Cable problems are actually the Achilles heel of the Valve Index. So before you get too upset with Pimax for having received a defective cable, you should know that Pimax is not alone in cable struggles. In fact, I’m pretty sure the Index suffers from it worse than Pimax does. Cable failures on the Index are very common, and I’m pretty sure they are the most common way that the Index breaks (2nd most common being stick drift). My Index cables were lasting about 6 months each (admittedly with heavy use). Nearly everyone I know suffers cable failures on a regular basis. Valve is good about RMA’ing them, but it takes time. And it’s good that they RMA because those cables are $130 each.
HP has had big problems with their cables on the Reverb headsets, too. Supposedly that’s something they improved/fixed with their recent refresh of the G2.
The technical requirements for VR tether cables are inherently extremely difficult, and this is why we see so many problems across most of the products on the market. Most of these are custom cables which are thick because they contain many individual wires which are each unusually thin in order to make the whole cable not be even thicker. They are also very long cables. And they are constantly moving in operation (versus say a regular monitor cable that normally stays in a static position for years), being stepped on, and getting kinked. And on top of all that, these cables have to run unusually high bitrates and frequencies. All of that is a very tall order for a cable to stand up to.
So it really isn’t “Cables are so simple and have been a solved problem for decades. How could Pimax possibly screw that up?!” It really is a difficult engineering problem and an area of cutting edge development and research.
Like virtually every other VR headset on the market, Pimax uses custom cables. But unusually, they have a second option with their fiberoptic cable. I would recommend you either RMA your standard cable or upgrade to the fiberoptic cable.
I haven’t had a Pimax long enough to know, but I expect the fiberoptic cable to have much better longevity just based on its design. Just looking around on forums, I see a lot of reports of standard cable failures similar to what I’ve seen with the Index which isn’t surprising. It’s the same kind of cable with the same challenges. But theoretically the fiberoptic cable should be more durable and reliable. And the cable routing on Pimax headsets is much better than the cable routing on the Index.
I’m curious how Pimax’s fiberoptic cables have held up over time for customers that have had them longer? I haven’t been seeing complaints of fiberoptic cable failures like I have for standard cables.