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View Full Version : Requesting Assistance in Choosing a New Joystick



XyZspineZyX
07-13-2003, 07:32 PM
Hello.

After approx eight years of consistant use, my old MS Sidewinder 3D Pro joystick has begun to reach the end of its time - buttons have begun to randomly activate and I'm sure my constant manhandling is behind it not being very precise or responsive anymore. I've recently come across some disposable income, though, so I'd like to purchase a new joystick. However, being that the last time I went shopping for joysticks I was about 10 years old, I'm a bit removed from the current market.

So, I was hoping to consult the wisdom of the forum-goers on a good joystick. To summarize what I'm looking for, I'd like a sturdy, comfortable joystick with plenty of buttons/sliders/fiddly bits and possible force-feedback. HOTAS wouldn't hurt, but not necessary. What would you recommend? I have about $120 US to spend on this.

I've looked a bit at the Saitek X45 HOTAS system already (with the knowledge that it would probably be the most recommended), and was really impressed with the throttle part, however, the stick itself seemed somewhat flimsy and the pinkie trigger made it a bit uncomfortable. Plus, no force-feedback. You guys who would recommend the X45, how worthwhile is it? Is it something that grows on you as you use it more?

Thank you in advance for any help you can give me.

Your universal target dummy, serving the world's needs for cannon fodder since '95.
Hiatus

XyZspineZyX
07-13-2003, 07:32 PM
Hello.

After approx eight years of consistant use, my old MS Sidewinder 3D Pro joystick has begun to reach the end of its time - buttons have begun to randomly activate and I'm sure my constant manhandling is behind it not being very precise or responsive anymore. I've recently come across some disposable income, though, so I'd like to purchase a new joystick. However, being that the last time I went shopping for joysticks I was about 10 years old, I'm a bit removed from the current market.

So, I was hoping to consult the wisdom of the forum-goers on a good joystick. To summarize what I'm looking for, I'd like a sturdy, comfortable joystick with plenty of buttons/sliders/fiddly bits and possible force-feedback. HOTAS wouldn't hurt, but not necessary. What would you recommend? I have about $120 US to spend on this.

I've looked a bit at the Saitek X45 HOTAS system already (with the knowledge that it would probably be the most recommended), and was really impressed with the throttle part, however, the stick itself seemed somewhat flimsy and the pinkie trigger made it a bit uncomfortable. Plus, no force-feedback. You guys who would recommend the X45, how worthwhile is it? Is it something that grows on you as you use it more?

Thank you in advance for any help you can give me.

Your universal target dummy, serving the world's needs for cannon fodder since '95.
Hiatus

XyZspineZyX
07-13-2003, 07:41 PM
Hiatus, I went from a MS Sidewinder Precision Pro, to an X45 several months back.

I have to admit that I thought I would never get used to it. It was hard to use, and much stiffer than the old stick But after a few days, it was the best joystick I ever bought. All it takes is a lil' time to adjust to.

I imagine that transitioning to any new joystick would require adjustment, and might make ya miss your old one, but only for a bit. /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

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XyZspineZyX
07-13-2003, 07:41 PM
I can't see any option for you except the FF MS stick. You got unbelievable service from your old MS stick, and you want FF. It would be a no brainer, if I were you.

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XyZspineZyX
07-13-2003, 08:08 PM
http://www.saitek.com/

check out all of saitek sticks they have more than just the 45 they also carry a force feedback stick

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XyZspineZyX
07-13-2003, 08:13 PM
I would save upa a little more money and buy a used Cougar. There are people who are selling theirs. That or save a little bit more and buy a new Cougar. I have gone through a Top Gun stick/throttle/pedals, a F-16 stick/Pro throttle, and now have a Cougar Hotas with my old Elite pedals, and I will prolly never have to/want to get anything else. The Cougar is state of the art, super rugged, programable. I have taken my Cougars to numerous cons, and people can't believe how heavy and sturdy they are, and end up getting them pretty soon after that. Works with all my sims, and thats way too many. The homepage hads contrib's stick set ups, which you can easily download, load to your stick and store in it's memory for over 30 sims right now.

