[HARDWARE] Hey, I did say we had some good things after Thanksgiving right? So when track IR first came out a few years back, I completely failed to see the point of having it. In fact, I disregarded it so much, I didn't bother to even think of having it until about a year ago. The thing is, I have spent so much on software over the years, I never really bothered to search for hardware (other than the rig and the flight controls). Well now, external hardware is becoming so advanced, it's damn near imperative that we start making more of a concerted effort to look into what's being developed for our flight simulators. Thus, for the very first time, ADX offers you our first hardware review, the Buttkicker! Your butt is going to experience arm-chair flying like never before!
Not only was flying so much more realistic and fun, but my skill increased over 40%. This was due to gaining the ability to freely look around a lot faster than the hat switch could accommodate and being to use the mouse with my right hand instead. For example, I can easily see the runway off to my left or right, perform a 15 degree bank turn at 1,000 feet, and line up perfectly just being a few hundred meters from the threshold.
The bottom line here is, Track IR changed my life. And not only do I hate myself for not purchasing it earlier on, but because I was so closed minded to it in the first place.
Now the purpose of this review is for those of you who may have similar feelings about the Buttkicker. You may be saying: "whats the point?" and "all it will do is vibrate my ass and likely bring better flying pleasure to girls ..."
Well you'd be wrong. Well at least that first thought would be.
Here is an example flight. With the TSS 777 sounds, imagine your Emirates CaptainSim or Posky 777 at Dubai. As you start your engines you feel the engines spooling up under you as you would if you were really on-board. Now with both engines running you can hear and feel the continuous vibrating of the engines. As you push the throttle forward, you actually feel the aircraft start to move!
As you turn onto the runway (if you have runway bump sounds or AES) you feel the bumps. As you complete final checks, you push the throttle to 10%. You really start to hear those GE90's reving! As you advance the throttle to full power, you are actually feeling the increasing speed and bumps on the runway. It really feels like you are on an accelerating aircraft! It's amazing!!
As you rotate outward, and the main gear becomes airborne, all that vibrating settles down and there is only the soft movement caused by the humming engines and the wind....
Until you raise the gear! It almost feels like the gear is folding right into my ass. Holy crap! Every time it still catches me off guard.
The Buttkicker is the most realistic addon since Track IR and the closest you will ever get to a full motion simulator in your home.
As the Buttkicker rely's on sound output, it is extremely accurate in matching what you feel to what you are hearing.
Let's get to the hardware.
Now you have a very simple machine and setup, the quick start guide will have you fully experience all the buttkicking fun in about 15 minutes.
And yes. I know my setup is a freaking mess with the cords everywhere!
So I disabled the optical output, and ran the main output from the rig into the mic-in on the Sony AMP. Now if you have a similar setup ran via optical, first check if your external amp has a LFE output in the back. If so, use that output. Mine had a funny stupid shape output so thus, my setup is ran from my rig's headphone output jack into the mic in on the Sony amp seen in the below picture. It's a bit ugly to see and I would prefer all this to be hidden behind my rig but for now, this will have to do. Every cord you need for all this crap is actually included in the box. The only cord I needed that's not supplied was a double sided mic jack. Luckly I had one laying around.
Another thing you must keep in mind, this unit works best is when connected to a subwoofer output as it works best when only receiving low frequency output. In my case, as my system is too stupid to properly work with me, it is connected to the headphones output which means the buttkicker picks more sound and reacts to it. It's not annoying as I fly with headphones, but without the headphones, you can hear some of this sound emanating from the unit.
As the buttkicker is not a force feedback unit, it relies solely on sound. You are going to need TSS (Trubine Sound Studios) payware soundpacks to get the most out of this thing. And given the fact that force feedback flight controls seem to be a thing of the past, it's really nice to feel the simulator again.
You will also need to adjust your sound within the simulator. If it's raining, you will feel every drop. So in my case, I turned down the environment a bit and raised the sound of the engines more.
You will also enjoy movies but mostly, it's fun to listen to music too.
Overall, I highly recommend this to anyone who is looking to increase the environment outside of the screen. The first time you try it, it's sure to put a smile on your face and a unusual welcome feeling to your...
AirDailyX -We do things differently!