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b2spirita
02-18-2009, 02:59 PM
Name: Speedlink Blackwidow
Cost: 16.99/$24

Link:http://www.play.com/PC/PCs/4-/3273867/-/Product.html?searchstring=black+widow&searchsource=0

http://images.play.com/covers/3273867m.jpg

First off, this is not a top end joystick and so im not going to be reviewing it as such. It is a budget option and as ill show, a pretty good one.

The price is hard to beat alone and I do not know of another that is quite the same for a similar price. You get 4 buttons, mounted much like a modern stick, trigger thumb and two on top. In addition you also have a 4 buttons on the mount, a hatswitch and a separate throttle, which contains a unique (AFAIK) rudder control operated by ring and index fingers. Though this is a bit sensitive and tricky at first i am confident that it will become second nature after practice. I feel it to be more natural to use than a twist-stick but that will come down to personal preference.

The whole thing is exceedingly light and this may be an issue if you are heavy handed but it is equipped with suction cups you can apply to the bottom. Personally I haven't bothered. There is a lot of throw on the joystick, which also has a relatively large dead zone, both of which i like, others may disagree. The throttle is a little smooth for my liking but its sensitive enough.

As far as durability goes its reasonably well constructed but not as solid as others ive had. As long as you don't drop it you should be fine.

It is advertised as being ambidextrous but clearly that is not the case, what with the throttle mounted 3 inches away. This closeness might feel uncomfortable for some, but its fine for me. Buttons are somewhat cheap feeling but the overall material is good enough and seams don't cut into your hand.

Pros:
- Exceedingly cheap
- Excellent value for money
- Separate throttle and innovative rudder
- 7 buttons + Hatswitch

Cons:
- Buttons feel cheap
- Possibly too large dead zone
-........?? Yeah, there's not much else wrong with this one.


Conclusion:

For a first time simmer or for a cheap joystick, this is the best ive seen. Its not comparable in terms of overall quality to higher end joysticks but that's irrelevant given the low, low price. It possesses excellent features and works smoothly in il2.If you want to be a snob and be put off but the 'arcade' label, fine. If you like lots of features for little cash, with what I feel is no compromise, give this a go.

9.5/10

Urufu_Shinjiro
02-18-2009, 04:00 PM
Nice review B2, it does indeed sound like a great starter stick.

Chivas
02-18-2009, 05:06 PM
A long throw stick with a large deadzone will double the time it takes to get off an accurate shot. I had an X52 with that deadly combination which gave the stick a new home in my closet.

b2spirita
02-18-2009, 05:13 PM
Originally posted by Chivas:
A long throw stick with a large deadzone will double the time it takes to get off an accurate shot. I had an X52 with that deadly combination which gave the stick a new home in my closet.

Like i said, its up too personal choice really. I personally like that.

I forgot to mention that it does have some capacity to shake, ie when hit, but this doesnt seem to be working. Maybe i need to play around with the settings. Ether way its not a big deal to me.

Ba5tard5word
02-18-2009, 05:28 PM
hmm...good price...


Are there any flight sticks with any kind of true analog stick for looking around the cockpit? A hatswitch usually only gives you 8 axes of looking, right?

I use an xbox 360 joystick which I've really got the hang of for Il-2, and I love using the right analog stick to look around, but I'd like more control over the plane...

Probably a good (though a bit clunky) compromise would be to hold a flight stick with one hand and hold the 360 controller with my other hand, Il-2 can recognize more than one controller at a time right?

TgD Thunderbolt56
02-18-2009, 05:38 PM
What's the programming software like...if there is any?

b2spirita
02-18-2009, 05:43 PM
Originally posted by TgD Thunderbolt56:
What's the programming software like...if there is any?


Well it came with a cd, which appeared to simply be a driver cd, so i elected just to plug 'n play, which worked fine.

horseback
02-18-2009, 06:05 PM
Originally posted by Ba5tard5word:
hmm...good price...


Are there any flight sticks with any kind of true analog stick for looking around the cockpit? A hatswitch usually only gives you 8 axes of looking, right?

