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G'Day GHNFrom personal experience, I'd stay away from the sidewinder. When that was all that I had ever tried, I thought it was great, especially with the twist "rudder" feature in the handle. In my own honest opinion though, it tends to be a lightweight and flimsy design, soon developing a lot of slop and play in the handle. I have observed this not only on mine (which now resides on a shelf as a spare, collecting a heavy coat of dust) but on others as well, belonging to friends.Money being a concern, I couldn't afford some of these expensive high-end ones you hear about so I replaced it with a Logitech Wingman Extreme. It has a satisfying heavy feel to it, more metal in it's construction (over plastic) and no sense of flimsiness to it at all. Also has the "twist" stick feature for rudder control. One less button though for programming.Now that I have built it up to sound so good, don't rush out too quickly to get one. I'm on my second one and about to get rid of it too, which is very dissappointing as I really like the feel of this stick. The problem is erratic behavior with the rudder control.I had noticed, while I still had the first one that most of the time, anything I was flying had a tendency to veer sharply to the left while trying to control it on the runway. I kept messing with the sensitivity and null settings but to no avail.Then a friend of mine, with the same stick, told me that this stick allegedly has a digital problem that causes this, an internal electronics problem, and, unfixable. Well, he seems to be right for I took it back to the store where I got it and exchanged it for another of the same exact model.Got it home, plugged it in, no veering problem. Very pleased. But now its starting up again. The same erratic rudder behaviour, just as with the first one. I all but have to turn on "rudder-autosync" to be able to reasonably control the plane, but ground handling is just horrible. Between that and my other projects is why my flying has become practically nil. No pleasure in it when your controller sucks!So, like you, I'm looking for something better, yet at the same time affordable; my spending money is extremely limited.Must haves are the twist handle for rudder controlA throttleAt least five buttons, including the "trigger" button.A nice solid feel with no sloppiness or slack in stick movement.Okay forumites! Help us out here?Sincerely,Heather

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I've got an MSSWFFB#1 and have had it since FS98 first came out and it works perfectly. Just as good now as the day I bought it and I've beat the crap out of it. It's a great stick and well worth the $100 bucks that it cost. It's heavy, strong and has the feel of quality thoughout. I'd highly recommend it. If you're using XP, don't load the CD drivers that come with it. XP is set up already with all the joystick set up software built right in. Simple matter of going into the control panel and setting it up if it doesn't do it automatically. Also works great with Win95 and Win98 both of which require the CD software. I'm currently running it with Win98 standard edition. I've looked at many joysticks and they all pale in comparison to the MS Sidewinder FFB Pro.

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And I still have one of the old SW 3D Pro Plus' that works just like a new one after thousands of hours of use. It's been dropped, kicked, had beer spilled on it, and it's flown a variety of aircraft around the world seven times. There is no noticeable wear after almost four years of daily use. Works fine with XP too. Trip

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I agree with Heather, though I have rudder pedals and rewired the Logitech so that I have an aditional axis handing off the base that I use for spoilers. It was not hard with the tools I have, but it kills any waranty ofcourse. For the price the stock joystic worked wonderfully with less slop than any MS joystick I have used.

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Hi Heather,I've got a Saitek Cyborg 3D stick which is about four years old and still works like a charm. The thing is, I am lefthanded, so all the MS Sidewinders and Logitechs really are no choice for me. It is totally customizable, the hand rest can be mounted either side, and the thrust lever can attached to either side as well. Perfect for lefties.It has a digital/analog switch so it works with most games. Prior to some driver release it had a veering steering problem but it went away with the update. I can really recommend it (no, I am not payed to say this :-)). 3 axes, yaw, pitch and thrust (although configurable as you want, and a lot of buttons too (around 10 plus potentially some more when in "shift" mode).Of course my dream gear is a yoke, but thosae are horribly expensive in germany. Maybe someone out there who knows where to get them at a discounted price?Hope this helps.celticmatrix

