The ULTRA force base can make you feel like a real F-16 pilot while flying, thanks to the new sensor board that allows you to reproduce the F-16 SSC movements realistically. The more comprehensive and realistic flight stick movements will improve your flight experience more quickly and make your maneuvers easier and more intuitive.
FSSB-R3 Lighting MK II
Fly like an F-16 pilot!
The ULTRA force base is the second version (Mark II) of the well-known FSSB-R3 Lighting. Unlike it, it incorporates a new sensors board that allows a realistic movement of the stick similar to the real F-16 SSC giving you better control feedback.
Realistic flight stick movement
A little bit of history
As you surely know, the initial design of F-16 SSC had no movement, it only measured the force exerted by the pilot on the stick. After the dissatisfaction of the pilots in the initial tests and a meticulous study, a movement of 1/4 inch was incorporated into the SSC to transfer a better feeling to the pilot and thus facilitate the control of the aircraft, since without movement it was very difficult to control.
As in the real F-16 SSC, our force bases include a small angular movement of the stick that helps to facilitate the adaptation to force control, which is appreciated in the first flights. This angular movement is larger or smaller depending on the model and specifically in the ULTRA model, it is equal to the real F-16 SSC.
Lighting and ULTRA are two versions of the same product, with the same look and features. The only difference between both force bases is the sensors board, which makes them have a different feeling when you are flying and performing maneuvers. Both bases are developed for desktop use and have fully linear responses over the entire operating range and smoothness, and accuracy in areas close to the neutral position, although their response curves are different.
Lighting or ULTRA, which should I choose?
The Lighting model (green line) is a force base with a response that gives the user a high control feeling. If we compare its response with the F-16 SSC, it is within the limits marked by the specification of the F-16 SSC but limited to the maximum applied force of 13 lb. So the stick movements are smaller than the real one. This is not a problem or disadvantage for a desktop base since the optimal values of force are between 4 and 8 lbs. Flying with higher force values to emulate the F-16 SSC is very tiring.
In the ULTRA model (blue line) we have made that the base has a realistic movement, achieving a displacement like the real SSC but applying approximately half the force than in the real one. In this way with the ULTRA base, we will achieve the maximum displacement by applying a force of 13 lbs (which is the maximum applicable) instead of the 24 lbs of the real one. Thus, obtaining the flight stick maneuverability similar to the real one with lower forces applied for desktop use.
The answer is not direct, and it depends on what you are looking for. If you are looking for a force base with a force/displacement curve until the 13 lbs similar to the F-16 SSC, knowing that the flight stick movements will be smaller than the real one, then the Lighting is your base. But if you want to have the same maneuverability as in the real SSC, with wider movements like the real one, that will allow your flight experience to improve more quickly and make your maneuvers easier and more intuitive, then the ULTRA is your base.
The FSSB-R3L ULTRA is supplied with an aluminum black anodized fixation element for the stick. The fixation grip is done with a straight adapter populated with a 5-pin mini-DIN connector, compatible mechanically and electrically with all Realsimulator and Thrustmaster compatible grips.
The FSSB-R3L ULTRA is a force-sensing joystick base for desktop usage. It features an all-metal construction case made of aeronautic-grade aluminum. Inside the housing is a high-quality force sensors on a metal plate in conjunction with an electronic board that includes analog and digital sections. A last generation microcontroller of very high performances allows to improve and expand the functionality of the device.
Connection for the Thrustmaster Warthog pcb
In addition to the advantages offered by the use of the FSSB-R3L ULTRA as a standalone force sensing base, it has two connectors that allow sending data from ULTRA electronic to the HOTAS electronic board. In that way, you replace the HOTAS base with the FSSB-R3L ULTRA base, benefiting from the high quality of X and Y axes data. For installation use the video FSSB-R3 Warthog HOTAS Upgrade on our website. This option must be used when you want to use the Thrustmaster TARGET software.
