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Ray Proudfoot

Why do yoke and throttle makers not use Hall Effect sensors?

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@Radial9, although not currently available the Fulcrum is something I’m seriously looking at. Hall effect throughout. Separate thread in this section.


Ray (Cheshire, England).
System: P3D v4.5, Intel i7-8086K o/c to 4.6Ghz, Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti 11Gb, Samsung 970 EVO M.2 SSD, 1Tb Samsung 860 EVO SSD, Asus Prime Z370-A mobo, 32Gb G.Skill DDR4 3000Mhz RAM, Win 10 Pro 64-bit, BenQ PD3200U 32” UHD monitor.
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I just caught this thread and wish I had contributed long ago. I agree with Ray and his justified withering comments on the state of hardware quality and price. What I have been looking for, for years, is just one decent joystick that has a decent length. Consumer joysticks have a pathetically short throw and this makes it very difficult to fly with any nuance or fine control. 

The Saitek yoke as standard is a disgrace. For a start both the aileron and pitch axis have an inbuilt dead zone. You can easily see this by simply looking a the elevators and ailerons in spot view and the huge amount of wasted movement before the control surfaces move. Adding hardware dead zones is not only stupid and dimwitted, it also demonstrates that Saitek are manufacturing for the dumbed down gaming market and for those who have no knowledge or experience of flying.

I know there is a tweak for this, but it is quite difficult to do in practise. I have opened the case up and removed the ludicrously over-strong springs (another dumbed down consumer marketing policy). I find it extraordinary that Saitek have not addressed all the above fundamental flaws for several years. They clearly have their manufacturing machinery setup without any change since the first version and no amount of emails and objections have been acknowledged or taken on board.

Other bugbears of mine are the ridiculous hand "rests" which you cannot remove on most joysticks. Almost all joysticks were designed as though you were a fighter pilot, not a GA or passenger jet pilot. Again, this demonstrates that almost all yokes are designed for combat pilot wannabees. The stick and yoke makers seem to be living in a fantasy land. Are they not aware that the vast majority of sim pilots either fly X plane or FSX/P3d. But even if you are a shootem up kind of person, nine out of ten sticks are poorly made, ergonomically naff and nearly all of them have very poor mechanics and software.

This is an opportunity to also talk about other hardware - particularly panels and switches manufactured to emulate real aircraft. They are almost all ludicrously expensive. One maker in US and several in Europe manufacture what is essentially a slab of aluminium with a few holes cut to accomodate equally expensive gauges. These slabs of metal go for anything between $500 and $2000. There are other so-called turnkey systems which look pretty unconvincing yet go for thousands.

There are various "Redbird" "systems which mainly comprise a low spec PC with a cheap monitor, a yoke and two tiny levers, in several specifications at eye watering prices. They claim FAA "approval" whatever that is. You could buy a much better system and install it yourself for a lot, lot less  and award yourself a fictional FAA approval. But Redbird also offer a staggeringly expensive array of other sims which to me look extremely amateur and unconvincing, for anything from $89,000 to $199,000. There are other makers of panels and controllers that also seem to think they can throw a coin in the air and invent a price.

I still have an ancient ST290 stick and the first thing I did was to tie up the spring so it is now reasonably un-stiff. It has very few extra buttons but it still works as well as it did 8 years ago. I've tried a whole range of currently available sticks and none of them match the ST290's accuracy. It seems to me that potentiometers and other software in most joysticks are extremely poorly made, and most contemporary sticks have even worse quality control than they did ten years ago.

If someone could come up with a decent joystick and yoke at an affordable price which actually worked decently I am sure the maker would make a fortune.

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I have been a long time user of a PFC yoke, Throttle Quadrant and Rudder pedals and they have been excellent.  I paid a little more than what folks are paying for Saitek equipment, but the extra cost has been worth it. 

Grace and Peace, 


I Earned My Spurs in Vietnam

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I've decided to have my PFC throttle unit retrofitted with hall sensors.  At the moment I have no particular issues with it, but they will come soon enough.  

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On 6/15/2018 at 4:24 AM, Ray Proudfoot said:

Hall-effect sensors have been available for some time and their design makes them infinitely more reliable long term than potentiometers. I can understand in the cheap 'n cheeflul stuff like Saitek / Logitech they'll stick to pots and pretty poor quality ones at that. But by the time you're into spending several hundred pounds (PFC) then they should be mandatory.

