Gladiator joystick in Europe

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Eduard VKB FSC
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Gladiator joystick in Europe

Postby Eduard VKB FSC » Fri Jul 01, 2016 10:48

Hello Everyone,

This topic is open to clarify situation about Gladiator joystick in Europe.

First of all, regular VKB Gladiator joystick will not be sold in Europe at all. Period. This is due to long standing contractual restrictions agreed to very early in the design and mold making process. It’s obviously not ideal.

Instead, a similar joystick will be available under a different brand name and called something other than Gladiator. VKB participated in this project as an engineering company providing overall architecture of the product, electrical and mechanical design of internals and the overall design of the base and the grip. Final readiness and preparation for production was done together with Taiwanese company Asian Games. Asian Games has exclusive rights to sell the product in Europe. Final technical and commercial decisions were taken by AG and VKB has no influence over that.

The joystick for EU market will be simplified in some ways (no MaRS for yaw control, software from 3rd party has fewer settings) therefore the price is also expected to be a bit lower.

It is important to understand that VKB does not control the manufacturing process of the non-VKB branded joystick and is not involved in final acceptance for the joysticks made for EU market.

Hence, VKB takes no responsibility for the build quality of this product and does not provide any support.

VKB apologizes if this causes any inconvenience to anyone interested in VKB products. This is a unique situation and will never happen again.

However, the Gladiator Pro model WILL be sold in Europe by VKB. It is the same form factor as the base Gladiator, but because is has completely different internals and a special all-metal gimbal the restrictions mentioned above do not apply.
VKB store in Europe - http://flightsimcontrols.com

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Re: Gladiator joystick in Europe

Postby joe_ » Fri Jul 01, 2016 16:29

Any ETA? for the EU Gladiator variant and the Pro? As US ones are shipping now, it must be pretty close for the EU Gladiator?

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Re: Gladiator joystick in Europe

Postby Eduard VKB FSC » Sat Jul 02, 2016 12:14

joe_ wrote:Any ETA? for the EU Gladiator variant and the Pro? As US ones are shipping now, it must be pretty close for the EU Gladiator?


Hello joe_,
First of all, there is no such thing as EU Gladiator. And as I mentioned above

Eduard VKB FSC wrote:It is important to understand that VKB does not control the manufacturing process of the non-VKB branded joystick and is not involved in final acceptance for the joysticks made for EU market.


Therefore, we can't provide any ETA. We do not even know what brand name will be used for the joystick for EU market yet.

Gladiator Pro is currently planned to be in stock for September this year.

Best regards,
Eduard
VKB store in Europe - http://flightsimcontrols.com

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Re: Gladiator joystick in Europe

Postby joe_ » Sun Jul 03, 2016 17:38

I called it the 'EU gladiator variant' to tell you I was talking about the EU version of the joystick that is similar to the gladiator. Wasn't that clear enough? So USA gets the pro shipping in July and the EU have to wait till September.
Anyway I have now got a CH Fighterstick and that is not a gimped stick with no QC.

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Re: Gladiator joystick in Europe

Postby pretagonist » Mon Sep 05, 2016 14:49

Seems like the European version will be called the SpeedLink Airrow. I'm commenting this so that hopefully those who google the stick gets the story behind it.

Personally though this makes me sad as the twist version of the gladiator is the only stick I was currently thinking about possibly buying and now getting some unsupported substandard version is not going to happen.

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Re: Gladiator joystick in Europe

Postby KPX » Fri Sep 09, 2016 11:43

Hello,

When Gladiator Pro will be available again ? It is sold out in "https://flightsimcontrols.com/store/joysticks/vkb-gladiator-pro-joystick/".

Thanks
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Re: Gladiator joystick in Europe

Postby Sokol1 » Mon Sep 12, 2016 18:23

"Gladiator Europe" = Speedlink AIRROW

It's said they use "HALL sensor" instead MaRS use in their advertising to take advantage of Thrustmaster "HEART" HALL hype, but is MaRS in X,Y, conventional potentiometer in "twist rudder" axis, locked firmware. Look's that this simplifications make then a "less costly do make version" - but not "less costly to buy". In Amazom.de AIRROW cost more than Gladiator in Amazom.com... :?

