USB CONNECTIVITY

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USB CONNECTIVITY

Postby STICK-N-RUDDER » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:55 pm

I am starting to build my first Flight Simulator. I plan on purchasing (8) of the Saitek (Logitech) Multi-Instrument Controller Panels. I have several issues that I need further clarification on.
1. Assuming that I purchase (8) of these Instrument Panels for the Simulator that I’m building, each one will have a USB 2.0 Cable that comes with the unit. Is that correct?
2. Assuming that I am correct with this, how do I plug all of those Cables into my Computer as I only have six USB Ports available? What happens when I purchase more Modules and need to plug those into the Computer as well?
3. Assuming that I purchase a powered USB Hub to solve issue #2, what are the recommendations relative to type, power requirements, brand name suggested, and can I add in additional powered Hubs as I increase the Module count on my Simulator?
Thank you for your assistance!
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Re: USB CONNECTIVITY

Postby Canuck1955 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:36 am

I have 2 powered hubs attached to my PC due to the pitifully small amount supplied by my MB which is an Asus Maximus IX.

First one is an Orico 11 port USB3 (tow of the ports have the red insert whatever that means)

Second one is an Anker 7 port hub plus 3 additional ports which do something which I forget what they are for.

I currently use 11 of the available 18 ports with no problems.

The front of the PC has 4 Ports (2 USB 3, 2 USB 2) which are at the moment unused.

I found my Hubs on New Egg, great service from my experience.
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Re: USB CONNECTIVITY

Postby STICK-N-RUDDER » Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:45 am

HI CANUCK 1955 -

Thank you for your prompt response. You have indeed confirmed the powered USB Hub theory, and also provided me with some valuable suggestions. If you, or anyone else have additional suggestions relative to this build, this would be helpful as well. I have a reasonably powerful Computer with an Intel i7 Quad Core Processor, running on an Asus MB, and 64 GB of On-Board Ram. Two weak areas that I will have to address are a better Video Card (it only has 2 GB of Ram on it and I want one with 5 GB), and I want to step up to a 500 GB solid state Drive. I'll be running three 4K TV's instead of Monitors, so I need plenty of "horsepower" to run them. Eventually, I plan on a full Panel of the Saitek Gages and Switch Panels (I'm a "six pack" kind of guy), X-Plane 11, with the Saitek Control Yoke, Throttle Quadrant, and Rudder Pedals.

If you or anyone else looks at the my plans and have any suggestions or to indicate any problems that you may have had in setting up your units, I would be most appreciative of any and all help!

Thank you!

Vic
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Re: USB CONNECTIVITY

Postby ermias » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:06 am

Hi,

If you are going to invest in 8 saitek panels, I advise you to read reviews about them. They look great, but their frequency selector knobs , unless logitech has improved them, are not good.
Check also GoFlight panels. They might be a little bit more expensive, but definitely robust and reliable. But one plus of the saitek radio panels is that within one panel you get two radios while GoFlight comes with one. At the same time one GoFlight panel can be configured for two functions too.

The best panel Saitek has is the backlit information panel which bits GoFlight's version.

I have used both of them and I personally prefer GoFlight. Google them for their reviews.

Good luck,
ermias.
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Re: USB CONNECTIVITY

Postby STICK-N-RUDDER » Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:17 pm

Thank you Ermias -

This Web Site was one that I was not familiar with. Good information to have and I'll stick this in my "back pocket" for future reference. I did not find any Gages there, but their Switches and Com/Nav Panels look to be high end. When I start on my Com/Nav Radios, I'll spend some additional time on the site. I also had heard that the Saitek Com/Nav settings seem to want to wander, and I was already prepared to review that issue carefully. Again, thank you for your input. Excellent information, and a good Web Site for future reference!

Regards,

Vic
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Re: USB CONNECTIVITY

Postby ermias » Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:38 am

Hi Vic,

What model of flight simulator you are thinking ato build? Any particular design?

Thanks,
ermias,
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Re: USB CONNECTIVITY

Postby STICK-N-RUDDER » Sun Jan 13, 2019 1:24 pm

Hi Ermias -

Although I'm still in the planning stages, the basic setup is as outlined below: This just keeps me below my $3500 Budget for the project.