Why then do all the manufacturers I've checked with still use pots even on kit costing several hundred pounds? It seems a bizarre decision.

Is it done for cost reasons or because hall-effect sensors are more difficult to build into a design? How expensive are they? Prohibitively it would seem if that's the reason but somehow I doubt it.

Call me cynical but maybe they want you to keep going back to them for repairs when the pots eventually fail as they invariably will do.

Happy to be corrected and educated on any aspect of this.

I do not know whether my yoke uses a Hall Effect sensor, but it is very good, solid, and so similar to a real aircraft stick it is amazing to me.  I have the Logitech 3D Pro.  Logitech makes fine peripherals for PC's, such as their Mice which last almost forever, unlike my MSI mouse which after only one year is showing age and needs to be replaced soon.  I almost would swear by Logitech but as a spiritual person I do not like to swear.  My stick is simply wonderful, I was going to buy another Saitek but I changed my mind, Saiteks were just too jumpy with Xplane, not so much with P3D,  But Xplane has improved controller handling with 11.30 with joystick response curves, very good of Laminar to include them, they work very well, better than null zones I feel and they are better than tweaking flight dynamics, which contain response curves in MSFS and P3D .air files.  That is how I got my Trike uploaded here at Avsim so realistic, by tweaking control and throttle response curves bit by bit, it was a tedious but successful effort for me, until I got my Trike flying 99.99 pct like the real Trikes I have flown.

John

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5 minutes ago, John_Cillis said:

I do not know whether my yoke uses a Hall Effect sensor, but it is very good, solid, and so similar to a real aircraft stick it is amazing to me.  I have the Logitech 3D Pro. 

John

John,

For a joystick costing less than £50 it's highly unlikely. They probably used slightly less rubbish potentiometers.


Ray (Cheshire, England).
System: P3D v4.5, Intel i7-8086K o/c to 4.6Ghz, Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti 11Gb, Samsung 970 EVO M.2 SSD, 1Tb Samsung 860 EVO SSD, Asus Prime Z370-A mobo, 32Gb G.Skill DDR4 3000Mhz RAM, Win 10 Pro 64-bit, BenQ PD3200U 32” UHD monitor.
Cheadle Hulme Weather

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2 minutes ago, Ray Proudfoot said:

John,

For a joystick costing less than £50 it's highly unlikely. They probably used slightly less rubbish potentiometers.

You are probably right.  Best joystick I ever had was a simple Wico joystick, lasted ten years befor the potentiometers went bad, it was a wonderful small handheld stick, with fingertip precision and just a few buttons on it.  I used it for Flight Assignment ATP, my favorite DOS based flightsim until the Windows based Flightsims started getting released,  Flight Assignment ATP was great with its 767 and countrywide scenery.  I hacked the sim in order to change the city colors, I found the hex tables for the sim ground scenery colors by trial and error using DOS debug.  I would back up the .exe, rename it to .exf, and open it up with debug.  By renaming it to .exf debug did not change the underlying code, something I learned by using freeware disassemblers.  I was able to hack FSII on the Atari ST to slow it down, I found out it was "flying" about 1.5 times faster than indicated airspeed which made landings very difficult.  As a computer programmer I learned how to hack programs for the better, using the trial and error and backup approach.  That is how I would debug my own programs although I would enlist Avsim beta testers for Landclass Assistant and my Trike, trial and error.  I would listen to my beta testers and update my proggies and aircraft per their suggestions, since they were free I accepted their free advice, which improved my experience and theirs.

John

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On 12/18/2018 at 8:47 PM, Radial9 said:

Gentlemen.... I'm looking to upgrade my yoke. I was considering a Yoko. I'm still unsure after searching and reading if the current Yoko use Hall sensors or not. Nothing from the vendors pages I see. I note a post here that VirtualFly is "rumored" to be adding them this year. I guess I should hold off if this is the case. Can anyone confirm current yokes DO NOT? Any thoughts appreciated!

Cheers,

Bob

I’m in the same position Bob.

There’s a full page advert in the new edition of PCPILOT magazine from virtual fly advertising the yoko +, ruddo + and TQ6+ saying they’ve now added Hall effect sensors to the full product line. However there’s nothing saying that on their website yet.

