View Full Version : The Art of the Hat-Switch Zip File

02-24-2006, 06:35 AM
I use a hat-switch in combination with one base button to pan views while flying cockpit-on online and off.
Properly set-up and practised with, a hat-switch is 100% capable of standing toe to toe with any method of panning views, and in my opinion is the best of all.

I have used a microsoft precision2 stick for five years now, but have set up other sticks with a hat-switch and base button to do the same.

I have the zero degree position of the hat-switch set to "look forward", and one base button set to "look-up".

Using this set-up, you can keep both hands on your control stick, and do almost all flying except for minor engine adjustments and take off and landing procedures without using a keyboard or mouse.

The hat-switch is a tiny device which can be moved to the extremes of it's travel with the flick of a finger, back and forth much faster than you can move any a larger part of your body to control panning. Once practised, it can be done without a thought, and becomes part of your subconscious processes like breathing.


Here is a link to a zip file. It is on Rapidshare. The first page to come up you must select "free", then the next page you enter a number in a box and hit a button, then wait about twenty seconds for download to start.
This is my first post ever with a file link, I do not like Rapidshare, if anyone has a better file host with less hoops to jump through let me know.

Anyway, this zip file contaings tracks to put in your "records" file of your installation of this sim. They are tracks I made while flying online tracking opponents in dogfights. Please view them with "manual views disabled" so you can see how I look around to track objects.

I have e-mailed individuals with tracks and instructions for using a hat-switch before, and everyone said it helped them improve. I hope this helps someone too.




Hat-Switch: The control located at the top of many modern joystick designs, handy to the thumb, which has eight positions of contact, located at degrees of 0,45,90,135,180,215,270,315. Usually by default set to roughly control some type of panning of views.

02-24-2006, 06:42 AM
Your probably right.. I've watched some of Hart Dreyers tracks and he uses the numeric keyboard I think,, very fast and very accurate.

I used to use a hat switch and think in some areas it was definately more effective than my track IR, I wouldn't go back though.

Track ir, to me, just feels a lot nicer, and more immersive.

02-24-2006, 07:04 AM
Where is this "hat switch" you refer to?

02-24-2006, 09:30 AM
Originally posted by Jumoschwanz:
Please view them with "manual views enabled" so you can see how I look around to track objects.
I'm guessing that should read "Manual View Control" disabled, of course.

Originally posted by Lucious_Esox
I've watched some of Hart Dreyers tracks and he uses the numeric keyboard I think,, very fast and very accurate.

Indeed, he does that amazingly. Lots and lots of his tracks at his site, the dreyer vs. Hartmann game! (http://www.dreyermachine.com/il2/)

*Edit* Actually, Dreyer does his magic with the keypad http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif
Just checked the way he explains it in this GD thread (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/23110283/m/1981079504).
I use TIR and loving it, btw, but (or hence) I admire it nonetheless.


02-24-2006, 09:54 AM
I've always used hat switches to pan views and I feel no need for a better input device like a track ir.
When I had a x45, I used the hat switch in two ways, the first which were simple presses would do snap views, while shifted it would emulate mouse and leave it's position fixed.
Now with my cougar I use it's ministick as mouse emulation too, but with the advantage of it's different acceleration zones (near center is slow, near edges is very fast), so there's no need for snaps because it can be fast. To center view I simply press the button on the ministick (action on release), shift ministick button toggles flight/gunsight view. Since it's on the left hand thumb, it doesn't interfere with stick operation.

02-24-2006, 10:04 AM
So how do you set the hatswitch up to work the way you are talking about....

02-24-2006, 11:24 AM
Originally posted by claypidgon:
So how do you set the hatswitch up to work the way you are talking about....
You just need to assign the hatswitch positions to the views, in the 'Controls' screen. Just like ordinary buttons.


02-24-2006, 12:23 PM
By default, the hat switch should be set to pan views. The only hat-switch feature I change, as I stated above, is to go into controls and set "look forward" to hat switch zero, so that when you push forward on the hat-switch, in effect, nothing happens at all. Then I set a base button to "look-up" and I am all set, using a combination of these, to intuitively pan to any view I want.

The big advantage of this, is that with the setting of additional buttons on your stick for flaps and some other critical controls, you can eliminate using the keyboard at all during combat, and have not only a much more stable control of the plane because of two hands on the joystick control, but save many fractions of a second you might otherwise lose fumbling for keys, a mouse or with another stick.
Your eyes are always on the screen, you do not have to move your head around at all like with track IR. The more stable and more still you can keep the rest of your body, the better you will be able to control shot-making and other fine points of aircraft control.

I started out using the numberpad for this sim when it first came out, I spent some time relying on padlock, tried bought and tried track IR, and this hat-switch technique is the best I have found for me.

