This was the first joystick I got after getting into flight simulation. It was a present from an aunt and think it costed around £30.
Being built by Saitek, the build quality is excellent. It came with a CD to install drivers, but as it is only a basic joystick, you can simply plug it into the USB port on a PC running WIndows XP, Vista or 7 and it will work immediately.
This is a great joystick with a good number of buttons which allowed me to assign buttons to flaps, landing gear, airbrake, lights and various other functions. It also has an eight way hat in the middle allowing you to rotate your view point if the game allows it. Another great feature is that it has a built in throttle which is great for precision as the alternative is to use the keyboard. It also has a rudder twist function which is great as many joysticks are unable to control rudder functions.
Although designed for use with flight simulation games, its also quite good for other games such as car and boat simulation/racing games and is a great alternative to using the keyboard.
Hello everyone and welcome to this review.
Now... being a student Pilot I needed something to help me with my training. Out I went and bought Microsoft Flight Simulator Butt! I needed something to fly the planes with.... and that is this beauty!
I bought this off Amazon about two years ago, I paid £29.99 Brand new in the box. An okay price I suppose but it seemed to be the best for quality and features in that price range. I put it in the loft for two years when we moved house and off I searched for it once I had my flight simulator. I wonder why I bought it two years ago? I am not too sure myself! ha-ha, but it has become useful in the end.
The box was rather small, under a foot it height and was not too wide. It was plain white and had the picture of this Joystick on it.
My New Joystick
An installation Disk
And full instructions
Also a five year warranty!
The joystick was very easy to install... Just pop in the USB and the installation disk and away you go! Well in around three minutes giving time for everything to install.
I could not help but notice how modern it looked, very strong and professional. Silver and grey in color and some stainless steel parts which told me it was well made.
After a flick of the instruction manual I must say it was pretty good! But I never properly read those things.... Sometimes I wish I had though!
Now what is a joy stick??
A joystick is a controller mainly used in Air / Flying games. It is a stick that moves in 360 Degrees and is input into the computer. They also have buttons somewhere on the control for airplane Flaps / Breaks etc.
The CYBORG 3D GOLD Joystick
This joystick really is a joy to use. Being made by Saitek it is a really good controller. They make award winning controllers for games and this Particular Joystick is one of their award winners! That is why it is called the Cyborg 3D GOLD!!
The joystick is very well designed. It has been designed for ergonomic use. Most parts of these joysticks are adjustable to suit individuals needs. Whether you are right or left handed you can use this.
There is a throttle lever on the side of the joystick. This is obviously used for High / Low speeds of engines etc. The lever is very smooth and feels like the real thing to be honest! It can also be moved to the right or the left by removing a screw using the Allan Key provided. It is very simple to do.
This joystick unlike others has a built in wrist rest. This is for long duration of play and ensures that you do not damage your wrist / hands during long playing sessions.
At the top of the stick there are three buttons and a toggle switch. The buttons can be programmed to what you want them to do. Whether it is lowering the aircraft flaps or even opening the doors. It can all be done very easy using the software provided. The toggle switch is used for looking around your plane. Say if you had to look out of the left cockpit window you would toggle to the left etc! Its very handy to have.
The actual joystick is a pleasure to use during flying. It is mounted on a spring type of mechanism so it feels very real. There is even a break lever on the back of the stick which is easily operated using one finger.
Does this have the rudder control?
YES! Most joysticks do not have a rudder control in this price range, this one does. It works really well too. To use the rudder you simply twist the joystick left or right and your plane will Yaw, OOOppps I'm getting a bit technical hah. The twist is very strong and is unlikely to break if twisted too hard.
The joystick has the suction cups that you can fit to the bottom so that it will stick to your desk. However I never use these. The rubber feet on the bottom of these sticks are perfect for keeping it where you want it. They also do not mark the desk, I always get in trouble for that.
