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CH Pro Detent removal and spring tensions


CptTangerine
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Recently I decided to do the mod to remove the centre detent removal mod for the CH Pro Pedals and to replace the springs with more powerful ones. I followed this guide:

 

 

 

 

 

Not having a Home Depot in the UK trying to find appropriate springs was a real mission. This post is purely so that anyone else (particularly from the UK) who wants to do the mod can get a bit of a head-start in relation to which springs to use, and I have also provided my own guide to disassembling and reassembling the CH Pro Pedals. I don’t know if anyone out there is even interested, but in case that someone is you and you are trying to follow my lead, these are my findings.

 

 

I have found a very good spring supplier called www.entexstocksprings.co.uk - they deal in springs of all kinds and have a very good spring selector within their website. The springs are all listed with pull-to-pull length (tip of the loop to tip of the loop), the wire diameter, the diameter of the spring, and also the Rate of the spring and its Initial Tension. The Rate is the rate at which the spring becomes more resistant as it is extended and the Initial Tension is how much force is required to pull the spring apart from its initial, closed, state. Generally, there is a strong correlation between the two: a spring with a high Initial Tension value generally has a higher Rate.

I bought a range of springs with a fair spread of Initial Tensions (IT), these were:

 

3648 IT: 2.00 Rate: 0.10 - Very light.

2154 IT: 7.12 Rate: 0.35 - Very similar to stock springs in CH Pro Pedals.

2130 IT: 10.5 Rate: 0.85 - currently in the pedals. Slightly more tension.

2155 IT: 14.68 Rate: 1.30 - possible next candidate for replacement. Strong.

2131 IT: 17.21 Rate: 1.70 - Very strong unusable for main springs.

2132 IT: 26.82 Rate: 3.26 - Ridiculously strong, hard to even bend.

 

As you can see there were two good candidates - stock numbers 2130 and 2155. These both have an outside diameter of 12.7mm and will fit nicely over the posts. I have only tried putting the 2130 in my pedals as, at the moment, they seem to be OK, although I may feel the urge to tinker at a later date. In fact, knowing me, sooner or later I will not be able to resist the urge and it’ll happen. I’ll post an update at that point.

 

I am still looking for the right spring for the centring spring. At the moment I have a fairly powerful little spring from an assorted box from Halford’s but it’s not really got enough oomph for the job. I would like to replace it. Unfortunately, I only need one spring (88p) and Entex have a minimum order value of £8.00. On top of this they have a delivery fee of about £5.00. It can wait until I need more.

 

For the reference of anyone looking to take the CH Pro pedals apart, here is my process for disassembly and reassembly (which I am now getting quite good at). This is supplemental to the method described here:

and just covers the process as I have experienced it. There is no guarantee that this will work as well for anyone else and will not result in damage to the pedals. I take no responsibility for any damage done as a result of following the below.

 

Disassembly

 

1. Unplug the pedals

2. Turn the pedals upside down with the point where the wire comes out of the pedal base facing you. Rest them over one knee with your knee between the pedals. If your knee is slim enough for this it will help immobilise the pedals and provide a solid base for working. If your knee will not fit you will need to use the spine of a thick book, or piece of wood, chair arm, etc.

3. undo all the screws on the back of the pedals. You will invalidate the warranty at this point, so if the pedals are quite new bear this in mind.

4. With all the screws out, but before you take the halves apart, press on the circular puck in the middle of the bottom half (I will refer to the part of the base that is normally against the floor as the bottom half, and the part with the pedals sticking out as the top half) and, holding it firmly with a finger, lift the bottom half up and towards you. Be very careful and gentle at this stage, there are some very delicate wires in there. Rest the edge of the bottom half on your knee (there should just about be room to do that and support the bottom half against your chest). The springs shouldn’t have gone “sproing!” and jumped off their posts. They might, but this lessens the chances. It doesn’t really matter if they do, it just makes it easier if you can remove them under full control.

5. At this point you can remove the springs or do whatever else you need to do. It’s a fairly simple mechanism. There is a central pin that goes between the top and bottom pucks. I have found that leaving the pucks on both ends makes life easier. You might find that the puck in the top half pops out while you are working. If that happens, you’ll just have to pop it back in. It’s not that difficult but it is a bit fiddly and tends to cause everything else to pop out of alignment.

 

Potential issues at this point

 

- Be careful of the wires - they are very delicate. Make sure that they are not under too much tension or tangled in the mechanism. There are little slots on the underside of the central rocker to keep them out of the way but they may have fallen out.

- The sliding pedal mechanism is smoothed out by two wheeled plates that I think of as skates. There is one skate on either side, one for each pedal. There are four wheels on the top of each skate and four wheels on the underside (as you are looking at them with the base apart). I have found that these can have an annoying tendency to pop out of their mounts (particularly the ones on the underside). The wheels are held in by small central spindles that clip into mounts. If they pop out they will twist out of alignment and you will have to fiddle around to get them back in. I have found no easy way to do this, you’ll just have to struggle until they go back in straight.

