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My NEW Thrustmaster TSS Handbrake SPARCO

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by M D Gourley, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. M D Gourley

    M D Gourley Member

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    My NEW Thrustmaster TSS Handbrake SPARCO Mod finally arrived and once I unboxed it the first thing that struck me was...gosh, this is big...lol...also weighty, although not that much heavier the the TH8A that it was replacing, but substantally beefy and well made...definitaly looks like it could take a beating.
    I have previously downloaded the 'Drivers' for it so when I plugged it in, it was instantly recognised and I was able to see the 'Handbrake' working correctly in the 'Control Panel Test Input' dialogue box. Next up, I started the 'Thrustmaster Handbrake Calibration Tool' which is also available for Download from Thrustmasters Support website...just pulling on the TSS calibrates it very easily.
    The resistance when pulling on the TSS is fantastic (personal opinion) and found it to be just right. Fired up 'Automobilista' and it showed up in the 'Controls' info area...mapped it...and I was away laughing.
    The resistance was very good and found it quite easy to remember the right amount of pressure (muscle memory) to get the right skid, so to speak....as before I was using the TH8A Shifter as a Handbrake, which has no resistance at all and it was alot more difficult pulling it back to the right distance to get the desired skid, and was mostly always going to far and spinning the cars 180 degrees....this was the same in 'Raceroom' the TSS Handbrake was excellent and I was able to control the skid but with the TH8A it was very difficult to control the amount.
    Dirt Rally was amazing both on Gravel and Tarmat, feeling very natural...Tarmat being the most improved with a more controlled skid amount etc compared to the TH8A set up in Handbrake mode which always (for me anyway) either to much and I would spin out or not enough. I found it to be very quiet using it in 'Handbrake Mode', only the odd creek from my rig could be heard
    These are may initial testings and I will still have to practice with it to get my 'Muscle Memory' working right, but thumbs up so far.
    I then adjusted the 'Mechanical System Screws' that are on both sides of the unit, flicked the switch to 'SEQ' and then plugged it back in to my PC....it was also instantly recognised and I was also able to see the 'Sequential Mode' working correctly in the 'Control Panel Test Input'.
    Fired up 'Automobilista' and it again showed up in the 'Controls' info area...awesome work Reiza...mapped it and it worked flawlessly.
    In 'Sequential Mode' though, it was very noisy with the clicking 'Upshifts' and 'Downshifts' it made a very positive click and I felt assured that I had changed gears without any problm, but comparing this to the TH8A Shifter set up in Sequential mode which has little or no noise what so ever....this is only because I am not used to the machanical noise the TSS makes.

    Now for the slight disappointing side...this is only my thoughts on what my existing Sim Rig set up gives me.
    You can connect the DIN cable connector of the TSS Handbrake to the other end cable of the TH8A cable that plugs directly into the Thrustmaster Wheel Base so you could have the TSS set up in 'Sequential Mode' and be able to have the 'Paddle Shifters' on my TS XW Racer and the TSS in Sequential mode working together as I can with a TH8A Shifter connected ...I WAS SO HOPING THIS WOULD WORK...LOL...sadly NO...NO IT DOES NOT....come on Thrustmaster, this would have been a perfect upgrade option. I would have purchased 2 of these if I could do this.
    So as it stands now if I map the 'Shift Up' and 'Shift Down' in the Sims I have with the TSS, I miss out having the 'Paddle Shifters' as well (See UPDATE below)...although the work-around would be to set up different profiles for each and load them up when you change cars etc...not as convenient....only my opinion on this as I have the luxury of this option now with the TH8A plugged directly into my TS XW.
    All in All a well built, sterdy product from first impressions, easy set up and worked flawlesly in the Sims I tested Automobilista, Raceroom and Dirt Rally...will test out Assetto Corsa, Project Cars 2, Rfactor 2, iRacing, Wreckfest at a later date, but I am sure there will be no problems setting the TSS up.

