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View Full Version : Which Brand of HOTAS for Il-2: Thrustmaster or CH?



terriblysilly
09-05-2007, 07:03 PM
Which is a better system for Il-2 sturmovik?
The Thrustmaster Cougar HOTAS, or the CH Fighterstick and related components?

terriblysilly
09-05-2007, 07:03 PM
Which is a better system for Il-2 sturmovik?
The Thrustmaster Cougar HOTAS, or the CH Fighterstick and related components?

Bearcat99
09-05-2007, 07:34 PM
You left out Saitek. Don't sleep on Saitek. The X-52 is a decent stick.. the X-52 PRO is a VERY decent stick.

claypidgon
09-05-2007, 07:38 PM
The Cougar if you can afford it..http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

knightflyte
09-05-2007, 09:08 PM
Boy, this'll sound cynical.

1st post and the first question is very specific about specific HOTAS?

I smell a rodent of sorts. One of our members bored stirring the pot?

Apologies if I'm wrong..... in which case. CH Products.

One benifit of Saitek is you don't have to have rudder peddles. They're decent too, though I do love My CH.

VMF-214_HaVoK
09-06-2007, 02:28 AM
I have been using an X-52 for a little over a year now along with CH pro pedals. Here shortly I will be going with CH Fighterstick and CH Throttle. I would not even consider Thrustmaster. My X52 twist rudder has been broke since the second week I got it which is the reason I went with pedals. It was actually a blessing in disguise because I love my pedals and would not want to fly without them. I always recommend the X-52 when people ask about sticks but lately Im starting to reconsider. My squad mate Pappy is on his second X52 and its giving him all kinds of troubles and Saitek support has been absolutely no help to him. Also you can scan hundreds of threads and find something negative about Saitek, Thrustmaster, and Logicrap. But I highly doubt you find any negatives writings about CH Products. I know my CH Pedals are built like a brick ****house and I can see them lasting for a decade or more. From what I gather the same holds true for the stick and throttle. So hopefully soon I will find out by getting my own set and Pappy is about to order the stick and throttle as well. I usually shop newegg but we found a combo deal on Amazon for around 213 bucks. From now on Im going to be recommending CH Products over anything. And as far as the Cougar is concerned, in my opinion its just not as practical for sims as CH or Saitek. Not as many programmable keys, complicated software, needs expensive mods to be effective, and overpriced. If you want full emersion when flying Falcon 4.0 then go for it I suppose. In the end the choice is yours so good luck.

S!

VMF-214_HaVoK
09-06-2007, 02:36 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by knightflyte:
Boy, this'll sound cynical.

1st post and the first question is very specific about specific HOTAS?

I smell a rodent of sorts. One of our members bored stirring the pot?

Apologies if I'm wrong..... in which case. CH Products.

One benifit of Saitek is you don't have to have rudder peddles. They're decent too, though I do love My CH. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Stirring the pot? If people are going to resort to bickering over who makes the best stick then that is pretty sad. Everyone has there preference and opinion and best bang for buck should come first to any reasonable consumer. In my opinion hardware fanboys are about as lame as it gets online. I actually think asking which stick most prefer is a pretty valid first post as its an essential piece of hardware for a flight sim. There are tons of other things one could stir the pot with if they so desired other then a stick debate.

S!

x6BL_Brando
09-06-2007, 04:58 AM
I use CH fighterstick and pedals. They've been running trouble-free for nearly five years. I had to make a conversion to suit my disability - here (http://www.ch-hangar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3551&highlight=Franken-Tripehound) - which shows just how rugged and adaptable this kit is.
This long post (http://www.ch-hangar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3500&highlight=Franken-Tripehound) shows just how much punishment it took - and it came out even better for the experience http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Note also that CH has the absolute best customer support of any flight-gear manufacturer, barring none. This (http://www.ch-hangar.com/forum/index.php) is the place to go.

I agree that Saitek makes a good product for the price, with a good returns policy and plenty of support too.

Thrustmaster? Well I'm open to debate on that. People swear by them and at them. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif They're too rich for my pocket and I wouldn't want to buy a stick and then probably have to spend almost the same amount to get it running right. Fine though if money's no problem to you.

B

knightflyte
09-06-2007, 06:39 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by VMF-214_HaVoK:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by knightflyte:
Boy, this'll sound cynical.

1st post and the first question is very specific about specific HOTAS?

I smell a rodent of sorts. One of our members bored stirring the pot?

Apologies if I'm wrong..... in which case. CH Products.

One benifit of Saitek is you don't have to have rudder peddles. They're decent too, though I do love My CH. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Stirring the pot? If people are going to resort to bickering over who makes the best stick then that is pretty sad. Everyone has there preference and opinion and best bang for buck should come first to any reasonable consumer. In my opinion hardware fanboys are about as lame as it gets online. I actually think asking which stick most prefer is a pretty valid first post as its an essential piece of hardware for a flight sim. There are tons of other things one could stir the pot with if they so desired other then a stick debate.

S! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

LOL I hear you. It just seemed a bit strange considering post count and the very specific question about which stick. Yeah, your right an arguement or trolling about that would be petty. But we have had folks creating accounts just to relieve boredom. And it's alot better than another 'WHEN IS BoB COMING OUT' thread. Usually when someone asks about sticks it's like 'hey guys! what stick do you recommend?'

Again I knew I'd sound cynical, but it just struck me this way. No offence to terriblysilly is meant. Hopefully if he really is looking for help he won't look negatively upon the place.
I meant it light heartedly potentially calling a bluff on someone who may have been looking for cheap fun. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Monterey13
09-06-2007, 06:49 AM
I bought my X52 about 6 months ago. I am pretty hard on the stick, as I tend to get excited. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/compsmash.gif

I haven't had one problem, and I love it. The twist rudder is great, but I plan on getting pedals soon just for the immersion.

Urufu_Shinjiro
09-06-2007, 06:53 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Saitek support has been absolutely no help to him </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I would have to say this is the first time I've heard anyone say one negative word about saitek support. Don't take me the wrong way, I'm sure if you say thats the case then it is, I'm just pointing out that this is a rare exception, usually there is nothing but good things to say about saitek support (even if not for their products).

TgD Thunderbolt56
09-06-2007, 08:24 AM
CH...period.

That's my .02c and I've used them ALL...yes, ALL. MS Sidewinder FFB2 (x2), Saitek X45, Saitek Aviator, Thrustmaster Cougar (un-modded), CH Flightstick, CH Flightstick Pro, CH Fighterstick and a few really cruddy ones that I won't even list.

CH has better precision, consistency, customer support, longevity and software (Control Manager) and I've never had their stuff break. A Fighterstick/Pro Throttle/Pro pedals setup will cost you around $325+/- but will last freakin forever.


TB

BrotherVoodoo
09-06-2007, 10:07 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">CH...period </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/agreepost.gif

I LOVE all of my CH gear, you really can't go wrong with CH. The most accurate flight stick I have ever owned. The flexibility of the control manager is amazing.

CH Products I use: Fighter Stick Pro, Pro Throttle, Flight Yoke, Pro Pedals
With the CH manager I can make all of the controllers look like 1 device to windows and IL2. As IL2 only supports 4 devices this is important to me as I also have a G25, USB rumble pad, and Nostromo game pad installed. I can use all of these devices in the game now. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

RevvinUK
09-06-2007, 10:07 AM
OK well despite some of the reservations by some this is just a troll I'll offer my opinion and I'd recommend CH Products

I have experienced Cougar ownership and it was not a good experience for me, so bad that I nearly gave up on flight simulations due to them constantly breaking. Over an 18 month period I tried to stick with the Cougar and forgive its failings but after the third died I sold the fourth before it had chance to break. The first Cougar I bought came direct from Thrustmaster's official shop here in the UK but it was dead on arrival. When I contacted their tech support I was told to send it back and then wait four or more weeks for them to fix it which I found totally unacceptable customer care, for a new stick I expected a straight swap for a working model.

