Thrustmaster Warthog HOTAS - Overview & Impressions

A new Mudspike article published at: http://www.mudspike.com/thrustmaster-warthog-hotas-overview-impressions/

Guest Contributor Alex “Hobbnob” Hobbs takes a look at the Thrustmaster Warthog and gives us some of his impressions…   Over the past few weeks I’ve been taking a look at the venerable Thrustmaster Warthog HOTAS system, kindly provided by the guys at Thrustmaster. (Note: Getting free stuff does not mean I will cover up…

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Thanks for that @Hobbnob - beautiful photography!

Well done, @Hobbnob! I second @fearlessfrog’s comment: those are some nice photos!

The default spring tension on the Warthog is definitely a helo-pilot killer. Once I got DCS Huey, I just couldn’t maintain a hover with any amount of curve adjustment.

However, I ended up performing a little surgery and swapped out the spring. This completely changed the feel of the stick response and I can fly helos with it without a problem now, and it’s still just fine for flying the A-10C or other aircraft.

The slew stick can also be troublesome. It would be nice to have a better sensor there (and an actual axis input on the paddle switch instead of a toggle button!), but it’s not terribly difficult to correct with some tweaks to the axis curves/deabands/saturations.

Apart from that damn slew control that is.

That is so true.

I love my Warthog and I have been tempted to get a second one, fearing what might happen when I wear out the one that I have. I dearly hope/wish that Thrustmaster is working on a Hornet stick to go with DCS: F-18C. If not, I may just buy a second Warthog.

I have previous used Saitek X45s and various CH Products devices … all of which are good but the Warthog is, by far, the best.

I have seen a mod whereby you 3d print a replacement part for the slew control, making it more in line with what is on the actual A-10C throttle. When my co-worker brings the 3d printer back into the office, I intend on trying this out (assuming my bank account can absorb the damage of my breaking it :smile:)

Nice article, Hobbnob! Yes, it would be nice to have throttle overlays for the different aircraft.

My two Warthogs are paired with Saitek Combat Pro rudders. Rudder control and toe brakes are great to have at my feet.

WC

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Nice write up! I agree that the index finger slew control is not up to par with the rest of the hardware. After setting it up after Ralfi’s guide (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nky6dI5kGRk) I found it a bit less cumbersome to control.

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I’ve seen blank PDF’s somewhere online, and I’ve seriously thought about putting the time into creating my own- all the more reason to buy a printer for home.

Excellent write up, Alex. I agree with everything you posted, especially the bit about the eraserhead slew control. Why couldn’t TM just have used the same microstick from the Cougar?

Regarding helo control, the hog is a bit stiff, but I have it working well for the Ka-50 even without the autopilot channels engaged. It’s a matter of getting used to it. One thing I’ve done for the Mi-8 and UH-1 is pick up a Sidewinder FFB2 stick and use that as the cyclic while using the WH throttle as the collective. This gives me the ideal trimming situation for a helo while allowing precision collective input and good buttons on the throttle.

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Welcome to Mudspike @HomeFries!

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Anyone have a suggestion for an add on rotary control or two? I tried a Griffin Power Mate which did not show up as an available axis in DCS. Looked at the 3dConnection stuff, too, but was told these return to center when released. I miss having controls for the F-15C Antenna and Elevation.

WC

I have one of the 3dConnection controllers. Think of that as a 3D joystick - it acts like a regular joystick with twist in all 3 directions and translate in all 3 directions (in addition to the 2 tilt directions it adds a third). But, like you mention, all of these recenter.

From what I’ve read by other people, a stick extension should help a lot with helicopters.

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I can confirm that after installing 12 cm extension i can land and hover huey on a moving train…with 30 degree crab angle…i can also confirm that you can glue a piece of round sand paper on slew control for better precision. And in the end i can tell you that after 3 years of use my stick broke after ipad fell on it…now i am in dire need of replacement part…the metal part that is used to connect stick to the unit base is of a low quality zamak metal and it breaks easily.

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I flew the Warthog last night for the first time in a couple weeks. My throttle slew was working fine, here are the settings for both:
Deadzone: 5, Sat_X: 100, Sat_Y: 40, Curve: 21.

WC

You can check this link if you need replacement part tail piece for warthog.


I bought the metal one and it works

What is a ‘tail piece’?

Great review, cant fault any of it and photography is brilliant.

Had My Warthog to replace my ageing Cougar not long after it was released and its never been a problem hardware wise, even when I made an error flashing the firmware once. I studied the instructions again and did things exactly as described and the flash went OK … this is one area you need to be careful on as I’ve read quite a few posts over the years where users think a flash has turned their hardware into useless paper weights … I bet they are recoverable.

Not sure what the latest version of firmware is offhand, but I don’t think its been upgraded for a long time.

I bought a mid size extension for the stick recently and now that I’m getting used to it and have the stick at right hight there is no going back.

Taulpiece is metal part that holds upper part of stick connected to base…it broke on mine