Droning On The Cheap

I’ve been wanting to try out the drone camera for a while, but didn’t want to do it by keyboard and didn’t want to mess with assigning a bunch of extra stuff to my X52. I’d been looking at controllers on Amazon, and wasn’t thrilled with the prices, even from the “discount” sellers. But then I remembered that there’s a used books and games store here that deals in used game hardware. I came out with an Xbox controller for $12 and change, brought it home and checked it out. The “A” button was a little sticky, so I got some rubbing alcohol and used a cotton ball to drip it around the button, then used a “canned air” duster to blast it clean and dry. It’s not quite perfect, but everything works, and I’ve been playing around with it a little. I’ll be tweaking some of the assignments, deleting the ones I don’t need and moving the ones I want to use more from the keyboard to the ABXY set - especially the translation speed controls. I think I’m going to like this!

I’d be wary of buying second-hand controllers. You may get a good one, but generally they are the sort of thing that people tend to hang on to while they are still working properly.

This place offers a no-questions refund period for their hardware. Even if I decide I just don’t like it a few days from now, I can get a full refund. I always feel confident buying from them.

I use the Steam Controller for the drone and development cameras. Works like a charm.

Especially sticky ones! For a few bucks more: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZGD53JF/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_BFKKFbHYAH0SG

That one has some wildly mixed reviews. Most of the actual technical reviews were negative. I’d rather have used genuine than new knockoff.

I have found it pretty easy and hassle free to operate the camera and fly it around using the keyboard. If you haven’t tried it yet, thinking it would be difficult, you might want to at least give it a shot. It’s less work than fiddling with another controller, in my experience.

WASD + RF and NUM 2468

My Xbox controller is just for camera and drone use. I removed all menu, flight control, etc. assignments and set the A button to toggle the Drone Camera. Now that’s it’s exclusive use in MSFS.

Definitely make sure to unbind the default flight controls from the xbox controller. If you don’t, switching the controller on mid flight (eg after it times out) can make the controls do weird things like set the throttle to max etc.

Thanks for the tip!