Another Southland resident I see getting finicky on HOTASability
What is it about us SoCal folks that we demand the best ? Before I answer, here is my setup:
As you can see, I run the Fighterstick/Pro Throttle/Pro Pedals at home, and I have tried at work (or in the digital media lab below our lab) the TM Warthog, Saitek X-52 and X-65, the Logitech G940 and the venerable TM Cougar, which means...... CH stuff comes out on top for me. You ask about negatives ?, here they are :
1 - The CH Pro Throttle does not come stock with rotary dials to use for trim or prop pitch. And that sucks donkey dcks if you like to duel people, like I do. You can have Ken (531 Ghost) add this for you in a custom mod called the Franken Potato, which rocks, but it adds to the cost of the Pro Throttle obviously.
2 - CH engineering/management is not willing to listen to the need for slight revisions to the main HOTAS products.
3 - There is not a margarita dispenser port in the back of the CH Fighterstick.
That being said, some strengths would be:
1 - Stellar build quality. I actually use different joysticks with macaque monkeys that I trained to ram people (using neural implant chips (no.... lol, I am not making this up) and here is how long they lasted as comparison:
Logitch 3D Pro - 3 days until roll axis broke
TM Cougar (stock) - 4 days until pot damaged, at day 8, bent metal frame of the stick
Saitek X-52 (non-pro) - 2 weeks until twist axis (yaw) broke
Logitech G940 - 3 1/2 weeks until the monkey tore up the force feedback motors
Saitek X-65 - Monkey could not figure it out and pi$$ed on it. Will not touch it
CH Flightstick - Made it to seven months before monkey broke a hat switch
CH Fighterstick - still going strong (although the red button on the back is slightly weak)
2 - Fast phone support - You call... a real human often answers and bam, you problem often gets solved in less than 5 minutes.
3 - Same for forums - You have Ken above, plus Bob Church, Revvin, Michael... deep knowledge base.
4 - For a gaming HOTAS , light spring tension. If you go on a long 3 hour real-time mission in LOMAC, Falcon or IL2 and make it back to base, your arm does not hurt like with the Cougar and X-65 (which has no movement, but still your body feels as if it should move). Fighter sim jocks complain about this, but try it for a few days and then you will see ,.... big positive.
5 - Still the best software. If you like programming as I do, you can probably use CH Control Manager to telerobotically remove your significant other's underwear. Target is not bad, but still cannot hang with CM 4.51.
The weakest aspect of the CH line is the pedals, which are too narrow (especially for home cockpit builders who want the center mounted floor stick). If CH would just use a modern CAD program to update their line a little bit and redo the pedals, add duel throttle handes, some rotaries for the throttle, .....Warthogs everywhere would be going back in the closet.
S! - WD