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View Full Version : Which joystick and other hardware?



Fe4n0r
07-15-2006, 01:26 PM
It's been too many years since I last played a good flight sim, and I think it's time I get back into it and I hear IL-2/Pacific Fighters is the best game going, particularly for online play.

I'm not going to buy the game just yet, as I'm just in the process of building a new PC (I just ordered a shiny new AMD AM2 5000 http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif everything else to be ordered shortly). But while I'm buying the bits I need, I may as well get a joystick and any other hardware bits that might be useful.

So what do you recommend? A lot of the top end joysticks don't seem to come with force feedback, which is odd. I'm quite keen on this, but how much does it actually help gameplay? Within reason, I'm not too fussed about price as long as it's worth it.

I've also heard about a gadget that allows you to "look" around in a flightsim by sticking a tracking thing somewhere on your face. Sounds kinda cool but when I looked a few months back I could only find a few second hand ones in the UK and it didn't seem to be available new anywhere in Europe, and I can't remember what it's called now. The idea of having a limited supply of sticky pads doesn't seem very clever, but I really like the idea... has anyone used this, and is there something similar available?

Any other bits & bobs you could recommend?

Thanks in advance http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Fe4n0r
07-15-2006, 01:26 PM
It's been too many years since I last played a good flight sim, and I think it's time I get back into it and I hear IL-2/Pacific Fighters is the best game going, particularly for online play.

I'm not going to buy the game just yet, as I'm just in the process of building a new PC (I just ordered a shiny new AMD AM2 5000 http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif everything else to be ordered shortly). But while I'm buying the bits I need, I may as well get a joystick and any other hardware bits that might be useful.

So what do you recommend? A lot of the top end joysticks don't seem to come with force feedback, which is odd. I'm quite keen on this, but how much does it actually help gameplay? Within reason, I'm not too fussed about price as long as it's worth it.

I've also heard about a gadget that allows you to "look" around in a flightsim by sticking a tracking thing somewhere on your face. Sounds kinda cool but when I looked a few months back I could only find a few second hand ones in the UK and it didn't seem to be available new anywhere in Europe, and I can't remember what it's called now. The idea of having a limited supply of sticky pads doesn't seem very clever, but I really like the idea... has anyone used this, and is there something similar available?

Any other bits & bobs you could recommend?

Thanks in advance http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

knightflyte
07-15-2006, 09:28 PM
I'll start with the accesory I love best. The tracking devise you refer to is called TRACK IR. It's made by Natural Point.

http://www.naturalpoint.com/trackir/

Look at some of the movies. There's a few of them for IL2.

The newest version is 4 PRO. With it you get six degrees of view. up/down....left/right.... forward/back and you can tilt left or right.

IL2 only supports 2 degrees. Left/right... up/down.

Other games offer the other axis. Look on the Natural point website for details. Bargains can be found for Track IR4 Pro from $179.00 US to $149ish US.

As for control devises....that very much depends on how deep you want to get into simming. It sounds like you are ready for the plunge if you are mentioning all these periphery devises.

Soooooooooooooooo I'd recommend a HOTAS set up with rudder peddles. CH makes great products and I've heard nary a complaint from anyone that owns one. A HOTAS (Hands On Throttle and Stick) is a throttle quadrant and joystick. You can program MANY functions to the two parts, thus eliminating the need for keyboard strokes while simming.

CH also makes good rudder peddles.

Saitek is another fine company that makes HOTAS and soon will offer rudder peddles.

I have Saitek HOTAS, but will soon replace with CH set up. Many praise the CH reliability, while Saiteks are good, but loosen up over time.

Expect to pat around $300.00 US for a complete HOTAS and rudder peddles from CH.

An X 52 (HOTAS) from Saitek is about $129.00, but can be found for less.

If you're serious about siming RUN away from the Logitec. They FEEL great, but quickly lose reliability. (within a few months)


Finally here's an article concerning HOTAS setups from Saitek, and CH.....with comments about Thrustmaster's HOTAS.


http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/ch_products_saitek_x52_review/

Akronnick
07-15-2006, 09:30 PM
The Device You have heard about is a TrackIR.

