View Full Version : CH sticks. Impressions?

01-13-2005, 10:46 AM
Hi all

I have owned a saitek evo for two and a half months and it already feels like a wet noodle on my hands. Since I have become quite hooked with this game, I have decided to buy a more expensive joystick, with the option to add a throttle to it when I have the money, ie a CH flightstick. What are the impressions of those who have it? Is the sensitivity/throw good? Is it long lasting? What is the general feel in FB? Is there anyone not satisfied with it?

01-13-2005, 12:15 PM

I've used CH gear for several years now and have never thought about switching to anything else. The quality is top-notch - nothing I've seen in the stores even comes close. Plus there's a great online community at http://www.ch-hangar.com, where you can get help on programming your gear, and download setups for various games. Several employees of CH are active on the forums, giving you a unique level of customer service.

If there's a complaint about CH gear it's about the light tension in the sticks. I've never seen that as a problem and I get the impression that most folks quickly get used to the lighter tension.

Go with CH - you won't be disappointed.

01-13-2005, 01:19 PM
Chaikanut, the CH line is very high quality, but you should bear in mind that none of their sticks include a twist rudder, and that you'll have to get rudder pedals, especially for FB/AEP/PF.

If you're still interested, I'd recommend the Combatstick or Fighterstick over the Flightstick unless you're a 'person of lefthandedness'. These sticks have a minimum of 10 buttons, a throttle axis and a POV hat, and the Combatstick can usually be found for a price nearly as low as the Flightstick.

Be warned, however, that once you get the Pro Pedals/Combatstick, a Pro Throttle will not be far behind. I've had mine (all three, plus a Yoke) for a couple of years of hard simming without a glitch, and I'm a very happy customer.



01-13-2005, 01:28 PM
they will last a very long time but poorly designed button positions and not really the best stick for the newer flight sims with many buttons.

01-13-2005, 01:32 PM
Like the other respondents, I've been very happy with my CH Products HOTAS rig. It's well over 8 years old (gameport, obviously) and so far has only required that I replace the X & Y axis pots in the joystick one time. That's another good thing, they sell replacement components (gimbals, springs, switches, etc.) so you can keep them going over the long haul. They're not cheap...not cheaply designed, not cheaply constructed. They're not inexpensive, but when you consider the longevity against how many controllers your friends have been through during the same time period, it's an outstanding value.

01-13-2005, 01:37 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>not really the best stick for the newer flight sims with many buttons. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Definitely not - after all, theres only 132 possible keystroke combinations on the stick and another 80-90 on the throttle - nothing like enough! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

01-13-2005, 01:50 PM
I think Leadspitter is referring to the Flightstick rather than the Fighterstick which as you quite rightly point out has more than enough buttons.

chaikanut> You might want to consider a Combatstick or Fighterstick to give yourself more options should your taste in sims move from prop sims to jet sims for instance. As you rightly pointed out you could buy them a piece at a time, maybe the Combatstick/Fighterstick and Pro Pedals first and use the throttle wheel on those sticks for throttle input then add either a Pro Throttle or Throttle Quadrant later. The beauty of that setup is any profiles you create with just the stick can easily be adapted just by adding the new device to the profile using the Control Manager software it's really just a few clicks to do this. The only problem you'll have is deciding how to use all those extra buttons http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif Likewise any profiles you see on sites such as The CH Hangar that include CH devices you don't have can be adapted just by deleting those devices from the profile leaving you with the stick still all mapped out.

My last CH gameport rig lasted 7 or so years and still sits in my wardrobe as a backup to my current USB rig. CH also make joysticks and other controls for industrial purposes so they know how to put together durable devices.

01-13-2005, 02:26 PM
I replaced my X45 joystick with a Fighterstick USB recently.

The programming software is more complicated than the X45 but a question posted on CH Hanger will always get an fast and intelligent response.

After getting used to the CH, my X45 stick now feels awful by comparison.