I decided to get refund and bought a new one from another shop but that had to go back after it developed a fault in the electronics on the throttle. I got a replacement but that also developed an electronics fault as well as paint peel, increasing centre play and a broken speed brake switch. This speed brake switch is an issue that has been reported many many times by users right from the first Cougars sold yet the Cougar still apparently ships with the same problem, a problem that could be easily fixed during assembly. Its like they just don't care they just want to throw them out the door as quickly as possible. The shop owner tried to fix my speedbrake by contacting TM for the part and would save them a full return but they actually charged him for the part! After seeing the HOTAS open when he tried to fix it I don't have much faith in the build quality. It was all wires held in place with pieces of tape, shrouds around hat switches made of tape and the hat switches themselves held in place with blobs of hot glue. Although I had the cash to mod it why bother when it broke in areas that would not be fixed by a mod. Ask yourself why so many Cougar owners bought a second one as a spare.

I find the CH gear much more sturdy and well assembled, my Fighterstick and Pro Throttle feel and work just the same way they did the day I took them out of the box around 4 years ago (I should also add my old gameport Force FX and Pro Throttle are still working some 8 years on). Much is said about the metal vs plastic, the CH gear feels very solid as it's made of very strong and durable glass filled nylon and ABS which CH use for their industrial and aviation controls. They have been making controls for industry for 25 years, knowledge that has gone into their gaming devices and it shows. CH is well known for its durable controllers. The metal used on the Cougar is Zamak or 'pot metal' which is very low quality.

CH Products also has a very good reputation for quality which I feel is aided by the fact they assemble their devices in house rather than sub contract out to the lowest Far East bidder as Guillemot seemed to do for the Cougar. For programmability then I feel CH certainly is one of the most programmable available and its software is still being developed by Bob Church who is working on new versions as we speak.

This is just my opinion having owned a Cougar based on my own experience. I'd recommend the CH gear I wouldn't buy a Cougar. If CH Products stopped making sticks I would probably buy Saitek.

Chivas
09-06-2007, 10:27 AM
I'll be the one decenting voice on the CH product. The gimbals are too clunky for my taste and throw your shot off while moving thru the X and Y transition. Nobody makes a good joystick anymore. The closest I've tested so far is the Saitek Aviator, it still has some faults but its the best of the bunch. I haven't tried the X52 Pro, but hopefully they improved the precision of the original X52.

By far the best throttle is the Cougar with Foxy programming.

Saitek Pro Rudders are very well made and compete favorably with the Simpeds, especially on price.

RevvinUK
09-06-2007, 10:43 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Chivas:
By far the best throttle is the Cougar with Foxy programming.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'd have to disagree with that, I used to fly in formations online and found it nigh on impossible to make small adjustments using the Cougar throttle. Even using the tension adjuster it would keep sticking. If you loosened the tension wheel too much the throttle would fall forward under its own weight and if you adjusted it just enough to stop that happening you'd have to push the throttle back and fore past the point you actually wanted to break the friction and hope you'd move it back to the right spot. It made it very difficult to use. I've not tried the Saitek X52 throttle so can't comment on that, it looks nice though but while the Pro Throttle is not to everyone's taste its action is very smooth and precise.

Chivas
09-06-2007, 11:07 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Revvin_UK:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Chivas:
By far the best throttle is the Cougar with Foxy programming.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'd have to disagree with that, I used to fly in formations online and found it nigh on impossible to make small adjustments using the Cougar throttle. Even using the tension adjuster it would keep sticking. If you loosened the tension wheel too much the throttle would fall forward under its own weight and if you adjusted it just enough to stop that happening you'd have to push the throttle back and fore past the point you actually wanted to break the friction and hope you'd move it back to the right spot. It made it very difficult to use. I've not tried the Saitek X52 throttle so can't comment on that, it looks nice though but while the Pro Throttle is not to everyone's taste its action is very smooth and precise. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I agree Revvin_UK that is one fault of the Cougar throttle, but one that can easily fixed.
I found the Cougar throttle fit perfectly in the hand with all the buttons and rotaries quickly and precisely used with thumb and forefinger. More than 26 button functions, 2 rotaries for trim, and mouse function. Countless other functions when you delve deeper into the Foxy programing.
The other problem is you have to buy the whole Hotas to get the Cougar throttle, although I just missed buying a seperate Cougar throttle on ebay.

RevvinUK
09-06-2007, 11:15 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Chivas:
I agree Revvin_UK that is one fault of the Cougar throttle, but one that can easily fixed.
I found the Cougar throttle fit perfectly in the hand with all the buttons and rotaries quickly and precisely used with thumb and forefinger. More than 26 button functions, 2 rotaries for trim, and mouse function. Countless other functions when you delve deeper into the Foxy programing.
The other problem is you have to buy the whole Hotas to get the Cougar throttle, although I just missed buying a seperate Cougar throttle on ebay. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I never found an easy fix for it, I tried looking believe me as it was a big problem for me. Another problem was that while the ergonomics of the Cougar Throttle are great it is that way because its a very close approximation of the real F16 throttle which had countless tax dollars spent on designing it but thats where things start to go wrong for the home version. The real F16 pit has the controls placed at just the right height and level for the purpose but your average home user has them sat on a desktop or maybe on a chair and if they are not at the right height or orientation then moving the throttle forward can make those buttons either hard to reach or very uncomfortable because all the ergonomics are lost when you don't have them at just the right position as in the F16 pit. I don't know how that effects the X52 throttle but I imagine as its designed for the home market then its more comfortable to use in a variety of positions.

Chivas
09-06-2007, 11:56 AM
Yes you are right about the Cougar throttle position. I have mine on a shelf approximating the proper position. I found my hand rested on top of the X52 throttle giving a less solid and precise position to use the buttons and rotaries.

Chivas
09-06-2007, 12:00 PM
I took apart the Cougar throttle and adjusted the throttle tension, but it was years ago and can't remember exactly what I did.

buzzsaw1939
09-06-2007, 01:38 PM
I wish I had seen a post like this before I bought my Cougar! every thing you guys are saying is right on, out of the box, the ant knob is not working, my thumb nail grazed the base and took off the paint, the throttle has clunky notches so you can't get smooth response, the friction wheel is worthless, I've got it all the way tight and it still falls into full throttle, the first time I cleaned my system, I lost the Foxy program before I could even figure it out. If I could get my money back, I would do it fast! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-mad.gif

Chivas
09-06-2007, 02:14 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by buzzsaw1939:
I wish I had seen a post like this before I bought my Cougar! every thing you guys are saying is right on, out of the box, the ant knob is not working, my thumb nail grazed the base and took off the paint, the throttle has clunky notches so you can't get smooth response, the friction wheel is worthless, I've got it all the way tight and it still falls into full throttle, the first time I cleaned my system, I lost the Foxy program before I could even figure it out. If I could get my money back, I would do it fast! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-mad.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'll take the throttle off your hands, if you like. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Viper2005_
09-06-2007, 02:26 PM
The thing about the Cougar is that once you've got it suitably modified then it's the best thing since sliced bread, but getting there is very expensive, and can be rather a painful process.

But now I've got there, I wouldn't go back, and after lots and lots of flying, and lots of travel between home & 2 universities, reliability has been bullet proof.

The paint is coming off the trigger, but that's fair wear and tear. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif

buzzsaw1939
09-06-2007, 05:09 PM
Oh I bet you would, Chivas.. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-tongue.gif Then what would I use? I think my best bet is to try to modify it, shouldn't have to for that kind of money, I'm not that good with wireing any more, but I do like the many programable bottons, at least the one's that work, live and learn! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/compsmash.gif

Enforcer572005
09-06-2007, 05:40 PM
Ive had my CH combat stick for well over a decade and it's been heavily used. After 6 yrs, the contacts started messing up, and CH replaced the needed parts for $23 including shipping. I also have pedals that have been used for as long, and I used my pro thottle for about 7 yrs before I had to retire it due to Windows xp not liking the serial throttle.

