What’s the best Force Feedback solutions for 2018 / Condor V2?

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Kessa
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What’s the best Force Feedback solutions for 2018 / Condor V2?

Post by Kessa » Wed Apr 04, 2018 8:50 pm

I’ve read some (very interesting) old threads on this topic and it seems that for Condor 1 there was a lot of love for Microsoft Sidewider Force Feedback 2.

However, that’s becoming a really old joystick now, there have been several operating system evolutions since it was launched (so support seems to be gradually fading), and as Condor 2 has also now been released I was just wondering if there were any modern equivalents for 2018? :)

Would also love to hear thoughts on good Force Feedback rudder solutions.

Thanks!
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janjansen
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Re: What’s the best Force Feedback solutions for 2018 / Condor V2?

Post by janjansen » Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:27 pm

Unfortunately, no one has made a decent force feedback joystick since. There have been one or two rubbish force feedback sticks, but nothing even remotely comparable to the MS SW FFB2. After all these years, its still the stick to get. Dont worry about support, its still plug and play in windows 10.

I doo have some hope that before the last FFB2 stick breaks, someone makes something based on these guys' technology:

https://vs4.irisdynamics.com/magnetic-f ... joysticks/

They dont seem to be interested in making one themselves, not for mass production, but rather licensing their tech. And it looks really good.

sisu1a
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Re: What’s the best Force Feedback solutions for 2018 / Condor V2?

Post by sisu1a » Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:50 pm

Iris stuff is very expensive, and might not even interface with Condor, which is using MS's DirectInput force feedback API. Brunner simulation is another off-shelf solution but again interfacing it another thing altogether. I had a feasible roll-your-own scheme halfway baked before losing interest in Condor1 due to lack of pixels making it not worth the effort. Still totally possible, but the amount of work to go this route is zone of diminishing returns, as would be using any off-shelf solution that doesn't already use that API although it's easy enough to get variable centering with trim offsets.

With Condor2 I've revived my FF projects, but rather than reinvent the wheel as I set out to do before I'm going to do some (now) well known MSFFII mods to eek out more power. By changing the value of some resistors in the current sensing circuit, you can double the motor power without changing any of the other hardware. This will be my phase1 version of my stick, which will be the proper length of a real stick and center mounted in my cockpit that's shaping up.

Phase2 is much more interesting though... the current can be brought to 400% the stock value (2.8a @24v) with further alteration of the current sensing circuit as well swapping out the MOSETs and adding diodes and some caps and using a new power supply. The mods are minimal and the psu is just a 'power brick'.

With carefully selected motors and observing limitations of inertia effects etc (sticking to the same 24:1 MS used in their engineering), I have gimbals planned around *suitable motors that will mimic glider forces/kinematics (30cm in pitch/25cm in roll) up to 4.5Nm or so. I'll be documenting it and posting about it here, but having wrangled with control loading and weighing practical vs possible feel it's the cheapest/simplest solution to a high fidelity FF setup.

Check out Roland van Roy's in depth writeup and documentation on this mod, though his is applied to a yoke the electronics are the same. http://www.simprojects.nl/ms_siderwinder_ff2_hack.htm ...the mechanical part of this is pretty straight forward, and the electronic side doable and the digital work already done and honestly that's the hardest part.


*skewed armatures needed to minimize cogging at low rpm

uxbridge
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Re: What’s the best Force Feedback solutions for 2018 / Condor V2?

Post by uxbridge » Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:33 am

Force feedback is dead. At least for now. Immersion company owns patents for the technology. Both Microsoft and Sony were sued by Immersion and had to pay compensations for patent infringement . Logitech paid to use the license, but apparently the cost was too high compared to relatively narrow market.
As a result, no one at the moment produces consumer FF devices and probably won't until the patents in question expire (around 2022?).
Microsoft Sidewinders are hard to get and expensive. Logitech G940 joystick I use is fine but even more rare. Logitech Force 3D joysticks, although not so good, are still relatively easy to get and cheap on a second hand market. "Like new" or not used ones can be found and if someone really wants to have FF, I think this is the best option at the moment.

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Re: What’s the best Force Feedback solutions for 2018 / Condor V2?

Post by OXO » Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:29 pm

As I understand it, the Immersion patent was 1999, so it will expire in 2019. Do you have better information?
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sisu1a
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Re: What’s the best Force Feedback solutions for 2018 / Condor V2?

Post by sisu1a » Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:10 pm

uxbridge wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:33 am
Force feedback is dead. At least for now. Immersion company owns patents for the technology. Both Microsoft and Sony were sued by Immersion and had to pay compensations for patent infringement . Logitech paid to use the license, but apparently the cost was too high compared to relatively narrow market.
As a result, no one at the moment produces consumer FF devices and probably won't until the patents in question expire (around 2022?).
Microsoft Sidewinders are hard to get and expensive. Logitech G940 joystick I use is fine but even more rare. Logitech Force 3D joysticks, although not so good, are still relatively easy to get and cheap on a second hand market. "Like new" or not used ones can be found and if someone really wants to have FF, I think this is the best option at the moment.
I was having this exact conversation yesterday, and there are a lot of reasons why FF is not common, though I'm not sure how much Immersion has to do with that anymore as there are rumble/haptic devices everywhere and more than 1 company already making full blown control loading/FF hardware being marketed to simmers and professionals. This niche endeavor is in the zone of diminishing returns for most manufacturers that have the capacity though because there are more profitable ways to spend your resources unless it's a labor of love.

