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VirPil hat switch triggers wrong buttons (or VirPil hat switch design limitations)

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Posted (edited)

Hi all


I trawled through as much info as I could find on the CM3 throttle, WarBRD base and Alpha grip before taking the plunge. Now that I have had them for a week, I have discovered that something mentioned, but glossed over, in reviews is actually a design decision on VirPil's part.  Here's an excerpt from their "VPC Software - Technical Overview" PDF:




My translation:


All VirPil hat switches use an ALPS module. It has 5 physical switches - left, right, up, down, and depress. The depress switch is activated whenever any switch is activated. There are two modes - 5-way (up, down, left, right, depress), and 9-way (up-left, up, up-right, right, right-down, down, down-left, left, depress). The software decodes the button press that you want by detecting which switches are activated. If it is the just the depress switch, the depress button has been pressed. If it is the depress switch and the left switch, then the left button has been pressed. If it is the left switch and the up switch and the depress switch, then you want the up-left button.


I have no use for 9-way hat switches, so I have set all of my hats as 5-way hats.


Here's the flaw:


Some hat switches have a bit of travel in them, like the one under my thumb on the throttle. If I press the left button, the depress switch and the left switch are activated and DCS is told that I have pressed the left button. However, when I let it go, the left switch is deactivated before the depress switch is deactivated. DCS sees - left button and then depress button.


Having been a CH Products user for the last 18 months, the switch to VirPil hats is disappointing. The hats are not gated, which means that I activate the incorrect button sometimes. This is exacerbated by the arc of the throttle arm - the angular direction that you move the switch in changes with the position of the throttle.


The only things I can do to mitigate the issues are to not bind the depress buttons of the hats with excess travel and to practice being more precise with my thumb when the throttle is in different positions.


Thought this might help some users understand why they are not always getting the button presses that they want.


Happy travels. 😄



Edited by kingtintony
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Thanks for that explanation.


We need them China hat and boat switches vor the CM3🙏

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Darkstar: Merged

Radeon 6800xt +Ryzen  5600x  32GB DDR4 + Virpil MongoosT-50CM3 Throttle + VKB Gunfighter Mk.III MCE Ultimate  + Thrustmaster Pendular rudders+ HP Reverb G2 +Track IR5 + TM cougar MFDs+Blackhoq and total controls panels

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I agree with this--I haven't put a lot of thought into it yet, but I'd like to come up with something tactile I can add to them so that I can more easily differentiate them.


I also agree with the OP that when I'm in the idle position, because of the arc of the throttle arm, it is more difficult to activate the switches.  Maybe that is a bit trivial, but I do notice it.

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