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Modding my X52 Pro


fzfq3m
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Hi there guys

 

First at all, Thanks Eagle Dynamics (and all people involved in development, distribution, etc) for this awesome atack heli sim...

 

I have an X52 Pro that I bougth long ago to replace my Microsoft Sidewinder Force Feedback 2, I love my X52 and I bought it because i wanted to have a more or less realistic and accurate throttle (I hate MS Sidewinder Throttle) but It was very sad that X52 didn´t have Force Feedback that I decided to kept my old sidewinder...

 

my X52 works flawlessly with my Black Shark but is so annoying to have to return the joystick to its central position after using the trim that it was clear to me that Force Feedback(FF) is a must have in order to enjoy the sim...

 

That's why I started to look for a way to add FF to my X52, I was looking so desperate that I was experimenting with some usb microcontrollers and stepper motors but not luck so far... as some people say, due X52 internal mechanisms its very difficult to attach a motor to its axes.. not at least without making mayor changes... so I coudn't use the motors of my sidewinder (or any other motor) :cry:

 

I haven't give up yet and two days ago while surfing the web looking for videos about how black shark´s trim works when using FF... and for my surprise: The anwser to my complain hit me in the face... :doh:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6jqREHPOds

 

Another guys already did what I was trying to do.. in a different way of course. in the video's comments the autor says that a tutorial would be available on his web site... but I wasn´t able to find that tuto...

 

Anyway, knowing that it ws possible to merge both controllers (in some way) I started to roll my own solution :D using same principle...

 

Please see attachment for some pics

 

What is done:

- Replaced Sidewinder stick with saitek stick (X52 stick is intact, only sidewinder stick was moddified or more precisely: cut away). this in non reversible.

 

To do:

- Find a way to place the X52 main controller card inside sidewinder´s base and make some detent for the "ps2 like" connector (in order to allow connection to X52 throtle)

 

- Relocate X52's hall sensors and magnetos in order to react to joystick movements... this way I can choose between sidewinder X, Y axes or X52... I've got an idea how to do this... based on an existing hall sensor mod I found on the web is possible to made a base for the hall sensor but I will need to cut sidewinder base. but the only cut I want to make is the one for the connector

 

- Relocate Sidewinder's IR emitter/sensor (or replace them) in order to preserve sidewinder hability to "detect when my hand is holding the stick"... I'm thinking this is going to be tricky

 

- Make a custom enclosure to relocate the push buttons of sidewinder stick and the six X52's push buttons (the ones in the base)

 

-TEST, TEST and more TEST

 

What do you think?? looking good?

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20100409_004.thumb.jpg.45273b9cc1310c6efdc998fa3de4d695.jpg


Edited by fzfq3m

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Great work!

I have something similar on my mind in order to salvage my X52, in case I will not be able to get new board.

 

If I may suggest a solution for your X52 board - leave it in its original base. And, since it is not really needed anymore, you can cut it as you wish, right? So, you can cut it in half or cut out rounded shape and fix it to the front of Sidewinder base. You may also cut out that base as well to get better fit. You will end up with two bases in tandem. Extend wires from X52 stick to be able to connect with its board. When you're done with all rewiring, you may fit a sheet of plastic underneath both bases to make fitting more firm.

 

Now, you have working controller in Sidewinder base. And there were some buttons on its stick, that are not needed anymore. And you have X52 base in front of the stick, with big hole on top. So, fit a small keyboard over that hole, and run their wires to Sidewinder board, to connectors where buttons from Sidewinder stick were connected.

 

Accidentally, I was photoshoping last night to present my future wannabe project. My plan was to run a cable from new base to X52 base in order to connect X52 stick with its board, and new supplementary num keyboard back. This pic is only for illustrative purposes.

_x52-project1.jpg.c26a2d981039f367d3b9cd97f574873c.jpg

I'm selling MiG-21 activation key.

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Renato thanks for the advice, I was thinking to do that but I'm unable to find compatible connectors for the ones used in my X52 (I was planning to make an extension) and messing with rewiring beacause those wires are too slim for my hands... in fact I broke two of then while installing the X52 Handle into Sidewinder's base! It was a pain trying to get them fix :(

 

Fortunately the place where I hid my X52 board allows me to place the X52's push-button panel outside sidewinder's base without having to rewire anything...

 

I used some tape to protect the push-button panel until I make a definitive base for it, looks ugly right now but it works at least :joystick:

 

BTW... I didn't used X52's joystick base (yet) but I'm thinking about it...

