What a Pain - or - a Little Advice


There - now that I got that out of my system:

Recently a new kitten in our home decided that it liked chewing on things. One thing he liked chewing on when no one was around was the cable to my TWCS throttle. Broke it clean thru.

Based on various videos and a very long thread elsewhere on these forums covering the Logitech X-56 I got one.

Word of ADVICE: to avoid my experience (to be related) if your control system goes to HOTAS heaven replace it with the same model that just died. You'll save yourself a lot of time and effort (unless you have an eidetic memory then just skip what's about to come).

My Experience:
Got the G model X-56. Opened it up. No little manual to get started, no driver disk. WHAT? What stupid a'hole forgot those! Went online. Probably there. Found the drivers and associated software - barely. Didn't find the manual - for a while. Took two seperate visits and a google search which sent me to another Logitech site where I got the manual. Pretty good manual by the way.

Installed drivers all went well - or so I thought. Went back to the logitech home page to register the X-56. On pulling up the registration page all I get is a LOGI logo at the top. Rest is empty. Sent an e'mail to Logitech support explaining that I cannot register my product and why. Get a response next day providing me a trouble ticket number and sending me to the registration page which is the same one that is empty. I respond that the page they sent me to is the page that for some reason my browser (firefox) shows as an empty page with just a logo at the top and so I cannot register my product. They respond that due to system upgrades they are no longer accepting customer emails to the current published support address and to check check the status of my problem with ticket# and they provide a link to....

You got it - the page that won't load. Arghghghghghg!!!!!! I'm starting to believe that logitech either has the most stupid customer service reps ever or they're using email bots - either way....

I put together the Stick. Felt loose. Looser than the X-52 I used for the 1st two years I played ED (been using a Thrustmaster FCS since). This one has about 3/16" slop all around before the spring catches - just like the X-52 only moreso. Oh well the X-52 stick worked well we'll see if this one does too.

So I said screw it and loaded up ED and looked at the default control scheme for the X-56. Let's just say I am not a fan - gotta redo most of it to my liking. YAY. NOT. I get the main controls set up and decide to take a cheap rebuy ship (Cobra Mk3) out for a spin. Barely make it out the slot. You see - I setup the rotary sliders with indents on the main throttle for vertical and lateral thrusters and they were drifting all over the place and the indents didn't center and neutralize.

Parked the Cobra about 20KM from the station and exited ED.

Seems that both the stick and throttle with associated sliders (except the main throttle which is flawless) are less than quality parts. Every one of them except the mini-stick on the throttle required deadzone to be set with logitech software/device settings at least plus/minus 4 units to be stable in ED. (same thing in X-Plane 11 and DCS). The mini-stick on the throttle was only a bit noisey but mostly returned to center position with same digital readout plus/minus 1 unit every time so the deadzone that had to be set was small. The ministick on the joystick was the worst. +5 and -4 to get it stable. Had to go into the Logitech HUD setup program and adjust the deadzone sliders in it for all the axis available on both the throttle and stick. Not difficult - just annoying as HELL!

OKAY - back to ED. Got the flight controls setup. Knew there would be issues and there were. Long story short it took me the better part of an afternoon and evening to get just the flying, targeting and weapons controls setup for comfort and ease of access. Still got the map/driver/camera stuff to setup and then - OH JOY! I get to practice the all new super duper new layouts so I don't get killed by a harmless sidewinder pilot. Oh - and I moved the vertical/lateral thrust control to the mini-stick on the throttle. Works OKAY for normal flying - not so much for combat. Gotta figure out a different place to move those to. Any suggestions?

I now feel like I'm a brand new ED player. OH Joy. Wait - I remember those days from 4 years ago - fine times - fun times - but, but nah... this isn't the same.

Last word of advice: The X-56 works great with DCS and X-Plane 11 (especially XP11 - ED should hire whoever built the default X-56 control profile for XP11 to build one for ED). It will work for ED but not - IMO - without a lot of tweaking. And if you don't have piano/guitar player fingers then some of the buttons on the stick and throttle aren't going to be easy to use and most of the toggle switches on the throttle's side aren't accesible without taking your hand off the throttle unless it is fully forward or fully backwards. Ever see an orangutan's hands. An orangutan would be right at home with the X-56 without any problem.
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I just have a logitech X-52 pro. I dont need drivers, it starts working instantly.
Times have certainly changed. When I had mine it was made by Mad Cat. It had drivers and a lot of useless software that just cluttered up the system. Also needed some special Microsoft Win 7 thing. Good HOTAS though - throttle failed after 2 years and stick was drifty as hell. Sure hope the X56 doesn't do that?
I've used an X-56 sense it was released. I will give you that the ones made when Mad Catz was running the show were of poor quality. My first one did not last. My second one however has been working very well for two plus years now. The only dead zone I need is on the yaw axis. I use both mini sticks for thrusters. The throttle side does up and down, and forward and reverse. The stick side does port and starboard, and forward and reverse. I don't mind the cross over, it helps in some types of maneuvering. I also do not use the actual throttle at all. For the throttle I use the lower notched scroll wheel.

I very much like the X-56 because it's the only HOTAS I've found that allows me to map everything on the actual HOTAS, no keyboard required. Setting up MACROs is a bit of a pain, but once set they work fine. I use the lower toggle switches for custom SYS ENG WEP settings. One click, and power were you need it. Very handy.

I'd say you should give it some time. There's a lot of options and setups to get used to.

