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View Full Version : Modified X45, the journey continues..



F19_Orheim
04-08-2006, 08:27 PM
Well here it goes. Motivated by what Bearcat did with his X45, I decided to do something myself. The stick has been stowed away under the desk for many months now while I have been using the throttle. At the same time as I am aiming to get the CH Combatstick, I thought that a few additionzl buttons and sliders would make a difference. Here goes nothing.

I have come to the conclusion that I can get the following buttons from the ripped stick:

1. One Pinky switch
2. One trigger switch
3. Three additional weapon switches
4. One "front switch"
5. Four swithes on each hatswitch (equals eight)
6. Two sliders if I change potentiometers of the JS's X and Y axles...

ergo. 14(!) buttons and 2 sliders.

So I slaughtered the stick this evening, man do these guys at Saitek use a lot of glue on the circuitboards, and screws (very tightly fitted) everywhere.

Also I made up a small scetch on how I want it to be layed out.

http://f19vs.se/pics/S1.jpg
http://f19vs.se/pics/S2.jpg
http://f19vs.se/pics/S3.jpg


Wish me luck.. I will need it http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

TgD Thunderbolt56
04-08-2006, 09:18 PM
Keep us posted Orheim. Desire and werewithall are certainly the mother of invention. Interested to see what you end up with mate.


TB

Bearcat99
04-08-2006, 09:41 PM
Go for it. The first time I did it I didnt have my Dremel tool... having that made a lot of difference. Plus the first stick I tried it on was @ 4 years old. Thats why I basically just kept the top intact and just reinstalled the two pots and pinkie, trigger and front fire buttons. Keep in mind that you will need some kind of stop fot the pots. It is as if the pots travel mechanically from say 7 to 5 oclock but they have a deadzone from 7 to 10 and from 2 to four.

F19_Orheim
04-08-2006, 09:47 PM
thanx guys, I will try to make it as good looking as possible. I need:

14 switches
2 slide pots (potentiometers) with the same resistance as the old ones, i.e is

change:
These types
http://www.elfa.se/images/highres/h5533.jpg

to these
http://www.elfa.se/images/lowres/l5623.jpg

and a new lid http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

AND good advice from F16_neo (I am a mere amateur in electronics... never done anything like this.. took me 3 beers to decide to do it LOL)

R_Target
04-09-2006, 12:05 AM
Where can I get my hands on some of those sliders?

tHeBaLrOgRoCkS
04-09-2006, 12:41 AM
Way to Go Orheim and thanks for the pics I will keep a close eye on how you get on with this as I have an x45 kicking around at home now that is just begging for the same kind of treatment! Hats of to BC for stiring up this hornets nest lol http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Oh yeah and good luck

F19_Orheim
04-09-2006, 01:14 AM
well, I stayed up way too late dismantling the works and trying to figure out how I want it and what can be done. It is really more cramped in the box than I thought and If I want to fit all the necessry circuit boards inside , and making room for the "underside" of the pots and buttons (under the lid protruding 2,5 cm) I have to loose 3 buttons (if I want bif ones and I do) The controls will be offcentered to the right and all the curcuitboards will be fitted in the box to the left. I think this will fit .... Also I will cut out the lid saving a 5 mm "frame" around the sides and place a new lid on top....

here is another "scetch"....

http://f19vs.se/pics/S3b.jpg

tHeBaLrOgRoCkS
04-09-2006, 01:49 AM
Couldnt you fit the sliders to the side instead of having them on the top ?

Akronnick
04-09-2006, 03:10 AM
Just a tip from someone who's been up to his elbows in the guts of his X-45: The wires to the switches are very thin and quite fragile. Handle the loose circuit boards delicately or you'll end up having to solder them back to the board.

