A couple of key mapping questions: CAGE and DLC thumbwheel

I like to use TARGET instead of the default HOTAS control configuration, because it allows a bit more flexibility and layering of switches and buttons. Since some past aircraft require a pilot to hold the CAGE/UNGAGE button down when using an AIM-9, I frequently get confused as to if it should be programmed as a Pulse or Hold. And I have the same question for DLC thumbwheel. Since it’s a thumbwheel, it should be a Hold, right? TIA

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What’s the DLC?

To the best of my knowledge, CAGE/ SEAM should be a pulse input, and I’m thinking the DLC knurled knob (I just like saying that and haven’t had much opportunity to in years) may also be a pulse input, at least from how I’ve seen (and also from the fact that according to the manual, it doubles as the expendables release). Or maybe it would be pulse when gear == up, and hold when gear == down?

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Dynamic Lift Control. Spoilers above and below the wings that give you pretty much immediate up/ down motion when you move a knob on the stick. Because it seems like sometimes the Tomcat doesn’t want to quit flying (at least in my experience).


Cage seam is on/off AFAIK. DLC is a scroll wheel so a slider axis input works good. You’ll want the DLC activation/countermeasures as a pulse though.

You can map dlc up and down as different keys if you don’t have a slider or wheel on the throttle or stick. In this configuration you need a hold I believe.


Direct Lift Control

Page 192 of the manual, a system using the “two inboard spoiler sections in conjunction with small corrections in the tail stabilizers to control lift”.

Thanks for the answers guys. So CAGE is a Pulse and DLC thumbwheels best mapped to axis or Hold input for button.


So I had a button to activate the DLC on/off (it’s a dual purpose one under the controls, can’t remember what the other control is (edit: looked it up, it shares with pilot countermeasure dispense)?) and then a separate axis wheel for DLC up/down. I don’t think just working the axis is enough, in that you need to hit the DLC button first to toggle it on.

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from the manual

DLC Direct Lift Control

The DLC or Direct Lift Control is used to control vertical glideslope position without pitch control inputs or engine throttle commands. The DLC uses the two inboard spoiler sections in conjunction with small corrections on the tail stabilizers to control lift.

The DLC is engaged by depression of the DLC switch on the control stick with flaps and gear down. This causes the inboard spoilers to extend to half and enables the DLC & maneuver flap command thumbwheel on the control stick to control them.

Rotation of the thumbwheel forwards extends the spoilers towards the max up position, decreasing lift and adjusting glideslope position downward. Rotation of the thumbwheel aft retracts the spoilers towards the flush position, increasing lift and adjusting glideslope position upward.

Another depression of the DLC switch disengages the system.

important things:
• gears down
• flaps down
Press the DLC/CM switch - the spoilers will extend to half, otherwise you will just expense your countermeasures.

With the DLC up/down (press and hold action) you extend/retract fully the spoilers decreasing/increasing the lift generated on the wings. When you let go of the up/down control the spoilers will get back to half-way position.

IIRC you have two bindings for DLC up/down - I have this mapped on my throttle on the same hat with the speedbrake (real tomcat throttle has two way switch for speedbrake in the middle of the “thumb” throttle area) - hat up/down for DLC, hat left/right for speed brake extend/retract. Works really well for me. I’m not even sure if you can map the DLC thumbwheel as an axis, but I might be wrong.

The system really works well, I find myself using only DLC without fiddling the throttle after I achieve good on-speed AoA. Too high - DLC extend, too low DLC retract.


Yep, I don’t use the button assignments for DLC up/down, but use a spare axis wheel on my throttle, it provides an analog DLC up/down. The assignment is in the ‘Axis’ set.


Thanks for rectification. We need the F-14 replica HOTAS now I guess. That dedicated axis on your stick under your thumb would be great but I don’t know if any current joystick available on the market sports one?

Edit: also that weapon selector is cool as hell.


I’m wondering if the thumbwheel is springloaded so it goes back to central position if let go? It is stated that after pressing DLC switch the spoilers will extend to half (you press the switch with your thumb which at that moment is not resting on the thumbwheel)…

I’ll check tonight. I just use it centered (it has a feel notch, so I leave it in the middle) and then I rotate it round up/down as needed and it seems to work. I’m not sure if it is returning position like a spring-loaded style though, but want to check now. :slight_smile:

I mean in a real jet. It will probably be doing what your stick is telling it do to. Unless you are talking about the real thing :grinning:

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I believe the real one is spring-loaded indeed, kinda like the radar elevation on the hornet. On the tomcat, it also controls maneuvering flaps and slats so its nice to have bound.


I think the new Virpil stick has a rotary wheel. I don’t know whether it will be any good for us as it is marketed at the space sim crowd.


But It lacks that weapon selector. How I will be switching to guns (too close for missiles) with that thing?!?

It lists the stick thumb wheel as a scroll encoder. I wonder if that just sends pulses or is actually a spring-loaded wheel?

The real benefit is it fits a warthog base. Is it possible to bind the wheel to middle mouse button /scroll wheel

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Reading this (there’s a PDF in the first post) it seems like the recommendation is to use a HOTAS stick hat up/down to double-up on the maneuvering flaps and DLC up/down controls, as using an axis is sort of confusing. I’ll try that then.



That is a really helpful PDF fearless. So, DLC and maneuvering flaps use the same Hold programmed buttons (using the same H4 buttons on the Warthog stick as the default map, but via TARGET) working as described. Taxing around you can see the maneuvering flaps/slats deploy beginning with flaps up and wing sweep less than 50. Even though they are automatic at 10.5 AOA, it says that they can be deployed manually to help with slow speed intercepts or tanking evolutions.

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