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Think I may try modding an MSFFB2 with x52 stick


Headwarp
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So, having owned an x52 pro, logitech extreme 3d pro and my warthog I finally decided to buy a used msffb2 last month and have fallen in love with the stick. That's not to say I don't still have uses for my warthog stick atm (jets..a-10c, falcon bms) but for bi-planes, ww2 prop planes and especially the ka-50 this the msffb2 has taken over. I have hardly flown jets or the a-10c since I got the thing. The msffb2 had a little cosmetic wear on the stick, and I didn't realize it until today but the throttle slider is slightly loose, but not to a point where it's unusable. (i use it for ka-50 throttle and prop plane radiators)

 

Well.. a couple days ago I saw a "Open box unused"" listing for an msffb2, and I snagged that sucker. And as described - it seems completely unused. Is fully functional...the software was still sealed and the little green thing was still on the end of the usb cord. It had to be new.. had the rubber coating and it was in pristine condition...no stickiness.no tears..no scuffs.

 

Needless to say.. I put that gem back in it's box and put it on a shelf in one of my closets.

 

I don''t foresee the first one i bought giving up on me any time soon as it functions perfectly other than the new one's throttle is just a bit stiffer and feels better. (i only use it for ka-50 throttle and radiators in other sims anyway)

 

I've looked around at various threads for different sims and come across a couple threads where people put an x52 pro stick on their msffb2 base.

 

Having what appears to be an unused msffb2 in absolute pristine condition sitting in my closet.. I think I'm going to start a project with the help of my father about making this mod happen with the older stick that doesn't have that "brand new" feel to it. and building a button/lever box out of the x52 stick base and throttle. (all inspired by others' work in the simming world)

 

The x52 stick is relatively light weight so I'm imagining the motors in the msffb2 shouldn't struggle with it.. and honestly I believe it'll probably cover all the buttons i'd ever need in any sim ever as far as hotas paired with my warthog throttle. I hate to neglect my shiney metal warthog stick.. I love how it feels in my hands and it's absolutely a dream in the a-10c module... and will probably still use it for that.

 

 

Anyway.. I'm getting wordy and I haven't even started the project yet.. so I'm going to get with my father soon to utilize his skills with a soldering iron after I get the parts I need.. which I believe includes a teensy board or something to that extent. This isn't something I'm going to be able to get done over night.. but once I'm certain I know how to do this I'll upload pics of my process as it happens.

 

If I do screw up, I at least have a working msffb2 in my closet to keep using as is.. but I have to admit I'd feel bad about there being one less working msffb2 in the world if this project doesn''t work out.

 

If my Frankenfeedback works out however.. i get a msffb2 with an x52 amount of buttons. Wish me luck?


Edited by Headwarp

Win 10 pro 64bit i7 8700k @ 4.9ghz (all cores) - EVGA RTX 2080Ti XC Ultra, 32GB DDR4 3200 16CAS, 970 Evo 250Gb boot drive, 970 Evo Plus 1TB, pny 480gb sata 3 SSDx2, 4TB HDD - Acer Predator x34 (3440x1440@100hz), Samsung Odyssey WMR, - Peripherals = VKB Gunfighter III + MCGU, Virpil MongoosT-50CM3 Throttle, Logitech G13, MFG Crosswinds, 2x TM Cougar MFD panels

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Hi,

 

By all means, do it! :)

I don't know how is your knowledge on the subject, but hacking a joystick isn't that complicated. Do you plan to change stick grips, or do one by yourself? You can put a x52 grip on msffb2 - you need to figure out how to attach that.

Also, from what i read in your post, you won't be needing a teensy board (or any other for that matter). DCS supports multiple controllers, and you may use main axes from msffb2 and then buttons from a rewired x52 board. You'll have additional axes, which you can use for trim, zooming etc.

True that it won't be ready overnight, and depeding on advancement of your build, it could take quite long (especially if you just started to look into that kind of stuff). From my experience: take your time, don't rush.

As you said, if you screw something up, you have a backup stick anyway. Try not to though ;)

 

Good luck then, keep posting the results and progress. That could be also useful for other people seeking information about controller building/hacking. This isn't something you find on the net right off the bat, unless you have a good idea what are you looking for.

 

Cheers!

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Suggestion: try get a CH Combatstick or Fighterstick grip (gameport or Mac can be cheap in eBay), this grip is very easy to wire in Arduino's for handle their buttons/HAT - is just a 4x5 matrix, and has better construction and micro-switches quality than Saitek's. You an sell that X-52.


Edited by Sokol1_br
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Just don't plan on wiring up the X52pro stick to a teensy or anything hoping you can do away with the saitek electronics and the need for the throttle module. I've tried, I couldn't figure it out, the only example anywhere is with the regular X52 which has completely different wiring in the stick. My X52pro is still in bits because I can't be bothered to put it back together when my attempt failed.

 

Save yourself the headache and just accept that you are going to be either stuffing the stick base electronics in either the MSFFB2 base or the throttle base. I ended up putting a thrustmaster FLCS stick on my msffb2 instead (which is a well documented and comparatively easy mod to do).

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Just don't plan on wiring up the X52pro stick to a teensy or anything hoping you can do away with the saitek electronics and the need for the throttle module. I've tried, I couldn't figure it out, the only example anywhere is with the regular X52 which has completely different wiring in the stick. My X52pro is still in bits because I can't be bothered to put it back together when my attempt failed.

 

Save yourself the headache and just accept that you are going to be either stuffing the stick base electronics in either the MSFFB2 base or the throttle base. I ended up putting a thrustmaster FLCS stick on my msffb2 instead (which is a well documented and comparatively easy mod to do).

 

this thread http://simhq.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/3733240/2 The x52 was mostly just because I have one laying around that I have no problem destroying.

 

is my main inspiration once I decided to get the unused msffb2 for backup. I definitely notice that the ps2 port from the x52 is still connected to the stick. But you do bring up a fair point..

 

he kept his ps2 connection to the stick on the msffb2. I was honestly hoping I could bypass that so I could keep the base of the x52 stick to turn into the button lever box.

 

That ps2 cable was always annoying when I used the x52pro.. so I guess I should look into alternative options.

 

The x52pro is in no condition to be sold tbh.. the throttle unit is basically trashed in an attempt to take it apart to fix the spring detents as they somehow got borked and were stopping me from maxing the throttle. Plastic chunks came out with the first few screws and one was easily stripped so I'm going to have to cut it out likely.. As much as saitek has failed me I have no qualms gutting them and turning them into something useful if I can manage it. decade and a half old MSFFB2 has more solid construction than that x52pro ever did.

 

I could handle bridging the x52pro stick base and throttle unit together.. but I don't need it to be connected to the stick >.< I'll look into other grip options. A CH stick sounds like a plan and I think I've seen thread with that mod. So thanks for that reminder as well sokol. (You're everywhere man)

 

Food for thought guys.. glad I posted. thanks for the input. Will be checking to see if I can find a cheap or broken CH stick most likely. Looking at the FLCS (the f-16 flcs) and thinking of TM replica products.. I have to ask how heavy that stick without the base is. The guy who made the cougar + dual msffb2 boards really made an awesome thing but myself am not going that far lol. But I'm sure I'll find a thread that details that information somewhere. Thinking ch is the way to go. Would be cool if I found out there was a light weight f-16/a-10c stick with a dual stage trigger. But apparently that can be modded too..

 

Would it possible to wire this for arduino+usb? http://www.ebay.com/itm/CH-Products-F-16-Fighterstick-for-Macintosh-used-24-function-joystick-/302209688490?hash=item465d19e3aa:g:H54AAOSwLEtYjluD


Edited by Headwarp

Win 10 pro 64bit i7 8700k @ 4.9ghz (all cores) - EVGA RTX 2080Ti XC Ultra, 32GB DDR4 3200 16CAS, 970 Evo 250Gb boot drive, 970 Evo Plus 1TB, pny 480gb sata 3 SSDx2, 4TB HDD - Acer Predator x34 (3440x1440@100hz), Samsung Odyssey WMR, - Peripherals = VKB Gunfighter III + MCGU, Virpil MongoosT-50CM3 Throttle, Logitech G13, MFG Crosswinds, 2x TM Cougar MFD panels

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Yes, X-52 grip is perfectly usable for this conversion (any good stick grip is)* is just not the more easy to wire.

 

If X-52 throttle is unusable, no reason to try use Saitek electronics that is inside throttle base - stick base is "brainless".

 

Will be more easy buy a ~6$ Arduino PRO Micro and wire X-52 grip in then - this board is too small that probable fit inside grip, or easily in some corner of MSFF2 base, will result less clumsy than the PS2 cable. Bonus: will be PnP using Windows HID drivers - no Saitek drivers install will be need.

 

This linked CH Fighterstick for Mac is good donor for grip, this model is good because don't require change nothing inside grip, just a male connector for their cable to hook in Arduino.

 

But leave this as "plan" B - start with X-52 grip, if he end like the throttle, use the "plan B". :D

 

* TM F16FLCS or F22PRO is another good option for grip donors, this grips is in (solid) plastic, so is not heavy like Cougar or Warthog grips. :joystick:


Edited by Sokol1_br
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