Also it is nice to know you can fly this sim on any level, against anyone, using just what comes in the box plus a good twisty-stick. Yes, I have CH usb pedals, but find no advantage with them over a twisty-stick either, I think you can even manipulate the rudder faster with your wrist than moving your legs.
Those using track IR and rudder pedals, I think are putting enough energy into moving there head and legs, they can not get the precision or speed of control you can get if you are well practised with a twisty-stick that has everything in one place, and can be manipulated while your body is still and rock solid.

Sure rudder pedals, track IR and force feedback sticks and other gadgets add to the immersion and simming experience, but for pure fighting performance, they are unecessary, and very possible more imprecise, inefficient and distracting than using the minimum of equipment to do the job.


02-24-2006, 12:34 PM
Twisty-sticks are the spawn of satan. Just wanted to mention that. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

The problem with the hat switch is that it's slow. When you press left, it ponderously pans left until it reaches it's max pan point and holds until you release. TiR and the mouse can snap almost instantly. The difference is extreme.

I use the microstick on the Cougar's throttle. It's a mini-analog joystick controlled by the thumb that can be mapped to emulate the mouse for the OS, via the Cougar's software. This gives me almost TiR/true mouse speed, as well as much more fine control on where and how I pan (plus panning slowly if I like, at any time).

02-24-2006, 01:10 PM
Wow, watch my tracks and tell me about the part I am having trouble tracking because of slow panning ok Unknown?
Thanks in advance for your trouble...


02-24-2006, 02:29 PM
I use the TrackIR because I am a klutz who lacks the dexterity to perform the the finger work necessary for the keypad or HAT switch pans. All power to all of you. More than one way to skin a cat. I use my hat for wide/medium/close shifts and to open the canopy for a better view.

02-24-2006, 02:42 PM
I used to hat pan as well untill I quite my job and got out with a nice big going away bonus and bought a TrackIR unit.

Never going to hat pan in my life from now on since TrackIR is sooooooooo much better.

I also bought a CH Throttle Quadrant a few days ago and with it's 6 levers and 12 buttons I don't need my keyboard at all anymore.

Stick, CH throttle quadrant, TiR and CH pedals and all is good to go. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

02-24-2006, 05:02 PM
Right you are, Nubarus. Ordering one myself to liberate myself from keyboard tyranny and to have precision trim.

02-24-2006, 05:50 PM
Mouse is best

& will never be usurped

Originally posted by Unknown-Pilot:
The problem with the hat switch is that it's slow. When you press left, it ponderously pans left until it reaches it's max pan point and holds until you release. TiR and the mouse can snap almost instantly. The difference is extreme. snap view speeds are configurable - to so fast your videocard wont be able to keep up http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif

airwarfare.com has the config explanation if you want to find out how

02-24-2006, 06:04 PM
This is how I have it set on my X45, if you go into the user folder then the Doe folder in the main game folder, then copy the settings config and paste this in the appropriate area OF THE COPY,rename the original you use by say adding original to the end of it, then remove the words "copy of" from the copy of settings so it reads settings you can try it, after done you can delete the copy and rename your original version back to what it was ie settings

You will be able to pan around the cockpit with the top hat seamlessly, ontop of that the little top hat mouse button on the throttle will swop views to external etc then the top hat on the joystick will pan round seamlessly externally etc........ It is very accurate and I use it for skinning to scroll round the plane to check the skins etc for correct mapping http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif you can even zoom in as normal http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

[HotKey aircraftView]
Ctrl F8=NextViewEnemyFollow
Ctrl F2=NextViewEnemy
Ctrl F1=CockpitShow
Alt F7=ViewEnemyDirectGround
Alt F6=ViewEnemyDirectAir
Joystick5 JoystickDevice0=cockpitAim
Joystick22 JoystickDevice0=CockpitView
Joystick24 JoystickDevice0=OutsideViewFly
Joystick25 JoystickDevice0=OutsideView
Shift F8=NextViewFollow
Shift F7=ViewFriendGround
Shift F6=ViewFriendAir
Shift F5=PadlockViewFriendGround
Shift F4=PadlockViewFriend
Shift F2=NextView
Shift F1=cockpitAim
[HotKey SnapView]
Pov90 JoystickPov0=Snap_2_0
Pov135 JoystickPov0=Snap_3_0
Pov180 JoystickPov0=Snap_0_m1
Pov225 JoystickPov0=Snap_m3_0
Pov270 JoystickPov0=Snap_m2_0
Pov315 JoystickPov0=Snap_m1_0
Pov0 JoystickPov0=Snap_0_2
Pov45 JoystickPov0=Snap_1_0
[HotKey PanView]
Pov90 JoystickPov0=PanRight2
Pov135 JoystickPov0=PanRight3
Pov180 JoystickPov0=PanDown
Pov225 JoystickPov0=PanLeft3
Pov270 JoystickPov0=PanLeft2
Pov315 JoystickPov0=PanLeft
Pov0 JoystickPov0=PanUp
Pov45 JoystickPov0=PanRight
[HotKey orders]