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A tale of 3 Joysticks


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#1 Schäfer

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 07:47 AM

I felt it my be of interest to others to share my experiences of 3 different Joysticks over the past 5 weeks or so.

 

I came to RoF using my old Logitech 3D Extreme Pro. This was great for Elite Dangerous and with easy to assign buttons it served its time there well. However with RoF it was very stiff to use and I soon noticed pain in my right forearm. 

And so I started to do some research. Here in Australia we have a very limited choice, eg. Logitech, Flight Master and CH. Logitech I know, I looked at Flight Master (Warthog) however I had read that it was also quite stiff to use and the cost was prohibitive. The reviews on the cheaper version were not overwhelming, squishy buttons to name one issue. So I purchased the CH. Its a good stick to use however the software is from Win XP days and extremely frustrating to use. In the meantime Luft had sent me a link re the VKB sticks.

 

Well they look great the reviews very good and so I decided to risk it. I purchased the Gladiator from the US. They are Russian by design and made in China (of course). Its great to use, has over 62k measurements when its being moved vs 256 for the CH stick. It by no means improves my flying when compared to the CH however its the configuration software that is mind blowing. Its around the same cost of the CH stick however it has an ARM processor in the stick and the configuration can be saved and it is written to the stick itself. This allows the stick to be able to be moved to another pc and it carries that latest config with it. One downside is the configuration manual is over 100 pages long and atm a direct translation from Russian and with all the technical terms makes it hard to follow. However I have already done some key mapping and once a few basic setups are turned on its easy to do. And all mapping can be tested before saving the file.

 

The CH stick and the VKB are around the same price  for me here in Australia ($100 usd). Have I wasted my money on getting both? Some might say yes. However, I can see myself always playing RoF and so having a good stick is essential and a spare is worthwhile as well simply because as I said availability here in Australia is limited.

 

The attached pics show the stick which is very stylish and an image of 2 of the configuration menus. That is only screen with many more things to tweak. Way more than I will ever use however I am wading my way through the manual and am sure I will use more of it over time.

 

While it wont necessarily make me a better fighter pilot, although changing to the CH from the Logitech had almost immediate improvements, having a good stick allows one to focus more on SA rather than being distracted by a joystick that is a challenge to use.

 

I have used the VKB already in Elite Dangerous and it needs work. There is a big dead zone and here the Logitech was better as the VKB is very sensitive.

 

!S!

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#2 Pfeil

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 07:58 AM

Looks good. I guess it's the same version that Pragr bought not long ago.

 

 

 

I looked at Flight Master (Warthog) however I had read that it was also quite stiff to use and the cost was prohibitive. 

From my experience the price is quite steep by its worth every cent. The best joystick that I had the pleasure to use. The fabled stiffnes is probably depending on who is using it. If I was a 15 years old teen that is just sitting infront of computer all day gaming I would have problems using it. 

I dont have problems use it even in prolonged turnfights in ROF.


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#3 Luftritter

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 12:21 PM

From your pics, Schafer, it looks like it has an IL2-style slider response curve adjustment feature which is far more extensive than what is built into the CH Control Manager software.  It's still less than can be done within RoF, but it might be useful in other sims where the response curve adjustment feature might not be as good as RoF's.  In any case, it looks very promising.

 

@ Pfeil, I'm still watching the VKB site for the availability of the Gunfighter MK.II desk top model with MCG Pro grip.  The availability date has been pushed back from mid-May to the end of May now.  If this continues, I might give up on them and get a Warthog.  I like the Virpil sticks, but they don't make a desk top model and the mounting system is too extensive for what I want.  Do you know if the Warthog has different springs available for the inside?  That might be worth looking into.

 

Edit:  I answered my own question.  Here's a thread on modifying the Warthog springs:  Mod

 

They say that they actually increased the tension of the 4 base springs, because they "work against" the main spring.  That doesn't sound too likely to me.  My guess is that the main spring is for tension, while the other 4 are for centering.  The 4 probably help overcome the excess tension, but the effort to move the stick must be just as much, if not more.  I would think modifying the main spring would be a better plan.  It's probably impossible to find an exact replacement with less compression force, but I would think you could cut it down a very little bit in order to decrease the force.


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"People who believe they are ignorant of nothing have neither looked for, nor stumbled upon, the boundary between what is known and unknown in the universe." -Neil deGrasse Tyson

#4 Schäfer

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 04:57 PM

From my experience the price is quite steep by its worth every cent.

Those who like this stick think its great.

The full Warthog is $570 aud and I felt it was too costly. I seriously considered just the joystick which is available on Amazon however the height when measured with my setup was too high, the price and the mixed reviews left me unsure in the end.

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#5 Schäfer

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 08:37 PM

From your pics, Schafer, it looks like it has an IL2-style slider response curve adjustment feature which is far more extensive than what is built into the CH Control Manager software. It's still less than can be done within RoF, but it might be useful in other sims where the response curve adjustment feature might not be as good as RoF's. In any case, it looks very promising.


I havent really looked into the response curve yet however the screen shots do little justice to what else can be done. For example I am reading up on how to reduce sensitivity when taking a shot. There are 128 virtual buttons that can be setup let alone tweaks to the axis of the stick.

Promising indeed.

I am interested in the pedals however they do keep pushing back the date and I am yet to find another supplier.

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#6 Schäfer

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 10:08 PM

The availability date has been pushed back from mid-May to the end of May now.  If this continues, I might give up on them and get a Warthog.  

 

 

Luft, I emailed them today. They said they have a new production facility and more should be available in June. 


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#7 Luftritter

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 03:55 PM

Hi guys, 

It's the end of May, so it's time for a newsletter. Since it's been a while, I figured I'd send out a mailblast, rather than updating the sidebar at VKBcontrollers.com

I know you're expecting some (if not most) of the VKB products you've been waiting for to be available in a few days, but VKB HQ told me (between the lines) that this is not the case. So without further ado, here's the news: The "expected availability: End of May, 2018" date does not hold, and needs to get pushed back (again). As a VKB sales partner, this is as frustrating for me as it is for you - believe me.

Here's a note from VKB HQ earlier this morning in a forum post - and I let it speak for itself:

"By the way, end of May is indeed not a valid deadline, so who was going to bet 10 bucks on the 30th, please don't. The next batch is being made and we are spending practically every day, 7 days a week, at the factories. Unexpectedly, the recent shipment to Europe that was supposed to fully cover all orders and stock up the storage for a few months, was sold out in less than a week.

So the currently being made batch is going to be much larger.

The size of the batch does not really affect the production time this much. What does is that those who create new models and those who spend days and weeks at the factories making sure the devices are produced to our standards of quality mostly are the same people.  All delays and slow downs of present day are not because of weak production capacity (that's in the past) but due to constant improvement and strict quality control.

So... it is coming. Although not on time but soon enough."

With that being said, for VKB North America I will have to do the following:

  • Push back all pre-oders for the Gladiator Upgrade Kit, and without a concrete date given, I will push it back by 1 month for now.
  • All other products that are not pre-orders will be labeled "Expected Availability: TBD" for now, until VKB HQ gives me something to go by. 

I really wished I had better news at this time for all of you who are waiting - but it is what it is. 

Until next time, 

 

VKB Sales North America


"People who believe they are ignorant of nothing have neither looked for, nor stumbled upon, the boundary between what is known and unknown in the universe." -Neil deGrasse Tyson




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