FlyingGoblin

PFC Saab Yoke (Desktop), poor roll resolution

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I finally decided to go ahead and get a high end yoke to increase my immersion in the simulator.  The yoke feels great.  Plenty of mass and very smooth movement.  I'm running windows 10, P3D and XP11.

I calibrated the yoke in windows and noticed that the behavior was a little odd.  Pitch seems to smoothly go to the extents, but when centered, the cross hair would not be centered in the window.  The roll, wouldn't even reach the extents of the window until clicking through the calibration routine and going to "test".  There I could see roll through the entire range -- although turning the yoke very slowly, I could see the cross-hair incrementing across the window.  When I look at the raw values they go from about 500 to about 1500 in steps of 5 or six -- which makes me think I'm looking at an 8-bit digitizer.

In X-Plane, before clicking "accept axis" the roll again does not reach the extents of the range and never automatically turns blue like other axes.  If I click accept axis, then the indicator turns blue and fills the extents of the bar.  Starting up the '172 and looking at the ailerons, I can see the ailerons incrementing through the range in noticeable discrete steps.

 

In P3D it's basically the same thing.  I use FSUIPC, and still see large increments in the "raw" value of the roll axis.

I've been using thrustmaster sticks since the early '90s.  Often moded with various aftermarket offerings.  I'm strong believer in the control device enhancing immersion -- I fly with a side-stick when flying a aircraft that has that in real life and center mount when that is called for.  I've only recently gotten into aircraft with yokes and want to fly like the real thing.  Ultimately, if I cant get the yoke to calibrate properly, I'll rip the box open and stuff in an aftermarket board, but for $1,000 I wasn't expecting the need.

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Hi Goblin,

 

Iv'e had a SAAB desktop yoke for about eight years now & in all that time it has been smooth & not shown any jumpiness in the calibration. I don't usually bother with the Windows one however do use FSUIPC sometimes. Quite often I haven't even bothered as it hasn't needed calibrating. Just plug it in & go flying.

Sounds to me there is an issue with the board.

Can't say I'm surprised to hear this, PFC quality appears to have dropped somewhat of late. I ordered a throttle set from them last October & of the four throttles i received three had issues, one of which we fixed via email, the second was replaced & the third (Twin Jet) is to be replaced when they get around to it. It took them till February to identify the problem & subsequent emails since then to the Tech department have gone unanswered. Communication with these guys is the worst I have ever experienced. Ever! They just do not respond to you, necessitating contacting the sales department who on the other hand are brilliant & respond almost immediately. Usually after I email sales I get a response from the Tech guys with apologies & excuses however they are just so slow!

I'd be getting on to PFC pretty quickly & hopefully you may bet a better response than I have.

When the yoke & throttles work they are soo good.Pity they are getting a bit slack in quality.

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I purchased a new PFC 737 Yoke from someone who got it at an estate Action. long story short the control board inside was damaged. It cost me $150 with shipping for the new board. The seller on ebay refunded me most of the purchase price so I am only into the Yoke $400. Mine is smooth as silk but my roll axis in XP never turns blue but it still work just fine in XP & P3D.  I didnt have any problems with PFC support. I sent about 6 emails over a 2 week period and they replied to everyone within 1 working day.  Thas was only 3 months ago.

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Good to hear you have had timely support from PFC Pete.

My last email which has not been replied to is about three weeks ago now & another that I'm to get an answer to is a couple of weeks older than that.

Looks like it's selective response depending apon the issue.

Either way I've never experienced communication so bad, particularly for quite an expensive product.

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29 minutes ago, Rossco said:

Good to hear you have had timely support from PFC Pete.

My last email which has not been replied to is about three weeks ago now & another that I'm to get an answer to is a couple of weeks older than that.

Looks like it's selective response depending apon the issue.

Either way I've never experienced communication so bad, particularly for quite an expensive product.

Agree.  Support should be first rate for a $1500 yoke. I personally don't think there Yokes are worth that much! I certainly wouldn't pay that!

