Joystick reccomendations

For system help, all hardware / software topics NOTE: use Coders Corner for all coders topics.

Moderators: Krom, Grendel

Post Reply
User avatar
Avder
DBB Material Defender
DBB Material Defender
Posts: 4924
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 1999 2:01 am
Location: Moorhead, MN

Joystick reccomendations

Post by Avder » Fri Aug 07, 2015 8:35 am

My old 3D Pro has more or less bit the dust, so I'm looking for replacement suggestions.

My main concern is accuracy around the center for tiny adjustments. That basically means I want a stick that both has no deadzone and has a physical mechanism that centers it perfectly. Don't care if it's a budget joystick or a high end OMGWTFBBQ model, just as long as it's got no deadzone and perfect centering.

Secondly, it MUST have a twist to it. I don't own pedals and don't want to budget another $100 to buy them and then invest the time it takes to learn to use them as opposed to the twist. Maybe one day if I ever take actual pilots lessons, but not right now.

After that, I'd like a high number of functions on the stick itself. The 3D Pro had 3 buttons, a trigger, and a hat, so I count that as 8 functions on the stick. My Cyborg Evo that I'm currently using as my backup has 5 buttons, trigger, and hat, so I'm counting that as 10. Ideally I want more than 10 directly on the stick. Not counting base buttons at all as I prefer to have my left hand on my keyboard, and I'm also looking at eventually getting a CH Pro Throttle as well.

My Cyborg Evo would be an adequate replacement, except it doesn't perfectly center itself. The inverted cone does not fit the base perfectly and can slide about 2mm in any direction before it actually gets stopped, so that makes accurate adjustments around the center very difficult.

So, any and all suggestions would be appreciated, but please only tell me about sticks you've used first hand. That's why I'm making this thread, for first hand recommendations. I can do all the research on any stick I want online but it still won't tell me exactly how accurate it is for precision movements. That's why I'm asking my fellow descenters :)
User avatar
Sirius
DBB Master
DBB Master
Posts: 5434
Joined: Fri May 28, 1999 2:01 am
Location: Bellevue, WA
Contact:

Re: Joystick reccomendations

Post by Sirius » Fri Aug 07, 2015 10:05 am

There was a thread on the D:U forums about this topic that might give you some useful information, since most of it is first-hand: http://descendentstudios.com/community/ ... joysticks/
User avatar
Avder
DBB Material Defender
DBB Material Defender
Posts: 4924
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 1999 2:01 am
Location: Moorhead, MN

Re: Joystick reccomendations

Post by Avder » Fri Aug 07, 2015 10:53 am

That gave me some insight, but still there's surprisingly little about accuracy around center.

Basically imagine trying to line up a mass driver shot from 20kilometers away and you see why I need absolute precision.

Might end up giving the Logitech 3D Pro a shot, since it's cheap and a store in town actually sells it.
User avatar
Avder
DBB Material Defender
DBB Material Defender
Posts: 4924
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 1999 2:01 am
Location: Moorhead, MN

Re: Joystick reccomendations

Post by Avder » Mon Aug 10, 2015 5:40 am

Tried the Logitech.

I really, REALLLLLLLY wanted to like it, but there were just too many things wrong with it.

The good:
Nice, heavy base
Throttle had a good feel to it, despite being very small
Buttons felt nice
Handle was very comfortable

The bad:
One of the base buttons did not work reliably
The stick was very loose around the middle, leading to difficulty making precision adjustments
It felt like something inside was twitching in and out of place every time I moved the Y axis farther than 50% of its range in either direction
The last 25% of the X and Y axes were deadzones
Programming software felt underpowered

Decent enough stick, but just not good enough to make a reliable shot at 20+ kilometers. Plus the broken button means it's going back to the store later this week.

I'll probably give one of the budget cyborg sticks a try next. One review I've seen of the V1 seemed to indicate it had little to no looseness around center. Plus a pinky trigger I can use as a shift button.

