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Lucas777

Saitek throttle quadrant potentiometers replacements

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I did exactly the same. It's a pity more simmers don't try this. It's possible to get a much more realistic look and feel, and with care, a more accurate response from the use of better quality components.

Years ago on Avsim it was much more common, but I guess people today find it easier to put up with the failings of mass produced items,


John B

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The only criticism I read about Saitek throttle quadrants is the eventual failure of the pots. I have already thrown away a pair as they are effectively useless once this tiny device fails. Great for the environment eh? 🙄

I feel there is a market to be tapped here. A like-for-like replacement but with Hall-Effect sensors replacing the pots. Yes, they won’t have the heavy duty feel of throttle quadrants costing hundreds of pounds but most of us can’t or won’t pay that sort of money.

But I suspect the majority would pay another 50GBP or equivalent for a unit that would effectively last a lifetime assuming nothing was broken by accident.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that there might be someone out there who could tap into this market. I spoke to the developers of the excellent VirtualFly TQ6+ a couple of years ago at Lelystad and suggested that unit could be converted into a 4 engine unit with two axes for spoilers / flaps. They said it wouldn’t be economically viable. Pity.

In all other respects the Saitek is very good with plenty of toggle switches, small footprint and can be housed in a relatively simple box which sets the levers at a realistic and comfortable angle.


Ray (Cheshire, England).
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i agree Ray.  Most certainly a market for a saitek hall edition or retrofit kit


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10 minutes ago, Ray Proudfoot said:

. I have already thrown away a pair as they are effectively useless once this tiny device fails. Great for the environment eh? 🙄

most of us can’t or won’t pay that sort of money.
.

.

.

.

But I suspect the majority would pay another 50GBP or equivalent for a unit that would effectively last a lifetime assuming nothing was broken by accident.

 

In all other respects the Saitek is very good with plenty of toggle switches, small footprint and can be housed in a relatively simple box which sets the levers at a realistic and comfortable angle.

As the saying goes Ray, buy cheap buy twice.

..I agree, it definitely has potential with Hall effect sensors, it would fill a large gap in the market. I think at the time I wanted a better throttle with those sensors, the thrust master was the cheapest in that range.(?)


Luke Pype

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1 hour ago, MaDDogz said:

As the saying goes Ray, buy cheap buy twice.

..I agree, it definitely has potential with Hall effect sensors, it would fill a large gap in the market. I think at the time I wanted a better throttle with those sensors, the thrust master was the cheapest in that range.(?)

Buying twice is bad enough but I imagine there are people on their third set or even more. Saitek weren’t daft. Stick cheap pots in and after a few years the mugs will be back for another set. There’s no other reasonable deduction that this was their policy.

My CH pedals also have pots and are still okay after many years. But they don’t get the hammer throttles do and I imagine CH invested in better quality ones.

The Thrustmaster doesn’t appeal to me as it’s more of a fighter jet unit. I have a CH Pro Throttle and just don’t use it anymore.

I have a proposition to put to a manufacturer once they have their new product out. Maybe they can take up the challenge.

  • Upvote 1

Ray (Cheshire, England).
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Cheadle Hulme Weather

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Well I ended buying another unit of this piece of word not allowed just because I didn't had another choice, it has 2 years warranty and I will plan to execute it at the first sign of malfunctioning. I can't imagine why people living in the first world would buy this garbage tho.

Thank you all for the answers.

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11 hours ago, Lucas777 said:

Well I ended buying another unit of this piece of word not allowed just because I didn't had another choice, it has 2 years warranty and I will plan to execute it at the first sign of malfunctioning. I can't imagine why people living in the first world would buy this garbage tho.

I think people are buying it because there aren't any alternatives. Not only is it quite affordable, it can be easily re-configured for different aircraft types. If you want to fly anything between an ultralight and a 747 you can either buy multiple expensive units or this relatively cheap device that easily combines into 1, 2 or even 4 units if you need a forest of controls. I think most of us want a versatile quadrant that can be easily changed to different configurations and the Saitek TQ fits that bill quite nicely.

I agree with Ray that we want a more durable version of the Saitek TQ and even a straight clone with hall sensors instead of pots would fill a gaping hole in the TQ market.

 

Edited by orchestra_nl
grammar

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bingo.  Straight clone with hall sensors.  That's exactly what I want


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@flyforever Any chance you have specs or some sort of build notes? My saitek TPM is ruined by the bad pots, although it has been ten years or so since I used them. What I’d really like is to make something more like Cessna controls eg push/pull instead of levers.

