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Joysticks, which do you prefer?

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Just a little research. I was wondering what kind of joysticks everyone is using and why you prefer that particular one. Thanks for the input.S. O'Neill

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Hey,I use two setups with 3 different controllers.For everything that doesn't use a stick, I use my CH FS Yoke USB LE and CH Pro pedals. They work great except that every time I use my rudder peadls as of late, they do not calibrate properly and I get more travel in one direction than the other. Other than that, it's the most readily available and affordable (if $500 CDN is affordable) recreation of aircraft controls available. I love having trim mapped to the yoke, gear and flap switches, and working toe brakes on the pedals.There are better recreations out there, but for a lot more money. But have you ever tried to fly a helicopter or F-16 with a yoke? For that I use the next setup.MS Sidewinder Force Feedback Pro. I used to use the pedals alot more with this setup but because of the afforementioned calibration problems, and a slight bit of laziness, I've taken to using the twist function on the stick instead."So how is that FF anyways?" you ask. Well both good and bad.The force feedback function works great with the default aircraft, sans the Bell 206; which I might add, sucks (the fact that it doesn't have ff effects in it's model). If you've ever come across one of the retail displays for this joystick you'll remember a helicopter losing a rotor blade effect. I thought that was great and figuring that because FS is a MS product, they'd have put that in the sim. Well they didn't and I've yet to come across a ff effect for a FS helo. But in the Cessna 172, for example, you can feel the elevator pressure ease as you trim it out. It works even better for trimming because you can feel it coming off. However, other third party aircraft can have some nasty effects. One particular aircraft, while a beautiful work of art and a fine flight model, beats the hell out of you with the elevator. It feels like it just runs away on you flapping violently back and forth. It is so bad, that it isn't worth bothering to use the FF at all with that aircraft.Another bothersome point with the stick is that the force is only on the stick when your hand is on it. When you release it, there is no spring inside to hold it in the neutral position. So if you've got it on your lap (where I'm sure most of us with sticks fly from - don't read anything dirty into that either) and you take your hand off it, it can fall one way or the other. This is a problem when you are on the A/P and it falls over, putting your previously routine flight into instant chaos and throwing your passengers about the cabin.It works well in some other games though. Warbirds III is an armwrestling affair in a good way. The stick effects are very well done and will leave you sweating when done. And Crimson Skies/CFS2 are also well done. The gun recoil effect in CS is quite fun. Gives you a good impression of the power of them. I've also tried it with NASCAR and Motocross Madness and again, it worked quite well.So why don't some of you other guys with the expensive fancy yokes and pedals tell us what you think of those products??Whew that was a long one..CF-AOA

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I use the Thrusmaster Cougar HOTAS w/ Evenstrain Gimbals and Centering system. I just added the Elite pedals a couple of days ago.Most of my RW time has been spent in gliders (and recently in a Long-EZ), so a stick is my choice. I like the Cougar for it's outstanding programability. It is simply awesome. I use the EvenStrain Gimbals/Centering system because it has stick loads that are much lighter and more precise than the standard Cougar. Also, the flat spots at the 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock positions of the standard Cougar are gone in the EvenStrain Gimbals. I hope to receive a set of Hall Effects sensors to replace the stock pots during the next week or so.Regards,

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I just LOVE the "MICROSOFT" Sidewinder Precision 2 .. Why ???because it's NOT RECOGNISED BY "MICROSOFT" WINDOWS XP after a reboot !!!!!!HA HA HA HA HA :)

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Greg, I've just ordered HOTAS Cougar awaiting delivery. I'm using the Sidewinder FF2. Do you think I'm gonna miss the force feedback effects? I've thought a lot about it and concluded that 90% those feedbacks are totally wrong. Plus, with many aircraft(fighters) that the stick is VERY light, you need just to blink an eye and you are off course! http://flightcraft.avsim.net/Images/andy_sig.jpg

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Sitek Cyborg 3D USB - the only joystick I would use because I can handle it with left hand (typical left seat commercial aircraft) and have a very good precise throttle - in the right hand. Michael J.

