How I salvaged my Saitek yoke

Graphics Cards, Sound Cards, Joysticks, Computers, etc. Ask or advise here!

How I salvaged my Saitek yoke

Postby Sprocket » Mon Jan 27, 2014 1:03 pm

My Saitek Yoke went dead quite a while past, but instead of bining it, I thought I would see if I could salvage it if possible.
Well, I finally got down to it, and thought I would share the "salvage operation" on here for the benefit of others.
(Notice that it is not a repair.)

With the unit totally dead, the logical thing to do is to replace the circuit board with that of another suitable joy stick. This is what I done, as follows:

I found a suitable replacement circuit board to be from a USB games controller.
Image

This unit comes with:
1. two thumb joysticks, each one with an analogue x/y axis, (Aileron and elevator on the one, throttle and mixture on the other one.)
2. A set of dedicated POV buttons, needed also for the Saitek POV. (Point of View)
3. 10 Switches for the hand controls.

(The first test I done was to see whether I could replace the x/y pots directly with the Saitek pots, and found them 100% compatible. :clap: (ie, it calibrates correctly).

First thing is to identify the Saitek wire connections. I found that the wires are bundled together in three groups, or looms.
One loom for the Left hand buttons, one loom for the Right hand buttons and one loom for the center clock. (Which we don't need)
Following is the button designated colours. (Colors for our USA friends :) )

The left hand button loom has 8 wires, as follows:
(Common to all the LH switches = Orange)

1. POV Up = Slate (Light grey)
2. POV Down = Blue
3. POV Left = Green
4. POV Right = Dark blue
5. A1 = Red
6. A2 = Brown
7. E = Yellow
8. Common = Orange

The right hand button loom has 9 wires, as follows:
(Common to all the RH switches = Red)
1. B1 = Black
2. B2 = Orange
3. C1 = Yellow
4. C2 = Brown
5. D = White
6. Mode 1 = Slate
7. Mode 2 = Green
8. Mode 3 =Blue
9. Common = Red

Next consideration are the two Saitek pots, X Axis for Alerons, Y Axis for Elevator. See photo:
Image

Next is to prepare the USB controller board: This is the board as removed from the USB unit.
Image

Next I removed the two joy sticks, AND soldered in 5 jumper wires - because connection was previously by the joystick metal bodies.
Image

And now you can see where it is leading, can't you.
The following photo identifies the USB switch positions.
Image

With the exception of the POV wiring and the pots, any of the yoke buttons can really be wired to any of the switches - mapping can be sorted in the FS itself.

But there remains one very important nuisance. :twisted:
These USB controllers can operate in either "switch" or "Analogue" mode and we need to ALWAYS be in analogue mode.
On starting up, they default to switch mode. To switch to analogue mode, there is a small push button
on the front of the controller, and an LED to indicate. (See the very first photo). Problem is this button needs to be a momentarily switch, meaning it cannot be hard wired.
To overcome this, I installed a small N/O pushbutton switch on the side of the Saitek housing, as well as a 3mm hole for the indicator LED.
The switch is then wired to the board as follows:
Image

Image

Next, the quadrant lever unit is now useless as is, so with that I opened it up, cut and rewired the throttle and mixture lever pots to position on the controller boards.
Finally, I positioned the board in position, holding it all suitably in place with some foam pieces;
Image

Final thoughts: It works as well as the original :lol: but one needs to be sure it is switched to analogue mode - caught me out a couple of times. :doh:
And there you go..we're flying again.. <<q
User avatar
Sprocket
2nd Lieutenant
2nd Lieutenant
 
Posts: 292
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:10 pm

Re: How I salvaged my Saitek yoke

Postby OldAirmail » Mon Jan 27, 2014 1:54 pm

:clap: :clap: :clap:

Congradulations!

You're certainly a fart smeller, I mean a SMART FELLER. :D
.. .
Get the most out of your controls - SPAD.neXt

Image
. . . . . .Any time, any plane, any weather.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . Prepar3d V4
User avatar
OldAirmail
Major
Major
 
Posts: 4818
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:06 pm
Location: Concrete, WA ICAO - 3W5

Re: How I salvaged my Saitek yoke

Postby OldAirmail » Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:53 pm

I keep coming back to this post, with thoughts of building more buttons & switches into my Ch yoke.

Well done, Sprocket. I would never have thought of that.



It always irritates me when I see something like the RailDriver with all it's buttons, levers, and switches being sold for less than $200. And then looking at the cost of an equal number of buttons, etc for a flight sim. :evil:

Image
.. .
Get the most out of your controls - SPAD.neXt

Image
. . . . . .Any time, any plane, any weather.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . Prepar3d V4
User avatar
OldAirmail
Major
Major
 
Posts: 4818
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:06 pm
Location: Concrete, WA ICAO - 3W5

Re: How I salvaged my Saitek yoke

Postby Jetranger » Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:52 pm

I Think I understand :shifty:

But I'm not sure :?

