VKB Gladiator-K

Michael

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The VKB Gladiator-K catched my attention. Afaik VKB is a solid company. The gladiator-K seems to at least somewhat similar to the Virpil Constellation ALPHA at a much lower price point. (this is definitly not a fair comparision)

I haven't found reviews on the stick. Does anyone already have opinions on the stick?

Virpil definitly has more buttons at your hands but also is way more expensive.

Edit 1:
Looks like i accidently discovered a relativly new product.
here is a picture



Looks like its a base for the GLADIATOR MK.II with a Kosmosima Stick. So it might be considered as "the new space sim entry level stick"

The Grip: http://forum.vkb-sim.pro/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=3354&p=33125&hilit=button+modules#p33125
 
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Michael

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Anyway here is quick side by side comparision which i made:

Space Combat GripSpace Combat Grip PremiumConstellation ALPHA
contactless MaRS sensorcontactless MaRS sensor
1x Dual Action Trigger1x Dual Action Trigger1x Dual-Stage Trigger
1x Rapid Fire Trigger (?)1 x Dual-Position Flip Trigger
3 x Hat switches with center push3 x Hat switches with center push3 x 4-way Hats (+ Push)
1 x 2-way Hat (+ Push)
4 x Buttons3 x Buttons3 x Momentary buttons
Programmable LEDProgrammable LEDProgrammable LED
1 x analog ministick with center push1 x Analogue Stick
1x Brake Lever
1 x Scroll Encoder (+ Dual Push)
Lockable Twist AxisLockable Twist AxisLockable Twist Axis
industrial-grade ABSindustrial-grade ABSEnhanced PU Plastic Construction
All-Metal Twist Axis Mechanism with Lockout
Metal Flip Trigger and Brake Lever
2 interchangeable palm rests (total 3 palm size adjustments)2 interchangeable palm rests (total 3 palm size adjustments)adjustable palm rest
basebaseadditional base needed
14 Programmable Buttons14 Programmable Buttonsno buttons on base
150 $180 $180 $ + base (170 or 290$)

Some subjective opinions i derive from Gladiator MKII / Kosmiosima reviews:

Plastic:
from my own experience ABS is a pretty good and solid material, which isn't easy to break.
Base:
seems to have a metal plate, its not perfect for chair or desk mounts. (Also it is available)
I haven't found the real size but 7 x 9 inch ( 18 cm x 23 cm). (slightly smaller than T16000M)

MaRS Sensor seems to be quite smooth. Handling probably very light. So if you like a more stiff stick you'd probably don't want to buy this one.

Build quality of the stick itself:
From the picture there seems to be room for improvement.

1 button seems to be a pinky trigger which can be used as a modifier
1 button on the base seems to be dedicated as a modifier

Cam System: I haven't found a real source but most likely its made of plastic. So less durable.
I'm not sure if the Kosmosima is compatible to the gunfighter

The lower 4way hat is likely not comfortablre to reach (depends on your hands)
rapid fire trigger very likely has "a poor appearance.

some buttons might be changable
 
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Doggen

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Oh snap, I need this. I have the regular gladiator as a lefty but this one has more buttons. MORE BUTTONS
 
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c0sign

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The VKB Gladiator-K catched my attention. Afaik VKB is a solid company. The gladiator-K seems to at least somewhat similar to the
Virpil Constellation ALPHA at a much lower price point.


I haven't found reviews on the stick. Does anyone already have opinions on the stick?

Virpil definitly has more buttons at your hands but also is way more expensive.
You need to look at availability....If you never ordered from Virpil before, save yourself the heart ache and go VKB. But if you want the best in performance and quality go Virpil, just be ready to be let down week after week with their ordering process, they are attempting to change it, but we will see if its for the greater good. If you do, I also frequent their forums so ill see you on the battlefield
 
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Michael

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You need to look at availability....If you never ordered from Virpil before, save yourself the heart ache and go VKB. But if you want the best in performance and quality go Virpil, just be ready to be let down week after week with their ordering process, they are attempting to change it, but we will see if its for the greater good. If you do, I also frequent their forums so ill see you on the battlefield
Usally i'm looking for the best bang for the buck. But also for something my wife won't kill me if i tell her the price.
I know that virpil and vkb gunfighter are probably the best sticks you can get. And actually i'm still mostly happy with my t16000. (Only real disadvantage is the lack of buttons on my hand).
I can wait if i think its worth the time. But the pricetag is very interesting, if the overall build quality and precision of the stick is alright.

Information on this stick yet seems to be very rare (if you type in vkb gladiator-k this thread is on the first google page).
So i probably will use this thread gathering Information on this stick.

I almost bought a virpil earlier this year. Question more otr less do i want the high level entry stick or the best motherfucking stick you can buy.
 
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Michael

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So i bought the Gladiator K premium version and here is my first impression.
I don't own any more expensive sticks


P1240210.JPG

Stick, Base, tools and buttons to exchange mini stick and/or the thumb stick.
To safe you some time here is why you probably don't want to buy the stick:
- If money is no issue you're probably better with the VKB Gunfighter or Virpil sticks
- you want to use a stick extension (also its possible its not recommended by VKB)
- you have small hands
- you're a beginner to space and flight sim (*1 explanation)
- you want your stick to be very stiff or adjust the the tension of the stick

- the stick feels like "plastic".

