Top critical review
2 people found this helpful
large and easy to read - The packaging is some of the ...
on October 16, 2015
I have purchased three of these panels within the last month for my IFR trainer from Amazon.com. I had to return one of these twice because the displays did not work properly. One item you will not see from any of the Saitek (now Mad Catz) products is a 'QC Passed' sticker because if they had tested the panels before shipping them I would have had a much easier time of it.
Dealing with the faulty Radio Panels through Amazon.com IS the only way to go! They sent the first one to me regular UPS ground and then sent the second one to me overnight! And there was no cost to me except time. BIG CUDOS to Amazon.com! If you purchase one, do not buy it from any other vendor because a failure rate of 60% may be expected. Well, this is a review so I'll get to it.
- There a two radios in one unit and are 'hot' changeable to Com1, Com2, Nav1, Nav2, ADF, DME and Transponder
- The displays are red led types, large and easy to read
- The packaging is some of the best-ever I've seen
- Drivers are easily obtained from the Saitek site (although not really needed for FSX)
- It comes with a frame that can be attached to other Saitek hardware, top-down or side-by-side (all Saitek uses metric 4mm / 0.70 thread)
- Saitek drivers work perfectly in FSX using SimConnect
- SPAD 0.5.1 (free version) / FSUIPC (unregistered free version) compatible which fixes many Saitek driver issues (knobs) and is configurable.
- The drivers from Saitek (SaiPanels.exe and SaiFlightSimX.exe) make the adjusting knobs are WAY too sensitive, one detent=two increments
- If you install the latest Saitek FSX Plug-in, it cannot be used with the SPAD/FSUIPC drivers.
- Customer support at Saitek (now Mad Catz) is virtually non-existent so you'll be on your own solving issues.
Hints and Tips:
- If you install this (or anything else from Saitek) unplug the internet cable first to keep Windows 7 from searching for non-existent drivers
- Install hardware first, there is no need to install the Saitek 'driver'. The Smart Technology software only shows if it is working or not.
- No need to install the Panel Software for this. FSX Plug-in has incorporated this code which makes it impossible to turn off the Radio (and use SPAD)
Some say NOT to use the Saitek drivers. If you can deal with the sensitive adjustment knobs: go ahead! If you don't have any Saitek Flight Information Panels do NOT install any Saitek software and use SPAD to make using these panels enjoyable (that includes the Multi, Switch and BIP as well).
I have a Saitek IFR test bed and use nine Saitek FIPs with their software (no alternative) and SPAD for everything else including the radio. It can be done but it will take you some time researching this on how to do it.... but it CAN be done!