$1,359.92 SAITEK MULTI-INSTRUMENT CONTROLLER PANEL (8 GAGES)
$99.99 SAITEK FLIGHT SWITCH PANEL
$169.99 SAITEK FLIGHT YOKE SYSTEM AND THROTTLE QUADRANT
$169.99 SAITEK FLIGHT RUDDER PEDALS AND TOE BRAKES
$99.99 LOGITECH Z533 SPEAKER SYSTEM WITH SUB-WOOFER
$59.99 X-PLANE FLIGHT SIMULATOR SOFTWARE
$299.99 SAMSUNG 43" 4K TV
$559.98 SAMSUNG 32" 1080P TV (X2)
$59.98 D-LINK 7-PORT POWERED USB HUBS (X2)
$143.97 TV WALL MOUNTING UNITS (X)
$300.00 BUILDING SUPPLIES

I have a fairly strong Intel core i7 Computer, with a (6) core Processor and 32 GB of on-board Ram already. However, I do have to upgrade to a larger Sold State Drive and a better Video Card. It is running Windows 10 Enterprise, and this will be my dedicated Simulator Computer.

Regards,
Vic
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Re: USB CONNECTIVITY

Postby ermias » Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:25 pm

Hi Vic,

Thanks for the details. That is a good budget. I think when you get the graphics card, make sure it supports spanning of three monitors across. You know if you use say 20, 25 or 32 inches in flight sim it only magnifies the existing view. But if you use the right video card, you can widen the view angle (coverage) that way. I also do have a big home work to upgrade my aging hardware.

Have you already decided whether to build GA or one of the heavies?

Thanks,
ermias
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Re: USB CONNECTIVITY

Postby STICK-N-RUDDER » Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:32 pm

Hi Ermias -

I appreciate your comments.

I plan on designing around GA instead of the "heavy iron". I'll use the Cessna 172 for a model, as that is what I typically fly.

I just ordered a GIGABYTE GeFORCE GTX1070 Video Card with 8GB of on-board RAM. I also purchased an 1TB Western Digital WDS100T2B0A Solid State Drive. The Computer will be dedicated completely to the Simulator only.

I am nervous about the Saitek Gages and Control Panel. In particular all those USB connections. But, I'll use Powered USB Hubs as I described above and that may make things run OK. I've used the Saitek Yoke, Throttle Quadrant, and Rudder Pedals before with good results (and the price is right), but I have no experience with their Gages and Control Panels. I guess I'll find out shortly.

Also, I notice that I made an error when I indicated that the Computer was running an Intel 6-Core i7 Processor. Actually, it is only a Quad Core, but that will still work fine.

Regards,

Vic
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Re: USB CONNECTIVITY

Postby Canuck1955 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:21 am

I would recommend that instead of the above Yoke, you upgrade to the Saitek Cessna Yoke, it is not that much more and way better than the standard one they offer. It may be difficult to track one down now Logitech are owners.
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Re: USB CONNECTIVITY

Postby Canuck1955 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:45 pm

Canuck1955 wrote:I would recommend that instead of the above Yoke, you upgrade to the Saitek Cessna Yoke, it is not that much more and way better than the standard one they offer. It may be difficult to track one down now Logitech are owners.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJRGPEFZHLM
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Re: USB CONNECTIVITY

Postby STICK-N-RUDDER » Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:24 pm

Hi Canuck1955 -

Thank you for your reply and the UTube Link to the Cessna Yoke information. After reviewing the Video carefully, I found that the only real difference between the two Yokes (other than the loss of the Clock/Timer function, a difference in Switch/Button placement, and a slightly different appearance to the standard Yoke), was the fact that the standard Yoke only turned approximately 45 degrees left and right, and the Cessna Yoke traveled a full 90 degrees left and right. I think that if you needed a full 90 degrees of travel in the Yoke, you've got some very serious problems. I went searching on the Web for one for sale. The Logitech Web Site was useless and would not even return a search for the Cessna Yoke. I also checked Newegg, Amazon, and eBay. These sites were either sold out, out of stock, discontinued, or back ordered! I finally found one site called FLIGHT SIMULATOR DIRECT, which had one for sale that included the standard Saitek Throttle Quadrant for $199.99. I do not know this seller, and I am hesitant to do business with a site that I don't have some sort of history with. Do you know anything about them? I will continue looking but at this point I can't justify the 90 degree Yoke travel versus the 45 degree Yoke travel as being worth an extra $30. I'll try and look for some additional specs so that I can make a better judgement.

