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CH Pedals? Having trouble with them?

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I just threw my CH Pro pedals into the marina.

 

After something came loose somehow several months ago... and kept randomly causing my rudder to slew far right or left (nearly crashed my plane on my last two flights, and did cause a cargo to lose half it's points after a severe and sudden bank) and for a month or more I have been having to Kick the Shit out of the pedals to get them to "find center". Calibrating was useless as it assumes that the pieces are stable within the pedals unit.

 

It's over a year old so no worries about the warning to not remove that screw under the "Warranty Void if seal broken" label.

 

After removing 16 screws to get to the inside...POP...suddenly released spring tension disassembled everything inside and despite being a closet inventor/engineer/do it your-selfer/sailor, I ended up fighting it for an hour of FBombs till I finally heaved all the pieces into the bay....and then went back into the boat, got the 16 screws and threw them in after it...phew...catharsis.

 

 

Saitek? Reliable? They are expensive as fark, so I am wondering if I had just ended up with a CH Pro-Lemon Pedal set first time and should try another CH set???

But if anyone else reports ANY trouble with a set of CH pedals...I won't be going back.

 

Please advise. Thanks

Matt.

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I have a set of CH Pro-Pedals that are - AT LEAST - eight years old, possibly as much as ten years. I only have one small problem with them and have found a fairly easy work-around for that.

 

After some time, the toe brake axes don't zero reliably. I don't know if it's electrical or mechanical - noisy pots, dirt in the mechanism, wear and tear or what, but the problem is only at the very end of the travel, with all brake pressure released.

 

Calibration doesn't solve the problem and if I just do a normal calibration I still randomly get a modest brake application (Differential Brakes flag) on one side or the other.

 

The cure is to block up the tail of the pedals slightly (plastic CD case, piece of a yardstick, a couple of (clean) paint stirring sticks - anything flat and roughly 1/4 to 3/8" thick. I put the blocks under the tails and perform a calibration, not letting the pedals come all the way back to their mechanical stops during the calibration process. After calibrating, the blocks are removed and the pedals/brakes work fine. Essentially I introduce a little dead band at the bottom end of the travel so they never get all the way down to their own mechanical stops during calibration.

 

That has fixed it entirely and I have not had any other difficulties with them.

 

The disassembly problem you describe is something I never ran into with these because I've never tried to take them apart. In the Navy we used to describe that kind of situation as "...having a sproing in it...", essentially something that comes apart more or less explosively and deprives you of any opportunity to see how it looked before it went "SPROING". My sympathies.

 

Is there enough water left in the marina to cover the debris? I hear water is getting pretty scarce out that way (though I suspect you're in salt water). I'd hate to see anyone run aground on your pedal-pile.

 

By the way, if you're on a boat, in salt water, that might be part of the explanation for why your pedals died. That salt air can be a harsh environment.

 

John

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I had that problem with the brakes from the get go...they never completely "released", and would make the helicopter autopilot shut off. My low tech repair was to fill two socks with loose change and set one on each pedal "heel"...essentially Lifting the toe brakes. It wasn't a problem in fixed wings...so my socks were only on standby for heli work.

 

And ya...it Sproinged all right. heh. :) Couple of hefty springs for the pedals in there are held precariously by the Screw Posts inside, not by actual "hooks"...it all looks designed to Sproing unless one perhaps has some sort of "assembly" jig to hold stuff in place during working on it. Most pieces seemed to be held in place by screws/posts, or a few pins here and there that fell out very easily :(  I almost don't want another CH pair just because of them designing it in a way that prevents anyone from repairing it themselves...hate that mentality in general.

 

My pedal problem definitely felt and acted like something mechanical had let go in there...bet the Pot had slipped out of one of it's "post supports" inside...it sets into three recesses and is pressed/held in place by 3 posts from the other side...and a "bar" from the Pot slots into the pedals via a rocker in the middle...it was probably loose on one of the three points and the rocker slide and other two points were jamming it somewhat into a still semi-functioning position. I bet I could have fixed it if it were possible to reassemble it :( :(

 

RE: salt water...I'm in brackish water actually, I don't get much if any "salt" corrosion around the boat. Our Marina is fairly neutral with galvanic corrosion too...we are not a "hot" marina. I just finally replaced my prop and shaft zincs after 4 years, and there was about 1/3rd left of them. And we get a tidal variance of about 6-8 feet from high to low tide...the unit will sink into the silt and remain for a few years till the marina finally gets around to dredging, not worried about anyone dragging it on a keel..

 

BTW,  I Did find a crap ton of cat hair that worked it's way inside through the pedal slots...bet yours is nearly FULL of dust and whatever pet fur if any in your environment John, after 8 years...yikes.

 

Hoping others will reply...especially if anyone has had troubles (or sterling trouble free performance with anyone's pedals).

 

I can't believe how dependent I have become on them to fly. I'm stuck in an Ercoupe and possibly an ultralight till I get a new pair.

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As far as which units are better, that is like asking is Ford or Chevy better. I have read enough about CH and Saitek to know that it is a 50-50 proposition. Go with what you like and are comfortable with. I doubt either one is meant to last long and have heard the word lemon described to both.

 

Good luck with your next purchase. :)

 

Do not litter. ;)

 

 

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Thanks for replies gentlemen. I was guessing it would be the case of a dice roll...with only two major providers of affordable FS yoke/pedal controllers.

 

I don't know if Saitek will Sproing when opened, but I know CH does so I'll give Saitek a go this time.

 

That is kinda important to me, as I plan to retire somewhere remote on a boat, in real salty water, and I'll need to be able to fresh water soak and dry stuff like this eventually or plan on replacing it often, and no farking way I will sail 1000 miles just to replace a pair of rudder pedals every year. :D

It might seem weird to plan on FS'ing from a boat in Paradise Sinking, but...who the hell can sit on a doomed beach drinking coconut juice EVERY day...jebuz that sounds boring. I gotta have some computer games...and especially some flight simulator.