I use an xbox 360 joystick which I've really got the hang of for Il-2, and I love using the right analog stick to look around, but I'd like more control over the plane...

Probably a good (though a bit clunky) compromise would be to hold a flight stick with one hand and hold the 360 controller with my other hand, Il-2 can recognize more than one controller at a time right? I have four recognized controllers in my 'base' setup, six if you count the CH stick/throttle/pedals/quadrent that the software has 'combined' into two controllers seen by the game.

If you're not using TrackIR to control your view, I'd recommend a left hand POV hat on your throttle with a pair of buttons assigned to Look Up and Look Down. In Snap View mode, using the up/down button at the same time as a POV hat position will raise or lower your line of sight by 45 degrees. In the Wide FOV, this will give you full coverage in all directions available.

I found that working the POV hat on the stick in a dogfight was not always a good thing, which was why I moved the assignment to my throttle as soon as I realized it was possible.

Saitek's X52 HOTAS has a mouse controller you can use the way you describe, but it ain't cheap, especially if you get the X52Pro. CH Products Pro Throttle also has a mouse stick, but I hated it almost immediately (but that's just me--I'm a profoundly monodextrous righty), and it too is pricey.

cheers

horseback

Ba5tard5word
02-18-2009, 06:35 PM
hmm well trackIR is expensive but I really want the full range of movement an analog stick gives. I may get an inexpensive joystick and see how it does matched with the 360 controller though.

Urufu_Shinjiro
02-18-2009, 09:34 PM
Saiteks software allows you to use the 8 way hatswitch as a mouse for view, there is also third party software to do this with any hatswitch. And trackIR is far better than any analog stick http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif.

Tully__
02-19-2009, 04:48 AM
Originally posted by b2spirita:
...and a separate throttle, which contains a unique (AFAIK) rudder control operated by ring and index fingers....
Possibly unique in controllers currently in production, but Saitek's X-45 used a similar arrangement. The consensus on the X-45 implementation of it was you either learn to love it or you forever hate it.

b2spirita
02-19-2009, 04:56 AM
Originally posted by Tully__:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by b2spirita:
...and a separate throttle, which contains a unique (AFAIK) rudder control operated by ring and index fingers....
Possibly unique in controllers currently in production, but Saitek's X-45 used a similar arrangement. The consensus on the X-45 implementation of it was you either learn to love it or you forever hate it. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


Ahh, i did not know that. Personally I love it, its just a bit of an adjustment. Thats because i didn't use the rudder as much as i should when it was mapped to the keyboard for obvious reasons

Sokol__1
02-20-2009, 08:21 AM
Possibly unique in controllers currently in production, but Saitek's X-45 used a similar arrangement. The consensus on the X-45 implementation of it was you either learn to love it or you forever hate it.


Is used in entry-level Thrustmaster HOTAS (X) too:

http://www.thrustmaster.com/Up...tHotasX800x600_4.jpg (http://www.thrustmaster.com/Upload/1/thrustmaster/products/149/1/Files/1389/TFlightHotasX800x600_4.jpg)
http://www.thrustmaster.com/pr...tID=149&PlatformID=5 (http://www.thrustmaster.com/product.aspx?ProductID=149&PlatformID=5)

Sokol1

Tully__
02-20-2009, 03:40 PM
Originally posted by Sokol__1:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Possibly unique in controllers currently in production, but Saitek's X-45 used a similar arrangement. The consensus on the X-45 implementation of it was you either learn to love it or you forever hate it.


Is used in entry-level Thrustmaster HOTAS (X) too:

http://www.thrustmaster.com/Up...tHotasX800x600_4.jpg (http://www.thrustmaster.com/Upload/1/thrustmaster/products/149/1/Files/1389/TFlightHotasX800x600_4.jpg)
http://www.thrustmaster.com/pr...tID=149&PlatformID=5 (http://www.thrustmaster.com/product.aspx?ProductID=149&PlatformID=5)

Sokol1 </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Ah yes, I used to have one of those but I'd forgotten that feature. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif