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CH Eclipse handle
02-27-2016, 05:55 AM
Post: #1
CH Eclipse handle
I thought I should start this in a new thread for easy reference purposes. I have massacred a CH Eclipse yoke and have almost finished converting the handle for the Iris yoke. (I have not mounted this yet so it remains to be seen how well it works in practice.) The handle retains its full CH Eclipse functionality. (Look closely at the photos or you might miss the significant factor.)

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MarkH

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02-27-2016, 06:16 AM
Post: #2
RE: CH Eclipse handle
Ingenious! Nicely done MarkH. Curious to see the rest of your modifications.

Craig
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02-27-2016, 08:25 AM
Post: #3
RE: CH Eclipse handle
(02-27-2016 06:16 AM)Craig K. Wrote:  Ingenious! Nicely done MarkH. Curious to see the rest of your modifications.

Craig

Yes the back of the yoke lends itself perfectly as a solution for breaking out the USB cable. And the rear box section presumably gives ample space for a USB interface board. Is this also from the yoke electronics or a separate part? Looks like a good alternative solution as the wiring for all of the switches can be contained within the handle, not possible with a Saitek.
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02-27-2016, 10:13 AM
Post: #4
RE: CH Eclipse handle
I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet. I have a slytek pro(NOT) yoke, but it is a piece of crap, and will not stand up to the force feedback.
At this point my options are limited to; buying a 3rd party yoke handle, or building my own. Which isn't a big deal, and would be fun to machine.

Craig
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02-27-2016, 07:04 PM (This post was last modified: 02-27-2016 07:33 PM by MarkH.)
Post: #5
RE: CH Eclipse handle
(02-27-2016 10:13 AM)Craig K. Wrote:  At this point my options are limited to; buying a 3rd party yoke handle, or building my own. Which isn't a big deal, and would be fun to machine.

Craig, go to eBay and search for 'aircraft yoke'. You will find many possibilities for around the same price as sourcing a third-party sim handle. Either way you will need to do some work to match it up to the handle, but John has shown the way with the simple compression collars that make this a relatively straightforward proposition.

The only downside is that most real-world yokes will not have many switches on them, so if that's important maybe you need to look for a sim one after all. Although as you suggest, a home-made one shouldn't be too difficult. I am sure you would make something quite functional even it it isn't going to look like a PFC handle!

Just for fun I might have a look at my Saitek one and see if there would be any way to beef it up.

(02-27-2016 08:25 AM)john MD Wrote:  Yes the back of the yoke lends itself perfectly as a solution for breaking out the USB cable. And the rear box section presumably gives ample space for a USB interface board. Is this also from the yoke electronics or a separate part? Looks like a good alternative solution as the wiring for all of the switches can be contained within the handle, not possible with a Saitek.

Yes, this uses the original controller board inside the handle. There is enough room, although the encoder wheels project back into it, which makes it a bit of a squeeze. The real bonus is that I was able to remove the entire electronics from the CH yoke without doing any modifications - i.e. no cutting or soldering required.

In the end I realised the controller board was small enough to fit into the handle, so I cut off everything except the handle switches and buttons and put it in there. The USB cable is the only thing that comes out and there will be two options for this. First, I will just try it plugged directly into a USB port. But it should be able to go down through the shaft and out the back of the case.

BTW, that boxy part on the back isn't where the controller board is - that retains the original 'rudder paddle' analogue axis. Not sure what I might use this for but maybe spoilers or something. There isn't much room inside that anyway if you remove the potentiometer and paddles, as there's a cutout for the (old) shaft. But it does give a nice flat surface for mounting the adapter plate on and it's quite solidly built.

One issue is I will need to take out the circuit board from the Iris handle and connect up a switch to that for the 'standalone mode' elevator trim. I should be able to just take one of the switches off the demo handle, unless they've been glued in or something Smile

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MarkH

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02-27-2016, 09:20 PM
Post: #6
RE: CH Eclipse handle
(02-27-2016 07:04 PM)MarkH Wrote:  
(02-27-2016 08:25 AM)john MD Wrote:  Yes the back of the yoke lends itself perfectly as a solution for breaking out the USB cable. And the rear box section presumably gives ample space for a USB interface board. Is this also from the yoke electronics or a separate part? Looks like a good alternative solution as the wiring for all of the switches can be contained within the handle, not possible with a Saitek.

