[jhb_airlines] Re: Bristol Show

  • From: "Peter Dodds" <pdodds@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: jhb_airlines@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2007 11:21 +0100 (BST)

I bought a Saitek yoke unit about a week ago at an amazing price from a
3rd party internet box-shifter and just last night got round to
installing it, as I've been busy during the week preparing for the battle
of Britain memorial event at North Weald last Fruiday night.
This is my report to Cix VFR.

Peter

"With the Spitfire-prop-chopped grass cuttings swept up at North Weald,
the intake and exhaust covers on the Lancaster's Merlins secured for
another few weeks or months, I finally got round to installing my new
Saitek Yoke. Because my desk has drawers in it, procluding the use of the
screw clamps supplied with the equipment, for both my CH yoke and the
Saitek units, I have had to invent a new way of securing them to the
desk.

For the CH unit I had to make a special wooden mounting plate with wedges
to tighten it in place.
For the Saitek units, it was a lot similar.  The mounting plates for the
2 units are separate from them, and are really glorified G-cramps with a
nice big flat surface top and bottom.  This made them ideal for using
"folding wedges" a technique I learned in my Water Board days for
securing pipes in trenches at bends (the bends blow off with the pressure
if they aren't secured).  Two wedges of the same dimensions are placed
one on top of the other and as they are pushed together, they form an
expanding pair of parallel faces which provides a significant outward
force on whatever it acts upon.  It worked perfectly on both units.

Picture at
http://xs220.xs.to/xs220/07431/Saitek.JPG 
Note the wooden "folding wedges" used to secure the throttle unit to the
desktop.

For control, the unit is excellent.  Very fine throttle adjustment is
possible and for roll and pitch, control is smooth although progression
is not linear.  Nothing much happens until you move the yoke a
significant amount and then it is very (and realistically) sensitive.
This "feel" may be adjustable using the programming software included on
the CD (see below).  There is a positive (if slightly unrealistic)
detente neutral point in poth pitch and roll which is better than the
rather vague centering of the CH unit.  Installation is immediate - the
drivers being built into the unit, but the CD that comes with it allows
additional programming, (not yet explored). I did a couple of circuits in
the Lanc at Manston and it behaved perfectly.

There are 8 programmable buttons on the yoke, plus a 3-position mode
switch which multiplies this number to 24.  The current mode is displayed
on an LCD on the face of the yoke.  There is also a digital clock and
stopwatch on the face of the yoke, with three buttons for selecting
time/stopwatch start/stop and reset.  The clock showed the system time
immediately on connection.

The throttle unit plugs into the main yoke body via a PS/2 connector.  At
the plug-in point there are three USB ports and a headset socket, as yet
untried.  As well as the three ecu controls, the throttle unit also has 6
programmable rocker switches. So you have a total of 30 switches on the
installation.  I'm going to programme one to make tea i think!

Slight downside on installation was that the default throttle unit
settings are programmed for throttle, rudder and something else
irrelevant, and it took me a few minutes to figure out how to reset the
right hand two to propellor and mixture as God intended.  It was all done
within FS, as the calibration and assignment functions in FS immediately
pick up the Saitek configuration screen.

I would give this unit 9/10 - just a minus for the non-standard throttle
settings.  Possibly another minus if you pay more than £100 for it, but I
suppose that would be your problem, not its!  If you want one - shop
around."

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