View Full Version : What sort of control setup?

02-20-2004, 10:41 PM
Just curious what control setup everybody is using, like what joystick, throttle, rudder pedals, etc. I was thinking about getting a TM Cougar and CH Pro pedals, but after checking around, I've become a bit wary of paying $250 for something that is going to break. What HOTAS setup offers the same feel and features as the cougar.

Thanks in advance, any help is appreciated.

02-20-2004, 10:41 PM
Just curious what control setup everybody is using, like what joystick, throttle, rudder pedals, etc. I was thinking about getting a TM Cougar and CH Pro pedals, but after checking around, I've become a bit wary of paying $250 for something that is going to break. What HOTAS setup offers the same feel and features as the cougar.

Thanks in advance, any help is appreciated.

02-20-2004, 11:02 PM

1st, remember everyone has a different experience with the same product. You'll probably find more people who swear by Couger products that swear at them.
My preference for HOTAS is the Saitek X-45. Extremely versatile to program and at 80 USD retail, and as little as 40 USD reconditioned by Saitek, it's probably the best value for money HOTAS around. Now some don't like the looks of it, (too sci-fi), some the fact that it's light/plastic/aluminum compared to the (almost) all metal CH and Cougar models. Some, like Bearcat, combine a Forcefeedback stick (M$ Sidwinder FFB and the X-45 throttle quadrant.
As for reliability, some have had problems with breakage, some with squeaks, some with the rudder rocker, some with the light weight.
Personally I love mine. Nary a problem yet.
If money is an issue this is a good bet IMHO. If you can afford to combine them with CH's fine rudder pedals, all the better.
If possilbe go to an electronics/computer store that has several types on hand and give them a try. The bottom line is use what feels best/works best/is the most comfortalbe for you.
I think you should seriously check out the X-45.


02-21-2004, 02:10 AM
I have the CH Products setup (Throttle, Combatstick, and Pro Pedals), and I am quite happy with them. After 18 months of steady use, not a single glitch that wasn't self inflicted. I don't feel cheated out of my $300 by any means.

The key is to find something with enough buttons and Axes for things like trim, engine controls, and views. I found the extra POV hat swich on the throttle more accessable than the one on the stick, so the one on the stick is used for rudder & elevation trim. I am still getting used to TrackIR, so I haven't reassigned all my view buttons yet, but it's coming.

Some people find the CH sticks a little limp, or feel that they need Force Feedback. That's a matter of individual taste. Most computer specialty stores have a number of sticks on display, so find what fits your hand, your personality, and your budget.



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02-21-2004, 02:19 AM
For HOTAS, go with CH Products, Saitek or the Cougar. I have the Saitek, cheapest of the 3 but very good value for money.

Pedals, go CH Pro Pedals USB or the USB offering from Simped. If you choose the cougar you can go for the gameport versions instead if you prefer, as the cougar has a gameport plug on the back and will operate as a single combined controller.

In the cheaper range but also of sufficient quality for PC gaming are:

Microsoft (if you can find them, they're not made any longer) and Thrustmaster. Some people also have good results with the latest offerings from Logitech, though some of their models have problems with pot lifespan.


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02-21-2004, 05:48 AM
I use a X45 throtle and a saitek force feedback stick. I ve gone a step further by taking out the X45 rotary 1 pot for use in my home made rudder peddles.By extending a cable from the X45 to the peddles the pot is still connected vie the X45. ( works great.

Still trying http://mysite.freeserve.com/bull_dog/images/1-picture1.jpg?0.9261296277898643 Still dying

02-21-2004, 06:25 AM
I use an X45 Joystick. It's biggest advantages are value and versatility. You won't find a HOTAS w/ so many different programmable functions even @ twice the price of an X45. the downside is that you get what you get what you pay for. X45s do wear out. They also are notorious for going 'loose' in the center.

I use Ch pedals for rudder. They are durable, programmable, and have three axes (rudder and two toe breaks). Their only drawback is that they are more expensive than most joysticks.

I also use a Belkin speedpad. It's kinda like a button port for you left hand that comes w/ a hat and throttle slider. It's great for secondary functions and it's easier to use than a keyboard w/o having to look down @ it. I will say that the X45 has more than enough functions to get you by in FB, I mostly use the speedpad w/ LOMAC.

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02-21-2004, 07:09 AM
What Beebop said.... I love my X45/MSFFB2/CH setup. If I could find my cupon for TIR2 Id get that too....

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02-21-2004, 08:38 AM
I've been putting my CH Products Pro Throttle, Pro Pedals and F-16 Combat Stick through the grind since around 1997 (all gameport, to let you know how old it is...lol). I have had NO failures and can unequivocally recommend their stuff if you're looking to invest (yes, consider it an investment) in high quality, durable, precision input devices. Should any of them break, they even sell the parts (springs, switches, gimbals, etc) with which to fix them. Of course now they're all USB and far easier to setup and re-program. What's amazing to me is that the prices have not changed hardly at all since I bought mine. The one thing they don't offer is force feedback. For some reason they made a FF version of my stick for a short time, then discontinued it. I'm sure it's an added dimension, but not something I "have to have" to enjoy flying.

02-21-2004, 10:51 AM
In the lucky position of having both the Thrustmaster Cougar Hotas with elite pedals, and my trusty saitek X45.........whats more comortable to use? I would say the x45 believe it or not, the Thrustmaster gets pushed behind the saitek when flying http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

02-21-2004, 11:01 AM
I am using an X-45 although it seems that it has worn out in the center. It's a good value for the money but like Georgeo said you can't expect it to last like a Cougar or CH stick for as little as they cost. I am considering going with a FFB w/X-45 throttle combo or I may bite the bullet and get a CH.

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02-21-2004, 01:20 PM
I have a Thrustmaster Cougar with CH Gameport Rudder pedals. Before that, I had 2 Saitek X36 Combos. The 1st X36 became mis-calibrated and at the time (1998?) the software would not adjust the calibration, so I bought another one right before they were discontinued.
I always liked the "rudder rocker" that some people hate. When I upgraded to Windows XP, the new drivers fixed the calibration problem so I had 2.
I bought the Cougar, but when it arrived, it felt very stiff and cumbersome so I stayed with the X36 for another year.
Finally I started using the Cougar and I like it much better now. It feels more precise with the heavier pressure needed and does not feel as cheap and flimsy. It actually has more programmable features without using the shift features which always confused me. I have trouble memorizing that many button combinations (getting old I guess).
My Cougar has never had any problems after 2 years, but 1 of the Throttle buttons is so stiff I can barely toggle it. I have it mapped to supercharger 1-2 since it is not that frequently used.

I have 2 used X36s if you want to buy one cheap.

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