FF hardware costs a lot of money to produce or it feels like a Fisher Price toy. MSFFII is by far the best of the cheapos but even that was probably sold as a loss leader at $115 (lol) and it has a lot of shortcomings being all plastic and only capable of ~0.4Nm. For reference, to achieve 4.5Nm output using MSFFII guts my mod will eat up to $600 in parts alone depending on how I shop. Motors good enough for FF are way more expensive than regular ones because they need to have skewed rotors if DC... the motors alone for my mod are $200 apiece and servo motors with smooth enough output are often much more than that. Step motors are not usable here, and 3ph AC are also not cheap, and power transmission is also an issue at those torque levels in light of tactile considerations.

2019 is indeed when a bunch of Immersion patents end... here they are if anyone wants to see them https://patents.google.com/?q=force&q=f ... rporation)

uxbridge
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Re: What’s the best Force Feedback solutions for 2018 / Condor V2?

Post by uxbridge » Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:02 am

sisu1a wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:10 pm
FF hardware costs a lot of money to produce or it feels like a Fisher Price toy. MSFFII is by far the best of the cheapos but even that was probably sold as a loss leader at $115 (lol) and it has a lot of shortcomings being all plastic and only capable of ~0.4Nm. For reference, to achieve 4.5Nm output using MSFFII guts my mod will eat up to $600 in parts alone depending on how I shop. Motors good enough for FF are way more expensive than regular ones because they need to have skewed rotors if DC... the motors alone for my mod are $200 apiece and servo motors with smooth enough output are often much more than that. Step motors are not usable here, and 3ph AC are also not cheap, and power transmission is also an issue at those torque levels in light of tactile considerations.
IMO higher controller precision and forces matter mostly to advanced simmers who spend much time in combat simulators. In RL stick forces on gliders are weak. Especially in modern birds and with typical speeds. Also their sensitivity is not so high, so some dead zone on lower end FF joysticks isn't an issue. I actually find FF joystick behavior in Condor as being quite realistic. When I flew K-13 in my pre-solo training I had problems to adjust my joystick and Condor 1 to feel "real". K-13 has relatively stiff controls with more movement/input required than I could simulate on my Logitech joy. But when I started flying single seat glass ships, I was surprised to find forces and responsiveness of controls being so close to that in Condor.
sisu1a wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:10 pm
2019 is indeed when a bunch of Immersion patents end... here they are if anyone wants to see them https://patents.google.com/?q=force&q=f ... rporation)
Some of them had been filled in 2000-2001. I don't know how important they are for manufacturers to release a typical FF joystick.

Mas
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Re: What’s the best Force Feedback solutions for 2018 / Condor V2?

Post by Mas » Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:27 am

I bought my Microsoft FF2 for Condor in 2005. Its still going strong . The ability to fill stick trim forces , stall buffett, flutter etc really makes the Sim for me . The lack of obvious drivers is no problem in Win 10 as the stick is recognised and the forces feel maxed which is how i like them .

Well worth tracking down second hand ! I saw some place in germany selling refurbished ones on Ebay some years back .

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Re: What’s the best Force Feedback solutions for 2018 / Condor V2?

Post by sadatoni » Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:23 pm

I picked one up ealier this year off ebay (a red trigger one at that). It's made Condor even more enjoyable.
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bw101643
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Re: What’s the best Force Feedback solutions for 2018 / Condor V2?

Post by bw101643 » Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:09 am

I have three red ones. One of which I got about 2 years ago, and was sealed in the original box and had never been used. Of the other 2, I have had one for about 10 years, the other I found at Goodwill. All work great.

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Bre901
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Re: What’s the best Force Feedback solutions for 2018 / Condor V2?

Post by Bre901 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:14 pm

I just bought a second hand MS SW FFB2, only tested it for 15 minutes and I already love it ! :D :D

It really improves the trim behaviour compared to non-FF joysticks where you have to move the stick the opposite way you just moved the trim (or the stick for stick-trim) which is quite counter-intuitive especially when thermalling :roll:
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Dismayed
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Re: What’s the best Force Feedback solutions for 2018 / Condor V2?

Post by Dismayed » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:14 pm

I just pickup up a lightly used MS FFII joystick off of eBay for less than $40 with shipping included. I'll stay with this stick until something better appears, perhaps sometime in 2020.

MarkRebuck
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Re: What’s the best Force Feedback solutions for 2018 / Condor V2?

Post by MarkRebuck » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:07 pm

I bought two. One is still going strong, one is in storage (in a plastic bag, with a pile of silica gel packs). I'm not looking forward to the day they are both broken, because there hasn't been anything close in a long time. I'm afraid force-feedback is pretty much dead at the consumer level.

...which is a huge shame. It really makes a difference when it is implemented properly (as it is in Condor!).

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Re: What’s the best Force Feedback solutions for 2018 / Condor V2?

Post by cruzerdog » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:57 pm

MarkRebuck wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:07 pm
I bought two. One is still going strong, one is in storage (in a plastic bag, with a pile of silica gel packs). I'm not looking forward to the day they are both broken, because there hasn't been anything close in a long time. I'm afraid force-feedback is pretty much dead at the consumer level.

...which is a huge shame. It really makes a difference when it is implemented properly (as it is in Condor!).
Yes. My FF2 almost flies off the table on the ridge and flutter!

shanmoon2
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Re: What’s the best Force Feedback solutions for 2018 / Condor V2?

Post by shanmoon2 » Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:54 pm

I purchased a control loading (not forcefeedback) joystick and rudder pedals from Brunner Innovations. Out of box is supports Prepar3D and X-plane, and I am using them with great success in my single engine simulator. I have a rudimentary app developed to use the UDP info from Condor (and Silent Wings) to load the controls appropriately. Once it is more robust, I might share it if there is interest. However, since true control loading devices are very expensive (it cost me over $2k for each set, I don't see this option getting a lot of use.)

I've kind of tabled further work on it until I can get the instant crash issue I am having with Condor 2 resolved, however.

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