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Two MS FFB2 with Cougar Grip


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I've been thinking of getting a FFB2 for my KA-50/UH-1H flying but I'm wondering if either the X55 or TM Warthog wouldn't be more precise? Obviously it wouldn't have FFB, which would be very nice but I'm not sure it's worth putting up with a less sensitive/accurate stick.

 

I've got a feeling the X55 might be a better choice as the spring can be removed, making it very light/loose for those small, precise movements we need for controlling helos but maybe the TM Warthog is OK. What do you guys think? Have any of you compared the FFB2 to either of those sticks?

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Please open / read one of these "best joysick?" threads instead of cluttering this one.

 

OK, sorry.

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#Doveman, Surely, the best stick for the DCS choppers is the one being discussed in this very thread, the PeterP Frankenschtick! That's why we are all here discussing it.:smartass:

 

But seriously, it is a great mod to do and fun to learn how to do it too. It gives great results for control and feedback as well. The off the shelf sticks are all good, but there is a great satisfaction in implementing your own improvements. Building out of second hand components, and other bits and pieces is challenging but rewarding.

 

That's why we are all here chatting and helping each other out.

 

Have you looked right through this thread from Peter P's first posts, it is a great journey!

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I have now started my project with a little bit of testing. I found out that there is a small deadzone in the center of MSFFB2 (in the potentiometer values). Has anyone tried to eliminate this deadzone? Is it hardcoded to the logic in the circuitboards or is it built in feature of the potentiometers?

 

I would test it switching another set of pots but I happen to have only 100kohm ones and I think the ones in MSFFB2 are 10kohm. My understanding about electronics isn't enough to know am I going to break the MSFFB2 if I test it with the 100kohm pot. Any electronics specialists here to help me out?

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I have now started my project with a little bit of testing. I found out that there is a small deadzone in the center of MSFFB2 (in the potentiometer values). Has anyone tried to eliminate this deadzone? Is it hardcoded to the logic in the circuitboards or is it built in feature of the potentiometers?

 

I would test it switching another set of pots but I happen to have only 100kohm ones and I think the ones in MSFFB2 are 10kohm. My understanding about electronics isn't enough to know am I going to break the MSFFB2 if I test it with the 100kohm pot. Any electronics specialists here to help me out?

 

Please do not change the pots. It is not necessary because if you have a look at the red mini controls hud (RCTRL-ENTER] you will see that the diamond will follow the smallest inputs from you cyclic. It s not really a dead zone. I'm almost sure they programmed it as well to behave the stick like a real one.

 

In real life a chopper cyclic has the same issue as well and makes it easy to "stir in a pan of soup" which you HAVE to do to keep the Huey on one spot.

 

But, honestly speaking, my first reaction was the same like yours. :) Until my friend, who is flying choppers for real, came over and fly the huey with 2 fingers in his nose. He was very impressed over the correctness of the stick.

 

As a guide for starting hoovering. Trim your cyclic just in the left under quadrant (mini hud) and slowly start raising the collective. During that proces give a little left pedal pressure. Hold your Cougar grip with 2 fingers.

 

Keep practising, practising, practising. No need t change the pots until they are becoming spiky.

 

However, Microsoft made a vey good quality joystick, far better then a logitech G940.

 

Good luck.


Edited by ArtMan_NL
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MSFFB2 is not using potentiometers for X and Y axis, but some optical sensors. I think it was the first consuming joystick which throw away the main wearing issue, and this is the reason why they last and still working well after more than 12 years.

 

So nothing to change to them.

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Please do not change the pots. It is not necessary because if you have a look at the red mini controls hud (RCTRL-ENTER] you will see that the diamond will follow the smallest inputs from you cyclic. It s not really a dead zone. I'm almost sure they programmed it as well to behave the stick like a real one.

 

In both of my units I can move the stick around the center position almost one cm measured from top of the stock MSFFB2 stick without moving the diamond. With an extended stick it will be around 2 cm which seems quite a lot to me.

 

In real life a chopper cyclic has the same issue as well and makes it easy to "stir in a pan of soup" which you HAVE to do to keep the Huey on one spot.

 

I am thinking about using my stick mostly for aircrafts. But I didn't know there is such a deadspot in real chopper cyclics. Interesting. Thanks for the info :). Does the real helicopter's deadspot move according to the cyclic's trimmed position or is it just in the center of the stick movement as it is in the MSFFB2.

 

 

MSFFB2 is not using potentiometers for X and Y axis, but some optical sensors.

...

So nothing to change to them.

 

 

Ok, thanks. I thought I was missing some crucial bit of information. So I presume it is not possible to change potentiometers or hall effect sensors in place of the optical sensors and have the system work properly.

 

Maybe I'll just leave the MSFFB2s as they are and set up the cougar with hall effect sensors. I think PeterP did it that way too and uses the Cougar x/y data for aircrafts and the x/y data from the top MSFFB2 for helicopters.

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Answer in red:

 

In both of my units I can move the stick around the center position almost one cm measured from top of the stock MSFFB2 stick without moving the diamond. With an extended stick it will be around 2 cm which seems quite a lot to me. I will check mine, standby.

 

 

 

I am thinking about using my stick mostly for aircrafts. But I didn't know there is such a deadspot in real chopper cyclics. Interesting. Thanks for the info :). Does the real helicopter's deadspot move according to the cyclic's trimmed position or is it just in the center of the stick movement as it is in the MSFFB2. According to the cyclic's trimmed position.

 

 

 

 

 

Ok, thanks. I thought I was missing some crucial bit of information. So I presume it is not possible to change potentiometers or hall effect sensors in place of the optical sensors and have the system work properly.

 

Maybe I'll just leave the MSFFB2s as they are and set up the cougar with hall effect sensors. I think PeterP did it that way too and uses the Cougar x/y data for aircrafts and the x/y data from the top MSFFB2 for helicopters.

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I am quite sure that optical sensors are working just fine, so no need to touch them.

 

Not sure how about deadzone setting for FFB2, never creates me disconfort and I feel it just fine. Kind of software/driver deadzone I found to be encapsulated into G940 rudder. In this case nothing can be done to get rid of it because it is set at a low programming level.

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Hi Molevitch,

 

Still experimenting. Today I disconnected the lower msffb and that gave me the feeling I could better hoover the Huey.

 

I used one of my friends XF65 joystick. These joysticks are extremely precise and it was easier to hoover on one spot. However it's not so easy to control the Huey when you have to trim. The modified stick give you more control in proper trimming.

 

I'm still wondering what stick the guy from Belsimtek is using for his pick-up instruction video on youtube. (DCS: UH-1H Huey in-game training - Pickup)

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  • 5 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

it is about 14mm diameter, and will fit inside a 16mm aluminium tube, or copper 15mm straight connector.

SCAN Intel Core i9 10850K "Comet Lake", 32GB DDR4, 10GB NVIDIA RTX 3080, HP Reverb G2

Custom Mi-24 pit with magnetic braked cyclic and collective. See it here: Molevitch Mi-24 Pit.

 

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC] www.blacksharkden.com

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  • 3 weeks later...

I just bought a second FFB2 (the later X08 red trigger version) and was planning to give the one I already had (X05) to my Dad so that he can fly helos (he's using a Thrustmaster Hotas X at the moment for planes but that's useless for helos, as I found when I had it!)

 

I might have to keep it and use it for this mod though, as I do need to make an extended, curved, arm so that the stick will clear the edge of my chair and replace the stick with something with more buttons/hats. CH Fighter Sticks are about £90+ now though, so I won't be buying one of those to cannibalise, unless I see a faulty one going cheap.

 

I might be able to get an old Thrustmaster serial port stick cheap to cannibalise. Obviously I wouldn't be able to use the interface circuitry but I've got some Arduino Mega boards, so I presume I could just wire the buttons/hats to one of those?

 

I'm still considering whether I could just increase the power using one FFB2 though, so that I can give the other to my Dad as I originally intended.

Main rig: i5-4670k @4.4Ghz, Asus Z97-A, Scythe Kotetsu HSF, 32GB Kingston Savage 2400Mhz DDR3, 1070ti, Win 10 x64, Samsung Evo 256GB SSD (OS & Data), OCZ 480GB SSD (Games), WD 2TB and WD 3TB HDDs, 1920x1200 Dell U2412M, 1920x1080 Dell P2314T touchscreen

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I just bought a second FFB2 (the later X08 red trigger version) and was planning to give the one I already had (X05) to my Dad so that he can fly helos (he's using a Thrustmaster Hotas X at the moment for planes but that's useless for helos, as I found when I had it!)

 

I might have to keep it and use it for this mod though, as I do need to make an extended, curved, arm so that the stick will clear the edge of my chair and replace the stick with something with more buttons/hats. CH Fighter Sticks are about £90+ now though, so I won't be buying one of those to cannibalise, unless I see a faulty one going cheap.

 

I might be able to get an old Thrustmaster serial port stick cheap to cannibalise. Obviously I wouldn't be able to use the interface circuitry but I've got some Arduino Mega boards, so I presume I could just wire the buttons/hats to one of those?

 

I'm still considering whether I could just increase the power using one FFB2 though, so that I can give the other to my Dad as I originally intended.

 

http://www.simprojects.nl/ms_siderwinder_ff2_hack.htm

 

Looks doable.

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Thanks, it might be possible to 2x the power quite easily according to that, although even that would probably require a better AC/DC PSU. To 4x the power, not only would several components need to be replaced but also the motors it seems. Maybe 2x would be sufficient for an extension with Thrustmaster F16 handle though.

Main rig: i5-4670k @4.4Ghz, Asus Z97-A, Scythe Kotetsu HSF, 32GB Kingston Savage 2400Mhz DDR3, 1070ti, Win 10 x64, Samsung Evo 256GB SSD (OS & Data), OCZ 480GB SSD (Games), WD 2TB and WD 3TB HDDs, 1920x1200 Dell U2412M, 1920x1080 Dell P2314T touchscreen

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Thanks, it might be possible to 2x the power quite easily according to that, although even that would probably require a better AC/DC PSU. To 4x the power, not only would several components need to be replaced but also the motors it seems. Maybe 2x would be sufficient for an extension with Thrustmaster F16 handle though.

 

 

I think this is what you are looking for

 

http://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=125281

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I think this is what you are looking for

 

http://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=125281

 

Thanks. Yeah, I'm hoping the Thrustmaster F16 stick handle I've just bought, being plastic, will be light enough to work with just 2x current. I'll need a longer extension with more bend in it, like molevitch's though, as I won't have a cutout in my chair.

 

As I aim to transition from a desk setup to cockpit, with a much lower (car) seat, I'll have to build it with the box on legs so that it's the right height for my desk chair now and then I can remove or cut down the legs when I move to the cockpit setup.

 

The first thing I need to do is work out how to attach the extension to the FFB2 base though, and then attach the Thrustmaster F16 handle to the other end, with it's buttons/hats wired to an Arduino. I'll probably use a box like PeterP did for the FFB2 button/hat inputs as it would be a waste not to use them.

Main rig: i5-4670k @4.4Ghz, Asus Z97-A, Scythe Kotetsu HSF, 32GB Kingston Savage 2400Mhz DDR3, 1070ti, Win 10 x64, Samsung Evo 256GB SSD (OS & Data), OCZ 480GB SSD (Games), WD 2TB and WD 3TB HDDs, 1920x1200 Dell U2412M, 1920x1080 Dell P2314T touchscreen

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Thanks. Yeah, I'm hoping the Thrustmaster F16 stick handle I've just bought, being plastic, will be light enough to work with just 2x current. I'll need a longer extension with more bend in it, like molevitch's though, as I won't have a cutout in my chair.

 

As I aim to transition from a desk setup to cockpit, with a much lower (car) seat, I'll have to build it with the box on legs so that it's the right height for my desk chair now and then I can remove or cut down the legs when I move to the cockpit setup.

 

The first thing I need to do is work out how to attach the extension to the FFB2 base though, and then attach the Thrustmaster F16 handle to the other end, with it's buttons/hats wired to an Arduino. I'll probably use a box like PeterP did for the FFB2 button/hat inputs as it would be a waste not to use them.

Hi Doveman,

 

Yes, this worked for me. I do have the 2 x FFB based on Peter P's mod, and the plastic grip from the CH fighterstick. The car seat is a great way to go. Especially if it still slides on its rails. Only thing I find now is the desk is a bit high for the monitors. Thinking about remounting them all (3) on a kind of bracket shelf on the wall.

 

Bending aluminium tubing is fun.... But I bought a cheap pipe bender on Ebay. I plan to redo my extension when I have a moment.

SCAN Intel Core i9 10850K "Comet Lake", 32GB DDR4, 10GB NVIDIA RTX 3080, HP Reverb G2

Custom Mi-24 pit with magnetic braked cyclic and collective. See it here: Molevitch Mi-24 Pit.

 

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC] www.blacksharkden.com

bsd sig 2021.jpg

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  • 4 months later...

Finally some progress!

I update with more info when I'm done with it.

 

To do:

-wire and replace buttons on the Suncom stick

-making the box look better

-fit a gear stick cover

 

Thanks to everyone contributing to the thread, especially "PeterP, without you guys I could never have done it!

 

20150115_191307.jpg

20150115_191411.jpg

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