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View Full Version : The best flightstick / Joystick for IL2 FB AEP!?!?!



Bedlam78
07-14-2004, 06:09 AM
Well im asking this question mainly cause i want to know what would be the preferred device for this game but also to know what everyone else out there is using so feel free to share your ideas on the best stick for the job.

Bedlam78
07-14-2004, 06:09 AM
Well im asking this question mainly cause i want to know what would be the preferred device for this game but also to know what everyone else out there is using so feel free to share your ideas on the best stick for the job.

TgD Thunderbolt56
07-14-2004, 06:50 AM
There are many choices, but most would reply with the following (all three are HOTAS controllers):

Best bang for the buck: Saitek X-45 Approx. $70 USD

Best high-end: Thrustmaster Cougar Approx. $300 USD or the CH FighterStick, Pro Throttle, Pro Pedals combo approx. $350 USD

Each of these has their supporting crowd and my suggestion is to decide on how much you can/want to spend and try to check them out in person before you buy.

Here are the "general" statements from most posters:
1. Saitek has some good features, but is the cheapest and feels like it.

2. Thrustmaster Cougar has an all metal design and has excellent programming software that's easy to use, but usually requires some pricey aftermarket mods to really make them shine.

3. CH is high quality, is very durable and comfortable. This setup requires a few more USB ports and while the software is powerful, it is not quite as intuitive for the average user.

Go to their sites and do some additional research and make an educated decision.

I've used all three, but use CH exclusively now and have for years.

TB



http://home.earthlink.net/~aclzkim1/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/texassports_01.gif

HFC_Dolphin
07-14-2004, 07:01 AM
Though I was dissapointed in the beginning with CH (I'm still ashame of the post that I'd written in here http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif), now I don't think that there is any better stick than this.

The best combo though would be the following:
Stick: CH Fighterstick
Throttle: Cougar (but it's only sold with the stick), then X45 (same as Cougar - not sold sole) and then the CH PRO throttle.
Rudder Pedals: Simped are by far the best http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

S!

Sienikeitto
07-14-2004, 07:08 AM
I prefer to my Microsoft Sidewinder Force Feedback 2. Anyone else?

Only bad thing about it is that it has only 8 buttons...

horseback
07-14-2004, 07:58 AM
I'm very happy with my CH Products HOTAS rig, although I regret not snapping up a couple of Microsoft FFBs right after they stopped production, and the price dropped to $50.

That said, there have been rumblings that CH might produce a FFB stick, and if they do, I'll get it, but until then, I'll happily play with my Combatstick (better ergonomics than the more expensive Fighterstick IMO), Pro Throttle, and Pro Pedals, attached thru the 4-port USB hub I got at Frys' for $4 US. I found the software reasonably rational, and it allows me to combine my controllers into a single, 6-axis, 30 button + POV hat controller.

cheers

horseback

"Here's your new Mustangs, boys. You can learn to fly'em on the way to the target. Cheers!" -LTCOL Don Blakeslee, 4th FG CO, February 27th, 1944

RevvinUK
07-14-2004, 11:46 AM
I think it should be noted that in the prices quoted above that the $300 for the Cougar does not include rudder pedals so you could add another $80+ where as if you shop around at somewhere like Provantage (http://www.provantage.com/buy-110CHPU-ch-shopping.htm) you can pick up a CH USB Fighterstick, Pro Throttle and Pro Pedals for $290.64, a 5 port USB 2.0 card would set you back $18 if you don't have enough ports.

Revvin

The CH Hangar - Profiles, scripting ideas and discussion for CH users (http://www.ch-hangar.com)

eXtra_Corrosiv
07-14-2004, 11:47 AM
ch works well, but is light and cheaply made.
thrustmaster is well made but somewhat delecate.
saitek works well but some have centering issues.

for years i used a logitech wingman extreme and a ch throttle. now i use a saitek x45 and ch rudder pedals.

just stay away from the non cougar thrustmaster hotas setups and you'll be ok. they are dx7 and only support 9 or 10 buttons.

i think they're called the afterburner.

never used force feedback before..