I intend on replacing all three wiht USB versions as soon as I win the lottery, or marry Jessica Simpson, whichever comes first.

Choctaw111
09-06-2007, 05:53 PM
I have had my CH stuff for several years and I love them to death...but they never die. They just might outlast me!

Lubcke
09-06-2007, 06:09 PM
CH

VMF-214_Pappy
09-06-2007, 06:15 PM
Read about my x52 issues. I have purchased 3 and all 3 either died or have malfunctions within 3 months one even in two weeks and saiteks only support answer send it in for a 4 month average turn around if your lucky. This is not only thread on this issuse. search there forums for flashign x52 and u will see how many deal with this unplugging and plug back in because it flashes and shuts down.

http://www.saitekforum.com/showthread.php?p=58910#post58910

Enforcer572005
09-06-2007, 06:20 PM
Oh yeah, I forgot to say that CH is the stick of choice for real world applications in industry and the military. Whenever you see Predator or other military drones, there is a 90% chance that a CH stick is being used to fly them.

x6BL_Brando
09-06-2007, 06:29 PM
Good news for CH owners

Here (http://www.ch-hangar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4822)

B

VMF-214_HaVoK
09-06-2007, 06:30 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Enforcer572005:
Oh yeah, I forgot to say that CH is the stick of choice for real world applications in industry and the military. Whenever you see Predator or other military drones, there is a 90% chance that a CH stick is being used to fly them. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Now that you mention that I do recall seeing CH sticks being used on the Military Channel for the applications you just mentioned. Even more reason for me to get a set.

S!

Widowmaker214
09-06-2007, 06:33 PM
You cannot go wrong either way.
The Thrustmaster is a high performance sports car. Expect to tinker with it.
But I would not have anything else. Its heavy, responsive. Lovely. A few people had problems with a none working button or such. An email to thrustmaster gets replacement parts without hassle. Ive never had to pay for a replacement part. And this is going back to 1993 when I got an FCS.
I have had to tinker with mine. As have many, but I also know plenty that have never had to touch theirs.
I had a dirty pot, which I cleaned and it worked fine. But I reported it, and they sent me a replacement bag of 4 pots.

As well MANY enjoy upgrading. You have all kinds of mods you can put on it. HAL sensors, different gimbals, even a force mod sensor that works by pressure.. simulating the actual F16 stick.

I find it a bit weird if anyone has problems with the software. Its very easy and can be made as complex as you want it. As well it has more programmable functions than any of the opposition. The software is easy to use if you take the time to read the instructions.

as well you have a huge support/mod community over at cougar.frugalsworld.com


If there were no thrustmaster, I would then choose CH. They are very well made, very programmable and they are VERY reliable. Even more so than thrustmaster I would say. The guys I fly with.. none of them have ever reported a problem with their CH gear. The only thing some don't like are the short spacing between the CH pedals.

Saitek are usable sticks. Programmable with plenty of buttons. More space ship looking like than anything but more than acceptable.
They appeal to many because they are the cheapest of the lot.
As well they have a twist stick for rudder.
However.. I've yet to run into someone that preferred a twist stick to rudder pedals. Several of my friends have just gotten new saitek rudder pedals and say that the responsiveness and control of the rudders is far superior to the twist stick.
As well.. the guys I know that do have saitek.. all dream of the day when they can afford to upgrade to either a CH setup or a Cougar.

EITHER of the three are a decent choice. It all comes down to what you like to look (just a personal preference) at and price.



Regardless of your choice get yourself rudder pedals. Saitek or CH USB pedals if you get saitek or CH gear.
Get on Ebay and get yourself some Thrustmaster Elite pedals if you get a cougar. Easier that way as the game port plug on the elites plug right into the rudder connector on the back of the cougar stick.

leitmotiv
09-06-2007, 08:08 PM
CH thtottle, CH throttle quadrant, CH pedals, and Microsoft Sidewinder 2 force-feedback stick---non-FF sticks make for high scores, but they defeat the purpose of the game, i.e., immersion. Wish somebody made a force-feedback yoke for bomber flying.

Bearcat99
09-07-2007, 07:05 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The thing about the Cougar is that once you've got it suitably modified then it's the best thing since sliced bread, but getting there is very expensive, and can be rather a painful process. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

IMO if I have to spend over $200 for a stick.. and then another few hundred bucks to "properly mod it" so that it will work well within the parameters that you originally bought it for then pfftt!! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/34.gif http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

I must admit, I have yet to hear any beefs with CH... most guys I know that have them love them... but AFAIC... in terms of bang for the buck.. Saitek just cannot be beat. Period. Papy you must have gotten a lousty rep because Saitek's support is top notch... Most guys I know that had issues got new sticks sent to them in the mail before they even mailed out the old ones... Not only that.. but if you go local retail & get a PRP for all of what... @$12.. just take it back to the store... I consider PRPs to be upgrade plans anyway. BTW... check out this thread (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/23110283/m/1031054785)... it gives detail about how to band your axis on a Saitek stick... as in say you have an X-52 and pedals.. and you want to utilize that twist rudder... you can set it up as a banded switch for rudder trim... a lot more intuitive than having to reach for a knob.. and it uses that axis that would otherwise be stitting useless. The post describes banding the rocker on the X-45.. but the process is the same.

RevvinUK
09-08-2007, 04:27 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bearcat99:
IMO if I have to spend over $200 for a stick.. and then another few hundred bucks to "properly mod it" so that it will work well within the parameters that you originally bought it for then pfftt!! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

My sentiments too, why spend all that money when you can have something that works right out of the box with either CH Products or Saitek.

JG52Uther
09-08-2007, 04:37 AM
Got to say that Saitek support has been fantastic with me.i needed new pots for my 3 year X45 (in the UK) and they sent them free of charge.Can't say fairer than that.

horseback
09-08-2007, 10:32 AM
I've had the USB CH CombatStick/Pro Pedals/Pro Throttle HOTAS setup for at least 4 years now without a major glitch. By shopping around, I managed to find each piece for under $100 USD, and if I consider the cost per hour of simming over the last 4 years, it's <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">dirt cheap.</span>

While I would love a Force Feedback HOTAS with three or four extra dial or slider type axes, it would have to be pretty damned good to replace my CH rig.

cheers

horseback

VMF-214_HaVoK
09-08-2007, 10:40 AM
I think the winner of best bang for buck has to go to CH Products. Simply because they are well known to work flawlessly for over a decade. This is coming from a current X52 owner.

S!

Chivas
09-08-2007, 11:02 AM
The CH and Saitek products are great, but if you want to give yourself a slight edge in combat its tough to beat the Cougar throttle and MSFF2 joystick.

The MS joystick has a shorter precise throw allowing you to get into firing position quicker than the longer throw sticks. It also has a smooth gimbal setup with no pressure change moving thru the XY axis. Also you can electronicly dial up the spring tension higher than the other models making it less likely to move the stick off target when pulling the trigger.

The Cougar throttle programming can give you all the inputs you need quickly without ever taking your eye off the enemy. Programmed right, its effective, comfortable, and intuitive.

Its only gives you a few millisecond advantage but it can make the difference in a dogfight.

Von_Rat
09-08-2007, 11:15 AM
CH

RevvinUK
09-08-2007, 11:18 AM
The CH gear is just as programmable, infact if you ask DonUlfonso who is known to both Cougar and CH users he rates the CH software as being far more capable for advanced users. Also compared to the nicer graphical interface of the CH and Saitek software the Cougar software looks poor but each to his own I guess, if it works thats great.

Chivas
09-08-2007, 12:09 PM
Yes DonUlfonso is a great programmer. Personally I found Foxy programming more intuitive than the CH programming. But like you say each to his own. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

249th_Maico
09-08-2007, 12:09 PM
Oh Lord please bring me A Force Feedback Hotas. I am Really scared now since I am down to my last MSFF2. I hope nothing happens to it. Like when I snapped the last one in half when that 109 with the 30mm scared the daylights out of me. And please bring me a Korea sim before my eyes get so bad I cant fly sims no more.