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As you can see from the earlier posts, preferences for joysticks are a very personal thing.I recently replaced my mainboard and CPU, only to find that my MS Sidewinder Force Feedback 1 (gameport connection) wouldn't work anymore. Searching various forums, I found that it is incompatible with my new MoBo (ASUS A7V333). There is a new BIOS in the works, apparently, but in the meantime I decided to get a new, USB-connected stick.I discovered that there is a new one from Logitech: Wingman 3d Strikeforce. Apart from the regular stuff (twist-handle, throttle lever and hatswitch), it has a second hatswitch and a mouse-wheel type control in the base. I've set up this wheel as an elevator trim-wheel, and the axes of the second hat for controlling mixture and prop RPM and this works very nicely.I do prefer the feel of the MS Sidewinder series though, and overall my old sidewinder felt a bit sturdier and heavier. I could rest my hand on its base for more precise steering, and I prefer this to the Logitech style, where the handle itself has a handrest. But the Logitech has those extra features...having a trimwheel really is nice!As to aircraft veering to the left, that may not be a joystick problem at all, but the effect of engine torque and the backwash from the prop swirling around the aircraft and pressing the tail to the right, pushing the nose left. Some argue that the effect is exaggerated in many FS prop aircraft. Of course, if you do experience this problem in jets as well, the joystick may be to blame after all!

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I'm pretty certain it is the joystick for it even wants to rotate counterclockwise in the "slew" mode. I'm looking for the receipt to take this thing back. It's getting disgusting. Can't fly like this!! :-madOh Celtic, you might take a look at Ebay. Even though the shipping would cost more getting it to Germany, still might pay off. I've had very good luck with Ebay in the past. Just use common sense and check feedbacks. if there's a lot of negatives, or even a few if they don't have many to begin with, then don't buy from them.Just took a look a moment ago and here is what I found on a search of "yoke"http://search.ebay.com/search/search.dll?M...rty=MetaEndSortGood luck

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Oh, yes, for sure, funny rotations in slew mode (or in other games) must be a controller problem, I hope you'll find yourself a good controller soon!I hated it when I had to go without a joystick last week until I found time to get the new one.

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That was it!Just got back from Wal Mart with an exchange. God! What a difference. You never realize just how bad something is when it gets there gradually. Okay, I'm happy again. :)Cheers!Heather

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Same as before; the Logitech Wingman Extreme 3D.Other than that internal electronic problem i had with it, I REALLY like this stick. It's solid and heavy, makes you feel like you have hold of something besides a toy.Working great now!I want to get a yoke someday but then i need rudder pedals and I don't know what I will do about my little Cairn Terrier who likes to lay at or across my feet while I'm at the computer.Cheers!Heather

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>attached to either side as well. Perfect for lefties. >Perfect for rightists too.This is the only one that allows me to hold stick in my left hand (I am right handed) and throttle in the right hand - replicating correctly commercial aircraft (assuming you want to fly in the left seat of course).Michael J.

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>I want to get a yoke someday but then i need rudder pedals and I don't know what I will do about my little Cairn Terrier who likes to lay at or across my feet while I'm at the computer.

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Heather,I have gone through 3 Wingman extreme sticks in the last year and a half.. I'll never buy another one. I'm currently running a Saitek Cyborg Gold USB and I absolutly love it. it's precise, has a good feel and you can fit it to your hand so you don't have to strech to reach buttons. And it was only $38 at Best Buy.. I highly recomend itBrian

