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ShamrockOneFive

My trusty old X-52 is starting to age a bit...

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So I've been flying with a now very old Saitek X-52 which has served me very well since probably 2006 or maybe 2007. With 9-10 years under its belt I suppose it was only a matter of time before it would start to show a few signs of aging.

 

Right now the rudder axis (twist stick) is starting to flicker a bunch. I hadn't flown for a few weeks and then I came back and noticed that the aircraft rudder was moving around on its own. It seems that any move on the stick (even non-twist) seems to cause it to spike a bit. I'm guessing that the sensors are starting to fail. I've adjusted the deadzone a bit to compensate and that should be fine for now but I'm guessing that someday soon its going to get worse.

 

So I'm in a bit of a conundrum. I have no idea what kind of stick to get if things get worse.

 

I've been very happy with my X-52 for the most part. I wouldn't mind getting another X-52 or the X-52 Pro but I hear that when Madcatz took over the quality control took a bit of a dive. Now I see that Logitech has bought them but I'm guessing it will take some time before we see what their influence ends up doing. Hopefully I can wait and see.

 

I see some folks are using the VKB Gladiator and Gladiator Pro stick. I'm intrigued and I love the old style design modeled after a WWII style stick. I'd love to go with the Pro but the lack of twist is a concern as is some quality control issues that some folks (but not others) have mentioned. I wouldn't mind getting rudder pedals but I don't know about how well my rolling office chair and hardwood floor setup would work there either.

 

Also I have to keep within the budget.

 

Anyways, I'm rambling a bit but I haven't had to think about my controller setup for basically 9 years... It's all a little unsettling! :D

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You can buy other X-52  - now Logitech Saitek G 52 - and bet in Logitech QC control and warranty. :)

 

To be fair X-5x's is good joystick, with better overall usability that the "hyped" Warthog, their "Achilles Hell" is low cost parts (pot's, wiring...), what became worst in X-56's.

 

"Plan B" - If your X-52 throttle still working OK you can use then along a Gladiator "vanilla" or PRO (all metal, with ball bearings gimbal).

 

Advantages of Gladiator: 

 

- Better contactless sensors, include in "twist" rudder - is the only joystick that use contactless sensor in this axis.

- Better electronics (powerfull ARM 32).

- Their gimbals is optimized - as possible - for help aim in "WW II combat simulation".

- Their developers are flight simmers

 

Despite manufactured in China, VKB are trying force better QC standards than the traditional "Chinese industry QC standard" - probable used by MadCatz in their Saitek's.

 

Their KG-12B (Luftwaffe control stick) lookalike grip 3 buttons in practice can result in 4 or 8 (if applied "shift" to HAT), usable only with right hand, since "shift" is under little finger.

 

T.1600M for example is 4 buttons grip, but for increase this buttons functions is need use the left hand for press "shift" button in their base, and half of the buttons in base is in "wrong" side.

 

Drawbacks: since still manufactured  in small batches, their distribution (worldwide) is limited, as well availability and cost ~50% more than similar (T.16000M, Cobra M5 - this in Europe, in USA cost more than Gladiator).

 

VKB plan provide "twist stick" for Gladiator PRO (~2017), what will require only replace the grip by one equipped with "twist".

Edited by Sokol1
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Thanks Sokol! I'm very interested to hear that a twist stick for the Gladiator PRO is on its way.

 

I'm kind of a little OCD and like things to match too... any word if the VKB guys are bringing out their own HOTAS to match the Gladiator? I wouldn't mind something like that. I'll have to look up some reviews and really start digging into this.

 

I wouldn't mind with just going for another X-52 but I hear that Madcatz reduced the quality a lot since the days where I bought mine. Case in point... it lasted 9 years of near constant use. That's pretty good!

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Seems they don't plan follow this traditional joystick "HOTAS" concept with one controller hooked for another (e.g. X-52), but individual units that can be used in several combinations.

 

Is said that their have on draw board two throttles designs to be produced next year, one that meet WWII planes needs (levers for P.Pitch, mixture... ) and other for "whistles" (Jet's, heli, kosmo'planes'). 

 

Their latest "to do" list (posted in IL-2...ru):

 

Gunfighter release.
KG12 grip (plastic) with twist rudder for Gladiator PRO/Gunfighter.
Throttle.
"Whistles" grip (plastic) for Gladiator PRO/Gunfighter.
Edited by Sokol1

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Ooh that sounds pretty good too. I don't mind them trying something new. A throttle system designed around operating a WWII plane would be great! I do fly DCS a little bit but I'm assuming it could be adapted just the same. I spend the vast majority of my time flying WWI and WWII.

 

I may keep my X-52 throttle going for a while longer and maybe get a twist version of the Gladiator PRO. Something to keep an eye out for.

 

Are there lots of folks here using the Gladiator already? Any thoughts?

 

On a side note... I use the two hat sticks on my X-52 stick to control point-of-view and zoom. How do other folks do point-of-view and zoom on a stick with only a single hat stick?

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Saitek X-56 here that I'm very happy with.  I went from X52 to X52 pro to the new X56 (both old sticks still working fine after more than 10 years on one and 7 years on the later)

I use Saitek Pro pedals so cant comment on twist, but Ive never liked twist sticks for rudder.

I tried the warthog but just couldn't get used to the stiff centering.

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On a side note... I use the two hat sticks on my X-52 stick to control point-of-view and zoom. How do other folks do point-of-view and zoom on a stick with only a single hat stick?

 

In joysticks with only one POV HAT, but with pinky "shift" button, example Gladiator, Saitek Cyborg V1... the HAT up/down can be used for zoom in/out holding the "shift".

Edited by Sokol1

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Saitek X-56 here that I'm very happy with.  I went from X52 to X52 pro to the new X56 (both old sticks still working fine after more than 10 years on one and 7 years on the later)

I use Saitek Pro pedals so cant comment on twist, but Ive never liked twist sticks for rudder.

I tried the warthog but just couldn't get used to the stiff centering.

 

How did you find the switch from the X-52 to X-52 Pro? I've heard its "better" but I never really got what made it better. Certainly has a similar design with a different "look" to the aesthetics.

 

 

In joysticks with only one POV HAT, but with pinky "shift" button, example Gladiator, Saitek Cyborg V1... the HAT up/down can be used for zoom in/out holding the "shift".

 

That's a good idea!

 

Sokol: I was going to also ask... I've tried to get on the VKB forums but they seem to be down at the moment. And it looks like Stratojet is out of stock right now too.

 

Status of my stick seems to be rapidly deteriorating. Getting more spikes and more frequently outside of the deadzone that I've set to try and filter them out.

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The last information in VKB forum about joystick availability is from VKB FSC (Europe seller) in October,31 saying that Gladiator PRO was sold out

(he don't sell basic version) and that expect more for the "next three weeks" as well limited amount of Warthog grip adapter.

http://forum.vkb-sim.pro/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=2336

 

Amazon.com list Gladiator (basic) as "In stock", but PRO is not available:

https://www.amazon.com/Gladiator-Joystick-Flight-Simulator-Controller-Stick/dp/B01G6GT49O

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The last information in VKB forum about joystick availability is from VKB FSC (Europe seller) in October,31 saying that Gladiator PRO was sold out

(he don't sell basic version) and that expect more for the "next three weeks" as well limited amount of Warthog grip adapter.

http://forum.vkb-sim.pro/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=2336

 

Amazon.com list Gladiator (basic) as "In stock", but PRO is not available:

https://www.amazon.com/Gladiator-Joystick-Flight-Simulator-Controller-Stick/dp/B01G6GT49O

 

Thanks Sokol! You're a wealth of information on this!

 

It seems the Amazon.ca listing is totally different. From $99 on the US Amazon to over $300-$700 on Amazon.ca. I know some of that is exchange rate but that seems ridiculous. I've PM'ed Jason to see what his group can do $150 USD to Canada would make it $201.55 CDN if he can get more stock.

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Gladiator official price you find only in Stratojet, Amazon.com, FSC (Europe) or VKB China.

 

One of this announce in Amazon.ca is from seller on California. You can't buy from Amazon.com?

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Gladiator official price you find only in Stratojet, Amazon.com, FSC (Europe) or VKB China.

 

One of this announce in Amazon.ca is from seller on California. You can't buy from Amazon.com?

 

I've never tried to buy from Amazon.com to be honest. I'm not sure what they will do. I need to figure that out...

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Still happy with my Fat Black Mamba III! It's crazy precise and sensitive coming from an x52 pro I've used for 7 years.

 

Looking forward to a VKB throttle that is ww2 designed...but I just got the Warthog throttle woops :)

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Still happy with my Fat Black Mamba III! It's crazy precise and sensitive coming from an x52 pro I've used for 7 years.

 

Looking forward to a VKB throttle that is ww2 designed...but I just got the Warthog throttle woops :)

 

I'm getting pretty enthused about the idea of a WW2 inspired throttle myself!

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Regarding Office Chairs and Rudder Pedals - I replaced the chair wheels with Glides. See my post here > http://forum.il2sturmovik.com/topic/25202-il2-sim-pit-4k-monitor-and-120-dlp-projector/?p=394344

 

The change from X52 to X52pro wasn't that big a change though I did prefer the change in the centering force of the X52 pro over the old X52. The X56 is even better in that regard with the changeable tension springs and is more accurate and precise with higher resolution sensors.

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Regarding Office Chairs and Rudder Pedals - I replaced the chair wheels with Glides. See my post here > http://forum.il2sturmovik.com/topic/25202-il2-sim-pit-4k-monitor-and-120-dlp-projector/?p=394344

 

The change from X52 to X52pro wasn't that big a change though I did prefer the change in the centering force of the X52 pro over the old X52. The X56 is even better in that regard with the changeable tension springs and is more accurate and precise with higher resolution sensors.

 

I am wondering about just getting the X-52 Pro as a replacement. The Gladiator seems pretty good but I'm having trouble finding a way to get one without some unknown costs of shipping from the US to Canada. I'm still worried about what I'm hearing about the recently poor quality control issues.

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Well... I decided to take the plunge on Amazon.com and get a Gladiator. A little uncertain what the total cost will be shipping to Canada but hopefully I'll have a quality stick to fly with again.

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My VKB Gladiator Amazon.com order arrived today and I had about 45 minutes to play it with before I have to dash off to the next thing. First impression: It's very good!!

 

Full review forthcoming!

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I'll be interested in what you think of the "stick" Shamrock. My dear old X52 is getting pretty tired too. I've had a "Pro" ordered from Amazon for two months now with no luck in availability. None of my e-mails to Jason were answered, and now I read that they've folded. That,s a pity. Now I'm trying too see if I can get one from VKB Europe. It's not easy being "Down Under"!!! I don't even want to think what the freight will be...

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I'll be interested in what you think of the "stick" Shamrock. My dear old X52 is getting pretty tired too. I've had a "Pro" ordered from Amazon for two months now with no luck in availability. None of my e-mails to Jason were answered, and now I read that they've folded. That,s a pity. Now I'm trying too see if I can get one from VKB Europe. It's not easy being "Down Under"!!! I don't even want to think what the freight will be...

 

I'm going to give it a few weeks and then write up a full review on my blog. Stay tuned! :)

 

I was worried because I ordered from Amazon.com and I live in Canada but it ended up being fairly painless.

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