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  1. #1
    56th VFW/ 63rd VFS Pilot
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    Feb 2016
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    Missouri
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    Thrustmaster Stiction

    Hey all, some of you may know this but in case not.......I stumbled across a guy who actually figured out the root cause of the stiction in the Warthog joysticks:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iS3t77k0M3I

    I took mine completely apart today and it is so much better. But I did that BEFORE finding the video above so I'm going to do it again and modify the pin holes per his suggestion. I was looking at the assembly going "why does this have this ball and pins in here??" It never dawned on me its only purpose was to prevent the stick from rotating and opening up the holes would not hurt anything.

    Anyway....for those of you thinking of getting a Thrustmaster Warthog, I'd recommend you also do the mods in the video !

    And I also found out there are a couple places making some good joysticks, this was new to me so am passing it on:

    https://vkbcontrollers.com/

    https://virpil.com/en/shop

    Both these guys have some awesome stuff, and the prices are comparable to a TM setup. Neither is based in the USA, but that shouldn't be a big deal.

    Hope this helps someone considering a joystick upgrade. I had no idea there were good options to the Warthog !

    Check out the preview of the insane throttle system:

    http://forum.vkb-sim.pro/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=2880

    Yeah ! Options are good.

    F-Bear

  2. #2
    308th VFS Fighter Pilot Jolly's Avatar
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    Nov 2014
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    Nice find F-bear!


    "Fighter pilots ne'er fear; Jolly Greens are always near!"
    DESKTOP: Shuttle Barebones SH67H3 // CPU: Intel i7 3770K 3.4 GHz // VIDEO CARD: EVGA GTX 750TI // RAM: Kingston 8GB 1333 MHz DDR 3 // HD: 1TB WD Green SATA 6Gb/s, 64MD Cache // OS: Windows 7 Ultimate // CONTROLS: Uber mod'edTM HOTAS Cougar w/ Cougar MFDs & Saitek Pro Flight Rudder Pedals // 'PIT: Akers-Barnes Mark 1 Cockpit

  3. #3
    56th VFW/ 63rd VFS Pilot
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    So I messed around this morning some more....trying to really understand the physics of stiction in the Warthog stick. First, let's define "stiction"....in F-Bear's dictionary stiction is the grab/release of one material sliding on another. It is different than friction, which is just drag. Stiction is interesting stuff.

    Anyway, I've removed 95% of the stiction in my stick. It is now wonderful ! However.....not perfect. And I like perfect.

    Reaming out the holes for the pins worked well, stiction in roll is almost un-detectable. Especially in the critial first couple millimeters of travel from top neutral. I've got a bit in forward pitch, but it very low. WAY better than previous.

    So what else can I do? Well....the engineers for this stick made some choices I totally disagree with. For one, there is a teflon plate as part of the "pressure plate" assembly. This plate has 4 holes, which ride on steel vertical rods. Great...but teflon is known for being a bit grabby (stiction) so I may remove the teflon plate and see how things go. It is very obvious this plate gets a slight racking with stick deflection, which loads up the holes with edge contact and viola ! stiction. Very precise bores and surface finish and non-plastic would fix this.....not sure I wanna spend the effort to do all that !

    The other culprit from all my staring and head-scratching is the material of the "cup and ball"......I don't think the type of plastic they used is ideal for being as smooth as possible. I've got excellent synthetic grease in there, but notice it gets wiped away with stick movement. Metal or a different plastic with harder surface properties would help. And maybe different grease would help too, but I used a formulation similar to the "marine grease" recommended so not sure what else to do there.

    There is certainly a solution...for example the ball and socket joints in quality rod ends for car suspensions are just total butter, perfect linear movement with zero slop and zero stiction. But doing something like that would have cost Thrustmaster a few extra dollars, eating into profits ! Or maybe the designer/engineer just didn't think about all this.

    Bottom line here...I'm pretty happy ! But will keep thinking about some easy mod I could do to achieve perfection. Can pretty much take this joystick apart now with my eyes closed....ha ha ha.

    F-Bear

  4. #4
    Good stuff F-Bear! Thanks for sharing bro!

  5. #5
    56th VFW/ 63rd VFS Pilot
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    Missouri
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    My quest for perfection continues.....has anyone else done this mod? I'm curious what specific grease you used. I did not have the marine grease with the calcium sulfate thingy-doo-hicky (I believe that makes marine grease thicker than normal grease?) so used some bike grease (good stuff, fully synthetic). I am thinking the grease could make a huge difference, since I did notice it getting "wiped off" the mating surfaces on my stick.

    This is so annoying....the basic design of this stick is really good (ball in cup for unrestricted motion plus the magnetic sensor for position reading is just genius) but I do think they dropped the ball on material selection. The plastic they use just seems to wanna stick to itself.

    Anyone else swap out the grease? Please let me know your results and what grease you used !

    FB

  6. #6
    56th VFW/ 63rd VFS Pilot
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Missouri
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    107
    Still trying to get my stick to a happy place.........

    Ordered the exact grease used by the video guy, so we'll see if it makes a difference. Am also going to play around wtih reaming the holes in the pressure plate to be super smooth and bevel the edges a bit. Fun fun fun.

    I also came across probaby the ULTIMATE setup I've seen so far.

    The Real Simulator FSSB R3. Most of you probably know about this thing...but did you know they are very close to releasing a STICK to go with it?

    http://www.realsimulator.com/html/fssb_r3_lighting.html

    The website is hard to navigate...but somewhere in there (maybe the forums) is mention of an F-16 and an F-18 stick. The pictures look amazing...considering the quality of this guys force-feedback base, I'd assume the stick is just as good.

    If my new grease and other mods don't get my Warthog where I want it.....I may have to upgrade ! For those of you using a Real Simulator mod to your Thrustmaster stick....how do you like it? I've never used a force feedback system before, so seems weird to have a stick that doesn't move. But according the reviews I read of the R3, it is an insane amount of precision and control. Heck....maybe I'd even be able to refuel !

    FB

  7. #7
    56th VFW Recruit Polar Bear's Avatar
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    Nov 2015
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    The Great White North
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    24
    Hey F-Bear,

    I had the same "stiction" problem with my x-52 and I tried many "solutions" too....until I found wax.

    That's right...wax. I used a bit a paraffin wax, but I'm sure that there are other types that will work just as well (being from Canada I thought of using hockey stick wax, but didn't have any with my gear).

    It took a few applications, but I just coated the steel at any potential pinch points with it and ran the stick through a full range of motion. There will be some that gets scraped off but it's nothing to worry about. Again, it will take a few applications over the next few weeks.

    I haven't had to reapply in probably over a year and it is still like butter.

    Hope this helps,

    Cheers!

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