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…
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-6049 – Ability to select device in Joystick Config. Please visit that page and click Watch. Another one to watch is Loki’s RIFT-52 – 3D 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
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:
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-6049 – Ability 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)