Conclusions and Recommendations
The TQ is a very specialized game controller that is really only appropriate for gamers who take their flight simulations seriously. The casual player cannot justify the cost and does not need this level of capability in entertainment hardware. For the hard-core virtual pilot this unit can add significantly to the gaming experience. I know it did for me. The addition of the TQ to my CH HOTAS made a big difference in the feel and immersion of all my flight sims. The difference is more pronounced for civilian simulations with complex engine management options than it is in the ‘standard’ combat sim, but it is no less noticeable. If you’re an aficionado of Microsoft Flight Simulator and similar games, then the addition of the TQ to your gaming hardware setup is blatantly obvious. You NEED it… You’ll LOVE it… and you’ll USE it constantly.
The real purchase dilemma emerges if you primarily enjoy ‘flying’ Air Combat games. The big drawback of the TQ is its lack of on-throttle HOTAS buttons; this does indeed limit its utility as a primary throttle control in complex combat sims. I’m sure the TQ was targeted for the civilian type flight simulations, but don’t discount its use in the ‘hostile skies’ of a combat sim. I was very surprised how useful it is even in games with limited engine management capability. I used it for secondary controls like gear, tail hook, supercharger, and other things that would be controlled by some sort of lever in real life. Is this secondary use worth the significant cost of a TQ? I think so… The additional immersion factor is hard to quantify, but I like it. As games get more complex and realistic the need for more capable and complex hardware in our HOTAS configurations will emerge. The TQ fills that emerging need perfectly. After the experience of this review I now ‘need’ the TQ in my HOTAS setup, and I am even seriously considering purchasing a second TQ unit!
The list price for the TQ is impressive at $200.00 US, but as I have stated before, you generally get what you pay for. This has been especially true of CH Products hardware. The quality and durability CH Products controllers demonstrate is legendary — My original CH gameport HOTAS is STILL in use after many years of problem free operation! I can’t make that claim with any other joystick or HOTAS I’ve ever owned… and I have literally owned all the major brands! The CH Throttle Quadrant is a great addition to any serious flight sim enthusiast’s hardware inventory. If you think you want acquire one… good news! The street price should be significantly lower than suggested retail. Do a bit of looking on the Internet, it should be pretty easy to locate. I found it for $133.00 US, not cheap but a fair price for an outstanding piece of hardware.
CH Products Throttle Quadrant Summary
- Six Axis, 12 or 24 button USB Throttle controller
- Fully Programmable with Control Manger Software (350 total Button positions)
- Can be combined with other CH USB Controllers in a HOTAS
- Realistic appearance with changeable knobs
- Easy installation and Setup
- Compatible with Windows 98, ME, 2000, and XP
- CH Products Quality and 2 year warranty
- Outstanding Company Support
- Relatively High Cost
Just a note to anticipate some of the emails I generally get concerning “Exactly where did you find it for that price?” If you are looking for somewhere to purchase CH gear for a fair price, a good place to start is Provantage computer supply in North Canton Ohio. Take a look here. They have pretty good prices on all controllers and CH Products in particular. This is not an official SimHQ endorsement of Provantage, but I personally had very good service from them. As always…’Caveat Emptor’
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