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Microsoft FFB2 joystick buying advice


DaddySchlich
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Hi,

 

I have both BS1 and BS2, and was wanting to complement them with the Microsoft Sidewinder Force Feedback 2 joystick (FFB2) in light of what I've been reading on the forums.

 

So it's on my Xmas list.

 

Wifey reports that they're not being made any longer, so it's an eBay purchase. Yet there are so many variations on eBay.

 

I have a Windows 7 system. Obviously, I need the USB cable and power cable, right? What about manual and CD-ROM? I would guess "no," but didn't want to end up with something that just wouldn't work.

 

Many thanks for any advice!!

 

Daddy Schlich

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Hey,

 

The usb cable comes with the stick. the power cable is a standard.

(This stick has it's own power supply circuitry inside and,therefore, dosn't need an external Transformer)

 

About the drivers...

As the device is not produced any more we cannot get support for it either.

I can tell that it's working for me. (I still running WXP but I know others that enjoy it on W7)

 

If you want. ill send you the drivers, yet I dont know if youll need them at all...

 

I wish you too to enjoy the stick. This one is indeed a masterpiece...

 

Nir Bar

Nir Bar

"Schredder"

 

"In the warrior code there's no surrender,

though his body says stop,his spirit cries...

NEVER !!!"

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Get a USB MS-FFB2!

Mine is 8 years old and has no noticeable wear.

 

No drivers are needed in Win7.

It's just plug and play.

But in DCS you have to swap FFaxis in "FF tune" in the Controllers option menu.

 

You will love it.

 

 

Stay away from game-port/midi versions.

It is not supported any more in Win7 - and a gamport-to-usb adapter will not work. Because these adapters can't translate the FF commands. (even if some sellers write that this works...)

 

regarding the lack of buttons in High fidelity sims:

I'm planning to use a TM-Warthog grip with the FFB2

http://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?p=1344628#post1344628


Edited by PeterP

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Thanks, Schredder and Peter.

 

I have a Windows 7 system, so no need for XP drivers, and I'll be sure to stick with USB stick.

 

Good to know that power cable is standard, so I can get elsewhere if need be.

 

As far as lack of buttons, I see that there are ways around it. Looking at the BS manual, I've tried to keep the buttons on the joystick mapped only to what's on the actual stick, and Black Shark is not too demanding from that perspective. Of course, absent a touchscreen, a lot of mouse clicks, but that's OK.

 

I've seen there are "red" and "black" versions of the stick. Is this anything more than cosmetic?

 

Also, any suggestions other than eBay to pick one up? (I'm in the U.S.)

 

Thanks again for the help.

 

Daddy Schlich

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I've seen there are "red" and "black" versions of the stick. Is this anything more than cosmetic?
I have a Black one...

I just think that this just reflects a trend of the in the first decade of the beginning 21th century.

Are you remembering the iMAC , and his many different coloured versions?! ;)

No one would do this today any more when looking at the world-finance.

:)

 

-of course I'm not 100% sure about my assumption. And you should "google" for this.

 

 

Edit:

While I was searching the web for "red MS-FFB2" I found a very interesting thread:

It shows how to attach a X52 handle on a MS-FFB2...

http://forum.1cpublishing.eu/showthread.php?t=18562&page=8

DSCN1077-1.jpg


Edited by PeterP

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Thanks for the lead on changing out the X52 handle. I'm assuming I can away with plugging my X45 throttle and joystick into one USB port, and a MS FFB2 in another, and then program all the joystick buttons and axes in DCS BS2 into the FFB2, and all the throttle functions into the X45, and then just keep the X45 joystick out of reach.

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I've been looking recently for joystick options, and reading this forum to try to get some useful opinions about them too. I had come to the conclusion that a frankenstick like that might be a good way of combining the strengths of two different sticks, and now I find it has been done before. Wasn't such a crazy idea after all then ;)

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Hello. I am a MS Force Feedback 2 owner. It is the finest FFB stick. I also have the Logitech G940. The MS stick is heads and tails better. First off I have never seen a MSFFB2 that did NOT have USB. I think your referring to the Force Feedback Pro. They do have one that is similar cosmetically but it is NOT force feedback called the Precision 2. The difference in color on some MSFFB2 sticks can be noted on the triggers only. The MSFFB2's with the red triggers and buttons have a faster sampling rate. I don't think this matters much as my gray trigger and button MSFFB2 works perfectly. The only reason I got a G940 was as you stated lack of buttons. If I had it to do over again I would have just kept using the MS stick and gone this route.

