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.