Tully__
04-09-2006, 03:15 AM
2 slide pots (potentiometers) with the same resistance as the old ones


You want not only the same resistance, you'll also want them to be linear scaled, not logarithmic. Most pots are intended for applications like volume control where logarithmic scaling is desirable, be sure to check with your supplier which ones you're buying.

tHeBaLrOgRoCkS
04-09-2006, 03:21 AM
Also it has occured to me that you may want to put some thought into the kind of switches you plan to use for each button, although I am not sure how relevant that is ?

two kinds available

push to make / push to break

and

push to make /release to break

F16_Neo
04-09-2006, 03:50 AM
Did this neat job a while ago from an old Logitech Extreme 3d:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v109/F16_Neo/test002.jpg
Yes it's a VCR cover http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v109/F16_Neo/test003.jpg
Hot-glue is the solution to most of my problems. Just a question of amount http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif.

I used push-to-make pushbuttons and linear 10K sliders iirc. *Edit: in fact 100K*

tHeBaLrOgRoCkS
04-09-2006, 04:15 AM
Hey not bad and thanks for the info http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

F19_Orheim
04-09-2006, 08:24 AM
UPDATE


So, my first task was to create a new lid. I took measures and cut out a square from a plastic tray from IKEA http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif... stringed it up in tension to create a gentle curve to fit the curved profile of the top of the box. Then I boiled it in water for 3 minutes, untied the string and voila, a square piece of plastic to fit on top with no tension.http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

I cut away the top leaving a 7 mm edge for the new lid to rest on and left also a piece in the upper left corner for one of the circuits (the serial port to the throttle).

Then I attached the new lid on the "rim" and fastened it in every corner with 4 screws.

http://www.f19vs.se/pics/S4.jpg
http://www.f19vs.se/pics/S5.jpg

Next task was to attach the circuits, the first with the serialport on its original place, the second I screwed (the one placed in the X45's head) into one of the "holes" located in the bottom of the box, and the third (located in the shaft of the joystick) I left loose for now.)

http://www.f19vs.se/pics/S6.jpg

Then I soldiered together the cables that goes up in the stick ( I had to cut them in order for me to release all the stuff..

http://www.f19vs.se/pics/S7.jpg

Closed the lid and box for now until I get the switches and pots (@ Tully , yes i will order linear pots, I measured the resistance to 44,7 Ohm... @ Balrog, I will order push to make /release to break)

Then I just checked if XP recognize the X45 and it did so now I can use the throttle flying while I wait for the stuff to arrive)

Viola... not many hours, 8 so far..... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

http://www.f19vs.se/pics/S8.jpg

bubba3884
04-09-2006, 09:28 AM
I've also modified an X45 joystick , not because I didn't like the feel but I couldn't stand the spaceship look. I've basically cut the grip of, lengthened the shaft and added a new grip. I've also added a stronger spring to beef up the tension - works like a charm.

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g78/bubba3884/DSCF0001_edited.jpg

I've already taken apart the throttle to build a more traditional 3 lever quadrant. That looks to be a little bigger project - but I plan on using the extra buttons around my pit for gear, flaps, etc.

tHeBaLrOgRoCkS
04-09-2006, 10:12 AM
Very nice job there so far Orheim http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif I like the IKEA finish on that box too.

And an interesting variation on a them there to Bubba



something tells me that my Saiteks days are numberd

notamuppet
04-09-2006, 11:01 AM
Bearcat could we have a sticky for home made and modded stuff as there is a lot of interest in the subject. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

GSNei
04-09-2006, 11:32 AM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/agreepost.gif

tHeBaLrOgRoCkS
04-09-2006, 11:37 AM
Lol some of this stuff would warrant its own website ..Wingnuts (I think that was the guys tag) rocket springs to mind ....erm I am not sure that sounds quite right http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/1072.gif

Bearcat99
04-09-2006, 02:03 PM
I like that cover O.. I think I may do something similar... the cover of a video tape box... I never thought of that.... makes for a good choice though.... I can take off the top of mine at any time.. It was the nature of the wires and the fact that it was more compact that I decided to keep the top part of the stick intact. Less fuss and muss.. plus if i wanted to I can still convert the hats to 8 way hats.. but 4 way hats are more practical.. now that the pinky switch which is the red one is off the stick I will start to use all the modes... which will eliminate the need for anything but 4 way hats. It works better for me. I am in the process of totally redoing my profile so I really havent changed much from what it was when it was the stick...

jeroen-79
04-09-2006, 07:05 PM
Very nice.

