Ray Proudfoot

Fulcrum Yoke demonstrated at Cosford FS Show

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Posted (edited)

I visited the FS Show at RAF Cosford, England yesterday and came across Fulcrum Simulator Controls - a new company based in Chorley, Lancashire, England. They were demonstrating their new yoke which should be available in Q1 2019.

I was very impressed with this yoke even though it was a pre-production model. I recorded a short video which you can see below and the yoke has the following features:-

  • All metal chassis
  • Aviation-quality switches
  • Hall-effect sensors on both axes
  • Ball bearings used on both axes
  • Pitch travel approximately 8" (20cm)
  • Full 180 degree travel on roll axis
  • Elevator and aileron trim switches
  • Hat switch and additional buttons

Demonstration of Fulcrum yoke at RAF Cosford FS Show

The designer will be making some changes before production starts. The case will be considerably smaller. There will be a standard desktop clamp similar to the Saitek. The sloping face on the front of the yoke will be vertical. He also intends to make the yoke handle detachable with other aircraft styles available but that will comes later. Anticipated cost is around 400UKP.

Having been disappointed in the operation of the Honeycomb and still no fixing system demonstrated my attention is now firmly on this new offering from Fulcrum. And as Chorley is an hour's drive from my home it makes it especially handy.

Edited by Ray Proudfoot
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Speaking to the owner he had tried the Saitek and a more expensive one but remained unimpressed with its quality. He felt there was a huge gap between the Saitek and the very expensive yokes costing close to 1000UKP which remains largely untapped.

This yoke appears to provide the required quality and although significantly pricier than the Honeycomb there are plenty of people who are happy to pay more than the built to a price Honeycomb.

I’m particularly happy to see Hall effect sensors used.

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Hi Ray, thanks for the video. looking at the response between your control movements and screen, it seems to be lagging behind quite a bit especially with deflections at higher speeds (such as in steep descents shown). Physical movement looks very smooth though.  

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10 minutes ago, jalbino59 said:

Hi Ray, thanks for the video. looking at the response between your control movements and screen, it seems to be lagging behind quite a bit especially with deflections at higher speeds (such as in steep descents shown). Physical movement looks very smooth though.  

Hi Jose,

I wasn’t aware of any lag and no one mentioned it. My main aim in the video was to show the movement range which was excellent. Difficult to demonstrate resistance but there was enough to make it realistic but it was light enough to allow me to move it just using my fingers.

The website is http://www.fulcrumsim.com/ with an option to join a mailing list and a Facebook link.

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I guess the external form factor is not identical to the Saitek one, so it cannot replace a Saitek yoke in a hardware panel with a fixed cutout, can it?

Kind regards, Michael

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1 minute ago, pmb said:

I guess the external form factor is not identical to the Saitek one, so it cannot replace a Saitek yoke in a hardware panel with a fixed cutout, can it?

Kind regards, Michael

Until the owner gives final dimensions of the unit that question can't be answered. He does have a presence on AvSim so when he can add any info I'm sure he will. The width didn't seem much different to the Saitek but it was definitely a lot deeper. He did say though there is a lot of air in there so I'm sure the final dimensions will be smaller.

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37 minutes ago, Ray Proudfoot said:

Until the owner gives final dimensions of the unit that question can't be answered. He does have a presence on AvSim so when he can add any info I'm sure he will. The width didn't seem much different to the Saitek but it was definitely a lot deeper. He did say though there is a lot of air in there so I'm sure the final dimensions will be smaller.

Thanks for the quick answer, Ray. I'll follow this, depth wouldn't matter in my case. This looks definitely good. I don't any longer dream about a force-feedback yoke in the <1000k range.

Kind regards, Michael 

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4 minutes ago, pmb said:

I don't any longer dream about a force-feedback yoke in the <1000k range.

Take a look here: https://vrflightsim.wixsite.com/mysite/in-progress at the "DIY Force Feedback Yoke v2". It uses components from a MS FFB2 joystick in an elegant, simple design. It looks very promising and he estimates the cost to be about £300 without the control yoke. It's an open source project so construction details should eventually be available free.

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I need a new yoke badly. Great job by CH Products that their yoke has lasted over a decade for me (and still going), but I need a new one. I was ready for Honeycomb, but it seems it's not going to be as great of a solution as I thought.

 

Looking forward to this yoke.

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That Fulcrum Yoke looked impressive at the show and being that it's also made 'oop north', these were fairly compelling reasons for me to consider it worth buying. It does have a very large desktop presence in prototype form, hopefully they can address that somewhat; will be watching development of it with interest.

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1 hour ago, vortex681 said:

Take a look here: https://vrflightsim.wixsite.com/mysite/in-progress at the "DIY Force Feedback Yoke v2". It uses components from a MS FFB2 joystick in an elegant, simple design. It looks very promising and he estimates the cost to be about £300 without the control yoke. It's an open source project so construction details should eventually be available free.

I think, DIY isn't working for me, but the idea is bright ideed.

Thanks and kind regards, Michael

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Thank you Ray for posting your findings. I went with the intention of checking out their stand but there was nothing on show when I went past and then got distracted by the presentations for the rest of the day.

I managed to have a quick push and pull on the  go flight yoke that just flight on their demo machine but the guy there said he wasn’t impressed with it. 

‘The only options left from what I can see are the fulcrum or the yoko. I don’t mind the price I just want the realism, the CH and saitek yokes I have at present are spoiling the whole experience for me, especially in the flare.

I have the warthog for stick flying which is really nice but it’s not appropriate for many of my aircraft. I can’t believe lack of quality controls on the market in comparison to the growth of quality add ons that are now available. The controller side of things seems to have been at a standstill in the 10 years I’ve been away from simming.

