Joystick Life Span?


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#1 kai

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 07:15 PM

Like most of you, I use a joystick for playing Interceptor and similar games (I say most, because from what I've read, most seem to but a few people like using the mouse for tracer sniping)

My stick of choice was a Thrustmaster Top Gun Fox Pro 2, probably not the best out there but it served me well and I always found it comfortalbe and easy to use.

When I got back in to Interceptor, I dusted off the stick and found to my horror that it wasn't working very well.  There was a huge dead zone to the right, requiring a very agressive motion to the edge to register anything.  I found that the only way to minimise it was to turn resistance down to 0.  This has the unfortunate effect of making the rudder overy sensitive (entering a roll when moving the stick)

In short, it's not usable (although it does do a good job of simulating damage to control systems, kinda fun) so I'm now sourcing a replacement (One with a dedicated, large, throttle - should be fun  :blush: )

Does anyone know why this occurs? And are there any ways to minimise it? (Or is this just general wear?)
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#2 Strong Bob

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 01:11 AM

Sounds like general wear, probably a sensor no longer functioning. (Though I'm not wholly literate in how a Joystick is built, unfortunately.)

I encountered something similar long ago with my original Flightstick, and the two flightsticks I had to replace it. When I got the Flightstick Pro, that thing lasted me to this day. :blush: ALthough I am confident CH no longer builds it.
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#3 kai

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 02:09 PM

View PostStrong Bob, on 27th August 2007, 2:11am, said:

Sounds like general wear, probably a sensor no longer functioning. (Though I'm not wholly literate in how a Joystick is built, unfortunately.)

I encountered something similar long ago with my original Flightstick, and the two flightsticks I had to replace it. When I got the Flightstick Pro, that thing lasted me to this day. :wub: ALthough I am confident CH no longer builds it.

Thanks for the info.  Since I've placed an order for a new stick, I took the old one apart (partly out of interest to see if there was anything that could be done e.g. a gunked up switch, and partly out of sheer morbid curiosity)

I've managed to familiarize myself with some aspects of it's functionality.  I found that there are 2 sensors, presumably X+- and y+- (I probably have those axes wrong, but I'm sure you get the idea)

The mechanism, while seemingly complex in it's construction, simply allows the x/y motion to be translated in to rotation.  My current working theory is that the "sensors" are probably variable resistors.  minimum and maximum resistance being the most extreme point on each axis.  Then it's a matter of converting this analogue signal to something digitally encoded.

Don't try this at home, unless your joystick is finished in which case - Try this at home!

(It's just a shame I can't afford a HOTAS stick, especially one based on F-16 controls  :blush: )
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