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Thrustmaster Warthog users


US103_Tobin
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Those concerned, I've recently had a chance to rebuild a TM Warthog HOTAS.  Leaving all other problems aside, this particular issue you may encounter in the future, if you haven't already.

With regard to the single push buttons, they are prone to intermittent operation if not complete failure.  This is due to the tactile microswitch inside the button assembly wearing out due to excessive pressure or number of uses.  Here is a picture of a worn out tactile switch:

IMG-20190827-152554.jpg

This is the tactile switch inside all of the single push buttons on the TMW HOTAS.  It's a metal diaphragm which "pops" back after it's depressed, if it's operating normally.  However, frequent hard pressure or just plain over use causes the diaphragm to become permanently dented, and depressed.  At this point, you will no long feel a "click" when you depress the button; at this point, there is a minimum of space between the contact surfaces, and you may need to force it to "make" by pushing the switch hard....and in those cases the actual closure is most likely intermittant at best.  In the worst cases, the switch will become closed at all times, and you'll suffer real problems.

In researching this problem online, I've found this to be a fairly common issue with single push buttons on the TMW.

At this time, a replacement button assembly from Thrusmaster costs over $35.00 for one button assembly.  This particular grip had two bad buttons in it.  However, by disassembling the actual button, one can access the tactile switch underneath.  However, I have not found an exact replacement for the 9 mm tactile switch inside.  I have found others that can be made to work through some serious skill and workmanship.  I settled on a 4.5 mm replacement that seemed of high quality, and only costs $0.94 per unit.  Here is what the disassembled switch assembly looks like; the old tactile switch is shown on the left, and the new one is right next to it.

IMG-20190826-155336.jpg

 

The above picture does not show the base unit that all this snaps into, and that the wires go through.  That base for the switch is shown below.  At this point it's necessary to say that this assembly is NOT made to be disassembled or repaired.  It takes some serious work to get it apart without destroying it.  Suffice it to say that you could easily destroy the switch to get it to this point.  As for me, I think I've figured out the best possible way of disassembling it.  In any case, this next photo shows the new micro switch soldered to the wires, and which now must be glued into the base part because it's not as big as the original part:

 

IMG-20190826-161515.jpg

The soldering alone is going to be beyond the skill level of almost everybody; the leads are tiny, and so are the lands.  These switches are made to be soldered down to circuit traces and it takes good skill to solder proper wire connections to them.

In the end, I'm happy to say that the repaired buttons not only work, they may work longer than the originals.

My ultimate point is this:  If you're a TMW user, be careful not to apply too much pressure to your single push buttons, especially those which you use a lot.  Once you feel it "click", don't push harder, or you'll eventually end up with the above situation.  Take care!

If you do end up with the above situation, send it to me  😉  I'll fix it for ya  😊

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