You don't need any of the PCBs in the handle though:
http://www.geocities.com/jeroen_huijben/X45_schematic.txt

F19_Orheim
04-09-2006, 09:46 PM
eeeeexcellent, will come in handy when I come to the soldiering phase.... Thanx a bunch mate!

F19_Orheim
04-09-2006, 10:10 PM
I am back with 14 switcheshttp://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

http://www.f19vs.se/pics/S9.jpg

tHeBaLrOgRoCkS
04-10-2006, 01:15 AM
Hey now that is handy http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif. I take it you have modded your own x45 Jeroen?

F19_Orheim
04-10-2006, 04:59 PM
Well here is the last update before Easter holidays. A friends of mine with connections http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif will help me make a new lid of thin plate and then paint it with matte black, this will make it look so much better than the IKEA tray http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Also I have just bought the components which helped me to figure out the layout. A good thing is to really try out how one wants i, and try different alignments...
http://www.f19vs.se/pics/S10.jpg

F19_Orheim
04-11-2006, 05:24 PM
holy cr@p.. I am getting more and more wreckless here LOL. I discovered that somhow I had managed to slightly damage one of the circuits, making my "thumbrotary" on the throttle to malfuntion!!! CR@P! This was my elevatortrim.. but then I thought.. well I have an axis I never use, the rudder rocker.... so I opened up the throttle.. saw that the rudderrocker used a slide pot, but with the same resistance (slightly lower which is a good thing) as the thumb pot... so I removed the slide pot, made a bypass and connected the "Z-axis" (rocker) with three wires to the thumbpot..... and voila.. it worked again ...

Kind of pisses me of that I wrecked an axis and had to use another that I could have wired to the base of the throttle to use, but then again I am fortunate enough to be able to salvage the more important thumbrotary...

One disaster prevented.. I have to see to it that not another occurs... Guys, if you try this, be careful not to damage anything.... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

tHeBaLrOgRoCkS
04-13-2006, 12:02 PM
RGR that mate! Sorry to hear about the little misshap still you have prompted the bumping of many worthy D.i.y projects with your own plunge into the world of stick modding and for that I thank you http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif hang in there

tHeBaLrOgRoCkS
04-21-2006, 02:40 AM
Any news ? I hope it didn't all go pear shaped for you ?

F19_Orheim
04-21-2006, 06:47 AM
no worries.. took a break from the project, need some additional components.... I use the two sliders though.. works excellently

MR.Reah
04-21-2006, 08:13 AM
Very nice work there. Have you a set of rudder pedals? Either of the axis potentiometers could be used and assigned in HOTAS as rudder input....really only a question of attatching the potentiometer/slider to a suitable set of pedals. I did a similar thing with my old wingman 3d. Used 'Perils Pedals' (link from old warbirds site- might still be around) for basic idea. Plenty of ideas and drawings around to get started making you own pedals- just a question of what kind of supplies you have on hand and what you are comfortable working with.....(wood, steel, aluminum, etc. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

tHeBaLrOgRoCkS
04-21-2006, 09:36 AM
Great glad to hear it http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

F19_Orheim
04-21-2006, 10:21 AM
Originally posted by MR.Reah:
Very nice work there. Have you a set of rudder pedals? Either of the axis potentiometers could be used and assigned in HOTAS as rudder input....really only a question of attatching the potentiometer/slider to a suitable set of pedals. I did a similar thing with my old wingman 3d. Used 'Perils Pedals' (link from old warbirds site- might still be around) for basic idea. Plenty of ideas and drawings around to get started making you own pedals- just a question of what kind of supplies you have on hand and what you are comfortable working with.....(wood, steel, aluminum, etc. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I have a set of CH rudder USB, the X45 throttle, the x45 "Orheim Control Box" and as from today also the CH Combatstick..... looks like it will be a great setuphttp://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif