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  Thrustmaster Millennium 3D Interceptor - Review
by: Larry Mingus Published: July 6, 1998

 

ThrustMaster's next generation game control system brings technology from NASA's Space Shuttle Program...

millennium3d.jpg (6577 bytes)

Non-contact optical sensors
Completely digital for speed and precision
Six programmable buttons
Programmable 4-way hat switch
Ergonomic two hand control design
Includes pre-configured files for many popular games
PC compatible: Windows 95 (and DOS programs running under Windows 95)

Installation

A straight forward installation with no problems.

 

How does it work

I was excited at first by the added twist axis and how the handle rocked to move forward and backward. However, ThrustMasters engineering of the forward/backward movement just missed the mark. Imprecise centering and a sticky movement going forward or backward. Then we come to the digital sensors, once again ThrustMaster fails in the engineering department in my opinion. In simplified terms the sensors are small LED's that read a printed gray scale label. The problem I found was the imprecise dead zone that you are not able to calibrate. When assembled if the gray scale label isn't perfectly aligned you will get a stick that will instantly go left but has to be pushed a half an inch to get it to go right. I managed to get mine working fair but it required total disassembly and voiding the warranty.

 

Conclusion

Technology from NASA and gaming just didn't mix for me. I gave this controller more than a fair shot. even to the point of changing internal springs to help with the fatigue that would set in in less than an hour of gaming.

I wanted it to work so much that I hunted down lighter springs and messed with the gray scale labels until I had an acceptable dead zone. All that to find that with the lighter springs that I just couldn't live with the sticky forward and back movement.

Maybe next time...

Pros: None

Cons: Tension way to stiff, dead zone cannot be adjusted, cannot swap axis's

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