After reading about it - I think I have to go lay down, it just fried my mind :shock: :shifty: :geek: :o :hand:
User avatar
Jetranger
Major
Major
 
Posts: 3235
Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:49 am
Location: Kansas City Missouri USA / KMKC

Re: How I salvaged my Saitek yoke

Postby Sprocket » Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:49 am

Post by OldAirmail » Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:53 pm

I keep coming back to this post, with thoughts of building more buttons & switches into my Ch yoke.


Exactly.. The "death" of my Saitek yoke also meant the end of my plug-in quadrant, and although I have re-wired the throttle for now, it still leaves me with two unused levers and 6 available switches.
SO...I have since ordered two more USB controllers, and will use one of them to get the quadrant back up and running, independently from the yoke and independently mapped in FSX.
(Luckily FSX seems to recognize as many USB devices you can plug in :D I think...)

One can use these USB controllers to utilize ONLY the switch inputs, BUT IF YOU DO, you should NOT remove the little joysticks. If you do, you need to install the jumpers as described, and then also install
a jumper (or resistor) each in the now vacant pot connections. (The PC is looking for a resistance value over the pots, and finding none (open circuit) makes the unit "jittery". Not good electronics practice :naughty: )

In the end though, I hope I have shown that one can easily get a suitable and cheap USB interface....all that is left is to get hold of suitable cheap switch pad/arrays.
So, no reason not to have a go... :dance:
Regards
User avatar
Sprocket
2nd Lieutenant
2nd Lieutenant
 
Posts: 292
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:10 pm

Re: How I salvaged my Saitek yoke

Postby Hestntonpms » Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:26 pm

Some of you guys are beyond genius !!
that is brilliant !
Gigabyte X79 Chip set Mobo
Intel-i7 4820K CPU/Liquid cooled
Single GTX Titan 6gig GPU/ extreme air cooled
16 gig/1600 MHz quad channel DDR3
1 T/B -Raid-0 array,Risking it all for every ounce of performance until I go with SSD's
User avatar
Hestntonpms
2nd Lieutenant
2nd Lieutenant
 
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2014 4:41 pm
Location: Long Island NY

Re: How I salvaged my Saitek yoke

Postby Sprocket » Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:58 am

User avatar
Sprocket
2nd Lieutenant
2nd Lieutenant
 
Posts: 292
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:10 pm

Re: How I salvaged my Saitek yoke

Postby OldAirmail » Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:04 am

Broken.

Your other videos work fine, but this one doesn't go past a few seconds.
.. .
Get the most out of your controls - SPAD.neXt

Image
. . . . . .Any time, any plane, any weather.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . Prepar3d V4
User avatar
OldAirmail
Major
Major
 
Posts: 4818
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:06 pm
Location: Concrete, WA ICAO - 3W5

Re: How I salvaged my Saitek yoke

Postby Bass » Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:17 am

I have no problems! :?
"Just try to be YOU"!............ Kurt 

System. GA-X58A-UD3R, i7-950QC, Corsair XMS3 18GB 2000, GTX 780 tf 3GB, Corsair CMPSU-850, 24 BenQ 120, TM Hotas cougar, win7 pro.
User avatar
Bass
Major
Major
 
Posts: 3044
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:32 am
Location: Scandinavia

Re: How I salvaged my Saitek yoke

Postby OldAirmail » Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:23 am

Works now. It was stopping at the 9 second mark before.

The video was ok, but I liked the "book" better. :D
.. .
Get the most out of your controls - SPAD.neXt

Image
. . . . . .Any time, any plane, any weather.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . Prepar3d V4
User avatar
OldAirmail
Major
Major
 
Posts: 4818
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:06 pm
Location: Concrete, WA ICAO - 3W5

Re: How I salvaged my Saitek yoke

Postby Sprocket » Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:40 am

Bass wrote:I have no problems! :?
OldAirmail wrote:Works now. It was stopping at the 9 second mark before.

The video was ok, but I liked the "book" better. :D


Thanks for the feedback..much appreciated :)

@OldAirmail..had a look at my other videos you say? Thems all in a foreign language :lol:
User avatar
Sprocket
2nd Lieutenant
2nd Lieutenant
 
Posts: 292
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:10 pm

Re: How I salvaged my Saitek yoke

Postby OldAirmail » Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:00 am

Sprocket wrote:...

@OldAirmail..had a look at my other videos you say? Thems all in a foreign language :lol:

No problem.

I understood both Nixie Clock videos.

And the Leon Schuster videos were hilarious.
.. .
Get the most out of your controls - SPAD.neXt

Image
. . . . . .Any time, any plane, any weather.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . Prepar3d V4
User avatar
OldAirmail
Major
Major
 
Posts: 4818
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:06 pm
Location: Concrete, WA ICAO - 3W5

Re: How I salvaged my Saitek yoke

Postby Sprocket » Tue Feb 11, 2014 4:50 am

Sprocket wrote:My Saitek Yoke went dead quite a while past, but instead of bining it, I thought I would see if I could salvage it if possible.
Well, I finally got down to it, and thought I would share the "salvage operation" on here for the benefit of others.
(Notice that it is not a repair.)

