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First Look at the yoke...
11-29-2014, 10:00 AM
Post: #1
Thumbs Up First Look at the yoke...
I received my yoke two days ago and have been playing with it off and on, here are my first impressions...

First of all, my yoke was apparently damaged in shipping; out of the box it had what we think is a mechanical bind such that in roll the yoke could only be rotated to the right of center position and not at all to the left (damn !). As time has gone by the problem had gone from severe to intermittent to almost OK; a theory is that a gear tooth got broken somewhere along the line and with continued use the yoke is "breaking in" and self smoothing out the rough spot. Another way to look at it is that Iris has finally solved all the left turning tendencies in X-Plane !

I emailed Iris with a description of the problem on Wednesday (the day the yoke arrived); they called me back on Thursday (Thanksgiving Day here in the states !). My family thought I was nuts to be speaking on the phone for about 20 minutes with technical support on Thanksgiving Day !

Iris will be sending me a replacement unit today or Monday and I'll ship mine back for repair or whatever. So first off, let me say that this is excellent support from Iris and how pleasant it was speaking to them on the phone. They are thirsty for feedback !

So I'm an X-Plane user, don't use Prepar3d or FSX, all of my comments relate to X-Plane only. I'm also a real world pilot and instructor having flown most of the light cessna, piper, cirrus planes, twins such as the Baron and 421, and some very limited time in turboprop aircraft.

Iris uses the large lighted logo on the yoke to identify various modes but the Quick Start guide doesn't enumerate what colors mean what, so I was a bit confused at first at what the yoke was trying to tell me. When plugging in power the yoke logo will flash a quick orange, then green (accompanied by a small chime) and then go immediately into Deep Sleep (logo will go dark).

To wake from Deep Sleep move the yoke through its limits, in and out, side to side, similar to the real life checklist item "flight controls free and correct". The unit will wake up, the logo will be orange which is the default color for normal operation.

After some minutes of inactivity the unit will go into Sleep mode (different than Deep Sleep mode) and the logo will go dark. To re awaken, simply move the controls and the unit will wake up, logo will be orange.

Various key press combinations are used to set yoke properties and the logo light will change colors to reflect what is happening. If you see flashing blue (for instance) the force feedback is turned all the way down (off actually) and the yoke will be like a conventional flight sim yoke with no spring.

I mentioned to Iris when I was on the phone with them that a listing of logo light colors and indications would be helpful, perhaps they will post something like that.

I use a lot of USB devices with powered hubs. I had no luck running this yoke through a hub; the device would power itself down. I have only had success plugging the yoke directly into a USB hub on the computer itself. The first few tries were sporadic with unusual reactions and the yoke shutting down. After a few restarts the computer and the yoke seemed to play better with each other and I have had no connection problems since then. I cannot explain this but I have seen it with other USB gear; first hookup is a disaster and after a few retries everything settles down and works. At the moment the yoke is working consistently; comes up with X-Plane start, assignments seems to stick from start to start, no crashing of the yoke or X-Plane. Knock on wood, cross your fingers, etc.

I have used the yoke so far on three X-Plane aircraft. Historically, it has been difficult to maintain stability, especially pitch stability, in X-Plane. What a lot of us have done is tweak stability augmentation and yoke linearity in the Settings-Joystick and Equipment-Nullzone page of the xplane menu. What I have found so far is to begin by setting all stability augmentation and linearity to 0 %. Nullzone itself very small, about 2%. Moving the yoke axes shows up in the centering graph and using the yoke trim switch will move the centering cue up and down in the graph.

First plane the L5G Grasshopper which comes standard with xplane. The plane doesn't use SASL or Gizmo plugins, pretty simple. It has always been very twitchy in all axes, especially Yaw, being almost impossible to take off straight and very much affected by prevailing winds. I only assigned the pitch and roll axes (no trim buttons) to the Iris yoke and set the force feed back of the yoke to about mid range force. Moving the yoke of course moves the animated joystick in the plane. Using the yoke trim switches moves the joystick also. After trying a few takeoff I left the aug stab at zero for pitch and roll, cranked up the yaw as the plane still very twitchy in yaw. And here is when I experienced what this yoke was supposed to do; I could feel the pitch forces on the plane and could use the trim to zero out the forces and stabilize in a 500 fpm climb or descent. In roll the control forces were there, the return to center tendency there, very very different from a conventional flight sim yoke and much closer to reality.

The second plane was the Carenado C208 Caravan, a SASL plane. Similar setup to the Grasshopper, all stab augmentation and linearity set to 0 %, nullzone to 2%, and so far have left all of these here. Assigned pitch and roll axes and also assigned trim buttons on Iris yoke to Pitch Trim Up and Pitch Trim Down. All animations correct including trim wheel (can use trim buttons on yoke to set take off trim). Can really feel torque effects from the big turboprop. Once again great pitch control, can feel the feedback, use trim to zero feedback, stabilize on specific fpm climbs, very good.

Finally I played around with Leading Edge DC-3, a Gizmo plane I believe. Same setups, set all stab augmentation and linearity to zero, 2% nullzone, etc. Overloaded DC-3 taking off from airport at 3,000 ft MSL. Wow, can totally feel the flying on the edge of stall heavy pitch feel, can still trim out at steady fpm climbs, can feel the effects of changing power, flaps up, gear up. Combination of a good flight sim, a good DC-3 model, and an yoke that gives back realistic flight forces.

So anyway, I'm very pleased, tough about the shipping damage, still some rough edges, but all in all a real step up in realism. Didn't realize how long this had gotten !