My repair was not warranty so perhaps they wanted the funds. I did find the parts and shipping  extremely expensive and i was charged US$60 for postage to Canada for something the size of a stick of RAM.  When i went on the USPS website it would have cost me $16 using the same options.

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41 minutes ago, Rossco said:

Good to hear you have had timely support from PFC Pete.

My last email which has not been replied to is about three weeks ago now & another that I'm to get an answer to is a couple of weeks older than that.

Looks like it's selective response depending apon the issue.

Either way I've never experienced communication so bad, particularly for quite an expensive product.

If you are not getting a response from PFC then I'd venture to say they didn't get your inquiry.   You need to give them a call.  I have contacted them several times through the years either by email or by telephone and always got a prompt response.  I sent an email a couple of months ago and they called me within 30 minutes. 

blaustern

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Hi Blaustern,

Bit hard to ring them as I'm in Australia & had emailed them several times over several weeks with no reply till I contacted sales. I then received a phone call from them the next morning apologising for not responding. That unfortunately did not change things going forward & a number of times I have sent emails requesting a response till I give up & contact sales.

Not wanting to hijack this thread any further but I think the issue with Goblin's unit will be a warranty issue.

Although I'm not impressed with the communications from the "Service" department from this company I still love the product & they are a joy to use once the issues are sorted.

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FWIW - I also have the PFC Saab yoke with the Hall sensors.  its performance has been perfect (added my own hat switch as well) and communication with PFC was good during questions and purchase.  I'm a little distressed to hear others have not had the same when they have problems.  

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Well, I'll see how it goes.  I sent an email to PFC support yesterday just before I posted my initial experience and I've not heard anything back yet.  I also tried to call yesterday, but the phone just rang with no answer.

I get 313 discrete counts between full left and full right deflection.  That's slightly better than 8-bits.  Not what I would call "Precision".  And it's not the numbers that bother me, it's the fact that I can move the yoke for a very small adjustment and nothing happens.

Maybe I'm just being picky and need to spend more time with a yoke.  I really, really like the feel of this thing!

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macwino

I tried to write up the hat switch on this forum a while back but got totally thwarted by how difficult it is to post images on this board. 

Has happened more than once.  I have followed the instructions closely and could never get past the process.

The last attempt gave me "this type file is not allowed" message when I tried to imbed the link from photo-bucket (it was a jpg file).

If I can ever get it to work I'll show you.  Assuming its user error, any mistakes that everyone but me knows would be welcome  :-)

Jeff Buckles

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On 5/27/2017 at 9:11 AM, FLNG said:

If I can ever get it to work I'll show you.

Thanks, Jeff.

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So, I just got off the phone with PFC support.  They ran through the calibration procedure (as did I) remotely and said everything was fine.

I'm having a hard time believing that the resolution is really this poor.  I plugged my Warthog stick back in and it simply blows this thing out of the water in terms of precision.

 

Seriously disappointed.

 

 

 

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Hi Goblin,

As previously mentioned I rarely bother calibrating in Windows & just rely on FSUIPC however I did so over the weekend to see how it went.

Have to confirm that my range also was limited at first till I ran through the process but when watching the numbers my roll indication looked pretty smooth & didn't appear to be jumping at all. That said my unit is seven or eight years old & uses a different board to yours. It did have springs to control the tensions for roll & pitch. I have converted the roll to a bungy system as one of the springs kept coming loose & making a clicking noise/feel which was very annoying. This about three days after receiving the thing. That didn't impress me much.

OT, still not had a reply from PFC, checked yesterday & it has been three months since they advised they were aware of the cause of the issue I was having with the throttle however requests for an update have been ignored by both staff members of PFC support. Not what I call good customer relations or service!

How is the yoke performing in sim?

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Hi Ross,

Thanks for posting what you are seeing in FSUIPC.  I was wondering if other people were just accepting what they were getting and not really looking.  On the other hand, I didn't have to look at any numbers to tell me something was wrong.

I rarely look at the windows cal dialog too.  My first stop, after getting poor results flying, was the axis calibration tab in FSUIPC.  While the numbers had been scaled up, it just resulted in much larger step sizes.

