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Joystick recommendations. Anyone use CH Products?
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0blivious
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Default Joystick recommendations. Anyone use CH Products? - 02-11-2014, 01:57 | posts: 1,015 | Location: Bremerton, WA USA (GO HAWKS!)

My Logitech Freedom 2.4 doesn't connect anymore so I'm looking at new joysticks. I think most $20-$40 joysticks these days are disappointing (such as my last 2) so I'm looking to step up a bit. I have no clue about the higher end market.

I'm leaning towards a somewhat obscure brand (CH Products) I'd never heard of but has great reviews. Their joysticks don't look extravagant but supposedly have it where it counts.

Has anyone used CH Products flight sim products? Are they worth the price? Any other joystick recommendations?

I'm not a hard-core flight simmer, this will mainly be used for Battlefield games and occasional space sims.

These are the 2 sticks I'm looking at:

Fighterstick USB: $95.............................................. USB Combatstick 568: $78
http://www.amazon.com/Fighterstick-USB ........................ http://www.amazon.com/Combatstick568


Last edited by 0blivious; 02-11-2014 at 02:01.
   
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Veteran
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Default 02-11-2014, 10:39 | posts: 9,795 | Location: United kingdom

Yeap ive got the CH fighterstick, had it since 2007 and it still works like brand new. These sticks will outlast any other stick out there on the market as they literally last forever. They have great support over at the CH forum also Bob Church will bend over backwards to help you.

Negative...points.
Stick needs to be placed on a small stool or something between your legs, its not really a desktop stick and its quite big. I would not buy the Fighterstick, insteads get the combat stick(the one one the right) because the added programming of the CH stick is not needed and you would need the brain of an elephant to remember all the settings as you can set the stick up 3 times by cycling a button, so you have 3 types of settings on the stick. Not needed at all

I always go back to my Microsoft force feedback 2, its the most comfortable stick ive ever used.

The best stick is the Thrustmaster HOTAS, its a replica of the f16 stick and is made of Diecast metal but to get the best out of it you need to mod it as the default "gimballs" are not the best.


You cant go wrong with CH Products tbh, ive been using there stuff for over 20 years now but the MSFFB takes some beating in my opinion and can be picked up cheap from ebay.

Last edited by Veteran; 02-11-2014 at 10:43.
   
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Default 02-12-2014, 03:49 | posts: 380 | Location: Binghamton, NY USA

I have been using CH Products joysticks and HOTAS equipment since 1994. I have never had a problem with anything I bought from them. I currently own the following which have been working flawlessly since 2005:

Fighterstick Pro USB
Pro Throttle USB
Pro Pedals USB

Prior to this I owned the same controls as above but not USB models. The older system used a daisy-chain system of connecting the controls because you only had the one gameport on your soundcard (mine was a SoundBlaster Live! 5.1). I still have them stored away actually.

Prior to that I owned a Flightstick Pro which I played all my games with (even Doom) before finally caving in to playing FPS games with keyboard and mouse. I still don't know why I resisted that as keyboard and mouse is so much better!

Buy CH Products. There's an excellent support site called "CH Hanger" where you can get all your questions answered. It's moderated by Bob Church who was the designer of many of the various controls and an incredibly nice guy to talk to. He will go the extra mile trying to help you in any way he can.

CH Products are so good because the company has a much larger operation that makes controls for industrial equipment and even some military applications. You cannot go wrong and that's no hype.

I can't believe some folks don't know about CH Products! They are the gold standard for controls in my opinion.

Last edited by scrapser; 02-12-2014 at 03:53.
   
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Default 02-12-2014, 03:59 | posts: 380 | Location: Binghamton, NY USA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Veteran View Post
Yeap ive got the CH fighterstick, had it since 2007 and it still works like brand new. These sticks will outlast any other stick out there on the market as they literally last forever. They have great support over at the CH forum also Bob Church will bend over backwards to help you.

Negative...points.
Stick needs to be placed on a small stool or something between your legs, its not really a desktop stick and its quite big. I would not buy the Fighterstick, insteads get the combat stick(the one one the right) because the added programming of the CH stick is not needed and you would need the brain of an elephant to remember all the settings as you can set the stick up 3 times by cycling a button, so you have 3 types of settings on the stick. Not needed at all

I always go back to my Microsoft force feedback 2, its the most comfortable stick ive ever used.

The best stick is the Thrustmaster HOTAS, its a replica of the f16 stick and is made of Diecast metal but to get the best out of it you need to mod it as the default "gimballs" are not the best.


You cant go wrong with CH Products tbh, ive been using there stuff for over 20 years now but the MSFFB takes some beating in my opinion and can be picked up cheap from ebay.
When I use my CH HOTAS, I have the Pro Throttle on my desk to the left of the monitor...the Fighterstick on the right. My keyboard and mouse are on a tray (made by WorkRite and wasn't cheap) that slides under the desk when not in use and are at keyboard height for comfort.

Funny...I prefer the FighterStick over the CombatStick. I like having the added 4-way buttons at my fingertips instead of a single button. I've used both BTW.

The Pro Throttle comes with a thumb-controlled mini-joystick to control the mouse which is great for using to look around...particularly in combat sims.

Last edited by scrapser; 02-12-2014 at 04:07.
   
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Default 02-12-2014, 05:04 | posts: 1,015 | Location: Bremerton, WA USA (GO HAWKS!)

So far, everywhere I've read, anyone who's used this brand swears by it. I like that. I also like that the design has remained the same for so long and that parts are available and reasonable.

I want something that lasts a long time (or forever) and doesn't have any (or very little) dead zone. These sticks sound like they are just what I'm looking for. I guess now it's just a matter of which one to get. The additional (regular) buttons available on the fighterstick are appealing. I'll probably end up going that route.

Does the handle twist (for rudder) on these joysticks?
   
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Default 02-12-2014, 11:59 | posts: 9,795 | Location: United kingdom

I had the pro throttle as well in 2007 but sold it because i didn't use it, there good products but the MSFFB2 is more comfortable i think, its the one i always use. The MS stick also has force feedback, something you dont get with CH products. The MS stick has twist control.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/sis.html?_...IMULATOR+GAMES

Take your pick from an MS stick, i bought 2 of these of ebay for 60, in my opinion its the best stick you can buy.

I paid 140 each for the stick and throttle(CH), i think the much cheaper now to buy, i bought them when they first came out literally.

The handle does not twist, all you get is a slider wheel on the CH sticks, not the greatest but it works.

The only difference with the combat stick over the flight stick is if you look at the red button on the combat stick well that is replaced with a grey button on the flight stick. That grey button can move in four directions so you get 4 individual settings which is ok.

The flight-stick also has 3 settings for all buttons,(green light, orange light and red light). When you cycle through these colours (led) you can set the stick up again from scratch so you get 3 different lets of settings on each led light setting.

Like i said you wont use it and you would need the brain of an elephant to remember them all. Also there are not that many flightsims that require that amount of settings on 1 stick. I can only think of 3 games, not only that but its gonna take you along time to program all of that.

Its up too you but i would just get the combat stick, put the most crucial settings on there and use the keyboard for the rest of the settings. Its easier and far less time consuming when playing.

You should have enough info now to choose whatever stick that you want

Last edited by Veteran; 02-12-2014 at 12:12.
   
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scrapser
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Default 02-12-2014, 15:48 | posts: 380 | Location: Binghamton, NY USA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Veteran View Post
I had the pro throttle as well in 2007 but sold it because i didn't use it, there good products but the MSFFB2 is more comfortable i think, its the one i always use. The MS stick also has force feedback, something you dont get with CH products. The MS stick has twist control.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/sis.html?_...IMULATOR+GAMES

Take your pick from an MS stick, i bought 2 of these of ebay for 60, in my opinion its the best stick you can buy.

I paid 140 each for the stick and throttle(CH), i think the much cheaper now to buy, i bought them when they first came out literally.

The handle does not twist, all you get is a slider wheel on the CH sticks, not the greatest but it works.

The only difference with the combat stick over the flight stick is if you look at the red button on the combat stick well that is replaced with a grey button on the flight stick. That grey button can move in four directions so you get 4 individual settings which is ok.

The flight-stick also has 3 settings for all buttons,(green light, orange light and red light). When you cycle through these colours (led) you can set the stick up again from scratch so you get 3 different lets of settings on each led light setting.

Like i said you wont use it and you would need the brain of an elephant to remember them all. Also there are not that many flightsims that require that amount of settings on 1 stick. I can only think of 3 games, not only that but its gonna take you along time to program all of that.

Its up too you but i would just get the combat stick, put the most crucial settings on there and use the keyboard for the rest of the settings. Its easier and far less time consuming when playing.

You should have enough info now to choose whatever stick that you want
Not trying to be picky but the CombatStick replaces two 4-button switches on the FighterStick with a single buttom. You can see this in the pictures above.
   
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scrapser
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Default 02-12-2014, 15:51 | posts: 380 | Location: Binghamton, NY USA

I never used any sticks that twisted or had Force-feedback. I think the joysticks that twist are meant to use the twisting action in place of rudder pedals. I used to fly airplanes so I want actual rudder pedals. I never got into twisting joysticks.

The rudder pedals also double as a gas pedal and brake for racing sims BTW.

I'm not sure how much value Force-feedback adds to gaming. I always likened it to vibrating chairs or vests that made you feel like you were being shot. Not a big deal for me.

Last edited by scrapser; 02-12-2014 at 16:00.
   
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Default 02-12-2014, 16:52 | posts: 9,795 | Location: United kingdom

Quote:
Originally Posted by scrapser View Post
Not trying to be picky but the CombatStick replaces two 4-button switches on the FighterStick with a single buttom. You can see this in the pictures above.
Oh yeah i forgot about the one on the actual top of the stick. I dont use all of these and the 3 way LED is just overkill. Remembering them all is a challenge and so is configuring the stick. Its not like configuring an Xbox 360 pad lol

Both sticks have there pros and cons.

Last edited by Veteran; 02-12-2014 at 16:54.
   
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Default 02-12-2014, 17:10 | posts: 397 | Location: Belgium

Its true about the MS sidewinder 2 (14 years old) for me still the best joystick i have wich i regulary use on my second system when me and a mate do some online flying.Have myself logitech force 3d pro for 6 years now,and i still hate it
   
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scrapser
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Default 02-12-2014, 20:23 | posts: 380 | Location: Binghamton, NY USA

I forgot to mention (in case it matters) that CH Products controls are programmed with a program called "CH Manager". This program is free and comes on a CD along with other utility software. But you should download the latest version from their website. You use the program to set up profiles for each game you use. You download the profile to the controls prior to playing the game.

The program is also used to calibrate your controls (including setting the deadspace and sensitivity). You can also create custom macros to execute as well. If you poke around you can find templates of each control where you can list your keymappings. This is handy when, as Veteran says, you have a zillion buttons to remember.

I find the controls most useful with flight sims, space sims, and games like Battlezone. The HOTAS setup is particularly useful in these games as you no longer need to touch the keyboard or mouse.
   
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