I'm sure you all understand... :D:pilotic:

 

 

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Some of the guys in our local flight sim club are partial to the Saitek Combat pedals, which I guess are different from the standard ones. They don't do combat flying - just like the pedals better. That's about all I know about them.

 

John

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Nothing wrong with living on a boat!  :)

 

Noisy neighbours - move.  :thum:

No grass to cut   :thum:  (except maybe the green stuff that grows on the bottom, but that's once a year).

MIL does NOT want to come and stay.  :thum:   :thum:   :thum:

Kick back. Pop a top. Enjoy living the life of a "less than 1 percenter)

 

What's a little corrosion? Spray the inside, if you can get at it without sproinging, with a bit of WD40 from time to time.

 

Actually, corrosion has not been an issue (for me). I replaced the motherboard in the ship's computer (which was not a conformally coated one) after seven years on the boat. My first onboard laptop lasted until I had to replace it due to obsolescence. My current laptop is getting tired - the USB plugs are working intermittently but this is not a corrosion problem, it's wear.

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I've been a CH fan boi going on 20 years.  Had the full HOTAS/pedals in gameport, then again in USB with a yoke and throttle quadrant thrown in.  My current set of pedals recently turned 10 and other than cleaning every few years they have been mostly trouble free.  I had to splice a toe brake wire a few months ago.  Managed to reverse the rudder wiring when I put them back together, which was quite suprising the first time I taxied.

 

If anyone ever gets stuck on fixing CH gear, the CH Hangar is the place to go.  Although I'm closing the barn door a tad late:

 

http://www.ch-hangar.com/ch-prpducts-pro-pedals-disassembly-guide/

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Thanks for that Pete, I'll save the link in case I have to dissasemble my CH yoke...but ya, Davy Jones is trying to figure out how to reassemble them now. :P

 

This link goes straight to the guide download:

http://www.ch-hangar.com/forum/index.php/files/file/317-ch-products-pro-pedals-disassembly-guide/

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So, now I'm in a Condo. Boat is languishing in a marina just outside the village where I live. I am heading up there to take her out for the weekend.

 

I brought all my sim stuff (?home?) and I have room for things like pedals, yokes, trim wheels. So off to my trusty MH research facility to make some purchasing decisions.

 

Right now I'm looking at this: Saitek Pro Flight Cessna Yoke System and their rudder pedals.

 

Prices seem to be all over the map, so I'm going to have to be careful. I'm going to avoid used stuff after reading the posts, above, regarding reliability over time.

 

I do have one question which someone might be able to answer:

 

I had a bad experience with a Saitek product a couple years ago - I bought their HOTAS (X52) which had a horribly sticky throttle which made it impossible to get accurate settings. Also, their software was anything but usable and re-programming with FSUIPC and other systems (LINDA) deactivated the radio controls. Hopeless mess!!

 

My question is: Is the Cessna Yoke going to do the same thing? Should I purchase the lower priced unit? Which doesn't have the hat switch and programmable buttons because I'm going to tear my hair out trying to use their software and finally give up and go back to punching the keyboard.

 

Looking forward to hearing comments.

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I'm mostly a CH guy and have had good luck with their stuff - yoke, pedals and 6-lever throttle quadrant.  

 

The only Saitek hardware I have is their Cessna Trim Wheel, which I like very much.  Have no ownership-level experience with Saitek yoke and pedals but HATE the idea of a mechanical center-detent, which the Saitek yokes I've seen do have.  There's a big groove in the yoke shaft with a spring-loaded something-or-other that engages in it, I presume to get repeatable centering.  The CH yokes don't have that and I'm not sure all the Saiteks do, but the Saiteks I've seen do have it.

 

From the experience of friends, the little LCD display in the center of the yoke on the Saiteks is troublesome and failure-prone (flashes, comes and goes, dies), but you can fly without it so not a critical item.

 

John

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Hi John,

 

Being a rookie pilot/simmer my comments will probably not help you decide but all I can say is I have owned a Saitek Pro Flight Yoke and throttle quadrant for 4 months and it works very well for me.

 

I have more buttons than I need at my level of experience and they all programmed first time and very simply via FSX Steam.

 

I bought the Pro Flight Stand to bolt it all on to and it is a great bit of kit, I am hoping to add the Pro Flight Cessna Pedals and trim wheel next month.

 

As I say I have not had it long enough to break it i.e. 4 months but as things stand so far so good.

 

Mike  

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Well, after the CH pedal disaster that began this thread... I'm quite satisfied with the replacement Saitek pedals that I purchased. I got there slightly lower range pedals I believe they are Cessna pro pedals? I'll check when I get home. But they've been pretty good pedals, no brake issues so rotor autopilot is working much better than before with the CH pedals.

I am budgeting for a dual throttle setup... Messing about with twin engines has me wanting to do better throttle ground handling.

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Just ordered the CH (Pro) pedals, hoping that isn't a mistake. I'll start with that unit and continue with my joystick (Logitech, not Saitek) until I make a decision with respect to the yoke. I'm inclined to go with JA's recommendation and avoid the centre-detented Saitek. That leaves me with a choice of the approx $250 CH Elite or the somewhat less expensive ($160) 200-615 yoke. It is my plan to get a trim wheel and a multi-throttle quadrant so I'm not inclined to spend the extra on the Elite. Trouble is that the cheaper unit is not quite so available in Canada, suppliers are either out of stock (Best Buy on-line sales) or want too much for shipping (Amazon).

 

I'll keep looking.

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