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Looking for a HOTAS setup for military sims like DCS World and BMS4.33. What dompeople think, narrowed it down to: Thrustmaster T16000M £94 http://www.thrustmaster.com/en_UK/products/t16000m-fcs-hotas Saitek X52 Pro £154 (Not X52 because I keep hearing about QA issues???) http://www.saitek.com/uk/prod/x52pro.html
Q1) My choices for HOTAS under about £150, any thoughts on these? £40 Games Power JS285 Flight Control System £90 Thrustmaster T.160000M FCS HOTAS £120 Logitech X52 H.O.T.A.S. £150 Logitech X52 Pro H.O.T.A.S. Q2) What is your own favourite stick and throttle?
I suffered a lot of pain after receiving my very fine Thrustmaster Hotas Warthog - in terms of figuring out how to configure it, how to get FSX to see it even after I had disabled all control surfaces WITHIN FSX, and how to solve difficult problems like separately controlling left versus right engines, achieving proper max and IDLE thrust, and getting the REVERSERS to come on when I lift and then pull back the throttles past their "IDLE" position (and pull them further towards me).So I am beginning this thread as a roundtable for other Warthog drivers to share their experiences and nuances of the control surfaces, and how they interact with FSX and other Flight Sim products.Topic 1 - GETTING the AXES recognized in FSUIPC (after first DISABLING all your controllers within FSX by unticking them on the setup page of FSX) Start FSX Select your typical aircraft (in my case the PMDG 737NGX) From the top menu in FSX, click on OPTIONS, then SETTINGS, then Controls as shown in this picture:You'll see the following image (This picture shows the FSX controls box AFTER I have un-ticked (DE-selected) controllers (Joystick, Throttle, and SAITEK rudders))Plain ENGLISH! Make sure there is NO CHECKMARK in the box next to the words "Enable Controllers" They won't respond now until you set them up in FSUIPC as outlined further on in this topic.From the menu bar across the top of your screen in FSX, click "ADD-ONS" then click FSUIPC (registered version)Tip: There is a MISCELLANEOUS tab in FSUIPC, click on it:I would recommend you check the boxes as I have them (you can take note of what they are before you begin to change them, if you don't like the results it's easy enough to revert them back.After checking the boxes click OK button at bottom of the FSUIPC miscellaneous window to accept your changes. The Control Spike Elimination is particularly important for the Rudder, Elevator and Ailerons.If you use REX for realtime weather, you may want to consider altering the WINDS settings within FSUIPC, but I won't delve into that here as it's a tad off topic.Next, click on the Axis Assignment tab in FSUIPCSplit the throttles on the WARTHOG (pull the silver magnetic switch on the back side of the throttle handle fully left and the two throttle handles will operate independent of each other. Move ONLY the left throttle handle whilst you are in FSUIPC- you see:on the lower left where it says "Type of action required" be sure "Send direct to FSUIPC Calibration" radio button is selected.Then in the drop down box select Throttle 1 and put a checkmark next to it then click OK.After clicking OK FSUIPC will close. Restart it from within FSX and repeat the process with the RIGHT throttle handle. If the JOY# and AXIS# boxes aren't blank, clear them by pressing the CLEAR then the RESCAN buttons in FSUIPC. THis time select Throttle 2 as shown below:Notice the JOY# is the same (JOYSTICK1) but the axis letters are different between LEFT and RIGHT throttle controls!Now that these are selected you can proceed into the calibration tab within FSUIPC and thence to FSUIPC.INI file but more on that in a moment. Note the picture above, the default range for the throttles is -16384 to +16384 That is the rub. If you don't edit these to allow for a dead zone at the bottom end, your thottles will not reach IDLE THRUST properly and you'll experience major pain trying to land at too high a speed!So first go ahead and calibrate them by clicking on the CALIBRATION TABYou see:CRITCALLY IMPORTANT! Put a tick in the checkbox marked "No Reverse Zone" (Why? Because you want the REVERSERS to be controlled by YOU, when you LIFT the throttle handle UP whilst pulling it further back, (after configuring LINDA) your thrusters will work as you want them - NOT come on before you intend them to! Especially important whilst landing and not yet on the runway, yeah? I spent a LOT of time not KNOWING this trick! Hope it helps YOU and if you have a WARTHOG it will!If you don't have a warthog, you'll have to determine some other switches to assign for reversers but that's OFF TOPIC here.Note the ranges above- they are much SMALLER than the default range assigned by FSUIPC. I edited them in the FSUIPC.INI file looks like