Amen

Chivas
09-08-2007, 12:10 PM
Rat...you could use a broomstick for your B&Z style of flying http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

knightflyte
09-08-2007, 12:22 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Enforcer572005:
Oh yeah, I forgot to say that CH is the stick of choice for real world applications in industry and the military. Whenever you see Predator or other military drones, there is a 90% chance that a CH stick is being used to fly them. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>



CH is industrial grade. (Forget what the Dodge commercial tells you about there trucks being industrial grade....LOL.) That's where they get most of their money I'd assume.

http://www.chproducts.com/oem/index.html

Matz0r
09-08-2007, 12:49 PM
Just built my über Cougar, love it to death! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

http://www.pfy.nu/tmp/U2Nxt_004.jpg

(very expensive though)

knightflyte
09-08-2007, 01:37 PM
That's all that's in that there joystick? Man the Thrustmasters a heavy beast for all that open air inside. Is the base very heavy?

Matz0r
09-08-2007, 02:33 PM
Yep, the base is quite heavy, and the stock gimbals take up alot more room than the u2nxt in the picture - hence the void http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

J_A_M_F_
09-08-2007, 08:03 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by knightflyte:
That's all that's in that there joystick? Man the Thrustmasters a heavy beast for all that open air inside. Is the base very heavy? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Matz, you have the über2 NXT. The über2 was not curvy on the beam and the X/Y wasn't as easy to adjust. The original über was "just" a brass bearing and one ball-bearing.

What's not in there is the PCB. IIRC the Cougar comes in at a hefty 28 pounds. Still, I like a C-clamp holding it onto the desk. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif (It does get a bit hectic in IL2 at times. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif)

Viper2005_
09-08-2007, 09:10 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bearcat99:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The thing about the Cougar is that once you've got it suitably modified then it's the best thing since sliced bread, but getting there is very expensive, and can be rather a painful process. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

IMO if I have to spend over $200 for a stick.. and then another few hundred bucks to "properly mod it" so that it will work well within the parameters that you originally bought it for then pfftt!! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/34.gif http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

$200?

It cost me a lot more than that. That's nothing. I bought my first flightsim to simulate flying. I've probably bought 50 of the blasted things for a total cost of goodness only knows how much over the years. They've never reached the parameters I originally bought them for.

I've flown them with almost the same number of joysticks, mostly cheap and nasty*.

I've probably gone through 10 systems to run those sims on.

Then I've gone off and got myself a gliding license (and FAI Silver), and a PPL (and taildragger endorsement, just in case - now I only need differences training for superchargers, constant speed props, and a bucket load of money to fly that Spitfire!).

Frankly, you might as well say to an addict, "Gee whiz, I'd never pay that much money for a crack pipe!"...

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

*I did a very similar thing with guitar leads. I thought that £20 was a lot to spend on a lead, so I bought "cheap" leads for ~£8 a time. After buying perhaps £200 worth of leads over a 10 year period, I spent £20 on a Whirlwind. Problem solved. (It wasn't really quite that simple, but that was the end result and I won't sell my whirlwinds for love or money this time...)

WOODY01
09-09-2007, 05:17 AM
HA! All you youngins with your fan dangle USB sticks! Im still useing my original Thurstmaster WCS MK2 and FLCS that I brought in 1995, gameport and all. It gets abused for hours everyday and I would NOT trade them on a cougar (I have tryed them and I dont feel for me they are worth the 'upgrade')

Back in the days when Thurstmaster were still made in the USA. 12+ years, now thats a quality HOTAS.

Ken-Ghost-King
09-09-2007, 07:30 AM
Which HOTAS? What one would I recommend, hmmmmmmmm (http://www.provantage.com/ch%7E110CHPU.htm)... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

VonGrantoven
09-09-2007, 08:48 AM
If price/bang for buck is any concern at all, I think you would be hard pressed to beat the Saitek X45.
I know there are a lot of people who still prefer them over the x52 and for the number out there the reliability seems to be pretty damn good.
It has far more prgramability than you will ever be able to use in IL-2 and it has the rudder on a rocker on the throttle so you dont have to get all twisty if you don't have pedals.
With a bit of silicon grease on the shaft my stick is smooth and precise (now, now lads...minds out of the gutter!)
Best of all you can pick em up new on ebay for around $40!

Bearcat99
09-10-2007, 05:53 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by VonGrantoven:
If price/bang for buck is any concern at all, I think you would be hard pressed to beat the Saitek X45.
I know there are a lot of people who still prefer them over the x52 and for the number out there the reliability seems to be pretty damn good.
It has far more prgramability than you will ever be able to use in IL-2 and it has the rudder on a rocker on the throttle so you dont have to get all twisty if you don't have pedals.
With a bit of silicon grease on the shaft my stick is smooth and precise (now, now lads...minds out of the gutter!)
Best of all you can pick em up new on ebay for around $40! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yeah I have anh X-45.. I like the rudder rocker... since I use pedals.. but they are hard to find nowadays.. except on eBay.

TgD Thunderbolt56
09-10-2007, 06:36 AM
This lot is as opinionated as a roomful of liberal leftists. Really the only way to see which one you like the best is to actually try them (legitimately...not fingering them on the store shelf) and choose with ignorance removed and applying your own parameters (like aesthetics, price and performance).

My summary:

1. A highly modified Cougar (stick AND throttle) is a great controller in many regards and if I were to spend that much dough on a toy, you can bet I'd do everything I could to justify it as well. But I'm also a lefty and Cougars don't fit.

2. A Saitek X52 probably is the best bang-for-buck, but that caveat doesn't float with me because I just don't want the unavoidable hassle of losing center, sloppy gimbals or the RMA procedure that seems to inevitibly accompany them.

3. A full CH setup (stick, pedals and throttle) is probably more expensive than a stock Cougar and is definitely more expensive than any Saitek offering. They do feel better IMO and are literally bulletproof with powerful programmability...all out of the box.

Like I said, I did that (hands-on test with all the above) and settled on CH...but that's my choice.


TB

RevvinUK
09-11-2007, 11:23 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ken-Ghost-King:
Which HOTAS? What one would I recommend, hmmmmmmmm (http://www.provantage.com/ch%7E110CHPU.htm)... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Provantage have always been pretty cheap, Amazon is worth a look too.

Skunk_438RCAF
09-11-2007, 03:39 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Revvin_UK:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ken-Ghost-King:
Which HOTAS? What one would I recommend, hmmmmmmmm (http://www.provantage.com/ch%7E110CHPU.htm)... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Provantage have always been pretty cheap, Amazon is worth a look too. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yeah but they ship with DHL on international orders and have heard nothing be bad comments about that company.

terriblysilly
09-12-2007, 12:08 AM
Hi again!

I actually used to play Il-2 and other flight sims religiously, but fell out of the habit when my old joystick (a Wingman Extreme 3D) broke, around 2004. Now I want to play some more, so my first step was looking for a joystick. I tend to do a lot of research before making purchases, so I read around and learned about all this HOTAS stuff, hence my question here. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I've already learned that most people consider yokes to be a poor choice for this game, or any combat flight sims for that matter. Strange - I thought they'd be really popular amongst the pros! But okay...I guess I won't get one of those then! (Though I kinda wanted to at first!)

I've read a lot of great things about the CH, and thanks for your input in this thread! But one thing I've heard about the CH that just kind of turns me off to it a little bit is that apparently there are "soft spots" in the axes of movement, so that switching from one diagonal to another with any kind of fine control can be awkward. Have I heard correctly? What's your opinion on this issue?

Thanks!!!