 

http://www.chproducts.com/retail/t_pro_throttle.html

 

Please note the Macro options on the MSFFB2 software does NOT work with windows XP.


Edited by ZQuickSilverZ

I need, I need, I need... What about my wants? QuickSilver original.

"Off with his job" Mr Burns on the Simpsons.

"I've seen steering wheels / arcade sticks / flight sticks for over a hundred dollars; why be surprised at a 150 dollar item that includes the complexities of this controller?! It has BLINKY LIGHTS!!" author unknown.

 

 

These titles are listed in the chronological order I purchased them.

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi, Well, I did get a MS FFB2 for Xmas! Yay! Just got around to setting it up today with BS2, vers. 1.1.1.1. Seems to work great - in that it stays put when I release the Trim button. (RCtrl-Enter tells me that.) It does seem like a different game.

 

But I have noticed that there's a bit of a kick when I press the Trim button, which is more pronounced when I've moved the stick a greater distance from the last trimmed position. It's as though it temporarily adds more in the direction of the movement of the stick than I have moved it. It's therefore most noteworthy when I do a quick press-and-release of the Trim button after a significant change in the joystick. If I press the Trim button, hold, only then move the joystick to reorient the heli, and finally then release the trim button, I don't seem to have much of a problem. Zeroing out "shake" in the FF Tune option also seems to help somewhat.

 

Is that what is intended here?? Any tips??

 

I have downloaded PeterP's BS2-1.1.1.1 MS FFB2 precision.trk. He doesn't appear to have the same issue that I can see. When I take control partway through the track, I have the same issues I describe above. Maybe I have something set up differently??

 

FYI - Yes, I have Swapped Axes in FF Tune (unswapped, boy what a mess!), and have Trimmer Force at 100. I have taped over the pinhole sensor near the base of the stick so it's in FFB mode all the time in the game. I have unchecked Central Position Trimmer Mode - but I'm not sure that matters with a FFB stick. I have kept my Axis Tune all straight lines.

 

Any thoughts or advice would be much appreciated!

 

Daddy Schlich

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It does seem like a different game.

 

But I have noticed that there's a bit of a kick when I press the Trim button, which is more pronounced when I've moved the stick a greater distance from the last trimmed position. It's as though it temporarily adds more in the direction of the movement of the stick than I have moved it. It's therefore most noteworthy when I do a quick press-and-release of the Trim button after a significant change in the joystick. If I press the Trim button, hold, only then move the joystick to reorient the heli, and finally then release the trim button, I don't seem to have much of a problem. Zeroing out "shake" in the FF Tune option also seems to help somewhat.

 

Is that what is intended here?? Any tips??

 

Practice,practice,practice - as you said: It's a different game now.

I hope this will help you to understand how you must coordinate your movement and timing of the trim release:

To trim smoothly - without jumpiness in the stick response:

 

Before making a bigger direction changes: hold down trim - complete the manoeuvre - than release trim.

 

or

 

use smaller steps - means "blink" the trimmer often while changing direction.

 

Both methods represent RL procedures.

If a RL pilot wouldn't do it this way -he would also have to fight the sudden change in the spring-load of the cyclic.

And have the same difficulties you describe and loose precision.

 

Here is a video - and listen to the click:

Simulator session of a Mi-171

 

 

 

This will ensure that you don't fight the AP while changing direction (Holding down the trim will also decouple the AP channels similar like in Flight-Director mode) and you will have not to move your hand against a constant force. - While holding trim the stick will get loose and you can move the stick freely around as smooth like butter.

 

Conclusion:

The MS-FFB2 is the most realistic joystick that the "average-Joe" could get easily if he wants the most realistic experience to fly a Force-trim equipped helicopter.

 

 

 

I have downloaded PeterP's BS2-1.1.1.1 MS FFB2 precision.trk. He doesn't appear to have the same issue that I can see. When I take control partway through the track, I have the same issues I describe above. Maybe I have something set up differently??
Again: practice,practice,practice

 

Don't think you will be able to do the same after a short period of time with the MS-FFB2 just because you have the right tools now...

-you have to learn how to use this tool in the most effective way first.

And this isn't also a thing you can learn within seconds/minutes - you have to train your muscles for this.

When you start thinking about how to do this - while doing it - it is already to late!

It's more common that you see a improvement in your control over-night instead in a single simulator secession.

;)

 

It tock me several month...