The top of the joystick (Where the buttons are) - This can be adjusted, so if you have long or short fingers this joystick can be adjusted. Just pop out a little screw and the top will move. This is also a very handy feature. Both the rudder control and the joystick itself are very responsive! Real response times.
Very Strong! This stick will be lasting me years, if not the rest of my life! It really is that well made. It feels quality and heavy. All buttons are easy to press, and everything is extremely well made
Overall this is a fantastic joystick. Very easy to use and a pleasure.
Really helps if you are flying microlights in real life as it feels very real!
If only it had foot rudder pedals..... But for that price I would never dare to complain.
Thank You for reading and I hope this has helped you.
I have used this joystick for over 18 months, with only a couple of minor glitches. Its easily adjustable to fit my hand size and can be made to fit a larger hand than mine. It can be adapted to suit a left-handed person very easily. This joystick is an entry-level stick for those wanting to play a flight simulation game without having to pay out too much cash or have an addition set of pedals for rudder control.
The Saitek Cyborg Gold 3D USB is a modern joystick aimed at the PC flight simulation market with a long but descriptive name. It is made by Saitek and can be found in computer game shops or over the Internet. I got this stick at dabs.com for £27.02 (including VAT and delivery) in December 2003. It came in a box with an installation CD, a quick guide for setting up and a guide for installation.
The joystick is made of good strong plastic in two colours black and gold. It has a large solid black coloured base with four small rubber pads, not suckers. The shaft is gold coloured with a black plastic hand rest, a trigger button and three thumb buttons on top. There is also a little 8-way HAT control for changing views located above the thumb buttons. The shaft itself moves on three different axis (hence 3D), these are the standard X and Y for up, down, left and right movements, with a third movement of a rotating motion on the shaft called the Z axis. This Z-axis is mainly for flight simulators as it allows you to control the rudder with left and right twisting movements to the shaft. The shaft also has a visible spring at the base with a plastic cover and rubber gasket that allows good precise movement along with adequate resistance to return to neutral when you let go. The base has four extra function buttons nearest the user, with two shift buttons one on each side of the base and a throttle control lever.
The buttons on the stick can be used in three different combinations that allow you to assign up to 24 functions. There are the standard buttons, four on the shaft and four on the base. By pressing the right shift button on the base you can gain an extra eight from each of the two sets of buttons and by pressing left shift you will gain another eight. Confused? You might be if you try and add functions to all of the buttons as I did to start with. I now only use the eight standard buttons as it is much easier on my brain to remember each of the functions I assigned to the buttons.
The joystick can be adjusted in a few ways to accommodate differing hand sizes, using a small little tool that is slotted into the base of the unit. The tool is easily lifted up and is basically a small Allen key in the plastic mould with Saitek written on it. The tool is great as you can adjust it in moments without having to go and find the relevant tool from elsewhere. Using this key you can undo a screw in the plastic hand rest and move the rest up and down the shaft to suit. Another screw in the centre of the throttle level allows you to increase or decrease the resistance in the throttle lever and another screw near the thumb buttons at the top of the shaft allows you to change the length of the trigger head to suit your thumb length.
Lefties need not despair as the joystick can be changed to suit your needs in a few minutes. The hand rest is shaped for the right hand, but when you unscrew it comes away in two parts, flip the bottom section around and then slot the pieces back together, screw it to the set of holes on the right side of the stick and your ready to go. The throttle lever can also be taken off and changed with the blank dial on the opposite side. It is that simple that I a right-hander changed it over to the left-handed arrangement so I could play a flight simulator online and type messages with the right hand. It is still in the left-hand arrangement even now and is pictured like this in the photos below.
This should be relatively easy as the installation set-up for the computer is meant to be on the CD, however I had problems. I followed the instructions by loading up the CD first. I followed the installation guide and then when I was instructed I plugged in the joystick to a USB port, I got no response. I tried the other USB ports, by unplugging items and still the computer could not find the joystick and I only managed to get into a mess with some of my other USB dependant items. I stopped trying to install the joystick and I read the setting up and installation for XP guides thoroughly. I tried again and after another failure I gave up and went online to contact a friend of mine.
