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XyZspineZyX
09-07-2003, 01:44 AM
Ok word is that Microsoft is getting out of the business of making sticks. I have an MS sidewinder 2 and I like very much. When it dies what options are left. Thrustmaster is very expensive...but is it any good? Any jocks out there playing with one now and why is the web not accessible?

PS: I also have a Logitech but does not come close to the MS2

PS2(no pun intended)..What about CH sticks?


Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional!

XyZspineZyX
09-07-2003, 01:44 AM
Ok word is that Microsoft is getting out of the business of making sticks. I have an MS sidewinder 2 and I like very much. When it dies what options are left. Thrustmaster is very expensive...but is it any good? Any jocks out there playing with one now and why is the web not accessible?

PS: I also have a Logitech but does not come close to the MS2

PS2(no pun intended)..What about CH sticks?


Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional!

XyZspineZyX
09-07-2003, 01:50 AM
CH sticks are very expensive; Thrustmaster's can be had for a more affordable price, but at best will last about 2 years before starting to wear out. Theres also some Saitek sticks that can be had for a good price too.

http://www.mechmodels.com/images/klv_ubisig1a.jpg

XyZspineZyX
09-07-2003, 02:00 AM
I'm in Canada. Everything is expensive.(He smiles while slipping on mittens and felt lined boots)

Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional!

XyZspineZyX
09-07-2003, 02:08 AM
never had a MS stick :/ .... thank goodness /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif
have a Saitek X45 HOTAS with -sorry like the twist- Wingman Strike force 3d as main stick (FFB too) but would give

anything


to get my old Gravis Firebird II online gain /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-mad.gif

<center> http://members.home.nl/lil.labbit/lilseesya.jpg
Night is better than Day</center>

XyZspineZyX
09-07-2003, 02:28 AM
Spend as much as you can afford to. Go for a HOTAS of some kind. Get as many buttons and sliders on it as possible.

You won't regret doing that, you might regret not doing that though.

For specific sticks, it depends on your budget. I am partial to the TM Cougar HOTAS, but many here are very hostile toward it.

It's stiff springs add to the feeling of being in an old plane with heavy controls. It also helps for precision. Does take getting used to though.

The all metal contruction = an exterior that is absolutely bullet proof. It also feels fantastic. After this, all other sticks feel like cheap toys in all honesty.

It is a big stick, if your hands are small it's not for you. Its size helps for leverage to overcome the springs though.

It's programability is insane, has it's own language, 28 buttons + an 8-way hat, and 7 axes.

However, all it not perfect. It uses cheap pots that require semi-regular maintenance to aviod spiking. The speed brake button is off alignment on just about every unit. And cheap soft metal is used inside the stick leading to increased center play over time. For a stick that costs $300 US that is pretty disappointing. There are fixes available that are drop in mods, but, that's another $400+US.

All things considered though, the play isn't that bad, you can fix it yourself for damm near free if you're resourceful enough, there is a huge user community, and the funcitonality and feel is second to none (IMO). Despite it's problems I'd not use anything else, personally. And I'd buy it all over again if I had to, even knowing thse issues. Consider it something of a hobby in it's own right. It can be very rewarding.

Now watch, BuzzU will come in and slam the Cougar to the ends of the earth. lol

I tried to present both sides, go to cougar.frugalsworld.com for more info. The forums will let you see exactly what's up, both good and bad, with it.


Message Edited on 09/07/0301:35AM by BlitzPig_DDT

XyZspineZyX
09-07-2003, 02:54 AM
BlitzPig_DDT wrote:

-
- Now watch, BuzzU will come in and slam the Cougar to
- the ends of the earth. lol



If he does I would be suprised. He's been trying to buy one on the Cougar World forums for a couple weeks now.

XyZspineZyX
09-07-2003, 02:57 AM
Thank you DDT....I will be checking out the site. Precision is a must. Otherwise I may as well be flying a VWBug.(Circa 65)

Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional!

XyZspineZyX
09-07-2003, 03:33 AM
DDT never has a clue about me. Check this out.

http://forums.frugalsworld.com/vbb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=48276









25th_Buzz
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<center>
http://www.vfa25.com/sigs/buzz.jpg

XyZspineZyX
09-07-2003, 04:41 AM
What is the Everstrain mod?

