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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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