this: Plain English tip: AFter you first calibrate the controls, then after opening the FSUIPC4.ini file (it is in the MODULES folder of your FSX directory) using NOTEPAD, you will need to MANUALLY change the values (make each of them smaller to create the "DEAD ZONES" i am speaking about. For example, if a control has an existing calibration range of -16384 to +16384 you can select -15500 and +15500 instead then save the file. This will give you some 'headroom' at both the top and bottom range of the given control axis so that things will operate "as expected" - particularly important for THROTTLES and BRAKES. If you fly SAITEK rudders (Combat or regular) you MUST check REVERSE in the configuration window of FSUIPC, because the controls for brakes on Saitek rudder are programmed 'backwards' and when fully depressed your brakes will RELEASE and when fully released they will lock up which is BAD NEWS. You need to enable "REVERSE" operation and then the Saitek brakes will work as you wish. Plus, you also need to create HEADROOM on both the top and bottom ranges of your BRAKES for the same reason... so they fully release and fully engage when you want them to. If you don't create a dead zone, they will sometimes hang up or not move fully up or down, and unexpected results may occur whilst in flight.Worst case you can copy my settings they should work fine for Throttle1 and Throttle 2. You will still get max thust and min thrust, but you'll have headroom (dead zone) at the top and bottom of the throttle throw range so you will achieve full IDLE thrust upon landing and MAX takeoff thrust on takeoff.Many of you have discovered the wonderful interface button assignment tool called LINDA, here are my Linda settings unshifted and shifted (Throttle) and then the Joystick (which I use sparingly, because most of the buttons on the joystick I use to control camera views in EZDOK.Unshifted (2 views to cover all button assingments) Shifted 2 views Joystick 1 view (5 images total)JOYSTICK:What works for me is the LANDING LIGHTS run off ENGL toggle, The Taxi Lights run off FLOW R toggle, ENG OPER L increases all inside dash lights whilst I hold in UP position APU Start switch actually starts the APU (no can of corn, see above programming steps) and when you throw it the opposite way, it swaps from ENGINE GENERATORS to APU GENERATORS (thus allowing you to kill the engines when shutting down and deplaning passengers). Shift the Global Joystick button and lift ENG OPER L switch kills Left engine Lift R switch kills right engine (you must hold the SHIFT button on the joystick down to enable this due to how I programmed - why? Prevent killing engines whilst airborne. Yeah?L/G Warn is Parking Brake toggle. Autopilot engage/disengage does that, the Main A/P. RDR ALTM toggles HUGS display up and down. PATH engages LNAV ALT engages VNAV.The hat switches on the throttle adjust CRSE left and right, ALTITUDE and HEADING. The sliver side switch (left side) gear UP and gear down. The silver slide switch topmost right side pull towards you sounds passenger alert chime push away from you toggles the JETWAY. Middle silver button, pull toward you deploys airbrakes to 50% (max detent during flight) return to center turns off spoilers. Push fully forward ARMS spoilers for landing (but does not deploy them). Red bottom side switch pull towards you toggle A/P CMD A push away from you toggle A/P CMD BThe right rotator grey switch I use FSUIPC to set that axis for FLAPS. On the 737 it works perfectly. Centered is 10 degrees, fully down is 40 and fully up is 0. Try it. AMAZING.You may wish to assign things differently, but the great thing about LINDA is it's simple to use. Get version 1.11 (free from AVSIM). Consider donating to LINDA if you like it. A LOT of work went into it and it now supports up to 10 joysticks.Tip: The Logitech G13 keypad is NOT, repeat NOT recognized or supported by LINDA. It won't work because LINDA sees it as a KEYPAD not as a JOYSTICK.I hope this topic saves some of you a lot of the pain I encountered. Be aware that FSUIPC REGISTERED version is required, the free version won't do what you need it to do AFAIK. They constantly update software, be sure you have the latest versions. FSUIPC and LINDA both "live" in your FSX MODULES folder.It's wise and critically important to do frequent regular "rotating" backups. Get a good backup program, be sure you understand not only how to back up, but how to RESTORE (from your backup) and how to 'test' your backup to be sure your system can "READ IT" (iow, it's not "corrupt"). I personally like ACRONIS True Image Home 2011, they have 2012 out now. It's not super intuitive, but it's pretty strong and it will send you emails to notify when jobs complete, and it can turn your system off after the backup finishes.Keep the blue side up!Robert