MS Sidewinder Connection to USB?

I have an old MS Sidewinder joystick I'm trying to use with FSX on Windows 7. I adapted the 15-pin connector to USB (ready-made cable by Belkin). The computer doesn't seem to recognize it. Any suggestions?
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  1. Best answer
    Yep, get a Windows 7 compatible joystick. Old ones don't work well if at all with Vista or 7.
  2. If its a MS SideWinder 3D Pro joystick then you could always build a 3DP-Vert coverter for it using a Teensy USB Dev board (I built one of these last year):

    3DP-Ver Page:

    Source code and hex for teensy:

    Teensy Page:

    BOM for building converter:
  3. How does that converter work with recognizing center and so forth? Every time I tried to hack an old joystick to work with new systems, the center would drift at best.
  4. With the sidewinder 3d pro it uses an optical sensor with an ir source, then it converts those signal into x-y analog signal using a signal processor so that the old style midi game ports can get the analogue co-ordinates, since the joystick movements are processed digitally the analogue outputs are always the same (including min-max and center range co-ordinates), because of this the data for the co-ordinates range is stored in the firmware of the teensy for these joysticks. With potentiometer type joysticks calibrations would have to be carried out as the values drift due to wear and tear, humidity and other factors but these joystick don't suffer from these issues due to the detectors being contactless.
  5. @hang-the-9, Sorry if the info is a little rusty I remember taking the joystick apart in 2003, just to see how it worked since it was the only joystick which I owned that never needed calibrating due to drift and it never jittered, thats how I learned it used an optical system for the x-y axis. This was my fav joystick for 15 Strike eagle, Gunship 2000, X-Wing and TieFighter and Incoming.
  6. Oh I forgot the joystick does not use springs for centering it uses 2 actuators, hence the 12v powerbrick and a need to never center the joystick.
  7. I have a sidewinder 3d Plus and upgraded to win7 (32) without a game port. I built the usb converter as on the Descent BB
    ( . I used the minimus from for less than a £5 and soldered the two resistors and capacitors to the game port.The pinout for the minimus is different from the teensy but they are all labelled on the pcb Dowloaded the firmware from recompiled it for the at90usb162 using amtel AVR4, programmed it with flip and it works great.
  8. @reginald21, thanks for that I was a little unsure whether that board would work, thats why I went the teensy route, thanks for confirming it.
  9. Best answer selected by donskiff.
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