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xnaron

X-55 Rhino HOTAS first thoughts - poor throttle tension mech

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I got mine on Thursday from a pre-order directly from Madcatz.  I've only taken it out of the box and got it put together.  The joystick doesn't feel as smooth to me as the X-52 pro but I think that may be a matter of spring selection and I will experiment later.

 

The one thing I did notice was that mine had extremely heavy throttle tension out of the box.  It was so hard to move I thought that it might have somehow been locked into place for shipping.  I examined it carefully and couldn't see any tabs or other locking mechanism.  I saw the tension mechanism and started backing it off until I could get it to move.  I ended up backing it all the way off and the tension is still quite significant.  I started thinking I might need to work it in a bit.  I started moving the throttle back and forth numerous times and it seemed to loosen up.  Unfortunately it stiffens up again.  I can't get a consistent tension out of it.  I am not happy with this and will be contacting Madcatz about it.  Has anyone else experienced similar with the throttle tension?

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Got mine on Thursday as well. First thing I did was try the switches and change the spring. The stick feels pretty good with the lightest spring (coming from a CH Combat stick, I'm used to a lighter stick and the 'disk' on the X-55 binds less with the lighter spring - going to have to find those threads where they talk about changing the grease). Throttle set to the lightest setting has a nice positive feel without slop, although there's a bit of play between the throttle halves even when they're locked. Feel overall is pretty nice. Noticed that the POV control binds and pops a bit when I move it to the left, then back to the right - like the plastic shield behind the dome is getting hung up. The 'speed brake' switch on the throttle is REALLY stiff - quite a bit of effort to move it. Hmmmm.......

 

Next, installed the software and fired it up. It was a bit rocky at the start. The drivers didn't install properly on the first try. I rebooted and re-ran the install and it went fine the second time. Then, none of the buttons on the stick would register in the controller tester. I disconnected and reconnected the stick and all was well. At this point, all the buttons tested fine (although, as mentioned earlier, the Speed Brake 'slider', is too stiff to be of practical use for me.) and have worked fine ever since.

It took a while to figure out the HUD software. It's not well documented (I put in a ticket with Saitek because they referred to the 'H.U.D. Programming Guide' and Video in the X-55 manual, but I couldn't find it where they said it was supposed to be.. or anywhere else) but with some fiddling, I managed to set up a few things I needed, like 'repeat' for trim adjustment buttons and a press and release functionality.

I spent a few hours and got everything pretty much configured to my satisfaction and test drove it on several flights. The stick is quite precise and the curves and dead-zone controls are pretty slick. Coming from a CH Combat Stick (which I could do robotic surgery with), it's got a nice feel but ever so slightly binds a bit when trying to move it out of the center point, but it's otherwise comparable. OTOL, I really like the throttle feel. The CH Pro Throttle doesn't have a very good feel - so the Rhino is a nice step up. Like all the switches (esp the rotary switch on the left of the throttle - assigned to increase and decrease selection in FSX, I think it will be very handy). The dual function momentary toggles are the bomb - so many possibilities here! Anyway, overall, I'm pretty happy so far. I think I'll be able to get it to do everything I want... just hope it doesn't break too soon!

 

B

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I agree with the gentlemen above, Throttle friction knob too hard and tension threshold too high. NO documentation in the box. Not even a web link to get to the manual. The brochure in the box was useless and wrong. I had to change the stick spring the hard way as there is a special orientation for the retaining split collar. Not even the manual pointed that out (after I resolved the problem on my own). The drivers and software didn't download and install right the first time.

Once connected to my FSX simulator program the throttle didn't control the power but instead the ailerons and elevator of my F-18 and PMDG B-747. I tried to calibrate the whole thing and FSX didn't recognize the throttle therefore no calibration. The X-55  calibrating software was entirely dead on the throttle function. I spent hours trouble shooting the issues. I entered support ticket for help from Saitek. Still waiting for their response. I wound up returning the joystick. It's just too bad because it looked and felt great and was smooth on what worked. What a shame to sell things like that.

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Pity! I'm growing quite fond of this HOTAS. No trouble setting up axis controls in FSX and a new video programming guide by Froogle answered a lot of my questions about how to use the software:

 

 

They're listening to feedback and addressing bugs as another software revision has just been released.

 

Another Saitek video described the spring change procedure:

 

 

Calibration using the default Windows controller calibration worked perfectly.

 

Agreed they're off to a bit of a shaky start, but it's getting sorted. Sorry your experience was unsatisfactory.

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For what it’s worth....I tried to open the throttle base to see if I could adjust it from the inside.

 To make a long story short, I wound up removing the two small center screws under the base. That made the throttle friction much looser and just about right. 

I like it that way....

cheers

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