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View Full Version : Bodging around with my X-52 throttle unit.



Waldo.Pepper
11-08-2007, 09:55 PM
Ok so for the money I think the Saitek sticks cannot be beat. I love my X-52. And the there are only a couple things that would make it perfect - for me.

1. Make it indestructible. Difficult that one. Though the Ch sticks have this reputation. I do have their pedals and they are tough.

&

2. I always wanted a couple more rotaries on the throttle.

I can't do the first one, but I can the second. I had built an ugly trim box with 2 rotaries and 4 buttons years ago. It worked well, but it always pissed me off that it took up desk space. I thought if only I could integrate the trim box with the throttle half of the X-52.

Then a couple weeks ago some more X-52 parts came into my hands and the opportunity gave me an idea. A great portion of the throttles handle is empty and I thought that I could add what I wanted easily to the throttle handle with little jeopardy to the throttle, even if I were clumsy!

Here is a picture (though a poor one, sorry) of the inside of the throttle element showing the empty space at the pinkie end.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v516/WaldoPepper/joystick/inside.jpg

So I did what I always do. I made a prototype out of some scraps around the house to see if I like it or not. Here is a picture of the ghastly prototype.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v516/WaldoPepper/joystick/Prototype.jpg

All it is a square of plastic with the rotaries and buttons on it. I liked it a great deal. Aside from being ugly and not blessed with good ergonomics it was more or less exactly what I was looking for. So with the success of the prototype I went to the hardware store and bought some 1/8in x 3/4in aluminum stock to make a slightly more formal bracket to hold the rotaries and buttons in a better location ergonomically. I wanted it to be readily adjustable, for comfort and future changes. So the whole edifice is assembled with wing nuts. For a bonkers idea this is somehow fitting!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v516/WaldoPepper/joystick/Untitled-1.jpg

I am tempted to call it the final product, but I expect I will not leave well enough alone. (I am like that. If I have a toothache - I poke at it!) In my ideal world I have tinkered with the idea of mounting the rotaries on a flexible cord. (Like a giant bendy straw from say a desk lamp - or something.) I may do this if I can rig it. As this would be very adjustable.

I could have used Leo's elegant USB card to wire it up. But instead I recycled some 15 pin game port parts that I had and used a USB adaptor to plug the thing in.

Here are the details to solder up the 15 pin game port, in the unlikely event that this inspires anyone.


Game port pinout
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

.------------------------.
\ 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 /
\ 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 /
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Pin Function Pin Function
1 +5V (A0+A1) 9 +5V (A2+A3)/MIDI
2 Button 0 10 Button 2
3 Axis 0 11 Axis 2
4 Gnd (B0) 12 Gnd (B2+B3)/MIDI TX
5 Gnd (B1) 13 Axis 3
6 Axis 1 14 Button 3
7 Button 1 15 +5V (A3)/NC/MIDI RX
8 +5V (A1)/NC

Each button grounds the respective pin. Axes are wired via variable resistors to +5V. Switches connect to GND.

Waldo.Pepper
11-08-2007, 09:55 PM
Ok so for the money I think the Saitek sticks cannot be beat. I love my X-52. And the there are only a couple things that would make it perfect - for me.

1. Make it indestructible. Difficult that one. Though the Ch sticks have this reputation. I do have their pedals and they are tough.

&

2. I always wanted a couple more rotaries on the throttle.

I can't do the first one, but I can the second. I had built an ugly trim box with 2 rotaries and 4 buttons years ago. It worked well, but it always pissed me off that it took up desk space. I thought if only I could integrate the trim box with the throttle half of the X-52.

Then a couple weeks ago some more X-52 parts came into my hands and the opportunity gave me an idea. A great portion of the throttles handle is empty and I thought that I could add what I wanted easily to the throttle handle with little jeopardy to the throttle, even if I were clumsy!

Here is a picture (though a poor one, sorry) of the inside of the throttle element showing the empty space at the pinkie end.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v516/WaldoPepper/joystick/inside.jpg

So I did what I always do. I made a prototype out of some scraps around the house to see if I like it or not. Here is a picture of the ghastly prototype.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v516/WaldoPepper/joystick/Prototype.jpg

All it is a square of plastic with the rotaries and buttons on it. I liked it a great deal. Aside from being ugly and not blessed with good ergonomics it was more or less exactly what I was looking for. So with the success of the prototype I went to the hardware store and bought some 1/8in x 3/4in aluminum stock to make a slightly more formal bracket to hold the rotaries and buttons in a better location ergonomically. I wanted it to be readily adjustable, for comfort and future changes. So the whole edifice is assembled with wing nuts. For a bonkers idea this is somehow fitting!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v516/WaldoPepper/joystick/Untitled-1.jpg

I am tempted to call it the final product, but I expect I will not leave well enough alone. (I am like that. If I have a toothache - I poke at it!) In my ideal world I have tinkered with the idea of mounting the rotaries on a flexible cord. (Like a giant bendy straw from say a desk lamp - or something.) I may do this if I can rig it. As this would be very adjustable.

I could have used Leo's elegant USB card to wire it up. But instead I recycled some 15 pin game port parts that I had and used a USB adaptor to plug the thing in.

Here are the details to solder up the 15 pin game port, in the unlikely event that this inspires anyone.


Game port pinout
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

.------------------------.
\ 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 /
\ 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 /
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Pin Function Pin Function
1 +5V (A0+A1) 9 +5V (A2+A3)/MIDI
2 Button 0 10 Button 2
3 Axis 0 11 Axis 2
4 Gnd (B0) 12 Gnd (B2+B3)/MIDI TX
5 Gnd (B1) 13 Axis 3
6 Axis 1 14 Button 3
7 Button 1 15 +5V (A3)/NC/MIDI RX
8 +5V (A1)/NC

Each button grounds the respective pin. Axes are wired via variable resistors to +5V. Switches connect to GND.

-HH- Beebop
11-09-2007, 01:28 AM
IT LIVES! IT LIVES!

Dr. Fronk-en-stein, someday you will learn not to tamper with nature!

Seriously, great idea. And yes, knowing you, you will tinker more. This looks like a plan. I, like you have always wanted a few more rotaries.
Keep us posted on your experiments Dr. We'll try and ward off the villagers with torches as long as possible.
http://www.blogofhilarity.com/re4_angry_villagers_s-thumb.jpg

BTW, nice sig pic!