PC Joystick (Sorry)

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Dogran
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PC Joystick (Sorry)

Post by Dogran » Sat Dec 06, 2008 2:48 pm

Hello, Oolite people.

Firstly, I'm sorry to make my first post to your forums something that's been covered so many times already. I want you to know I have searched for previous occurrences of my question, and actually I have found a lot of them. The reason I'm posting again is that the threads I've found so far are either people having the same problem as me but apparently finding no workable solution, or people solving it by doing a lot of complicated-looking code deconstruction and editing.

I have the ubiquitous (oobiquitous?) joystick-centering problem. Namely, it won't. It's a Saitek X36F with paired X35T throttle, and I've had it yearsnyears, and it seems to work fine on everything else. But with Oolite I have to apply constant pressure - only slight, but still pressure - back and right to get the ship to fly straight.

I downloaded the latest version of Oolite yesterday.

Calibration in Windows doesn't help - as previous threads have said - and although there are one or two references around here to editing *.m files, I can't seem to find the files and assume I have to decompile the game to get to them.

And there's the snag: I never got the hang of doing codey things. I can tweak the odd file here and there, but nothing too technical.

To give you an idea - those familiar with Martin Schweiger's 'Orbiter', anyway - I'm quite happy adjusting the ascent autopilot settings on the Shuttle Fleet pack in 'Orbiter' for new orbit inclinations and altitudes; even adding new ships to a scenario, as long as the ship already appears in a different one and I can just copy and paste the section... But I can't handle anything more complicated than that.

So. The question is: are there yet any easy-to-implement fixes or workarounds available to solve - or at least bodge - the joystick centering issue on Oolite PC? It's an entirely different (and far better) game with a joystick.

For what it's worth after all that, I love the game itself. After playing First Encounters, which oddly enough I absolutely loved, I couldn't image the original Elite would hold that much interest any more; but Oolite proved me wrong. :o)

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Post by Cmdr Wyvern » Sat Dec 06, 2008 7:14 pm

Joystick drift on Oolite is an old problem, and one that obviously isn't going away soon. It also only affects Oolite running on Winbloze; thusly it's a Winbloze bug rather than a glitch in Oolite itself.

Here's a workaround.

Your Saitek comes with joystick tuning software; if you haven't installed it, do so. Better still, go to Saitek's web site and download the latest version of the software.
Once installed and running, the software will allow custom programming of buttons, and should allow you to tune the responses of the stick's axis. Use the axis tuning functions to tweak in a slight deadzone on your Rz, X and Y axis; make small tweaks till you can let go of the stick and fly straight without drift.

Or you can try Oolite on Linux, which won't have joystick drift.
Running Oolite buttery smooth & rock stable w/ tons of eyecandy oxps on:
ASUS Prime X370-A
Ryzen 5 1500X
16GB DDR4 3200MHZ
128GB NVMe M.2 SSD (Boot drive)
1TB Hybrid HDD (For software and games)
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Post by Dogran » Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:46 am

Thanks, I appreciate the advice. Saitek software updated and installed and it works like a dream.

Although, can I point out that it would have been perfectly possible to answer the question without the shots at 'Winbloze'. I'm already well aware that Windows has its faults. Not that I should be obliged to explain myself, but I use Windows for the time being because it is the best OS - occasional problems notwithstanding - for the range of games and sim software I want to use.

Forgive me if I've simply missed the humour, but I'm afraid I've spent a lot of working time associating with rather fanatical Linux advocates, and their constant jibes and sniping at stupid-people-too-dim-to-use-clever-operating-systems did wear a little bit thin.

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Post by Svengali » Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:50 pm

Dogran wrote:Forgive me if I've simply missed the humour, but I'm afraid I've spent a lot of working time associating with rather fanatical Linux advocates, and their constant jibes and sniping at stupid-people-too-dim-to-use-clever-operating-systems did wear a little bit thin.
Harr, harr. Take a look in Linux-Boards how much problems there are. Every OS has it's own weak points, but a little bit(e) of humor doesn't hurt .-)
BTW: I'm on XP and won't change :-)

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Post by Cmdr Wyvern » Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:01 pm

Sorry about that.

I too use XP for gaming. I'm going to be real about it, WINE just isn't there yet.

I must be real about this, too: Windows is too unreliable for any real work, and far too insecure for anything involving the internet, so the XP machine never sees any contact with the web and doesn't run anything but games. I nlited all the crap not necessary for gaming out of it, including IE/OE and all networking support.
And there's no way in Hell that I'm ever going to deal with the nightmare that is Vista.

