I havn't had much flight time today, in fact, it was probably less than 5 minutes all up, and even that was just to test my work.
I have two early sidewinder joysticks. One of these is the original Sidewinder 3D Pro, and the second is the next model up, which I grabbed from the Salvation Army shop for 3 bucks. The problem with both of these sticks is that while the springs on the x,y, and rudder axes are still firm, there is a huge amount of play or slop in the centre zone. Just touching the stick is enough to knock it out of true. The slop is also uneven, so it will move one cm left before resistance starts but only .5cm to the right. Similar problems plagued the up/down axis, and the rudder too.
I recalled reading a site a long time ago detailing how to maintain the stick and correct these problems. While I have been (till now) skeptical about how effective this would be, I was getting more and more frustrated with the stick and decided to give it a crack.
I pulled the 3D pro to pieces, applied grease to the moving parts, popped a few base buttons back into alignment, created a washer out of stiff clear plastic, and screwed the elderly beast back together.
At this stage, even before I had tested it I was amazed with the results, all the slop in the centre zone had gone, and the movements on all axes were much more free. Letting go of the stick at any point shot it back to centre, and from the windows calibration ap, it looked like the centre stayed the same each time.
The real test was in firing up FS9 for a few minutes. Even in the Bell, which as you may note in earlier posts, I have been having endless trouble trying to keep steady, in a hover the nose of the heli pointed staight forward and only raised or lowered when I told it to. I drifted dorward at a very slow rate and was able to change this to a backward drift deliberately.*
I do need to check that in going back to the old stick that the sensitivities have not gone back to the default.
This is the link to the instructions for this repair.
[EDIT] I went back into FS9 and reset the sensitivities. The results are still incredible. I was able to make the smallest adjustments to my pitch with no problem at all.
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