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Relative mouse for someone is physically unable to use a joystick


Echo38
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A number of years ago, both of my hands were seriously injured and required surgery. They never really healed well, and I've had problems with them ever since. As a result, I cannot use a joystick to any significant extent, because of hand pain. In DCS, I can fly the A-10C a bit with joystick, if I take it easy, but even two minutes at the controls of the P-51D has my hands hurting. However, I find CAS quite boring; dogfighting in WWII birds are where my heart is.

 

So I've been out of flight simming, for the most part, for several years. Every so often I give it another try, but it never lasts long now, because of the bum hand. I'm not willing to lower the difficulty options, because if I'm playing an arcade game, then I'm no longer interested, and so the hand is moot. I'm also interested specifically in guns-only dogfighting, which makes things trickier. (BVR combat in jets doesn't have nearly as high of a hand workload as dogfighting in WWII fighters, so I could probably handle this, if I were interested in that sort of thing, but I'm not.)

 

Recently, a friend recommended to me the game War Thunder, because it doesn't require a joystick, letting the mouse emulate a joystick via relative control, which it does very well. However, the game itself is not a high-fidelity simulator by any stretch of the imagination, and, although I'm happy that I can fly in it with my bum hand, I'm naturally disappointed in the lack of fidelity.

 

Which brings me to my point. I've tried flying with mouse in DCS, but the only option I could find was for absolute mouse control, and this is a no-go for several reasons. Firstly, absolute mouse has a much higher hand workload than relative mouse, because you must constantly lift and drag the mouse with absolute (you never have to with relative). Secondly, it's impossible (because of said lifting and dragging, which causes a "gap" in your input) to hold a smooth, steady, precise turn. You'll always be going well over or well under max alpha, or whatever speed you're trying to turn at.

 

So, can anyone help me with this problem? Is there any way to configure DCS (preferably without using mods, if compatibility is going to be an issue, because I use DCS exclusively for multiplayer dogfighting) to allow relative mouse control, i.e. treating the mouse like a joystick, instead of the absolute mouse control you get by default if you bind the mouse to the control axes?


Edited by Echo38
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Whatever control I use for elevator & ailerons needs to have at least four inches of throw on each axis. Minor mistakes become amplified with short-throw controls; short-throw controls have a low potential precision.


Edited by Echo38
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Yes. Joystick emulator. Ihave one arm that not function correct. I use Windows voice recognition macro's. For certain commands. Its free. By some learning you are happy.

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My meaning is that you need to use ppjoy with ppmouse. First install ppjoystick and create a virtual controller, configure it. Then start ppmouse (from zip archive) and check that axes of controller are working. Then map axes in DCS. I hope it can helps you. I tried it few years ago and it worked well in old il 2 sturmovik. Virtual joystick works well in DCS too, i use it to control my head movement via freetrack (no need to modify game files).

right PPMouse.zip

PPJoySetup.zip

exmpl.thumb.jpg.fcde68c41b1404afe0d9a47936aa6f9b.jpg


Edited by OverGCat
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Is heavy and long rehabilitation has not brought to the effects and reduced the pain to a minimum ? Just a suggestion .

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I looked for a short throw joystick and couldnt see one, but I think i've heard of one, something like a F16 stick IRL. Some other ideas;

 

http://www.ablenetinc.com/Assistive-Technology/Computer-Access/Rock-Adapted-Joystick

 

Use the left hand if its better

 

Use trackir as a joystick.

 

It's pretty hard to recommend a solution without being a doctor (hand specialist) and a joystick industry expert and knowing your problem better, but I do know that there are many options worth investigating because technology is about enabling and someone will have faced this problem before.

 

Good luck!

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What have you tried in the way of alternative physical devices? Gamepads have come a long way, and there are bound to be all kinds of options with much lower requirements for hand strength and dexterity than a joystick?

 

That's just a thought and not to be taken as a negative view of alternate mouse control in any way, obviously. The best method of mouse control should be implemented in my opinion. It will always be worse than a dedicated device anyway, so there's no 'fairness' issue or reason not to - I simply do not have the slightest as to what constitutes 'good' mouse control.

 

Motorcycles by any chance, if you don't mind me asking? I've been saved by carbon reinforced knuckles both times when I've crashed on road-bikes... one reason I gravitate towards off road riding these days.

 

I hope you get it sorted! Cheers,

/Fred

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You may want to try the 3D Connexion 6 axis Spacemouse

 

http://www.3dconnexion.com/products/spacemouse.html

 

I think that would be a perfect solution for your problem. Just go to their website and view the video demos there. I have this as well as my brother and the unit is recognized perfectly by windows and DCS as a 6 axis absolute mouse. It is normally used for 3D Modeling but it also works as a 6 axis controller. It has light touch forces and Relatively short throw with pressure sensitive movements. I think you could configure it to be quite comfortable with good controllability for flight simming


Edited by TonyZ
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Would the Saitek X65 be something for you maybe? Just a thought, I never used one myself, so I don't know how much force it actually requires. But it's adjustable afaik.