VMF-214_HaVoK
09-12-2007, 02:59 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I've heard about the CH that just kind of turns me off to it a little bit is that apparently there are "soft spots" in the axes of movement, so that switching from one diagonal to another with any kind of fine control can be awkward. Have I heard correctly? What's your opinion on this issue? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well my squad mate Pappy just got his CH hotas yesterday and has not had a lot of time with it. But I can tell that after 6 hours of use or so he is in love with it. He claims it extremely precise and smooth. And I cant argue with him because his stats have went up in the servers we fly and his air gunnery hit % is higher then ever. So I would say a placebo effect is out of the question. He went from a X52 Hotas to his now beloved CH Hotas. Hopefully I will be order mine next week and I can offer you even better insight as I only own the CH pedals right now and using an X52. What I do know is that CH products are industrial grade and used by the military and military contractors.

S!

terriblysilly
09-12-2007, 11:04 AM
Hello! Okay - if anyone who is knowledgeable can simply confirm that it is not likely that CH will just release a new and better item within, say, 6 months, then I will go ahead and buy into their products now. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

EDIT: I have deleted my question about yokes and used it to start a new thread, since it is quite divergent from the original topic.

Viper2005_
09-12-2007, 11:23 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by TgD Thunderbolt56:
This lot is as opinionated as a roomful of liberal leftists. Really the only way to see which one you like the best is to actually try them (legitimately...not fingering them on the store shelf) and choose with ignorance removed and applying your own parameters (like aesthetics, price and performance).

My summary:

1. A highly modified Cougar (stick AND throttle) is a great controller in many regards and if I were to spend that much dough on a toy, you can bet I'd do everything I could to justify it as well. But I'm also a lefty and Cougars don't fit.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The trouble is that there is considerable variation between Cougar mods. My FSSB R2 is a totally different animal from my U2Nxt for example. Finding out which of the two I prefer was an extremely expensive business. It could be that another modification such as for example the Evenstrain mod is better than either. I somehow doubt it, but I've got no way of knowing without buying another Cougar and embarking upon yet another modification programme.

If you don't have bottomless pit of money to draw upon, removing ignorance just isn't an option.

TgD Thunderbolt56
09-12-2007, 11:50 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Viper2005_:
...If you don't have bottomless pit of money to draw upon, removing ignorance just isn't an option. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

So, blind faith is?

I understand where you're coming from Viper, and agree with your point. My point is actually supported in your own words again. How will I know if I want to get a Cougar unless I have a bottomless pit of money?

I might be able to get a feel for it in the store. Heck, I can probably even buy it and try it for a pre-determined length of time, but if I apply a U2Nxt mod, and don't like it...can I still get my money back? Rhetorical, I know, but a valid point no less. I know plenty of guys that would rather quit flying altogether than give up their coveted Cougars.

Fact is, I probably have as much or more invested in my CH than most people do in their modded cougars what with my customizations and all. And some of that was a leap of faith too, but I was able to say to myself "Self, if this don't work, you could be out a couple hundred bucks...you o.k. with that?" and my response was...yes.


TB

WOLFMondo
09-12-2007, 02:00 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Urufu_Shinjiro:
I would have to say this is the first time I've heard anyone say one negative word about saitek support. Don't take me the wrong way, I'm sure if you say thats the case then it is, I'm just pointing out that this is a rare exception, usually there is nothing but good things to say about saitek support (even if not for their products). </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I've used saitek support 3 times and were always great. Shame it was sending back broken X52's three timeshttp://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif.

If people have the cash to spend then I suggest they go CH. There toughness can't be matched and neither can there precision.

Chivas
09-12-2007, 02:16 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by terriblysilly:
Hi again!

I actually used to play Il-2 and other flight sims religiously, but fell out of the habit when my old joystick (a Wingman Extreme 3D) broke, around 2004. Now I want to play some more, so my first step was looking for a joystick. I tend to do a lot of research before making purchases, so I read around and learned about all this HOTAS stuff, hence my question here. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I've already learned that most people consider yokes to be a poor choice for this game, or any combat flight sims for that matter. Strange - I thought they'd be really popular amongst the pros! But okay...I guess I won't get one of those then! (Though I kinda wanted to at first!)

I've read a lot of great things about the CH, and thanks for your input in this thread! But one thing I've heard about the CH that just kind of turns me off to it a little bit is that apparently there are "soft spots" in the axes of movement, so that switching from one diagonal to another with any kind of fine control can be awkward. Have I heard correctly? What's your opinion on this issue?

Thanks!!! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I have the unmodded Cougar and CH and both suffer from the same gimbal design. Although this gimbal system is very strong and will last forever, there is a very obvious pressure change required when transitioning from one axis to another. Because of the weight and large springs its much worse on the Cougar and required a expensive mod to replace this style of gimbal. The pressure change required on the CH is much less noticable but its enough to keep me repairing or replacing my MSFF2 joystick.

VMF-214_HaVoK
09-12-2007, 02:16 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by terriblysilly:
Hello! Okay - if anyone who is knowledgeable can simply confirm that it is not likely that CH will just release a new and better item within, say, 6 months, then I will go ahead and buy into their products now. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

EDIT: I have deleted my question about yokes and used it to start a new thread, since it is quite divergent from the original topic. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Get your confirmation here. http://www.ch-hangar.com/forum/

terriblysilly
09-12-2007, 06:40 PM
Yes, I am also curious about the MSFF2...

What is the average lifetime of a MSFF2? Are they really worth the price of a CH Fighterstick?

BrotherVoodoo
09-12-2007, 06:48 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">there is a very obvious pressure change required when transitioning from one axis to another. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Now that I am used to it, I actually like that "feature".

Fireball_
09-13-2007, 06:20 AM
I've got the CH "trio": Fighterstick, Pro Throttle and Pedals, and I love em! But in the interest of full disclosure, I guess I'm one of the few people who's had a problem with a CH product. I had the Fighterstick about 8 months, when one of the buttons on it stopped working. A couple emails back and forth with CH tech support the next morning and I had an RMA to ship it back for repairs. From the day I Fedex-ed off til it was back in my hands was 17 days. It seemed like a LONG 17 days being without the joystick, but that's really not a bad turn-around time. So except for that little bump, I've been really happy with CH.

x6BL_Brando
09-13-2007, 07:35 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">when one of the buttons on it stopped working. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Once you've had them a while, if you ever need switches springs or pots replacing, you can get all that stuff very cheaply direct from CH. Things like pot connectors are tagged so you don't need to solder, standalone switches need average solder skills, and turret switches, etc are best repaired by CH.

Maybe it's about volume of sales, this support issue. CH give the best support I've experienced (I never owned a TM or a Cougar stick) while Saitek are equally friendly (ime) but less well resourced. Their 'reconditioned' line is a sensible innovation. When you get to a broad-based market like Microsoft's the tech support falls away completely http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif Only keep the receipt and take it to a store before the warranty runs out.......and woe betide you if you've drilled any holes or attempted any conversion.

(Thinking back, I wish I'd returned the £80.00 FFbPro that I bought 3 months before XP came out! But I'd already hard-wired the shift button to a foot pedal...oops. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/compsmash.gif So I had to shell out for a flimsier FFB2, d'oh!)

In the end I went with a Fighterstick/ Pro pedal combo. Due to my peculiar state of enforced left-handedness I had the problem of adaptation to get over and became intimate with the internals of these hand-built beauties. I had to cut the turret hat off the handle and move the switch to a new home! It'll suffice to say that I managed it, one-handed, and it was no masterpiece http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif but it worked. Really well.

After a few years I read a thread in the CH Hangar, about a guy looking for customers for 'mirrored' handles for sticks and the Pro-throttle. I was speedily in touch with Mark and he had the piece done and sent in a couple of weeks. He'd neatly inserted a pot and lever at the top, and I have a fore-finger throttle.

Then I had the bright idea of incorporating the 'guts' of another Fighterstick into the base of the first one. The Franken-Tripehound was born http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif
All trims on rotaries, and about 64 more commands available within easy reach - I very rarely need to approach the keyboard in flight http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
I had some simple scripting help from ever-approachable Bob Church ( http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif Bob!) to get over a conflict with the shift buttons. Mark Fletcher, the southpaws' champion http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif , went out of his way to make my lefty handle and ship it....and I got masses of encouragement from the staff and the regular crowd at the CH Hangar forum.