Athlon 3200+ / 2x512 corsair c2pt 3200LL / radeon X800 Pro / Audigy 2 ZS / WinXP / Saitek X45

eXtra_Corrosiv
07-14-2004, 11:47 AM
ch works well, but is light and cheaply made.
thrustmaster is well made but somewhat delecate.
saitek works well but some have centering issues.

for years i used a logitech wingman extreme and a ch throttle. now i use a saitek x45 and ch rudder pedals.

just stay away from the non cougar thrustmaster hotas setups and you'll be ok. they are dx7 and only support 9 or 10 buttons.

i think they're called the afterburner.

never used force feedback before..

Athlon 3200+ / 2x512 corsair c2pt 3200LL / radeon X800 Pro / Audigy 2 ZS / WinXP / Saitek X45

JG52Uther
07-14-2004, 12:18 PM
X45 HOTAS is the best i have used so far,but ,as already mentioned,it does feel a bit 'cheap'.It all depends on what you feel comfortable with,apparently the X45 stick is too small for some.I have never seen a CH or Cougar up close and personal but if they are as good as everyone seems to think they are then i would seriously consider paying out for one.But then again i dont think i could justify that sort of money.are they really worth that much more than an X45 ? you have to ask yourself

http://img78.photobucket.com/albums/v299/JG52Uther/FW.jpg Yeah Baby!!

hughlb2
07-14-2004, 12:30 PM
I have a question. Sorry Bedlam78 but i'm about to hijack this threadhttp://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/59.gif (sort of)

I too asked the question about the best joystick/HOTAS setup and was mostly told the CH Fighterstick, pedals and throttle setup.

I have a fairly spikey Logitech Wingman Strikeforce 3D FFB and was looking to upgrade.
I don't wan't to get the X45 because the X52 is so close and I hate rockers. But I would maybe consider lashing out and buying the complete CH setup in a few months time.

Should I -

A) Save up for a complete CH setup

B) Buy the X52 when its released.

most people say the X45 is a great stick and many use it. The X52 should be even better and for around the same cost. CH are highly recommended but I would have to get the whole setup, damn expensive. Hmm this is a tough one.

Yep, I know knowbody really can say much about the X52, but I might as well ask. I will post this again perhaps anyway, after its released.

Zeus-cat
07-14-2004, 12:33 PM
MS FFB2!!!

Don't think I would still be playing this game if I didn't have this stick.

Zeus-cat

TgD Thunderbolt56
07-14-2004, 12:33 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Revvin_UK:
I think it should be noted that in the prices quoted above that the $300 for the Cougar does not include rudder pedals so you could add another $80+ <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


Good point Revvin. I forgot about that aspect and fought the urge to sound like a CH "fanboy", But I'll take the time to do it now.

I've used CH products since the original Flight stick (circa 1993). It had all of 2 buttons but was comfortable and rugged as h3ll. I still have it btw. I've also traded my fighterstick for a flight stick pro (for its 100% ambidextrous grip) and am extremely happy with it. The support from CH is the envy of every other controller manufacturer and shouldn't be taken lightly either. The Cougar crowd will say "they're made of plastic and feel cheap", but I beg to differ. Yes, they do have many plastic components but they are extremely sturdy and are less prone to failure than either the Saitek or Cougar.

In all reality, $300 seems like quite a bit to spend and not everybody can afford to spend that kind of cash on controllers. After using mine for a few years, I can say I would pay even more if it was necessary to get the quality, reliability and support I get from CH.

TB



http://home.earthlink.net/~aclzkim1/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/texassports_01.gif

LuckyBoy1
07-14-2004, 12:40 PM
The point briefly made about about pedals should not be overlooked. I really felt silly ordering my CH pedals, but would not give them up for anything now that I have them. I originally had a Logitec Farce Feedback 3-D Joystick and it died in less than 14 months of use which is pretty typical of the cheaper stuff. I find farce feedback to be unnatural, so I do not prefer it. As a result, going to a CH Fighterstick was an easy choice for me. The comment about anything on a CH stick being cheaply made is just plain false. They use medical grade switches and my stick has performed flawlessly.

Now with an actual index & more fiber! It is newer & and even more improved! It's Luckyboy's Guide For Complete Users!...

http://www.pingu666.modded.me.uk/luckyboy/LuckyboysGuide2.htm

Luckyboy = Senior hydraulic landing gear designer for the P-11 & Contributing Editor to Complete Users magazine.

