DIY stuff

I had totally not even thought about using RC components.

If you want to use RC shocks you can find a variety of sizes and tune them to your hearts contents. Metal body shocks are very easy to find, and very durable. You can adjust the viscosity of the fluid in the shocks, the number and size of the holes in the actual piston, shock preload, spring rate, shock shaft size and travel, and a few more things. So really you could tune them to your exact preference.


Great info @jenrick. In my case I went for a ’ cheap ’ solution here as I am still in the prototyping phase with both my cyclic and collective.

So this 4 pack looked like good solution in regards to price, overall dimensions and oc availability. I mounted two of them to the cyclic and the other two to the collective.

The result is that they are little too soft for my collective and little too stiff for my cyclic :slight_smile: So adjustable damping force would be nice.

The other thing is that their all plastic construction ( except the rod ) introduced to my all metal controllers little bit of wobble, what an irony :blush: …but as mentioned, still prototyping.

The largest change you can make to soften them up or stiffen them up would be change the springs out completely. This would be if you wanted a big change. If you’re not running them with the space clips on them already, adding them will stiffen the spring up. So if you went to a softer spring and need it to stiffer, pre-compressing it will overall make it feel stiffer.

Playing with the fluid, piston, etc are for more subtle changes.

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Springs are completely removed on my solution. So no way to adjust them. So yes, next only option is to play with the fluid I guess. And based on the quick guide, coming with the dampers, it is doable.
But for now I solved it a bit by adding some wight to the grip what compensated for the stiffer travel of the stick.

Solved also another problem. Few days ago one of the axes, particularly the collective axis, stared to behave realy weirdly. I wasnt able to calibrate it into some usable state. Sometimes it worked ok, sometimes not.
My first idea was problem with the sensor board, second idea was to replace the original neodymium magnet. Found local store with magnets and bought few. Installed bigger ( = stronger ) magnet and it seems that the collective axis is back in business :slight_smile:

Original magnet was block 7x5x3 mm. Did replace it with disc 8x4 mm.

Funny things happens ! At least to people without knowledge I would say :slight_smile:
In the mean time I did RTFM, unmounted the shocks… when suddenly I tried to unscrew the top cap. Just to check the fluid you know. To my surprise it went easy and to my bigger surprise the shocks were DRY ! I mean there is no fluid = no silicon oil in them. It needs to be filled in first before use. :smile:

The stiffness I experienced was just from the gasket on the shock shaft. Once lubed with droplet of silicone oil the travel suddenly became effortless.

So the next step is to order two types of silicone oil, more viscous one for the collective and less viscous for the cyclic.

@jenrick any recommendations ? All I see on the e-stores is 10WT, 20WT … so I guess lower number = more viscous.

Opposite actually, the lower the number the less viscous. 50wt is about the top end for “normal” motor oil if that gives you a frame of reference. On your piston itself, the number and size of the holes is also going to determine how the damper feels. Large holes/more of them, mean that the piston can move through the oil easier/faster all other things being equal. I’d probably start around 50wt and go from there. Though you might have enough leverage, if you’re running a full length stick, you need to go into the 1K wt range (don’t worry you can get 500,000wt oil if you need it).

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Will come to the rc dampers later @jenrick as I have now more troubles with the electronics. thx anyway

I went into troubles with both my Cobra M5 controllers. All of a sudden the X axis started to behave weirdly. 100% mechanical deflection to one side is translated by the sensor as 75% movement and 75% mechanical deflection to the other side is translated as 100% movement. This happened at the same time on both controllers.

I did some cleaning of my ‘man cave’ yesterday and ran across old MS Sidewinder 2 joy in some DIY state. I disassembled it and kept the electronics.

And today I had an idea. Lets try to connect the MaRS sensor to the Sidewinder electronics. And I did and it works :slight_smile:
My understanding is that Sidewinder has much more robust electronics and better firmware. So I will try to replace Cobra M5 main board with the Sidewinder main board and will test it.

