Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest Chairborne

I got the Saitek Switch Panel

Recommended Posts

I got a wild hair with $92 sitting around and decided to get the new Saitek ProFlight Switch Panel for my FS2004 experience. Yes, I was able to find one, new, for $85 and change (Typically in the $100 range) plus $7 S&H, so I leaped on it. It arrived today and I got to work setting it up between my yoke and throttle quadrant. I just finished making a seat platform for my PC and the FS experience, making it out of plywood and a Nissan Pulsar bucket seat, but I digress. Anyway...What came out of the box was straightforward: The panel, a driver CD-ROM, a manual and a mounting bracket which can screw onto the top of the yoke if so desired. I mounted mine under the desk with small wood screws, like the yoke. It's a neat fit between it and the throttle. It plugged into one of the 3 USB sockets in the yoke, it installed itself and after I was able to download and install a newer form of FSUIPC and the aftermarket FS2004 driver for the panel, I went flying.All switches do their job like they should and resultingly, I'm not disappointed. Some merchants say the panel is back-lit and thus the lettering illuminates for night flying; I've found that such isn't the case. Saitek's website doesn't say the panel is illuminated and I wonder why these other merchants say it is. Meh, no big deal. Aside from the common minor gripe that the L and R on the ignition switch are in the wrong places or that the master switches need swapping, my only issue is that the LED for the left main gear indicator didn't work. Well, the red does, the green doesn't. Strange. I've already written MadCatz, the US agent for Saitek, explaining the dilemma to get their input on the matter.My judgment? I recommend the Switch Panel without reservation. Any gripes on the panel have proven trivial and petty, and more so with adaptation to FS2004. It's a great addition to my FlightSim experience and I'm happy to have it. It's worth serious consideration for anyone who wants increased authenticity in their own experience, be it FSX or FS2004.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

Okay, I found out the problem with the LED issue: Last night I removed the back cover of the switch panel... (collective gasp from audience)Yes, and with it still plugged into the yoke... (combined gasps and groans from audience)And with my trusty voltmeter I was able to do some testing of the LEDs with the gear switch in the UP and DOWN positions. the LEDs used are tri-colour ones with 2 anodes and a common cathode; The tri-colour is when both anodes have power applied, the LED puts out a yellowish glow. Anyway, the reds require only 1.8 volts to work, whereas the greens need 2.8 volts. The left LED green anode was only getting 1.8 volts, suggesting a resistor of too-high a value, or simply a defective resistor. It's impossible to replace the resistor, being it's one of the ultra-tiny, surface-mounted variety.I wrote MadCatz and asked if they'd send another circuit board; There's only one and it's about the size of half a pack of cigarettes. I told them this would save the cost of postage dramatically, as well as eliminate downtime for my FS (I'm not spoiled! I'm not! I'm not! I'm not! *stomp*). We'll see what happens.I still love this panel!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks for the good review. Note that Mad Catz actually bought Saitek a year or so ago. could you advise what driver you are using?scott s..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The site that offers the driver is http://www.krosa.it/ssp/ and it is a very small driver which you'll probably want to put on your desktop. And if you don't have FSUIPC 3.72 or later, you need it in order to make this work. To use it with the switch panel, you need to first start your flight and then double-click the driver icon. You will see a popup window that shows a picture of the switch panel. It should say "Saitek Switch Panel FOUND! FSUIPC Commection OKAY!". That means you're ready to go. You don't need to go to Assignments to configure anything; The driver does it all automatically. And everything works great. Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I too bought it on a whim, sort of. Was able to pick it up for $80 bucks and got it soley for FS9 really after reading about Kroza's little applet. A nifty little applet I might add.I have only played with it quickly just a few times, once with a posky 747 and a 2nd with an Overland 747 to see what differences , if any, there would be. Base on what I have read on the various forums I guess the landing gear LEDs should be Green when the gear is down, yellow when in transit and red when the gear is up. I have seen the Green and Red but not the yellow? Also have not been able to get the engines to "kick over" with the knob. I can get them to start-up (they all start at once, though), but not fully engage (N1?). I plan to email Kroza about this but was curious to hear other simmer feedback who are using this. You guys seeing the same thing?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, Clutch: The panel works great for piston-engined craft; outside of that, since I only usually fly the Q400 turboprop, the only curious thing I noticed was that flicking the rocker switches activates the Engine AutoStart sequence. On or off, same thing. Weird, but I can live with it.The landing gear sequence is as you described: Green for "down and locked", red for "in transit" and nothing for "gear up". The LEDs used are tri-colour LEDs, whereas lighting both LEDs produces an amber glow. This is probably because (1) this is the only LED to use which allows for both red and green in the same package and the amber is a 'by-the-way', and (2) the FS programme can't make enough of a differentiation to use the green LED during "in transit" to produce the amber LED glow. It might very well be something we simply have to live with.In the meantime, I'm having fun with this! I just duplicated a Q400 Horizon run from Seattle to Bellingham which I witnessed while driving to Canada yesterday. The Q was on short pattern over Interstate 5 (I-5 freeway) to Runway 16 under scuddy skies and made short-final 'down-and-dirty' (gear down and flaps full) at a curiously slow speed. The Q is without argument a work of art, but I digress. Hope your situation with the panel works out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its pretty good and I like the modular design that makes it easy to mount on the Pro Flight Yoke and also the mounts for the soon to be released FIP LCD Gauges.It would have been nice to have the switches backlit but I'm using one of those USB flexible stalk LED lights that you can buy for laptops on sale on Ebay to illuminate my switches for night flying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, those FIP LCD gauges were supposed to be out last year! If they do eventually come out, I'm buying one strictly for my GPS.For authenticity, I mounted my yoke under the desktop surface so it'd be at a more realistic height. Under the desktop and to the immediate right is the switch panel, followed by the throttle quadrant. I constructed a seat platform out of scrap lumber and bolted the rudder pedals to the far end while bolting a Nissan bucket seat to where the PC chair would end up. This puts the yoke at just over navel height and the rudder pedals are comfortable while my right knee clears everything. It's good for typing, too!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

nv

Yeah, those FIP LCD gauges were supposed to be out last year! If they do eventually come out, I'm buying one strictly for my GPS.
I have one of the FIP LCD gauges and have finished the beta testing so they should be out very soon now.I'm very impressed with it, but if you want it to display GPS you would need to use the SDK to enable this yourself or wait for someone who can do this to release a patch for this, its also just for FSX unless some third party can get it to interface with FS9 like they did with the Switch Panel.It looks very nice mounted on top of the Switch panel, will be buying more for more gauges once they are released.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
it's also just for FSX unless some third party can get it to interface with FS9 like they did with the Switch Panel...
GRRRRR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GRRRRR
I feel your pain, but it may be possible to use it in FS9 as the Switch Panel did ... This is beyond my remit though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been looking at picking this switch panel up. I am a little discouraged that there is zero customization though, as in, the switches will only do what they are set to do.I was hoping to be able to change a few to control other more commonly clicked cockpit items, or have a bit of freedom to ensure the panel works with all my add on aircraft.Is there any documentation out there to make an aircraft compatible with the panel, if we can't make the panel compatible with the aircraft?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites