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What's the best way to control zoom when looking for targets?


Hive
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Hey guys! When you scan visually for targets on the ground, it is often necessary to use the zoom function. I tried different methods to control the zoom like the simple keyboard commands (very bad), head movement via TrackIR (not that bad, but feels unnatural and you loose the ability for normal head movements inside the cockpit) and binding it to the slider axis of the TM Warthog HOTAS (bad as i need to take my hand of the throttle to reach for the slider). What I really wished for was a toggle button for max and normal zoom levels, so that you could instantly switch. Unfortunately I cannot find such an option in the controls menu.

 

So do you have any ideas? What is your preferred method of zooming? Thanks in advance!

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I don't claim my way is the best. Just the way I do it. Since the plane takes up all the buttons and switches on the Warthog except the paddle. I make a modifier out of the paddle. I then use with the paddle the TMS forward and aft for zoom in slow and out. This also gives me the option to program a lot of stuff with the modifier.

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Buzz

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My throttle has an extra paddle on it that i use for zoom. works well. i use a modifier button and hat my stick has for zoom in and out slow.

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I use the slider by pushing with my thumb, while still holding the throttle with my other fingers, if I need to manipulate it. I've got fairly small hands, so most people could do this. Only time I don't is for the Harrier, because I need it bound to the nozzle angle, then I use TMS Up and Down - which I don't really like, but I don't have a better solution. My old T.16000M had a yaw axis on the throttle, which has a spring on it - made the perfect zoom axis.

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I found the slider awkward. The throttle moves and changes where the slider is if you're using buttons on the throttle. I'm always changing zoom in and out of the cockpit. Reaching for the slider was a pain. My thumb is on the TMS switch naturally and easy to make small adjustments no matter what else i'm doing.

Buzz

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I don't like the slider for zooming, but I guess it depends on your "seat configuration" (e.g. tabletop throttle + relatively high table as compared to the seat = uncomfortable).

Anyways, since I've used TMS hat for zoom in slow (forward/up), zoom normal (right) and zoom out slow (back/down) since uhm... 20 years ago or so with my CH Combatstick, I'm so used to it that I copied this config once I bought my TM Warthog joystick (last year).

 

My patent for A-10C:

TMS in game = hardware CMS hat.

CMS in game = hardware CMS hat + pinky button as a "shift" button. (I use the pinky paddle the standard way in A-10 - NWS/laze/etc.).

(Hardware TMS hat - zoom/TrackIR).

 

I find pinky button superior to the paddle, as the latter requires to reach out for it with your finger, while the button is already under my pinky whenever I hold grip on the joystick, I just need to squeeze more to actutate it. But again - this may depend on your "seat configuration".

 

 

 

i7-8700K 32GB 2060(6GB) 27"@1080p TM Hawg HOTAS TPR TIR5 SD-XL button/pot box

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I don't like the slider for zooming, but I guess it depends on your "seat configuration" (e.g. tabletop throttle + relatively high table as compared to the seat = uncomfortable).

Anyways, since I've used TMS hat for zoom in slow (forward/up), zoom normal (right) and zoom out slow (back/down) since uhm... 20 years ago or so with my CH Combatstick, I'm so used to it that I copied this config once I bought my TM Warthog joystick (last year).

 

My patent for A-10C:

TMS in game = hardware CMS hat.

CMS in game = hardware CMS hat + pinky button as a "shift" button. (I use the pinky paddle the standard way in A-10 - NWS/laze/etc.).

(Hardware TMS hat - zoom/TrackIR).

 

I find pinky button superior to the paddle, as the latter requires to reach out for it with your finger, while the button is already under my pinky whenever I hold grip on the joystick, I just need to squeeze more to actutate it. But again - this may depend on your "seat configuration".

 

 

 

That shows how different we can be. I found the pinky uncomfortable to use. Plus, it has functions in the systems to use it for a modifier. The paddle doesn't. I pretty much keep my little finger on the paddle all the time since as a modifier I use it for much more than zoom.

 

Anyway, whatever works best for anybody is the best way.

Buzz

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Yeah, the paddle sure is more "comfy" by itself, it's very nice, while the button is a bit too stiff on TM Warthog, but with my joystick up on the table I've just noticed that my thumb always wants to rest next to the CMS hat or on the TMS hat (both equally comfortable, I think), and my pinky virtually touches the pinky button at all times. So for saving my life (spitting countermeasures) I figured that - at least for me - this setup is probably as fast to push as it gets.

But all these are small details, I guess, the paddle is just as fast, especially if you have a habit of keeping your finger on it (plus it's nicer to operate than that stiff button!).

 

More importantly, though, TMS and CMS hats (plus the trigger) are by far best buttons on the joystick (if it's in the "tabletop configuration"), so using CMS hat just for CMS seems a horrible waste to me - you don't launch contermeasures that much (besides, you can easily run out of them), unlike zooming, TMS-ing things etc., which is for free and you do it waaay more often. (RL pilots don't zoom with the stick, we do).

These are just my thoughs :) The ultimate truth is what you've said - whatever works for somebody is good.

i7-8700K 32GB 2060(6GB) 27"@1080p TM Hawg HOTAS TPR TIR5 SD-XL button/pot box

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Thank you very much for your comments! Yeah, everbody is different and needs to find the solution that works best for him. I just installed Zip's Instant Zoom keybind mod and it works like a charm. Instanst max zoom with the press of a button and back to normal upon release (toggle is possible as well). Great for scanning terrain for targets und gun runs at the same time. It is so convenient, because within the blink of an eye you can switch between looking/aiming for the target and checking your instruments/surroundings. Really happy to have found this mod.

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I've always used the mic button on the throttle: forward for zoom in slow, aft for zoom out slow, press for zoom default, shift+press for zoom all the way in.

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  • 3 weeks later...

TM Warthog user here. I use the paddle switch as a modifier, and use paddle+CMS switch for zoom forward, back, and right for reset. I have the slider set up for zoom as well if I want to keep a zoom level for a while and as a backup.  I also use paddle +airbrake back for landing gear toggle,  +throttle pinky switch for my refueling gate, +DMS for NVG, and +TMS for kneeboard.  Saves me a lot of keyboard work.

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The TM TWCS throttle has a nice rotary wheel on its left side where the pinky rests. I have added a 15% deadzone on the zoom axis and can easily zoom in and out with high granularity with that wheel and the deadzone allows me to always hit mein default position again with out overshooting. Can't imagine something other than a wheel to do that job actually.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/12/2020 at 12:56 PM, Hive said:

Hey guys! When you scan visually for targets on the ground, it is often necessary to use the zoom function. I tried different methods to control the zoom like the simple keyboard commands (very bad), head movement via TrackIR (not that bad, but feels unnatural and you loose the ability for normal head movements inside the cockpit) and binding it to the slider axis of the TM Warthog HOTAS (bad as i need to take my hand of the throttle to reach for the slider). What I really wished for was a toggle button for max and normal zoom levels, so that you could instantly switch. Unfortunately I cannot find such an option in the controls menu.

 

So do you have any ideas? What is your preferred method of zooming? Thanks in advance!

I have zoom mapped to the back direction on the mic switch on my Thrustmaster Warthog Throttle.  It means you lose one Mic Switch position but the action feels natural to me and I find it easy to zoom when looking at fine text inside my cockpit, lining up a shot in the reticle in my hud, or scanning the terrain for stuff.  If I can figure out the radios I may make the zoom a combo so that I gain back that particular Comms command.

 

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ThrustMaster Warthog Throttle and Stick  -  Winwing Landing and Combat Panels  -  MFG Crosswind Rudder Pedals

 

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I developped a mod that add specific zooom commands, that allow to zoom at a predefined level at the press of a key, and unzoom (reset the zoom) when you let go of the key.

You'll find it on the VEAF OvGME repository, it's called "Config - Keys - Instant Zoom keybind". I also attached it to this post, just in case you don't know how to configure an OvGME repository.

It goes into the main DCS installation folder.

Config - Keys - Instant Zoom keybind.zip

Zip - VEAF :pilotfly:

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/21/2020 at 6:59 AM, aledmb said:

scanning around in zoomed mode really triggers me in VR.

 

i wish there was a way to add some stabilizing to the head movement.

 

Plus one for this idea. The head shake in VR- especially when zoomed- is crazy.

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