VKB-Sim Gunfighter (Pro) Bundle Review

hotas

#1

Originally published at: http://www.mudspike.com/vkb-sim-gunfighter-pro-bundle-review/

Disclosure: Images that appear in this article were taken from one of three sources: vkbcontrollers.com website/store marketing materials, an Imgur album that rrohde (maintainer of vkbcontrollers.com) released when he received his first copy of the final product or from photos I have taken for this article. Also, I am neither a great, good or okay photographer…


#2

It’s the Late Summer of HOTAS’s here at Mudspike! (I just made that up).

Nice review @Fridge, and am now in some serious wallet staring with the October 1st pre-order of the Modern Combat Grip coming up. If I ever can’t refuel in the Su-33 I now know the reason is because I have the wrong stick. :wink:

Does anyone know if VKB ever plan to do throttle units as well (as in, if I’m going to remortgage the dog, I might as well go full on 40 year loan term)?


#3

Nice review Fridge! In a week hopefully I can add more fuel to the neo HOTAS revival that this year has been when I get home and get my VPC Mongoose set up!

Slightly jelly of the pro version of the MCG grip and its four freaking hats/ministicks with Z-axis.


#4

There is. I believe that it is the next product in the design queue after the Modern Combat Grip (and the left hand/space sim variants).

I found the feature list for the VKB-Sim Vintage Throttle Control System here: https://vkbcontrollers.com/?product=vkb-throttle-quadrant. It is looking like a two axis throttle (2 engine) with a “swapable grip design” with some “modular options”. I think that it is not going to happen ‘soon’ (ie: 2017) but likely a product for 2018. The “Vintage” part, combined with the “modular options” and “swapable grips” has my imagination all in a frizzy.

Obviously we will see more when it gets closer to release.


#5

Good article!

You mention the older VKB sticks and I noticed a typo somewhere where you wrote «mambo» where it should be «mamba».

Perhaps add some superlatives like «super», «awesome» or «outstanding» when you mention my review… :wink:


#6

Well done, nice review.

VKB Device Config allow much more than update firmware and settings like deadzone, e.g.

  • Allow set custom curves
  • Helicopter trim freezing the axes in a given position by press a button.
  • “Cheat” trim like aileron trim in Bf 109 under button press
  • Shift and Sub-shift modes
  • Button to axis and axis to button
  • Physical axis to virtual axis
  • Keyboard emulation and macros
    And more… without use software running in games background (TARGET, Manager…), all is saved in controller EPROM memory.

All explained… in Russian only. :slight_smile:

http://ftp.vkb-sim.pro/Documentations/controller.pdf

EDIT - Part of this guide translated to English: https://yadi.sk/d/5bAh54U83NEbZk


#7

So it looks like the Modern Combat Edition grip prices are out:

https://vkbcontrollers.com/?product=vkb-sim-gladiator-pro-modern-combat-edition-w-mcg-pro

Is the difference between the $269 and the $329 pro editions just the extra folding trigger axis or is it something more?


#8

That’s the Gladiator series base. Not sure what the technical differences are between that and the Gunfighter base, which is their newer base.

The differences between the MCG and MCG Pro are:

  • 4-button + push on the ‘index finger’ button (the one on the right side of the top of the stick) (instead of a two button on the MCG);
  • The bottom center hat is a 4-button + push (instead of a two button on the MCG);
  • The 4-button + push in the CMS position (thumb hat) (instead of a button on the MCG) which, if I remember correctly, can be replaced with a single button (modification where you pull out one part and push in another);
  • The ‘Flip down trigger’ is a contact-less sensor;

So that’s 6+3 extra buttons on the MCG Pro over the MCG plus the contact less metal trigger sensor.


#9

@near_blind - looks like pre-orders are available now :slight_smile:


#10

Oops, yeah, I mean the $399 on with the newer base.

Hmm, that CMS just being a button is a bit of deal-breaker. Looks like Pro or nothing. :slight_smile:


#11

Yeah. It was the same for me. The extra buttons will be a nice addition … unless my mind can’t handle the mapping … but the CMS is pretty much a requirement. :slight_smile:


#12

I bought a thing.


#13

That is one very expensive stick. It’s about the same as the Mongoos - and it’s just too much for a single joystick. In the UK, it would be £300 if sold at the proper exchange rate (of today) for USD to Sterling, plus 20% VAT and postage.

As much as I want a great stick, this is moving into silly money territory. (it works out under normal rate of $1.6 = £1 at $480)


#14

Yep, it’s a gulp worthy price. In Canadian dollars it is (including shipping, customs etc), well, pretty much all of them. :slight_smile:

It is a lot of money for a stick for sure. Our neighbors on the left love boats, and was chatting to him yesterday about how he spent $600 on a cleaning solution for it (literally a gallon tub of something). The thing is sort of a souped up speedboat and spent the last two years parked on their front driveway, untroubled by going near any water. It did make me feel better I don’t really like boats (or rather I like other people’s boats).


#15

Don’t forget duty @fearlessfrog. There was an additional duty charge that I had to pay to accept the package :slight_smile:

EDIT: I guess that falls under ‘Customs’ :slight_smile:


#16

The same question for you @Fridge, what are your thoughts after 6months?

… and new VKB Europe page is up

https://flightsimcontrols.com


#17

Wow! I guess I missed this post back in April.

Short answer: I still like it, more than the Warthog stick.

There is a little centering issue where the stick attachment point to the base is a little off center but it is barely noticeable and the software ‘corrects’ for the ‘new center’. If I didn’t look for it (and I happened to be replacing the springs to adjust the tension when I noticed it), it wouldn’t stand out.

I did have a little trouble with the stick attachment point to the base, on the stick side. I noticed last night that there was a little play around the base of the stick (not in the base itself but in the mechanism that they use to attach the stick to the base.

Needless to say I was worried! I did find this post after a quick search, which made my fears lessen somewhat: http://forum.vkb-sim.pro/viewtopic.php?t=2883

So, tonight I decided I needed to do a little maintenance and see what was going on inside.

Warning. Joystick interior shots coming up. Hardware nerds may want to take a deep breath because, basically, this is their porn :slight_smile:

If anyone has questions, feel free to ask and I will try to respond faster this time :wink:


VKB MCG Pro with only half it’s clothes still on.

Detail of the head. Looks like a fine piece of engineering to me.

Detail of the throat.

And finally detail of the base.

As you can see in the last shot, the cylinder at the bottom (vertical with two holes along it’s length) has three wires coming out of the top. This is the top half of the mechanism I was mentioning that attaches to the base. The two screws at the top hold a metal bar attached to the cylinder to the stick and this was the part that was loose. Tightening those two screws was all that was required to make the stick firm and solid again.

This was an easy fix that required two screwdrivers (both phillips (x)). To get the casing off there is one screw that requires a longer, slim screwdriver but none of the screws were a problem. Make sure you use the right size driver so that you don’t strip or damage the screw heads.

Also, I noticed no wire pinch points in the stick. It was as easy to assemble as it was to disassemble (according to the instructions in the link above).


#18

After them naked pics I need a cigarette…and I dont smoke for 8 years now!
Nice stick… too much


#19

PCB green has got to be the sexiest color, ever.
And just look at all those neatly routed leads!