebase for detailed information.
Yes, this is possible. But note that the OptiHub* will attempt to synchronize the cameras at 100 Hz frame rate by default. For connecting Slim 3U cameras, check and set the frame rate to 120 Hz in the Custom Synchronization Settings found under the Tools tab in Motive.
Slim 3U, V100:R1* and Flex 3 cameras can be used in the same Wired Sync chain. Flex 13 cameras support an alternative synchronization method and they cannot be incorporated in the Wired Sync chain.
In place of the Wired Sync method, the OptiTrack USB cameras (except for Slim 3U) utilize a custom synchronization protocol called OptiSync. It allows USB cameras to communicate sync signals through a single USB cable without requiring separate sync cables.
Find out more about synchronizing USB cameras in our knowledgebase.
When operating in External Sync mode, a valid external trigger is required for cameras to work.
The OptiHub*’s blue LED indicates the external trigger status. If the blue LED is not blinking, the OptiHub* is not receiving a valid external trigger signal, and the cameras will be stalled. This is the intended behavior, so it is important to check whether the external trigger signal is functioning properly.
If necessary, investigate further by putting a scope to the External Sync-Out jack when the problem occurs. If you are using a video adapter sync out as your source, you should see a 50% square-wave at half the frequency of your video adapter's screen refresh rate.
Also note that the blue Sync LED indicates whether trigger events are happening, but not necessarily the presence of an external sync input. The OptiHub* will free-run in the absence of an External Sync-In signal. In this case, the blue LED will illuminate even though an external sync input is not connected, because a valid trigger event is still detected.
V120:SLIM (9-pin header) pin-out settings:
For more information, view the V120:SLIM technical drawings, which identify the Micro-T pin locations.
SLIM:V100 (8-pin header) pin-out settings:
Be careful to draw no more than 50ma from the 3.3V supply.
The available IR LED modes on Flex series cameras are determined by the hub type they are connected to. The OptiHub* is a legacy device that has been replaced with the OptiHub 2. Both are designed to provide power and synchronization options for the USB system, but the OptiHub 2 is designed to provide more power to operate the LED array.
Flex 3 (V100:R2)
Flex 13 cameras can still transmit the data when connected to an OptiHub*; however, LED illumination will be disabled due to insufficient power. They must be connected to the OptiHub 2 to power the on-camera LED illumination.
The OptiHub* can be incorporated in the same system with the OptiHub 2. Due to higher power requirements, when Flex 13 cameras are present, they must all be routed through an OptiHub 2.