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I am looking for a good Joystick to go with the TW sims. any suggestions.

I would prefer it to be of HOTAS configuration, not many issues, and under $200.

 

Thank you

i really want to get the best out of my games

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I am looking for a good Joystick to go with the TW sims. any suggestions.

I would prefer it to be of HOTAS configuration, not many issues, and under $200.

 

Thank you

i really want to get the best out of my games

I expect that you'll get lots of personal choices on this topic - this question has been seen here before. For myself I use the CH Products USB FighterStick and ProThrottle (http://www.chproducts.com/retail/index.html), which I've found to be simple to program and robust in construction. Also they give me a fine level of control, especially useful for simulated A2A refuelling and carrier landings.

 

I researched the opposition at the time of my purchase as, I'm sure you know, most HOTAS systems are not cheap. The alternatives at the time were the Thrustmaster Cougar HOTAS (http://cougar.frugalsworld.com/) and Saitek X52 HOTAS system (http://www.amazon.com/Saitek-X52-Flight-Co...4664&sr=8-1) - the Saitek Pro system not being released at that time (http://www.amazon.com/Saitek-X52-Flight-Sy...4664&sr=8-2).

 

In the end I shortlisted the Cougar and the CH setup. For me, the reviews I read on problems with the Cougar's build quality won the day for the CH Products lineup, and I've been very happy with my choice. In summary, the CH kit I have is comfortable to hold, has a solid feel, is stable on the desktop, has plenty of programmable buttons (I rarely touch the keyboard when flying these days), and is responsive to my smallest inputs. So for me it gets the job done admirably.

 

If you get the chance to get your hands on all of the competitors before you buy, then I guess that would help you choose, together with what fits into your budget. As I said at the start, it's a very personal choice.

 

Regards, comrpnt.

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I had considered the HOTAS Cougar, CH, X52 Pro. I chose the X52 Pro because of the price at $146.99 but also because of the non-contact technology of the stick. Meaning no potentiometers to get dirty and start malfunctioning. The Cougar can be modified with these hall sensors at no small expense if you are capable to do it. But I'm banking on this non-contact technology to last longer and be more reliable. So far the two months I've had it have gone well. Does anybody now of any other HOTAS that comes with this non-contact technology - hall sensors?

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Guest 531_Ghost

You can get the FighterStick and ProThrottle for less than $200. You can add the ProPedals later, if you'd like. Programming software (Control Manager) for CH Products is pretty easy to use. The hardware is pretty bullet proof. I've had my FighterStick for over 5 years now. I've beta tested a few ProThrottles (hardware changes). Beta tested Control Manager 2.0-4.5 and even wrote a Control Manager for Dummies to go along with the already helpful, help file.

 

I'm currently running:

FighterStick

ProThrottle

ProPedals

Throttle Quadrant

Multi Function Panel

1/2 a Throttle Quadrant (modded TQ)

 

All of them are in the same profile for what ever sim I'm flying.

 

Most of all, pick what suits you, and have fun.

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I've been fortunate enough to have tried pretty much all of the choices available today, due to my 2nd job.

 

I can say it is a personal choice, with pluses and minuses to each type, due to personal taste, but I keep finding myself returning to the Saitek X-52.

 

Would love to get the Pro version, but with the lack of PC games in general, and combat sims in particular, my ability to lay hands on review copies

has curtailed my column writing to almost non-existence...

 

:shok:

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I've been fortunate enough to have tried pretty much all of the choices available today, due to my 2nd job.

 

I can say it is a personal choice, with pluses and minuses to each type, due to personal taste, but I keep finding myself returning to the Saitek X-52.

 

Would love to get the Pro version, but with the lack of PC games in general, and combat sims in particular, my ability to lay hands on review copies

has curtailed my column writing to almost non-existence...

 

:shok:

Well, its within my budget and i feel the x-52/pro along with ch rudder pedals from amazon is the cheapest way to the full set. i think ill add in a 1-2 year warranty from amazon on the stick due to some problems. i don't feel like spending $300+ to get the full ch fighterstick-throttle-pedals combo.

 

Is there a way to disable the rudder-twist in WO* so i can use pedals instead.

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I too am a proponent of the CH products.

 

I have re-potted my Flightstick Pro recently (it was easy, CH uses friction connectors, no solder). I have a box of hangar queen CH peripherals to cannibalize from.

 

Also running pro pedals and pro throttle. I am still in the dark ages of the gameport connectors. Guess I'll have to upgrade to USB when I build my new machine.

 

I am intrigued by the hall effect hardware (CH makes some too). Also itching to get one of CH's MFPs to.

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At one time, gogamer.com had the x-52 pro for $100... so I grabbed it and used the $100 I saved to get the Saitek Pro Rudder pedals to match.

Haven't regretted it one bit, but I have always been happy with my X-36 USB and X-45.

But I built a custom stick using a real F-4 phantom stick and grip which uses an MS Sidewinder Precision Pro 2 for the usb interface.

So, I am mainly using the X-52 Pro for its throttle.