I considered returning the yoke, but that would be another $60 shipping, so I decided to just mod what I have.  As I said previously, the yoke looks and feels awesome.  To bad it wasn't "precision" out of the box.

I've ordered a couple of aftermarket joystick boards and plane to rip the PFC yoke open and use one to replace whatever is in there.  The website says they are using Hall-effect position sensors, so I'll be looking at what the sensors are and how they are connected.  I may end up replacing those as well.

To answer your question, "How is the yoke performing in the sim?", I'm not using it.  Messed around with it for a few flights but landing was...sloppy.  I'm used to making very small adjustments and getting a response.  With this thing, I just can't make precise changes.  

I was trying to fly touch and goes in the A2A-182 at LOWI and ended up just letting go of the yoke and flying with my HOTAB.  Hands on Throttle and Beer: steering with the rudder and pitch control with the throttle.

Cheers, 

Mike

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Hi Mike,

Definitely sounds like it has an issue to me.

If anything these yoke's are certainly not "sloppy", particularly on the flare pitch control for landing. That's where i think they make an enormous difference over anything like a Saitek or CH (both of which Iv'e owned). I was never happy with the grabbiness of the plastic yokes & the PFC totally eliminated any of that type of response I was getting from them. Having logged some 300 plus hours over many years as a private pilot I really am happy with the way the PFC felt compared to real life (as much as possible for a desktop yoke). You should be able to get smooth touch downs with it.

If you had to let go & use something else that's not right. Did you let the guys at PFC know this?

Can understand you wanting to upgrade the boards but really you shouldn't have to.

That reminds me, time I chased those buggers up again, this time with a cc to sales.

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In most calibration algorithms there is a way to set the delta value, which is the smallest amount of raw variation of the input to Windows that will trigger an update message to your application. The purpose of this is to limit the update rate to the application for performance reasons.The behaviour you describe is consistent with having a large delta value selected. This will quantize the input regardless of how high-resolution your raw A/D convertor is. This may be something worth exploring. Where to look depends on how you are calibrating. You can do it in FSUIPC on the axis assignment screen. It is possible that you are running multiple layers of software, so if you have some PFC driver running you may need to look there too.

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Mark, that sounds very reasonable.  I don't have any PFC drivers installed, I was just letting the windows HID driver do everything.  I didn't know I had access to such a thing in FSUIPC.  Will definitely take a look when I get a chance.

 

Ross, I did tell the PFC tech my experience, but after he went through the cal routine, he saw that the cross hairs were going through full deflection and that was good enough for him.  He didn't seem to care that there were obvious discrete steps.  He made it my problem by saying, "that's how it's supposed to work and I'm sorry if it doesn't meet your expectations."  And that was the end of that.

I think I'll send another email to them and describe the problem again and cc sales as you suggest.

 

 

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It sounds like the problem is a confliction in the OP's setup.  I have a USB PFC yoke and throttle quadrant.  I run the yoke through the SIM and the throttle quadrant through FSUIPC.  I would make sure there are no yoke commands in the FSUIPC.ini and run the yoke through the SIM or completely remove FSUIPC from the SIM until the problem is resolved. 

I have done business with PFC for several years and all my problems were almost always self induced.. If PFC told me the yoke was working correctly than I would look to interference with the yoke from an outside source such as FSUIPC or a confliction within the SIM.

blaustern

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Hi Wilhelm,

I appreciate you're trying to help.  I do not disagree with you.  The problem could be in my setup and I'm open to suggestions.  Note that in my original post I've also been trying to use the Yoke in X-Plane as well.  The only thing between the sim and the yoke in that case is the windows driver.  Also, I tried to use the yoke in P3D v4 with no FSUIPC as well, and I get the same poor performance.

I wish I had had a good experience with PFC as you did, but I did not.  They have not been eager to make me happy with the yoke.  For a $1,200 purchase, I expected better support.

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Hi Mike,

I was also using the yoke in P3Dv4 whilst testing prior to FSUIPC5 & had no issues.

I always turn the default controls off however once FSUIPC is available as clashes can occur. But as mentioned in all the years I've had the unit I rarely bothered calibrating it as it's been fine without.

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