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Ron Ridley Auto Care Mall

 
  Flight Sim Yoke and Pro Pedals

As you probably know I am an "old" pilot and enjoy fight simulator programs but the only "realistic" controllers have been force feedback joysticks. The discontinued ones from Microsoft even had rudder controls – you could twist the stick to simulate a rudder BUT they only worked like an arcade game. If you want the rudder to go left you turn the joystick left. In an aeroplane you push on the left rudder to make the rudder go left.

A few years back I tried a flight Sim yoke and a set of rudder pedals from CH products and they, well, worked a bit. They were hard to get to work together through the same game port on the sound card and the rudders only allowed you to push forward and back.  Real rudders in an aeroplane have "toe" brakes. If you tip the pedals forward – but not push them forward- you will activate the brakes on the plane.

I opened these boxes (just like Christmas) with anticipation and apprehension but I was not disappointed by the appearance of the Yoke. It was much more refined than the previous version. Buttons, switches and the hat switch were where they should be. They felt comfortable and were similar to a real aeroplane.

The Yoke clamps to your desktop with two supplied clamps. The previous version had huge camps that stopped me from using my under the desktop keyboard drawer. This one fit perfectly.

The rudder pedals just sat on the floor. They did move a little with use but I think I will screw a small board across the back of them so they won't "drift" away with use. The wife won't let me cut out a chunk of the carpet.

They are both USB so I just plugged them in and they were auto detected by Windows XP. I tried using the controllers in XP without installing any CH drivers (looked old – for 95 and 98) – OK. Xp found them and configured them automatically.

Ok let's try some simulators. I first tried Microsoft's Flight Simulator 2004. I had to reassign 2 or 3 buttons to my liking but the throttle, mixture, prop control, gear, and flap controls were all functional. This yoke also included switches for trim controls – much appreciated. I then tried Combat Flight Simulator 3 with success. I will try other simulators as I get a chance especially the upcoming Flight Simulator X from Microsoft (around Xmas 2006 – for Vista).

The only problem I had was reaching past the yoke to get to the throttle but it would have had to take up much more desk space to correct that minor inconvenience.

The rudders worked as they should and the toe brakes were excellent.

I was able to us the joystick with the rudders for helicopter and old fighter simulations.

The manuals that came with them were sparce but suficient and XP no longer needed the software included.

I would like to write more about these controllers but I would rather go back and fly around Vancouver airport or shoot down a couple of axis fighters.

I give these controllers 9.9 out of 10 since they didn't have force feedback (hint).


Review ID Number: 666
  Product Details
CH Products Inc
Review Date: 2006-07-27
Reviewer: John Mitchell
Rating: 9 out of 10
 
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