I have a slight criticism of the fighterstick in that the POV hat is at the top of the stick and you needs hands the same size as a bunch of bananas to reach it comfortably. I'm thinking of sticking something on the palm rest to raise the position of my hand a bit.

The CH Pro Pedals are also excellent.

I won't buy the throttle unless they put a couple of rotaries similar to the X45 throttle on it.

01-13-2005, 03:17 PM
If I'd buy new stick, I would consider only one option - CH... I bought my Combat stick plus Pro throttle (gameport versions) on christmas 1992 (actually i dont remember was it 92 or 93).. so that makes my stick and throttle over 12 years old! Yup, they are **** durable, last from father to son..

And I had Saitek X-45 for a while for testing, and i serously disliked it.. Combat stick just fits better in FB, i consider it more accurate stick... better aimer with CH. IF you are going to buy new stick, I would recommend Fighter stick, plus pro throttle (and Pro pedals, if you wallet can take it )

Only one negative thing about CH - that is the price.. they are more expensive, than competitors, but I guarantee they last longer.. My Combat Stick still works like a new, after so many years of very active use. I'd switch to USB models, if i had the neccessary money at the moment.. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

01-13-2005, 03:44 PM
CH USB Hotas set up, three years and going strong.
I Highly recomend one and great support as well.

01-13-2005, 03:47 PM
I hate my x-45 can anyone give me an excuse that I can give to my dad who will be very keen to know why I want to spend 200 on a Thrustmaster Cougar.

01-13-2005, 04:29 PM
You dont want to do that get a CH fighterstick and use your X45 throttle as well. means you keep the rotaries and the rudder control(if you dont have pedals) but get an absolutely SUPERB stick (I've had them all including the Cougar which is pants and unreliable).
The Fighterstick just blows it away in terms of quality control, build quality and reliability PERIOD.

01-13-2005, 05:25 PM

Getting the Pro Throttle will give you another POV hat much more accessible to your thumb, and will allow you to use the Fighter/Combatstick 8-way hat for more intuitive things like rudder & elevation trim.

On the cost front, I have to point out that my cost per hour of use uninterrupted by adjustment/repair/replacement is constantly going down. In the two years I've had my HOTAS set, I suspect that I would have spent the same money or more on lesser brands.



01-13-2005, 08:25 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Aimail101:
I hate my x-45 can anyone give me an excuse that I can give to my dad who will be very keen to know why I want to spend 200 on a Thrustmaster Cougar. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I have both a cougar and a CH fighterstick USB. Frankly I don't recommend the stock cougar at all. While its a really cool thing to have, its stick tension is way too heavy for accurate flying and gunnery in this sim, plus its just not reliably built. Pots get dirty and/or wear out which cause spiking of too much or too little sensitivity and buttons break off or wear out too quickly.

I still use my throttle, but the pot went out a long time ago forcing me to use one of the rotaries instead of the throttle movement. My PTT is mapped to the 4 way hat and that entire button assembly is wearing out and becoming unreliable as well.

Most of the other people I know that have them also have small or large problems with the stick and because of the trouble I had, I bought the CH (which I am pleased with). The people that do get good use out of the cougar end up spending an extra few hundred dollars for mods to the gimbals or pots and from what I understand the cougar finally comes into it's own after a good refit...but its costly. If you want to spend 700-900 dollars US on the stick it will probably be the ultimate, but if you are worried about the base 300 US for the stock cougar, then you won't be getting your monies worth using it as is right out of the box.

The cougar is cool, the software programming is awesome and it looks great on the desk, but its just not a practical thing for this game imho. There's just too much precision needed for dogfighting and gunnery so its probably better to save your money and get a CH rig instead, or use some other combination...you'll get better results. Having said that I must also say that I love my cougar and do not regret buying it. I do believe I will get a gimbal mod at some point and put the CH back in reserve, but thats just me. I don't mind spending the money if I have it since this is my only hobby, but for now I'm sticking with the CH and definately recommend it heads and above the cougar for cost effectiveness.