- The far end of the main springs loop over the screw mounts on the far side of the base from you. You will find it easier to keep them in place if you cut a shallow groove a couple of millimetres from the top of each for the spring loops to rest in.

- The potentiometer sits on top of a small plastic plate with three sockets that match up with three posts in the bottom half of the pedal base. This will fall off when you open up the pedals. Don’t worry about it. It pops back on very easily and should stay there long enough for the pedals to be reassembled.

 

Reassembly

 

1. Make sure that the central rocker is centred.

2. Make sure that the guide posts that go through the centre of the skates are in the slots on the central rocker

3. Make sure that the springs are straight and correctly hooked on their posts.

4. Place the potentiometer plate so that the three sockets sit firmly on the three little posts in the bottom half of the pedal base.

5. Move the plastic, slotted, arm on the potentiometer (actuator arm) so that it is pointing directly towards you. Line it up perfectly with the small tab underneath it. The slot in this arm will go over the small post sticking up out of the central rocker. In order for this to work the rocker must be perfectly centred and the arm must also be perfectly centred. I have not found a better way to do this and it works for me 9 times out of 10.

6. Place the bottom half of the base onto the top half. It is important that you do this so that you keep the bottom half as straight as you can throughout as this is the point where the slot of the slotted potentiometer arm needs to find the little post on the central rocker. I found that the best way to do this was to position the far edge of the bottom half slightly beyond the far edge of the top half, draw it back popping the puck into the hole in the base bottom as you go, then continue to draw it towards you until the corners are neatly aligned. Press down to pop the two halves together. If you are on target you should feel a positive clunk to indicate that the halves are well aligned. This method will also allow for the fact that the centre rocker will be getting pulled forward by the new springs and that the puck will be off centre towards the far edge. Drawing the bottom half towards you and collecting the puck as you go will allow you to pull the centre rocker straight as you locate the bottom half of the base into the top.

7. Screw down the four corners and put a screw in a middle hole.

8. Plug your pedals into your PC, fire up the test screen in Properties and check that the pedals are working correctly. If the slider isn’t moving, the slot in the actuator arm missed the post. You’ll have to take the base apart and try again. If the brakes aren’t moving the cursor in the box, you’ve probably broken a wire. Get out the soldering iron.

9. Check that the pedals are moving smoothly along their full length. If they are sticking or feeling a bit rough at this stage, they won’t get better when you put the other screws in. Chances are that any problems here will be caused by a wheel in a skate having popped out, or debris in a wheel-track. You’ll just have to pop the base open again, check the wheels, check for debris and go again from step 1.

10. Screw in the other screws and test.

 

Notes

 

- I used a Dremel with a cutting wheel to remove the rocker stops. This worked but it produced a huge amount of debris in the form of semi-molten plastic. I hadn’t realised how hot the plastic would get as the wheel went through it. This ended up melting onto the cutting wheel and coating the whole thing. It still cut through the plastic but it smelled pretty bad. I am still finding little curls of plastic even now, even after I have hoovered the place about nine times. If you have a chisel, this might be the better option, particularly if you have a carpet and like walking around in bare feet.

- The base is made from strong plastic but it is quite flexible. It will bend under the weight of the components within once it is apart. This can cause problems with keeping everything in its place while it’s apart and will also frequently cause the puck to pop out of the top half. I’m sure that there is a rig that could be devised to support it throughout the process but I’m just using a knee. If anyone has any suggestions I’d be happy to hear them.

CPU: Intel Core i5 4590 3.3GHz, RAM: 32GB HyperX Fury 1600MHz DDR3, GFX: EVGA GTX 1080, OS: Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, Joy: TM Warthog, Peds: CH Pro Pedals, TrackIR3, VR: Vive

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There is no detent, it's just the way the springs and free play work against each other that make the CH pedals 'center'. If you use stiffer springs, you get a more pronounced centering action.

 

Non-centering means removing the springs.

 

Good luck with your project.

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Of course are "detent" (stop or whatever this is called), this "H" or "T" shape pieces (2 in bottom part 2 in upper). When you move one pedal ahead the spring in other side is held under tension by this piece. Why when pedal recenter or crosses across the center is heard a "clunck".

 

http://i.imgur.com/cV3qyjP.jpg

 

This is typical of "pincer" center mechanism, like CH gimbal and early Tm gimbals.

 

Since removing this "stop" the the center became "floating" - now is just one spring against the other - a 3rd spring is added to help create a "soft" center position.

 

The only really good alternative for this issue - "clunck" center - is the CAM center system, see in "Next Gen" pedals (Baur, MFG, Slaw, VKB).

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Indeed. I guess it depends on what you mean by "detent." I suppose, strictly speaking, a detent is a smoothed groove in an otherwise flat surface with a spring-loaded pin that sticks in the groove at a certain point to create a point of resistance. In that sense, no, there is no detent but it's the best way to describe the thing that causes a problem in the CH Pro Pedals (if you consider it such).