Jon

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Hello Ray

Thanks for reporting on this yoke. One thing is not clear to me. Is the Fulcrum yoke ForceFeedBack FFB?

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@jon b, I've tried the GoFlight before and wasn't impressed. The Yoko looks okay although the case is a little on the large size but it's the lack of a hat switch I didn't like. And the Fulcrum is the only yoke I'm aware of with Hall effect sensors. No more pots!

@oemlegoem, no, it's not force-feedback.

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1 hour ago, Ray Proudfoot said:

 it's the lack of a hat switch I didn't like. And the Fulcrum is the only yoke I'm aware of with Hall effect sensors.

It's worth noting that Virtual Fly just updated its TQ6 throttle quadrant to the 'TQ6 Plus'. This uses Hall Effect sensors, as does their V3RNIO TPM throttle unit. If I were in the market for a Yoko I would probably wait a couple of months!

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@MarkDH, the spread of the throttle axes means it would be difficult to fly a 4 engine jet such as Concorde. The configuration of the Saitek allows this by having different throttle caps. But I agree the TQ6 is otherwise excellent and a big step up.

And the small point of no buttons on the TQ6 is unfortunate. We all need those for configuring various commands. Having just bought a pair of Saitek throttles those will do until something else comes along.

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Thanks again Ray, I hope yourself and other seasoned swimmers can give some input and fine tuning before the product goes fixed and we might finally have the yoke we’ve been waiting for. 

‘The Yoko now comes with a hat switch is seems.

I’ll hang fire and put up with ballooned landings for a few more months and see how things pan out.

 

cheers

 

jon

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Hi all, thanks for the interest and thanks to Ray for posting about our yoke!

I’m happy to answer any questions so feel free to ask away but I’ll try and answer what has already been asked.

Firstly, size matters and this is something we are working on. As Ray said, I did say it had a lot of air in there and it does, it will be narrower shorter and less deep by at least an inch and maybe more. I’m working on optimising how everything fits together so I won’t post sizes just yet but will let you know soon. The angled front also makes it look a bit bigger than it is and the production one will have a vertical panel. My aim has always been to make it fit into a saitek sized hole so let’s see what we can do.

The lag mentioned earlier is actually due to a2a’s Cherokee and is very accurate. The Cherokee is a very stable trainer and does not react like a fighter jet. If you look at the Cherokee’s Ailerons while moving the yoke they respond perfectly in line with the yoke movement.  I love flying it as it feels very like the warrior I’m training in. I will make a video showing the p3d f22 and you will see there is no lag. Also there is no lag in the windows controller properties page when moving the yoke.

Mounting is either by drilling your desk or stand and bolting into the threaded inserts or by using an under desk clamp which I did not have at the show as it is part of the production design.

Travel and motion - As Ray said, as he spent a decent amount of time on it 😉, it is very smooth with a linear increase in resistance as it reaches the extremities of travel. It is not force feedback as this is not something that can be done convincingly at an affordable price. Affordable is subjective of course but I’ve paid a lot for hardware over the years and been disappointed. I’m not building this to a price like the honeycomb as I started on this project after failing to be satisfied with home use yokes but I’m also conscious that £1000 yokes are beyond the reach of most people. Effectively I had a wish list of what a GA yoke needs and I’m trying to fulfill them. On that note, once released and if it does reasonably well, the next planned release will be an airliner type of yoke that can be swapped with the current GA one. Travel is 200mm or 8” on the pitch axis and 180 degrees on the roll axis. If you look on our Facebook page you will see a post of a bit of research. One morning I went round the hanger and measured yoke movement on a few types as I wanted it to be accurate, after all, it is one of the first things everyone comments on when they have a first lesson in a GA type.

Hopefully this post has answered a few of your questions but feel free to ask on here or on Facebook.

Thanks again for the interest.

Chris

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Hello Chris

First of all, congratulations for the new exciting development.

Could you divulge if you are using bungee cords or metal springs for the roll/pitch resistance? 

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17 minutes ago, oemlegoem said:

Hello Chris

First of all, congratulations for the new exciting development.

Could you divulge if you are using bungee cords or metal springs for the roll/pitch resistance? 

Sorry to jump in but they’re steel springs. Definitely not bungee cords.

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Oemlegoem, thanks for the kind words. Yes Ray is right, steel springs of different types used throughout. Ray is definitely an expert on this as he grilled me on two separate occasions through the day!

Only joking Ray, it was great talking to you and nice to chat with a fellow enthusiast.

Chris

 

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Sorry Chris. I’ll stop jumping in when the question is directed at you. 😀

Your yoke made quite an impression on me. That’s why I remembered so much. One question regarding the alternative handles you will introduce at a later date. How do they attach to the steel shaft? A simple screw arrangement? And the same number of buttons etc?

I’m guessing you have a standard USB port at the rear.

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2 hours ago, tutmeister said:

My aim has always been to make it fit into a saitek sized hole so let’s see what we can do.

Thanks. That would make me a potential customer.

Kind regards, Michael

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Please keep jumping in if you can answer someone, I can’t be on avsim as much as I’d like!

Yes good point, it is a standard usb on the rear. At the moment it is a single Allen key to remove the yoke with a plug the you need to disconnect. I’m considering a tool less option but have yet to work out or source an ideal solution.

Chris

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Hi Chris,

I know you had a temporary fix for the yoke at the show and I know you intend to move to a desk clamp for the production version. I will be interested to know the details of this when you have finalised the design.

Something very similar to the Saitek would be ideal for me. And it goes without saying not the system Honeycomb are proposing with a membrane stuck to a surface and the yoke attached to the membrane.

Given the longer shaft of your yoke will apply more force than the shorter Saitek it's vital the clamp is strong enough to hold the unit without it moving. I have faith that you will come up with a suitable design. 👍

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