Double USB connection
To meet new needs, the FSSB-R3L ULTRA includes a dual USB connection, the external and traditional mini-USB type B connector, and an internal socket type 5-way JST connector (B5B-PH-K-S). This internal connection is designed for assemblies where the traditional USB connector is left in the air without protection. This might happen when using various chair mounting systems for joysticks. In these cases, when the USB connector is loose, without support or protection, it can get accidental blows that might end up spoiling the USB cable or the R3L connector.
With this new connection, the cable drives inside the FSSB-R3L housing and thus to avoids rigid parts external to the FSSB-R3L base, such as the USB cable connector.
The FSSB-R3L ULTRA has memory slots for quick custom configuration. The number of slots available depends on the grip connected. With Thrustmaster's compatible grips the system offers 4 configurable slots, independently of the firmware installed. Change between slots is done with the Special Modes Menu. With Realsimulator’s grips and with the firmware specially developed for them, the system offers 8 configurable slots selectable easily through the rotary switch on the stick.
Standard grip connection
Visual and Aural advices
The FSSB-R3L ULTRA base includes a visual and audible alert system that gives the pilot the necessary feedback to maintain full control. You can use both systems at the same time. The audible system delivers great feedback while flying in VR as the visual colored light that is being emitted from the center ring of the base will provide a silent but noticeable feedback in dark room conditions.
The electronics board includes two expansion sockets to support future hardware expansions. These new expansions will be connected directly to the FSSB-R3 instead to need an additional controller and an additional USB socket and wire.
As with other Realsimulator devices, the FSSB-R3 firmware is upgradeable. At the moment there is "MJF_FW" available in the firmware section.
It includes the same features as the Lighting version (it has the same version number) and has support for Realsimulator and Thrustmaster compatible grips. This firmware unifies the functionalities of already non-supported MJF, BMS, and AER Lighting firmware. It includes the FSSB-R3L ULTRA as a composite device with a Game Controller for the DX axes and DX buttons, a Keyboard to send programmable keystrokes and a Mouse.
The installation of FSSB-R3L ULTRA is very easy since it is a plug-and-play device with no drivers and we provide you with the necessary tools to configure and upgrade it. We support you with a GUI application (RS_HID_DEV_TOOL) to configure it and a firmware update tool (DCC) to install new versions of our firmware.
After connecting the FSSB-R3L ULTRA to your computer via the USB connection, it will be recognized as an HID device with the name “FSSB R3 XXXXX”, where XXXX will be the name of the firmware installed.
Programs, firmware, and product user guides can be found in our DOWNLOAD section on our website. The latest version, of all our software, can be found there. All of them are distributed and grouped as an installer named RS_TOOLS.
Set it up with an intuitive tool
RS_HID_DEV_TOOL is the tool to configure the FSSB-R3L ULTRA in an easy and intuitive way. Although many of the settings that appear in the following screenshot are intuitive, we suggest reading the user guide for a better understanding of them.
Download the product User Guide
- 1/4 inch realistic flight stick movement.
- Independent force sensors for each axis.
- Max. applied force of 13 lb.
- Smoothness and accuracy in areas close to the neutral position.
- Electronic neutral position adjusts.
- Memory slots for quick custom configuration.
- Additional internal USB connection and two expansion sockets.
- Acoustic and RGB light advices and haptic feedback with v2 RS grips.
Connection compatible with Thrustmaster Warthog stick and compatibles (with limited functionality).
- Independent and hot adjust of axes sensibility and other features.
- Firmware upgradeable.
Drivers & tools
Plug & play device with no drivers.
The device is supplied with two software tools: a firmware update (DCC) and a GUI application (RS_HID_DEV_TOOL) to configure it.
Double USB connection: the external and traditional mini-USB type B connector and an internal socket type 5-way JST connector (B5B-PH-K-S).
1,8 m USB 2.0 A-Male to Mini-B cable for computer connection. Cable for internal connection available separately in our shop.
Stick fixation compatible mechanical and electrically with all Realsimulator and TM compatible grips.
- Two sockets to connect the Thrustmaster Warthog HOTAS board.
- Two expansion sockets.
Dimensions & Weight
- Device: 100 x 100 x 65 mm & 0,5 kg.
- Shipping box: 225 x 205 x 110 mm & 1,5 kg.