 

Regards

20100413_012.thumb.jpg.8eb3785b33b52c97dde1c60148f3573c.jpg

20100413_004.thumb.jpg.5715ba42adbdc426a6ded23381ae2cae.jpg


Edited by fzfq3m

Compuer Specs

 

Intel Core i7 920 D0 @2.6Ghz

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2xHP 300GB 10K SAS RAID 1

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Koolance CPU-360

Koolance ASP6T7WS

2xSwiftech MCP655 with EK D5 Dual Top

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1xPhobya Xtreme 400

Tubing:Tygon 2001 1/2"

2xBitfenix Spectre Pro 230mm

Swiftech MCres Rev1

 

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I suggest you to change the "hand sensor" with a little switch. I can't remember the details, but it was something like: the 2 wires of the sensor in contact (don't know the english word for this, closed? bridged?) means hand on the grip, and with 1 of them (can't remember which one...) to ground, hand off the grip.

 

And it's also very convenient. You don't have to worry about the aircraft commiting suicide itself by pitching down to the ground because you needed to release the joystick. No more dead stick.

 

My mod is a lot simpler. I added a longer shaft and a CH combatstick grip, rewired buttons and POV to use the CH grip buttons, added that switch to replace the hand sensor and done!

 

I have a X52 but I left it intact, I only use the throttle unit and have the stick unit near to use the toggle buttons on the base.

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@fzfq3m - lol, that looks so "Russian" :D

Find some small plastic box or metal can that will fit over that "attachment", you know, something like those junction boxes for household electrical installations, spam can...

 

I personally do not like X52 - too many rollers/slider, too little buttons for my needs. Also, they are spaced too far apart. Then, as I have to place throttle on my desk in front of the keyboard (too little space to place it to the left of me), when I move it back and forth, its angle changes way to much. What is "in front" when throttle forward, becomes "on top" when throttle back. And all roller are for someone with soft girly hands, and I do not have enough grip on my fingertips (that are as hard as shoe soles, after too many years working as electrician).

 

I would like like to rip electronic out and make something real nice, using parts from a train :D

 

BTW, any way to quickly disable/enable that step on full throttle/afterburner? It capitally annoying when flying Su-25/T.

I'm selling MiG-21 activation key.

Also selling Suncom F-15E Talon HOTAS with MIDI connectors, several sets.

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Average_Pilot right now I didn't have to do anything with the Hand sensor, being based on IR emitter/receptor the firmware is programmed to activate FFB motors when the IR beam is interrupted, so comparing the IR detector with a switch and when my hand is off the handle, the switch is always closed and it only opens when I put my hand on the handle... I needed to find a way to let the "switch" always open and that way is to simply let the IR detector disconnected..

 

I didn't connected Sidewinder Handle's pcb to its main board so th IR sensor is disconnected too... this way the FFB is always ON (until disabled by software I guess) and works just fine in DCS:BS

 

I'm still trying to get used to fly with FFB but I'm doing my best.. anyway thanks for the advice.

 

Renato71: Well, I think Russians will use another type of tape (just kidding) :megalol: but Yeah, as I say it looks really ugly and i definitely looking forward to put this iniside a small plastic box...:music_whistling:

 

BTW You just remenber me a phrase that I saw in a user's signature:

Americans spend 5 years to design a ball pen that is able to write on space, Russians just take a pencil...

 

The things is: Is ugly but it works :thumbup:

 

By disabling/enabling the throttle/afterburner did you mean mapping the afterburner separately (maybe on another axis) or did you mean removing that annoying detent that comes by default?? the first I don't know how to do it, maybe with Saitek SST... the latter is really easier... just open the trhottle and remove a small plastic detent that is behind a plastic wheel that is connect to the throttle handle... It can be do it without risk and can be reversed in case you want it again..

 

Regards


Edited by fzfq3m

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I'm gonna do that myself as soon as possible! :thumbup:

 

Piece of cake man... I included a picture in order to show you where you must look at for the detent (the picture isn't mine)

 

BTW I found that short cirtuiting the sidewinder's IR detector also activates the FFB... that's strange :huh: and goes against what I said before about the switch. An explanation could be that in electronics when working with digital logic some pins (inputs) can be interpreted as 1 Logic when the pin is unconnected (on the air, as we say)... That would explain why the FFB is enabled when I let the handle pcb disconnected from the main pcb...

 

Anyway I will let this to the experts...

