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OK. Guys, this is the first post as it's in bits still.

The Thrustmaster Warthog is such an amazing piece of kit, for a long time I've wanted to create a proper extension to give it the right feel. I've looked at literally hundreds of pictures on Google and here and other forums too.

My problem...Nobody I've does it right!

So, in trying to fix this, I thought a bit on a design that I wanted. I have designed up a plate that sits on the top of the main body, to replace the alloy circular trim, and locates four Radio Controlled car shocks. A machined alloy fitting takes an original Guilloy sourced DIN plug and alloy screw on fitting to locate a threaded post, on which the shock top mounts attach. Then, an alloy tube is bent and welded, slotted in and glued into the threaded post. On top of this sits another CNC machined alloy threaded adaptor to hold both a DIN plug and mount the Joystick back on.

Why the complication? Well, the stick needs to sit a few inches back from vertical to allow mounting either on the floor or on a raised base. It's about having the pivot point far enough away to give the right movement but not too far so the throw is too great.

At present I am awaiting some custom springs of considerably heavier weight than the ones you can get for RC cars. I will experiment to get the right feel. pre load can cover the fact the stick is heavy, and offsetting it rear makes it fall, and not recenter. Most importantly to me, the damper oil can be swapped to give a very smooth hydraulic feel to the movement.

What I am making is effectively 6 CNC parts, a length of alloy rod, bent and welded, a set of four alloy 120mm shocks and 2 pairs of custom springs. Two plugs need to be bought from Thrustmaster and 6 wires run though and soldered into place. I will give the stick top mount the correct turn and will pin the ends with roll pins rather than bond into place.

 Clearly this is a prototype, a bit rough and ready and not built yet. To give you an idea, it has cost about £400 in parts and I've been working on it 2 years... and it's still not finished. Like all these things, I have already worked out how to simplify the design if I made a second one, or more.

Hence the question.

Would this sound like a solution to your needs for a nice playable proper centre joystick suitable for Helicopter, fast jet and warbirds? To the hardware it's just a Warthog. Nothing more.

Let me know. Once I build it up over the next few weeks I'll post more pictures. (I am an airline pilot who works away from home and only get a few days here and there with family).

 

I can simplify it and try to get more made at eventual cost, and clearly more is cheaper per unit. Not after a big profit, just a decent chance of an add on extension unit to give proper feel and movement.

80-joystick1_5af1148960f58a9cdc4d21ec24a

 

Mark 

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I'll try to  post more pictures next week....

Just want to know how many of you would want one, and how much you think something like this should be worth. If it's totally uneconomic I won't make any more.

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Mark, I only just saw your post now.

I have the Warthog HOTAS set up with a custom extension. I am really interested to see how your setup looks assembled.

The custom extension tube I bought is simply an black aluminium tube 15cm long to increase the throw. I mounted the stick itself on a construction consisting of drainpipe (!) that I have painted black. It stands bolted to a wooden floor plate along with a set of MFG Crosswinds. The whole setup is reminiscent of the Messerschmitt Bf109 :)

Currently still running on FSX but planning in the short to mid term the switch to P3D V4...

Andrew

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On 7/18/2017 at 1:34 AM, MarkJHarris said:

Why the complication? Well, the stick needs to sit a few inches back from vertical to allow mounting either on the floor or on a raised base. It's about having the pivot point far enough away to give the right movement but not too far so the throw is too great.

Simpit does a curved version in their 12.5 and 15 cm extensions.
http://www.simpit.co.nz/index.php/features-2/projection-display-solutions-2/thrustmaster-extension
There is one photo of it on their site (see slow scrolling photos on the bottom of their page).

Is this the sort of design you are going for?

gb.

 

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No.

 

Mine is longer and as such deals with the fact that the weight of the stick means the self centre force of the base unit can't cope, so I decided as I wanted a fluid hydraulic feel action to make up an adapter that used 4 radio controlled car shocks. Complicated, granted, but worth it for the feel.

 

My current problem is getting springs strong enough!

 

I have had very little time to do anything since mid June with work and I go part time from November which is when I'll get back onto finishing it off.

 

I need to source springs of various strengths to test. 

 

Apologies for the wait...

 

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80-img_7424_355e8a11071e1775506b55d1a695So this is the mechanism. It's a prototype and I already have the drawings to simplify and reduce parts/cost regarding the mounting of the shocks. Screwed in ball joints are far simpler! 

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80-img_7425_bf656d198ef19557ca8314daa69dThis is the assembled stick. Right now, I am stuck getting compression springs that will give the right feel. Working on it! This unit cost me a lot, but making simpler ones in batches would be far better. Can't price that up yet as I'm waiting on a spring supplier to get back to me.

I had a simple threaded rod unit before and frankly it's word not allowed. Mine feels right in the hand, damps movement in a very fluid and smooth manner, but just doesn't yet have enough self center force from the springs..

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On 9/6/2017 at 11:48 PM, MarkJHarris said:

Mine feels right in the hand, damps movement in a very fluid and smooth manner, but just doesn't yet have enough self center force from the springs..

Looking good but I think the difficulty in selling it is going to be weight/feel customization or rather lack of customization. What feels perfect to you may be off for someone else. If there is no way to adjust for personal preferences selling it might be a lot harder especially if the price is high.
Just a thought...

gb.

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Looks expensive for what it is.

I have three sets of springs now and once I get some time to swap damper pistons/oil and springs, I'll get the right feel sorted. Then redraw the adaptors to simplify and get my chap to price them up per unit and volume.

As a real pilot, I know what feel is all about and a simple spring is no good. It's all in the damping.

The Chipmunk was the best I ever flew,proper 2/4/6 feel. Jets like the A10C will be nothing like that for lightness but you need to feel the resistance and having damper units set for each plane separately gets me close.

Anyway. This one's for me.

In terms of offering replica's to others. I'm just after an idea who's interested. I looked long and hard at others and nothing comes close except for a lot of money.

 

 

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Maybe looks, but it's not about the looks, rather what's under the hood.

You can combine up to two springs per axis, both axes have damping which can be adjusted in force with a simple screw, and exchangeable cams, to change how the centering behaves. I can't really think of any other mod...

If this does or does not come close to what you have in real life experience, I don't know, but it is for that price the best you can get.

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Thanks. I'm kind of stuck on my own stuff for now as it cost about the same as this one, bearing in mind it's a one off for now.

I started the drawing process about two years ago so it's been a long while coming together. 

 

Looking at this VKB stick, I see several issues. 1, it converts the Warthog stick internally. 2, you are using a separate controller. Personally I tend to swap controls round for different aircraft so I can use my Warthog in left side (Airbus- only very occasionally if some one wants to experience aerial lobotomy), right side for hooning around the Alps in an F16 and of course, centrally with extension for most other things. The flexibility, means I need a removable plug and play setup. Had I only wanted central and right side, I would have looked for a Cougar and swapped the internals for force sensing rather than movement.

 

The VKB looks a very interesting design for a permanent swap,  and I like the optional springs and stuff. Though a Nylon friction damping setup is just not how any aircraft should ever feel in practice! I've flown a couple like that, and the tech log entry afterwards usually leads to a few days off-line while the control runs are checked, tensioned and lubed again!!

 

An aircraft stick needs to be fluid in movement, not sticky. I'd have to try one to see how the Nylon Clutches actually feel, but the design principles don't make me feel inclined to spend money to find out.

I'll not get the time to build up and test till November- till then... 

 

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