Ray Proudfoot

Quality Throttle Quadrant for 2/4 engine jets wanted

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My flying is 90% with jets. Currently PMDG737 whilst I wait for FS Labs 64-bit Concorde. I also occasionally fly a Lear 25 and Carenado PC-12. I don’t have a huge hangar of aircraft - just those.

Having had Saitek Throttle Quadrants for 12 years - now on my second pair - I’m really looking for something significantly better. Budget is not an issue.

Now here is my quandary. The best out there appears to be the VirtualFly TQ6 Plus. Steel construction, hall-effect sensors and a good mounting system that doesn’t take up much desk space. Adjustable friction is also a big asset. All good so far.

But here is the issue. The VirtualFly is designed for twin-engine aircraft with Mixture and Prop controls. Because of the design you can’t easily assign the four middle levers to a four-engine aircraft. That’s the single advantage of a pair of Saiteks.

Those of you using the VirtualFly who fly 2/4 engine jets how do you get on with the quadrant? I really can’t see anything better but it’s the issue with 4 engine jets that’s holding me back.

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I have it yet (I will as soon as possible), but from everything I've heard, I believe Honeycomb will be the fantastic.  I'm hoping to speak with them sometime in the next few weeks.

Best wishes my friend!

 

 

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26 minutes ago, Ray Proudfoot said:

My flying is 90% with jets. Currently PMDG737 whilst I wait for FS Labs 64-bit Concorde. I also occasionally fly a Lear 25 and Carenado PC-12. I don’t have a huge hangar of aircraft - just those.

Having had Saitek Throttle Quadrants for 12 years - now on my second pair - I’m really looking for something significantly better. Budget is not an issue.

Now here is my quandary. The best out there appears to be the VirtualFly TQ6 Plus. Steel construction, hall-effect sensors and a good mounting system that doesn’t take up much desk space. Adjustable friction is also a big asset. All good so far.

But here is the issue. The VirtualFly is designed for twin-engine aircraft with Mixture and Prop controls. Because of the design you can’t easily assign the four middle levers to a four-engine aircraft. That’s the single advantage of a pair of Saiteks.

Those of you using the VirtualFly who fly 2/4 engine jets how do you get on with the quadrant? I really can’t see anything better but it’s the issue with 4 engine jets that’s holding me back.

I have had the TQ6 + for about a month now, and am extremely pleased with it. The quality of construction is superb. Even more heavy-duty than I expected.

With my recently-acquired TM TPR rudder pedals, my sim controls are now using hall effect sensors in all axes.

It has made flying simulated jet aircraft without autothrottles (such as the Aerosoft CRJ) a real pleasure. The levers have a lot of "throw", which gives a substantial range between idle and 100 percent. Of course, with the hall effect sensors, there are absolutely no noise spikes or other glitches. Position control is precise and repeatable. 

There is no problem assigning the prop levers to act as throttles 3 and 4 insofar as P3D or X-Plane control menus are concerned  You are probably referring to the physical spacing between the first and second pair of levers. It is a bit awkward at first when using the prop levers as additional throttles on a four-engine aircraft, but I have gotten used to it. My sim desk layout requires that I mount the quadrant to the left side. I grasp the two prop levers between the thumb and index finger of my left hand, and wrap the ring and little fingers around the "real" throttles (one on each). Doing so, I am able to move them all together quite precisely. Should not be a problem with normal hand width and no dexterity impediments such as arthritis.

Jim Barrett 

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Thanks Jim. God blessed me with large hands so handling all four levers should not be an issue. I was curious how many others were using the TQ6+ that way. Do you find you can keep the levers in roughly the same position for a 4-engine takeoff?

Can it be mounted the same way as the Saitek? On desk or in front of desk? The latter would help with desk space.

Do you miss the buttons the Saitek provided? If so, how have you solved that?

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27 minutes ago, DaveCT2003 said:

I have it yet (I will as soon as possible), but from everything I've heard, I believe Honeycomb will be the fantastic.  I'm hoping to speak with them sometime in the next few weeks.

Best wishes my friend!

Dave, I’ve seen nothing about the Honeycomb throttle quadrant but given it’s hardly any more expensive than a pair of Saiteks I don’t hold out much hope it will be a significant upgrade. Plastic and pots compared to metal and hall-effect sensors.

