StevieM

Saitek Yoke Electronic Fix / Rebuild

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I have a Saitek Pro Flight Yoke which I haven't used for a while.  When I plug in the USB to my pc the yoke comes alive however this is generally for a very limited time.  If it has been unused for a few days it may work for one time only (ie whilst pc remains on) however it is more likely to work for a brief period (normally seconds rather than minutes) and then the pc keeps saying usb item not recognised.  This keeps kicking on and off as though I am pulling the usb connector in and out.

I have managed to update drivers (in one of the longer alive times but this has generally made no difference.

As such I have a couple of questions:-

1) Does anyone have any electronic / pcb knowledge as to what may be at fault and it they can recommend any fix ?

2) If it seemed that the unit was dying does anyone know if I could use a Leo Bodnar usb interface card.  Leo has indicated that his card is ok for the potentiometers but he has queried if the buttons may be wired in a matrix ??  Does anyone know if his usb card would be good to use, I realise the lcd screen would no longer work but at least I could salvage the yoke unless of course one of you experts can point me at a suitable replacement card that would enable full functionality.

Thanks in advance for any info and please bear in mind my pc / electronic knowledge is very limited.

cheers

Steve

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Yes, you could easily do this. The button/matrix issue is a non-issue if you just cut all the wires and plug those into the Bodnar board. It has more button inputs than you need anyway. The only issue you will have is that the wires are very thin, so you need to be delicate in stripping them. Yes, you will lose the LCD but that isn't much use anyway. To wire up the buttons you will need one wire per button plus one common ground to connect to the Bodnar board. Ideally you will need a multi-meter to figure out which wires are which.

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There are a lot of buttons, and without a ohmeter with which to check all the wires, it will be very difficult to do it. Moreover, you need to identify each pair of wires  to a button , including the two POV buttons. I know. I tried, and ended up throwing it away.

What I am referring to is the fact that first you press a button and keep it pressed. Then( with button pressed) you try to find the two wires that lead to that button. If you can trace them visually, that's a big help. If not,you will be there with a ohmeter forever, since you'll start with one wire and check all the wires until that one wire( with the pressed button) indicates a contact. At this point you would label the two wires with a button name.

You do this for all the other buttons. If you succeed, you'll need to find acceptable terminals for whichever board you're using.

tony

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Many thanks guys.

I assumed identifying the correct wires would be tricky but I would guess not too big an issue :laugh:  Seems like the Bodnar board would be the way to go with a little care and attention I might at least get my yoke useable again.

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before you purchase the Bonard board, ensure that you've been able to label all the wires correctly. Without this, your Bonard money could have gone to the purchase of a new Yoke. For your information,  I have rewired a CH rudder pedals and joystick successfully, including all the buttons and potentiometers. I failed terribly with the Saitek Yoke. It's s long time ago, so I don't remember exactly why I had so much difficulty.

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Just a thought, if it works perfectly intermittently then gives you a USB device not recognized msg, I'd bet on a device configuration issue first.  Do you ever see an Unknown Device in the Device Manager?  Saitek devices / configuration are notorious for issues like this.  Just rule it out completely before tearing into your yoke.

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Suggest you do not chase ghosts. There is an issue with Saitek products and Windows 8/Windows 10 Advanced Power Management. There are a few small apps floating around that will make appropriate Windows Registry changes to overcome the issue. Also make sure you have the latest Saitek drivers.  There are topics about this issue here on Avsim. I personally had these issues and have fully overcome them without any electronic modifications. I use both the Pro Cessna yoke and three Saitek panels and they are all now performing perfectly.

Also highly suggest you look into SpadNext, which is an independent 3rd party interface for Saitek products.

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4 hours ago, flyforever said:

There are a lot of buttons, and without a ohmeter with which to check all the wires, it will be very difficult to do it

I was forgetting there are two hat switches on the Saitek yoke, so that adds a lot of wires.

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33 minutes ago, MarkDH said:

I was forgetting there are two hat switches on the Saitek yoke, so that adds a lot of wires.

In fact, it's the two POV buttons that pretty much make the task of tracing wires literally impossible.

 

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Thanks for the responses.

Ref the device settings I have reviewed as many as have been advised and loaded new drivers / tried different usb ports etc and still no change.  Most have been carried out with my very limited knowledge of pc workings.

Ref the response from fppilot - I am on windows 7 so the difficulties from windows 8 / 10 do not really apply although I have been through the processes to try to sort the matter.

As I say my knowledge of pc's and unknown devices and drivers is quite limited so putting it bluntly I am still very much open to step by step advice.

The replacement usb interface board is just an option I am looking at and I am under no real time constraints, flying a Boeing by joystick is not ideal but it does whilst I play / attempt to fix the yoke.

cheers all

Steve

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one last thing you can do is purchase a "Powered USB hub" and plug the Saitek in there. Sometimes, your PC USB ports don't provide adequate current to the Yoke.

tony

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6 hours ago, flyforever said:

one last thing you can do is purchase a "Powered USB hub" and plug the Saitek in there. Sometimes, your PC USB ports don't provide adequate current to the Yoke.

tony

That will not resolve the Windows 8/Windows 10 Advanced Power Management issue.  Believe me I know!   Here is another link to a discussion of the issue:

http://www.spadnext.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=375

Edited by fppilot

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11 hours ago, StevieM said:

Ref the response from fppilot - I am on windows 7 so the difficulties from windows 8 / 10 do not really apply although I have been through the processes to try to sort the matter.

As I say my knowledge of pc's and unknown devices and drivers is quite limited so putting it bluntly I am still very much open to step by step advice.

I haven't used Windows 7 in a hundred years... but if you can find the WIN7 Device Manager try the instructions in the post comment above.  It is a bit counterintuitive to select the driver for USB instead of Yoke but that's what it needs.  You can PM me if you get lost and have questions.

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