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Microsoft Sidewinder Precision 2 joystick

Sidewinder Precision 2 joystick by Microsoft

I got my hot little hands on this joystick early in the year 2000.

Precise and reliable, this was my first USB stick. I revelled in the stability after years of battling erratically calibrated analog sticks.

Here's what I found.

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Controls

The Sidewinder ® Precision 2 has eight programmable buttons, an 8-way hat switch, and a throttle.

The software is very intuitive to use and allows full programmability of the buttons and hats. You basically press "record" and type the command or commands you need to activate.

The rudder is built in to the handle - twist it left and right to simulate the rudder pedal actions. It sounds weird I know, but very quickly it became intuitive.

Microsoft Sidewinder ® Precision 2 - the throttle control

The throttle is small but it works well.

Microsoft Sidewinder ® Precision 2

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Performance

Calibration - what calibration?

The stick worked flawlessly right out of the box and was smooth as silk.

My aileron rolls were suddenly right on the money! There was absolutely NONE of the stuttering and jerking I had learnt to live with in analogue joysticks.

My MiG Alley F-86 Sabre suddenly flew like an "electric jet"!

Well almost! What it meant was that I could really explore the flight model as the programmers intended it without extra "noise" in the control system.

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System Requirements in 2000

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Bugs

Year Bug Solution
2000 On bootup the system asks you to insert the Sidewinder Install CD even though the joystick is installed and working properly.
  1. I press Ctrl-Alt-Delete once to open the "Close Program" dialogue, then close the application there. Annoying but not fatal.
  2. ... or ...
  3. Go to C:\WINDOWS\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp and move the program "SWStubset.exe" somewhere else.
2000 In Enemy Engaged: Comanche vs Havoc the view scrolls continously upward. None that I have been able to find. Apparently the sim doesn't support USB joysticks. Make sure your favourite game supports USB controllers.

CORRECTION: Rick Knight from Official Database for Pilots reports "I just finished installing the new Saitek X36F Combo USB system and it runs excellent with Enemy Engaged.", so it appears the problem is more subtle than I suspected!

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