What about the slop in the joystick? Had the same issue with the X-52 I had. I've made it irrelevant with the Logitech HUD software and the game controller settings (a huge improvement over what Saitek supplied) but I don't think I should have had to jump thru all hoops I had to to get the thing working like it should have out of the box. It was especially annoying having to adjust, test in ED, rinse and repeat until everything worked. I've got the throttle mini-stick working as the vertical and lateral thrust controller. Always comes back to neutral now. It'll take getting used to but I believe it will be superior to a button like I've been using on the TM FCS. Now if I could just get the LED color I pick on screen to match what actually shows up on the stick and throttle...

As for the toggle switches I like your idea about setting up the bottom row as instant power distribution based on the six combos one would use the most often.

I've been to ED Ref.com - like it to print out the control scheme. So far I haven't found a scheme I like. Building my own and since the hats are layed out different than any other Joystick I've owned in the past 40 years it will take some time to find a combination that I like.

The yaw control is stiff and so is the throttle but way more accurate than anything I've ever used before. It'll just take some time before I get used to it.

I'm over the hump so to speak - just got to get used to the joystick hat arrangement and them being just a tad out of reach - and yes I do have the step adapter installed.

Thanks for the response. Good info, good ideas. (y)
I'll be honest, I've had bad experiences with the x-56, the sticks don't seem centered correctly on the rotational axis so my ship drifts and I've started to get really serious failures on the toggle switches where they trigger at random. This is the second one I've had, the first I had to warranty.

I'm getting a sign on bonus for my new job, and I'm thinking of getting a VIRPIL stick and throttle. It's pretty expensive, but they seem of higher quality from the reviews I've read.

Stay Frosty,

Cmnd Fulsom
I just have a logitech X-52 pro. I dont need drivers, it starts working instantly.
It will work as plug and play but theres a clutch button on the throttle and if you dont turn it off in the software drivers then it cant be used in elite. I use that button for boost so drivers for the X52 pro are a must have.
This is probably the fourth or fifth thread in the last month about a cat destroying ED. This one is all monster. Attacking real things.

I say you shame this monster by posting a picture of it in a compromising position. Maybe the rest of the cats will take heed.
Thanks for this writeup - I'm looking into some sort of HOTAS and the X-56 looks cool.
The problem with Logitech gaming accessories I've always found is that they're highly inconsistent. Sometimes they're excellent; other products are steaming piles of trumble dung.

The best setup I had - which survived years longer than it should have - was a positively ancient but still awesome Sidewinder FF Pro joystick (bought new and lasted with perfect crisp accuracy for well over a decade), a CH Pro throttle and CH pedals - an absolutely butt-whippin' fantabulous combo for everything from flight sims to Mechwarrior.

I was looking at the Logitech gear but based on your experience - and other comments - I think I'll pass and try to get my old system again. Especially that Sidewinder - I honestly don't believe there's another PC joystick that can match its accuracy and easy feel. Nothing I've had since even comes close.

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I tried a Logitech X-56 at Lavecon and I personally didn't like the feel of it. I thought the stick was too loose and the throttle was too stiff.

I returned home and enjoyed using my X-52 Pro. When it eventually breaks I will buy another X-52 Pro again.

Unfortunately I don't have a cat.
I use the X56 stick with the TCWS throttle, it's everything I want and it works. You get the better stick and the throttle with the index finger stick for lat thrusters - not to mention all of the thumb hat switches. The stick for forward/back thrusters for docking.

Swap out the spring with one of the tighter ones if slack is a problem, yes there's about a millimeter of play there around the center, but if you set the dead zone a point or two on the X and Y axis, it's barely noticeable.
I'm getting a sign on bonus for my new job, and I'm thinking of getting a VIRPIL stick and throttle. It's pretty expensive, but they seem of higher quality from the reviews I've read.
Have recently been transitioning to Virpil over the last three months. Virpil are brilliant build quality generally. The Delta sticks are great, whilst they have Z twist, but for me they lack some of the X-56 true hotas controls (pinky trigger, side buttons, etc) and I’ve found some of the hat controls to be a bit spongey and imprecise. However, amazing stick action.

Virpil mongoos t50 stick imho are simply the best if you can live without the twist function. Amazing build, action, and the buttons/hats/trigger/pinky triggers placement and operation are sublime. Amazing piece of kit.

Virpil throttle is robust and great action and set of controls. Setup is not simple for either sticks or throttle, once setup is done however it’s done, and has immensely powerful features and customisation.

I have been transitioning from x-56. A great stick and throttle setup. Stick can be made more or less stiff using the springs. Has a little float in the middle and mine now creaks a lot after about 3-4 years use despite lubricating with grease. Stick controls placement in combination with twist function makes this stick extremely enticing.

I love the x-56 throttle. It’s got a really smooth and precise action and excellent button placement. It’s really good for ED. I am having a hard time letting this go for the more ‘superior’ and expensive Virpil throttle.

I sold a kidney to get the Virpil kit. My cat doesn’t chew through any cables to date, clearly it’s not a true space cat.

Note on my use of X-56: I’m left handed, so I use the right handed stick in my left hand, and the throttle on my right, but rotated 180 degrees. Works perfectly :)
On the subject of space cats. You can stop your cat from chewing on things by wetting them with lemon juice, wrapping them with tinfoil, or putting tape or a similar sticky substance around the area.

Stay Frosty,

Cmnd Fulsom
The problem with that is that even if you CAN get the cat to stay wrapped up in tin foil the crinkling sound as it runs around the house is damn distracting!
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