BTW, the CH stick really is an awesome stick, its not just a cheaper alternative to the cougar. The CH blows away anything I've ever owned...stock cougar, X45, foxpro 2, Evo, Saitek Rumblestick and others. Its simply a wonderfully built device and one that I really enjoy owning. It's smooth, controllable and highly programmable as well. For 90-110 dollars US I think it can't be beat.

I am also a very happy CH customer.

TgD Thunderbolt56
01-13-2005, 08:40 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Revvin_UK:
I think Leadspitter is referring to the Flightstick rather than the Fighterstick which as you quite rightly point out has more than enough buttons. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Let me say this, I HAD a Fighterstick and reluctantly switched it out for a "mere" Flightstick Pro as I'm left-handed. The flightstick Pro is easily as good quality as the big brother fighterstick. Yes, it has less functionality (only one mode and fewer buttons), but with a good Control Manager script combined with a Pro Throttle and rudder pedals, it is EASILY the most comfortable stick/combo for any WWII sim and has more than enough options for anything PF can ask for.

I had reservations, but am quite satisfied that I have the best controllers (for me) that are available right now.


01-14-2005, 04:01 AM
Thanks for the replies guys. The absence of rudder is a bit tricky; does anyone know of where to buy cheap rudder pedals of decent quality? Or should I buy CH pedals later and just use some hat switch as rudder http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

01-14-2005, 04:54 AM
horseback - Thanks for the tip about the CH throttle. I use my X45 rotaries for elevator trim and prop pitch and I think I'll miss them too much.

chaikanut - Wait until you have enough dough for the fighterstick and pro pedals would be my advice.

01-14-2005, 08:19 AM
Looking back on the whole thing, I was so cheap, I didn't want to spend any money on a joystick and considered flying by keyboard! Still, I purchased a Logitec Farce feedback Joylessstick and it was a mess from jump, but because I was new to gaming and flight sims, I thought it might be me or the computer. From there it went down hill. I grew up with powerfull, stick controlled prop planes and I can tell you from actual experience that the Farce feedback feels unnatural in this game. To tell you the truth, I think the code needed just to simulate the stick action correctly would probably take another high end computers CPU and RAM capacity to run!

Still, even though I was attracted to this game like a moth to the flame, I resisted buying CH when my Farce Feedback stick died for three reasons...

1) CH didn't have farce feedback. Kinda odd seeings how I hated and didn't use farce feedback.

2) It is expensive. I paid just under $100.00 U.S. for my CH Fighterstick USB. I paid even more for the pedals! I think it was $109.00 if my old timers disease hasn't messed it up in my brain.

3) You needed to get some pedals along with the joystick. Don't ask me why, but my pride wouldn't let me believe that using pedals in a "game" was anything less than silly. I felt pedals had a very high geek factor to them and would be of little use. Of course, after about the 5 minute learning curve to use the pedals, you quickly realize that you have a much more exacting control over your virtual aircraft because there is no slight twisting of the rudder control this way and that as you use the other axis controls. Then you find that you can use the pedals to kinda waddle back and forth as you fire to give your enemy the good pasting he so richly deserves. In the end, you feel silly about thinking pedals are silly. In fact, I think back in the day, I even came into these forums and blasted those who had pedals and said they were grand. I called them dweebs and geeks and nut cases. Well, either I've become a dweeb, a geek and a nut case (I probably was all that all along) or they never were one in the first place because I'll sell the house to the bare walls before I give up my pedals!

Then there is another bonus you'll get with CH prodicts. Yes, it is very dependable, but there is something else to consider along those lines that few mention. The stick and pedals will react the same to the same imput every time. Not having a slight difference each time may seem small, but I can go fly under bridges while in combat with confidence and take my plane right up to the side of the hill and then up and over while the guy on my tail eats the dirt.

If you only knew how much you are missing by not having something as good as CH. When you first get the stuff, you may even experience some buyers remorse because it simply won't hit you on day one what the product will do for you. Play with the stick and pedals for a month and then go over to a friends house and use his cheapy twist stick and you'll be like, "Man, this s^cks, I'm going back to my house to use a real joystick"!