dekodan

Saitek Pro Flight Yoke Dead Zones - Fix Video

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Please sticky if possible.

 

I created a video that shows step by step how to fix the Saitek Pro Flight Yoke dead zone issue. This is a hardware fix using the Leo Bodnar BU0836A joystick board.

Please view, like, share.

 

You will love your Saitek again.

Enjoy!

 

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Dekodan,

 

Thanks for the informative video -- very well done!

 

I'm curious how you learned that the dead zone problem was do to a firmware issue. I've wondered about the possibility of 'play' in the plastic gearing system, which is something I need to check on with my yoke before trying your clever fix. Do you think all Saitek Pro Flight yokes have this firmware bug, or only certain firmware versions?

 

Thx,

Al

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Dekodan,

 

I opened my yoke to check things out. There is essentially no play in the gearing system for roll and pitch that I could discern -- compliments to Saitek on that. I also made some voltage measurements and found I have the same situation you described. I do have dead zones in roll and pitch in the aircraft even thought the voltages coming off the roll and pitch potentiometers change with the smallest movement of the yoke.

 

Al

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Awesome video, need to give this a try sometime!

Thank you!

Dekodan,

 

I opened my yoke to check things out. There is essentially no play in the gearing system for roll and pitch that I could discern -- compliments to Saitek on that. I also made some voltage measurements and found I have the same situation you described. I do have dead zones in roll and pitch in the aircraft even thought the voltages coming off the roll and pitch potentiometers change with the smallest movement of the yoke.

 

Al

Thanks for the compliment.

 

Looks like you discovered the same issue!  It's really silly on Saitek's part.  It might actually be all of them that do it.  I was basing myself on a forum post in X-Plane of some people saying they don't have the deadzone issue.  So maybe it's only a particular batch but I am starting to think not.

 

I hope you go for the fix, it's easy to do and cost effective for the result it will give.

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Excellent video, Dan. It was so clear that I'm totally confident I can do this without destroying my yoke. Kudos and thanks.

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Excellent video, Dan. It was so clear that I'm totally confident I can do this without destroying my yoke. Kudos and thanks.

Thank you :-). Glad people find it useful :-)

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I hope you go for the fix, it's easy to do and cost effective for the result it will give.

 

I am certainly thinking about it. I run all my controller axis outputs through FSUIPC. Do you have any experience using this fix in combination with a registered version of FSUIPC?

Thx,

Al

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Al,

Yes, in fact I use FSUIPC registered.  All my control surface axis are connected and calibrated in FSUIPC.  I use Spad.Next for customizing buttons and switches.

 

The only thing that I have to do when I load up P3D and I am in the Virtual cockpit of my A2A Cherokee is to move the yoke through full pitch and roll to wake it up and all is good.  No recalibration is required.  Works amazing.  Same goes for the Trim wheel for some reason, requires a spin to wake up and then all is good.  These are part of my pre-flight checklists :-)

 

Dan

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OK Dan, thanks. I think I will give your fix a try.

 

I suspect Saitek programmed in the 'large' dead zone because the yoke does not always return to the exact same spot when released. However, once your fix is in place, with FSUIPC you can then set the size of the dead zone to be about anything you find is needed with a particular yoke.

 

Al

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Do you think all Saitek Pro Flight yokes have this firmware bug, or only certain firmware versions?

 

I'm pretty sure this is all Saitek yokes, it's an issue that's widely-reported. I did the same thing but with the elevators, where to my mind it's more of a problem. (Skip to 4 minutes if you just want the relevant bit.)

 

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OK Dan, thanks. I think I will give your fix a try.

 

I suspect Saitek programmed in the 'large' dead zone because the yoke does not always return to the exact same spot when released. However, once your fix is in place, with FSUIPC you can then set the size of the dead zone to be about anything you find is needed with a particular yoke.

 

Al

 

You'll probably find that you will want to null zone.  There is no null zone in a real plane.  It's completely linear like the steering wheel in a car. (OK, a good car haha)

I'm pretty sure this is all Saitek yokes, it's an issue that's widely-reported. I did the same thing but with the elevators, where to my mind it's more of a problem. (Skip to 4 minutes if you just want the relevant bit.)

 

 

 

I don't understand purposely creating this null zone.  It's really silly and not reality.  There should be no null on either axis.

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Hi Dan,

 

Did the mod with the Leo Bodnar BU0836A board, took less than an hour and works great.

Great fix, thanks very much!

 

BTW, for anyone considering this mod, since the yoke case is fairly soft plastic I found using a small (~USB cable size)  round rat tail file is a good way to make a neat notch for the USB cable.

 

Al

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Just wanted to pipe in and say I did a similar fix but used the guts of another joystick instead. I didn't have a BU0836A and didn't want to incur the cost of buying one so went with a cheaper option. I went to the computer store and bought a cheap, second hand joystick. I opened it up and carefully removed the controller board, keeping track of which wires went to the pitch and roll axis on the joystick. I simply wired those to the pitch and roll in the Saitek yoke, mounted the board in the yokes body and done.  Granted this will only work if the joystick you are scavenging doesn't have a null zone issue itself.  The Leo Bodnar board is certainly a much cleaner solution, but not the only one :)

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Great video!

I applied the instructions but used a Pokeys 56U card that was lying around.  On my first 737 flight, the CWS kept kicking in for no obvious reason.  I found out that some very narrow spikes were not picked up and smoothed out by FSUIPC.  Fortunately, the Pokeys card has a built-in adjustable low-pass filter on its analog inputs.  After some adjustment, everything is nice and smooth.

 

Thought this info may turn out to be useful to others, since not all joystick cards were created equal...

 

Thanks again, Dan.

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