Plus the point I started out to make before I wandered off http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif
The materials that they use in construction are first class in terms of durability. I hacked and battered mine way more than anyone might expect and they survived, nearly five years on. I now feel like I have the perfect set-up for one-handed flight - and I've made a bunch of friends on the way.

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/10.gif What more could you want from flightgear? It may not use 3-D tracking like MS, or Hall sensors. You may have to get used to gimbal transitions, but we are only talking something around $100 or equivalent. A fully flexible stick (like the surplus combat gear in another recent thread) would cost way more than that to reproduce.

Anyway, that's my experience. CH 10/10 http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

B

Viper2005_
09-13-2007, 07:53 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by TgD Thunderbolt56:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Viper2005_:
...If you don't have bottomless pit of money to draw upon, removing ignorance just isn't an option. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

So, blind faith is?

I understand where you're coming from Viper, and agree with your point. My point is actually supported in your own words again. How will I know if I want to get a Cougar unless I have a bottomless pit of money?

I might be able to get a feel for it in the store. Heck, I can probably even buy it and try it for a pre-determined length of time, but if I apply a U2Nxt mod, and don't like it...can I still get my money back? Rhetorical, I know, but a valid point no less. I know plenty of guys that would rather quit flying altogether than give up their coveted Cougars.

Fact is, I probably have as much or more invested in my CH than most people do in their modded cougars what with my customizations and all. And some of that was a leap of faith too, but I was able to say to myself "Self, if this don't work, you could be out a couple hundred bucks...you o.k. with that?" and my response was...yes.


TB </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, the stock cougar is pretty horrible due to its gimbals.
Any mod is likely to improve that because it couldn't get much worse.

If you don't like it you could almost certainly sell it and recover some of your investment.

But eventually you have just pick a square, put your money down and spin the wheel. C'est la vie.

There's no such thing as a sure thing in life.

Now that I've got my FSSB R2 modded Cougar, with IJ's switch housings and Cub Pilot's Hall sensor in the throttle, and a set of Simpeds, you can add me to your list of "guys that would rather quit flying altogether than give up their coveted Cougars".

Which is about as strong an endorsement as you're going to get. Afterall, I'd still play my Strat if my beloved Les Paul bit the dust.

Bearcat99
09-13-2007, 08:12 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by terriblysilly:
Yes, I am also curious about the MSFF2...

What is the average lifetime of a MSFF2? Are they really worth the price of a CH Fighterstick? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Let me say it this way... well.. first off..

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by 249th_Maico:
Oh Lord please bring me A Force Feedback Hotas. I am Really scared now since I am down to my last MSFF2. I hope nothing happens to it. Like when I snapped the last one in half when that 109 with the 30mm scared the daylights out of me. And please bring me a Korea sim before my eyes get so bad I cant fly sims no more.
Amen </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

LMAO!! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif You have to loosen that grip bud... The MSFFB2 is on e sturdy stick.. fior you to snap it in half man you must be either highly adrenalized when you fly or strong as The Hulk.... LOL.. I sure hope you daont handle your women that way... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif for their sake... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif.. talk about Klingon love... LOL.

But back to the first quoted question... if you treat the MSFFB2 like a fine instrument it will last a long time. Some of the switches may eventually wear out.. but thats basically it so far.. and I have the original MSFFB2 that I used to use in CFS back in 01... and it still works. The one I currently use was my spare from those days that I began using in 03 when I upgraded my rig and gave my old one to my son so he could fly IL2... I use it at least 3-7 days a week for a minimum of 2 or 3 hours each time... and I have had no issues at all with it. I think the general consensus is that that stick is the best FFB ever made. If Saitek came out with a FFB HOTAS that was that sturdy... and that had a rumble pad in the throttle as well... they would totally dominate the market. I wish I could translate rumble to my sticks & pedals.. frankly I think that would be more realistic than the gunshake... which is cute.. but not too realistic. Sometimes it feels like you are shooting a pistol (albeit a small calibre one..) and not an aircraft.. that why I turned it off..

terriblysilly
09-13-2007, 09:38 AM
Hello! Thank you!

Ok - I will get the CH Fighterstick and Pedals, to start with. Later I will get their throttle control too, when I have more money to do this. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Provantage has a cheap price, but Skunk has said that he has bad things about them? What do you know of Provantage? Is it safe to order from them?

Chivas
09-13-2007, 10:08 AM
Even with CH's minor faults you can't go wrong with that set-up. Have fun and good luck. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Bearcat99
09-13-2007, 11:23 AM
Personally I think the Saitek Pedals are better. They have a wider stance and are smoother. Well worth it IMO.

terriblysilly
09-13-2007, 11:35 AM
So the CH pedals have no feature that the saitek do not have ?

what about sturdiness of build ?

Skunk_438RCAF
09-13-2007, 11:47 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by terriblysilly:
So the CH pedals have no feature that the saitek do not have ?

what about sturdiness of build ? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes they do. The feature that saiteks have that CH dont is the feature that allows you to avoid testicular cancer in later life. CH Pro Pedals should be renamed CH Pro Nutsqueezers.

Sturdiness? Saiteks are (oddly) built to be very durable. I was impressed when I first opened the box.

terriblysilly
09-13-2007, 12:12 PM
I wish to avoid testicular injury, yes. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Skunk, you say that Provantage is not a good plac eto buy from?

TgD Thunderbolt56
09-13-2007, 12:15 PM
CH definitely ARE sturdy and by maintaining CH throughout, you'll have better programmability as all your controllers will be recognized through the Control Manager software.

Skunk_438RCAF
09-13-2007, 12:19 PM
No I said that Provantage use DHL as a shipping company on international orders, and from what I've heard of DHL, they are the LAST company you want to trust your deliveries to.

This is just a question here Thunderbolt, but what exactly do you have to program into a set of rudder pedals?

I chose saitek because like all pilots out there, I like to think I have big balls and that they need some breathing room.

terriblysilly
09-13-2007, 01:03 PM
Unfortunately, the size of my testicles are grossly disproportionate to the rest of my body. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif therefore the wider-set pedals will be of much greater use to me.

i must also ask: what is there to program for pedals?

BrotherVoodoo
09-13-2007, 01:05 PM
I bought the SAitek Pro Pedals and they lasted a good 6 months before they broke. I have since gone back to my CH Pro pedals. Saitek did send me replacement parts and instructions but I have not had time to complete the repair. They seem heavy duty but have not lasted as long as my CH pedals. The wider stance on the Saiteks are nice though as is the tensioning feature. By going back to the CH pedals I could free up a device and get the USB rumble pad to attach to my FighterStick.

Ken-Ghost-King
09-13-2007, 01:05 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Skunk_438RCAF:
No I said that Provantage use DHL as a shipping company on international orders, and from what I've heard of DHL, they are the LAST company you want to trust your deliveries to.

This is just a question here Thunderbolt, but what exactly do you have to program into a set of rudder pedals?

I chose saitek because like all pilots out there, I like to think I have big balls and that they need some breathing room. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

And to answer your question, with a question: What do you want to program to either the left,right toe brake axis or even the rudder axis? In Control Manager, you are only limited by your imagination.

terriblysilly
09-13-2007, 01:07 PM
hmm, well how close ARE the CH pedals? does anyone have a photograph or video?

also, can you please explain what this "USB rumble pad" is?

RevvinUK
09-13-2007, 01:09 PM
I have no problems with the CH pedals spacing, I have my stick mounted on a speaker stand between my legs and can use the pedals with ease. As far as programming goes I'm sure the Saitek ones can be programmed for digital output on an analogue axis? though there are scripts that can be used for CH Products pedals to make this digital output feel more like an analogue output for sims that don't support analogue braking such as Lock On. Also my IL-2 profile has a script so that both pedals can operate the brake with an analogue input, they can't operate the left and right brakes independantly because that is a limitation of the sim but the script I use means that whichever pedal is pressed first is recognised as the brake axis which makes taxiing and landing feel more intuitive than being tied to one pedal.

terriblysilly
09-13-2007, 01:12 PM
so you are saying that the saitek pedals support braking natively, but the CH pedals must be programmed to do so?