Edited by spiddx

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You may want to try the 3D Connexion 6 axis Spacemouse

 

http://www.3dconnexion.com/products/spacemouse.html

 

I considered one of these to add axis for the F-15C Antenna and Elevation knobs. Someone said that the rotaries on them are return-to-center, so I did not go any further.

 

Hope you get it sorted, Echo38!

 

WC

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Isn't the Warthog a very short throw stick? (I have not used one, but AFIK it has hall sensors and does not move much..)

 

Folks with the warthog stick please chime in..

 

On the contrary. Quite tall and long-throw for a stick. But it has the goddamn stiff centering spring, definitely not a good thing for OP's problem.

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Pikey came up with one example. Here is another one from me, a friend of mine use it for FSX and is quite happy. (last item on the page)

 

http://www.assist-it.org.uk/assets/content/disability.htm#alternative_mouse

 

I know it's a lot of money but not much more than you have to pay for a complete Warthog

 

As Warthog user I can't recommend this stick for you, as said before the spring is really strong. A 20 minutes knife fight is something I feel hours later :smilewink:.

 

Here with more options: http://www.inclusive.co.uk/hardware/mouse-alternatives/joysticks


Edited by FSKRipper

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Thank you very much for the suggestions, everyone. With my specific injuries, and on my budget, it seems that a mouse joystick emulator is the way to go, but more possibilities which hadn't occurred to me before are always a good thing. I'll be investigating external joystick emulator software, but if anyone else has any ideas, I'm still very much open to hearing them. Again, my thanks.

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I fried the pcb on my logitech G940 it now has no centering force at all. It's great for flying helos and ok for planes and requires virtually no force to use, another option to think about. You could do the same with most sticks and remove centering springs.

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Echo- I understand that it's the *hands*, and that there is no limitation on your movement from the elbow and shoulder, is that correct?

 

Reason I ask, is that once you get out to 12+ inches of extension, the net centering force on a Warthog (and any other consumer joystick, for that matter) is just about nonexistent. Means you have to place the base on the floor, rather than your desk, but you can get all the throw, or as little of it, to fit your comfort through axis tuning and dead zone modification.

 

In conjunction with one of those dedicated FPS key rigs they offered years ago for your opposite hand, you could likely get away with most all weapons, radar, and throttle options in that key set.

 

And wasn't someone talking about doing a Spitfire-style spade handle a while back with the WW2 thing? That might be more comfortable as well, depending on the nature of your injury and how it affects your dexterity- grasping it essentially like a mouse, with the palm rather than the full grip of your hand, and rocking it back and forth/side to side.

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its a shame that today sim developers dont allow planes control with mouse (expect mentioned ROF). I mean the way it was in good old games like Warbirds or MS Flight Sim 98 (and previous?) - simple X,Y axes and some buttons.

 

But back on topic:

As mentioned in separate thread there are few options how to make mouse work as a joystick in this 'modern' games. Here are some and more:

 

Virtual joysticks - no physical joystick needed:

 

1) PPJoy - virtual joystick driver with mouse emulation 'out of the box'. I am using it and it works to some extent (using it only to map mouse scroll wheel to throttle). but my Win7 64 needs to be permanently in 'test mode' as ppjoy is unsigned driver.

 

2) VJoy - virtual joystick similar to PPJoy but I think there is no need for the OS to be in 'test mode'. It is possible to map mouse to the virtual joystick by additional scripting: "vJoy can translate the mouse coordinates (and wheel and buttons) into joystick positions, hence controlling the user-application. However, vJoy is a general-purpose driver. It was not design for mouse-to-joystick translation. You will have to write a simple feeder software to bridge the gap between the mouse and vJoy. The feeder will read the mouse data and feed vJoy driver with these data."

 

Some other solution:

 

3) AutoHotkey (AHK) - "is a free, open-source macro-creation and automation software for Windows that allows users to automate repetitive tasks". You can make joystick to act as a mouse. I haven't tried yet and didnt find similar macro, but I think it should work also the other way making mouse act like a joy.


Edited by 313_Nevo
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Echo- I understand that it's the *hands*, and that there is no limitation on your movement from the elbow and shoulder, is that correct?

 

Reason I ask, is that once you get out to 12+ inches of extension, the net centering force on a Warthog (and any other consumer joystick, for that matter) is just about nonexistent. Means you have to place the base on the floor, rather than your desk, but you can get all the throw, or as little of it, to fit your comfort through axis tuning and dead zone modification.

 

Yes, absolutely--I've believed for many years that a chair/floor-mounted, life-size/throw stick would be the best solution, both for my hands and also for other reasons. A real aircraft stick (the old fashioned kind--I'm not counting the short side-sticks in fly-by-wire aircraft) involves far less rotation of the wrist and thus less hand stress in general regarding the grip (I didn't find myself gripping a real aircraft stick tightly, the way I subconsciously grip a simming joystick).

 

Unfortunately, a good full-size joystick is prohibitively expensive, and/or must be built or modified, which I don't have the skill (nor the hand capacity) to do. That rules out full-scale sticks as an option, although a full-scale stick would be ideal, if not for those barriers.

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