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Saitek X52 Joystick

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   The system is usable straight from the box for basic flying functions but in order to utilise the Flight Control System to it's full potential you need to install Saitek's SST programming software which is also supplied on the accompanying CD, the SST software allows you to configure the various buttons and sliders to take over the functions of the keyboard. The integrated LCD panel shows what ‘mode’ and what profile you have loaded. I'm not going to go into the SST software in this review but one point I would like to make, the SST software is not limited to a single program, I have my SST software set up for Pacific Fighters and also TeamSpeak, it is possible to combine different programs onto the buttons on the joystick.



Using the X52

Centring of the stick is very accurate, Saitek retained the use of a single spring and cupped plastic washer to achieve this and it works very well. The X/Y/Z axis are of a contact less design and the stick moves with little effort in any direction, the centring force is constant so when you push the stick to it's outermost travel the feel is the same. Buttons are well placed as are the two hat switches, the trigger is a double stage unit, the first travel on the button makes the first contact and the second contact is made if the button is pressed all the way in. The stick has an adjustable hand rest to accommodate various hand sizes.

Using this stick is very comfortable and the hand rest is adjustable!


The bulk of this unit is made up of the throttle handle which houses all the buttons, the feel of the throttle stick can be adjusted with a tension knob on the side to alter the stiffness of it's movement. The base also has an LCD display which shows current profile loaded, Mode selection and time and date, you also have the option of setting two other time zones which can be displayed at the touch of yet another button.

The throttle handle moves smoothly with 'indents' in it's travel at 20% and 80%, these are fixed and non adjustable. Notice the 'slider' button? Good for 'flaps' or 'engine fuel" mix?

The throttle handle incorporates:
A precision slider
Two rotary knobs
A hat switch
Two fire buttons
A rotary wheel with switch when pressed
A mouse stick with left button
A clutch button (for use with the SST software)

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