VMF-214_HaVoK
09-13-2007, 01:16 PM
I have the CH pedals and they are extremely well built and very durable. I can quite easily see them lasting forever. They are spaced rather narrow and I kinda of have to flare my feet outward in a 45 degree angle so my knees dont hit my desk and I can be more comfortable. Im 6 foot with size 12 feet. Maybe that can give you an idea. Now when I visited Pappy a few weeks ago I tried out his Saitek pedals and was impressed. They see very durable, smooth, wide, and adjustable. I felt them to be more comfortable then the CH pedals and would not mind owning them at all. They are about 50 dollars more then the CH pedals and it just may be justified.

S!

VMF-214_HaVoK
09-13-2007, 01:19 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by terriblysilly:
so you are saying that the saitek pedals support braking natively, but the CH pedals must be programmed to do so? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Toe brake axis was recognized by IL2 with no problems for me. I did not have to program anything.

S!

Ken-Ghost-King
09-13-2007, 01:35 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by terriblysilly:
so you are saying that the saitek pedals support braking natively, but the CH pedals must be programmed to do so? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

No, I'm saying that the CH can be programmed to do what ever your imagination is limited to.

RevvinUK
09-13-2007, 01:38 PM
No what we're saying is that both the Saitek and CH pedals natively support braking in IL-2 but there are added things you can program using the Control Manager software if you so wish.

RevvinUK
09-13-2007, 01:42 PM
I just took some pictures of my pedals and stick setup, as you can see in the pictures below there is plenty of spacing for comfortable use. I find the pedal spacing more than adequate for comfortable use even over long periods, wider spacing would just make me feel like I'm at the gynaecologists lol.

http://www.ch-hangar.com/SiteFiles/Images/pedalset1.jpg

http://www.ch-hangar.com/SiteFiles/Images/pedalset2.jpg

Ken-Ghost-King
09-13-2007, 02:15 PM
Ummmm Rev <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> there are women all over the world signing up on the Ubi forums now ;-)
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

RevvinUK
09-13-2007, 02:49 PM
They want my Pro Pedals? well they can damn well buy their own!

TgD Thunderbolt56
09-13-2007, 05:26 PM
Not to mention that you can 'join' all your CH controllers into one if certain sims/games don't recognize enough of them.

I'm also a pilot in RL and, unlike when I'm really flying, find that when I fly sims I cruise with my feet extended and oftentimes legs crossed (look at my pic...my setup is like a movie theater with the bucket seat and 27" monitor).

At closure on an unknown dot, landing, taxiing or in a fight I'm 'feet-on' but, as I said, I don't sit there for ours with my feet on the pedals. Just like there are times when I fly solely with my feet (like when reaching to the minifridge, eating a taco or lighting a smoke).

My pit is built for function AND comfort...be sure.


TB

Stafroty
09-13-2007, 08:12 PM
dont invest on cougar.. had 2 of those and both went bad after month or two. was lucky and got my moneys back, invested on CH and havent regret it at all.

really, dont buy cougar, u just piss urself off.

249th_Maico
09-14-2007, 01:12 PM
Well, I guess it is confession time. I did snap my FF2 in half. It was so emabarrasing I never could discuss it. I was flying along online. I had been airborne for some time when a bandit jumped me. He put a 30mm right in my eardrum(thats how it sounded) and I jumped out of my skin. I sat in disbelief for five minutes untill I quietly retreated to my TV.
Other than that I have never had a problem with my MS joysticks. My first Joy was a Logitech and I used it for two years allmost every day. I eventually gave it to one of my younger squade mates.
My first set of CH Pro USB pedals were RMA'd after a pot began spiking. CH service was awesome.
My X45 was great. I used the throttle in conjunction with my FF2. It was beautifull and made to last. It had great software ect ect ect...
Now I got the X-52. Again I use it as a Throttle and still fly with a FF2. I love the X-52. It is packed full of features. The software is great and since I am now using two modes, I CANT run out of buttons.
As a curious man, I recently bought a CH figherstick. I tried it out and thought is was allright just nothing special. I did think the whole changing axis thing was not very comfortable but that is something I could get used to. It is now my backup stick but I am not "sold" on it.
My bottom line is this: If the Cougar is so great, then why is it so put down by everyone? How come everyone has problems with it? Why spend so much on something that does not work out the box? Yeah, its the Jessica Alba of joysticks, but for that admission price I would gladly take Mini Driver and have enough left for a six pack. For the price of buying and modding a Cougar you can get two or three X-52s. Enough said.

TX-EcoDragon
09-14-2007, 02:31 PM
Or maybe just get a little bit of everything!! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

http://merlin555.free.fr/pf/mycockpit2.jpg
Merlin/Immel's pit


I for one refuse to use anything with obvious detents when crossing the x/y axis. . . it's not a realistic feeling, it's imprecise, and doesn't result in as smooth flying as real sticks afford. I've used most sticks, yokes, and pedals out there, and few are impressive IMHO.

That's something I appreciate about the Saitek method. . .it has a detent, but only when x=0 AND y=0, so any time the stick is offset from the center at all, there are no flat spots in the action, so during maneuvering flight you don't really have much awareness of any detent, and yet there is some decent stick force in my X-45. It's not very smooth or precise with the stock plastic disk though the X-52Pro fixed this.

The ergonomics of X-45 stick are a little strange, and the handle is too small for me, but I like the hat and button placement better than the X-52 which places one of the hats at a vertical angle. I also like it's throttle better than the X52 or CH, the X-52Pro rotaries are harder to use than the X-45 or even the base X-52 as they are very low profile slippery plastic. The base model X-52 has rubber grips on the rotary which helps a bit, and the X-45 has knurled plastic knobs which work well.

I've had my share of issues with the X-45s though, many which had dead buttons out of the box, and I now have something of an X-45 graveyard in the closet with four X-45s in there in various states of disassembly as a sacrifice to keep one working.
(One if going to be a floor mounted stick soon).

After my first X-45 died I tried a MS ForceFeedback stick just to see what FFB was like. . .the stick felt strange and mechanical, and kicked and bucked and did things no real airplane stick does in normal flight. A force feedback chair might be a better investment if it's realism you are after, as stick feedback in real aircraft mostly though the seat and not the stick, and what there is in the stick is nothing like what I experienced back then in FS2002, CFS2, and the Jane's sims with the MS FFB. Perhaps you can customize the FFB, or it's better in some sims than others, but I only had a few days to return the one I bought, and I ended up just getting another X-45.

The CH Fighterstick didn't impress me with the light springy feel, and the x/y flat spots that go from stop to stop (ie even with the stick full forward you pass through a detent when going from left aileron to right etc). I tried to mod a Fighterstick USB that a friend had let me use with some tougher springs, and even IvanK's rubber band method but then the flat spots were more obvious and precision decreased. . .it wasn't an easy stick to mod without major destruction to it, so I passed on getting one for myself. . . though I do have their yoke (ugh) and pedals.

I've also got a Cougar, and while it's an amazing stick, it has very strong x/y detents. If IJ's mod was about half the price I'm sure I'd have just went that route from day one and been perfectly happy with the results. As it is I'm tempted to just get the Uber2NXT and be done being dissatisfied with sticks. It's very impressive, and I can see why people get a little obsessive with this one. . .it's almost a hobby in itself. . of course that's the downside too. It's not tough to program, and it's design is fairly conducive to being worked on and modded.

Pedals wise, the only good pedals I used were made by PFC and were about $500.00 USD. These had the feel and action of your average rudder pedals.