Buzzard Thud is an ex-USAF F-105 fighter-bomber pilot and Nam veteran living in Jackson, Mississippi. He now works at a resort servicing the servers and computers. If Thud could not help me, then the stick was going back to dabs.com. So I contacted Thud and we hooked up online. Thud to me down the numbers checking the device manager and other things, the dreaded word BIOS raised it head before we found the problem. I was running XP SP1 (at the time) and Thud decided the CD was probably shipped out with an installation set-up for the original XP version only and in his words it was SNAFU. On Thuds advice I hit the saitek web site at www.saitek.com and managed to find the latest driver for the stick. I downloaded it and sure enough it worked like a doozy as Thud said it would. I plugged in the stick and it worked fine.
I still have problems with the stick occasionally when I start up the PC. Sometimes it gives me a warning that the stick is not working properly and true to form the connection with the PC is gone. I learnt that a PC restart will always cure this problem, it is a little annoying, but at least it never happened mid-game. Also when I updated to SP2 I had to do a reinstall, but then I had to do this to my scanner and printer as well so I was not too put out.
~Using the stick~
The stick has taken a lot of abuse from me in the time Ive had it. It has been dropped accidentally a couple of times and it gets the occasional slap on the shaft if things go wrong. I used it nearly every night for a year when I was playing an online flight game. It still works very well and is as good to use as when I first got it.
With all the adjustments and movements you can perform on the stick I was able to get the shaft to fit my hand easily. The movement on the shaft is smooth and direct with no grinding noises from the base and the spring lets it return to a neutral central position easily. The base is heavy enough to resist any movement and the pads stop the base sliding around the desk, yet at the same time the joystick is easily repositioned to where ever you want. The twisting motion takes some getting used to, but after awhile my hand got use to the movement. It is best described, as twisting a cap off a bottle. The throttle control is smooth and allows good control of graduations from no power to full power.
The main trigger button at the front is easily pulled with a good amount of resistance. The thumb buttons need a little more force to press as the action is a little unusual for this digit and as such after a long time the thumb may ache, but the buttons are robust. The four buttons on the base can be reached with any hand, but are normally better with the free hand. The shift buttons are a little harder to get to and as such I dont really use the shift buttons for this reason. Also there is the fact that my memory is bad and I cannot remember all the possible 24 functions that I can assign to all the buttons.
There is a little programme that come on the installation disc that allows you to programme the buttons to various other functions. This allows you to programme keyboard buttons to the stick so you do not have to use the keyboard when playing a game. This would be useful if the shift buttons were in a slightly better place and I could retain a little more information in my poor overworked brain. As it is I used this software once to programme all the buttons with all the functions I thought I would need. The result was I got in a terrible mess when trying to play a more complex flight simulator (to be reviewed later) and as such I reverted back to an easier button configuration. This software programme is really for the more advanced player and is best left alone until you really need it.
The Saitek Cyborg Gold 3D USB is a very well built joystick, it is robust and takes a certain amount of abuse. The controls are easily adjustable and smooth working, the buttons work well and the throttle control is good. I really like the twist motion on the shaft as it allows you to play flight simulators without having to have an extra set of pedals for rudder control. If you have a flight simulator game on your PC and want a basic cheap and robust joystick, then this is the stick for you. It has minor issues with XP, but then a lot of my other peripheral USB linked items such as my diabolical Lexmark printer have similar problems. Even if you are left-handed you can use this stick so I would heartily recommend it to anyone.
Base 175mm (7)
Height 255mm (10)
Cable length approx. 1.5m (5 ft)
Weight 1.48kg (3lbs 4oz)
~Non Technical Information~
Evaluation Games Fighter Ace 3.5, IL2 Sturmovik, IL2 Sturmovik Forgotten Battles and Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator.
Purchase Price £27.02 (including VAT and delivery) from Dabs.com
Thank you for reading and rating.