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Posted (edited)

Ray im looking at mine and Im going to do a experiment with the prop levers. It looks like I can move the nobs over to the left by turning them around. Ill get back to you shortly.  Josh

Edited by FreeBird(Josh)

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I am interested in this topic...and wondering how you guys handle reverse thrust?

Currently using two Saitek quadrants with a 737 lever mod which includes reverse thrust levers and switches. Its been very good, but it's got many hours on it and showing signs of decline...as am I. 🙂      

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Just now, Ray Proudfoot said:

Dave, I’ve seen nothing about the Honeycomb throttle quadrant but given it’s hardly any more expensive than a pair of Saiteks I don’t hold out much hope it will be a significant upgrade. Plastic and pots compared to metal and hall-effect sensors.

Once I have the Yoke and Throttle Quadrant, I'll be testing and reporting on them.  I have many years in both electronics/computer engineering and quality control, so I'm seriously looking forward to evaluating their hardware!

They say some positive things about their processes on their website, but they didn't say too much about internal components and that's what really matters, not the outside shell.  And they offer a 5 year warranty!

Anyway, I can't wait to get my hands on them and give them a really good evaluation.

Best wishes.

 

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Just now, Chocorua said:

I am interested in this topic...and wondering how you guys handle reverse thrust?

Currently using two Saitek quadrants with a 737 lever mod which includes reverse thrust levers and switches. Its been very good, but it's got many hours on it and showing signs of decline...as am I. 🙂      

Reverse works perfect. Watch some of the videos for details.

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13 minutes ago, Ray Proudfoot said:

Thanks Jim. God blessed me with large hands so handling all four levers should not be an issue. I was curious how many others were using the TQ6+ that way. Do you find you can keep the levers in roughly the same position for a 4-engine takeoff?

Can it be mounted the same way as the Saitek? On desk or in front of desk? The latter would help with desk space.

Do you miss the buttons the Saitek provided? If so, how have you solved that?

Ray I turned the nobs around and it brings everything over by a half inch. If you added some small spacers you could get it over about 3/4inch which feels doable.   The only concern I have is the levers are lower than the throttle levers if that bothers you. Once you touch one of these you will never go back to plastic.  I have mine velcroed to my desk and have no issues. You can also use the clamp and or screw it in from the bottom. Josh

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6 minutes ago, FreeBird(Josh) said:

Reverse works perfect. Watch some of the videos for details.

OK thank you, I wasn't aware of the switches at the bottom of the lever travel...looks like my next purchase.

cheers

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21 minutes ago, DaveCT2003 said:

Once I have the Yoke and Throttle Quadrant, I'll be testing and reporting on them.  I have many years in both electronics/computer engineering and quality control, so I'm seriously looking forward to evaluating their hardware!

They say some positive things about their processes on their website, but they didn't say too much about internal components and that's what really matters, not the outside shell.  And they offer a 5 year warranty!

I suspect the reason they don’t discuss components is because they use pots and not hall-effect. The quality may be higher than Saitek but not enough for me.

I will look forward to hearing your views on it.

13 minutes ago, FreeBird(Josh) said:

Ray I turned the nobs around and it brings everything over by a half inch. If you added some small spacers you could get it over about 3/4inch which feels doable.   The only concern I have is the levers are lower than the throttle levers if that bothers you. Once you touch one of these you will never go back to plastic.  I have mine velcroed to my desk and have no issues. You can also use the clamp and or screw it in from the bottom. Josh

Thanks Josh. It seems those of you flying 4-engine jets are not put off by the lever arrangement.

I’ve chewed over a replacement throttle quadrant for a long time but so few quality ones make it onto the market. VirtualFly have been around for some time and have a proven reputation. They also ship immediately instead of building the units when ordered.

The TQ6+ gives me 90% of what I need and should never need replacing. Compared to GoFlight and others it doesn’t seem to have any flaws which is testament to a well designed unit.

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32 minutes ago, Chocorua said:

I am interested in this topic...and wondering how you guys handle reverse thrust?