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Re: Gladiator joystick in Europe

Postby Eduard VKB FSC » Wed Oct 05, 2016 11:31

KPX wrote:When Gladiator Pro will be available again ? It is sold out in "https://flightsimcontrols.com/store/joysticks/vkb-gladiator-pro-joystick/".

Hello, KPX,
Unfortunately, the amount of Gladiator Pro produced for EU is much smaller than demand. I expect Gladiator Pro to be re-stocked again in November.

Best regards,
Eduard
VKB store in Europe - http://flightsimcontrols.com

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Re: Gladiator joystick in Europe

Postby Sokol1 » Thu Oct 06, 2016 2:06

For those in Europe that don't notice, another OEM version (of Gladiator) is available, RavCore - Polish hardware distributor brand - Javelin.

Image
Picture from Slaw (Slaw Pedals) "screwdriver" review posted in IL-2 forum.

https://www.ravcore.com/produkty/javelin/
Manual and configuration softare available in end of this page.

Relatively to AIRROW, Javelin configuration utility has two options more.

Imageupload an image

Can integrated T-Rudder or a MaRS based 3 axis rudder pedal in their base, though the RJ45 Rudder connector. For now is not know if this option has practical use.

- This software has bootloader mode - what mean possibility to upgrade firmware, but notice that this upgrade need be provide by RavCore, VKB versions is not compatible (different VID/PID), so for now is not know if this option will have practical use, if the brand has interest in offer this - probably not, as will mean costs.

And, this OEM Javelin version It is offered at a lower value, around 67 dollars, what is more consistent with OEM version who lost contacless MaRS sensor in twist rudder, replaced for low cost potentiometer and have restrict firmware options. OEM AIRROW have a less option in their config software, not option for integrate T-Rudder although maintain the connectors in base, and their price in Europe is practically the same of VKB Gladiator in Amazon.com.

Around simulations forums are suspicions that OEM versions came with different internals from Gladiator or are counterfeit copies.

OEM are produced by same factory who made Gladiator for VKB (and Cobra M5 for Defender), based on agreement of share development (explained in other topics there), so the products are identical, with same mechanical, e.g. the gimbal with damper grease - and electronics parts (MaRS), minus:

- Potentiometer in twist ruder instead contactless MaRS (X,Y axis use MaRS).
- Restrict firmware options, basically calibration/deadzone, no new buttons profile is possible.
- Pads under joystick base is in rubber, in Gladiator is silicone.
- OEM versions QC control is done by factory Chinese personal. For Gladiator done by VKB.

Notice that RavCore advertisement say "HALL sensor" technology, but the sensors are MaRS, more advanced. Happen that for Chinese MaRS is meaningless, and advertising as "HALL" they are taking advantage of Thrustmaster H.E.A.R.T. HALL "hype". :mrgreen:

You guys from Europe have your options, important take in mind, although OEM versions are the same joystick - with above exceptions - they are OEM products, and Gladiator is VKB product. :wink:
So is pointless go complain about OEM versions in VKB forum. :)

Comparing this OEM versions with the market, in similar price range/features the nearest options are Thrustmaster T.1600M and Defender Cobra M5 (low availability) - who use generic electronics in his V3 version - make this OEM versions, price/features/ergonomics and even look, better option... if that famous QC control had no "collateral effects". :)
Last edited by Sokol1 on Thu Oct 06, 2016 18:41, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Gladiator joystick in Europe

Postby Bourrinopathe » Thu Oct 06, 2016 5:34

One important thing to keep in mind is that these OEM versions, with very limited programmability, are not compatbible with the pre-made profiles offered by VKB.

For example, you won't be able to use the A/B/C base buttons as virtual axes for trimming, no long-press functions, no 2-modes functions for the other buttons (base), no direct keyboard-input or mouse emulation, etc.
The profiles are easy to use. Load, apply, play (with Wizzo or the VKB Device Config).

It's time to find some relatives living in the Gladiator market area :mrgreen:
/// ВКБ Black Mamba MkIII / ВКБ T-Rudder MkII / ВКБ Gladiator / X-55 Rhino throttle / OpenTrack /// UTC +4 ///

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Re: Gladiator joystick in Europe

Postby Sokol1 » Thu Oct 06, 2016 20:13

...with very limited programmability,


What this OEM version need at least is change their basic (locked) profile and came be default with MODE2 added to base buttons, given better usability/more buttons.


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