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Hi Andy,I agree with your opinion about most of the FF stick force inputs being wrong. A friend who lives neaby swears by his Sidewinder FF2, and I have flown it. I wasn't impressed at all. For a feature that is supposed to enhance the simming experience, FF did just the opposite for me. It totally lacked reality.You might miss the FF for a short while, but I believe the Cougar will make you forget it in short order.Good luck with your new Cougar, and welcome to the community.P.S. Be sure you spend the required 1 hour fondling the Cougar before you actually fly it... everybody does. :-lol

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I've got a Gravis Destroyer Aftershock. It's easy on the wallet and has many features including trim buttons, throttle, two triggers on the stick and a hat for views. It has force feedback, but I don't use it. My only real complaint is that I can't use my rudder pedals with it, but I think that's an issue with something other than the stick.

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I have a Precision Flight Controls Cirrus Yolk - cost me about $400. I love it. Accurate, very good resistance, solid and comes with a lifetime guarantee. I tried the CH USB three-throttle yolk and didn't think it worth even the $130 I paid for it. Felt like there was a slinky spring inside providing the resistance. Not very accurate, solid or predictable. I also have the CH Pro Pedals and am OK with them. I would like more resistance and subtlety - esp for small corrections. They tend to be hyper sensitive. Saving for a pair of PFC pedals. For stick flying I have a Saitek X-36 Stick and Throttle combo. Like it fine - though am thinking about the Cougar as an Xmas present. I think that controls are often overlooked in the quest for frames. What good is a P4 2.5, GEForce 4600 etc. etc. when you are using a $40 joystick with a little throttle lever a twisting axis for a rudder. Would rather have a mid-range system with good controls - they really enhance the experience for me. Colin

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Vmax AFCS II yoke and throttle. One of, if not the best things I've bought for FS. Also using old CH pedals. ;)Matt

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CH Pro Pedal USB, CH Fighterstick USB, CH Pro Throttle USB. Price = 3 x $110 = $330. It costs about the same a Cougar setup which would be about say $260 + $70 = $330 for a Cougar + elite pedals. Thought long and hard which setup above to replace my beatup old TM FLCS/TQS/RCS. The new CH setup beats the ##### out of my old TM setup. Everybody old enough remembers the old CH FlightStick of the late 1980s. This CH HOTAS stick has exactly the same feel. Sing along now: the Flight Stick is the Light Stick is the Right Stick :) I can do more precise maneuvering with my CH HOTAS.The CH now programs somewhat like the old FLCS did (Press/release each can have a string of keystrokes, will do modal modifiers, has a shift button, and has 3 modes like a TM's Up/down/middle, has a very nice mouse on the throttle, you can program the 6 axis (stick XY, rudder R, throttle Z brake L, brake R), etc. But Cougar also does USB code, and yes everyone does use that sort of raw programming, maybe on average once in each sim's keymap it will come in real handy. == WHK ==

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If you can afford it buy an Aeti or PFC yoke. I got one together with the pedals at e-bay for less than 400 US$. If I was allowed to keep only one part of all my FS2002 hardware I would keep the yoke. Stay away from the CH Yoke. I had it and it is not worth the money IMHO. I 2nd the spring comment that was made earlier in this post. Your are better off with a decent joystick. The CH pedals are perfectly o.k. though.Alex

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>I have a Precision Flight Controls Cirrus Yolk - cost me >about $400. I love it. Accurate, very good resistance, >solid and comes with a lifetime guarantee. I tried the CH >USB three-throttle yolk and didn't think it worth even the >$130 I paid for it. Felt like there was a slinky spring >inside providing the resistance. Not very accurate, solid >or predictable. I heard so many good/bad about the CH yoke that when I finally got to the Avsim conference in Tahoe I was dying to try it out. Not only the CH yoke but also some other more expensive yokes. I walked away mighty impressed with the 'feel' of the CH yoke. I agree that the overal look of the device is "plasticky" but the amount of resistance, smooth shaft - everything was there contrary to some of the horror stories I read on Avsim forums. On the other hand I found some of those very expensive yokes to be very well, tough built but too 'slippery'. Now I know for sure I will be getting the CH yoke but I want to get it when the new throttle quadrant is finally available.Michael J.

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Hi Greg, I just wanted to ask you, how do you set up reverse thrust on Thrustmaster Cougar? I did it with the latest FSUIPC module, but I have only 50% thrust. However, when I hit F2 key, the reverse thrust is full. I havn't been in depth so far, with it's own software. http://flightcraft.avsim.net/Images/andy_sig.jpg

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