 

My main problem with using CH Products would be their throttle.

I just don't care for it at all... look, feel, or functionality.

I don't care for the quality of Thrustmaster's products at all other than the feel and look of the Cougar.

Now if CH Products bought out Thrustmaster and mixed their quality components and customer support with the Cougar's externals...

 

So, as far as I am concerned, there are only two choices for sticks/throttles/rudder pedals:

Saitek Pro series and CH Products.

Either one should work well, just personal preferences (actually getting to put your hands on them and try out the mechanisms is very important) and price need to be considered to pick one.

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At one time, gogamer.com had the x-52 pro for $100... so I grabbed it and used the $100 I saved to get the Saitek Pro Rudder pedals to match.

Haven't regretted it one bit, but I have always been happy with my X-36 USB and X-45.

But I built a custom stick using a real F-4 phantom stick and grip which uses an MS Sidewinder Precision Pro 2 for the usb interface.

So, I am mainly using the X-52 Pro for its throttle.

 

My main problem with using CH Products would be their throttle.

I just don't care for it at all... look, feel, or functionality.

I don't care for the quality of Thrustmaster's products at all other than the feel and look of the Cougar.

Now if CH Products bought out Thrustmaster and mixed their quality components and customer support with the Cougar's externals...

 

So, as far as I am concerned, there are only two choices for sticks/throttles/rudder pedals:

Saitek Pro series and CH Products.

Either one should work well, just personal preferences (actually getting to put your hands on them and try out the mechanisms is very important) and price need to be considered to pick one.

 

yeah i saw your pics of the F-4 stick in the tw forum. all you need is pack the electronics into a smaller box. you could do it by sawing off an old joystick and reconnecting the wires.

 

But for my controllers ill go with my fore-mentioned plan

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I used to my Cougar but got hooked on CH products. I have the MFP, the flight stick, the pro throttle, the throttle quadrant, and the pedals. Hands down the best set up I have ever used. In fact commander I am willing to sell you my Cougar really really cheap. Saitek controllers remind me of a bike with training wheels. I hate the way they look. Just horrid. Remind me you should be playing some arcade game instead of flight simming with them.

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Curious. I have a set of the saitek pedals - very nice, would they work OK with the CH system?

 

I'd assume yes, but one never knows.

 

Thanks,

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USB rudder pedals (in their current implementation) are standalone controllers.

As long as a game is capable of recognizing more than one controller, any USB rudder pedals are compatible with with any game controller...

However, configuration software might pose problems.

Saitek software is notoriously buggy, but I know of people who used Saitek throttles (thru Saitek sticks) at the same time as CH Sticks and pedals with no problems, presumably using both CH and Saitek software at the same time.

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I never, ever use the controller's software.

 

Any game I've seen since USB became standard will find a Windows recognized controller, and let you work with it.

 

Some are better than others, but the Thirdwire series is one of the best, if not the best I've seen for configuring.

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I used to my Cougar but got hooked on CH products. I have the MFP, the flight stick, the pro throttle, the throttle quadrant, and the pedals. Hands down the best set up I have ever used. In fact commander I am willing to sell you my Cougar really really cheap. Saitek controllers remind me of a bike with training wheels. I hate the way they look. Just horrid. Remind me you should be playing some arcade game instead of flight simming with them.

 

The Saitek throttle looks and functions more like a military throttle.

The only issue I had with the look of the X-36 was the handguard... don't know why they insist on keeping the hand guard.

Overall, I really like the look, feel, and functionality of the X-52 Pro.

The "space glow" LEDs can be toned down or even turned off completely.

 

I can remember when you were very pro Cougar and were considering buying/installing the mods to make it better.

With the force sensing stick mod, it makes the Cougar an extremely accurate simulation of the F-16 stick.

If I had been an F-16 fanatic the way I am about the F-4, I would have a Cougar with all the mods.

While expensive, a fully modded Cougar is very authentic and has outstanding quality.

 

My F-4 stick has easily cost me more than a Cougar with mods and is only a stick with a trigger, 4-way thumb hat, 3 buttons, and 1 lever switch.

Of course, other than the lack of mechanical connections to control surface hydraulics and the lack of an artificial feel weight system that provided real F-4 pilots with force feedback, my stick is 100% what real F-4s used (and mostly the same as the F-15 and A-10 with nearly identical versions of the grip being common to quite a few other past aircraft including some helocopters).

Bank account down quite a bit... but greatly enchanced immersion for combat flight simming from the P-80 to the F-15A for the rest of my life is priceless!

 

If you don't mind the look and feel of CH Products, their quality, customer support, and software can't be beat...

 

But for my purposes, Saitek has been the better choice aside from the never ending revisions of the buggy software:

1. Better price than CH Products ($100 was the most I paid for complete stick/throttle HOTAS, and that was for the X-52 Pro).

