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Modifying Saitek Yokes

Hi Jason,

In my 1st sim I attached the Yoke body to the PVC pipe with a nipple screwed up from under. Unless I used a large pipe (looking silly) it was flimsy and the pipe moved with the use of the Saitek Yoke (pitch up or down - elevator left or right was OK).

The second sim (after a move from Texas to Tennessee when we retired) I used the Saitek Yoke with Ron's crossover column and yoke column head. I constructed both on my CNC and purchased Ron's head cover.

I connected the pots and yoke buttons to the Saitek PCB using its USB and power at the bottom of the TQ base.

You can see in the last photo that I built the column pitch pot to use the pot and lever that was internal to the Saitek base and connected it to the crossover via a control rod.

I'm not sure how to load the photos so I'm going to submit and edit. I'll continue with a reply.

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It is difficult to remove the yoke and shaft from the unit, not mechanically but the wiring.

The wiring to the pcb from the shaft is in 3 bundles of about 10 wires. The bundles are labeled and grouped by Saitek. Bundles 1 and 3 are the left right buttons and 2 is the mode and lcd in the center. Once the bundles are cut it is most difficult to shorten the shaft.

There was no direction at all how the wires were constructed in the shaft. I ruined one yoke to find out. The bundles are impeded in a plastic shaft inside the stainless outer shaft (see photo).

I cut the stainless shaft with a rotating pipe cutter an along the bottom with a dremel. Or along the sides as the wires are on top.

As I added a chart holder to the yoke I removed bundle 2. Easy to take the yoke itself apart and pull the center wiring.

I fitted the resulting 4" shaft to the yoke head and used the elevator pot to the rear of the head. Used purchased 3 pin connectors (black, yellow, red) to bring the pot wiring down the column to the Saitek pcb.

I used a 10 wire color coded ribbon wiring and connectors to connect the bundles from the yoke to the pcb thru the column. The Saitek wires are color coded so I kept the same colors connected thru the ribbons and connectors (brown to brown, orange to orange, yellow to yellow, etc.).

As I am building 1/2 a sim I did this once. Still only one set of pots and pcb if yokes are connected. May need two pcbs to keep buttons separated. Nice to have a hat switch on the yoke.

Jason, I do have 2 yokes with full shafts I can give and send to you if you want them.



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Thanks for the detailed write up. Looks like we have similar solutions. However, looks like my solution wasn't as elegant as yours. I completely destroyed my yoke to get it to mount to the column head.  I completely removed the shaft which was a bummer because it gave the yoke a more rigid feel and was a conduit for the wiring. I think I will take you up on your offer for the yokes. Ill send you a private message with details.

Jason Hite FlightDeckSoft


Do you still have the pots and usb pcb. Very usefull.

I have 1 yoke that is mounted using the saitek usb board. Do you not have the electronics for the two yokes you have?

Jason Hite FlightDeckSoft

So Dave and I have been going on about how to best connect the Saitek yoke to the column head and I have come up with the following rugged solution:


  1. Purchased 6” aluminum shafts from McMasterCarr that fit exactly in the Saitek Yoke (1” shaft), and the column head (could probably do with a 5” shaft but it works)
  2. Purchased clamping collar to secure the yoke/shaft to the column head
  3. Purchased the Flange Self Lubricating Sleeve Bearings for the yoke shaft to ride in
  4. Purchased ANSI 25 chain sprocket for connecting the roll axis between the capt and fo yokes


First you have to prep the shaft.  Im doing this by drilling a hole in the back for the roll potentiometer.  Secondly  drill a hole across the shaft for the pin that secures the shaft to the yoke.

I used the yoke collar to mark where the hole needed to be

Step 1: Install the shaft to the yoke by installing the pin and seating the shaft/pin into the yoke receptacle


Step 2: install the sleeve bearings into the column head assembly, they just press fit!

Step 3:  slide in the shaft, with the sprocket and collar installed between the front and rear column head bearing plates (that’s what I call them)

Step 4: tighten the collar clamp with some force against the front sleeve bearing (this adds resistance to rotation and can be adjusted for best feel), verify the shaft is seated on the roll potentiometer

Now ideally, I would want to drill a hole in the shaft for the yoke wiring to go through it and pop out of a slot somewhere before the pot, but what I may do is route the wires out of the back of the yoke through the circular channel that is in the column head plate.

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Jason Hite FlightDeckSoft

My wires exited out the top as the wires are on top of the shaft. I didn't want to extend out the back as I found that they tended to bind and room it tight against the cover. Clever that you used the collar for friction. I used Ron's trick with a zip tie.

Yeah, I have the ANSI25 chain coming tomorrow. Will see if there is enough room with the 3/4" collar that I have. May need a 1/2" to give me room for the chain on the sprocket.  Next, need to figure out roll stop using the crossover chain, have some ideas floating around in my head to try out.

Also noted today that the color of the wires and order between 1 saitek yoke and another are NOT the same!  Looks like I will need to get my EE hat on and start ohming out wires and boards.

Jason Hite FlightDeckSoft

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