RevvinUK
07-14-2004, 01:07 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by LuckyBoy1:
The comment about anything on a CH stick being cheaply made is just plain false. They use medical grade switches and my stick has performed flawlessly.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Could'nt agree more, at the risk of sounding like a fanboy what is often overlooked is that CH has a 25 year history of supplying industrial grade joysticks and switches. I have a Force FX stick I bought when they first came out 6 or 7 years ago with a Pro Throttle that still work to this day and I've not changed a pot or switch in either. My current CH USB Fighterstick/Pro Throttle/Pro Pedals/Flight Sim yoke is just about the best I've used and I've owned a variety of TM gear, the FCS/WCSII, F16FLCS/TQS, MS FF2, Saitek X36, TM HOTAS Cougar to name but a few I just wish CH would remake the Force FX with a USB connection as the Force FX would probably rank as my favourite out of all the sticks I've used.

Revvin

The CH Hangar - Profiles, scripting ideas and discussion for CH users (http://www.ch-hangar.com)

x6BL_Brando
07-14-2004, 01:30 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>ch works well, but is light and cheaply made. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You must be joking!! In my quest to make a left-hand operated Fighterstick I have sawn, drilled and completely re-wired mine and it's built like a brick sh1thouse. Apart from the all-metal Cougar I can't think of a more ruggedly constructed piece of kit.

eXtra_Corrosiv
07-14-2004, 01:33 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Revvin_UK:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by LuckyBoy1:
The comment about anything on a CH stick being cheaply made is just plain false. They use medical grade switches and my stick has performed flawlessly.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Could'nt agree more, at the risk of sounding like a fanboy what is often overlooked is that CH has a 25 year history of supplying industrial grade joysticks and switches. I have a Force FX stick I bought when they first came out 6 or 7 years ago with a Pro Throttle that still work to this day and I've not changed a pot or switch in either. My current CH USB Fighterstick/Pro Throttle/Pro Pedals/Flight Sim yoke is just about the best I've used and I've owned a variety of TM gear, the FCS/WCSII, F16FLCS/TQS, MS FF2, Saitek X36, TM HOTAS Cougar to name but a few I just wish CH would remake the Force FX with a USB connection as the Force FX would probably rank as my favourite out of all the sticks I've used.

Revvin

http://www.ch-hangar.com<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


Cheaply made was perhaps a poor choice of words. In place, please let me state that they are big, and the actual plastic your hand touches feels cheep. the base is not sturdy, and not stable. I do know the sticks work well, I have the rudder pedals and the usb pro throttle. I also know CH makes REAL flight sticks for real applications like helos.


The saitek, is extremely stable, and the quality of the stick itself is far superoir, I will give the "buttons" contest toch though.

The cougar has the best software I've found, but I would be leary of such an expensive part that consistantly breaks buttons.

The good part is that replacement buttons are available. CH will just fix your stick good as new andsend it back, and ssaitek will just send you a new stick.

If you live in the USA, you can walk in to a fry's store and try all the ch sticks. If you hae no fry's you can order them, including the new and awesome multi engine throttle quad from mwave.com or some other....

saiteks can be touched at most stores, dont forget the pinkie switch has a removable extension, i went from being one of the people with too large hands to one of the people with just right hands.

If flight sims are not your main thing, get the saitek. If flying is all you do, and you don't mind a light unstable stick floating all around your desk (or if you screw it down) than grab the CH.

No product is for everyone, and the ch is not my first choice. more of a personal thing.

Athlon 3200+ / 2x512 corsair c2pt 3200LL / radeon X800 Pro / Audigy 2 ZS / WinXP / Saitek X45

RevvinUK
07-14-2004, 03:02 PM
Well I guess we'll have to disagree, I've owned both the Cougar and the CH Fighterstick as well as the Saitek x36. Out of those three the Cougar moved the most, the rubber pads are not fixed particularly securely (was'nt on the four I owned..yes 4, three developed terminal failures that resulted in sending them back to TM) they slipped around and the spring tension meant the base lifted as you went from one side of the axis to another, the throttle was'nt too bad though. My Saitek X36 held the desk pretty well but still occasionally lifted during extreme manouvres while the CH Fighterstick due to the lighter springing and the well fastened rubber feet stuck to my desk rather well and has hardly ever lifted even during a tense dogfight in IL-2.

Horses for course though, it's a good idea to try as many of the suggestions here as possible as everyone's taste is different just trying to give my honest opinion and experience of the controllers I've owned through the years.