Thank you again for your input. I find getting any and all the information that I can review to be most beneficial.

Regards,

Vic
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Re: USB CONNECTIVITY

Postby ermias » Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:51 pm

STICK-N-RUDDER wrote:
I am nervous about the Saitek Gages and Control Panel. In particular all those USB connections. But, I'll use Powered USB Hubs as I described above and that may make things run OK. I've used the Saitek Yoke, Throttle Quadrant, and Rudder Pedals before with good results (and the price is right), but I have no experience with their Gages and Control Panels.
Vic


Hi Vic,

I have only used Saitek readiopanels, backlit info panel, multi panel and throttle quadrants. As I said the radios were hard to pin to exact frequency. The backlit panel is great and the throttle quadrants too. I still have the quadrants and the backlit panel. Others are sold.

I am using a gang of the saitek quadrants as my boeing throttle and I will use the backlit panel for my king air panel. I have no clue about the gauge panels, but I have seen that one can customize them to different models. I hear you on the USB thing, but in most cases powered hubs can run at least four panels without issu. I have read from GoFlight website a suggestion that Belkin USB hubs are reliable.

I like the idea of building cessna. I have also plant to make one in the future. I think I am working on my sims in a strange backward way. Twelve years ago I started the boeing, continued a second project with king air and as I still have CH Yokes, CH quadrant and CH pedals I am contemplating building a Cessna after I finish the king Air which is close to be finished. Mostly I don't rush to finish them as it is a work in progress and I love the process and the illusion that I have something to do. As someone said to me, I will be lucky if I get to finish them before my wife murders me. But I am very grateful of her being understanding.

Below are some pictures ...
Best,

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Re: USB CONNECTIVITY

Postby STICK-N-RUDDER » Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:43 pm

Hi Ermias -

WOW! Those are tremendous looking Simulators!! Great photos. Mine will not be anywhere near as complex as yours, but just the C172 for now. I have a Budget allowed by my Accountant (AKA my Wife), and although there is a little padding in the Budget for unforeseen items, it only allows me to build in stages. First step is to get the Computer up-to-date and operating flawlessly. That is currently waiting for a new Video Card, Solid State Drive, and an Ethernet Card all from Newegg. These should be here next week, and I'll get that set-up and then a fresh install of Windows 10 Enterprise, and X-Plane Software. This year I have decided to "hang up my Goggles" and stop my flying the "real stuff". I'm 77 years old and it is getting more difficult physically and mentally now. So, I made the Wife very happy when I said that I was going to build a Simulator that would keep me flying (sort of), but not incur the costs or the real world risks anymore. She also has been supportive of this project.

As my project progresses a bit, I'll submit some images so that the guys can see where I'm heading. I'm looking at probably a four to six months build time (piecemeal), and then do some of the add-ins like COM/NAV Panels, etc. later as the funds and time permit. I have a dedicated space in my office (a couple of double wide closets), that I'm going to be using, and I have already started to rip out some of the shelving that was in one of them. In one of them I had already been using as an additional Computer Workstation (that will be my new Console Unit), and the other one I was using as Bookshelves and storage spaces.

Regards,

Vic
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Re: USB CONNECTIVITY

Postby Canuck1955 » Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:57 pm

I do have an issue with one of my powered Hubs in that it still powers down after a given time which is annoying as I tend to forget until after FSX is up and running. I have the Saitek panels and throttle pod connected thru' it. Often the hard switching off and on again will crash the sim.

I know all about the settings whereby you can turn off the Powered Management settings in Device Manger, they are all off yet it still performs as if they are not. So does anybody know of a setting in Registry?
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