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I had a Wingman too, and to be honest, I REALLY liked the way it feels. Ergonomically, it really felt good, and the base was indeed nice and sturdy. However, after less than one year of use, it was impossible to keep it calibrated. I too experienced the problems that other have. Specifically, for me, the stick centering was just not stable. I would be flying, and the plane would bank right or left suddenly. A look with FSUIPC showed that while the stick was in its center possition, I would get spikes to the left and right. Hitting the stick hard a couple of times would fix it, but it was just a matter of time before it started doing it again. I had to have my FSUIPC dead zones set to unrealistic numbers, to cancel out the sudden spikes in output from the stick.It seems that the Logitech joystick electronics have this fault.So I bit the bullet, and decided to replace it. Since I already own a set of USB CH Rudder Pedals, I decided to try the USB Flightstick Pro. What a difference!!! Sure, it cost me $70 (it will cost you even more if you don't shop around and look for the best price), but in this particular case, you get what you pay for. The stick feels awesome, it is either right or left handed, and the feel of it is just SOLID. CH Products has quite a reputation for building solid products that stand the test of time, and this stick is the best one that I have tried. I would highly recommend it. Again, a bit more expensive, but if you do any flying at all, then you owe it to yourself to get it, or something of similar quality.BTW, I didn't even bother with their control software. Both the pedals and the stick are using the default W98SE drivers and work like a charm. It was total plug and play, FS2002 recognized it, etc. etc. etc. The stability I have in flight now compared to the Logitech has made me want to fly more and more now. I can now set the plane and trim it, take my hand off the stick, and the plane won't budge a millimeter. In this context, it was worth every penny.

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I fully agree. Would love to have a nice Saitek. Unfortunately, two problems. This town has only two places that sells joysticks, Wal Mart and On Cue Music and Books. They have the general run of the mill and no large selection.Two, I be poor folk and can't afford to just run out and buy a different joystick if I'm not happy with my current one.The Wingman is great, while it works. When it quits and those "spikes" start up again, I'll just have to hope that Wal mart will keep exchanging it. I'm on my third one now.Adapt, improvise, overcome.Cheers!Heather

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Hi all, newbe to the forums here and thought I'd get my feet wet here. :-waveI'm using a thrustmaster Topgun Afterburner and like it real well. twistgrip for the rudder, detachable throttle setup, 4 buttons on the throttle and 4 buttons on the stick. Was using MS sidwinders till I got this one and they seemed to work okay just wanted a change. been thinking about splurging for a yoke and pedal setup for @002, want the stick for the combat sims I fly.Anyway someone looking for a good stick might want to consider this one,mines not ff, I think the price was 59 or 60 dollars ReddogUSMC Retired

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Yes, that is it GHN.But if you buy one, as you can see from my problems with it and the others' replies, make sure where ever you buy it will also exchange it when it inevitably takes a dump.Regards,Heather

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G'Day Reddog!Welcome to the best GenAv flightsim community on the internet. You'll get more than just your feet wet around here, but as Martha Stewart says, "It's a good thing." Semper Fi!Heather

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Thanks much Heather! Very elaborate response :)Gotta look into it in a few weeks, when I have some money to spend on such things again. I myself had some pleasant experiences with eBay, not one negative (had about 30 trades so far). Until then I'll stick with my good old stick (hoho pun!). I am happy again since my animated water is showing up again (fixed the problem), and I can now really enjoy the alaskan adventures w/ the caravan amphibian in FS2002!ru,celticmatrix

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DON'T BUY THIS STICK!!!I bought the first one back in MArch of 2001. Really liked it.I am now on my third one. Exchanged the second one for it yesterday afternoon. Hasn't been 24 hours and it's acting up already!!A nice stick as far as looks and feel goes, but so is a new car with no engine under the hood. Looks great but doesn't get you anywhere!!I'm off to get my money back and find something that WORKS!!!Upon my return, Logitech is getting a letter from me.Good luck with your joystick hunting; just don't buy THIS one.Cheers!Heather

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Hi guys, I thought I could have a good advice for joystick recommendation too, since I'm on limited budget (about $40 max) I'm not rich and actually $40 is just too much just 4 joystick. Seeing through this topic, and my interest on Sidewinder Precision 2 USB (Priced at $39 on my local store), I would like to know your opinions on this one. I've seen this features on Ms website and they're ok for me, But I wanna know your bad experience for durability I hope this joystick will stand years (I don't want to buy joystick again next year) :)

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I've had good luck with MS joysticks. Started out with there Sidewinder3D Pro,still works good, then there Sidwinder Precison 2 USB and liked that too, decided I wanted to try something different so got Thrustmaster Topgun Afterburner and that's what I using right now but I had no problems with either Sidewinders and the worked good with any of the sims I have.http://www.enter.net/photoalbum/data/reddog/596406.jpgUSMC Retired

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