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Old 08-08-2011, 09:37 PM
SEE SEE is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,677
Default Saitek X45 meets X52

I have just completed the modification to an X52std that features a duel action rudder. A selector switch on the Yoke base enables either a 'yoke twist' or' throttle paddle'. Some will recognise the throttle unit as an X45.

I preferred the X45 Throttle/Rudder paddle as it is more precise and isn't affected by Yoke movement. Having said that, I also liked my X52 with all its functions. BTW, before anyone mentions 'rudder pedals'- I sold mine on Ebay!

I have two X52 (std) one with a non functioning MFD which I bought for £5-00 (it works fine other than that) and both have the Hall sensor magnet mod.

As I preferred the 'paddle' I set out to evaluate the possibility of incorporating a 'paddle' rudder onto the X52 throttle unit which involved dismantling both the X45 and X52 throttle units.

The first thing that struck me was how simple and quick it was to dismantle the X45 throttle. Remove the screws from the cosmetic panel and its jobe done!

Second, the X45 uses conventional potentiometers for the rotaries.

Thirdly, the paddle Rudder mechanism uses a linear motion (as can be seen in the pictures below) and ideal for a Hall sensor upgrade. The paddle sliding mechanism is mounted on the PCB so has to stay in place though its dimensions could be reduced.

Anyone who has dismantled an X52 Throttle will tell you it is a very time consuming process and frought with difficulties. The second problem is that the modules that house the rotary pots are extremely complicated and, as most have found, the miniature presets are not available as spares.

In the picture below you can see the X52 rotary module. It comprises a miniature micro switch, a miniature pre-set and a LED. You can see how small they are and how large the housing is compared to a conventional pot and simple (but easily fitted and sourced) button switch . The
Saitek design team seem to have come up with an extremely complex and large housing to replace a conventional pot. The LED is completely unecessary for me. Just out of sheer curiosity I wondered if it would be possible to replace the modules with conventional pots and easily obtainable miniature momentary switches. Not saying you could but it seems a possibility.

In the end the choice was obvious- use the X45 throttle housing rather than the X52 and reap the benefit of easy maintenance, conventional pots that are easy to source and replace, a paddle rudder and the possibility of Hall sensor upgrade for the rudder. Add to that the possibility of considering a different yoke that does not feature rudder control.

Ok, no LEDs for each switch (who cares!) and the scroll wheel is now on the base along with a rotary potentiometer which replaces the slider.

It all works just fine and, as you can see, I am ready to incorporate an MFD into a modified and smaller housing located where I can see it! In nutshell, if you like the twist action then a X45 throttle housing with paddle rudder removed should give you enough space to include the slider or a rotary pot (better choice IMO).

I have to say that the first time I tested it - It didn't work! Fortunately this was traced to the Mouse modules. The X45 is digital and the X52 is Analog and has to be used. This is the only component that has to be transplanted from the X52 into the X45 housing.

The X52 calibrates on switch on and if it does not see the four Mouse 'potentiometers' that form the X52's X - Y axis - it doesn't 'boot up' so to speak. The Mouse is critical to the well being of your X52.

I have some cosmetic work to do but it works which was the most important outcome. I know that there are some of us are equally happy dismantling, modding, repairing our gear as using it!

Last edited by SEE; 08-08-2011 at 09:57 PM.
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:53 PM
Rattlehead Rattlehead is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 727

Originally Posted by SEE View Post

Anyone who has dismanteled an X52 Throttle will tell you it is a very time consuming process and frought with difficulties.
I can imagine!
Very impressive work. Unfortunately for me I don't have the know-how or the guts to undertake something like this.
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