View Full Version : CH Combatstick - My review

04-22-2006, 09:28 AM
As some of you have read, I was planning to buy a new joystick (see THIS (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/23110283/m/7041010134/p/1) thread). I want to thank all you guys for your inputs.

I got to borrow a friend's CH Fighterstick for a few days to help me make up my mind wheather I should buy a CH stick or not, and got my Combatstick yesterday. It is essentially the same stick, save some more 4way hatswitches on the FS and more "program ability".
I am very content with the CS though, I prefer more "ordinary" buttons rather than a "hi tech" setting as the FS has. Two 4way switches are more than enough, I won't be playing a jet sim anytime soon :wink:.

Now, the JS. It has a quite different "feel" than any other JS I have ever owned before. It is because of how the "axis" are made.

Hmm let me try to make myself a bit more clear.


"Ordinary" joysticks are more like a "shoulder joint, e.g you have the same "resistance" no matter which way you pull/push the stick. (see Nr 1)

Now the CH JS's consists of 2 "knee joints" (nr 4), which means when you only go straight X or Y axis, you have the same resistance. But when you push/pull the stick diagonally, you assign both knee joints, which makes the resistance almost twice as tough compared to the straight axis' movements. It takes awhile to get accustomed to, but after a few days I didn't even think about it. The resistance is pretty light anyway.

The stick centers very easily and feels more "precise" than any other stick I have ever owned.

The quality of the stick is high. Sure, the casing is not made of metal, but the plastic is very sturdy and robust (compared to many other more "modern" joysticks"), which makes me think it'll hold up for a very long time. The grip is quite big, very much the same as the X45 stick. For me with quite large hands, it feels perfect. For people with smaller hands, maybe it could feel a bit "clumpsy".

The alignments of the switches are ok, some a bit hard to reach as the "head" of the stick is big. This is not a problem for me, (handsize), even though I have to adjust my grip to reach the upper left button. Again, could be a problem for people with smaller hands.

On the base there are 3 dials. One is for throttle or similar, and the other two are "calibration" dials for the X and Y axis. As I already am using my X45 throttle (see my Saitek X45 Orheim Control Box Project HERE (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/23110283/m/2531022134)), I have assigned Prop pitch for the "throttle dial", for this it works ok. I would be a bit discontent though if I used it as a throttle as the dials feels a bit weak and thin (the only component of the stick actually). Also feels a bit "un-precise", not sure if this is due to the actual dial or the potentiometer (POT).
I guess you really ought to have a HOTAS setting with this stick, either with CH own throttle, or like me, the Saitek's.

The "calibration dials" have been questioned by others as they see no point with them. I however do like them, well the X dial anyway. With it you can calibrate the X axis (ailerons) analogously. You will see the advantage of this e.g when you fly the 109. As this plane lacks trims (except elevator) you often have to counteract the drift to the left by applying a little rudder or aileron. With the calibration dial you can adjust this until the stick is centered, which means you don't have to strain your hand too much when cruising long periods. This does not affect the game in anyway, you calibrate the stick - NOT the plane, and gives you no speed advantage, only comfort.
Be careful though, it is very sensitive.

So, to summerize:

- High Quality (means long life expectancy)
- Preciseness
- Analogue calibration of X and Y http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

- Big for people with small hands
- Some akward button alignments
- "throttle/dial" quality

My Grade: 9/10

04-22-2006, 05:36 PM
Nice review!
Agree with it for the most part (I have the Fighterstick).
I was annoyed by this centering force at first. But one the stick feels very precise now, maybe because it's possible to better feel the position of the stick due to its centering force.
Regarding the "trim" wheels, they are not extra axis, but just physical adjustment of the X & Y pots. Using them in game seems to throw off the calibration somehow. Like the stick is autocalibrated when you reach the limits, and by using trimwheel you get "extra range" that the autocalibration compensates for (speculation). Result is a less sensitive stick or an off-center calibration.
Other than that the stick is excellent, maybe a little light, might velcro it to the desk http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif.

04-22-2006, 06:00 PM
Must agree with your review after more than a year with a Combatstick. We likes it http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/heart.gif

04-23-2006, 12:25 AM
Glad to see you went with CH.. now all you need is the Pro Throttle and Pro Pedals.. and CH Control Manager 4.0 and yer ready to really rock... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

04-23-2006, 03:14 AM
Ch Pedals I have owned for quite some time, I and Im very content with the X45 throttle and my upcoming "X45 Orheim Control Box de Luxe" http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Just now, trying to figure out the Control Manager

04-23-2006, 04:07 AM
Just now, trying to figure out the Control Manager

The control manager is used to create different map's, for different game's, it work's very good. What vershion are you using

04-23-2006, 04:22 AM
Nice review, if you need any help be sure to drop by the CH Hangar (http://www.ch-hangar.com/).