2. Comparable durability (all of my Saitek sticks are still 100% functional after years of nearly continous use!)

3. Closer in fit, looks, and function to my ideal (something resembling F-4/F-15 sticks/throttles). I think the X-36 USB was their best release as the throttle and stick both had exactly the look/fit/functionality I want. If the X-52 Pro's higher quality components were used to make a new X-36 with the handguard removed... then I would have pretty much my ideal HOTAS in terms of looks/functionality and quality.

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Very true SE. But after I got a CH set up I was a convert. However your F-4 stick would the pinnacle of it all. I could never pass that up.

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if you're willing to risk it you can attach the f4 stick to the x36 shaft and reconfigure the wires to link to the f4 stick. it would look much better that your open wood frame.

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Guest 531_Ghost
I never, ever use the controller's software.

 

:blink: Yer REALLY missing out on (for CH Products) a LOT of programming goodness then! Waaaaay more than any other controller/HOTAS on the market today. As well as proper calibration, to be done in Control Manager, not Windoz.

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if you're willing to risk it you can attach the f4 stick to the x36 shaft and reconfigure the wires to link to the f4 stick. it would look much better that your open wood frame.

 

There is no easy way to attach the F-4 stick to any joystick shaft...

The way I am doing it right now precisely echoes the exact angular movements made with the F-4 stick.

The F-4 stick has a barrel which transmits the roll angle by rotating and a pushrod that transmits the pitch angle using back and forth linear motion.

Rolling the barrel rotates the linear pushrod/pipe.

My solution was specially constructed to permit sensing roll and pitch separately and precisely: there is zero interaction between the mechanicals.

To properly use an intact joystick frame would require mechanicals even uglier than what I have done to create a linkage that would faithly move the tick the correct x and y angles with no interaction between the two.

 

I looked at a lot of homebuilt projects and almost all of the sticks use a long central stick that almost directly connects to the joystick on the floor.

Some have linkages (that in general were bulkier than my little R/C pushrods), but none of them use the actual barrel/pushrod mechanism that the F-4 has, so I didn't see anything that would work the way I needed it too.

 

If you look closely at the photos of my contraption, you will see that the entire pitch sensing mechanism is mounted on the rolling barrel so that the linkage between the pot and the moving pushrod does not have to deal with the push rod's rotation.

Also, the length of the lever arm between the pushrod and the pot is the same as the distance between the stick's pivot axis and the pushrod attachment point, which solves the problem of the vertical movement of the pushrod as the stick rotates about its pivot axis... the rotation at the pot end perfectly replicates the rotation at the stick grip end.

 

The other pot is hooked up in a similar way: the angular rotation of the barrel produces the same rotation of the pot.

 

It may look ugly... but it is engineered to produce exactly the inputs I wanted to the joystick pots.

I don't like using pots, but in this case, they are by far the best solution to my problem and is the reason I decided to cut up my MS stick rather than my X-45.

I don't believe I could have rigged the X-45 internals to give me this precision without making a large and complex linkage system requiring fabrication of specialized parts.

Wood is ugly, but easy to work with and I have plenty of it laying around.

Once I have all the electrical components assembled and working, I can worry about trying to make a nice enclosure to hide some of the mess.

 

What I really wanted to do was use a rumble pad controller since my F-4 stick has a stick shaker that I could probably modify to be driven by the rumble force feedback logic. But the little joystick nub of the gamepad controller would have been as hard to use as a joystick base and I have no way of knowing if the real F-4 stick shaker is still functional or whether I would be able to easily generate whatever voltage signals it needs to work (possibly some form of 400 Hz power since it is an aircraft?).

Edited by streakeagle

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Guest USNadpc

Commander,

 

Your parameters set in your post (cost under $200.00) limits you to the x52 Pro. I have owned several CH fightersticks and 2 pro throttles and I agree with streakeagle's criticism of the pro-throttle. ergonomically it sucks.

 

I also agree with streakeagle on the modded Cougar. I"ll put my Uber2nxt with Cubpilot's hall sensors and Simped F-16s up against the CH FS & throttle any day. You (and anyone else) are welcome to come over and try it anytime.

 

Low budget = Saitek x52 pro

Mid range = CH Fighterstick and pro throttle.

Expensive = Hotas modified.

 

For your purposes ($200.00) limit I think the Saitek is the way to go.

 

USNadpc

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Is there a way to disable the rudder-twist in WO* so i can use pedals instead.

The X-52 twist function can be locked so the stick doen't turn. And within the sim you can reasign any axis you like (eg. the rudder peddals movement) to do that function.

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Yeah, i think im going to go with the x-52 pro with ch products pedals. because amazon has $10 on bill me later it should only cost $240. where ch products would be above $300.

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CH all the way, baby. Ive had two F16/Combatstic/Fightersticks (562?) -- whatever the ehll it's called; I'd still be using my original HOTAS setup, but the damn things are serial, and my XPS is all usb

 

Perfectly good throttle and stick set up, sitting in the closet nicely stored in their boxes.

 

I once looked at Saitek, but my hand is too big for the stick (NOBODY say NOTHING about that!! :rolleyes: ), especially with that 'trigger guard' handle thingy in front. Cutting it off would just not be cool...

 

Wrench

kevin stein

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