Were it not for the fact that the T16000M has only 3 buttons, a trigger, and a hat switch, I'd be going straight for that one as it has a reputation for accuracy. I think if I end up with that one I may end up modding it and adding buttons to the stick somehow.

If only CH Products made a joystick with a twist axis.
User avatar
Avder
DBB Material Defender
DBB Material Defender
Posts: 4924
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 1999 2:01 am
Location: Moorhead, MN

Re: Joystick reccomendations

Post by Avder » Tue Aug 11, 2015 2:55 pm

Allright, so, anyone with modding experience know how hard it would be to take half or all of the base buttons on the base of the T16000M and add them to the stick somehow?

I'm dead serious. No one makes the standalone stick I want so I think I'm just gonna get the tools to mod it and make it myself.
User avatar
Foil
DBB Material Defender
DBB Material Defender
Posts: 4900
Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2004 3:31 pm
Location: Denver, Colorado, USA

Re: Joystick reccomendations

Post by Foil » Tue Aug 11, 2015 4:56 pm

What's been working for me, especially considering the deadzone in every other stick I've used, is finding 3D Pros in decent shape on craigslist. Requires building or obtaining an adapter, but it's worth it.
User avatar
Avder
DBB Material Defender
DBB Material Defender
Posts: 4924
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 1999 2:01 am
Location: Moorhead, MN

Re: Joystick reccomendations

Post by Avder » Wed Aug 12, 2015 4:34 am

I've got one of the adapters. The overall decline in performance of my 3D Pro is what's initiated this search to begin with. But given how many functions you need to have control over in modern space and flight sims, I'm trying to find a way to get an accurate, standalone stick with more than 10 functions on the stick itself that includes a twist axis. I'm only counting hats as 4 functions, even if they're 8-way. So the MS 3D Pro has 8. The Logitech 3D Pro has 10. The T16000M has 8, etc.
User avatar
Avder
DBB Material Defender
DBB Material Defender
Posts: 4924
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 1999 2:01 am
Location: Moorhead, MN

Re: Joystick reccomendations

Post by Avder » Wed Aug 26, 2015 6:19 pm

So, I ultimately went with a Thrustmaster T16000M because of just how accurate the thing is plus the fact that it can use thrustmaster TARGET software.

Also I found a very ghetto solution to fix the lack of buttons.

Utilizing vJoy, some twisty ties, and a GRavis Gamepad Pro, I have created this monstrosity:
Image

The twisty ties hold it in place perfectly. The colored buttons are all easy to use, but the red one is a bit awkward. The start and select buttons are also easily reachable. The shoulder buttons arent that hard to reach and will be mapped with obscure functions that I hardly use, but dont want to hunt around on the keyboard to find them.

Gonna pair that madness up with a CH Pro Throttle.
User avatar
Top Gun
DBB Master
DBB Master
Posts: 7118
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2002 3:01 am

Re: Joystick reccomendations

Post by Top Gun » Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:50 pm

That's the most redneck joystick I've ever seen. Beautiful. :lol:
User avatar
Avder
DBB Material Defender
DBB Material Defender
Posts: 4924
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 1999 2:01 am
Location: Moorhead, MN

Re: Joystick reccomendations

Post by Avder » Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:53 pm

If it looks stupid, but works, it ain't stupid.

:mrgreen:
User avatar
Spidey
DBB Grand Master
DBB Grand Master
Posts: 10346
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2001 2:01 am
Location: Earth

Re: Joystick reccomendations

Post by Spidey » Thu Aug 27, 2015 2:26 pm

Those twist ties wouldn’t last 2 minutes the way I used to play…better get yourself some nylon zip ties.
.
When Republicans go low...Democrats go even lower.
User avatar
Avder
DBB Material Defender
DBB Material Defender
Posts: 4924
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 1999 2:01 am
Location: Moorhead, MN

Re: Joystick reccomendations

Post by Avder » Thu Aug 27, 2015 6:56 pm

Spidey wrote:Those twist ties wouldn’t last 2 minutes the way I used to play…better get yourself some nylon zip ties.
I'm planning on doing just that. I'll need some really long ones. The one at the top circles the stick and gamepad in a figure 8, and the one at the bottom circles the stick in full before circling the stick and gamepad in one loop. The reason I went with that white one on the bottom is because of how smooth it is since my hand rests directly against it.

I haven't had time to give it a good thrashing just yet. I plan on rectifying that by running the Shivan Gauntlet in Freespace 1 later tonight. Shivan Dragon class fighters demand joystick thrashing just to keep up.

That said, where the twisty ties come together, I twisted them together in a sort of knot like fashion to make stronger joints

Also I want to see if that one at the top stays out of the center buttons slot after I pulled it down a bit. If it gets in there, it really interferes with that buttons operation.

I'm going to use the start and select buttons on the gamepad as shift buttons for the virtual joystick using JoyToKey.

Man I am using so many damned scripts. I'm surprised at how there's little to no lag introduced through the whole mishmash.
User avatar
Spidey
DBB Grand Master
DBB Grand Master
Posts: 10346
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2001 2:01 am
Location: Earth

Re: Joystick reccomendations

Post by Spidey » Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:34 pm

Yea, that thing is a work in progress, and will change many times before its right. At least that was my experience when I started to modify my controls.
.
When Republicans go low...Democrats go even lower.
User avatar
Avder
DBB Material Defender
DBB Material Defender
Posts: 4924
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 1999 2:01 am
Location: Moorhead, MN

Re: Joystick reccomendations

Post by Avder » Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:38 am

Actually it feels pretty good the way its oriented. the 4 colored buttons are easy to get without even stretching my thumb or contorting my hand, and the start and select buttons are also pretty easy. They work great as shift toggles.

I wish I had the little screw in stick that came with the gamepad.

I don't suppose anyone has one of those that they'd send to me?

Just need to get some long black nylon zip ties to replace the twisties and I think this ghetto mod is complete.
User avatar
Avder
DBB Material Defender
DBB Material Defender
Posts: 4924
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 1999 2:01 am
Location: Moorhead, MN

Re: Joystick reccomendations

Post by Avder » Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:52 am

Picked up some black zip ties tonight.

Replaced the bottom set of twisty ties with two zip ties in different orientations. Holds it in place solidly.

The top twisty tie remains because I simply could not get any of the zip ties to not rest on top of the center button, unlike the twisty tie which plays nice.

And with the zip ties on the bottom holding it solidly in place, I don't think the twisty tie will need to be readjusted more than once or twice a year.

Part of the reason I think is because I don't really have the twisty ties in a true figure 8. The point between the sticks where they cross they dont cross in an X fashion, they sort of hook together like >< and then loop around the sticks, and the zip ties just didn't want to play nice replicating that arrangement. Maybe if I get some really small ones....eh not worth the effort at this point!
User avatar
Avder
DBB Material Defender
DBB Material Defender
Posts: 4924
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 1999 2:01 am
Location: Moorhead, MN

Re: Joystick reccomendations

Post by Avder » Thu Sep 03, 2015 5:41 pm

And with the addition of the throttle, the Ghetto Stick evolves into the Ghetto HOTAS:
Image

Fun times will be had!
User avatar
Avder
DBB Material Defender
DBB Material Defender
Posts: 4924
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 1999 2:01 am
Location: Moorhead, MN

Re: Joystick reccomendations

Post by Avder » Tue Sep 15, 2015 4:23 pm

So some thoughts so far since I got these sticks:

Throttle is awesome.

So is the stick.

CH Scripting is unintuitive yet straight forward.
Autohotkey is somewhat intuitive and straight forward, but somewhat harder to pull off complex stuff in.
Learning TARGET requires learning some actual programming if you want to do something that they don't provide pre-programmed functions for.

Anyway in all three I've found a way to make the diagonals of an 8-way hat relevant by allowing them to be used without getting unintended cardinal direction input.
Post Reply