For me, it's Linux for everything that isn't games.
Running Oolite buttery smooth & rock stable w/ tons of eyecandy oxps on:
ASUS Prime X370-A
Ryzen 5 1500X
16GB DDR4 3200MHZ
128GB NVMe M.2 SSD (Boot drive)
1TB Hybrid HDD (For software and games)
EVGA GTX-1070 SC
1080P Samsung large screen monitor

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Post by Dogran » Mon Dec 08, 2008 5:23 pm

Cmdr Wyvern wrote:Windows is too unreliable for any real work, and far too insecure for anything involving the internet
I suppose that depends how you define 'real work'; so far I seem to have managed. Still, I admit I'd love to use something a bit less patchy than Windows security-wise for the Internet, but it's just not feasible given everything I use Windows for.

I did hear people talking about dual-booting, but I'm afraid I wouldn't have a clue whether it's viable or how to go about doing it.

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Post by DaddyHoggy » Mon Dec 08, 2008 10:48 pm

@Dogran. For me dual booting went relatively straightforward - so it must be easy! I had an 80GB HD which already had XP installed on it - I used XPs normal tools to divide the disk into two partitions (C: XP and D: blank) - I then put an Ubuntu (7.10 Gutsy Gibbon) in the DVD drive - it booted up, I followed the install instructions, it installed where I asked it to - the D: drive and when it had finished I had a dual boot machine - it asks me on boot what OS I want to run selecting Ubuntu by default if I do not pick.

So I can play Oolite in both XP and Linux modes and it actually seems faster under Linux - although at the moment annoyingly I can't get it to install v1.72 under Linux :(
Selezen wrote:Apparently I was having a DaddyHoggy moment.
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Post by CptnEcho » Tue Dec 09, 2008 5:29 am

I use Windows-XP Home Edition and have installed Debian Linux on a spare computer and have several Live-CD's of Linux flavors to become familiar with Linux at my own pace.

I think several flavors of Linux are offering a competitive alternative to Windows. Graphical user interfaces are user-friendly, hardware detection and utilization has improved, software for various office & business tasks comes standard along with tools for image and music creativity. Additional programs for Linux are available via software repositories or libraries.

Windows often relies upon getting hardware drivers from installation software provided by the hardware manufacturer. Linux has to detect hardware and use it natively, often without manufacturer support.

Various Linux flavors support dual-boot or multi-boot configurations.
Example:
Windows-XP (installed first) with two flavors of Linux (installed after Windows) available as options in a menu during boot-up.

For the curious, I suggest a person experiment with Puppy Linux, OpenSUSE Linux, Debian Linux and any other flavor of Linux that appeals to them. I've found the book, "The Linux Bible", to be worth what I paid for it.

Linux hasn't cornered the gaming market, and is still a long way off from doing so in my opinion. But as Linux gains market share, the gaming industry will respond.
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Post by Dogran » Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:37 pm

Okay, well, I certainly mean to look into it, probably in the new year - but as I say, since most of the stuff I do on my home machine is games of one kidney or another I'd really just be dabbling.

Anyway, I appreciate the tips. As far as cornering the gaming market goes, I'm starting to think the PC games industry - at least the big, expensive, shiny games industry - probably doesn't have that much longer left to it. It's getting harder and harder to find PC games in shops - even my local branch of Game has crammed a couple of measly PC racks into a back corner somewhere beyond the vast array of XBox, Wii and PS3 stuff. Most of the other shops selling games round here have given up selling PC stuff at all. Tesco had one PC title on the shelf today. So I think the console kids have probably won.

But, on the other hand, I do think PC gaming will simply return to the old days of people making games because they love it, and not because they want to make huge amounts of cash out of it. Like Oolite, for example.

Not sure what all this will do to my chances of ever seeing Elite IV, mind...

Sorry - that went hugely off topic, didn't it?

:D

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Post by Griff » Tue Dec 09, 2008 2:29 pm

PC gaming does seem to be going through some troubled times at the moment, I've asked for the PC version of Grand theft Auto 4 for Christmas, and now i've just worried myself by reading up about it on the internet - it seems like you have to sign up and register 2 flippin' on-line accounts (one with Microsoft and the other with Rockstar the game authors) before you can even install the game :shock: , and after that everyone is crying that the game doesn't even run very well on even the newest pc's - maybe the 'next-gen' stuff is only going to be possible on fixed hardware specs like the consoles.

