The 5 stages of hardware loss

So I thought I would share my little adventure with my x55 I embarked on recently. Full disclosure, I love my x55, its worked like a dream for the most part with only one real issue I ran into (before this) with the VEAO Hawk. Otherwise I love the stick, and would recommend it to anyone. That said, let me take you on my journey of hardware loss.

Stage 1: Denial
It was a nice quiet evening, the little one was fully engaged with her iPad, the wife was fully engaged with… err wife stuff… I don’t exactly remember, but apparently she wasn’t bugging me. You might think that meant I was knee deep in DCS World, but no, I have an problem, the problem is War Thunder gives me bonuses each consecutive day that you log in… so I must not forget to login (currently I am at day 100 something)! I generally play with the tanks, but this night I was taking my old Lancaster out for a bombing run. I love bombing. I sit back, launch the game… and my bomber begins to climb… and climb… strange. I cant stop it from climbing. Stupid WT must have messed up my controls again. Dammit… so I drop to the menu, check controls. They are fine.
SO now the plot thickens… my, just under year old, x55 isn’t responding, well the guns do, the POV switches, the throttle, everything is good. But not the X & Y axis. What the heck… its not broken though, my stuff never breaks, its always those guys on the forums breaking their stuff, it couldn’t happen to me!
I exit out to windows, I run through the usual gauntlet of troubleshooting that my many many years of simming has instilled in me… still, nothing. I uninstall, I take apart, I clean, I change USB ports, I mutter bad words quietly under my breath, but none of the usual stuff seems to work. Damn.

Stage 2: Anger
I couldn’t believe it, I have never had a stick die on me, this thing isn’t even a year old. I tell myself there were no signs of it, but I know there were, the stick slowly had issues staying centered. It was getting worse. I scoured the Mad Catz website looking for the magical fix. Nothing… Argh! I know what I must do now, something no man is willing to do without a fight. I have to ask Tech Support for answers. June 13th the initial email goes out. June 14th, I get the auto reply. June 15th, 16th, 17th… nothing… Finally June 18th an answer!. I wont post the answer here, instead you can go read all the things I already did, that’s what they asked me to do. I do them again… argh… of course they don’t work.

Stage 3: Bargaining
I send back a reply later that night, none of that worked. I try to make sure they know, I am ready, I have my trusty tool box right here, tell me what to rip apart, or splice, or hit with a wrench. I can fix it! Next day. “Attached is your RMA” Man, that’s no fun… Grab a box, some bubble wrap and off to the post office I go. I Make sure to get a tracking number, and I eagerly watch to make sure it delivers. July 3rd, delivery. Now I wait.

Stage 4: Depression
July 4th, 5th, 6th… It delivered, I know it delivered. But not a peep. Feels like its been years since I had my x55, now I am relegated to my old Thrustmaster. July 7th I send out another email, did you get it? What’s up, please confirm that you got it. July 8th, the response is, can we have your tracking number… ugh, what does that mean, did they lose it? I wait some more… July 9th. I get a message from someone else. “We have placed an order for your x55, currently the items is back ordered but we should be getting a shipment in a couple of weeks”

Stage 5: Acceptance
I have come to terms with the whole ordeal, the support has been decent, I mean its pretty canned responses, but I expect that for the most part anyways. They didnt put up a fight, of course the stick wouldn’t show any signs of abuse. The last time I tried to abuse a controller is punching a Microsoft FFB steering wheel… which really hurt, so I don’t do that anymore. So I wait.
July 31, didn’t they say two weeks? What the heck! I send off a new email. Any update on this? Its been over two weeks! (ok barely… I might have jumped to acceptance too soon!).
August 5th, Sitting down at Red Robin for the step daughters birthday dinner, wife gets a text from her son. A box has arrived for me, its on my chair. Finally, it’s arrived. I set it up, noting all the dust on my poor x55 throttle compared to the shiny clean stick and get her fired up. I feel complete again. Back in the DCS Me 109K-4… feels good to be back.

Conclusion
All in all, it was a pretty good experience from support. Looking back on it now, it really wasn’t that long, and might have been shorter had the stick not been back ordered. Reflecting on it, I saw early warning signs I probably just decided to ignore or accept as normal. The stick didn’t hold center very well, now I had been flying the DCS Me 109K-4 a ton, so if you are familiar with that bird, a centered stick doesn’t do you much as you are holding it slightly forward anyways. When I did calibrate, it would be fine for that use, but then go back to the off center position. I should have opened a ticket then, even just to have a paper trail (do they have a new term for paper trail when there is no paper?) on it.

I really do love the stick, I am glad to have it back, and still am happy that I got it. Even after this small hiccup.
Morale of the story… dont accept anything short of how its supposed to work! This worked out as it was still under warranty, but it might have held out longer (past the warranty period) and I would have been screwed. This time it worked out well.

