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Valdamar

T-Rudder/FBM by VKB

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Comrades,

Some time ago published at the Russian BoS forum two short posts about new VKB products: T-Rudder (pedals) and Fat Black Mamba (joystick). Because of some reasons couldn’t translate them for you earlier, sorry for that.

 

Several words about VKB itself. It is a small company founded in 2004 by a small group of enthusiasts that designs and produces, in contrast to the major developers, short-run series of high-end quality products for virtual pilots, based on their own controllers, digital contactless sensors, and mechanics. With a life-long warranty, by the way, that’s why I bought Mamba and then T-Rudder :)
 

So, let me please introduce these first-look newbie’ reviews in English. That first one is about T-Rudder.

First of all, I’m not a pro-virtual pilot, T-Rudder is my first pedals and the idea of this post is just to show the appearance of controllers and some first impressions.

And the second – sorry for my bad language.
 

T-Rudder:
New pedal are made not as all previous pedals for virtual flights by VKB – pedal bars moves up and down, not forward-backward. That’s how it works in helicopters, nearly the same as car’s pedals. May be it is not very authentic for our WWII fighters, but really comfortable for pilots who has driving license! Oh and by the way it prevents pedals from moving around the floor, especially tiled, during the flight. No needs to craft a special rug or something anymore! :)

 

Still, this is not a driving pedal – bars move synchronized in opposite directions, when the first goes up, the second goes down. The center is very noticeable; it’s hard to miss the central position in any situations. Anyway it took time for me to learn how to do correct movements around the center. Once again, this is my first rudder, had to get the feel of that new device :)

May be it is not needed to be said, but the technical side of the rudders is.. perfect. It is mostly made of a kind of a stainless steel and aluminum alloy, that’s why reliability should be at least eternal :), precision in Joytester is absolute.

So, let me show how it looks:

1. Assembled and mounted pedals:
 

6490b035d99d21efc8df5d7e17ce09ca.png

2. 3/4 from the tail. The serial number of mine one is #0033
 

1466a27a5b1f63692a2ee2ce7c5c2ea0.png
 

Adjustment holes for rudder’ legs conceal under the panel with VKB logo and SN.
 

3. Support shaft height is adjusting by rotating of these synchronizers, the most difficult part of pedals assembling for me.
 

b0a3c196a719527710064ddc5238ae66.png
 

The idea is to make the height of both pads equal in neutral position, that prevents pedals of being broken during the flight and plus decreases active load at the synchronizing mechanism.
 

4. By the way, that’s thing does synchronization:
 

9135a670c4e917a9ed0dbf9405b8bed0.png

 

And it looks absolutely meditative in work 
 

5. Foot bearing with the regulation holes for all sizes pilot’s foot:
 

64d869cafb05313ab3df54f5a2690313.png

 

6. The front view of the pedals with Tinybox (Throttlebox) connector:
 

a9a796407e5a525de0e6c9167f40fc72.png

 

 

T-Rudder has no built-in controller and should be used in pair with Tinybox or Throttlebox connection hub, which is to connect all VKB devices into the one hub for better usability.
 

Some first impressions:
- It takes around 20-40 minutes to assemble pedal using included tools;
- It made take off much easier than using twist or keyboard buttons, much more accurate;
- Much easier to take and keep aim sight at any air and especially ground targets in RoF and BoS;
- During the flight there is no parasite movements of plane’s rudders, now I do better understand the reactions of the plane for my actions;
And many many more, think it’s better to answer your possible questions 
 
Any questions and criticism are welcome!

 

PS And a little present inside the package with pedals :) :

 

757f6cf54145c4320a64712213c4923c.png

Edited by Valdamar
  • Upvote 2

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Comrades,

Some time ago published at the Russian BoS forum two short posts about new VKB products: T-Rudder (pedals) and Fat Black Mamba (joystick). Because of some reasons couldn’t translate them for you earlier, sorry for that.

 

Several words about VKB itself. It is a small company founded in 2004 by a small group of enthusiasts that designs and produces, in contrast to the major developers, short-run series of high-end quality products for virtual pilots, based on their own controllers, digital contactless sensors, and mechanics. With a life-long warranty, by the way, that’s why I bought Mamba and then T-Rudder :)

 

So, let me please introduce these first-look newbie’ reviews in English. That first one is about T-Rudder.

First of all, I’m not a pro-virtual pilot, T-Rudder is my first pedals and the idea of this post is just to show the appearance of controllers and some first impressions.

And the second – sorry for my bad language.

 

T-Rudder:

New pedal are made not as all previous pedals for virtual flights by VKB – pedal bars moves up and down, not forward-backward. That’s how it works in helicopters, nearly the same as car’s pedals. May be it is not very authentic for our WWII fighters, but really comfortable for pilots who has driving license! Oh and by the way it prevents pedals from moving around the floor, especially tiled, during the flight. No needs to craft a special rug or something anymore! :)

 

Still, this is not a driving pedal – bars move synchronized in opposite directions, when the first goes up, the second goes down. The center is very noticeable; it’s hard to miss the central position in any situations. Anyway it took time for me to learn how to do correct movements around the center. Once again, this is my first rudder, had to get the feel of that new device :)

May be it is not needed to be said, but the technical side of the rudders is.. perfect. It is mostly made of a kind of a stainless steel and aluminum alloy, that’s why reliability should be at least eternal :), precision in Joytester is absolute.

So, let me show how it looks:

1. Assembled and mounted pedals:

 

6490b035d99d21efc8df5d7e17ce09ca.png

2. 3/4 from the tail. The serial number of mine one is #0033

 

1466a27a5b1f63692a2ee2ce7c5c2ea0.png

 

Adjustment holes for rudder’ legs conceal under the panel with VKB logo and SN.

 

3. Support shaft height is adjusting by rotating of these synchronizers, the most difficult part of pedals assembling for me.

 

b0a3c196a719527710064ddc5238ae66.png

 

The idea is to make the height of both pads equal in neutral position, that prevents pedals of being broken during the flight and plus decreases active load at the synchronizing mechanism.

 

4. By the way, that’s thing does synchronization:

 

9135a670c4e917a9ed0dbf9405b8bed0.png

 

And it looks absolutely meditative in work 

 

5. Foot bearing with the regulation holes for all sizes pilot’s foot:

 

64d869cafb05313ab3df54f5a2690313.png

 

6. The front view of the pedals with Tinybox (Throttlebox) connector:

 

a9a796407e5a525de0e6c9167f40fc72.png

 

 

T-Rudder has no built-in controller and should be used in pair with Tinybox or Throttlebox connection hub, which is to connect all VKB devices into the one hub for better usability.

 

Some first impressions:

- It takes around 20-40 minutes to assemble pedal using included tools;

- It made take off much easier than using twist or keyboard buttons, much more accurate;

- Much easier to take and keep aim sight at any air and especially ground targets in RoF and BoS;

- During the flight there is no parasite movements of plane’s rudders, now I do better understand the reactions of the plane for my actions;

And many many more, think it’s better to answer your possible questions 

 

Any questions and criticism are welcome!

 

PS And a little present inside the package with pedals :) :

 

757f6cf54145c4320a64712213c4923c.png

Thanks for posting this Vladamar. I'm looking forward to your opinion of the FBM joystick.

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Fat Black Mamba


 


I got Mamba after nephews had taken away my Defender Cobra M5 due to three main reasons:


- It is made of stainless steel and aluminum alloy in except of the grip – it will be changed in future for aluminum copy of KG12 (Bf/FW/La stick);


- It is made for years and needs no upgrades/modifications right out of the box;


- It has lots of additional buttons, axes and toggles on it that let me not to use keyboard anymore.


 


Well, Cobra was really good, but to that time I understood I want to change twist for pedals and get a stick with the everlasting durability and good precision, to close the question of sticks for years.


 


So in this post I’d like to show to you how it looks, what control elements it has and how I do use them flying BoS/RoF or may be DCS (and of course some impressions and comments about its most debatable moments).


 


Let’s begin.


 


1. FBM at my table (with a bit of shadows smile.gif  ):


 


140440f25ab594ba25f7b363f03a9f0f.png


 


2. The logo of a new VKB joystick:


 


885cfa4d06d5dd6dd4b69dfc0f9eae10.png


 


3. Mamba’s body, support board and most control elements are made of steel or aluminum:


 


fedb2fc7efa0b3551536349de82cba0c.png


 


4. Front side of the stick:


 


0d9bb65206aabb2ac48a0c2db0463ee0.png


 


USB and BUS connectors for PC or ThrottleBox connection. At the upper side – encoder. This is a three button emulating rotating element with a very noticeable response, rotate it clockwise – first button, counter – second, plus it could be pressed like a keyboard button. It is greatly fit in BoS to bind buttons instead of axis at the elements that cannot be bind on axis due to the technical reasons. German propeller pitch f.e. and so on. Still, it could be easily reconfigured into axis using the VKB Configuration Tool. I use that encoder in BoS as an aileron trimmer.


 


5. Back side of the stick:


 


264b1d3b9fd65b02ac2a9c5f43a6c4ff.png


 


We have here an encoder (RDR TRIM) and two switches, two-position and three-position. Two-position one works like a single button per each switch, three-position is much interesting. It works like two buttons, first one at switch from central position to the upper position, the second one from center to bottom. I use it in both BoS and DCS to control flaps. While it is in bottom position flaps are going down, in central – do nothing, in upper – going up. Very very suitable. There is rumors that it’s possible to reconfigure into axis even a 3-pos switcher, but I haven’t tried it yet (due to no idea how to use it in BoS  smile.gif ) 2-pos switch use to up and down gears both in BoS and DCS.


 


6. Right side:


 


1072b130bb2d39998d60b5a3f3845a5e.png


 


The idea of that panel is to put all elements that use mainly on the ground before takeoff and after the landing. We have 4 two-position switches and a red button, I use them as they are named: engine start/stop, 2 switches for magneto, oil pump and field/internal battery on/off depends on current simulator. Just one moment, one of the magneto switchers I bind to open/close canopy. As for me, such a control is much more authentic than keyboard buttons.


 


7. Left side:


 


88cd49cea35f6b72d275201974d54170.png


 


Encoder (ELEV TRIM), two axes on potentiometers with central notification (named for throttle and propeller pitch) and a two-position switch with auto-center (named for mixture). Well, I use them as they named in BoS, in DCS still don’t know what to bind on em. May be, will be useful after release of their WWII.


 


8. Grip:


 


f349cd120ce6f16c47b72009471cd6fa.png


 


bb9557a657ac3d9f225c2a2dd34e141c.png


 


Now VKB uses plastic grip from Cobra M5, so I don’t know if it is needed to be told about. I’m looking forward to change it to KG12. Still, we have a tip-up trigger in the bottom side of the grip (very suitable to control ground brakes), two red buttons on the head of the grip (use em for bombs and rockets), two 8-position thumb controllers (first one I use to control TrackIR – max and min FOV and move it to normal position simultaneously with center function of TrackIR), right one I use atm only in DCS to control modes and beam of radar.


 


And the most interesting at the grip head – tip-up trigger and a grey button under it. I use them to fire MG (trigger) and a button for guns, plus it is possible to press button with trigger – to fire both MG and guns simultaneously. That is the best moment in this grip imho smile.gif


 


 


Now, the most disputable and discussable in the FMB – its load. Currently, it has a very noticeable center with separate loads for pitch and roll. Not really, the center is feelable VERY VERY VERY well. That means that we can control both axes absolutely independently without any parasite impacts, but with that we have a very hard center and we need to get to feel of it at first to make an around center movements without stops at the center. Somebody loves it, somebody hates.. Ah, and by the way the load is made by two separate springs that could be easily changed for softer or harder ones to adjust it to current pilot’s modus operandi.


 


Don’t know what to say more about it, it’s is 99% perfect and will be 100% after installing the KG12 grip.


 


All your questions and comments are welcome, I’ll do my best to answer them and tell more of it if needed.


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Oh, and that is how will trigger of KG12 grip look:

 

165f2cc72b9faea055df83848dce8f9b.png

 

PS That's a keyholder as a "virpil symbol" hehe  :salute:

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I'm assuming since it uses a cam centering device it's very smooth in the center despite being heavy?

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I'm assuming since it uses a cam centering device it's very smooth in the center despite being heavy?

 

Although I currently do not own a Black Mamba, I have been able to test one and yes, IMO it is very smooth in the center. This is a first-class joystick. 

Edited by LukeFF

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Driftaholic

 

FBM dont use cam - like in Bauer devices or MFG Crosswind pedal - the system used to center is more like what you see in Slaw Pedal or the UberNXT gimbal for Tm Cougar, with two levers like ="pincers", one pressed for right, other pressed for left.

 

In cam system is use only one lever, pressed by cam.

 

Other refecentes for this system is R/C gimbal, CH joysticks and - I think - shift gear lever on motorcycles.

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You are welcome, guys!

 

Yes, thanks for taking the time to do this! One question: what are the dimensions of the support board?

Edited by LukeFF

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Although I currently do not own a Black Mamba, I have been able to test one and yes, IMO it is very smooth in the center. This is a first-class joystick. 

 

There's two springs that centers both axes, so the center will be harder or smoother depend on the springs' strength.

 

In comparison with Cobra M5 default FBM's center is much harder.

 

Well, it is not hard to move stick out of the center, i'm just trying to tell you that its center position is very very noticalbe. With softer springs (include into joy package) I know the guys who do the center much less feelable. Dunno, i prefer the hard one.

 

Yes, thanks for taking the time to do this! One question: what are the dimensions of the support board?

 

18x22 cm

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Here's my first and last video that shows how pedals work:

 

I haven't translated it yet, the idea is to show the curves at joytester and LaGG-3 tackeoff in BoS..

 

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And the prototype of KG12 grip (from old Ilya UIV post at russian BoS forum, may be they'd changed something already):

 

922309796862e2154a47165c9ca243c7.png

 

790fe96e3138fd7321e79409beb49f55.png

 

As I know, it is planned to be done around the end of the year.

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I found a short video that shows the Fat Black Mamba with an extended handle and a Warthog grip. Looks really nice. I thought the extension handle was only going to be compatible with the 'Lite' version of the Mamba Joystick but this shows it on the 'Fat' version. 

 

Edited by oneeyeddog

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Would be even better if you could actually order it. Nothing besides photos and videos, I'm wondering how he got it. The stick itself is out of stock for months I think.

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Would be even better if you could actually order it. Nothing besides photos and videos, I'm wondering how he got it. The stick itself is out of stock for months I think.

 

Seems this guy is from Russia, his nickname could be translated as "For the Motherland". It's not a problem to buy VKB devices here, still, there could be lots of time from one batch to another, due to the redesigning after getting feedback from users, as far as I know. Anyway, this question could be much better explained by guys from VKB.

 

Try to ask here about the next batch of sticks for EU customers:

http://flightsimcontrols.com/contact-us/

Edited by Valdamar

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Yes, last time i contacted them, i got the info that this (Stick+Warthog adapter/extension) would be avaliable in November 2013.

 

Now as for the T-Rudder pedals, i think the design is ingenious and if i wouldn't have the Crosswinds already, i would be very inclined to buy those VKB pedals.

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I have bought a Fat Black Mamba in Oktober 2013,delivery was fast to Germany. I planed to use it with the extension and the Warthog Grip but later it turned out that the extension will not be compatible with the Fat Version,if i had knew this before i would have gone for the Light Version. So far so good,then in January or February I pre ordered a Light Mamba from the new batch planned for August or something,together with an extension and an Adapter for the WH Grip. A good while later i got confirmed that im noted for the preorder. In April I got an Email regarding the Warthog adapter and if I'm still interested in one of them,I sure was...I have had no answer since then and I've sent 2 Emails without any response.

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I have bought a Fat Black Mamba in Oktober 2013,delivery was fast to Germany. I planed to use it with the extension and the Warthog Grip but later it turned out that the extension will not be compatible with the Fat Version,if i had knew this before i would have gone for the Light Version. So far so good,then in January or February I pre ordered a Light Mamba from the new batch planned for August or something,together with an extension and an Adapter for the WH Grip. A good while later i got confirmed that im noted for the preorder. In April I got an Email regarding the Warthog adapter and if I'm still interested in one of them,I sure was...I have had no answer since then and I've sent 2 Emails without any response.

Pirato, i was under the impression that the available extension only worked with the BlackMamba Lite version but in the Video that i posted above (the video is just a month or so old) is that not a Fat Black Mamba shown, with the VKB extension and warthog grip?

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Mates, it is possible to use FBM with extender, but this construction has no sense at all - it's not suitable to use FBM's switches and encoders while the stick is on the floor, plus user may brake them by legs or even harm his legs by switches and others control elements. And it costs much more. But still, yeah, technically it is possible to use FBM with extender.

....

In April I got an Email regarding the Warthog adapter and if I'm still interested in one of them,I sure was...I have had no answer since then and I've sent 2 Emails without any response.

Check your PM in a minute. Edited by Valdamar

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Here is the next grip after KG12 to be made, for the modern craft simulation (copy of Sukhoi T-50 grip):

 

be634887ab71ca9329bae2bef62c7cd5.png

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Here is the next grip after KG12 to be made, for the modern craft simulation (copy of Sukhoi T-50 grip):

 

be634887ab71ca9329bae2bef62c7cd5.png

thanx for the info

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  In response to my recent email, I recieved a reply from Eduard within 24 hours. He informed me that the revised release date for the next batch of Mamba Joysticks is Q 1, 2015.  He's hopeful that the Joystick extensions will be available then too.

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And add that the lastest (2013 and after) versions of Defender don't use more VKB electronics - NJoy32 USB controller and digital sensors - but instead low cost USB and analog sensors (manufacturer decision... to cut cost on ~50$ joystick...)

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Pedal T MkII (Sucessive "Mk's" are WKB tradition).

 

Cam with two profiles: soft center and clear center (just invert the cam).

 

post-979-0-85819300-1422404728.jpg

Edited by Sokol1

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A "entry-level" VKB joystick?

 


 

Wait February - we plan to announce new budget joystick, design and ergonomics sharpened on twin-engine piston aircraft of World War II. According to the plan two weeks finalizing.

I promise you'll like ...

 

Grip based on "twin-engine piston WWII aircraft"... Mossie?

 

 

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