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So I just purchased a CH-Yoke and...

Pro Member Captain
originalgrunge Captain

I'm not impressed. I must be the first person in history to say this! I've never heard a single dissatisfied review of t he CH-Yoke, but I may be the first person to do so! If some of these issues you guys believe to be related to settings (which I highly suspect they are) then by all means speak up Very Happy .

So my first flight was about a 2+ hour VFR trip in the area north of SFO. I flew and landed in all weather conditions and in all types of terrain along the way in my trusty maule, hoping to get a good feel for how the CH-Yoke works. After finally figuring out how I wanted to customize all the buttons, I was on my way!

The first thing I noticed is the need to constantly trim the yoke itself for all stages of flight. If you have the built in wheel set full down, takeoff is nearly impossible, and even at a middle-ground its still difficult. That should never be said about a maule, since it can takeoff in a mere 300 feet of runway! Once you reach cruise altitude, the main wheel needs to be trimmed again before you can use any "fine" trimming with the rocker switches. Landing was where I truly found the trim issue to be difficult. In order to land the taildragger, I had to lean fairly far back on the yoke my first try before I realized it had to be trimmed once again! Although I did get used to the double trim idea, and was fairly comfortable with it by my 3rd landing.

Second, I noticed that as opposed to the fine control you have over the aircraft as with a joystick, you can only make slightly more dramatic changes with the yoke. That I remedied fairly quickly by lowering the null zones, but the rod itself the yoke sits on is slightly too stiff for my taste.

When making turns, I've found it very hard to keep the pitch from banking past the bank-limit (the plane seems to want to turn itself), and when coming out of banks I usually have to apply excessive control input in the opposite direction to overcome this. My vertical speed control in turns is also completly unstable.

I also miss the force feedback from my MS ffb2 joystick. When approaching the ground it now seems a mystery to me as to how high I am. With the FFB, I was able to feel a change in the aircraft the closer I was, and my hand was the first to know when the wheels touched down! It also made turbulence much more interesting.

Everyone also says that it really immerses you in the sim, but it actually takes me away from it. I now have to sit much farther from my desk (since I need room to operate the yoke comfortably), and my monitor is now about 8 - 12 inches further back on the desk than it used to be, a combined 1-2 ft away from what i'm used to. The yoke rod actually extends for about 5-6 inches beyond the casing when fully pushed in, so it needs that slight extra buffer there. Not to mention I fly with a laptop, so the keyboard now becomes somewhat of a chore to reach, also making me realize how much I'm not actually in the simulator.

I do enjoy having some extra degree of fluid control I experience with this when flying heavies, but for the issues with banking I expressed, it makes it almost not worth it.

Short of these opinions not changing in the testing / sensitivity tweeking I'll be up to in the next few days, I may be one of the first to actually return a CH-Yoke!

Pro Member First Officer
Pro-Sim First Officer

Hey John,

You're right - you are the first in history to say that !

A couple of things ;

The Wheel on the left hand side is not a trim wheel, it's a Y Axis (Elevator) calibration wheel that you use only when calibrating the Yoke to get the cross hair in the centre.

So best to set that up while calibrating, then leave it well alone, assign the rocker button on the top of the left yoke arm to Trim up and Trim down - far more reaistic for Heavy Metal flyers like you and I.. Wink

Also, set the REPEAT button in FS to just half way on these two trim assignments too.

Next, when using the yoke it does certainly take some getting used to balancing the Aileron axis to maintain your bank angle, but this is more realistic to all planes except Airbus (and other FBW).

It took me weeks to get used to but it now feels so natural .... To help get used to it go into REALISM and set the REALISM GENERAL slider to "Easy" - this reduced the tendancy for the Aileron Axis to want to return to a level pitch (or to keep rolling on!).

Now, whenever I plug the Yoke into my USB, FS2004 kidly sets all of the Sensitivity settings to NIL Evil or Very Mad so make sure it's not doing that with yours.

