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A HOW TO: Saitek X52 Neodymium Magnet Mod to fix axis drift issues


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#1 Pioniere719

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Posted 26 May 2016 - 03:06

I recently had problems with my Saitek X52 (standard) joystick that I remedied using neodymium magnets. I wanted to share my experience with those who use the X52 standard or Pro, or perhaps anyone else who has a joystick that uses magnets, where this mod might be able to help like it did with the X52.

 

Essentially, I want to say that it is an easy fix and most importantly, it works, so don't be afraid to do it!! You won't be sorry (unless you decide not to do it).

 

The problem:

 

My stick had heavy roll drift issues, and some slight pitch control issues. In Saitek properties, my lines were spiking and jumping all the time. If I managed to get them straightened out in properties by moving the stick through its motions, it wouldn't last long, because in game, I'd eventually and quite quickly start experiencing control issues again. I also tried to apply some deadzones in the properties to no avail. I even opened the stick up and did a little bit of cleaning, but that didn't help either.

 

The solution:

 

I decided to do the magnet mod as per Trooph's video: https://www.youtube....GZSx7UaVU#t=151. He also does a throttle potentiometers cleaning video. Although I haven't had a need to do it, I'm providing the link for those who are interested: https://www.youtube....tEkO1p1Rj7EZWmZ.

 

I originally intended on ordering 0.47 inch neodymium magnets, but for some reason, I ordered a ten pack of 0.3 inch magnets. They still worked fine.

 

I added two neodymium magnets to each of the four magnets that are already in the joystick. This procedure is quite simple as you can see in Trooph's video: pinch a magnet between your two fingers and bring it close to the installed magnet. It will quickly snap into place in the correct position. Repeat for the other magnets. Try one round of four first and then check your properties. If you need more, add more.

 

I'm guessing that with the 0.47 inch magnets, I might have gotten away with using one magnet instead of two on each of the existing magnets. With the unit open, and the cable plugged in, I was able to watch the sliders in the Saitek properties. Roll was stable, but pitch was still a hair off to one side, so I added a third magnet to that affected side, and it straightened out right away. In properties, it stays solid like a new stick. In game, it was a night and day difference to what it was before. Everything is of course, better.

 

Sadly, the downside to this fix is that now I can only blame poor gunnery or bad formation flying on myself. B)

 

Cheers!

 

Pioniere719 :icon_e_salute:

 

EDIT: August 12, 2016

 

The magnet mod (which I still recommend) was great while it lasted, but it appears that my stick was getting too old to keep up. Either the original magnets were getting worse or the ps2 cable connecting the stick to the throttle was deteriorating. I had enough of constantly having to recalibrate, so I decided to upgrade my stick to a Thrustmaster T.16000M as per this thread: http://riseofflight....00m-bit-review/


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#2 TMMR

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Posted 27 May 2016 - 01:05

Nice post! I picked up a 6 pack of .47"(12mm x 3mm) at home depot, added 4 and the center is now smooth but I've lost some physical travel distance with the stick. I'd say almost a third is gone.

Maybe mine are too strong? Where did you get yours? Having trouble finding solutions online.
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#3 Pioniere719

Pioniere719
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Posted 27 May 2016 - 14:20

Thanks TMMR!

 

What do you mean by lost physical travel distance? Do you mean that if say your stick swung side to side four inches before adding the magnets, that now it's say three inches? Something like that? In the Saitek properties, does it translate there as well in that the red line doesn't travel all the way to the left or to the right?

 

I guess the .47s are that much more powerful. Then again, I doubled up on each of my .3 inch magnets, so one would think that combining two .3s would be even stronger than one .47. I'm no scientist or mathematician, so I don't know of my straight up thinking applies. B)

 

I picked up mine at Home Hardware - http://www.homehardw...tm25/R-I1130002

 

I originally ordered from China at a much cheaper price, but they never arrived, which was a first ever for any China order I ever made. I got my refund, but lost a lot of time because of the loss. I definitely wanted to reorder from someone else there, but because of the time, I didn't want to wait that long twice.

 

 

 

 


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#4 TMMR

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Posted 27 May 2016 - 21:11

Yeah I worded that pretty poorly I think. I mean since it is more sensitive in the center of the axes now it has lost sensitivity(entirely) around the perimeter, I guess. I can see it in the Saitek properties, too. As the red line reaches the end of the sensitivity zone I still have room to travel(about a third more) with the stick in the real world. 

 

Hope that was better to understand. Thanks a lot for the link, sucks about China.

Closest I could find near me is http://www.homedepot...045HD/202526363

 

According to some comments they're a little smaller but I'm gonna pick some up today and report back. Thanks again :)


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#5 Pioniere719

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Posted 28 May 2016 - 15:05

Well understood, thanks!

 

I had a similar but opposite experienced before I added the magnets. For roll, left was fine, but to the right, the red line in properties only reached say 3/4s or 4/5s of the distance, while the physical stick movement had reached its right limit. It wasn't always the case, but did happen at a point where I was trying to resolve my earlier issues in other ways. 

 

It's like Fritz Flipitz said to me once, something along the lines of "sticks will get old and they will get used, so it's going to happen". It's just too bad they cost so much, or else we (those without deep pockets) would be able to easily replace them from time to time instead of hassling with them.

 

Ya, I agree that it sucks about China, because the magnets were around 1/5th the price. :(

 

Hopefully, the next set does well for you TMMR!

 

 


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#6 TMMR

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Posted 03 June 2016 - 15:48

I picked up the .3" as well as an even smaller pack(can't remember the size ATM), just in case. The .3" were too strong still so I tried the smaller size. Turns out just 2 of these are my compromise. The center isn't as tight(which is nice) but doesn't feel as smooth, and I'm still missing a little sensitivity with pitch up. I'm hoping after greesing it everything will feel right. Thanks again!

Here you can see the .47s, .3 and the smaller but wider ones I'm using now have the hole in the center.

Attached Files


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#7 Pioniere719

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Posted 03 June 2016 - 17:04

Hey TMMR!

 

That's a significant difference in size. Hopefully you get it working nicely!

 

Let us know how it goes.

 

Good luck ..

Pioniere719


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