770: RedBird Alloy RD1 Review Cont’d

After received my second RD1 unit, I immediately swapped it with the first one being used in my main system.  Assuming it could run directly straight out from the box.  Sadly, no, it didn’t.

NO TWO RD1 ARE THE SAME

Truly, the joystick axes for the rudders and brakes are the same.  But the new RD1 performed far from normal using the calibration from the first RD1.
RD1-2GIF
The Rudder Axis wasn’t centered at rest.  And the left and right Brake Axes were jumping up and down and didn’t return to zero when released, meaning that the toe brakes were somehow pressed all the time.

Obviously, the two RD1s are two individual equipment and they couldn’t be treated as the same unit.  Initial calibration for each individual RD1, therefore, was mandatory and inescapable. Continue reading

763: RedBird Alloy RD1 Review Part 2

…continued from Part 1

SettingS in MSFS

Since Redbird isn’t an affliated partner with Asobo, users have to configure the Alloy RD1 in MSFS by themselves.  The assignment process can’t be said complicated.  But it was not straightforward either.

Also, the MSFS setting information RD1_30provided by the company is NOT fully CORRECT.   For example, in the mapping suggestion, Redbird states that the Right Brake Axis doesn’t need to be Reversed.

But it is incorrect as I have to enable the REVERSE to use the Right Brake properly. Continue reading

762: RedBird Alloy RD1 Review Part 1

Before the story, I would like to say that the Redbird Alloy RD1 is the best in the six rudder pedals* (see the list at the end of the story) I’ve ever used in my two decades’ flight simulation experience.
RD1_01S
To be honest, the purchase of this Alloy RD1 rudder pedals was unintended.  My original plan was to get another Thrustmaster Pendular Rudder TPR to replace my over 10-years old Saitek Cessna Pedals.

But unfortunately or fortunately, there were no stock from all vendors at that time (July 2021) and none of them could confirm whether new stock would arrive by end of the year.

Since I had already decided to take a bold step to get the Alloy TH1 at that time, I persuaded myself to go further to get the Alloy RD1 as well.

Frankly, its price tag, $549 (now $599) plus over $100 shipping, wasn’t attractive, nor does its appearance (the retro-looking isn’t my favorite).  I really was a bit hesitated when I placed my order.

Thank goodness, since I started using the rudders six months ago, I am fully impressed by its performance.  And in my opinion, it even out-performs the Thrustmaster TPR I am having on my other setup and the VirtualFly Ruddo I used before.

Following is my review : Continue reading

749: CubeSim TPR Damper Kit REVIEW

I’ve been a bit lazy doing anything these days except playing MSFS occasionally.  Yesterday, I got some excitments — the damper kit for my Thrustmaster TPR Rudders finally arrived after nearly a month’s misplaced shipment.
TPR_Mod_01
The $65 damper kit from Cubesim in China includes one (1) damper stabilizer unit and four (4) 3D-printed clamping parts, along with necessary bolts & nuts to attach the unit to the TPR rudders.  The kit is non-destructive to the rudders.  The way how it implements is different from other similar products I’ve seen on the web. Continue reading

739: My NEW GEAR – Bravo Throttle Quadrant

Another throttle quadrant?  Haha…Yes!

Frankly speaking, although I got two HoneyComb Alpha Yokes in my systems, I had never thought of getting the Bravo Throttle Quadrant because it isn’t something fitting my light aircraft setups.

Nothing is absolute.  When I saw a friend who was selling his nearly brandnew Bravo with $100 less than the market price, I couldn’t help getting it without much hesitation.  I gave myself an excuse — “It’s a good chance to have my hands on it.”BravoQuadrantS
After getting the quadrant this morning, I immediately had a quick test with it for an hour or so.  I would say it’s not bad at all Continue reading

737: My NEW GEAR – RedBird Alloy TH1

I bet many friends like me have heard about the various flightsim gears from Redbird Flight Simulations, and very likely might have read reviews and comments about them on the Internet.  But I don’t think many of us really had a chance to try them on, because the company doesn’t sell their gears thru third-party vendors — at least I haven’t noticed anyone yet.
TH1_01Recently, I got the Alloy TH1 throttle quadrant from the company to replace my Saitek Cessna TPM which has been in service for over a decade in my work system.

