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Mod: Realistic detents for Thrustmaster TCA Quadrant


Holger Teutsch

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Holger Teutsch

Unfortunately the TCA quadrant has a rather narrow range for manual thrust.

So I created a mod with more realistic detents with CL , MCT, TOGA at around 25°,35°,45° from idle. That's very close to the real thing.
In addition there is some resistance (not a real detent) for REV idle.

You can 3d-print your copy at shapeways.

https://www.shapeways.com/product/ZRUW892G8/realistic-detents-for-thrustmaster-tca-quadrant?optionId=201217014&li=marketplace

New vs Old

PXL_20210219_133432211.thumb.jpg.582dec78017c8932c7d112319949c9c7.jpg

710x528_34104225_17958658_1613744558.jpg.e593bcd4d142c6730ce9b43601c40cc2.jpg

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Phillip Tengg

This is, what I was waiting for :)

Just ordered my 2 pieces and can't wait to receive them

Thank you so much for your effords!

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Koen Meier
11 minutes ago, Pascal Ad said:

Interesting - do we still have the "notches" for CL, FLX/MCT with your modification??

The shapeways page shows the modification piece which is two sided.

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Holger Teutsch
1 hour ago, Harry Westbury said:

Thank you for providing this, I will certainly be buying it when my TCA finally arrives!

Are they easy to install?

Harry

4 screws out, 4 screws in, that's it. It's even described in the "manual" of the quadrant.

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Holger Teutsch
1 hour ago, Pascal Ad said:

Interesting - do we still have the "notches" for CL, FLX/MCT with your modification??

Yes, see the picture I included in the first post.

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Adrian Bueren

Hello Holger,

this is very interesting! I must admit, I couldn't find anything in the manual on how to install such a modification. Could you describe this a little bit more detailed?

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Peter Hastings
53 minutes ago, Adrian Bueren said:

Hello Holger,

this is very interesting! I must admit, I couldn't find anything in the manual on how to install such a modification. Could you describe this a little bit more detailed?

It's in the manual under item 12 - where you can enable/disable the detents.  Turn your quadrant upside down and you'll see the four screws holding in the two detent parts. 

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Phillip Tengg
On 2/20/2021 at 11:11 AM, Phillip Tengg said:

This is, what I was waiting for :)

Just ordered my 2 pieces and can't wait to receive them

Thank you so much for your effords!

My 2 pieces arrived today. Already installed. At first glance they seem to work perfectly.

@Holger Teutsch can you provide your detend settings, please?

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Holger Teutsch
1 hour ago, Phillip Tengg said:

My 2 pieces arrived today. Already installed. At first glance they seem to work perfectly.

@Holger Teutsch can you provide your detend settings, please?

My settings:

[GateControls_0]
DIS_270=2048
Min_TLA_RevMax=-10000
Max_TLA_RevMax=-9700
Min_TLA_RevIdle=-7500
Max_TLA_RevIdle=-6000
Min_TLA_Idle=-4700
Max_TLA_Idle=-3700
Min_TLA_CL=1500
Max_TLA_CL=3300
Min_TLA_FLXMCT=6000
Max_TLA_FLXMCT=8500
Min_TLA_TOGA=9500
Max_TLA_TOGA=10000
[GateControls_1]
DIS_270=2048
Min_TLA_RevMax=-10000
Max_TLA_RevMax=-9700
Min_TLA_RevIdle=-7500
Max_TLA_RevIdle=-6000
Min_TLA_Idle=-4700
Max_TLA_Idle=-3700
Min_TLA_CL=1500
Max_TLA_CL=3300
Min_TLA_FLXMCT=6000
Max_TLA_FLXMCT=8500
Min_TLA_TOGA=9500
Max_TLA_TOGA=10000

 

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Phillip Tengg
21 minutes ago, Holger Teutsch said:

My settings:


[GateControls_0]
DIS_270=2048
Min_TLA_RevMax=-10000
Max_TLA_RevMax=-9700
Min_TLA_RevIdle=-7500
Max_TLA_RevIdle=-6000
Min_TLA_Idle=-4700
Max_TLA_Idle=-3700
Min_TLA_CL=1500
Max_TLA_CL=3300
Min_TLA_FLXMCT=6000
Max_TLA_FLXMCT=8500
Min_TLA_TOGA=9500
Max_TLA_TOGA=10000
[GateControls_1]
DIS_270=2048
Min_TLA_RevMax=-10000
Max_TLA_RevMax=-9700
Min_TLA_RevIdle=-7500
Max_TLA_RevIdle=-6000
Min_TLA_Idle=-4700
Max_TLA_Idle=-3700
Min_TLA_CL=1500
Max_TLA_CL=3300
Min_TLA_FLXMCT=6000
Max_TLA_FLXMCT=8500
Min_TLA_TOGA=9500
Max_TLA_TOGA=10000

 

oh, I meant for options page in mCDU...

