Feedback - @Aerogator and @UIV

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Feedback - @Aerogator and @UIV

Postby PryingMantis » Tue Sep 26, 2023 22:35

I submitted this privately through the website, and was then directed to post my comments here so they would reach the proper channels. Below is a copy of my email. Thank you for your consideration.

"Dear VKB,

I have some suggestions/observations to send your way, but first I would like to say that I think your products are amazing. I purchased the Gladiator NXT EVO and the THQ SEM Combo from you last year, as well as the WWII Throttle earlier this year. Hoping to get the rudder pedals soon to add to my collection. Thanks for all the work/effort you do to make solid flight controls that are accessible to the average wallet.
Recently I tried to install the WWII Throttle on my GNX-THQ SEM+ Combo and had a very very difficult time with it. It consumed over 25 hours of my time alone, plus time from people on the forums and discord channel who were gracious enough to help me. There seems to be some issues with this item and the hardware I have, but I'm mostly through the worst of it.

I respect that your audience is a niche market, and one that may be a bit more tech savvy, and willing to 'fuss' with things, but throughout this process I noticed some general quality of life (QOL), ease of access items that could be improved upon to make things easier on your customer base.

1. VKBDevCfg does not scale/resize with the screen. I was mostly working on a big monitor, but when the device failed to break out of boot mode I had to run to a laptop to try and break the hardware out of this death loop. This was challenging because the window of the software was bigger than the screen, and all of the tabs at the bottom I need to change in order to calibrate were off screen, and a tiny scroll bar on the side doesn't cut it.

2. Firmware - installing v2_16_5 bricked my GNX-THQ+SEM after installing the WWII Throttle. After this I was scrambling to resolve this issue and thinking I installed the wrong file (USB Controller). Turns out I had the right one, but a very basic and easy service you could provide that would cost zero dollars, is to place firmware files under each device on your website. Instead, it currently has one zip file with all VKB device firmware included. This is incredibly confusing to people who do not work for you, or are not fluent in VKB devices. It is common PC hardware industry practice that if I look up my printer model for example, I will be directed to the firmware file for that specific device. Not given 25 options in a folder. I recognize this takes more time than the way you currently do it, but it will drastically improve confusion levels from the end user, and help prevent us from installing the wrong firmware and making matters worse if something does go wrong.

3. Interference - I'm not knowledgeable on why this is happening, but I can tell you from an end user perspective, having to chase down a plethora of programs that interfere with your products is a nightmare of its own making. If you can find a way to solve this from the dev side (no other hardware I own has this issue), and prevent programs from interfering that would be a major help. Having to guess what may be creating a conflict, or going into safe mode (never had to do that on any hardware device I own to update firmware), or having to jump machines (separate issue) is all just a grand exercise in frustration.

4. Machine hopping & port chasing - having to change subaddresses on the device, move jumpers, or constantly plug into various USB ports e.g., back of the machine vs front, or change computers entirely in order to get devices recognized, or update them is definitely a major problem for the end user. The only way I was able to get my throttle setup out of BRICK mode was to go to another PC and flash it from there (thank you Fallout). What if I had no other PC? Again, a small thing perhaps, but it causes chaos for end users especially when included with the aforementioned items.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and take these items into consideration. I wish you great success and look forward to enjoy VKB products for years to come.

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Re: Feedback - @Aerogator and @UIV

Postby AeroGator » Wed Sep 27, 2023 5:02

Thank you for taking your time!
I have read your message.
Please rest assured there is nothing that we ignore, and we're listening to all feedback.
We might agree or disagree, for different reasons, but we do analyze every bit of input.
I forwarded your message to the RnD guys, so let's hope we will see our future products further improved!
Thanks again!
Best Regards,

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