 

I suppose that what I really mean is that I'm doing the "clunk-removal mod." I like the pedals to centre but I don't want them to do so in such a way that there is a piece of solid resistance to overcome. Removing the T-pieces and stiffening the springs means that the whole thing is a lot more fluid but there is still a natural centring tendency.

 

I have been considering a set of MFG Crosswind pedals but, in truth, I like my CH Pros. I am, however, in danger of spending almost as much in springs as it would cost to buy some MFGs. That is a large part of my motivation for this post - to try to make it easier for anyone else trying to do the same thing.

CPU: Intel Core i5 4590 3.3GHz, RAM: 32GB HyperX Fury 1600MHz DDR3, GFX: EVGA GTX 1080, OS: Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, Joy: TM Warthog, Peds: CH Pro Pedals, TrackIR3, VR: Vive

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  • 2 weeks later...

I narrowed it down to 3:

 

2124 IT: 10.45 Rate: 2.24

2095 IT: 13.61 Rate: 2.77 - Looks best for the centring spring

547 IT: 16.01 Rate: 2.07

 

I would say that the top one would be a little weak and I have a couple of springs of similar tension and rate to the bottom one - they are incredibly strong and pretty much impossible to pull apart. I suspect that you'd end up breaking the screw column with one of those. At a guess, I would say that the middle one would do the job.

 

I am using a centring spring from a multi-pack I bought from Halfords which isn't really up to the job. The only reason I haven't bought one from Entex is that the minimum order is £8 and at 85p each I just don't need that many springs at the moment :-)

 

CptT

CPU: Intel Core i5 4590 3.3GHz, RAM: 32GB HyperX Fury 1600MHz DDR3, GFX: EVGA GTX 1080, OS: Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, Joy: TM Warthog, Peds: CH Pro Pedals, TrackIR3, VR: Vive

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Hi

 

I've just ordered four of each of the weaker and stronger springs along with three of the shorter centre-return springs.

 

That's enough to ship out a set to you and a set to one other as well as keeping a short spring for myself.

 

CptT

CPU: Intel Core i5 4590 3.3GHz, RAM: 32GB HyperX Fury 1600MHz DDR3, GFX: EVGA GTX 1080, OS: Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, Joy: TM Warthog, Peds: CH Pro Pedals, TrackIR3, VR: Vive

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I will send them out to you at cost which is £10.00 (that includes delivery to me - £5.50 for the lot, divided by 2) plus whatever it will cost to ship them to you in the US.


Edited by CptTangerine
Bad at maths

CPU: Intel Core i5 4590 3.3GHz, RAM: 32GB HyperX Fury 1600MHz DDR3, GFX: EVGA GTX 1080, OS: Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, Joy: TM Warthog, Peds: CH Pro Pedals, TrackIR3, VR: Vive

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Hi.

 

The springs but the mat this morning. I'll find out what they'll cost to send and let you know the total amount.

 

CptT

CPU: Intel Core i5 4590 3.3GHz, RAM: 32GB HyperX Fury 1600MHz DDR3, GFX: EVGA GTX 1080, OS: Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, Joy: TM Warthog, Peds: CH Pro Pedals, TrackIR3, VR: Vive

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I have now tried the 2155 springs with the centring spring and it feels pretty good. It's quite a strong feel but it definitely centres well and hasn't ripped the pedal interior apart yet.

CPU: Intel Core i5 4590 3.3GHz, RAM: 32GB HyperX Fury 1600MHz DDR3, GFX: EVGA GTX 1080, OS: Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, Joy: TM Warthog, Peds: CH Pro Pedals, TrackIR3, VR: Vive

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  • 3 years later...

For anyone who has done this mod, have you had any issues with the pedals since doing this? Do they still center properly? Did you have to set any dead zones? Thinking of doing this myself as I hate the "clunk" when centering.

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I had to use a pretty strong spring as a centring spring, it's pulling at an angle so it needs to do a lot of work however, having fiddled about with various spring strengths I did get it to work quite well. I don't really do dead-zones and I didn't set any up for the pedals post-mod. It's very good for helicopters and they centred reasonably well.

 

 

 

I have now gone for some MFG Crosswinds as the CH Pros I have taken them apart, fiddled with them, repaired them, and put them back together so many times that they were starting to feel a bit gritty. I just couldn't be arsed to take them apart again.

 

 

I would say go for it, but all of the springs will probably need to be stronger than you think.

CPU: Intel Core i5 4590 3.3GHz, RAM: 32GB HyperX Fury 1600MHz DDR3, GFX: EVGA GTX 1080, OS: Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, Joy: TM Warthog, Peds: CH Pro Pedals, TrackIR3, VR: Vive

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Thanks for the quick reply. I have the springs on hand from Home Depot. I was just a little reluctant to do it as I am worried about centering issues and/or ruining the pedals. I fly jets and not helicopters. The clunk in these are terrible in my opinion. Trying to make a small adjustment while taxiing cam be a nightmare sometimes. I think I'll give it a go when I get some free time.

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