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Peter Hastings
2 hours ago, Phillip Tengg said:

oh, I meant for options page in mCDU...

They are the settings from the MCDU - saved in the A320ThrustLevers.ini file (in Documents\Prepar3D v5 Add-ons\FSLabs)

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Phillip Tengg
17 hours ago, Peter Hastings said:

They are the settings from the MCDU - saved in the A320ThrustLevers.ini file (in Documents\Prepar3D v5 Add-ons\FSLabs)

Ah yes, didn't know that this file exists... thank you all!

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Phillip Tengg

Just finished my first flight (LIRF/LOWI) with the new detents and I can confirm that they work perfectly. They improved the TCA from good to perfect! Feels a lot more realistic now. Everyone should get these!

Big THANKS to @Holger Teutsch!

 

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Holger Teutsch

Just a heads up: if you go for Thrustmaster's calibration procedure (due to mismatch of the levers... ) you must use the original detents.

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Riccardo Masia

Got mine today, I do have to say I feel a bit of a bump around the original climb detent. Don't know what that is, but overall a major improvement!

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Michael Forbes

This is great, ordered mine today.  Does it also come with the stickers showing the new gates on the throttle housing?

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Peter Hastings
1 hour ago, Michael Forbes said:

This is great, ordered mine today.  Does it also come with the stickers showing the new gates on the throttle housing?

It's explained on the Shapeways page.  There's a link to a google docs file that you can download and use to print the new gate spacing yourself.

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Michael Forbes
2 hours ago, Peter Hastings said:

It's explained on the Shapeways page.  There's a link to a google docs file that you can download and use to print the new gate spacing yourself.

Many thanks, I missed that.

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Ronald Yan

Is there an stl (or similar) available for purchase? I'd like to print it locally rather than wait for shipping etc.

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Pete Banner

Working very well for me. It gives a much better 'feel', truer to the real thing.

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Holger Teutsch

Guys, stay tuned for the "Ground spoiler arm" mod coming soon.

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Stu Antonio

Slightly different topic but maybe the same ballpark.... Couldn't some talented simmer come up with a 3D-printed "Tiller-Clip" for the TCA stick's twist axis? 
Something like this (bad photoshop simulation) :D

HEO0LSR.png

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  • 2 weeks later...
Stu Antonio

Installed my detent-mod-pieces today.
I gotta say, the detents themselves are a little "softer" than the original ones. Its more like an audible "click" than an actual physical detent, I can feel them but I tend to overshoot them easily. Other than that it's a big improvement and makes me wonder why the engineers over a TM thought it would need this much space between the detents in the first place... 

 

 

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Koen Meier

they could have redeisgned the whole package to have more range but then it would have been bigger.

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Stu Antonio

Unfortunately, this isn't working that well for me. I think this has to do with the quality of the print rather than the design, the parts I received are not as clean as the images show and considerably softer than the original part. The "notches" are so flat that I barely feel any resistance while moving the levers through the detents.

I think in general this is a good idea/mod, but I'd also prefer to try and print it elsewhere (and maybe even create my own in 3D for that) or maybe try another material.

I don't know what your experiences are, especially over time, but the piece I got unfortunately lacks in quality. 

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Koen Meier
24 minutes ago, Stu Antonio said:

Unfortunately, this isn't working that well for me. I think this has to do with the quality of the print rather than the design, the parts I received are not as clean as the images shows and considerably softer that the original part. The "notches" are so flat that I barely feel any resistance while moving the levers through the detents.

I think in general this is a good idea/mod, but I'd also prefer to try and print it elsewhere (and maybe even create my own in 3D for that) or maybe try another material.

I don't know what your experiences are, especially over time, but the piece I got unfortunately lacks in quality. 

A harder material might work better.

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Holger Teutsch

I'm afraid from a material perspective it's the best you can get for 3d-print with a consumer price point (it's PA 12). There are others available but then you get in the price range of industrial prototyping.

