3DConnextion SpaceNavigator v10 for Second Life

I have an update of this article: SpaceNavigator, Windows 10, and Second Life (9/2016). The information here has useful content. If you just want to get your SpaceNavigator working, jump to the newer article.

I found a deal on eBay for a SpaceNavigator, I bid and got it. It arrived. Yay! It works with everything BUT Second Life™. What a downer. Then I find out that 3D Connexion no longer supports Second Life. Eek!

But, people are using Spacenavigator (SN) with SL, so what is the deal and how does one get it to work? Torley has videos on how to use it… people are posting about using it in various places…

The SN Help Manual is of no use. It barely covers the basics.

Fortunately there is a page in the wiki that mostly explains how to get it working with SL and the latest SN software (3DxWare64_v10-1-4_r1818). It is not easy and there are gotchas in the wiki page. The page is titled: Flycam. Yeah, I would have thought of that for a title first thing…

SpaceNavigator NOT working (v10)

SpaceNavigator NOT working (v10)

As you have probably Google’d for help before getting here you have likely seen posts about how to create a SN profile for Second Life. Those are pre-2013 as best I can tell and the software changed some time in 2013. I can’t find any way to create a profile via the 3DConnexion software v10. But, there are posts in the 3DConnexion site that help. I’ve used those to figure out how to get my SN working the way I want it to.

If you are wondering why they changed the UI and removed profile creation, it is because they made the process automatic. The software developer that supports SN for their app will build in profile. When the SN software sees that it will automatically pick it up and use it. You will then have access to a configuration panel to modify how the SpaceNavigator works. Nice idea. We just have to wait for SL viewers to be updated. I doubt that will happen any time soon. However, we may see it happen as part of the Oculus Rift implementation in the viewer. Whatever, I didn’t wait.

Part of what I will explain below is necessary because the ‘Other Devices’, previously joystick, setup locks onto the first suitable device it finds in the HID section of the computer. That may not be the device needed. In the case of SpaceNavigator with version 10, this is true. The SL Viewer finds the 3Dconnexion KMJ Emulator before it finds SN. There is no way to get around that except as I explain below. To avoid this problem the viewer needs to allow user selection of the device to use. See JIRA item: BUG-6049Ability to select device in Joystick Config. Please visit that page and click Watch. Another one to watch is Loki’s RIFT-523D Space Navigator support needs some love in HMD mode.

How To Fix Spacenavigator

There are some basics to handle whether you are either doing a first time install or updating. If you are updating from a version 3 to version 10, a clean install is definitely recommended. I’ll start with how to do a clean install. If this is your first install jump to the heading Deciding on Version.

Clean Install SpaceNavigator

The steps are listed here: SpaceNavigator clean-up and re-install for Windows. The steps there are a bit out of date. So, here are the file locations for Win7 and I think 8:

  • C:\Program Files\3Dconnexion
  • C:\Users\[Win_Login_ID]\AppData\Local\3Dconnexion
  • C:\Users\[Win_Login_ID]\AppData\Roaming\3Dconnexion

Once you uninstall SpaceNavigator, delete the folders listed.

Next there are supposed to be a couple of DLL files to remove; spwini.dll and siappdll.dll. They supposed to live in: C:\Windows\System32 (32-bit systems or installs) or C:\Windows\SysWOW64 (64-bit systems). Check both places and delete the files. The files did not exist on my system after a 3-18 or V10 install.

Next they direct you to clean up the registry. You can do that manually or run a program like jv16 Power Tools to clean up the registry. If you are going to do this manually, backup your registry before starting. Also, restart the computer, especially if you are uninstalling v10 as it has a service running that is removed on reboot. (See: Microsoft’s Knowledge Base article Q322756) 3DConnexion points to these folders in the registry hive:

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\3Dconnexion
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\3Dconnexion

Delete both keys. The second one may or may not exist. On my Win7 it did not after I had installed old and new versions of the 3Dconnexion drivers.

Running a registry clean up and examining the entries found there were no SpaceNavigator entries left after completing the above steps.

Deciding on Version

Next there are two paths to getting a working SpaceNavigator for Second Life. The easy quick way is to use an older driver. Go to the Legacy drivers and get: v3-16-3 (03/28/2013) or v3-18-0 (6/5/2014). I’ve tried both v3 drivers and v10.

V3-16-3 installs and works plus it has the profile builder so you can hopefully program the SN’s buttons. I didn’t take the time to test it.

V3-18-0 installs and works too, sort of. The latest version 10 of this driver is dated: 08/13/2014, which is just 2 months newer than this legacy version. 3-18 also has the profile builder. The profile I built with 3-16 didn’t work with 3-18. So, if you are upgrading from 3-16 to 18, you may want to do a clean install and start over.

