I wanted to give a mini-review of the BrunnerDX software for the Brunner series of Force Feedback devices. The Brunner hardware, specifically the CLS-E, is a very nice force feedback stick, but it’s not cheap. Worse, it does not support native DirectX force feedback effects, but instead relies upon native plugins for FFB input from DCS, X-Plane and MSFS. It has zero support for Il-2 BOS.

I stumbled upon BrunnerDX over at the DCS forums. An enterprising individual wrote software that, when combined with an Arduino Micro, sends the proper DirectX signals to Brunner devices. Better still, other than plugging the Arduino Micro into your computer, there’s no hardware, wiring or soldering required. The BrunnerDX software even contains the firmware for the Arduino.

For DCS, this means full FFB effects, across the range of modules. Physical control movement with trim, stick shake at stall, stick shake with guns, force trim for helicopters, and stick forces in relation to airspeed.

For Il-2, you gain all of the above as well (maybe not trim movement, I’ll have to check).

The control loading with airspeed and stick shake at stall are amazing, especially for the warbirds. Also, the trim effects prevent autopilot issues where the hardware trimmed position was out of sync with the software control forces, causing issues enabling trim (I’m looking at you, Hornet).

The only negatives to it are that you have to map the Arduino X and Y axis in game, so it’s one more input device in the list, which can be a factor for simulators that have a limit on input devices (Il-2: 8x). Also, the native Brunner software has some powerful force gradient and profile management features.

If you have a Brunner device, do yourself a favor and check out BrunnerDX immediately: GitHub - jmriego/brunnerdx: Access your Brunner joystick as a DirectX with FFB

I really enjoyed my CLS-E before, and it’s twice as good now. If you’ve already shelled out the cash for a Brunner device, throw down another $20 for an Arduino Micro to go with it.


Now this makes the Brunner Stick climb on my ladder…!

You wrote a review of the stick, didn’t you…?

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Dammit, @SierraAlphaMike!
You’re pushing me into the Brunner Rabbit hole…! :wink:

Are you using an extension with your base? Which grips have you tested?

If using a Virpil grip, will the proportional axes like the brake lever function as an axis, or does it function as a button, like when using the Virpil grip on a thrustmaster base?

Correct! I have a Virpil Mongoose CM2 on a 10cm extension. At this point, I’ll say my only complaint is that the maximum force that the CLS-E can sustain is not as much as the control forces experienced in an actual aircraft (in my experience). It will do it for a short time, before the motors go into a hard coded cooldown mode. Not a huge issue for me. I have the force dialed down a touch, and it’s only during prolonged maneuvering against trim in aircraft like the Hornet that I occasionally hit the cooldown override.

I am intrigued by the Rhino FFB advertised on the other forums. I’m on the wait-list to potentially order a ready built base, but they offer a DIY option that is right up your alley. Or, you can drop some serious cash for the Brunner CLS-P (I might have the acronym wrong, it’s whatever their professional product is with much stronger motors).

Typing from my phone. I can elaborate later from a computer if you want!

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And the brake lever functions as an axis?


Please tell me more, when you have the time!

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FWIW, pertaining to haptic feedback…

Wild thought here, and it’s not exactly force feedback, but -IF- you have the proper setup such as a fixed cockpit enclosure (I think you do) have you thought about adding a small transducer underneath where your joystick is attached?

A lot of assumptions here but I experimented with this once by placing a small puck under the slide-out piece that my stick was mounted to. Ended up taking it all down since I am cramped for space but while it didn’t of course provide force to the stick I could feel all the other goodies somewhere other than my seat, esp the ‘stall’ effect.

60-second scratchpad:

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Yeah, that could be cool… :thinking:

Old pics, but I do something similar with a pair of ButtKickers:


That Rhino FFB base has matured a lot since I first heard of it…
I joined their discord channel.

Regarding the CM2 on the CLS-E base, affirm, the brake axis works. I’ve tried the TM Warthog and F/A-18 grips and the Virpil CM2, F-14 and B8 style grips. All work great. The weight of the TM grips are a bit of an issue on an extension. It’s really only an issue with helicopter force trim. The motor is just strong enough to hold them in place at large displacement from center, but there’s a bit of a “wobble” when you engage the force trim as the motors take up the slack. Again, only an issue if you’re trimming the stick in a position that’s drastically displaced from center. The Virpil sticks are light enough it’s not an issue.

I have one complaint with the CM2, and it’s unrelated to the CLS-E, but I don’t like the way the fold down trigger works. It has a button press when its down and pressed, and a button press when you move the trigger from stowed to down, and vice versa. My VKB was much better, with a button press in stow, a button press in down, and then a third press when the trigger is pressed. The VKB grip is perfect for the Viggen trigger. The CM2 is not as good, as sometimes it gets confused between down and up. All the more reason I want to see the Trogen/Vigroll stick get finished ::nudge nudge::!

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Looks like Brunner has now DirectX FFB
see on there website


Hey @petburira and welcome to Mudspike! :mudspike:

That does indeed sound interesting!
I will have a look…

Here’s the news:

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Nice! I’ll have to give it a shot this weekend. I’ve been really happy with my Arduino Micro addon delivering FFB effects in DCS and Il-2.


Please do and report back!

I am this close to ordering…

Season 9 Episode 22 GIF by Friends

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Giving it a shot now!

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Downloaded and installed the latest CLS2Sim software and the Brunner USB Config application. CLS2Sim works fine, but USB Config won’t recognize my CLS-E. No native FFB effects when I run DCS, either. Finally, the forums have a WordFence blocker that is preventing me from accessing, so I’m unable to troubleshoot.

All in all, no joy from Bunner, but my Arduino FFB device is working perfectly still.

@Troll The only thing keeping me from telling you to press Purchase right now is the Rhino FFB device. I was on the waiting list for purchase (I thought) but have heard nothing for months. I love the CLS-E, I just wish it had 3x the control force (and the CLS-P is far too expensive for me).

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And you have firmware v639 installed?

Probably not. I haven’t updated the firmware in quite a while. I’ll have to send a note to their support email as I can’t access the forums.

I tried to register on their forum yesterday, but never got past the re-captcha check…
I didn’t know I’m a robot…! :robot: :wink:

Support request email sent. We’ll see what I get back.

As I said, my stick is still working great with the little arduino add-on box. I can see now why people never want to leave their Sidewinder FFB2 sticks behind, it’s hard to go back after having stall shake effects, let alone force trim for helicopters.