Sensable Phantom Omni

Last weekend I decided to dust off my Sensable Phantom Omni (now the 3D Systems Geomagic Touch, but I bought mine before Geomagic bought Sensable and 3D Systems bought Geomagic), and see if it was still usable. I had to order a PCIe 1394b card, but other than that, I hooked it up, and the Phantom drivers seemed to install correctly on Windows 10. However, when running the Phantom demo software, anytime a program tried to access the motors, the program would crash. Sensor reading seemed ok, but I couldn't get any feedback.

A quick call to the Geomagic Freeform support line turned up the solution. As with many video products that used 1394b, the Phantom Omni requires the "Legacy" firewire drivers. These were included with Windows up to Windows 7, but as of Windows 8 and above, are no longer included with the operating system.

The legacy 1394 drivers can now be retrieved from the Microsoft Support Site.

After installing the drivers and changing the 1394 PCIe interface to use the Legacy drivers (process documented here), I rebooted and the demos worked fine, with force feedback and all!

Along the way, I also found some information on repairing internal cable breakage in the Omni, by a research team at John Hopkins University. The original site had died, but the instructions and images were still available at this link via the Internet Archive.

Anyways, hope this helps others that still want to get some life out of their haptic controllers!