SteamVR auto starts when charging trackers

To disable this edit this file

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\config\steamvr.vrsettings

Add the following JSON key:

"power":
  {
    "autoLaunchSteamVROnButtonPress":false
  }
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Using Valve Index and plugging trackers into computer through power only USB-C plugs is still causing issues.

Adding that json to steamvr.vrsettings with notepad++ causes it to delete and generate a new steamvr.vrsettings file. File has no information and requires you to completely setup playspace, controllers/trackers, and settings.

Have not tried other editors yet but there is a minor workaround.
Unplug Dongle McDongleface and plug in to charge from non-computer power source.

Possible cause: controllers seem to turn on when given external power instead of just staying off.

Edit: If additional information is needed or clarification is needed, let me know.

Any plans to prevent this without having end-users modify json files?

We hope so although it is not 100% in our control. Part of the fix may need to be implemented in SteamVR

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It’s it possible you forgot to put a comma making the json invalid? If you are adding it at the start (after the first { in the file) you’ll have to put a comma after the } at the end of the power key.

It would make sense for the file to be recreated if you corrupted it by turning it into invalid json.

…That may explain why my SteamVR settings just reset. Missed a comma.

I might have the first time, but the second time I tried it I made sure to add it. Still had the same issue.

While the Json might work for some, the other issue is still that my set of trackers turn on when you start to charge them. Not sure if the power issue is just my particular set or something that others had issues with.

I’m fine with editing a JSON but I think it would be nice if we could disable this behaviour without having to deactivate starting SteamVR via the headset button as well, as that’s something actually useful.

After paying special attention to make sure I put in the proper comma, I can say that adding the line simply causes steam to nuke my configuration and start on plug-in anyway.

Edit: and now SteamVR is crashing on launch. Something must not like manual settings being edited.

Edit 2: Restarting fixed it, but my settings getting reset certainly isn’t great.

Mine already had a “power” section - if yours does as well, you’ll need to add the key to the existing section.

Video of performing this:

For anyone who tried this and had their settings reset, it’s likely due to the type of “quotation marks” used in that code example. It used “Smart Quotes” that curl rather than the correct "Dumb Quotes" which don’t.

Also, within the "power": { } curly braces, every line except the last should have a comma at the end of it.

The final code should look similar to this, with "autoLaunchSteamVROnButtonPress" added at the top:

   "power" : {
      "autoLaunchSteamVROnButtonPress" : false,
      "turnOffControllersTimeout" : 0,
      "turnOffScreensTimeout" : 300
   },
1 Like

Thank you for catching this, I modified the OP to be more dumb :smiley:

While this is a useful workaround, the chargers should not power on and connect to a dongle when plugged to a charger in the off state. This workaround prevents users from launching SteamVR from the headset button or by powering up their devices.

Any chance for a fix in the tracker firmware to stop them powering up when connected to a usb charger, or is this a hardware limitation?

7 Likes

Yeah, I was given a link to this when I asked other users about it who ran into the same issue, these trackers are the only device so far I’ve used in the SteamVR ecosystem that operate in this manner and it seems to clash with how its expected to operate. Plugging them in really shouldn’t turn them on, neither should unplugging them, just like other devices (controllers, other trackers, etc) their power state should be reliant on a physical button push to turn them on.

Seeing as this was my first interaction with the trackers, it lead to quite a bit of confusion, its an unexpected behavior that comes off as a bug/defect, even outside of the SteamVR ecosystem I can’t think of anything primarily used on battery and charged by USB that turns its self on to full function when connected to power without some sort of deliberate action besides just plugging it in.

I’ve seen another thread where it was explained that this is intended behavior because people want to use them with external power, however that user base is probably much smaller than the primary user base and turning the tracker on with the button does not diminish any functionality the device has when powered externally, nor is it an extraordinary extra step the users would need to take to use the device.

Certainly something I’d like to see a fix for, and probably something that would be a good idea to fix before there’s complacency to the unwanted behavior.

4 Likes

I definitely agree that this shouldn’t be the default behavior. I get why some people might want to use it this way, but the userbase is overwhelmigly casual users for VRChat. When we’re done, we plug them in so they’re ready for the next time we want to play.

I feel this is partially an issue from the lack of built in POGO pins. With Vive trackers, traditionally you power it on via the POGO pin when you’re using it in an installation where it’s out of reach. But since you need a breakout board for the Tundras, you can’t do that without extra work. Tundra accounted for this by making it the default, but it hurts the regular consumer who wants to use their trackers for the day, plug them in when they’re done, and then have them for the next day.

4 Likes

i would also like to comment that the default power on behavior is unexpected and would greatly appreciate a change in firmware for this at some time!

my sw7 has heat issues so i’m unplugging the dongle after each session which helps mitigate this, but once i have a heat management solution in place i would prefer not need to manually turn off each tracker after plugging them in to charge before closing steamvr at the end of each session

3 Likes

Yeah, the auto starting of steamvr when plugging in the tracker is rather annoying. Disabling auto launch on button press is a even bigger inconvenience.
Sometimes you turn steamvr off but forgot to plug in the trackers, now when someone plugs them in it relaunches steamvr again. Even worse is if the base stations go into standby, then that happens and they reboot, that quickly wears down the motors.

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