Creating a yoke from a Sidewinder 2 (broken FFB)
Hello, I've built an Arduino-based AP and Nav panel using link2fs, and hacked an old gamepad to provide a separate button box, so I have some knowledge of working with inputs, however now I'm looking at building a GA yoke mainly for Cessnas, Pipers, etc. I have an old Sidewinder 2 FFB joystick that's gathered dust in the loft for the last 10+ years. Now it's got the problem where it pulls hard left when you connect the power. My diagnostic and soldering skills are far too primitive to source the problem and remedy it (I assume it's a bad chip), so I've decided to gut the unit. Sadly as the x axis FFB is damaged, I won't be able to do the awesome work that Roland documented on simprojects.nl, but at least I want to utilise what was once a fantastic controller.
Seeing as the FFB element is knackered, I want to at least make use of the buttons and 4 analog axis, but upon stripping down the unit, it appears that Windows only recognises around 1/6 of the range of each of the pots (registering the entire 1024 range in that frame). Is this something I can hack around to utilise a greater range on the pot? Is this firmware related, and if so is there a third-party firmware that affords a greater pot range?
I would be opting for a drawer system similar to Roland's design, so mechanically it would work in a similar fashion, although for the elevator axis I'm torn between using a socket/rod fixed to a pot on the unit base and terminating on the drawer, or to hack an old toothed printer belt similar to Roland's chain method.
I would prefer to have a 1:1 ratio on the aileron pot with a direct linkage so that the pot can move 90 degrees either side of centre. I would like to implement this by mounting the aileron pot to the rear tip of the main shaft, similar to how the twist-grip rudder axis works on the Sidewinder 2, basically manipulating the pot directly, but with a full 90 degrees either side of centre.
If I could extend the pot range, I wouldn't have to worry about gears... My understanding of gears is primitive, and my precision is questionable, so I want to try to avoid calculating ratios, and would most likely end up with incorrect or slipping gears :P ... but if the only solution was to work with the tools available, I'd give it a go!
Any help would be appreciated. I've considered the Leo Bodnar joystick board, but would like to give it a go with the Sidewinder for "sentimental reasons" if it's possible.