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Raptorattacker

VKB Gladiator MkII v Thrustmaster T.16000m

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I jusy recently got myself a VKB Gladiator MkII Joystick to replace my Thrustmaster T.160000m that I'd (sort of!) had for a couple of years. I say 'sort of' because it has been the subject of, to date, FOUR replacements. The reason for this is because of the failing of the twist axis on the stick, each one after a maximum of four months use. I believe that Thrustmaster use a particularly 'budget' sensor for this function and it is KNOWN for it's lack of resilience and durability.

It turns out that this is a more than a fleeting problem with this stick and so I thought it only right to pass on my own personal experience. I do know  that a lot of people have had a lot of uninterrupted use out of their T.16000's. I WOULD add that the stick itself would still be fine if I had a set of pedals, as the twist axis wouldn't matter because it would be disabled. The stick, in working order, is actually a really good and responsive piece of hardware. Some might say a little TOO stiff but it is nevertheless very positive and responsive.

 

The VKB Gladiator MkII that I received is quite a different proposition to the stick I had become accustomed to. The 'action' on it is a lot smoother and lighter than the Thrustmaster. This is due to the sensors being of a contactless magnetic type (MaRS) and the return springs inside being of lighter strength. I would recommend using the VKB software (VKBDevCfg) to calibrate the stick as there is a tendency for it (in my personal experience) to have some issues with the onboard Windows configuration software. That said, when I'd finished setting it up and assigned the bindings I found it incredibly accurate and responsive. The only slight issue I found was that the 'centering' of the stick was a little soft but that was only a concern when comparing it to the Thrustmaster I'd become accustomed to which, if anything, is probably a little bit too far in the other direction. The upside to having had the T.16000m FCS is that I can still use the throttle unit and this marries perfectly with the VKB so that at least is a replacement I DON'T need to make.          

 

Anyway, I hope this helps someone thinking of buying a stick and if anyone needs to ask a question then feel free to shout me up on here. I'll update if anything else of note comes up but, for now, onward and upward!!

Cheers

Rap

:salute:

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39 minutes ago, Raptorattacker said:

I WOULD add that the stick itself would still be fine if I had a set of pedals, as the twist axis wouldn't matter because it would be disabled.

 

Is there any reason, why you don't have rudder pedals? I find them much more useful and precise, than the twist function on sticks. Budget wise

there is a good set of pedals to start with like the Saitek Rudder Pedals.

 

image.jpeg.f5424fea04f9ac17ade7fd7911a031e1.jpeg

 

Of course, they're not the best, but at least they work very well and are not too expensive. I've got one of these - it is actually my second set in

almost 5 years, the first one stopped working after I moved in an other flat 3 years ago.

 

Cheers

 

 

P.S.: And no, I don't have any Saitek/Logitech shares in my wallet nor do I receive any benefits from them. So, as neutral as we are here... :)

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I believe that Thrustmaster use a particularly 'budget' sensor for this function and it is KNOWN for it's lack of resilience and durability.

 

T.16000M twist (yaw) use a CTS plastic potentiometer in a plastic mechanism, what with use develop play and apply pressure on potentiometer pole, what affect potentiometer wiper contacts, causing spikes. This issue is common to entry level joysticks.

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As I told you Rap, I also had to replace both units of T.16000M . First I twisted the stick so hard when trying to get lead on a shot that the handle broke and after replacing that, the throttle started spiking. I do like it though, for me it's been accurate enough and reminds me of the "feel" with the Sidewinder, which I had on the good old days.

 

Are you happy with the number of buttons on VKB, it looks like there's not so many as in T.16000M? Nevertheless, that might be something I should also look into, if I break the twist again.

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40 minutes ago, LeLv30_Redwing said:

Are you happy with the number of buttons on VKB, it looks like there's not so many as in T.16000M? 

 

VKB Gladiator KG-12A (Bf 109 lookalike) grip has one physical button less than T.16000M:

 

3 buttons +POV HAT x 4 buttons +POV HAT (T.16000M).

 

But since Gladiator has one button under little finger can be used as "shift" for the two top buttons and POV HAT, what give more 6 virtual buttons. So "less is more". :)) 

 

Counting base buttons both sticks have 16 buttons + POV HAT and four axes, Gladiator use contactless sensor in X, Y and twist axis, T.16000m in X.Y only.

Edited by Sokol1
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@LeLv30_Redwing What Sokol1 says, it works for me! With the 'pinky button' I can effortlessly change my main trigger from just machineguns to Cannons and machineguns. Easier than trying to find the button on the T.16000 whilst wrestling with the actual stick. I'd recommend one for sure if your T.16000 goes down again. Roughly the same cost as the whole T.16000m TCS (stick AND throttle) and much more internally durable.

5 hours ago, -=-THERION said:

Is there any reason, why you don't have rudder pedals?

Yes, I have no money! I/we live a meagre existence and money is not a thing we have a lot of. The only reason I ended up with a VKB is because during ONE of the T.16000 exchanges Amazon told me to dispose of the defective stick myself and sent me a replacement. I then sent the replacement back when IT went wrong and got a refund so I could afford the VKB out of that. Pedals are a distant dream for li'l ol' Rapster!!

:sorry:

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This is a video (obviously!) where I was just testing out the VKB for control. The difference in my shooting between this and the T 16000m is pretty wide, trust me. The T.16000m tends to be a bit more difficult because of the centring tension making finer movements a little harder to do, especially the more subtle ones. ALL the kills/shots are in sequence with none omitted, honest!!

 

Edited by Raptorattacker
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So I bought a Gladiator open box from the above. Wow, it's nice so far. I've only had a cheap thrustmaster and the CH yoke. The yoke is cool, but sloppy. This feels much more precise. So far very happy.

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On 1/29/2020 at 12:40 AM, Raptorattacker said:

This is a video (obviously!) where I was just testing out the VKB for control. The difference in my shooting between this and the T 16000m is pretty wide, trust me. The T.16000m tends to be a bit more difficult because of the centring tension making finer movements a little harder to do, especially the more subtle ones. ALL the kills/shots are in sequence with none omitted, honest!!

 

What sensitivity settings do you use I got my VKB last week I'm new the game so still tweaking the controls. 

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Pretty much flat really. If anything I may have a touch of 'Sensitivity', 18 or 20? Doesn't really need it though. I'll have a look tomorrow and let you know if there's anything extreme...

DO calibrate it with the VKBDevCfg-C.exe though and NOT the default Microsoft one that comes with windows. It's miles better! You can download it from their site.

Edited by Raptorattacker

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Here y'go... I have Pitch = 18% Sensitivity

                                 Roll   = 20% Sensitivity

and                           Yaw  = 30% Sensitivity.

That's about it really. That's all. Seems to work okay like that. It's a little bit 'sudden' without the sensitivity.

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5 hours ago, Raptorattacker said:

Here y'go... I have Pitch = 18% Sensitivity

                                 Roll   = 20% Sensitivity

and                           Yaw  = 30% Sensitivity.

That's about it really. That's all. Seems to work okay like that. It's a little bit 'sudden' without the sensitivity.

Thank you did you change the sensitivity using the VKB software? Not in game? I find sometimes my pitch is all over the place.... could be just me being new to joysticks.

Edited by Abdelhak22

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No, changed the sensitivity in-game. I just use the VKB software to CALIBRATE the stick. Nice stick, ain't it? :good:

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8 minutes ago, Raptorattacker said:

No, changed the sensitivity in-game. I just use the VKB software to CALIBRATE the stick. Nice stick, ain't it? :good:

 

Yeah its a great stick I had HOTAS  X before for a week before i sent it back that thing was awful... this one is so much more smoother! The only issue i have is that my wrist hurts due to using twist as rudder so i ordered a  throttle which has a rudder on it. 

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1 hour ago, Abdelhak22 said:

The only issue i have is that my wrist hurts due to using twist as rudder so i ordered a  throttle which has a rudder on it. 

 

I have pedals now, but I never could get the hang of throttle rudders, so always used the twist on the joystick. The paddle rudders I've used just don't have enough range of motion/resistance for precision. Maybe a high end throttle would be better?

Edited by cardboard_killer

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31 minutes ago, cardboard_killer said:

 

I have pedals now, but I never could get the hang of throttle rudders, so always used the twist on the joystick. The paddle rudders I've used just don't have enough range of motion/resistance for precision. Maybe a high end throttle would be better?

 

I don't want to spend to much just yet still getting into flight sims i was going for peddles but i missed having a throttle will see how it goes with the Thrustmaster TWCS.

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1 hour ago, Abdelhak22 said:

i missed having a throttle will see how it goes with the Thrustmaster TWCS.

 

yes, a throttle helps immensely. I have a logitec six throttle quadrant and need every one for the Russian engine management. I was only saying that I prefer the twist of the stick over the rudder paddles for rudder control.

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Follow up question: what do people use the twist axis for if they don't use them for yaw control? I've not mapped mine at all, but another axis could be nice. So many axes already. . .

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5 minutes ago, cardboard_killer said:

Follow up question: what do people use the twist axis for if they don't use them for yaw control? I've not mapped mine at all, but another axis could be nice. So many axes already. . .

 

Calibrate the axis to only work from 0 to 50% and then use it as a wheel brake for Spitfire and Russian planes. 

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2 hours ago, cardboard_killer said:

Follow up question: what do people use the twist axis for if they don't use them for yaw control? I've not mapped mine at all, but another axis could be nice. So many axes already. . .

 

In VKB DevCFG I hide twits axis (Rotation Z), and with their movement center to left I create a new virtual axis (Slider 1), and use this axis for "differential brakes" - what in Bo'X work for any plane.

In CloD use for British planes and in DCS for Spit, MiG's...

 

 

 


VKB-twist-brake.png
 

 

Edited by Sokol1

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9 minutes ago, Sokol1 said:

use this axis for "differential brakes"

 

I have toe brakes (MFG Crosswind), but maybe the Z-axis is easier?

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"Toe brakes" work for planes with "toe brakes" (bf 109, P-xx, i16...), but not for planes with "differential brakes" (IL-2, Yak, Spit...)

 

In other games (e.g. DCS) you can "cheater" assign both "toe brakes" axis for "wheel brakes" (e.g Spit), but in Bo'X this trick don't work well, since will mess "toe brake" planes operation.

 

Anyway there's another way to use this twist as well brake, without change axis in VKB DevCfg, but using DView for custom axis calibration:

 



 

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On 2/18/2020 at 10:02 PM, Apanos9 said:

 

Calibrate the axis to only work from 0 to 50% and then use it as a wheel brake for Spitfire and Russian planes. 

 

Thanks for this great little trick I'm going to try it out. I bound it and briefly tried it on a Spitfire 9 on the ground. Looks promising. Hate, Hate Hate, taxiing that damn Spitfire. I can do it, but only just and only most of the time.

 

One odd thing I just found. I added this axis but didn't take away the "/" for full brakes for both wheels. Now if i hold "/" for more than half a second or so, the brakes stay locked on full. At least according the pressure gauge in bottom left of the instrument panel and I don't hear the release of air either. A quick twist of the grip will release them but otherwise they stay locked on. Parking brake maybe?

 

To the OP, I have had exactly the same experience as yourself. Started with the TM and liked it but the centering issue you mention was a quite annoying. Not sure how many bots had their life slightly extended because the stick pulled itself back to center at exactly the wrong time, but it was a few. Felt like a ball sitting in a cup with springs holding it down but with a small flattened section that went very quickly when you got near center, if that makes the slightest bit of sense. Had exactly the same twist potentiometer problems as well. Sent the first one back and when the replacement went 6 months later bought a VKB Gladiator II and immediately loved it. All that pain in the backside centering issue disappeared. So much lighter and smoother. Twist grip was so stiff it was a bit of a pain though. I had just discovered the lovely, wonderful 109 F4 a few weeks before this and got just about had the worst case of w*%$ers cramp ever climbing the damn thing. So MFG Crosswinds to the rescue and have improved so much since then I could never go back to a twist grip. Completely understand the financial constraints though. I had saved up some birthday money and Christmas was just around the corner (well I could see the corner from there) at the time so...

 

Have a good weekend all,

Craig

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One odd thing I just found. I added this axis but didn't take away the "/" for full brakes for both wheels. Now if i hold "/" for more than half a second or so, the brakes stay locked on full. At least according the pressure gauge in bottom left of the instrument panel and I don't hear the release of air either. A quick twist of the grip will release them but otherwise they stay locked on. Parking brake maybe?

 

How you have set only half of twist for "wheel brakes"?

 

The "S" configuration in game controls don't  have authority for cancel half of the axis (like "saturation" do in DCS controls), hence your "wheel brakes" is always partially applied.

 

Is need do external calibration like the two examples I post above, for cancel half (right or left) of twist axis.

 

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