I had a chance to handle a Couger and one of the earlier TM HOTAS set ups, and was not tremendously impressed. I know they are great sticks and many people love them, but I'm not overly fond of the modern style flightsticks. Then again, I still haven't found a stick that I really like.

Currently I use a MS FFB2 but with MS dropping out of the controller market, I'm kind of hosed too. The X-45 is to small to fit my hands, and Logitech's joysticks break down very quickly. CH seems to make good controllers, but I really would like force feedback. I suppose I'm just picky about joysticks.

Harry Voyager

http://groups.msn.com/_Secure/0YQDLAswcqmIpvWP9dLzZVayPXOmo6IJ16aURujNfs4dDETH84 Q6eIkCbWQemjqF6O8ZfvzlsvUUauJyy9GYnKM6!o3fu!kBnWVh BgMt3q2T3BUQ8yjBBqECLxFaqXVV5U2kWiSIlq1s6VoaVvRqBy Q/Avatar%202%20500x500%20[final).jpg?dc=4675409848259594077

XyZspineZyX
09-07-2003, 05:10 AM
BuzzU wrote:
- DDT never has a clue about me. Check this out.
-
- <a
- href="http://forums.frugalsworld.com/vbb/showthrea
- d.php?s=&threadid=48276"
- target=_blank>http://forums.frugalsworld.com/vbb/s
- howthread.php?s=&threadid=48276</a>
-
I would bite myself at the bait Buzz but I do not have any of the super mods. Just all three hall sensors and I had my gimbals taken to a machine shop for some bearings. All and all I have spent $600 or so on mine in the past year and lovin it. That includes the purchase price.

XyZspineZyX
09-07-2003, 05:39 AM
BuzzU wrote:
- DDT never has a clue about me.

Don't need a clue. I knew you'd go the opposite. You're prdictable to the extreme. lol

You do like to oppose me as much as possible, and, this is another of your classic about faces. Too bad we lost all the posts at the old sty. I still remember you ****ing on it endlessly over there. Even if your selective memory doesn't. lol /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-tongue.gif

XyZspineZyX
09-07-2003, 05:42 AM
HarryVoyager wrote:
- What is the Everstrain mod?

The Evenstrain mod is a mod that totally redoes the gimbal and spring system inside the stick. It uses 4 extension springs stretched to the 4 corners. It also uses Hall Effet Sensors only.

The end result is no spiking, reduced tension, no more center play, and a removal of the definite X or Y feel of the stock unit.

Nice stuff. Wish I could afford it.

Gonna just work something out on my own. I mean, even if I had a spare $300 - $500 I'd spend it on chassis parts for hte Ram Air anyway. lol

XyZspineZyX
09-07-2003, 05:57 AM
Oi.

Do you know if the guy could be talked into simply building a stick base outright?

Harry Voyager

http://groups.msn.com/_Secure/0YQDLAswcqmIpvWP9dLzZVayPXOmo6IJ16aURujNfs4dDETH84 Q6eIkCbWQemjqF6O8ZfvzlsvUUauJyy9GYnKM6!o3fu!kBnWVh BgMt3q2T3BUQ8yjBBqECLxFaqXVV5U2kWiSIlq1s6VoaVvRqBy Q/Avatar%202%20500x500%20[final).jpg?dc=4675409848259594077

XyZspineZyX
09-07-2003, 05:58 AM
I use the Thrustmaster Top Gun(tm) AfterBurner(tm) II and it is a good inexpensive stick. Not alot of buttons and no extra sliders though (rudder rocker and 4 buttons on throttle and hat and 4 buttons on twistable stick, but you can't use both the stick twist and throttle rocker, it is one or the other). My first one lasted a couple years, I got a new one which quit after a couple days, returned it under warranty and the replacement has bee working fine.

Thrustmaster seems to be going through some sort of "reorginaisation" or something. The Afterbuirner II is not available from them but can still be found new for $40-$60.

From what I have seen a truly great setup casts many hundreds of dollars, and I just don't think it's worth it.

You know the current Thrustmaster is a different company than the old (many years ago) Thrustmaster. They used to have a very reasonably priced optical joystick, and I havn't been able to find one since (the springs broke or i'd still be using it I bet).

XyZspineZyX
09-07-2003, 06:00 AM
Korolov wrote:
- Thrustmaster's can be
- had for a more affordable price, but at best will
- last about 2 years before starting to wear out.


