Weird, Maddening Problem with the Thrustmaster TCA Airbus Quadrant

I am having a frustrating, somewhat maddening problem with my Thrustmaster TCA Airbus quadrant, with the two addons. This seems different from the usual “loses connection” issues I’ve seen.

I bought the pack around Christmas, and shortly after that also bought the PMDG 737. In order to get the flaps etc to work with the 737, I also got and Lorby’s A&O. Neither of these I think are relevant, but hey, more data points. I fly mainly with the FBW A320 and the 737. I have run the calibration within FBW, as well as the hardware calibration on the actual unit. It happens with GA, not just the two. Really, any plane.

The problem I have is around 30-40 min into the flight, most of the quadrant stops working. The usual result is the flaps and spoilers don’t work, and only the engine 2 throttle working. Sometimes, unplugging and repluging the unit in works, but the FBW REALLY hates it when that happens.

Another frequent issue is the planes will take off and land without issue, but when I take another flight (it doesn’t really seem to matter if it’s the same craft or a different), the issue I noted above is in effect.

When this happens, Windows still sees the device in device manager, and the Thrustmaster Control Panel see the unit. When it happens, however, the same thing happens in the control panel: Engine 2 is usually the axis that works.

My general workaround was to reconnect the unit when I start a flight and that often lasts through the flight.

So, here is what I have done to try and fix it:

  • Different cables (both different USB-A to USB-C cables, and a straight USB-C cable).
  • Different ports, hubs, etc.
  • Setting the device and all the hubs to “do not shut power off” in Device Manager
  • Completely removed all the bits of Spad and A&O just in case.
  • Reinstalled the drivers, etc.
  • Removed the drivers completely (this is where I am now)
  • Reseated the SATA cables a lot.
  • Completely emptied the community folder

Today was probably the weirdest one. When I woke up, I launched the control panel, fidgeted with the quadrant it all worked fine. Opened the sim, and yep. Everything was working fine. It was hit or miss if even first in the morning the control panel would work. A few hours later, I opened the sim and the problem was there. I’d been using the computer all day for work.

After uninstalling the drivers, I opened the Sim, and it worked fine. I quit the sim, relaunched it a little while later, and this time none of the addons worked, but both throttles worked. Rebooting fixed it.

The only thing I haven’t tried is just disconnecting the addons for a few days to see if there is something wonky with those.

Have you tried a powered USB hub rather than plugging it straight into your PC?

Yeah. No noticeable difference.

Maybe a reset will help?

TCA factory reset

Thanks. I had done at least the throttles, but can’t remember if I did the spoilers. I just ran through it again.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

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So, this is interesting.

The short version is, that didn’t work.

The long version is, I had the plane on autopilot walked away to do something, and when I came back it looked like the whole USB system on my computer rebooted. My stream deck was at the loading screen, the throttle was in the same “only engine 2” works, etc.

So, something is causing the USB system to have a bad day. I am trying two things, and likely the second anyway.

  • I unplugged everything but keyboard, mouse and controllers. We’ll see if that does anything.
  • I am leaning towards a complete system reinstall. I’ve been meaning to do it for a bit, and I’m not sure something I installed and forgot is making a USB call.

Run joy.cpl to see if Windows still responds correctly to your controllers. Seems that often Windows just “forgets”, or gets really out of calibration. You can find it in C:\Windows\System32\joy.cpl. Drag it to the desktop to make a copy for quick in-game access.

I use this every time I notice my flight yoke not working properly - usually drifting to the right and the ailerons don’t respond. Sometimes this will help “remind” windows how it’s supposed to work, other times you’ll have to exit and restart the sim.

Yeah, I check that.

Tonight it failed at leas acceptably. Usually when the problem happens, lots of alarms go off as the plane has no idea what happened to the controller. Tonight it at least just quietly lost the flaps and I set them manually on landing.

I did the following tonight:

  • Reinstalled the drivers. One solution I thought might work was just having Windows manage it. Didn’t work.
  • Tried it with just the two devices plugged into the computer’s ports. No joy. This was with the headwind A33 so, who knows.
  • After it quietly failed the flaps, I checked the joy.cpl and yep, moving the flaps lever did nothing.
  • Re-ran the full hardware config I saw NeoKingArthur recommend with hitting the red buttons with all levers moving to the different detents.
  • Everything is plugged into a powered USB hub too.

We will see if that changes anything.

Are you sure your computer is not turning off your devices “to save power”.

See this article

Tossing ideas…
Try a different powered hub.
Run sfc and dism
Run usb troubleshooter
Search Winusb.diagcab
Anybody nearby with msfs that you try the tca on their setup?

Well, there is a rabbit hole.
The setting wasn’t showing up on Windows 11, and after a lot of googling I figured out the powershell commands to make sure it’s disabled.
@ccrbc Unfortunately, no.

We will see how today goes. It is on its own powered hub now, and last night I did another flight and it seemed to go ok. I am planing on spending a lot of time flying today to troubleshoot things.

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I have reached the “contact Thrustmaster” portion of the problem. I reinstalled windows and while it took longer for the problem to appear, it did.

I will update this after I hear back from them in case anyone in the future has this issue and searches the forum.

So, Thrustmaster support was amazing. I used the web form last Monday. When I didn’t hear anything on Tuesday I contact the phone folks. Was only on hold for a few min.

We quickly deduced it was likely a hardware issue. I did the “send video, photo, etc.” routine and got the notification from them they are ordering a replacement.

The replacement showed up today. So, less than a week from when I talked to a live person.