Revvin

The CH Hangar - Profiles, scripting ideas and discussion for CH users (http://www.ch-hangar.com)

eXtra_Corrosiv
07-14-2004, 03:16 PM
hey ch fan.... you seen this?

http://www.mwave.com/mwave/spec3/images/3477407.jpg

"6 Axis 24 Buttons
* 6 Physical Detents
* Fully Programmable with CH Control Manager software (included)
* Control Manager software enables 350 button positions

drewl.......

(btw i drool over anything that clamps down)

Athlon 3200+ / 2x512 corsair c2pt 3200LL / radeon X800 Pro / Audigy 2 ZS / WinXP / Saitek X45

[This message was edited by eXtra_Corrosiv on Wed July 14 2004 at 02:26 PM.]

arcadeace
07-14-2004, 03:38 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
just stay away from the non cougar thrustmaster hotas setups and you'll be ok. they are dx7 and only support 9 or 10 buttons.

i think they're called the afterburner.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Just want to say I own an Afterburner II throttle and stick and its a good setup for the money. Your correct in that it only has 9 buttons but its made just as durable as the Saitek X45. The bases for both components are weighted and basically stay put. There's also the choice of twist rudder or rocker switch. There's an adjustable spring for the throttle tension and its very easy to modify to get any tension desired. Mine is absolutely perfect for me. Also, it has full DX support, you must be thinking of an old model. The drivers go right in, with 1 easy USB plug.

531_Ghost
07-14-2004, 03:45 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by eXtra_Corrosiv:
hey ch fan.... you seen this?

http://www.mwave.com/mwave/spec3/images/3477407.jpg

"_6 Axis 24 Buttons
* 6 Physical Detents
* Fully Programmable with CH Control Manager software (included)
* Control Manager software enables 350 button positions _

drewl.......

(btw i drool over anything that clamps down)

Athlon 3200+ / 2x512 corsair c2pt 3200LL / radeon X800 Pro / Audigy 2 ZS / WinXP / Saitek X45

[This message was edited by eXtra_Corrosiv on Wed July 14 2004 at 02:26 PM.]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Why yes I have seen that http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
http://img59.photobucket.com/albums/v179/531Ghost/MVC-001S.jpg

TgD Thunderbolt56
07-14-2004, 03:47 PM
Here ya go eXtra_Corrosive. Clamp to your hearts content.

http://home.earthlink.net/~aclzkim1/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/clamps.jpg
http://home.earthlink.net/~aclzkim1/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/texassports_01.gif

eXtra_Corrosiv
07-14-2004, 03:59 PM
danke

Athlon 3200+ / 2x512 corsair c2pt 3200LL / radeon X800 Pro / Audigy 2 ZS / WinXP / Saitek X45

Bearcat99
07-14-2004, 09:25 PM
SaitekX45/MSFFB2/CHPro setup works for me. It is not too pricey and i have had my setup for over a year now with no problems whatsoever. Anybody in this threrad who has a MSFFB2 stick should get an X45 as well. The combo is off the hook and you will never have to touch your keyboard again. You will have the best of both worlds... FFB AND HOTAS.

<UL TYPE=SQUARE>http://www.jodavidsmeyer.com/combat/bookstore/tuskegeebondposter.jpg (http://tuskegeeairmen.org/airmen/who.html)[/list]<UL TYPE=SQUARE>vflyer@comcast.net [/list]<UL TYPE=SQUARE>99thPursuit Squadron IL2 Forgotten Battles (http://www.geocities.com/rt_bearcat)[/list]
UDQMG (http://www.uberdemon.com/index2.html) | HYPERLOBBY (http://hyperfighter.jinak.cz/) | Sturmovik Essentials (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums?a=tpc&s=400102&f=23110283&m=51910959) | MUDMOVERS (http://magnum-pc.netfirms.com/mudmovers/index.htm)

IMMERSION BABY!!

B16Enk
07-15-2004, 03:06 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Bearcat99:
SaitekX45/MSFFB2/CHPro setup works for me. It is not too pricey and i have had my setup for over a year now with no problems whatsoever. Anybody in this threrad who has a MSFFB2 stick should get an X45 as well. The combo is off the hook and you will never have to touch your keyboard again. You will have the best of both worlds... FFB AND HOTAS.