 

thanks

scott

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Scott,

I am happy to help you with "build" notes once you are more specific with what you're looking for. If you're planning to build a quadrant from scratch, you need to know that you can do it, but it requires time, tools, and good research on the net for ideas and drawings.

It's a big commitment....

tony

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I'm planning to replace the pots in my Saitek with ALPS ones taken from a PS3 game controller's joystick, as it was suggested in one of the earlier posts here. However I'll use a different model, ALPS RKJXV which uses the pots with the same rotational angle (85 degrees) and operational life of 2 000 000 cycles (as opposed to about 15 000 for Saitek). ALPS ones are a perfect fit except for one of the three plastic leading pins that needs to be removed to be seated properly. The replacement pot's resistance changes from 0 to 10KOhm for the full lever travel, so most probably the throttle calibration won't be required.

I've bought ALPS RKJXV's from eBay for about 4 Euro each. For one Saitek throttle you'll need two units (each includes two pots so you'll have one spare left). With 2 million cycles' operating life it's highly unlikely that the pots will need the replacement anymore...

I'll inform about the final result after assembling and testing the quadrant.

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OK, it's done. As expected, it was almost one-to-one replacement, so I didn't even need to re-calibrate the throttle. Don't forget to remove the lower leading pin on the pot (marked by the red circle on the photo below); the other two pins fit the existing holes. The orange pot is the original one. I used a hot glue to fix the new pot in place; you'll need to press on the pot while the glue is setting so that it's seated properly.

I used the additional connectors that you can see on the last picture to experiment with different sensor types; of course you won't need them just to install ALPS pots. 

F129SjU8KLx1TC20XtHKJsOyp7Ywoja-5h8uGJUSnZK8ZSBhnBMWMnoVT8Bg5HTPDFr0nIjBgCWGmCEk

 GxQdLm2BFd367Z2IA2JpOIivcV4xpOnZqHLwRQDej0FFXPKE4a4Nza-JYH2ZXcTigOmSlp33fuO69wZl

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On 4/25/2020 at 12:19 PM, micstatic said:

bingo.  Straight clone with hall sensors.  That's exactly what I want

Take a look here: 

 


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@vortex681ive seen that. These days I feel like I barely have time to fly as much as I want. That’s why a for purchase option is better for me than a diy 


9700k | Maximus XI Hero| 32gb DDR4 3000 |EVGA FTW3 3090 | 1tb EVO Plus 970 and 500GB M2+3TB HDD | 43" Samsung X60R 4k and 2  22" monitors | Corsair RM1000x |  240MM AIO.| MFG Crosswind | T16000M Stick | Saitek Throttle Quad | Skalarki MCDU and FCU | Saitek Radio Panel

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Unfortunately the "simple" Hall-effect solutions (using one sensor like SS495 or A3503 as a direct potentiometer replacement) have some drawbacks.

A single Hall-effect sensor is reacting to any changes in magnetic field strength of a moving (rotating) magnet, transforming it to a change in output voltage. In order to replace a potentiometer in Saitek throttle we need to ensure that the sensor's output voltage is changing within the full range from 0 to 5 volts. This is important because Saitek controller's inputs have a resolution of 256 "steps" only for a full 5-volts signal swing. However to achive it with a simple Hall sensor you need to play a lot with the distance between the Hall and the magnet and their mutual orientation. In a crumpled space inside Saitek bearing which is a cylinder of 15mm diameter by 15 mm height it's extremely difficult. As a result, you'll get much less voltage swing, probably about 2-3 volts at best.

During calibration this will be extended to a full travel of an axis, but you'll still have the input voltage perceived as "steps"- this time with about 100-120 of them in total which will create more "jerky" input to the sim.

Also any noise in USB supply voltage will be amplified by a factor of 2- 2.5, creating even more noise at the output.

Finally as the simple Hall sensor reacts to any changes in the surrounding magnetic fields and Saitek is all plastic, the throttle's output will react to anything like the other devices' steel body parts or the interference from power supplies nearby.

I've been through this stuff many times, and the only way to avoid it is to use the special magnetic sensors that are sensitive to magnetic field rotation only, like AS5600. That was my original idea, as I'm using this sensor in some other projects and it can be used with Saitek's stock controller. However squeezing it into the throttle will requite some additional mechanical work and soldering skills/ tools beyond what an average DIY'er has. And if ALPS pots meet their lifetime specs (which this company's products always do) why bother with anything else? 

 

Edited by SergeyPe

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