Currently using two Saitek quadrants with a 737 lever mod which includes reverse thrust levers and switches. Its been very good, but it's got many hours on it and showing signs of decline...as am I. 🙂      

Once you watch a few videos you’ll see the huge difference in quality between the Saiteks and the VirtualFly. A plastic flimsy click compared to a heavy substantial clunk makes the VirtualFly so much more attractive and realistic.

If your serious about flying and can afford them these TQ6+ are the next best thing to the real units.

One other thing I thought about with a 4 engine jet is to assign engines 1 & 2 to the left throttle and 3 & 4 to the right. The prop axes could then become reverse thrust for the same combination. Anyone tried that? It’s possible via FSUIPC only.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Ray Proudfoot said:

One other thing I thought about with a 4 engine jet is to assign engines 1 & 2 to the left throttle and 3 & 4 to the right. The prop axes could then become reverse thrust for the same combination. Anyone tried that? It’s possible via FSUIPC only.

Here is a picture of the setup for engine 1  with spadnext.   FSUIPC is similar. Also there is no calibration necessary just set the perimeters and go.

  19_tq6.jpg

Edited by FreeBird(Josh)

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2 hours ago, Ray Proudfoot said:

Thanks Jim. God blessed me with large hands so handling all four levers should not be an issue. I was curious how many others were using the TQ6+ that way. Do you find you can keep the levers in roughly the same position for a 4-engine takeoff?

Can it be mounted the same way as the Saitek? On desk or in front of desk? The latter would help with desk space.

Do you miss the buttons the Saitek provided? If so, how have you solved that?

Ray,

No problem at all keeping the four levers close together when advancing or retracting when gripped as I described.

The mounting bracket can be screwed onto the bottom of the quadrant so it can be mounted on top of a desk or table - or it can be screwed into the back for mounting in front. There is a single threaded clamp in the center of the bracket. The bracket, like the quadrant itself, is of heavy metal construction.

Originally, I had a 6-lever CH quadrant on one side, which has been replaced by the TQ6+, and a 3-lever Saitek quadrant on the other side, which I still have.

I use one axis of the Saitek for spoilers, and the other for nosewheel steering.

I do miss having the 6 two-position switches on the CH yoke, but I have re-assigned some of their functions to the 3-two position switches on the Saitek, and others to a couple of the aux switches on the Hotas Warthog joystick that I was not using for anything else.

Jim Barrett

 

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Ray, the Honeycomb was featured at Cosford 2018. Did you miss seeing it in action?

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1 hour ago, FreeBird(Josh) said:

Here is a picture of the setup for engine 1  with spadnext.   FSUIPC is similar. Also there is no calibration necessary just set the perimeters and go.

Josh, I’m not familiar with Xplane but do know FSUIPC. It will need calibrating but that won’t be a problem. FSUIPC does allow one axis to control two engines so two levers could control Concorde. Either that or use the two prop axes.

Jim, sounds similar to the mounting options for the Saitek. Thanks. I’ll have 5i research USB button units but keyboard commands will do short term.

Rick, the yoke was there but not setup and not demonstrated. Aerosoft had zero interest in it. Never saw the throttle quadrant but I don’t consider it a major improvement over Saitek. Built to a price and pots, not hall-effect. No ta!

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I've had the TQ6 for just over 2 years now.  Its solidly built, and no plastic rubbish. Unfortunately, my model doesn't have hall effect sensors, but I have not had any problems with the pots. As I don't fly 4 engine aircraft, I haven't had your problem. If I wanted to, I could easily make aluminum extensions for the prop levers.  I have replaced the throttle lever knobs with larger white ones as fitted to the NGX, but they are detachable, if required. The only flaw I found with mine, was that the mixture levers did not match up at the full rich position, with about a 5mm differential. I did mention it to the Virtual Fly guys, who said that they would fix it. As usual, the tyranny of distance didn't make that a viable proposition, owing to the cost of postage.

Cheers

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Hi Ray,

Have you checked out the PFC throttles?

Only issue with them (if you can call it that) is that they have separate throttles for different aircraft types which makes it a bit expensive. However the base console comes with a realistic (light aircraft) gear lever & flap lever. Additionally it has rudder trim & TOGA button which you can order with the individual quadrants which overrides the console button.

