I was on the lookout for proper controllers since I started with the simming hobby 5 or 6 years ago. I went through different sets of controllers of any kind. Never was really satisfied with how they looked,felt and worked. I never liked the of the shelf products in general,though some of them looked nice and worked fine for some years. Finaly my search for a complete setup of Stick,Pedals and Engine controls has come to an end.
First big step was obtaining one of the first MFG Crosswind pedals,which are still going like on day one after more than 3 years of heavy use.
The second milestone was a Flightstick from Baur, a BRD-DS model with a KG12 grip.
The last thing I wanted to replace was the Warthog throttle and my CH Throttle Quadrant. Both of them worked flawlessly for over 4 years,never had a problem with any of them. Though there where some things I always disliked. The CH quadrant has only small leavers with a short travel. And I never liked the look of it.
The Warthog throttle is a really good set up all in all. One thing to dislike where the one way toggle switches on the base,they had not much use ,for me atleast. And as I mostly fly propeller planes the whole feeling of the handles just didn't feel right, don't know how to explain it.
After many months of research and considering,I even thought about converting a real throttle from an aircraft to be used as usb controller. With searches on Ebay and other sites I couldn't find anything that would fit my needs, or within an acceptable price range.
Then around the first half of 2016 I came across a site called spitsim.co.uk. I have seen products from this site earlier in the past already and always was impressed by the products as they looked sturdy and well made,almost like they where from a real Warbird. After some weeks of considering I finaly contacted Mr. Jon Fellows by Email. He was very helpfull and a pleasure to do buissines with. So I went ahead and ordered one of his Spitsim Edge Throttle modules. I wanted it to be customized to accommodate the handle of a Thrustmaster Cougar throttle. I intended to use this grip from a not working Cougar throttle,that I got for very cheap a long time ago and now was collecting dust. Partly I decided for it because I didn't want to lose the buttons and functionality,which the Warthog Throttle handle offered. And for the look,I really like the look of it. On top ,it feels great to finaly not having some plastic grip in hand. I may remove the white writings later on.
The button layout is a bit different from a stock Cougar though, It now has two 4way switches,one of them with additional pushbutton. A rotary encoder with pushbutton, two momentary 2way switches, one pushbutton and an additional switch on the bottom of the grip to center TrackIR.
I added a small console on the side with 2 pushbuttons and a 2way toggle for use as additional controls such as Supercharger,propeller feathering, WEP or whatever applies.
There are still 10 or so inputs left, I have not decided yet where I will put them. I intend to use 6 inputs for another 3 Rotary encoders for use as trim controls.
So after I had setup the first Throttle,which I got around September 2016, I now had proper Throttle and propeller pitch controls. In addition I was using a Saitek
3 lever Quadrant for Mixture and Radiator controlls as the CH one didn't fit in anymore.
I was so impressed by the workmanship of the Spitsim throttle that I decided to go the extra route and ordered another one in October,intended to use for Mixture and Radiator controls. Mid November I got message that the Throttle is ready to ship. We had some troubles with the British Bank and it took almost a month for the payment to arrive. But in the end all went well and the new throttle arrived just right before Christmas. I already made custom handles for the mixture and radiator levers while waiting for the throttle to arrive, and also a new one for the propeller pitch. The handles are easily replaceable,I'm not sure if I really like the yellow one...
Some more details on the controler board. It uses a Leo Bodnar BU0836X where the whole unit is conected to. It sits in a Box and I used some D-Sub connectors to easily connect or disconnect any of the two modules. The axis are working with 50k Ohm sliding potentiometers. Now some may say thats old technics and not very precise,since there are now Hall Sensors etc. With the long travel of the levers it is easy for me to do 1% steps and it feels much more precise and smooth than my Warthog throttle ever did. Also it has no play at all,friction can be adjusted as prefered. Sure, the potentiometers may wear out over time and start to spike. I'm aware of that. But since those are of the shelf sliding potentiometers it is easy to replace them. They can be reached easily by opening up the side covers of the Throttle module.
Okay,now for some pictures...