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Saitek Switch Panel Review

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Angelique van Campen's review of the Saitek Pro Flight Switch Panel is pretty much in line with reality as I personally experienced with, having purchased said panel from www.gogamer.com just after New Year's Day. GoGamer.com is one of two vendors on the Internet who offer this Panel markedly less than the average $99.99 encountered by other vendors, and being the incurable price-buyer that I am (which does have its drawbacks, to be described shortly), I went with GoGamer for my Panel.On arrival, Saitek's latest offering was very much like the rest: packaged neatly, attractively, with any and all hardware you could need for various manners of installation, a multi-language Instruction Manual and Driver/Test Page CD-ROM. Saitek never fails with packaging and first-line support of their products and I'm never disappointed. A spot for the Panel was cleared between my undermounted yoke (L-brackets and stubby wood screws made this possible) and its accompanying throttle quadrant, it was plugged into the USB port on the Saitek yoke, it install itself and once done, I went to Krosa, downloaded the adaptation program (a very small one), verified my FSUIPC was 3.72 or later (it was) and went flying on FS2004. Official test rig for this? My beloved Carenado Cessna 182RG.Quick note: When you use the Panel with FS2004, you want to fire up Flight Simulator first and then the Krosa program to make this all work; Otherwise, you can have varying ills, such as skittering frame-rates. Although Ms. van Campen's review mentioned a small problem between the Panel and the Carenado 182RG, no such issue was encountered. All switches did their job, everything seemed OK...Well, almost everything: the left gear was not indicating 'down and locked'. :( Hmmm...a quick visit to the Saitek test page shows a window with a Panel image which pulses each LED in 3 colours to assure they're working. The real LEDs flash in time with the window Panel's LEDs, and while the green LED on the test Panel was working fine, the real one was not. Defect! Was this a result of my greedy intention to save a few bucks? Moot point; Here it was, a defective Panel. I contacted GoGamer.com and they gladly gave me information on how to get to my account and pursue an RMA, so the e-mail is due anytime.Anyway, let's fly. I did a cold-start of my 182RG, fired up all switches and found that everything worked and did its job perfectly, including the cowl flaps. Then taxi out to Runway 34 of KAWO in Arlington, Washington, my favourite airport. A quick pirouette, a 90% power-up and off we go! Liftoff, verify positive climb rate, retract the gear: all 3 lights went red as the gear cycled through "in transit", the nosegear red LED went out first, followed by the 2 main gear red LEDs. So far, so good. A little bit later, KBLI in Bellingham up north vectored us in on Runway 16, and before turning base I selected 20 flaps and obeyed the squeal of the gear-up warning, lowering the gear. All red LEDs lit up, the nose gear going green first, followed by...well, the right main. *Sigh* After turning final and side-slipping a little to line up, the tires chirped to say we landed...and the left gear didn't fold. Once off the active, the tower vectored me to parking and everything was shut down via the Switch Panel, including the cowl flaps...you don't want any virtual starlings quartering in your virtual IO-540 now, do ye? :(Conclusion: excepting the green LED, everything on the Saitek Switch Panel did its job. The only persnickety details which disturbed me were the panel's ignition switch layout (it should be R mag first, then L) and the master switches need a spot swap. They're minor details, really, and nothing that can't be risen above. Another thing that vendors tend to mention is the claim that the Switch Panel is "backlit for night flying", which is false. The Switch Panel is not backlit, but that's OK, because neither are the other Saitek accessories. Just wish the vendors wouldn't over-represent Saitek's products, which are excellent, especially when compared to other similar products out there available to sim-nuts which are priced to quickly eviscerate the average Joe's wallet.Judgment: If there's ever an emoticon to express my feelings on the Switch Panel experience, it'd be :( . Go get 'er!

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HiAfter the "AVSIM-crash" I miss Angelique

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Hi, Juergen! Did you have any questions I might be of help with regarding the Switch Panel? I got my replacement panel, everything's good. I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have regarding it.

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On the bottom of each and every Review, there's an option to download a .PDF of the Review so you can keep it and read it offline. I am sad to say I've never backed up any of my own Reviews that way (but I will get right on that). Maybe somebody backed up Angelique's Review and can help. Other than that, there are still a few black holes left to fill in the Reviews server, and I am told that they are being attended to. Hopefully and with patience, we will get the Reviews back to top form soon.Jeff ShylukSenior Staff ReviewerAVSIM

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On the bottom of each and every Review, there's an option to download a .PDF of the Review so you can keep it and read it offline. I am sad to say I've never backed up any of my own Reviews that way (but I will get right on that). Maybe somebody backed up Angelique's Review and can help. Other than that, there are still a few black holes left to fill in the Reviews server, and I am told that they are being attended to. Hopefully and with patience, we will get the Reviews back to top form soon.Jeff ShylukSenior Staff ReviewerAVSIM
if there are black holes in the review server, it might be time to evacuate the planet.....

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If that's the case, then set your clocks back an hour. :(

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HiAfter the "AVSIM-crash" I miss Angelique

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Dear Angelique,first I want to aplogize for letting you wait so long for my answer (things are pretty busy here), second I want to thank you for the link to your very detailed review. :( "Danke" and best wishes from Vienna/AustriaJuergen

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