I was going to suggest using 3-18 as your driver on Windows 7. The 3-18 has the profile builder/editor. That is supposed to make setting up buttons for Second Life much easier. But, I can’t get my custom buttons to stick. They work for a few minutes then disappear. So, I can’t recommend 3-18 as the best way to go. I don’t remember the problem with 3-16, but I didn’t use it that much as I was just doing a quick test.

Basically I never got the right-hand SN button to work consistently in 3-18. I did get it to work in v10.

Whatever, the Legacy drivers are here: SpaceNavigator Legacy Drivers.

If you want to use your SN with other programs or as your only mouse, the v3 route is weak. The SN is more useful with v10.

The version 10 updates to SN provide additional support for various applications. Via the KMJ Emulator the SN works pretty well with 2D apps like Microsoft Word™ and Internet browsers.

They made a simpler user interface for general users, which kills it for power users and full on geeks. I would think this later group is more the demographic that would buy SN.

In the update they omitted profile creation part SL users were using to program the SN buttons and pushed that work on the application developers (Linden Lab). This pushes us into having to manually build parts of the system with a text editor.  Or wait for Linden Lab to update the viewer’s support for SpaceNavigator, which could happen as part of the Oculus Rift work.

The deadly problem now is the SN v10 software looks for a supported app and ONLY gives you the configuration page if it finds one. As best I can tell if an app does not have built in support from 3Dconnexion, there is no user interface for creating a new app profile. So, many of the pre-2013 posts are explaining profile creation processes that don’t work with v10 software.

The new file format is XML and very different than the old SCG format which is more of an INI style file. So, copying profiles over from v3 is out. Also, using info from posts about how to build profiles before v10 is out.

Decide and go 3 or 10. Installing 3 is easier, but didn’t work well for me. I’m using v10 and while it works it was a bit of a pain to get working.

Installing First Path – v3

Download the software from the Legacy page: SpaceNavigator Legacy Drivers.

Disable your anti-virus software. They say to disable your firewall somewhere in the instructions. I didn’t bother with that. I can’t see the install program going through the firewall for anything but updates and those doors are already open on most systems. Plus you want to avoid getting an update if you plan to use v3.

Right-click the install program and run it as an Administrator. Restart the computer after the install to be on the safe side.

Open the viewer of your choice, I’ll use the SL Viewer for examples, and enable the device via the top menu Preferences->Move & View then click the Other Devices button.

When you get the joystick panel open, the control to enable the device is in the upper left. To the right of it is the device name you are about to enable. If it is NOT SpaceNavigator, you have a problem. Chances are good you have the right device listed. But, if you have other game controllers installed, you may hit this problem.

See: BUG-6049Ability to select device in Joystick Config. This will explain the problem. Also, while you are there, please click watch. There is a work around for now. The work-around has to be used with a v10 install. So, I’ll explain it there, skim the headings for Device Work-Around.

That is pretty much it for a v3 install. (look below social buttons for page buttons)

37 thoughts on “3DConnextion SpaceNavigator v10 for Second Life

  1. About three years ago i updated my 3D mouse software which broke it, i had to downgrade to a legacy driver. The 3D mouse changed how i use SL for building, for making machinema. It empowers you with an ability to direct every moment of your SL experience like a cinematic movie. I can’t use SL without it.

  2. I picked-up a Space Navigator last week. the KMJ Emulator is a pain; as it spawns multiple devices whih can attempt to claim control of other hardware – such as a USB keyboard., any other gaming joystick installed, and so on.

    Not only did the KMJ emulator put itself at the head of the device driver table, thus making it the default when being detected by SL, I found that it also persistently threw-up a dialogue box asking me to configure it for use with Firefox, whether or not the latter was also running, and regardless as to whether I’d previously set the buttons …

    I also found the simplest solution was to de-install v 10 and install the 3.18 drivers. Everything is running fine now; all I needed to do was tweak SL’s SN defaults, which perhaps don’t give the best sensitivity when using the SN for filming.

  3. For me, just plugging the SpaceNavigator in and not installing any software or drivers for it (and uninstalling anything that it pulls in), was enough to get it working in SL and Blender. I believe these two applications have SN support built in, and don’t need anything else. to make it work.

    • Mine showed sign of life without the driver. But, I really wanted the flycam button working.

      • Is Flycam mode activated in the joystick settings? The latest 3D mouse may be somewhat different than earlier versions? Are you using the wireless version? Mine is hardwired.

        • Wired.

          Flycam can be activated by the keyboard shortcut Alt-Shift-F. That will happen whether you have a 3D mouse or not. It just works better with a 3D mouse. It is sort of active when we Alt-left-click and cam around.

  4. … you’re kidding me, right? SN no longer supports SL?
    This merits a thousand #facepalm tags. Ugh.
    Thank goodness I haven’t updated my drivers in forever.
    And thank you for posting the workaround.
    Keep up the good work.

    -ls/cm

    • Amazingly… and with new virtual worlds coming.

      There are about 6 lines that have to change to get one of the templates recognized by a SL viewer so a user can make use of their new GUI. I would expect them to have the files where a person could download them. I thought about putting the base file here in the blog, but they are fully copyrighted. So, I would need to chase down permission.

  5. I bought my SN very early on. I found it downright hazardous when building. Great for fly- abouts. Probably would be essential for machinima if I made any. I find it most effective for keeping my headphones from falling off the desk when I am not using them 🙂

  6. Strange. On mine that works without any additional work. Left button, Flycam; right button, jump.

  7. I have been using the SN for about 3+ years and found the best method is to not install any drivers or software with it. In that case the blue light will not work which is fine with me as the device works. Then you need to enable it in the Joystick Configurations in the viewer. The only tweak I make is to move the feather slider under “flycam” farthest to the left. I would not recommend using it to build although you can use the build mode in Machinima using this technique https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JfCBY-EqbM .

    • SN does work without a driver. But, I REALLY wanted to use the right-button to go in and out of Flycam mode.

      • Left button (flycam) works for me but I have a 3 yr+ mouse and no drivers installed in a multitude of viewers (probably a dozen). I don’t have any other applications I use it with and I have no other devices other than the regular mouse. Have you tried plugging it into a different USB port?

  8. works here and i updated drivers too.
    mine activate if i click on its left button and all the viewers seam not to need any special magic to use it. SN might be a bit difficult to guide the cam in default but its worth and putting zoom-mapping on roll is wonderful(even if it jumps after ALT-tab), also one could just use SN as a kind of focus-puller.

  9. I appreciate it already been said, but I use the Sopace navigator in all recent viewers (LL, Firestorm, CtlAltStudio and others) without installing any SN software or special drivers at all.

    But I do ensure I only have one joystick device plugged in at once (so Xbox 360 and a flight stick are not connected when I use my SN). And I have not wanted to use the SN with other tools to require their special s/w features.

    Just plug in, and under the Prteferences -> Move and View for the \Other Devices\ tick the \Enable joystick: spacenavigator\ and allow it to use the default settings for the SpaceNavigator.

    SN then controls avatar movement initially. Left clicker toggles to FlyCam or back to avatar movement. Right clicker activates jump. It all works great and very smoothly. I especially use it when making machinima.

    • I tried SN without drivers. The buttons were inactive. I don’t know why some people have working buttons and some don’t without the driver.

      I also wanted to have control of the SN and its buttons in other games and apps. As best I can tell the v10 driver makes the SN much more usable in a large variety of apps.

  10. Thanks for this advice.

    I had to reload my PC after a crash, and struggled with the SN re installation.

    Followed the post, and now have a fully working install again.

    Respects, and thanks again.

    Fuzzy

  11. Pingback: Second Life Photography 2015-05 | Nalates' Things & Stuff

  12. One piece of good news for legacy version 3.18 users. I notice that Maya 2015 still recognizes the driver and is usable. I also think that because Linden Labs encouraged utilization of the Space Navigator resulting many users purchasing and adopting it , that they have responsibility to ensure subsequent viewer versions are coded to work with the current drivers. This is just as important as texture or marketplace integration improvements within the viewer. LINDENS PLEASE LISTEN!

  13. Just wanted to say thanks for your help with this matter. I felt really bad when I saw that this expensive piece of hardware didnt work out of the box with SL and others softwares. Now I am trying to fight with the template matter. Really apreciate your help.
    PS: I leave a message for you in facebook 😉

  14. To go through the devices, right-click on each one in turn and select Properties. Then click the Details tab. Then in the Properties drop down select Hardware ID’s. That is where you will see a 3DXKMJ device name if you have one. Disable it.

    does not work for me , there is NOWERE to disable this:(

    • Mine always worked then I had it unplugged and then it couldn’t find the device. But…if I plugged it into a different usb port it worked immediately so try different ports.

  15. A new environment.
    – Windows 10
    – About 3DxWare
    3DxWare 10 version
    10.2.9
    3DxWinCore version
    17.2.9.11812
    Devices
    SpaceNavigator (firmware v.4.35)

    Recognizes Firestorm as an App and there seems to be no connection to SL.

    I have opened:
    http://jira.phoenixviewer.com/browse/FIRE-17001
    and…,
    3Dconnexion has yet to respond to my trouble report.

  16. https://www.3dconnexion.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=15815

    here is a working solution with latest 3dconnexion drivers. Works fine with my SpaceMouse Enterprise.

  17. Pingback: SpaceNavigator, Windows 10, and Second Life | Nalates' Things & StuffNalates’ Things & Stuff

  18. I know this post was from 3 years ago but has anyone found a fix for the newest? I have a SN wireless.. i can get it to work everywhere but Firestorm, I can sometimes get it to zoom in and out and that’s it. I’ve about gotten to the point of tossing it across my house because nothing seems to make it work. I’m frustrated with it

      • There is a circuit built into SpaceNavigators that prevents them from working until the user reaches a certain frustration level…

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