Saitek X52 Pro Flight Control Systemajmatson - August 9, 2007
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The configuration is the tricky part of this whole setup. It is not really a hard task, just a time consuming one. But in a good way, of course. With there being so many buttons and options with the flight system, you can customize each game on how you can most comfortably control the simulation. Each game will be set up differently, as some are more complex and some are simpler. I tend to keep the main controls the same in each game, to be familiar but for more complex games, I type up my own list of controls and their buttons, for a quick reference sheet. For Microsoft Flight Simulator X, I made myself a Flight Log and Check Sheet that I keep with me for my flights, for all the different aircraft that I fly on a regular basis. One nice feature of the X52 Pro, is profiles. With the SST programing software included with the drivers, you can set up "Profiles" for different games and users. The profiles allow you to map the movements of the control system to buttons on a keyboard. Take for instance, dropping flares in a combat simulator. If the key set in the game is "W", you can have the SST software map that key to a button on the joystick. This will tell the computer you are pressing the "W" every time you hit that button mapped and your flares will drop. To download a small collection of profiles to get you started head on over to Saitek's Website.
In this example, I have taken the keys "P, O, and I" and set them as fire keys. "P" was set to trigger 1, "O" was set to trigger 2, and "I" was set to trigger 3. This way, if I wanted to fire the main guns, I would pull the trigger and it would send the key "P" to the game and the guns would fire.
You can also use the SST software to set macros. Macros are great, because you only have to press one button for multiple effects. To expand on the above example on flares, say you also want to drop chaff in addition to the flares. Well, instead of having two different buttons that you have to hit one after the other, you can set a macro to activate both with the press of a single button.
In this setup, I am going to set a macro. To set up a macro, right click on the function you want to set it as. Select "New Macro" and enter the keyboard sequence that you desire. Once set, you will see the macro display in the function's box.
Of course, you do not have to use the SST software and configure the system for each game. I used two games that I play regularly with the X52, to give you an example of what you would see for each. The first picture is from Microsoft Flight Simulator X, the second from Battlefield 2142 and the last is from Lock-On. In Battlefield 2142, I only used the system for the flight portions.
For the final part of the configuration, we will take a look and the flight system calibration and settings. This is where you will fine tune the sticks and buttons and make sure that they are all working properly. The screen-shots starting from the top left, is the 'testing' tab, which lets you check each movement and key press. The 'dead zones' tab, which lets you adjust the dead spots for the movements to center them out. The 'LED's' tab, which lets you control the brightness of the buttons. The 'MFD' tab, where you control the brightness of the MFD and the time setting displayed on it. Finally, the 'about' tab, which gives you links to information for the system, as well as displaying the software version for the controls.