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Nice - I am so bad at sending things back. I’ll go to great lengths to rationalize why I should just buy the better thing I had my eye on before I got this cheaper thing first. I use the fact that the first thing broke to justify spending more the next time around… :smile:

I’ve too had an ok Saitek support experience, in that they didn’t magic away the issue but did at least always reply and I got to speak to someone that sounded human (well, more than me anyway). The one thing the Google’s/Valve’s of this world have given us is terrible expectations of customer support…

Incidentally, the word on the street (hmm, the joystick driver street underground is not that established really) is that there is a new Windows 10 Saitek X-55 driver on the way that will help with a bunch of things, including the ‘Hawk Issue’. Fingers crossed…

I suffer the same affliction. I’d rather go drive to Best Buy and buy something new rather than box something up and go to UPS.

Tl:dr - I’m lazy.

My funds flow requires me to not be lazy on this subject, now if it would have been out of warranty, then maybe I would have opted to go in a different direction. :smile:

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I am not sure I could spend a month without flight hardware! Good to hear Saitek RMA’d it though. I am so far out of warranty on my Thrustmaster HOTAS that I would be going through those stages with different results, I am sure :smile:

Hehe, I know that. I think I actually never sent anything back.
In the case of my trusty old G940 the story went like this:
I noticed a spike in one of the rotaries pretty early, after 1 year or so.
I kept denying it was actually bothering me for more than a year after that. So I could say “yeah, it has an issue, but well, no sending it back now!”
Then I broke the seal and replaced the cable myself. I am still using that stick, I like it very much.
Half a year later one of the toe brakes died. I replaced the pedals with Saitek ones.

Concerning support I was actually not very happy with that of Thrustmaster. What a ball of BS. I have to register to get a telephone number or even an email-adress? Really?? Sucks. Did it anyway. It took me two or three weeks to explain them I had tried anything they sent me and the stick was really not working. Then they finally replaced it. I didn’t send it back. I pursuaded my mother to do it. :smiley:
(no, it is not what it looks like. It was my father’s stick. He also flies DCSW.)

I do have to say, thinking about this, support is really in a tough spot from the get go though, I mean most likely anyone seeking support is already pissed off or frustrated. Not too many people contact support to tell them how much they enjoy their product I am sure :smiley:

And they have to go through the basics, even if you already know all of that and have already… oh wait, I didn’t think of that combination.

They don’t really want to be in that process any more than you do :slight_smile:

As a developer who is sometimes ordered to do support duty I can only agree, it is a tough job. I am happy I don’t have to do it that often. If I have to it normally happens when everything the normal support guys can do doesn’t help.

What bothers me most about support (and what also bothered me most about TM support) is when they make you jump through hoops before you can even get support.

That’s the nature of the game, like when you call an IT guy and he asks if you have tried rebooting… its a law or something :wink:

I’m sorry to revive this thread but… hell it happened.
I just lost my trusted HOTAS warthog stick.
The frigging headphones cable gripped some element of the base while I was getting up from the chair, pulled hard and snapped the stick in half.
It’s 1.30 AM here so pictures will have to wait tomorrow.

It’s the metal pipe segment that connect the stick top you grip to the head that holds the connector (that screws in the bottom black stubby cylinder that holds the HALL sensor)

The damage wouldn’t be too bad is if wasn’t for the part that’s actually broken- it’s the part that has to bear the biggest brunt of the stick force.
Can’t glue it- it’d simply break again. Also a black wire has snapped too.

I’m feeling sick and nervous- I lost it and I can’t fix it.
Got to try and go to bed.

I’m in a tight spot since the last year- financially speaking. I’m kind of sure my simming days are over; for quite a while.

'night.

EDIT: Just like this. Catastrophic Failure of the Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog Flight Stick - Disassembly and Diagnosis E1 - YouTube

I can likely send you mine. I have my stick mounted to the Gunfighter pro and don’t need it. I can’t see me going back to the Warthog base. PM me your address.

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Are you serious?!

I’m … speechless…
Let me sleep on it.

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Yup. That specific part is just sitting in a box for the past 6 months. It’s is yours :slight_smile:

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What happened is this:

The video I posted earlier shows how to dismount the thing and remove the broken piece.
I’ll see if it can be somehow salvaged…
We’ll see.

@Fridge: PM inbound

What about trying somthing like this

That’s the sort of thing I was looking for! Now I just have to find a shop in Italy that sells it.
Luckily it’s not that hard.
I’m just a tad worried about the aftermath resistance / tensile strength.

First of all I have to dismount the thing completely and remove that piece.

But before that there’s an awful lot I gotta do…

Well that is solid timing. I feel for you.

Shaking my head over TM though. How badly cracked does that part have to be that you can shear it with a headphone cable?

Oh man that sucks! :frowning:
Good luck fixing it some way!

Not quite sure, as I’ve never taken the handle apart, but I think it’s this part here that has broken?
No idea how sturdy those 3d printed parts are, but I see there’s a metal option too.
Might be worth a try?