I finally managed to get hands on the illusive original sidesticks. Must say this is something completely different than using Logitech attack joystick.
I guess everybody knew that, although not only for obvious smooth and heavy stick movement but also the grip feeling. Despite the replica handle I used on joystick the grip feeling on this one is different due to metal use. Otherwise the shape of replica is identical.
Sidestick use hydraulic dampers and series of different springs to produce artificial feeling. The whole unit is actually rather bulky for that. I figure you cannot achieve similar dampening effect quite easily without using a pair of similar dampers. I tried to use various foam padding and high viscosity paste on joystick to mimic dampening but nothing worked as expected.
As removed (AR) sidesticks usually come without transducer units. Transducer get removed and sent to overhaul/repair along with recertification to go back on secondhand parts market. Now it’s up to me to make them “simworthy” again and figure a way to incorporate some potentiometers.
Cables with pin connector are still on so I immediately started searching for proper push to talk and AP disconnect pin-out. I found the F/O stick push to talk on cable 2180VCA pins J/K and auto pilot disconnect on cable 2190VCA pins H/K. You can find the rest here on sidestick pin-out.
Not many know that sidesticks get “locked” when auto pilot is active. You can still move the stick and disengage the autopilot but have to use much greater force. At the bottom of sidestick frame there is a special solenoid responsible for locking the stick. If they work, sufficient voltage will triggered stick locks. I guess relay board could be used to trigger solenoids.
And a tip, when handling or storing sidesticks make sure they’re not in horizontal position to long as dampers tend to leak hydraulic fluid. The package I got them in was all greasy despite all the bubble wraps. I guess leak also depends on the sidestick part number as there are some improvements regarding this.