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hey @WhiskyWalker , sorry that I totaly forgot about your request from the DIY gimbal thread. So here it is

bearings are from ebay

I am using at this moment electronics directly from COBRA M5 joystick. It has MaRS / M-Force = Magneto Resistive Sensors coupled with neodymium magnets.
Here is some picture from VKB for ilustration :

But I am under impression that this COBRA M5 main board electronic is not that robust ( firmware or something ) so I am thinking about replacement. There are several options. As mentioned combination of MaRS sensor boards and MS Sidewinder main board or using hall sensor and pcb from TM T16k joy. And last but not least is the option to get in touch with @troll :slight_smile:

Or here some alternative approach from @haukka81

Will see which way will I choose …

I bought this yesterday for the princely sum of 15$. Mint in sunbleached box.

Mesa no needden da TM F18 stick, mesa godden dis hear instad. (Ja Ja Benks)

It is the Gameport version. I don’t really mind as it will probably become the buttonhead for my Right Hand 2x Throttle DIY Collective with a Pro Micro and MMjoy2. We will see what buttonry and pottery I can jam in there.

I opened up the handle to check out the internals and wowsers, it is the first time I have seen a 10mm LED. I am going to replace most of it in there.

My collection of but’s, pot’s n stuf’s is steadily growing and more is on the way.

Happy Simming


Nice find!
I had the Suncom SFS stick and dual throttle, many years ago…
Looking forward to see the progress!

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Same, wish I’d kept both. Gave the stick to a friend and threw out the throttle. D’oh.


It was in a local shop and he have had it since they came out. He has always been catering to the office section, so it has been sitting in the shopwindow for many years. Since I’m a Lefty and it’s a Righty, without any interest from me. It is the only Suncom joystick that I have noticed in Denmark.
Lately I have been looking for donor sticks and throttles mainly for hats, buttons, knobs and anything useful and I rediscovered it.
Whenever I have been reading about Suncom projects, praise have been included, so I thought “What the heck!” and the price was good so i bought it.

Then while reading the TM F18 stick thread, it hit me like lightening, that it could turn out to be perfect for a buttonhead for my collective project.

I have yet to look at the gimbal assembly, but if it can be used for it I will probably lock the side to side movement and use the back and forth axis as the collective axis. I will leave the side to side pot in as a spare for when the back/forth one dies.

I intend to make an extension with the dual throttle assembly (To be designed) and ad a pneumatic cylinder as a “Dont move when I’m not holding” damper.

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Oh man, so sorry. I kept mine. Almost gave it away but when I started seeing modding projects, decided to keep it and some day mod it. Well, that never happened so I decided to keep it as a museum piece. It’s a nice piece of hardware.

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It was about 20 years ago, so who would’ve thought I’d have the skills to rebuild something like that 20 years down the line? Way too young to be thinking about that sort of thing! :rofl:

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Here is mine Talon

I thought about some DIY but as the ergonomics imo is not that great (it is little smaller than RL grip I guess) I think I will also keep it just as museum piece :slight_smile:


The set up is kinda hard to get rid of, isn’t it?

I have the SFS Hawk, bottom-of-the-range, 4-button stick, found on Ebay for £8 a couple of years ago & have similar ideas. I was going to turn it into a replica Hornet/Harrier handle to attach to my Virpil base, but have since aquired the Mongoose T50-CM2 grip that does everything the TM handles do, and more. Since I usually fly in VR, the look of the handle isn’t as important as the layout of the buttons & I can successfully emulate the F-16, F-18, AV-8B & A-10 button layouts all on 1 grip.

So I have the Suncom handle lying idle & a yearning for a collective controller. The grip feels OK in the left hand so I plan to add a couple of ‘real’ 4 or 5-way hats in place of the fake moulded ones there already, then connect them and the original pots & switches to a pro-micro board, then add an axis lock & damper.


saw that extension on ebay lately but after quick search didnt find anything on thingyverse

anyway, in my scrapyard I have stick from Hughes 269. Would like to use only the stick pipe with X55 grip. But there are some technical challenges.
So my X55 is assembled back and I can start to think about the modifications needed. Dont know if it will lead to any final solution though :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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and here is the cyclic without grip already

as you can see, IRL it is not mounted to the floor but rather it is mounted underneath the seat. So I will have to figure out some ‘knee’ to mount it to the joystick base which will be on the floor.

Because I am afraid that the joystick dont sport such stiff spring to hold it in place in case I will mount the base in angle.


That is my experience, don’t forget that the springs will also slowly give way and the new center becomes more towards the weighted part.

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