Here is the website for it: TrackIR Website (http://www.naturalpoint.com/trackir/).

For Joysticks, I recomend the CH Fighterstick. The only daownside to it is that it is not force feedback

TgD Thunderbolt56
07-17-2006, 09:25 AM
TrackIR (3 Pro w/vector expansion, or 4)
CH Fighterstick (or Combatstick, or Flightstick Pro)
CH Pro Throttle (or Throttle quadrant)
CH Pro Pedals

This will be all you'll need for many years for ANY flight-sim.


TB

HitchHikerHSDWG
07-20-2006, 12:42 PM
Since I own these items I will say the X-52 set-up mated with Track IR 4 works great. I'll soon be getting the rudder pedals as well but I wont speak on them till I have them. Some may argue that a switchbox can add to the immersion but those are more of a home built thing. The Track IR 4 comes with a clip that mounts on a standard baseball hat and there is no need for replacement dots.

Fe4n0r
07-20-2006, 01:13 PM
Thanks for all the help guys!

I'm having an absolute nightmare trying to get hold of the TrackIR 4 from the States. It's available in Europe but at absolute ripoff prices. I'm also trying to get hold of the CH Fighterstick, Throttle and Peddles from the States as they're literally half price there. That's looking hopeful, but of the few stores that will ship internationally, none stock both the CH kit and the TrackIR. Grrr.

HitchHiker, I really like the look of the X52 but I believe it's not force feedback? If it was, I'd go for it, but if I'm right then I think I'll go with the CH kit - might have fewer flashy lights but it seems more rugged.

HitchHikerHSDWG
07-20-2006, 02:58 PM
My decision was more based on price and positive reviews than force feedback on rugged construction. If I had $300 to fork out on the CH stuff I'd be there but I can get a HOTAS control setup/ rudder pedals and track IR 4 much cheaper than the Track IR w/ CH rudder/ HOTAS.

I'm a married man that also rides BMX (flatland BMX to be specific) so my money is well spent once it comes to my flight simming hobby. I'll spend a $1000 on my wife/bike anyday but flight simmin isnt that important.

Fe4n0r
07-20-2006, 03:15 PM
Hitch, fair enough, can't argue with that (not that I would!) http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Anyway, I've finally managed to place my order... after a LOT of messing around on froogle.com I eventually came across sparo.com. They stock everything I want at very good prices, and they ship to Europe http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif. So as long as everything goes OK from here, I've just saved myself a packet - for the full CH setup I'd have paid around GBP350 in the UK/Europe, which works out at about US$650!!!

HitchHikerHSDWG
07-20-2006, 03:25 PM
Yeah that was my point about the CH stuff. Next time I will save up and get all CH or thrustmaster but the pedals by CH are still a bit narrow for my tastes.

My X-52 and Track IR were about $250 and after rudder pedals it'll be about $400 so thats still cheaper than CH and I'd still have to buy track IR at that.

Airmail109
07-20-2006, 05:32 PM
You should have bought an Intel conroe...even the budget ones are faster than the new AMD AM2 systems http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-indifferent.gif

Fe4n0r
07-22-2006, 06:14 AM
Aimail - actually, I'm glad you said that. To be honest I'd just assumed that AMD were still ahead of the game, and when I started looking at PC bits about a month ago the information available on the Conroe was very limited - but literally in the last few days, loads of reviews have started to come out.
Since reading your suggestion I've done a shedload of reading, and even though the equivalent E6600 is 2.40 Ghz and the AM2 5000 is 2.6Ghz, you're right - the E6600 beats the AM2 hands down in the benchmarks I've found on google.

The site I've ordered my AM2 5000 from won't get stock in until Monday, so with any luck I should have time to change my order to the Conroe http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif You've probably been the trigger for me changing my processor, good man http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif