Happy days, my Mongoose and deskmounts arrived today!
Finally got everything setup and wanted to share my thoughts so far...
I ordered 2 deskmounts + the T50CM Flightstick.
Order was placed Dec 14, and arrived today (January 19th) Shipping notification came through on Jan 4th. So ~ 3 weeks for processing and 2 weeks for actual delivery. The processing still baffles me a little bit, but it is Christmas so I'll cut them some slack. Canada Post provided tracking information throughout the whole journey. It actually only arrived in Canada on Tuesday so getting to Alberta was pretty quick.
Unpacking - I would've liked to have seen it ship in one box instead of two taped together but it made it here and only looks mildly beat up.
Everything inside the boxes was packed very well, no damage to anything inside - it all looks great.
This is the "old" setup - Saitek X55 sitting on my desk:
Virpil on just a base for comparison
The New setup!
So my initial thoughts.
Desk mounts: I have one with the TM mounting plate. My X55 is too wide for it but with some zip ties it'll work until I make a better adaptor. If I could make one recommendation here I'd ask them to drill holes so at least two of the X55 mounting holes line up with something. Wouldn't cost any extra and I'd imagine there are a fair number of Saitek flyers that will upgrade eventually...
THe other deskmount of course has the VPC base. I was surprised at how far out it puts me from the desk, I'll have to do some rearranging and maybe move the monitors up a little bit. I get why they had to do it, just caught me off guard.
Build quality on the desk mounts is superb. They look good, feel sturdy, I'm happy.
THe base: Base appears to be heavy and solid. I haven't opened it up yet, don't know if I will in the near future or not but the gimbal moves perfectly in it. My only complaint on the base so far would be the length of the USB cable. It could use another 2 feet in length.
Extensions: I ordered the extension kit. For my purposes I think I would've been just fine with the 100mm so the 50 and 75 will gather some dust I think. Extensions are machined metal and feel and look fantastic. Supplied connectors look to be good quality as well.
Grip: Grip is high quality plastic, feels great in my hand. It's actually much smaller than I expected. Ergonomics are good, all buttons within easy reach and I don't have huge hands.
Buttons provide nice tactile feedback, same for two of the hats. My bottom hat however provides nice feedback up and left and no feedback down and right. The buttons register as pushes so at least it's working. Will send an email to support in the morning.
Second trigger - I'm not sure what to do with this, it gets in the way if you don't flip it back up - anyone have suggestions as to what to map it to? I also find the button press a little soft on this one.
Wheelbrake lever & button 19. Haven't had a chance to use the brake lever axis yet. My first impression is that it's soft. I think it could use a stiffer spring. Looking at the VPC configurator it appears button 19 lights up at a 50% pull. To me it feels too soon, but maybe I'll get used to it with some time.
Feel: So once I had everything kind of setup I fired up DCS and took my Mirage for a rip. MAN THIS THING FEELS GREAT TO FLY. My gunnery was immediately and noticeably improved, same with fine control on landing. This on a stick I'm not used to yet!! I am REALLY impressed.
Overall: I am pretty happy with this, if I can get the issue with that bottom hat sorted without too much brain damage I will say I'm thrilled! I left my X55 stick plugged in for comparison and there is none. I was flying last night thinking "This isn't so bad, maybe I should've saved my money" No such regret now! On top of the obvious improvement in the stick, having a center mount with extension makes an incredible difference from a desktop stick. It's more comfortable, accurate, and just plain feels more natural.
Hope that helps anybody considering the stick!