TH1_002_resizeIn my flightsim-only setup, I have the VirtualFly V3RNIO+.

Actually, I was thinking of getting another V3RNIO+ to replace the Saitek TPM at the time the company was offering a 15% discount promotion.

However, the discounted price was around $900, which is still a lot of money, not to mention an extra $100 for the shipping to be added.

While I was hesitating if I should go for another V3RNIO+, I came across the Redbird Alloy TH1 again.

Just like the VirtualFly V3RNIO+, the Redbird Alloy TH1 is also a vernier-style throttle quadrant that comes with a Throttle Friction Lock and Propeller & Mixture Fine-adjustment Control mechanisms as found on the real aircraft.  And it earns some good comments from its users, too.

In addition, its $569 price tag, comparatively, sounds more reasonable and affordable.

Therefore, after some serious considerations and especially due to the $350 in price difference (or $480 with no discount), I decided to give the Redbird Alloy TH1 a go.

For more than a month now, I’ve been using the Alloy TH1 extensively.

Is my bold investment on the Alloy TH1 justified?  How does it perform compared to the VirtualFly V3RNIO+?  Here’s my review:  Continue reading

719: My New Flight Illusion Trim Wheel

The HW-GEN003 Trim Wheel from Flight Illusion in The Netherlands belongs to a new line of products.  My first reaction after unpacking it is:  It’s HUGE !

No kidding.  I was actually stunned a little by its “huge” size even though I was prepared to accept that it would be big after reading its physical dimensions before the purchase.GEN003_01_resize_resize

Pardon me if I sound a bit exaggerated.

But it was true at that moment because the contrast was so big that this relatively huge unit was packed in a relatively small package — which is about half the size of the box shipping the Flight Velocity Trim Wheel, which on the contrary is about half the size of the Flight Illusion trim.

Frankly, I have never seen any other trim wheel for simulation bigger than this one.
Continue reading

702: Airport Enhancement – REX vs Zinertek

After Zinertek released its Enhanced Airport Graphics for MSFS a few months ago, REX Game Studio just follows to announce their Real Global Airport Texture for MSFS as well.  To me, it’s pretty similar to what they compete in FSX/P3D environment before.AirportTexture_REX AirportTexture_Zinertek_resize

In terms of pricing, REX’s version is $17.95, which is about a dollar more than Zinertek’s $16.97.

Does that extra dollar makes REX’s new product better than Zinertek’s?

Let’s put aside the quality of enhancement first, the extra one dollar does give users a choice of 4 combinations spawned from New & Used Taxiway Markings and Heavy & Light Rubber Buildups, against Zinertek’s only one universal style.

How are they different and are they better ?

Followings are two sets of photos briefly comparing the two products.  I’ll give my choice at the end of the story.

Since the size of the photos are a bit large (1,800 x 1,100) , be patient if your network isn’t fast. Continue reading

701: Flight Velocity Trim Wheel Pro Review

If you have ever used any trim wheel circuited with an encoder before, you should have experienced that the last position remembered by it could be very annoying if you forget to set its position back to the center at the start of a flight.

TrimPro_01b_resizeSince I got the Cessna Trim Wheel from Saitek many years ago, I’ve been looking for a solution to this annoyance.   But search is futile.

So when I found out Flight Velocity was soon to release a new product called Trim Wheel Pro which would use new software last Decemeber, I was quite excited, hoping that it could be a remedy to my agony.

Unfortunately, after checking with the company, the new player is no exception.  The issue seems to be unsolvable. Continue reading