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#3494855 - 01/14/12 02:39 PM Two MS FFB2 merged into one with Cougar Grip
Peter_P Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/05/11
Posts: 63
Loc: Germany
Hi all,

This posting is almost a "copy and paste" of this thread in the DCS forum:
Two MS FFB2 with Cougar Grip and I think this is worth sharing with a greater audience because I'm really,really very satisfied with this controller.
smile

First a video :


(BTW: if you are wondering what it this thing I tilt 90° and use as a collective:
A picture Tale: "Dual Thrust" or "What I did in my Easter Holiday")


Short summary:
I always used a MS-FFB2 for DCS-BlackSchark but I was very unhappy with the lack of buttons on the stick in DCS-a10.

I switched forth and back between the Cougar and the MS-FFB2 - and this was very unsatisfying and I searched for a solution for this lack of button/lack of FFB dilemma...

Finally I found it by digging up this video:
http://www.veoh.com/watch/v16515202T5KXeDX7?h1=Cougar+FFB+Mod

And after some testing... (read more about my first steps here: http://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?p=1304491#post1304491)
...I was not really satisfied with the power of the FFB.






And after I opened my trusty (btw:8 years old) MS-FFB2 for the first time I saw that it might be is possible to attach a second mechanism to it to double the FFB force - so the extended handle will still be hold in place in every situation.

I also found out when DirectX send a FFB command it will executed by every FFB controller you add.
I found it out by moving my MS-FFB2 and saw that the Logitech FBB-steering wheel turned also in the x-axis the same as the joystick...

So I bought the second MS-FFB2 (at a price I don't dare to tell... the seller didn't know what he was offering... - I gave him 10€ extra in the end...).

When you plug in two MS-FFB2 - they will react in sync to a FFB command.
So I realised that I "only" have to reconnect some wires of the second MS-FFB2 to sync both. - at least in DCS-Simulations.

Nice -isn't it ?!

So here is what I did smile :

Here a some photos of the most important steps with explanation so you get a Idea what I have done.
They are not meant to use as a manual and there is no chronological order (!) - it's just how I did it... wink
There are also some steps missing (I just didn't took pictures)
Using the methods / circuits / components / constructions as described in this document is entirely at your own risk.
If you damage your PC / Joystick / Keyboard / Yourself by any of the things I wrote down in this document, it’s NOT MY FAULT.

Snapper reported some problems in IL2 - The both FFB don't work in sync using my method. He will try a different approach using only one FFB circuit board to drive all four motors:
Read more about it here: http://simhq.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/3507325.html#Post3507325




So If you want to build something like this yourself: ask me - and I will try hard to answer! smile

I use a old bass-box of a old 2.1 sound system as casing for the stick.



The dismantled FFB mechanism of both MS-FFB2's



A look inside the casing (bass-) box:



The overall dimensions:



Here you can see how I attached the switch-panel (I used a unused part of the Saitek throttle quadrant - that I use as a Dual-thrust controller ) :



Here is the stick in front of my (also) modified office-chair:



The switch-panel that is driven by the buttons of the two MS-FFB2's



Soldering...



...even more soldering... (I hate this kind of work! biggrin - but it is very important to do it clean with concentration! )




Both FFB mechanism joint together :



Link to the Motor-Mountings:
http://www.conrad.de/ce/de/product/207245/ALU-MOTORTRAeGER-FUeR-BRUSHLESS-MOTOREN
They just fit perfect and assure that the gears are already in the right distance!



View it from each side:





The baseplate's came in handy... :



How I solved the "no more room for tools left inside the box" problem:


















Edited by Peter_P (01/31/12 04:37 AM)


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#3494856 - 01/14/12 02:40 PM Re: Two MS FFB2 merged into one with Cougar Grip [Re: Peter_P]
Peter_P Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/05/11
Posts: 63
Loc: Germany
Here you can see what holds every thing in "balance" and helps the motors to hold the heavy stick in place :



Tip how to calculate the needed counterweight:


That is tight....and chaotic! biggrin
(don't worry... - I haver already taped everything together and the gears are not distributed by the wires - but don't have a picture.)



almost forgot ....



But It just fitted !!! ( the controller board of the TM-Cougar is behind the wooden plate in the middle)
All held reliable together by Velcro!
From the board goes a 5-pin cable through the FFB mechanics, to the s-shaped tube, into the metal joint of the TM-Cougar that connects to the cougar grip.



Scrapyard ...!:




Very Important thing:




Very important but isn't shown:

To make both MS-FFB work together in sync you have to mirror the X and Y axis of the second (the lower one) FFB-Mechanism.
That means you will have to swap the cables for both potentiometers and also swap the cables for both motors. (what is connected to + has to be connected to the - ).

Potis for X/Y axis : swap the brown and the orange wire(leave the red one as it is) and also connect x to y and vice versa.
- do the same with the wires for the motors.

And I also extended every wire so I could connect everything back together in the end.
I also used hot-glue/lock-tight on every screw/nut - so It can't get loose when the motors vibrate.

The controller- boards are simply hold by hook and loop fastener sticky-pads - so It is easy to maintain (If needed) and so it was easy to put them inside the box. As you can see - there is no more room left (not even a screwdriver ) - so Velcro was the best and only solution.

In DCS I only have asigned the x/y axis of the upper MS-FFB2.