I went with CH pedals which were a good deal at 89.00, though I was not impressed with their feel or design. . .but they do the job. They are springy and have a strong center detent (strong enough to make lots of noise when in use), adding some damping would be great and not all that hard though. I also find their angle to be too flat, and they are about half as wide as I'd like. The Saitek's look like a better design in that they are wider, and visually they somewhat resemble the pedals of the 109, but I've heard some scary stories about them breaking when still pretty new. The CH wiring to the toe brakes is poor and prone to breakage, but a onetime fix solves that, and otherwise they have been working for me for 5 years with only one pot failure. . .and I'm pretty hard on rudder pedals. I think I'll just build my own using the CH pedal innards to widen them, change the action, and change the angles. . .instead of thinking of the PFC stuff since I better save my pennies for the Uber Cougar.

I know that wasn't an answer. . .it was more of a rant. The bottom line is, pick your price range, buy something that will last, get used to it, and things will be fine. The Saiteks will do the job reasonably well for the cash and you may be able to find a refurbished X-45 for super cheap(I for one think the X-52 Pro is way overpriced for what you get). The CH stuff will work well if you don't mind the feel of it. It's a little on the pricey side too, and I'd buy an X-45 throttle over the CH potato. If you want the best out there, then save your cash, and get the cougar and the Uber2 NXT, plus the throttle friction mod. That's in the realm of serious dough though.

terriblysilly
09-14-2007, 02:36 PM
Hmm, so you say that a FF2 is better than the CH Fighterstick? What is better besides the force feedback effects?

249th_Maico
09-14-2007, 03:29 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by terriblysilly:
Hmm, so you say that a FF2 is better than the CH Fighterstick? What is better besides the force feedback effects? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Just about everything. The feel of the stick for one. The CH feels plastic while the MSFF2 is rubber. FF2 is weighted while the CH must be strapped down. MS has more buttons. I cant put a price on immersion or feel. With the MS you can feel the stall begin (wing flutter), back off a bit and hold a tight line.
There is no comparison, the FF2 was the best stick ever made. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

RevvinUK
09-14-2007, 04:00 PM
I've owned a MS Sidewinder FF2 stick and I can tell you it does'nt have more buttons, the Sidewinder had 8 buttons (not counting the POV hat switch), the CH Fighterstick has 16 (not including the POV hat switch) thats not including multiplying that by 4 for each of the modes available then multiplay that total by 2 for shifted functions per mode when you map commands to the stick.

I thought the MS FF2 stick felt very cheap, it felxed if you held it tightly, the base was solid enough but the stick felt cheap and flimsy as did the buttons. CH Products make controllers for aviation, industry and they use glass filled nylon not cheap thinly moulded plastic like other manufacturers use.

When I used my Fighterstick on a desk it never wandered, I never had to fix it down. The force feedback is nice on the FF2 but its got too many other shortcomings over something like the CH Fighterstick.

Are there still drivers being made for the MS FF2? Microsoft dumped that line of peripherals a long time ago so if you plan to switch to Vista in the future, perhaps even 64 bit will it work? The CH Control Manager software already has drivers for Vista 32 and 64 bit.

hirosangels
07-12-2009, 12:52 PM
Lots of useful information here.

I have logitech it was nice and springy for 2 weeks, but now is sluggish. But its in a good way, since now the little wobbles the nose had are smoothed out like software filtering. I'll be bummed if it gets worse cuz its good right now.


Since I like IL-2 so much, I decided to go for a CH set up.

Definitely going to use them for IL 2 sequel.


- Can't get the Microsoft FFB anymore. I had that for MiG Alley and it was the best **** / awesome. Sucks, microsoft comes up with something awesome they don't keep it.

They had this uber track ball that made me the bane in Half Life / Counterstrike . . . smoothest ever yet fast and sensitive. It was like having a great laser mouse (even though many laser mice weren't as smooth and quick as the trackball)

I'm shaking my head. Microshaft man.

- I feel the price of the cougar should have its hardware all good to go. Well the programming must be done for customizing, I understand. But also hardware too? THere was one post where a guy said the hardware mods cost more than the stick itself.

-I would be sacrificing pedals if I got cougar HOTAS. . . also $ for next PC build . . .

-I saw on amazon, another post someone mentioning CH is used by UAV pilots too. So if the military is using CH . . .

- CH come recommended by many of you.

- Saitek looks too japanese anime / macross / gundam (ok I like Macross alot) / Starwars Xwing TIE fighter ish, and didn't like the pictures of the Toys R Us plastic buttons.

- Saitek has durability issues per many forumites (the Blacksheep squadron poster's nightmare )

- CH customer service seems good.

Sharpe26
07-12-2009, 02:25 PM
http://www.logitech.com/index....evices/5855&cl=us,en (http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/gaming/pc_gaming/joysticks/devices/5855&cl=us,en)

I wonder how this 'll hold up here.

Trefle
07-12-2009, 02:39 PM
I never tested this Logitech G940 stick , but i guess it depends about the stick precision and "hardness/stiffness " for me .

A stick too light is a no go for me , it can have billions of buttons , functions , nice leds and fancy stuff , but if it's too light , it's only good for the garbadge as far as i'm concerned .


Some people criticize the Cougar for its poor durability (apparently) , but fact is i never handled a better stick than this one currently , i've been using the MFF2 for years and loved it , the Cougar is the best i've experienced in term of feeling , you really have a hard and precise flight stick in your hand , not some kind of cheap plastic tube moving into yoghurt like the saitek X-52 (i sent it back the day i tried it , was awful for me )

Sokol__1
07-12-2009, 03:33 PM
For the main objective inIL-2:

Put and keep your crosshairs over the enemy aircraft, the BEST stick is M$ FF 2.
And this is not due to FF FF efects, is due the precision in "keep the enemy in sight".

But if is more important that stick weight 10 Kg, your programing software "make coffe and get the newspapper for your", have a digital display and multi-color LEDs... I do not know what ... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

Sokol1

Trefle
07-12-2009, 03:51 PM
Totally agree with Sokol , the only thing i look at when trying a stick is "precision and stiffness" , these are the first qualities of a stick for me .

I'd happily buy a stick without any button , no hat , nothing , and awful appearance as long as it is accurate enough and stiff enough http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Superjew1
07-12-2009, 04:19 PM
Ive only owned one stick and thats the Thrustmaster Cougar. My complaints are similar to others, the friction wheel makes it hard to set the throttle at above %75 in game without falling to %110 which can mean the difference between maximum speed w/o overheating and overheating. Usually I have to pull it back and push it forth 2 or 3x before it will lock into %80 throttle.

No forcefeedback on the Cougar stick is my only complaint. More than enough buttons though. Mine is unmodded, not sure what it would be like with mods.

JG52Uther
07-12-2009, 05:10 PM
Just get a CH Fighterstick.
Not fancy,but it just...works.

gurypuddle
07-12-2009, 06:17 PM
I have a Modded Cougar with hall effect sensors and Evenstrain gimbals. It's great, I like it allot. It was expensive to get it the way I wanted it. I don't think I would still be using it had I not spent the money to get it that way.

That being said, I have also used the CH sticks and they are very good and reasonably priced. I would be using one if the modds were not available for the Cougar.

Some guys fish with a bamboo stick and some guys use super groovy graphite-titanium wound rods. They both catch fish.

BTW I'm not that great of a pilot or anything. I just like gadgets so the Cougar apealled to me.

That's my 2 cents http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Bearcat99
07-12-2009, 06:48 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Trefle:
I never tested this Logitech G940 stick , but i guess it depends about the stick precision and "hardness/stiffness " for me.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

No one has.. it isn't out yet.. but I am curious about the stick..

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Sokol__1:
For the main objective inIL-2:
Put and keep your crosshairs over the enemy aircraft, the BEST stick is M$ FF 2.
And this is not due to FF FF efects, is due the precision in "keep the enemy in sight".
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I agree.... The thing I like about the MSFFB2 is the stick tension.. the FFB is better than any spring could ever be..