I set sensitivity for the Ailerons to MAX (No Null Zones at all) for nice fine Aileron adjustments on take-off and landing.

NOW, THE ELEVATOR ! Basically you're right about the forward and aft movement of the Yoke - it's far far too stiff .... it's jerky and awkward and although nobody mentions this in their reviews it is a let down.

However in time, you do really adjust to it.

I get around it by doing 3 things :

- Spray some silicone oil (we call it WD40 in the UK) on the shaft regularly.

- Set ELEVATOR sensitivty to around 75% (still NO null zones).

- If you have FSUIPC Registered Version, go into JOYSTICK and set the range of th Elevator to a smaller range.

Now this smaller range on it's own would make things worse, however with the reduced sensitivity (on Elevator only) it works really well for me and means that Elevator changes require only small pushes or pulls on the yokes - rarely giving it a chance to get all stiff and notchy Very Happy

Stick with it John, I was very unsure at first but theres nothing like Yoke flying for the airliners and when you perfect your approach and flare with the yoke you'll be real proud Cool .....

I'm now saving up 450 (about $700) for the AFCS II yoke, which is all steel, has no jerkiness and is modelled on a real aircraft yoke ...... I reckon I'm about 2 years from being able to afford it ! Crying or Very sad

David
"The-GPS-Kid was here!"

Pro Member Captain
originalgrunge Captain

David you're a life saver~! I was going to stick it out and try and find all of the bad settings in my control setup, but with my slightly "tighter" flight schedule now I knew it would take far too long. This definitly saved PLENTY of time. I'll give the yoke a new chance for sure. Heck, I can't be the only person to not like it!

(Yes, we call it WD40 here in the states too!)

Pro Member First Officer
Pro-Sim First Officer

Cool Cool

Stick with it buddy and keep greasing that pole with the WD40 - it will loosen up more in time Wink

Don't forget, Null Zones don't work well at all with th principal of the Yoke so they should always be at Nil (and remember that the Windows drivers sometimes change the settings on their own Twisted Evil ).

Good luck - You'll soon be bringing that PMDG744 in beatifully with the Yoke, watch that flare though Wink

David
"The-GPS-Kid was here!"

Guest

I miss the force feedback feature too, although I love the yoke deep in my heart. I wonder why CH yoke is not incorporated with the force feedback featue......
it would be perfect if they did it

Pro Member First Officer
JTH First Officer

Could someone please post a picture of a yoke and briefly explain what it does? I'm a bit of a newbie to all this, thanks Laughing

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

It's the "steering wheel" in the aircraft. About $100 each.

Radar

Pro Member First Officer
JTH First Officer

Ah I see, thanks. Do you need to get the pedals in conjunction with the yokes? I know small planes like Cessnas need those pedals to turn but are they also used in big jets? Also are those multi-engine throttle controls any good? They look pretty cool.

Thanks again for any help!

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

JTH wrote:

Ah I see, thanks. Do you need to get the pedals in conjunction with the yokes? I know small planes like Cessnas need those pedals to turn but are they also used in big jets? Also are those multi-engine throttle controls any good? They look pretty cool.

Thanks again for any help!

No I'm pretty sure you can use the twist on your joystick instead of getting pedals.
Someone correct me?

Radar

Pro Member Captain
originalgrunge Captain

Investing in either the yoke or the rudder pedals is no problem. If you go for the yoke first, you'll have to activate the auto-rudder option in flight simulator, meaning you'll have to turn the yoke to taxi on the ground. If you invest in the rudder pedals first and use that in conjunction with your joystick, that's fine as well. I used that for about 8 months before investing in the yoke, and it is a great setup.

That was a very good observation about using rudder pedals in a heavy. It's true, they're not as useful there. Yes, you do use them for taxiing on the ground, centering yourself on the runway, things like that, but overall the rudder is much more practical in the small planes.

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