Throttle.JPG.bf300086860394b117607ac9d0b54162.JPG


Edited by fzfq3m
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Intel Core i7 920 D0 @2.6Ghz

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just open the trhottle and remove a small plastic detent that is behind a plastic wheel that is connect to the throttle handle... It can be do it without risk and can be reversed in case you want it again..

Regards

 

Yeah, that's it :)

Thanks for tip :)

I'm selling MiG-21 activation key.

Also selling Suncom F-15E Talon HOTAS with MIDI connectors, several sets.

Contact via PM.

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Nice...

 

That detent is very annoying, I removed it almost after unboxing my X52.

 

I think my next move will be to try to add some FFB to my Saitek Pedals!!!

 

I always forget to release the presure on the pedals after releasing the trimmer.

Compuer Specs

 

Intel Core i7 920 D0 @2.6Ghz

Asus P6T7 WS rev2

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2xHP 300GB 10K SAS RAID 1

Corsair AX1200

Nvidia Geforce GTX 580 3GB

Water Cooling Specs:

Koolance CPU-360

Koolance ASP6T7WS

2xSwiftech MCP655 with EK D5 Dual Top

1xBlack Ice GT S 360 XFlow

1xPhobya Xtreme 400

Tubing:Tygon 2001 1/2"

2xBitfenix Spectre Pro 230mm

Swiftech MCres Rev1

 

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DCS:BS will do FFB pedals if you make them, as I understand it. The problem seems to be with attempting to run BOTH FFB pedals and stick simultaneously. (TriggerHappy has written about this in the forums, IIRC).

 

Having said that, I'm not sure how you handle a non-FFB stick with FFB pedals as far as press Trim button / release Trim button goes for DCS:BS .... (re-center, not re-center, how fast, etc.)

 

I had planned to make FFB pedals by combining a Saitek FFB steering wheel with the mechanics of my old TM RCS pedals. I held off on completing it due to a desire to get a new desktop to run DCS:BS / LOFC2, etc. upon. (Hasn't happened yet, but it's getting close, me thinks...). Then, seeing Trigger's report on the problem with running 2 FFB's simultaneously took the rest of the wind out of those sails.

 

Now that LOFC2 is out, and the next DCS module is an A-10C, FFB controllers have dropped down my list of priorities a good ways. I suspect the fixed wing stuff will keep me busy enough to last awhile.

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That would be so much cool... The problem is that it is not supported by the sim. I think.

 

good point

 

DCS:BS will do FFB pedals if you make them, as I understand it. The problem seems to be with attempting to run BOTH FFB pedals and stick simultaneously. (TriggerHappy has written about this in the forums, IIRC).

 

Having said that, I'm not sure how you handle a non-FFB stick with FFB pedals as far as press Trim button / release Trim button goes for DCS:BS .... (re-center, not re-center, how fast, etc.)

 

I had planned to make FFB pedals by combining a Saitek FFB steering wheel with the mechanics of my old TM RCS pedals. I held off on completing it due to a desire to get a new desktop to run DCS:BS / LOFC2, etc. upon. (Hasn't happened yet, but it's getting close, me thinks...). Then, seeing Trigger's report on the problem with running 2 FFB's simultaneously took the rest of the wind out of those sails.

 

Now that LOFC2 is out, and the next DCS module is an A-10C, FFB controllers have dropped down my list of priorities a good ways. I suspect the fixed wing stuff will keep me busy enough to last awhile.

 

You both are right... A lot of work has to be done in order to have a FFB Rudder Pedals... starting from modding current pedals and ending with the necessary code to support it in game...

 

To be honest I have spent lot of time modding my X52 that I already forgot the procedure to get the Helo up and running... yesterday I've got to dust the checklist :smartass:

 

Anyway I wrote another post asking about how to flight the Helo using a FFB stick with a non FFB rudder... and this came out

 

http://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=52845

 

Now I just need find a way to program this on Saitek's SST

 

Regards

Compuer Specs

 

Intel Core i7 920 D0 @2.6Ghz

Asus P6T7 WS rev2

6GB Corsair Dominator GT CMG6GX3M3A2000C8

2xHP 300GB 10K SAS RAID 1

Corsair AX1200

Nvidia Geforce GTX 580 3GB

Water Cooling Specs:

Koolance CPU-360

Koolance ASP6T7WS

2xSwiftech MCP655 with EK D5 Dual Top

1xBlack Ice GT S 360 XFlow

1xPhobya Xtreme 400

Tubing:Tygon 2001 1/2"

2xBitfenix Spectre Pro 230mm

Swiftech MCres Rev1

 

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