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Luc de Wit

I just ordered mine yesterday. Didnt read I had to order two until after ordering, luckily I was able to order another one and combine the shipping.

 

Looking forward to testing them out!

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Mark Langenbach
8 minutes ago, Luc de Wit said:

I just ordered mine yesterday. Didnt read I had to order two until after ordering, luckily I was able to order another one and combine the shipping.

 

Looking forward to testing them out!

Same here. But I had no luck because it was already shipped and I had to order a second time. Anyway I tested already one and I am a little bit disappointed becaue I was expecting that this detent works better. I still feel the original climb detent. It seems so that this print is bad quality. Hopefully they will bring a mod of this mod otherwise for me its useless.

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Holger Teutsch
12 hours ago, Stu Antonio said:

Unfortunately, this isn't working that well for me. I think this has to do with the quality of the print rather than the design, the parts I received are not as clean as the images show and considerably softer than the original part. The "notches" are so flat that I barely feel any resistance while moving the levers through the detents.

I think in general this is a good idea/mod, but I'd also prefer to try and print it elsewhere (and maybe even create my own in 3D for that) or maybe try another material.

I don't know what your experiences are, especially over time, but the piece I got unfortunately lacks in quality. 

Just to confirm: Do you have the white ones or the black ones?

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Stu Antonio
14 minutes ago, Holger Teutsch said:

Just to confirm: Do you have the white ones or the black ones?

White ones. I didn't say that there was a difference in the material.... 
 

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Holger Teutsch

I just wanted to confirm. The black is just dyed after production and I was not sure whether it softens the material.

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Stu Antonio
9 minutes ago, Holger Teutsch said:

I just wanted to confirm. The black is just dyed after production and I was not sure whether it softens the material.

Well, the black ones seem to be not available anymore anyway. Not sure if the material is too soft or anything, maybe it's just not printed "edgy" enough.... 
Those spring loaded balls just move over the barriers too easily.

On a different note, during testing I apparently switched the parts too often and now the screws won't tighten anymore (they are just carved into the plastic with nor real thread). So be careful guys, don't over-screw them.

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Holger Teutsch

I removed the "black option" as some people somehow  implied that it is a different material. It's just another color and the steep price increase comes from a separate dyeing process step.

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Phillip Tengg

I ordered the black ones. I can confirm, that I still feel the original detent slightly. But the new detent positions are precise, the levers come to a full stop when reaching the new detents. I don't feel like I could miss them. 

Maybe the material changed, but in my opinion it could also depend on the Thrustmaster TCA. They are not very precise in the first place. For example, with mine, the original detents felt different on each lever. So I guess the issues some are experiencing are a combination of many factors.

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Peter Hastings

I bought the white version.  I've put the original back on one lever to compare one against the other.  Here are some subjective observations:

Modified version: I do feel a faint resistance where the original 'climb' gate was -not sure what could cause this?  The FLX/MCT gate is the most positive.  I can't feel much of a gate at the TOGA position - nothing much to resist the lever moving backwards, but at least I am up against the lever limit.  The CL gate could be stronger.

Original version: all the gates are more positive but, obviously, the reduced gap between forward idle and CL is much reduced making manual throttle adjustments more sensitive.  Of course, this is the issue with the original.

Looking at the parts side by side, the designs are slightly different.  The original has full cut outs from side to side, and the mod has 'boxes' with side walls with a different profile (difficult to explain without pics!).  Whether this makes the difference in behaviour, I don't know?

I'm interested to know if other users of the mod have the same experience?

BTW @Holger Teutsch, I really appreciate your contributions and my comments are meant to be constructive, so I hope you don't take them as negative!

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Holger Teutsch

@Peter HastingsThank's for your feedback, yes, that's what I observe as well.

Some background: The small lever carrying the metal ball has a radius of only 16 mm, the metal ball a diameter of 4 mm and the notches (original and mine) a width of 2.7 mm. Some simple math shows that the ball accounts for an angular range of the lever of ~14° and the notch alone of ~9°. Now with CL, MCT and TOGA ~ 10° apart one can imagine that there is not much room for creating a detent feel that works in both directions.

Consistent with this I feel the 'faint' resistance near the original CL detent only when moving down from CL to idle. It's the position where the spring force of the ball stops driving the lever downward out of the CL detent and that's already ~5° down.

I'm currently experimenting with a more edgy design but given the above-mentioned constraints of the product I'm not very confident that much more can achieved.

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