Yes, this uses the original controller board inside the handle. There is enough room, although the encoder wheels project back into it, which makes it a bit of a squeeze. The real bonus is that I was able to remove the entire electronics from the CH yoke without doing any modifications - i.e. no cutting or soldering required

I see..... it gets clearer by the minute, and the issue with trim function in standalone mode had occurred to me but if you will only use the yoke with a plugin, the best way in my opinion, then it doesn't really matter. You will no doubt try it in standalone and you can then decide about the value of extra work to utilise trim function. It's all very interesting to hear the different solutions, let's see if anyone else has other ideas.
I'm still interested to hear what you think of the yoke's function when you get it running.
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02-28-2016, 01:14 AM
Post: #7
RE: CH Eclipse handle
Okay, I have unpacked the beast now. It weighs a freaking ton! Looks good on the outside at least. I have finished the yoke handle and abandoned plans for the extra switches for now, mainly because I'd have to break the demo handle to get the switches out. I also had to remove the Eclipse's paddles in the end as the potentiometer pokes back inside the hande through a slot that is now blocked by the controller board. Next, read the instructions and then power up...

[Image: eef5984aeef7f49343ee32dc07fc8920.jpg]

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MarkH

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02-28-2016, 02:03 AM
Post: #8
RE: CH Eclipse handle
(02-28-2016 01:14 AM)MarkH Wrote:  Okay, I have unpacked the beast now. It weighs a freaking ton! Looks good on the outside at least. I have finished the yoke handle and abandoned plans for the extra switches for now, mainly because I'd have to break the demo handle to get the switches out. I also had to remove the Eclipse's paddles in the end as the potentiometer pokes back inside the hande through a slot that is now blocked by the controller board. Next, read the instructions and then power up...

Well that's you occupied for the week-end, don't know how you resisted not trying it before. Looking good with the new handle and yes I forgot to mention that the Iris switches were stuck in. The original handle on mine finished up in bits so removing them was not a major decision and if I remember the switches were not that brilliant anyway.

Garry (Cfdog) has one of the originals I believe so perhaps the electronics may be slightly different.
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02-29-2016, 04:32 AM
Post: #9
RE: CH Eclipse handle
Well, it works but I think it will take a while to get the hang of it. It doesn't instantly transform the experience, although on balance I think it will be more realistic. I am very disappointed with FS-Force. Just a shame there is no competition.

More as it happens!

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02-29-2016, 08:22 PM (This post was last modified: 02-29-2016 11:33 PM by john MD.)
Post: #10
RE: CH Eclipse handle
(02-29-2016 04:32 AM)MarkH Wrote:  Well, it works but I think it will take a while to get the hang of it. It doesn't instantly transform the experience, although on balance I think it will be more realistic. I am very disappointed with FS-Force. Just a shame there is no competition.

More as it happens!

This is where product performance critiques can start to become confusing. I know Mark's is less of a critique more a simple statement but appears to convey a quite different impression of the product to mine. I realise a different sim and therefore a different plugin is involved, and wonder if this could be one of the reasons or just different perceptions? I certainly agree that there is a far more realistic feel than my old Saitek and probably many other lower end yokes with a simple spring loaded centering device. The best thing I have found is the feel of an aircraft "attached" to the end of the yoke and the fact that you get an opposing force when applying flare. The old yoke had none of this and was so easy to create more erratic movement. Less important I feel is ground rumble, kickback from the yoke on heavier landings etc. My first thoughts when starting to use the yoke was that these sensations were an important part of the experience but soon realised that this was probably not the case. I regularly fly a Piper Warrior and having flown more than one version realise that, apart from pitch forces requiring trim adjustment during flight, I can't recall the feedback through the yoke on touchdown. With more important things to consider with the landing, analysing the feel through the yoke is the last thing I would consciously consider, I will try to do it next time however. I have come to realise that the Iris experience is less a blinding flash of light and earth shattering experience rather an attempt to emulate a more realistic feel in a flight simulator, which is probably what Mark alluded to at the start.

Regarding switches on handles, my first thoughts when considering using the Saitek handle was that there where lots of switches on it therefore they must be utilised which is why I chose the expensive option of an "intelligent handle board". I then came to realise that the basic Warrior has one button used to allow communications so four should be more than enough. For ease I find that having trim function on the handle is best for me and retains the function for standalone use. I may be contradicted but don't believe any of the larger commercial aircraft with yokes have a forest of switches on the handle. Converting to the Saitek yoke still remains my best single decision of the whole process and disregarding the very frustrating delays and lack of communication the Iris kickstarter yoke was still in my opinion excellent value for money. I would certainly not return to my old yoke although that would be pretty difficult without a lot of rebuilding.

Craig, you commented on the reduced pitch stroke and although obviously I have not had the opportunity to compare, find the Dragonfly pitch range to be perfectly adequate and still more than my old Saitek.

Mark's photograph of the yoke in situ also concentrated my attention on the Twin Otter cockpit and although I've seen it before realise how good it looks.

Hope I haven't sounded too much like an Iris salesperson and I'm sure others will have different opinions.
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