Total Time: 2 Hours
Total Cost: $55 CDN
I have rudimentary skills with a sewing machine, so lets just focus on the design of the project. :)
Step 1: Inventory
Here is what you need to start:
1. Miller Welding Harness Gen II - https://www.acklandsgrainger.com/en/product/HEADGE...
2. Sewing Machine
3. About 16 inches of 1 3/8" Elastic (the Firmer the Better)
4. Around 6" of Velcro at least 1 3/8" wide (The Stronger the Grip, the Better)
5. A pair (2) of 1 3/8" D-rings
Elastic, Velcro, and D-rings can usually be found at your local fabric store. The current Vive headset accommodates 1 3/8" straps so there isn't anything changed that will alter the headset directly. This will help quickly change out the existing harness and still keep your warranty intact.
Do yourself a favor and get the firmest (least stretchy) elastic you can. This helps immensely in keeping the headset in place. This can also be said for the Velcro. The higher grade, the better quality of your product.
Step 2: Remove Vive Harness
Start by taking off the current Harness off of your Vive headset. This includes the front HTC plastic cover that covers the HDMI/USB/Microphone Inputs. Take that piece right off and keep it safe.
If you are having troubles, head to HTC.com for tear-down instructions.
Step 3: Building the Side Straps
Cut (2) pieces of Elastic Strap 5" long.
Start with your D-Ring. Pin it in place and use your sewing machine to stitch directly across the elastic.
Note: Elastic can be a pain to work with, especially getting the foot of the sewing machine close to the D-Ring. Do yourself a favor and give yourself some space behind the D-ring when sewing across the elastic. Your stitch doesn't have to be butted right up against the D-ring, just get it as close as reasonable.
Step 4: Building Side Straps - Cont
Now that you have sewn the D-ring into place, you can sew the velcro onto the elastic strips you just cut.
Measure out and cut (2) 2" X 1 3/8" velcro strips. Its much easier to stick the Hook n Loop sides together when you make your cuts. Then peel them apart when you are ready to sew. Measure back about 1/4" from the end of your strips with the D-ring on it, then pin and sew the Loop side of Velcro in place. You want to leave a small 1/4" gap between the 2 velcro pieces, then pin and sew the Hook side beside the Loop side.
You want to end up with both the Loop and the Hook sides of the Velcro on the Same Side as your Elastic. You want to have the Loop(soft) side closest to the D-ring. Make sure both sides of velcro are face-up because when the strap goes through the loop on the headset, they will fold back onto one another.
VVV_Loop_VVV VVV_Hook_VVV D-Ring
Step 5: Side Straps - Finished Product
Now that you have your D-ring and Velcro sewed onto your 5" elastic strip, take the very end of the unfinished elastic (closest to the Hook side of velcro) fold it over, pin it, and sew it. This makes for a little loop you can grab much easier with your thumb and it also gives your Elastic strip a more finished look and stops the Elastic from fraying.
You have just completed the Hardest Part! Congrats!
Step 6: Front Strap
1. Cut yourself a 4" strip of Elastic.
2. Cut a 1 3/8" square piece of Velcro (both hook and loop sides)
3. Pin and sew your Hook side on one end of the Elastic Strip.
4. Flip Elastic Strip over. Pin and sew the Loop side on the opposite side of the Elastic Strip, face down. There are better details in the pictures.
5. The end result is an elastic hoop that folds on itself and is secured by the velcro. You can see in the pictures of the headset the finished product.
Step 7: Adding the Vive to the Welding Harness Pt 1
1. Take off the rectangular wire pieces attached to the sides of the Vive - Pics 1 and 2.
2. Thread the side pieces through that rectangle. Have the rectangle piece between the 2 pieces of velcro.
3. Fold side piece over on itself, push the velcro closed. Make sure the loose end of the side piece faces to the outside of the headset so you can adjust it.
4. Clip the rectangular pieces back onto the headset. I found it WAY too hard to try to thread the elastic piece through that clip when its attached to the headset. I highly recommend removing it completely, thread your new elastic piece through, then clip it back on the headset.
5. Undo the plastic nut assembly on the Miller headset. Place the D-ring on the bottom retainer. The retainer is square and if you look closely it has 3 little tips on the outsides of the square. Line the round part of your D-ring on these tips, they should fit darn near perfect. Then screw the top washer and nut back onto the headset. Flip over and do the same with the other side. Make sure you leave the side with the velcro tabs on the Outside of the headset or you wont be able to tighten them when its on your head.
Step 8: Adding the Vive to the Welding Harness Pt 2
1. Remember the top piece you took off to remove the HDMI/USB from the Vive? Thread the front Elastic piece through it leaving the Loop side bottom-front. (refer to pictures).
2. Once the front piece is threaded through the HTC plastic bracket, hook up the 3 in 1 cable back into the headset and clip the HTC bracket back in place. (Pro Tip: If you want to thread the 3 in 1 cable through the tops of the Miller Headset Straps, do it before hooking it up to the Vive.)
3. You should be left with both ends of the elastic sticking through the HTC bracket. Thread the Velcro/Elastic piece through the 3 in 1 cable (refer to pictures) Push the Miller Headset foam front piece down and secure it with the Elastic/Velcro piece.
Step 9: Adjusting the Headset.
Now that you have assembled your new headset you will find its far more adjustable than before. You can adjust the top 2 straps of the harness very easily through a peg-and-hole type system. Also you can use the plastic assemblies on either side you attached the D-ring; simply push in the top and bottom clips and you can move the Vive forward and back and click it into place. You can also tug on your new velcro retainers for added adjustment. Finally you also have the wheel at the back of the headset for that final snug feeling.
Step 10: Final Thoughts
This is my first Instructable, so hopefully its laid out in a way that's easy for you to follow.
Personally, I think this is a massive improvement in comfort over the standard HTC harness. I like that the weight is much more evenly distributed. I also like that the top of my head takes the weight of the headset rather than it being jammed into my face so it stays in place.
A couple things I have added since this build: My hair kept getting caught in the Miller harness so I took 2 Hard Hat sweatbands and wrapped them around the top 2 straps of the harness. They wrap around and velcro right to themselves, I just had to trim them for length. Cheap and easy fix.
Its personal preference, but I looped the 3-in-1 cable through the excess strap at the top of the Miller headset. This kept the cable off of my shoulder and down my back. Sometimes the cord twangs the adjustment knob at the back of my head. I may use a small velcro strip wrapped around the knob to keep the cable in place. We will see.
I hope this was informative for you. I'm always up for suggestions and tips, so dont be afraid to let me know.