I can't agree with this, unless you're possibly referring to the cheaper $40 range of TM gear.

I purchased an F-16 FLCS, TQS and RCS in 1995. About a year or so later I replaced the FLCS with an F22 Pro - not because the FLCS had gone bad, but because I wanted the stiffer springs of the F22 (as well as the metal base).

The whole setup served me well and flawlessly until I replaced it with a Cougar that I got when it was released in the US.

I kept the RCS for myself, and the F22/TQS combo (now an SWF22) was passed on to my father, who uses it with a set of TM Elite pedals.

It's still working just as good (better actually, due to the SWF upgrade) as it did the day I got it.

8 years, going on 9 with no problems. That's hard to beat.

To be fair, within the last 2 weeks the pot on my RCS started getting flaky and spiked a lot, to the point where even a 27% deadzone around the center wouldn't keep it from going crazy. I pulled the pot out, disassembled it and cleaned it, and it's back to being perfectly centered, dead stable, no spikes and only 7% center deadzone again. Good as new.

I fully expect my Cougar to last just as long, but even if it only lasts 5 years, that comes out to $50/year, which is what you'd spend on some MS or Logitech stick, which still wouldn't have been as nice or good as the Cougar.

Two years isn't enough time to even start breaking in the TM gear, in my experience. I've used a lot of joysticks by just about every manufacturer out there over the last 20 years, and nothing else has been as durable or good as the TM gear.

It's expensive, but it's worth every penny.

XyZspineZyX
09-07-2003, 06:18 AM
DDT,

Notice the dates on the frugal thread. I didn't go opposite because of what you said on this thread. I had already made the decision, and you just guessed wrong about i'd say here.

I've always said the Cougar was the best stick once it's modified. I just think it's not any good the way it comes out of the box.



25th_Buzz
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
<center>
http://www.vfa25.com/sigs/buzz.jpg

XyZspineZyX
09-07-2003, 06:58 AM
I just got my third joystick (MS Sidewinder FFB), I am getting happier, but not nirvanan yet.

From reading all the threads about this topic, it seems there is a market for a high(er) end joystick & hotas setup for combat sims. Who would agree to pay $ 1000 for the following?

- all metal construction
- precision machined mechanics inside and high end electronic parts
- separate joystick/ throttle HOTAS and pedals
- FORCE FEEDBACK
- No frills (such as molded parts that can only be mass produced)

If enough people are interested (50?), we might be able to specify the device and get enough pre-orders to convince some manufacturer or maybe a clever workshop to build it for us?

I definitely would invest $ 1000 in this.

My problem is I could not take the lead, as I am not familiar with the high end setups you guys talk about (Cougar, X.45, CH) - never got on my shopping list because I definitely positively want FFB.

Cheers

XyZspineZyX
09-07-2003, 07:10 AM
The Thrustmaster Fox2 Pro Shock is a resonable, cheap FF stick. Not outstanding, but does a good enough job IMHO.

There seems to be a problem with their site just now (frustrating when you're after new drivers). I've never tried the CH joysticks but am teaming a Pro Throttle with the above stick.

HTH

Mike

<center>http://www.btinternet.com/~lenazavaroni/images/tva_01a.jpg

<font size="+4">What a fox!</font></center>

XyZspineZyX
09-07-2003, 07:11 AM
a good site to see some of the Cougar mods is,


http://mpgnetz.de/images/cougar/tips3.html

XyZspineZyX
09-07-2003, 08:21 AM
Harry, the Evenstrain basically is a new stick base. It's just the insides though. I forget if it's a user drop in or if you need to send the base out.

No real point in making the base, exterior and all from scratch. Not unless you can create USB circuits. Then you could just make your own entirely.

I entertained this thought for some time. Unfortunately I have been unable to locate all the data I need for using the USB interface. The best that can be done is to canabalize an existing stick/unit.

Something I will need to do for my home built PS2 arcade stick project. (only not USB there, another PS2 controller, obviously. lol)

XyZspineZyX
09-07-2003, 09:35 AM
Pardon for interrupting...

- Ok word is that Microsoft is getting out of the
- business of making sticks.

What is the source of this rumor?
Just checked the Microsoft on-line shop and sticks are there as usual...

Just curious.
/Chris Z.