A little cart before the horse you could say but it does look like the new yoko is imminent. Jon 

PS oh and it’s now got a real hat switch!

Edited by jon b
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747-400 captain. 

Technical advisor on PMDG 747 legacy versions QOTS 1 , FS9 and Aerowinx PS1. 

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Gents,

The Yoko is very expensive and the clamping system can I believe still result in it moving if pulled strongly.

I also want a new yoke and after seeing the Fulcrum demonstrated very effectively at Cosford I'm waiting for that to be released. There is a separate topic on it in the hardware section. It does use Hall Effect sensors and I recently suggested to the designer some toggle buttons be added similar to those on the Saitek Throttle quadrants. He hopes to include them as wiring is minimal.

And he's based in Chorley, Lancs so a trip up there when he has a working model is easy for me. Anticipated price is around £400-450. Far less than the Yoko.


Ray (Cheshire, England).
System: P3D v4.5, Intel i7-8086K o/c to 4.6Ghz, Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti 11Gb, Samsung 970 EVO M.2 SSD, 1Tb Samsung 860 EVO SSD, Asus Prime Z370-A mobo, 32Gb G.Skill DDR4 3000Mhz RAM, Win 10 Pro 64-bit, BenQ PD3200U 32” UHD monitor.
Cheadle Hulme Weather

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I verified with VirtualFly that the TQ6+ throttle quadrant does now include Hall effect sensors. It’s quite pricey, and there will be extra shipping costs from the UK to the US, but this will be a must buy for me at some point in 2019. I have been flying a lot of non-autothrottle aircraft lately - the Aerosoft CRJ and FlySimware Falcon 50 and Lear 35 in P3D and various GA piston twins in XP-11. 

The lack of smoothness and jitter in my old CH quadrant really shows when trying to set power/pitch/mixture precisely - especially when trying to match N1 settings in the three Engine Falcon.  I love the Hall effect axes in my Hotas Warthog joystick and new TPR pedals, so the TQ6+ quadrant will complete my transition away from potentiometer controls.


Jim Barrett

Licensed Airframe & Powerplant Mechanic, Avionics, Electrical & Air Data Systems Specialist. Qualified on: Falcon 900, CRJ-200, Dornier 328-100, Hawker 850XP and 1000, Lear 35, 45, 55 and 60, Gulfstream IV and 550, Embraer 135, Beech Premiere and 400A, MD-80.

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3 minutes ago, JRBarrett said:

I verified with VirtualFly that the TQ6+ throttle quadrant does now include Hall effect sensors. It’s quite pricey, and there will be extra shipping costs from the UK to the US, but this will be a must buy for me at some point in 2019. I have been flying a lot of non-autothrottle aircraft lately - the Aerosoft CRJ and FlySimware Falcon 50 and Lear 35 in P3D and various GA piston twins in XP-11. 

The lack of smoothness and jitter in my old CH quadrant really shows when trying to set power/pitch/mixture precisely - especially when trying to match N1 settings in the three Engine Falcon.  I love the Hall effect axes in my Hotas Warthog joystick and new TPR pedals, so the TQ6+ quadrant will complete my transition away from potentiometer controls.

I got the new TQ6+ and your going to love it. It feels like the real thing and with the Adjustable strength on the levers makes it even better. There is no calibration necessary just assign and go flying. The quality of the product and components along with the engineering reflect the price. you cant go wrong on any of there products. I don't understand people spending a fortune on there rigs and then cheeping out on controllers. If you really want the immersion go with the good stuff.

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After wearing out two CH Yokes, I blew a wad of my budget on a shiny new Saitek yoke.

Six months later I still haven't gotten used to the hat switch being on the left side instead of the nine years of having it on the right side of the CH Yoke(s).

I am bitterly disappointed at the truly poor pot system, particularly when rolling right. There's a huge "dead zone" there that requires >3º roll before the sim senses the movement.


Fr. Bill    

AOPA Member: 07141481 AARP Member: 3209010556

Interests: Gauge Programming - 3d Modeling for Milviz

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2 hours ago, n4gix said:

I am bitterly disappointed at the truly poor pot system, particularly when rolling right. There's a huge "dead zone" there that requires >3º roll before the sim senses the movement.

Now you know why I paid extra for PFC.

Grace and Peace, 


I Earned My Spurs in Vietnam

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