You can buy other stuff, but you CANNOT go wrong with a Cougar Hotas.

XyZspineZyX
07-13-2003, 08:41 PM
Cougar has its share of weaknesses:

- center play & stiff springs, resulting in "center detent" (to get rid of it, you need costly upgrade)
- unreliable pots (you need a costly HAL upgrade)
- sturdy ain't that sturdy - mine arrived with throttle handle completely broken off, as holding part is actually plastic !!


Otherwise, its programability saves the stick.

IMO, as I own Spimepds, they are a muchbetter product. No hype, simple and effective engineering and reliability.

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XyZspineZyX
07-13-2003, 09:36 PM
I just got an X45 and it is by far the best stick i've had. i've been through alot of sticks and found this to be quite good. it can be seen as the poor mans cougar, which i've never owned but i have only ever heard good things about. saying that though, i've only ever heard good things about the X45. The pinkie switch is a bit difficult to work with but you will soon forget about it being in the way. the rocker switch on the throttle is the thing that i found most frustrating and i don't use this as it to sensitive (all i said was it had to lose some weight, and it started crying /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif ) and fiddley, but i found the same with other joysticks with a rocker. But its easily programable and the tech support seems good (though i've not used it). so i would recommend it. The switches on it also give it a HUGE array of programable options which makes HOTAS a reality so u can put ure keyboard away.

Just my humble thoughts. hope it helps /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

XyZspineZyX
07-13-2003, 09:38 PM
Go to the shop and ask for the most expensive and the one with most red buttons on it!

my one just cost 39.99 my dad dont let me get and expensive one/i/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

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XyZspineZyX
07-14-2003, 01:53 AM
Can't go wrong with M$ FFB II...better get one while you can, they've stopped making em. /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

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XyZspineZyX
07-14-2003, 02:11 AM
You better get a MS FFB2 while you still can. Instead of upgrading my computer I am thinking about buying 10 FFB2's (and selling tham on ebay for 3x as much 5 years from now. It's a pretty good stick (best selling FFB stick in North America) too bad they are going to stop making them.

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XyZspineZyX
07-14-2003, 02:38 AM
Ya, RBJ, nothing like selling sticks that will be obsolete in 5 years. I am sure there will be tons of people who'll pay 3x the price for obsolete equipment.


I have had my Cougar since they came out, and have NEVER had a problem with them. I use to have to break open my Top gun and F-16 fighter stick all the time to fix those. My Elite pedals stopped working with the Top gun stick, but I plugged it straight into my Cougar Hotas and works like a charm.

It IS the state of the art in Joysticks, hands down. Microjoystick thumb control, 8 way hats, 28 programable buttons, x rotation, slider, 2 3 way position switches.
Both stick and throttle weigh in at at least 10 pounds each, USB controls, updateable software.

See if you can find someone with a Cougar and give it a try. Go to Large LAN party and see if someone can let you spend some time on one. You'll be convinced.

XyZspineZyX
07-14-2003, 03:11 AM
This may seem an odd post but no recommendations here except to say, when I do upgrade my stick it will be a Saitek X-45. Why?

I'm currently using the first stick I ever bought, an old Saitek X7-38, 3 axis, 4 button job. I've had it since 1999, put a couple of thousand hours on it, (even used it for racing and FPS games), and it's still going strong. Every button still works fine, and I haven't developed a centering problem.

IL-2 is the main reason I'm upgrading. this sim requires I use my stick AND the keyboard. The X-45 has tons-o-buttons to program.

My X7 has held up very well and will go to my son when I upgrade.


*****Only left handed people are in their right minds.*****

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XyZspineZyX
07-14-2003, 03:16 AM
its personal preference


if at all possible try a few out

XyZspineZyX
07-14-2003, 07:23 AM
I also use a Sidewinder 3D Precision Pro without the G-Force effect system, it might sound pretty crude to most of you guys but I just take what I can get when it comes to money.

I've used it for years now and it still works well but I can feel it's getting old...I'll have to buy a brand new one before the stores run out of stocks since Microsoft has terminated the Sidewinder line or so have I heard.