Hardware & Technical Virpil HOTAS - getting it working

I managed to order the Virpil throttle, Mongoos T50 base and Constellation Delta stick on a rare occasion they had stock [big grin]
Getting it sorted is no mean feat, so it was suggested that I share the experience here. I would add screenshots but for some reason I can't. This forum is so 1995...

They are brilliant bits of kit - far better than the Warthog, build quality-wise - but ‘plug in and play’ they definitely aren’t, yet. It’s probably as they’re a young company and are still getting the software side of things nailed down. Also, their sales support is sluggish to respond, but again this will probably improve.

Software

The only bit of software you need to run them is the VPC Configuration Software downloadable from their website. Plug your bits in and run the software, and the peripherals will appear in the top left box as two ‘boot loader’ items. This means that they’re present but without firmware.

Profiles

Next, install the appropriate profile for each. If it’s isn’t clear which is which, move an axis on either the stick or the throttle and watch where the raw data changes on the main settings window.

The bottom right of the main window has a button called 'Import profile from file'. Clicking this will show the available profiles for whichever peripheral you have selected. They will have been installed on your machine when you downloaded the software. Install the relevant profile for each peripheral (they’re named appropriately).

Firmware

Next, firmware. Go to the firmware window. click 'Open firmware update mode', then 'Start firmware update'. It will ‘boot load’ for a few seconds, then prompt you to close the window. At this point, click 'Close firmware update mode'. You’ll need to do this for each.

Next, click the ‘save profile’ button. Do this after changing anything.

Calibrating the axes

Next, go to the Axis window, and click the 'calibrate' button to start calibrating the axes for each peripheral. This isn’t hard - just move each axis on each device slowly throughout its range, leave them centred, then click 'set centre'. Note that the thumb stick on the Delta is an axis too.

Once all the axes on each peripheral are done, save the profile again. After that, load each profile (so that the status icon in the top left goes green), close the VPC Configuration Software, and be happy you never need to open it again [big grin]

That sorts the issue of Windows and games not recognising the axes. Next, you’ll need to find a way around the button limit that most games put on peripherals.

Getting Elite to recognise all those lovely buttons

I recommend Joystick Gremlin - it’s a free download and is powerful and simple (note: download vJoy first, also free). You can do all sorts of smart things with it (the same functionality as Thrustmaster’s Target software, as it happens) like macros and shift functions etc, but the simplest way to get Elite to recognise all the buttons is to use Gremlin to map all the buttons on the lower half of the throttle to keyboard buttons. Remember to save your profile in Gremlin, then click the little gamepad icon to run it before you play.


It took me eight days of intermittent faffing to get this far, but I love the Virpil stuff. Hope this helps some of you get to grips with it faster than that!
 
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Yeah I'm absolutely loving my setup.

But yeah.
I also had my stick disassembled at least four times switching and testing cams.
And I have few posts here accounting my problems with a certain shredded cam screw.
That I to this day still haven't been able to remove.

It just means I haven't been able to switch the default cam on the pitch axis.
It was far more necessary on the roll though.

And I almost bricked each by pushing a few wrong buttons in the software.
But reloading firmware and fresh profiles brought them back.

Yeah they take quite a bit of effort.
But once they are setup they are done.
And utterly perfect to my tastes.
 
Oh my, TorTorden - I had a shredded cam screw as well!

Those little screws are made out of butter, and what's more, they use superglue on them so they don't move. It means it's nearly impossible to remove them without shredding them. Mine wss on the pitch axis as well. I had tried so many screwdrivers, and a rubber band, and was prepared to throw in the towel and just keep the default cam.

What got it out for me was a drill and a screw extractor. They're super cheap (as long as you already have a drill). You need to put the mechanism on its head on the edge of a table, so the circuit board is dangling off the edge and the offending screw is pointing to the ceiling. Then put the extractor head into the bored-out cam screw, lean down on it heavily, and start drilling counterclockwise . It will come out.

Screw extractors work with torque, which means you need to put a lot of downward pressure on them to lift the screw out (counterintuitively). But that should do it. My cam screw was literally bored clean - there was nothing for the screwdriver to bite against any more. And screw extractors work best with totally bored-out screw heads.

Try it and let me know! I eventually got the default cams changed for the CosmoSim cams and love it. I can heartily recommend a stick extender too.
 
Jesus! You guys are not selling me on this stick! [haha]
They aren't selling the t50 gimbal anymore anyways.

Ok how about this.

Have you gotten into a slide in the SRV that no matter what you can't help turn into a full 360 and stop?

With the virpil I can hold those and correct them.

I got about 20% better with fixed guns too.
Seriously I snipe power plants with fixed.
But the rudder pedals are big part of that too.

It's not a plug in and what you get is what you get stick.
These, and their main allure is how you can tune them.

So yeah you can spend a few weeks doing that.
But once you do that it is your stick.
And it will be exactly to your liking.

It alone cost about as much as a full warthog hotas and even after all the trouble.
I still feel like it was the best thing I have done for my flight simming.

And I'm honestly tempted to get a warbrd as well.
But I already pledged for a pre order on the VKB and MCG PRO gimbal and grip...


If you want you could also have a look at the new Brunner gimbal.
https://www.brunner-innovation.swiss/product/cls-e-joystick/
For just a mere €1249, grip not included.
 
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Loving my Constellation+WarBRD, although I'm still getting used to it. The precision is amazing (I've not bothered to even set Deadzones in Elite), FA-off has become easier (I'm still rubbish). Was very easy to get going simply following the Virpil Config software's document.

Then it was seen in Windows and Elite like normal.

I do find the amount of throw more than I liked, so jimmied the calibration numbers a bit so I dont have to move the stick so far for 100%.
The software isn't always self explanatory or fully documented. (I could've done the same with curves I think, but could not figure it out).
One config tweak I have done since, you guys might find useful. I managed to make one of the POV's limit to 4-way not 8-way, because I was finding it hard not to hit diagonal and get a combo of two different bindings. Solution here...
https://www.reddit.com/r/hotas/comments/9v80hb/help_with_virpil_config_software_how_can_i_change/

I would love to do the same for the other POVs but I don't think you can with the software right now.
 
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