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Post by Frame » Tue Dec 09, 2008 7:54 pm

At the moment It is the same old story of the late 80´s

To many titles, to much crap, is lowering sales, the industry blame piracy instead of facing the real issues at hand that there are just to many titles being cramped out, before they are even done, because they have to meet the deadlines of the suit boys....

PC gaming already died once, it will again, because the industry never learn..

It is design over functionality at the moment, therefore you get games with ultra high requirements and poor performance...

Consoles does also suffer from this... while i do not own one, some of my friends do, among them, one of them is almost a pure gaming geek... his X box 360 gets to hot even when playing worms 2 after an hour, and he has have it replaced 3 times.. it just stops working.. until it has cooled down, with more advanced games, it freezes even faster... he even set it up in a sort of cooling rig...

From what i read play station 3 has a number of serious issues both in regard to running games, and to installing them.. and backward compatibility seems to be a problem...

Nintendo is the only one ATM who in my opinion is going strong, with their Wii which yet again is innovative in regard to game play...

Even the most simplest of games, become fun, because of it´s way of making the player have to do something physical..

Sure PC gaming will die only to be resurrected again... There is just to many people who work with a PC on a daily basis.

The Graphic card manufactures also need to put a lit on their development speeds, We where fortunate enough to experience 1995 to 2000, When Quake, Descent 1/2, Duke Nuke´m Wing Commander, Unreal, Freespace, X wing vs Tie-fighter, Red Alert, Command & Conquer could run on your S3 Virge or S3 trio Graphic card, with a Voodoo 1 & 2 Graphics accelerator card That was not terrible expensive, and it ran Smooth, instead now we see a generation shift every 6 months and the “leaps” ain't exactly leaps.. I had imagined something spectacular when I went from an ATI X800 to a HD 2600 XT... The performance improvements are there... but they are not exactly ground breaking.

Of course the Scene got seriously screwed when 3dfx went bankrupt, and AMD bought ATI, many years ago...

Edit: i just read, that Tabula Rasa a MMORPG is shutting down: reason to few players...

To quote from an online comic ctrl-alt-del

"that game was like the end-loaf bread piece; just as good as the rest of the bread, but nobody would touch the damn thing"

Sure indications of PC gaming is declining...

Cheers Frame..
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CptnEcho
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Re: PC Joystick (Sorry)

Post by CptnEcho » Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:10 am

Dogran wrote: ... I have the ubiquitous (oobiquitous?) joystick-centering problem. Namely, it won't. It's a Saitek X36F with paired X35T throttle, and I've had it yearsnyears, and it seems to work fine on everything else. But with Oolite I have to apply constant pressure - only slight, but still pressure - back and right to get the ship to fly straight.
...
I'm using a Logitech Exterme 3D Pro joystick. Occasionally I have to nudge it to keep it centered. I'm happy with it. 8)
"I shouldn't have taken off in this crate without more ammo..." Sergeant Knox - Star Blazers

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Re: PC Joystick (Sorry)

Post by Screet » Sat Dec 20, 2008 12:47 pm

Dogran wrote: I have the ubiquitous (oobiquitous?) joystick-centering problem. Namely, it won't. It's a Saitek X36F with paired X35T throttle, and I've had it yearsnyears, and it seems to work fine on everything else. But with Oolite I have to apply constant pressure - only slight, but still pressure - back and right to get the ship to fly straight.
I remember my mistake of buying a Saitek once...it looked reliable, but I never found any PC which would allow to use the stick properly, as it always did send move-info on it's own :( The only difference between PCs was, that the stick did have a different timing of faulty movement.
Dogran wrote: So. The question is: are there yet any easy-to-implement fixes or workarounds available to solve - or at least bodge - the joystick centering issue on Oolite PC? It's an entirely different (and far better) game with a joystick.
I guess one solution that would help everyone would be to make the sticks dynamic: reduced sensitivity around the center and maximum at the sticks maximum...this way there also would be no interest in switching a sticks sensitivity when attempting distance-shots on single pixels...but I haven't had a look into the code myself, and although I've got quite some years of experience in coding, I never had to do anything with sticks, which is the reason why I did report some other stick setup stuff in the "bug" section recently, instead of having a look myself.