And staying away for a longer time (e.g.two weeks) from the simulator will force you to relearn this again...

this tweak also helped me a lot:How to unchain the rudder from trim

 

When you follow my track closely - and also hear when I press/release the trim button -you will notice that there are occasions I hold the trim-button always down for several seconds (up 8 when facing the other helicopter).

I do this because I make continuously very small adjustments to the cyclic while circling around the Mi-26 - and If I would rapidly trim I would have short moments where I would end up fighting the autopilot because my movements are so small - but critical to fly smooth around the Mi-26.

 

 

Zeroing out "shake" in the FF Tune option also seems to help

[...]

FYI - Yes, I have Swapped Axes in FF Tune (unswapped, boy what a mess!), and have Trimmer Force at 100. I have taped over the pinhole sensor near the base of the stick so it's in FFB mode all the time in the game. I have unchecked Central Position Trimmer Mode - but I'm not sure that matters with a FFB stick. I have kept my Axis Tune all straight lines.

All settings are correct and - the only thing that could be leaved as it is:FFB Shake.

Setting it to zero has no affect - It won't change the behavioured of the MS-SW FFB2 in BS2- you can leave it on default.

BS don't have any shake effects included as in A-10c and FC when you enter a stall for instance.

-it's a placebo what you have noticed.

 

When the sudden change of force is to much for you - just lower the FFB strength ("Trimmer Force") a little bit.


Edited by PeterP

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Practice,practice,practice - as you said: It's a different game now.

I hope this will help you to understand how you must coordinate your movement and timing of the trim release:

 

Again: practice,practice,practice

 

Thanks for taking the time to reply, and giving me something else to tell the wife when she finds me upstairs with BS2 on!

this tweak also helped me a lot:How to unchain the rudder from trim

 

Not sure I totally understand this tip - my guess is that - without this - while FFB2 keeps the joystick X and Y axes in place when I release the trim button, my non-FFB rudder operates just like a non-FFB joystick and therefore has to be centered - either within .5 seconds or eventually - depending on the non-FFB option you pick. With this tip, I can leave the rudder as set manually and not have to worry about centering? Am I getting close??

When you follow my track closely - and also hear when I press/release the trim button -you will notice that there are occasions I hold the trim-button always down for several seconds (up 8 when facing the other helicopter).

 

Thanks. I hadn't realized that you had held the trim button down for several seconds during the track. That's helpful to know when viewing it.

 

All settings are correct and - the only thing that could be leaved as it is:FFB Shake.

... When the sudden change of force is to much for you - just lower the FFB strength ("Trimmer Force") a little bit.

 

Thanks again. I wasn't sure what the two FFB variables affected, being new to all of this, and it's helpful to get these tips rather than just shoot in the dark!

 

This will help me set things up more quickly and make my "practice, practice, practice" more productive!!

 

Daddy Schlich


Edited by DaddySchlich
Axis typo!
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  • 6 months later...

Hi DaddySchlich,

 

I just searched today for this thread to post it in another reply...

and I saw that you are now using the second-hand MS_S_FFB_2 since 6 month.

:)

 

Question:

How do you think about your purchase?

Are you still satisfied?

 

I'm very curious.


Edited by PeterP

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi -

 

Thanks for the follow-up. Yes, I've been very pleased with the second hand FBB2 - although I must admit I've strayed from playing on a regular basis.

 

I did figure out that the pushback I was getting when hitting the Trim key was from the Autopilot axes - turning off all the little blue lights by my right leg made it all go away! Your track helped me figure that out.

 

I've not yet tried your tips for unchaining the trim and my non-FFB pedals. I do have RCtrl-Enter diagram up to tell me where the pedals think they are.

 

And I've not yet tried to use the throttle from the X45 to model the buttons found on the collective to go with the FFB2. Before the FFB2, I had done a pretty satisfactory job of putting the buttons and switches on the collective the stick on my X45 throttle and stick.

 

Of course, recently I've downloaded DCS World 1.2.0 and the BS2 module. I haven't tried to transfer anything there yet, though I've successfully put myself in the cockpit in a mission, so I know I've installed it correctly.

 

Again, thanks for your help. I have followed your efforts making DCS aircraft more accessible for others. Much appreciated.

 

Daddy Schlich

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  • 4 years later...

In the controllers menu, select "axis commands" from the drop down menu. Scroll down until you see your x-axis or y-axis control. Highlight the x-axis or y-axis control, it doesn't matter which one. Select ffb tune, and check the box that says "swap axis."

 

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