*1 i probably wouldn't recommend the stick for a beginners who is low on budget or has no experience with flight sims. The T16000M is still a solid stick, with a good precision. Also its not perfect, you can still upgrade it later and use the T16000M as a left hand stick.

So why you might want to consider buying the stick:
- Probably best bang for the buck
- Precision. Compared to the T16000M the stick feels much smoother and a little bit more precise. The T16k is a bigger and silightly inconsisten tension. Look at indepth analysis 1.
- "Better" twist axis. The Gladiator needs a little bit more force to initially turn the twist axis
- a lot more buttons
- Highly costumizable through VKB software (also the Software is very confusing at the beginning). All behavior is stored on the stick. No secondary software needs to run.
- 2 more Axis (ministick hat) which i think might be a great option with as a Hotas setup, as strafe or something like that.



So you're still reading

1. Precision
I tried to record the same movement with the VKB vs a T16000M
Precisions VKB.png


In the green rectangles you can see the more inconsistent movement of the T16000M. Notice those little steps the T16k does, and which are much smoother on the gladiator.
There is no real deadzone which i noticed.

There is a slight wobble around zero.
Here is a comparision of the wobble:

wobble.png

T16k wobbles around 7 times around the center, actually it rattles. While the Gladiator swings 4 times around the center. the overall time seems to be equal. (too smooth?)


2. Haptics & dimension
The stick feels good. There no sharp edges etc. Also there are some minor gaps between the stick.
Overall the stick feels "plastic". Its industrial grade ABS which should be very solid. Metal might add a better feeling, but also weight, which needs more solid cams which overall probably will increase the price.

The Stick itself weighs 250 g with the base adding aroung 1kg.
The base has a very solid base plate and its nearly impossoble to push it around on the table. You can still manage to lift up one corner /side when pushing it around. The base comes with 4 holes to screw it down. Its also possible to buy a table mount.

As i mentioned the stick feels very soft in its tension.

The hand rest is costumizable, also i would prefer a system like the virpil sticks. For this stick there are two hand rests which can be exchanged. With the large (higher) hand rest making the pinky trigger feel more uncomfortable.
P1240216.JPG


With base plate the overall height of the stick is around 25 cm
the base plate is 15x19cm with a height of around 7 cm

While you technically can use the stick on a table, i feel much more comfortable with a desk mount.

Twist axis can be locked.



3. Buttons and costumization

Here is m current layout: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1xBm0EbOP2vfoUKQEX36N0MDodYvAc6kTMVSNjOYduBE/edit?usp=sharing
My current config file: https://testsquadron.com/attachments/vkb-njoy32-pro-profile-1-zip.17566/?hash=f5192e9c73c67074e03b6bad88920852

As i already said. All buttons can be changed. The stick arrived without a shift functionality. I also added the Comm PTT keys as direct keyboard shortcuts.
i changed the behavior of the mini stick slightly so it acts as a 4 way hat. Adjusted the curves to a slight S curve.

Please click on the following thumbnails:
P1240266.JPG
the pinky trigger. Feels slightly uncomfortable. Could be positioned higher (around 1cm)
P1240262 - Kopie.png
"Thumbstick" feels less comfortable to use. A more "outward" position might feel better
P1240251 - Kopie.png
Trigger 1. click feels good. Nice "click" sound. 2. stage less pronounced click.
Rapid fire trigger looks "thin" but feels solid. Up position can be quickly clicked. Down position needs you to take the finger from the trigger.
P1240254 - Kopie.png
Main button set. 4 way hats with center push are solid. Overall no "rattling" or loose parts.
Mini stick can be changed by center push to 4 way or 8 way POV (adjustable in software)
So you can quickly change between analoque axis and POV.

Analoque Axis feel pretty precise. I can imagine that they could be used as "strafe" on a hotas.

I might do a video later.
 

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Doggen

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Doggen
Very nice, thanks! I have the regular gladiator as a lefty since the t16000m triggers pissed me off but I need moar buttons!
How precise is the analogue mini-stick you would say?
 
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Michael

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Very nice, thanks! I have the regular gladiator as a lefty since the t16000m triggers pissed me off but I need moar buttons!
How precise is the analogue mini-stick you would say?
I would say similar to game controllers, but with adjustable sensitivity curves. Not as good as a mouse.

If you have a Gladiator you should be able to just buy the Kosmosima stick. (Unless you want another Gladiator)
 
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BUTUZ

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Interesting. I want something to replace my T16000m but I don't want to wait 2 years for a Vripil.

I've got big hands, just ask @Montoya

Could be an option!!
 

Michael

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Got it! Confused by the software but liking the stick :D
Yeah the software really messed my mind in the first place. And the documentation seems to be written by an engineer who never talked to a "real person" ^^
If you want to try my config has been posted somewhere earlier. (it helped me a lot finding a cfg someone posted on the vkb forum)
We can als try to talk about the software in discord, if you might want different input.
 
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