Iv'e had mine for a couple of years now & although they do not have Hall effect sensors they are far more accurate than the Saitek's I have had over the years.

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8 hours ago, Freo said:

I've had the TQ6 for just over 2 years now.  Its solidly built, and no plastic rubbish. Unfortunately, my model doesn't have hall effect sensors, but I have not had any problems with the pots. As I don't fly 4 engine aircraft, I haven't had your problem. If I wanted to, I could easily make aluminum extensions for the prop levers.  I have replaced the throttle lever knobs with larger white ones as fitted to the NGX, but they are detachable, if required. The only flaw I found with mine, was that the mixture levers did not match up at the full rich position, with about a 5mm differential. I did mention it to the Virtual Fly guys, who said that they would fix it. As usual, the tyranny of distance didn't make that a viable proposition, owing to the cost of postage.

Cheers

The problem for me is I don't fly twin-engine turbo-props that the TQ6 is designed for. I don't have your skills in modifying them unfortunately.

5 hours ago, Rossco said:

Hi Ray,

Have you checked out the PFC throttles?

Only issue with them (if you can call it that) is that they have separate throttles for different aircraft types which makes it a bit expensive. However the base console comes with a realistic (light aircraft) gear lever & flap lever. Additionally it has rudder trim & TOGA button which you can order with the individual quadrants which overrides the console button.

Iv'e had mine for a couple of years now & although they do not have Hall effect sensors they are far more accurate than the Saitek's I have had over the years.

I've seen too many posts from people who have had problems with PFC and given their extortionate cost and questionable customer support I'm loath to consider them. They still do not use hall-effect sensors which for the cost I find very surprising. You also have to buy a base throttle unit and then add a suitable quadrant. Adaptable certainly but too expensive for what is on offer.

I'm having second thoughts about having to compromise so much when spending so much. I really shouldn't have to. I fail to understand why VirtualFly do not make a Boeing / Airbus style quadrant. The basic design only needs tweaking to place all six levers equi-distant apart and keep all knobs the same colour.

I'm going to write to them and see if they have any plans to make such a unit. For now, any purchase is on hold.

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I use a QUATTRO from fsxthrottle.com. Overall I am happy with my purchase. I enjoy being able to go from a 2 engine aircraft to a 4 engine easily. I will say I do wish it was a little smoother, but the price was right and it works well.

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23 minutes ago, 19dcavscout said:

I use a QUATTRO from fsxthrottle.com. Overall I am happy with my purchase. I enjoy being able to go from a 2 engine aircraft to a 4 engine easily. I will say I do wish it was a little smoother, but the price was right and it works well.

Thanks for that Nick. I checked their website but am put off with them using pots. The list of options seems endless. Extra for painting? Construction seems mainly plastic which keeps the cost down I suppose.

Its quite dispiriting how few decent quality throttle quadrants there are for us jet pilots. :sad:

Yokes and rudder pedals are pretty generic. Throttle quadrants are more specialised but if VirtualFly just tweaked their TQ6+ to have all levers equidistant it would be the perfect solution. I have written to them asking if anything like that is in the pipeline. Fingers crossed.

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Over €600 for these items of hardware? Yikes!!

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13 minutes ago, vc10man said:

Over €600 for these items of hardware? Yikes!!

Think about it Rick. We paid more for our 1080Ti cards and which do you think will last longer? Long term investment!

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2 hours ago, Ray Proudfoot said:

Thanks for that Nick. I checked their website but am put off with them using pots. The list of options seems endless. Extra for painting? Construction seems mainly plastic which keeps the cost down I suppose.

Its quite dispiriting how few decent quality throttle quadrants there are for us jet pilots. :sad:

Yokes and rudder pedals are pretty generic. Throttle quadrants are more specialised but if VirtualFly just tweaked their TQ6+ to have all levers equidistant it would be the perfect solution. I have written to them asking if anything like that is in the pipeline. Fingers crossed.

The product is actually made of wood mostly. I understand the pot issue. It is not perfect, but it is not too bad. The gears to move the throttles are what appear to be an MDF. I have thought about trying to 3D print some new ones to get it smoother, but there seems to be a never ending amount of things I need to buy.
 

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