Edit:
Before this question(s) arise again I will post a PM conversation:
Originally Posted By: PeterP

Originally Posted By: anonymous
I have been outbid on the last 5 MICROSOFT SIDEWINDER FORCE FEEDBACK 2 off eBay. Sorry caps it was a copy paste. I'm getting frustrated. If I'm going to go try FFB I want something that really kicks.

What I want to know is how much pressure does your mod give you on the stick? I was thinking of buying a logictech g940 and was wondering how you would compare it. Also, how good are the pots on your Microsoft stick? Any spiking?

Thanks in advanced

It has more than enough punch now and I'm very satisfied- just watch the last seconds how the stick "kicks"back to the center again after I exit the FFB-test program :http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=GwvbxT0JNmc#t=80s

and keep in mind that the handle weights about 0,7kg (1.5 lbs) and there is also a counterweight of 1,5 kg (3.3 lbs) inside the box.

I can't really talk/comment about the g940 and compare (I had it only 4 days and I was very disappointed of the overall performance - this was 1,5 years ago). The force was a little weaker to a MS-FFB2 if I recall correctly.

The potis of the MS-FFB2 are really OK - and I don't want to change them - I'm able to fly very stable/precise I and have also no problems doing AA-refuelings in the A-10c.
Watch this track if you need a proof : http://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?p=1358180#post1358180
This was recorded witch a single MS-FFB2 but there is no lack in Precision with my mod. - It is even better now because I have the stick now extended. And with this longer throw I'm able to make much finer adjustments.


Edited by Peter_P (01/29/12 05:34 AM)

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#3496165 - 01/16/12 05:35 PM Re: Two MS FFB2 merged into one with Cougar Grip [Re: Peter_P]
Renic Offline
Member

Registered: 08/24/11
Posts: 161
Loc: Southern California
Nice job! Mods like this get me all excited!
_________________________
"He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither." - Ben Franklin

"I won't bow out bravely. I'll be kicking, screaming, fighting. To the end."

"I'm throwing Pit Building against the wall to see what sticks!"

Renic's Simpit blog

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#3496203 - 01/16/12 06:32 PM Re: Two MS FFB2 merged into one with Cougar Grip [Re: Peter_P]
HitchHikingFlatlander Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/06
Posts: 3831
Loc: California
Wow now that is a stick MOD! Nice work Peter and thanks for the detailed write up.
_________________________
www.DCS-Mercenaries.com

A casual west coast Black Shark/A-10C Squadron always looking for extra pilots and good times!

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#3496416 - 01/17/12 03:58 AM Re: Two MS FFB2 merged into one with Cougar Grip [Re: Peter_P]
VO101MMaister Offline
Member

Registered: 10/08/10
Posts: 167
Loc: Haugesund, Norway
now, that is a very inspiring mod! Thanks for sharing!:)

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#3496583 - 01/17/12 11:42 AM Re: Two MS FFB2 merged into one with Cougar Grip [Re: Peter_P]
Hoplite Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/02/11
Posts: 91
This gets me all tingly inside. I wonder if there is a way to do this to the warthog but retain the warthog's base. Hmmmmm.......me thinks I'll need to start thinkin' about it. smile

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#3496617 - 01/17/12 12:39 PM Re: Two MS FFB2 merged into one with Cougar Grip [Re: Peter_P]
Peter_P Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/05/11
Posts: 63
Loc: Germany
Hi Hoplite,
no need to change something at the warthog at all ...!

When you have done a similar stick-base like I with the MS-FFB2's you only need something like this:

at the end of the extension (I of course used the old connection of my Cougar base) - goggle for "gardena" hosepipe adapters...
(you can see them in the first post on the third image)
and than you need only a male/female 5-pin mini-din wire from the grip to the base of your warthog.


I made my wire-connection 1,5m long - so I will have no problem to "upgrade" to a TM-Warthog grip without changing a single thing.

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#3499980 - 01/21/12 12:06 AM Re: Two MS FFB2 merged into one with Cougar Grip [Re: Peter_P]
NamelessPFG Offline
Member

Registered: 09/22/07
Posts: 731
This mod makes me wish for a second SWFFB2 and a Warthog stick handle to make my own variant of this. It's just that good. Amazing work!

But knowing myself, I'd never get around to it...

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#3501524 - 01/23/12 06:36 AM Re: Two MS FFB2 merged into one with Cougar Grip [Re: Peter_P]
SAPPER Offline
Member

Registered: 12/28/06
Posts: 251
Loc: Portugal
It's FREAKING BRILLIANT! Now I have to start looking for a couple o MSFFSWs!

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#3506185 - 01/29/12 02:34 AM Re: Two MS FFB2 merged into one with Cougar Grip [Re: Peter_P]
SAPPER Offline
Member

Registered: 12/28/06
Posts: 251
Loc: Portugal
Ok got my self two used MS FF2 SWs. Just ran some flights in IL-2 with them, they appear to be in tip-top conditon. I had never flown with one and it's incedible how much diference they make on a sim such as IL-2 1946. I'm formating my Desktop right now, but I can't wait to try them in Rise of FLight, my unmodded cougar is a bit.... bad for that.
Now it's modding time! I have a little diferent Idea for an aproach though. I intend to keep my cougar base intact (mostly) with it's electronics still inside it, then I'll just try to run the 5 wire cable from the FF assemlbly and plug it to the cougar base. And whenever I want to fly Falcon 4 BMS I'll re-atach the cougar to it's base wich I plan to MOD with this http://www.viperpits.org/smf/index.php?action=forum I think you have to be registred at ViperPits to see the download link though.

That way I plan to have the best of both worlds whenever situation call it for.

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