With the unit totally dead, the logical thing to do is to replace the circuit board with that of another suitable joy stick. This is what I done, as follows:

I found a suitable replacement circuit board to be from a USB games controller. (This must be a controller for PC..not Playstation or xBox !)
Image

This unit comes with:
1. two thumb joysticks, each one with an analogue x/y axis, (Aileron and elevator on the one, throttle and mixture on the other one.)
2. A set of dedicated POV buttons, needed also for the Saitek POV. (Point of View)
3. 10 Switches for the hand controls.

(The first test I done was to see whether I could replace the x/y pots directly with the Saitek pots, and found them 100% compatible. :clap: (ie, it calibrates correctly).

First thing is to identify the Saitek wire connections. I found that the wires are bundled together in three groups, or looms.
One loom for the Left hand buttons, one loom for the Right hand buttons and one loom for the center clock. (Which we don't need)
Following is the button designated colours. (Colors for our USA friends :) )

The left hand button loom has 8 wires, as follows:
(Common to all the LH switches = Orange)

1. POV Up = Slate (Light grey)
2. POV Down = Blue
3. POV Left = Green
4. POV Right = Dark blue
5. A1 = Red
6. A2 = Brown
7. E = Yellow
8. Common = Orange

The right hand button loom has 9 wires, as follows:
(Common to all the RH switches = Red)
1. B1 = Black
2. B2 = Orange
3. C1 = Yellow
4. C2 = Brown
5. D = White
6. Mode 1 = Slate
7. Mode 2 = Green
8. Mode 3 =Blue
9. Common = Red

Next consideration are the two Saitek pots, X Axis for Alerons, Y Axis for Elevator. See photo:
Image

Next is to prepare the USB controller board: This is the board as removed from the USB unit.
Image

Next I removed the two joy sticks, AND soldered in 5 jumper wires - because connection was previously by the joystick metal bodies.
Image

And now you can see where it is leading, can't you.
The following photo identifies the USB switch positions.
Image

With the exception of the POV wiring and the pots, any of the yoke buttons can really be wired to any of the switches - mapping can be sorted in the FS itself.

But there remains one very important nuisance. :twisted:
These USB controllers can operate in either "switch" or "Analogue" mode and we need to ALWAYS be in analogue mode.
On starting up, they default to switch mode. To switch to analogue mode, there is a small push button
on the front of the controller, and an LED to indicate. (See the very first photo). Problem is this button needs to be a momentarily switch, meaning it cannot be hard wired.
To overcome this, I installed a small N/O pushbutton switch on the side of the Saitek housing, as well as a 3mm hole for the indicator LED.
The switch is then wired to the board as follows:
Image

Image

Next, the quadrant lever unit is now useless as is, so with that I opened it up, cut and rewired the throttle and mixture lever pots to position on the controller boards.
Finally, I positioned the board in position, holding it all suitably in place with some foam pieces;
Image

Final thoughts: It works as well as the original :lol: but one needs to be sure it is switched to analogue mode - caught me out a couple of times. :doh:
And there you go..we're flying again.. <<q
User avatar
Sprocket
2nd Lieutenant
2nd Lieutenant
 
Posts: 292
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:10 pm

Re: How I salvaged my Saitek yoke

Postby Sprocket » Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:33 am

HELP!

I edited one line in the first original posting here, and now I have a repeat of the post, ie double posting. :o

How do I remove the second entry? :?
How do I then edit it again without making a double post again? :doh:

Anybody, thanks..
User avatar
Sprocket
2nd Lieutenant
2nd Lieutenant
 
Posts: 292
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:10 pm

Re: How I salvaged my Saitek yoke

Postby Fozzer » Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:00 am

Sprocket wrote:HELP!

I edited one line in the first original posting here, and now I have a repeat of the post, ie double posting. :o

How do I remove the second entry? :?
How do I then edit it again without making a double post again? :doh:

Anybody, thanks..


You have encountered our "Universal Sim V Post Problem".... :roll: ....
Noticing your daft mistake after about 10 minutes, you suddenly find that your ability to edit the post is no longer allowed...
..and your daft mistake is there for ever and ever, for everyone to see.....and laugh over....into infinity...and beyond!.... :lol: ...!

Been there...every day!.... :lol: ...!

Paul... :lol: ... :lol: ...!
Win 8.1 64-bit. DX11. Advent Tower. Intel i7-3770 3.9 GHz 8-core. 8 GB System RAM. AMD Radeon HD 7700 1GB RAM. DVD ROM. 2 Terra Byte SATA Hard Drive. Philips 17" LCD Monitor. Saitek Cyborg X Fly-5 Joystick. ...and a Briggs and Stratton Petrol Lawn Mower.
User avatar
Fozzer
Colonel
Colonel
 
Posts: 31905
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2002 3:11 pm
Location: Hereford. England. EGBS.

Next

Return to Hardware

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 240 guests