3D Printed Warthog Extension / Shapeways

I really would like to get a HOTAS Warthog extension, but the idea of ordering from Europe with the Canadian dollar exchange rate (1 Euro = 1.52 CAD per google, so the real rate I’d see on a credit card bill would be a bit worse) plus shipping, duties and taxes makes the price a bit much.

I have read on some people 3d printing them with okay results, but I don’t have a printer.
So I decided to see what shapeways could offer. I drew up an 10cm tall extension in AutoCAD Fuzion 360 and added the M36x2 threads (thats based on what info I could find - if it is another pattern please tell me!). Uploaded to shapeways and here is the results (USD I presume):


I’d be a little bit concerned about the plastic strength, to be honest. What would it cost to have a machine shop make an extension to spec?

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I had been thinking the same, but any idea how common is the M36x2 thread is?
If it’s a bit obscure, I would imagine it wouldn’t be cheap.

Should be able to turn just about anything down in a lathe and thread as required. I haven’t worked with a lathe in years but it’d probably only take me about an hour. I see a lot of stuff out there for M36x2 nuts so it can’t be that uncommon of a size.

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If you don’t want to spend a lot of time or money, came across this:

Yes, I have seen that.
US $18 each - on Amazon.ca it’s $42 each :roll_eyes:

Bummer! On the other hand, maybe find a 5/8" garden hose adapter locally and see if the threading matches?

@Wes If you do some searches on Thingiverse and other 3D printing collaboration sites you can find Warthog extension .stl files already made. Not to say yours won’t work fine, but there are designs already made out there, complete with bends and twists, whatever you’re looking for.

I had way better results with the 3D printed items than with the Gardenia adapter. Tried both, threw the Gardenia away.

Any machine shop can turn at whatever thread pitch you want. If I still had a lathe with a big enough chuck I’d turn it for you (down to little mini hobby lathes these days). I guarantee you that if you contact a machine shop (if you have a local community college that teaches shop stuff they’d probably do it for free), and have the pipe the most they’ll charge you is an hour of shop time (as that’s the least amount of time most shops bill for).

Literally, chuck the pipe up, verify it’s sitting true, dial in the thread pitch and spacing on the tool feed, turn on lathe. 15 minutes MAX and that’s if they have to change out a cutter or something. If you are feeding by hand, yes it is a bit more complicated (still not hard though with practice). On the lathes a true machine shop would use, these days you can literally just open a menu, set the threading to cut, and come back to a perfectly threaded piece.

Also depending on what diameter of the pipe is, a threading die might only run $10-$15 USD, and you can thread things to your car heart’s content with just a view to holding the pipe with.

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I sent a request to a local machine shop as well. I’ll see what the quote is.

There’s another gardena adapter available near me, but it’s all plastic and may not have the right thread. Fortunately, it’s $7.

@jenrick I did look for the tap/die - they were $80USD+ anywhere I found them.
The other issue is the pipe needs two diameters, on for the internal thread section and another for the external. Otherwise I’d be happy to clamp a pipe in a vice and do it by hand!

Worst case, I’ll bite the bullet and test my own design via shapeways. If it works, that’d be great. If not, its no worse than if any other solution fails.

I have done this before, what I would recommend doing is finding a tube that would act as the extension, in my case I used a copper tube, and then print two adapters that you can glue to them works perfectly and beats the gardena method, although the swivel of the gardena is really nice, I use that one to connect it to the base.

have you already found a proper electrical cable? That is the trickiest part of this process.

That looks good!
Good idea with the adapter concept, saves a lot of plastic. What size pipe did you choose to work with?

Would you recommend smaller or larger diameter?

I have yet to find the cable, from what I had read a while ago - a PS/2 extension cable can work it may just need a small modification.

Ideally, I am hoping to get a long enough cable that I can use one to try out a few extension lengths. I was thinking of starting with a 10CM extension and going from there.

Hey Wes, you said the extension needs to have two diameters - it does not. Mine is the metal version and it is a straight pipe. I have an 8" extension.

@jenrick - yes, I was in Home Depot and a customer needed some pipe cut and threaded. The HD guy did the cuts and threading on a machine in that isle, no charge for the cuts, just the pipe.


The “second diameter” I speak of must exist.

If the tube matches the outside diameter at the bottom, you would have no thread at the top since it would be inside the tube.

If the tube matches the top diameter, it’s thickness would match the threads at the base and no be able to go around it.

Your extension should have a small “shoulder” like my design, at the top for the upper thread. That portion could be turned on a lathe, down to the major diameter of the threads, then cut with a die. I know this because I accidentally tried to make it a straight tube at first, then realized I had to large a diameter at the top to put the thread. So I cut it down in Fusion to 8CM and made a 2CM upper section and merged the two back into a 10CM part. My upper thread section is a bit overkill in length, as I was just making a rough design.

I could shorten the upper section to just that of the threads - about 1CM. However, I may also draft a design using the top thread sections outer diameter down to the base, and then make an enlarged base section to act as a cap since that would save a lot of plastic. I went with the larger size at first, as I figure more material would make it stronger.

The plastic extensions prolly need an increased diameter on the internal thread end, for strength. I like the idea of getting a local machine shop to cut and thread a metal extension.

I was in the mood to take my cockpit apart. Here is my stick extension.

The threads and ends are pretty sharp. There is a burr at the top of the external threaded end that i will smooth off. Sometimes I will twist the stick left and it comes loose on the extension, maybe that will help.

Great comments here about stick extensions. Does anyone have thoughts on spring alternatives? I have the original black spring, and got a replacement stiff blue spring that came with the extension. Can a spring be made easily in a machine shop? The original black spring is pretty wimpy to use with a long extension imo.

I used a 22mm copper pipe and found some other fittings to mix and match and solder on to have a flared based at the bottom where it meets the joystick base. Really cheap, and strong enough to make any length you want. Mine sits on the floor to act as the perfect helo stick. Although I’ve got a fancy gimbal for the cougar and thus it wont center given the added weight and length of the extension.

I had a hard time finding a proper cable since Thrustmaster appears to be the only one in the world to use this connector, I think it’s a mini DIN-5 or 6, either one of those is barely ever used. I think it’s the DIN 6 of which you then need to change the notch and remove a pin. For me this didn’t work really well since it didn’t sit snugly any more in the connector of the base and would sometimes wiggle loose. I bought some proper plugs from a Chinese website that did sell them(even mouser et al didn’t) and soldered them onto the existing cable. worked out great in the end.

I think there’s this company that will make you a cable at a selected size for the extensions(they also sell extensions) so you could try that if you don’t wanna hack it :wink:

I haven’t had much luck searching for the cable.
It seems to be a Mini-DIN 5.

Mini-DIN 5 extension cable: Nothing.
PS/2 Cable: 6ft or longer.
Mini-DIN 5 plug/socket: No luck yet. Still searching.
Custom cable option: Nothing.

If I find a reliable source, quality solution I’ll offer to sell them as this search is ridiculous. Too bad we aren’t as lucky as our friends in the EU to have relatively local people working on it.

Aliexpress is full of mini din 5 plugs and holes…

If you don’t want to solder them yourself, let me know. I can order a bunch of contacts and make some cables for you.

Edit. Doesn’t look like the link is working. I ordered 10 male and female contacts. If anybody needs a cable, or just the contacts, let me know.