Terry
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11-29-2014, 01:06 PM (This post was last modified: 11-29-2014 01:06 PM by Pieces.)
Post: #2
RE: First Look at the yoke...
(11-29-2014 10:00 AM)twgin Wrote:  The second plane was the Carenado C208 Caravan, a SASL plane. Similar setup to the Grasshopper, all stab augmentation and linearity set to 0 %, nullzone to 2%, and so far have left all of these here. Assigned pitch and roll axes and also assigned trim buttons on Iris yoke to Pitch Trim Up and Pitch Trim Down. All animations correct including trim wheel (can use trim buttons on yoke to set take off trim). Can really feel torque effects from the big turboprop. Once again great pitch control, can feel the feedback, use trim to zero feedback, stabilize on specific fpm climbs, very good.

Finally I played around with Leading Edge DC-3, a Gizmo plane I believe. Same setups, set all stab augmentation and linearity to zero, 2% nullzone, etc. Overloaded DC-3 taking off from airport at 3,000 ft MSL. Wow, can totally feel the flying on the edge of stall heavy pitch feel, can still trim out at steady fpm climbs, can feel the effects of changing power, flaps up, gear up. Combination of a good flight sim, a good DC-3 model, and an yoke that gives back realistic flight forces.

Hi Terry. I just received my yoke today, so I just started playing with it. Everything worked out of the box and I was able to test a flight in X-Plane with no issues. Can you explain a bit about the SASL and Gizmo stuff? From what I understand there really isn't a plug in for X-plane yet: just the built in yoke firmware. The little quick start card indicates that you shouldn't set the trim commands in the sim in that situation, but it sounds like you set them up for the Carenado plane. What did that do?
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11-29-2014, 03:31 PM
Post: #3
RE: First Look at the yoke...
Hello there,

The L5G Grasshopper plane is made with Planemaker only, no plug-ins or other enhancements. a very nice but very simple X-Plane aircraft. It come with X-Plane when you buy the program.

SASL and Gizmo are two plug-in based programming environments that allow airplane designers to add functionality well beyond what is available in the base X-Plane program. Most purchased 3rd party airplanes use either SASL or Gizmo based enhancements. Examples are: all of Carenado's planes use SASL, X-Aviation's offerings all use Gizmo. All of the heavy metal stuff for sale (727, 757 etc.) are going to use one of these two products. So my choices were simply one of each...

You are correct in that no X-Plane wizard has yet written a plugin for the Iris yoke. An example of what might show up in the future: more advanced (usually larger) aircraft have what's called a "stick shaker" which will literally rattle the control column/yoke when the aircraft gets close to a stall. I'm pretty sure add on software exists to simulate this in third party FSX aircraft; presumably this software would faithfully recreate the "shake" in the Iris yoke. I'm not sure whether this particular example of functionality exists in the X-Plane world yet.

Finally, initially I just assigned the pitch and roll axes. It all worked fine, but using the trim switch did not move the animated trim wheels of the Caravan or the DC-3. So I tried assigning the trim switch on the yoke to "pitch trim up" and "pitch trim down" in basic settings. Everything seems to work, still have trim functionality, when trimming the animated yokes and trim wheels in the 3d cockpits move as they should, all seems OK. I think we all have some weeks of experimentation in front of us !

Terry
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11-29-2014, 06:04 PM (This post was last modified: 11-29-2014 06:07 PM by chksix.)
Post: #4
RE: First Look at the yoke...
Can you try the x737 too please? I need to know what to expect before my yoke arrives in a few weeks.
And are you flying in 64 bit x-plane?

Is the nullzone really needed? Is the yoke axis twitching or spiky with it set to zero?

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11-30-2014, 03:03 AM
Post: #5
RE: First Look at the yoke...
Thanks for the response.

I wasn't sure if the SASL/Gizmo plugins sent any feedback that the yoke would read. Sounds like that isn't the case. So, after binding the trim function in X-plane pressing trim adjusts the yoke center, and changes the trim position in game? Doesn't that end up with trimming at double speed? You're moving the yoke and changing the trim tab.
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12-01-2014, 05:57 AM
Post: #6
RE: First Look at the yoke...
This forum is too quiet! Where's the feedback from the users?

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12-02-2014, 04:28 AM
Post: #7
RE: First Look at the yoke...
Pieces, good question, don't know the answer at this point ! Chksix, agree, I thought more comments would pop up as people received yokes... I'm focused on some scenery work right now that the DC-3 is appropriate for, sometime I'll try some heavy metal...

Terry
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12-02-2014, 07:12 AM (This post was last modified: 12-02-2014 07:13 AM by chksix.)
Post: #8
RE: First Look at the yoke...
I just hope the yoke isn't a failure and that the users are too embarrassed to post here after buying such an expensive controller. Wink
I hope mine arrives with Santa BTW and I won't be embarrassed to post my impressions. Big Grin

What I want to know about the x737 is if the yoke can set T/O trim without the yoke moving. I don't want to have less control authority during takeoff.
In the real plane I don't think the yokes move since the elevator is always in line with the H. Stab.

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12-17-2014, 08:03 PM (This post was last modified: 12-18-2014 03:56 AM by Hornet.)
Post: #9
RE: First Look at the yoke...
(12-01-2014 05:57 AM)chksix Wrote:  This forum is too quiet! Where's the feedback from the users?

I have been wondering the same thing. Just how many Yokes have been sent out to customers? Also, what about the promise of a weekly update?
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12-18-2014, 07:29 AM
Post: #10
RE: First Look at the yoke...
Quite worrying indeed Sad

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