_IMMERSION BABY!!_<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Amen to that! http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

@Hughlb2: Why not spoil your self now and get an X45 and CH Pro pedals?

The rocker then becomes your flaps....http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

hughlb2
07-15-2004, 03:15 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by B16Enk:

@Hughlb2: Why not spoil your self now and get an X45 and CH Pro pedals?

The rocker then becomes your flaps....http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes its very tempting B16Enk and that would be a good setup, but the X52 seems almost within reach, its only a few months from release and i'm really intrigued about the improvements it will bring. Hmm, I will have to think about it all.

B16Enk
07-15-2004, 10:11 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by hughlb2:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by B16Enk:

@Hughlb2: Why not spoil your self now and get an X45 and CH Pro pedals?

The rocker then becomes your flaps....http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes its very tempting B16Enk and that would be a good setup, but the X52 seems almost within reach, its only a few months from release and i'm really intrigued about the improvements it will bring. Hmm, I will have to think about it all.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yep I too was interested in the X52, until I saw it doesn't have the rocker any more http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

I use the rocker for flaps, it's so intuitive, as I have the pedals (and an MSFFB2 stick) already.

badatit
07-15-2004, 10:24 AM
What Bearcat99 said, and more.

I have an old (original) Microsft Sidewinder Force Feedback. CH Pro Pedals, Saitek X45, and a TrackIR (1).
A great (bang for your buck) setup.


Be advised...It will take some months to get proficient w/this setup. Less time, if you fly alot.
S'

LittleMadZ
07-15-2004, 11:44 AM
I too have a MS FFB2, previously i had the first version, used for years without a problem. I thought about buying a X45 just for the throttle and try to sold the joistick, but someone can tell me if with the switch on the throttle i can program even the buttons of the MS joistick??

Howewer i will never fly anymore without a FFB stick! In my mind is a much more thrilling sensation!!!

bye to all

Madz

Spinnetti
07-15-2004, 04:48 PM
I like my combo of x45 and chpro pedals. I don't install any drivers, but just let windows handle it. I also have a trackir.

I've tried other joysticks, but like this one the best. These are the only pedals I've used, but they work fine for me.

The Trackir is nice, but could use longer range. I don't think the newer ones extend range any..

Bedlam78
07-16-2004, 12:08 AM
Thanks for all the input guys unfortunatly for me saitek products are not available here in south africa yet, well not the ones you guys speak of anyway. My choices are genius, logitech, microsoft and A4 tech. By the way i'm very new to flight sims on the pc so i'm a bit confused when you guys use terms such as hotas and ffb and other associated jargon. Can anyone clear this up for me.

I'm thinking of going for either the logitech wingman extreme 3D pro or the wingman force 3D. What do you guys think.

Another problem here is that we dont get the pedals or even that other side controller that comes with the x45 that you guys speak of. I guess there is'nt a market for such things here so i have to do with the bare minimum.

AirPerra
07-16-2004, 01:27 AM
Bedlam78

I used to have a Saitek X45. Broke after two months... Now I have the CH fighterstick/prothrottle setup. Waiting for my pedals. A bunch of the guys I fly with actually "only" use the Log Wingman Ext. 3D Pro, and they love it! Also, they shoot me down much more than I shoot them down!
I recommend you just get the 3D pro. There is no stick that can make up for being the inferior pilot, so go fly, learn, and then "trade up" at some later stage.

Just my two cents.

Ironman69
07-16-2004, 01:39 AM
Dude, just use a Microsoft Precision Pro USB joystick. Has everything you need. I use it..twistable handle for rudder..throttle slider comes easy to hand..and sturdy HAT switch. I use it and blow all you MOFOS with your fancy sh*t out of the sky any day.

JG52Uther
07-16-2004, 01:53 AM
Bedlam...HOTAS stands for 'hands on throttle and stick' so you dont have to touch the keyboard.FFB means ' force feed back' (i think)Like i said i use an X45 and love it,but i too get shot down by squaddies with 'lesser' sticks.Cant you order off the net?

http://img78.photobucket.com/albums/v299/JG52Uther/FW.jpg Yeah Baby!!

Bedlam78
07-16-2004, 03:46 AM
Thanks guys everyone's been helpfull. I've decided on the logitech freedom 2400 / 2.4. So i'll be flyin smooth soon. Hope to get some of you guys in some net games so see you in the skies soon ... for some of you, in my crosshairs.