Build your own Oculus Rift-style HMD

Great guide to building your own Rift-like display by Rod Furlan at BitCortex

Build your own Oculus Rift-style HMD

There are more details on this MTBS thread.

If you are interested in DIY HMD, then also check out the FOV2GO project.

Oculus Rift teardown (iFixit)

The iFixit guys do a full Rift teardown with lovely photos and a pretty comprehensive component list.

Oculus Rift teardown (iFixit)

Oculus Rift first impressions

Nice first impressions video from Cymatic Bruce.

Oculus Rift teardown

A couple of adventurous/foolhardy guys pull their brand new Rift to bits.

Do not try this at home.

The bit where they lever out the LCD display made me wince…

For the record, the display is an Innomedia HJ070IA-2D:

rift_display_label

Unofficial Oculus Rift order tracker

Unofficial Oculus Rift order tracker

My order number is 46170, so according to this I’m looking at a shipping date around end May…

Voskhod instrument panel

I love the fact that the spacecraft’s position was indicated by a clockwork globe.

I really want to know more about the “ingenious Vzor periscope”. What a great name.

The Vostok and Voskhod spacecraft, like the U.S. Mercury, could not perform orbital maneuvers – they could only be translated around their axes. The main engine was used only at the end of the mission for the reentry braking maneuver. Instrumentation on the Vostoks was rudimentary in the extreme. There were no gyros and no eight-ball for maneuvring as on the Gemini. The reentry maneuver was normally handled automatically by radio command. Spacecraft attitude in relation to the local motion along the orbit was determined by sun sensors, infrared horizon sensors and ion gauges, which could detect the spacecraft’s direction of motion by the greater velocity of ions impacting the spacecraft in the direction of motion.

The cosmonaut could, however, take control of the spacecraft and manually reenter. This was done by using the ingenious Vzor periscope device mounted on the floor of the cabin. This had a central view and eight ports arranged in a circle around the center. When the spacecraft was perfectly centered in respect to the horizon, all eight of the ports would be lit up. Alignment along the orbit was judged by getting lines on the main scope to be aligned with the landscape flowing by below. In this way, the spacecraft could be oriented correctly for the reentry maneuver. To decide when to reenter, the cosmonaut had a little clockwork globe that showed current position over the earth. By pushing a button to the right of the globe, it would be advanced to the landing position assuming a standard reentry at that moment. This manual system would obviously only be used during daylight portions of the orbit. At night the dark mass of the earth could not have been lined up with the optical Vzor device. The automatic system would work day or night.

Voskhod navigation instrument

Voskhod navigation instrument

Vostok instrument panel

Lovely model/render of Vostok instrument panel from gagarin3d.com

Vostok instrument panel

Pilot or passenger?

The Partnership: A History of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project

The role of man in space flight has been one of the basic and continuing philosophical differences between the Soviet and American space programs. Americans have sought to make the astronaut a central figure in the operation of the spacecraft, especially in his ability to veto automatic systems. The Soviets have preferred to rely upon automated systems on the ground and in the air, with the cosmonaut playing a secondary and more limited role.

Nicely illustrated by this comparison of the Vostok and Mercury instrument panels.

The Vostok has 4 switches and 35 indicators, while the Mercury has 56 switches and 76 indicators.