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Post by Screet » Sat Dec 20, 2008 12:54 pm

Cmdr Wyvern wrote: I must be real about this, too: Windows is too unreliable for any real work, and far too insecure for anything involving the internet, so the XP machine never sees any contact with the web and doesn't run anything but games. I nlited all the crap not necessary for gaming out of it, including IE/OE and all networking support.
And there's no way in Hell that I'm ever going to deal with the nightmare that is Vista.
Maybe I should tell you that I worked professionally with Windows and Mac. The system that regularly got damaged was MacOS (in any version prior to X).

My virus scanner even has nothing to do, and the only serious problem I once had, was a virus scanner destryoing my W2K installation.

Windows on the internet is NO PROBLEM AT ALL - if you install your updates and know what you are doing. There are no infections over years.

I guess if someone would write linux "programs" which indeed install malicious software, there would be an as large amount of people claiming that Linux is unreliable.

However, Windows embedded programming is annoying and that's where I finally got my burnout :( That system doesn't even work as the MSDN says it should, regardless of all those hardware troubles. I really miss the times when Palm did have good devices and software...those were much more reliable.

Screet

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Post by Cmdr Wyvern » Fri Dec 26, 2008 1:44 am

My faithful old Thrustmaster Afterburner died recently. :( Some chip on the board inside went south, and the stick wouldn't auto calibrate any more. It would persistently auto center far off-center; the X axis would settle left.
Before anyone suggests it, no, it wasn't the axis sensor going bad. I checked it with a VOM and it read perfectly through it's range.

I wound up replacing it with a Saitek P3600, aka Cyborg Rumble Pad.
So how does that relate to oolite? Nevermind the flexibility of the device and that it can be programmed to do almost anything; the mini analog joysticks on it don't drift. There seems to be small center deadzones built into it.

Although it feels weird to pilot a starship with something that looks like it fell off Batman's utility belt, it's good to not be pestered by drift anymore.

EDIT:
For the curious, here's how I wound up programming it for oolite.

Code: Select all

Common controls:
"FPS" button = mode toggle
Right stick Y = pitch // Set in Oolite
Right stick X = yaw // Set in Oolite
Right stick button = precision // Set in Oolite
Left stick X = roll // Set in Oolite
Left stick Y = thrust * // This axis is programmed with banding. Pushing it up sends a W keypress to accelerate, pulling it down sends an S keypress to decelerate

Combat mode controls:
Left stick Y = * Pushed all the way up engages injectors
Left stick button = eject
Left upper trigger = arm missile // Set in Oolite
Left lower trigger = fire missile // Set in Oolite
Right upper trigger = ECM // Set in Oolite
Right lower trigger = fire laser // Set in Oolite
D-pad = Hat switch/POV // Oolite's joystick setup doesn't reconize hat switches in windows for some reason. I set this up in the Saitek software to send F1 - F4 keypresses.
"Back" button = cycles missiles // Set in Oolite
"Start" button = disarm missiles // Set in Oolite
"A" button = ID // Set in Oolite
"B" button = E-bomb // A black button with a bright red B on it.
"X" button = cloak toggle // The "X" button is a shiney black X on a less shiney black button, and the cloak is an experimental device that makes your ship disappear. :)
"Y" button = cycles target memory

Navigation mode controls:
Left stick Y = * Pushed all the way up engages insystem hyperspeed // "J" key
Left stick button = cycles adv compass
Left upper trigger = Instant dock // shift-D macro
Left lower trigger = Targeted autodock // Macro. Targets a station or dockable ship in the crosshairs with ID, then engages shift-C
Right upper trigger = intergalactic witchspace
Right lower trigger = witchspace // Macro. Switches to front view and engages witchspace engine
D-pad = mouse pointer control // For moving the mouse pointer around the star charts
"Back" button = toggles short and long range star charts
"Start" button = Witchspace target selection // Macro. Place the pointer in the star chart, then press "start". Mouse1 is clicked, then the planet information is displayed
"A" button = Scanner unzoom // shift-Z macro
"B" button = dumps cargo
"X" button = Cycles through onboard cargo // shift-R macro
"Y" button = Scanner zoom
Running Oolite buttery smooth & rock stable w/ tons of eyecandy oxps on:
ASUS Prime X370-A
Ryzen 5 1500X
16GB DDR4 3200MHZ
128GB NVMe M.2 SSD (Boot drive)
1TB Hybrid HDD (For software and games)
EVGA GTX-1070 SC
1080P Samsung large screen monitor

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