    Thanks for viewing

    UPDATE: Tried the software 'JoyToKey'... and it finally recognized the TSS...absolutely brilliant...so now I can map my TSS in Sequential, Map the Paddle Shifters and TH8A in Sequential which is connected to my TS XW and map them all together in Sim to the 'Shift Up' and 'Shift Down'...they all work together...you can use all three Shifters while driving if you what to ...LOL...awesome...Thanks 'JoyToKey'
    7 TSS CABLE FIXINGS.jpg 8 TSS IN BOX.jpg 9 TSS & TH8A.jpg 10 TSS FULL RIG.jpg 1 THRUSTMASTER TSS Handbrake MODE SCREENSHOT large.jpg 2 THRUSTMASTER TSS in SEQUENTIAL MODE SCREENSHOT large.jpg 3 THRUSTMASTER TSS Calibration SCREENSHOT.jpg 4 THRUSTMASTER TSS Calibration SCREENSHOT ok.jpg 5 AUTOMOBILISTA TSS HANDBRAKE SCREENSHOT.jpg 6 AUTOMOBILISTA TSS SEQUENTIAL SCREENSHOT.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
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  2. roby13

    roby13 Active Member

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    Looks great for a thrustmaster product! Thx for the review
     
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  3. M D Gourley

    M D Gourley Member

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    Well, I have gone and done it, went down to the local Computer Superstore and purchased a 2nd 'Thrustmaster TSS Handbrake SPARCO Mod' so I could replace my TH8A set up in Sequential...LOL...absolutely awesome these TSS's are (only my opinion coming from a TH8). Spent the day going through all my Sims re-mapping all the controller functions...Phew...what a job.
    All the Sims re-mapped extremely well, except for Assetto Corsa...I still was able to map the TSS Sequential Shifter, but would loose the function of the TS XW Paddle Shifters and TH8A set up in Sequential...and vice versa, even with the 'KeyToJoy' software activated....but all other Sims I have...Raceroom, Automobilista, Wreckfest, iRacing, P Cars2, Dirt Rally and even Simbins Race Injection worked well with the 'JoyToKey' activated, so I could just map the 'Shift Up' and 'Shift Down' in Sim to a key on the Keyboard which allowed all three shifters...Paddle, TH8A in Sequential and the TSS in Sequential to be used in Sim...money well spent on that software.
    The TSS Handbrake usage in Sims was a mixed bag, although I am still getting used to it...stand out Sims were 'Dirt Rally' (just awesome on gravel and tarmat)...Wreckfest (feels naturally very good)...Raceroom was great to a definite improvement over the TH8A set up in Handbrake mode and a surprise to me was Project Cars 2 with Rally Cross cars on the Rally Cross circuits (extremely good and controlable)...all these Sims showed a great response using the TSS Handbrake when pulling back just the right amount, I did feel in control...but more practice needed.
    ...again the Thrustmaster TSS Handbrake SPARCO Mod is absolutely fantastic...only my opinion.

    Small Update: Have been trying out the TSS Sequential in Raceroom in the GT3 cars and I would have to say it feels amazing...the TSS has a very weak initial pre click before it's clicks up against the stopper bar when you finally change gear, you can feel this through the handle...in Raceroom you can hear the same initial pre click in some GT3 cars before the gear changes and vibrates the wheel slightly...so you hear it in Raceroom and feel it in the TSS Sequential shifter and in the TS XW wheel rim with Racerooms 'Shift Effect' in the FFB settings set to about 30%...OMG, this is AWESOME...lol.
    All in all the TSS in Sequential Mode has a great feel and, for me anyway the right amount of resistance.
    SIM RIG 2x TSS crop.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
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  4. Atsuki

    Atsuki Member

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    Sorry, its off topic, but which material are you using around your wheel rim? looks awesome!
     
  5. M D Gourley

    M D Gourley Member

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    Thanks for showing some interest...The tape wrapped around the wheel rim is 'Birch Creative' - Cotton Tape, a 100% Non-stretch tape for sewing & craft, I just used some coloured adhesive tape at the ends to stop it un-winding, but careful not to get any adhesive on the actual TS XW Suede.
    The Cotton Tape is non sticky and I am using it to protect the suede from wearing...this is good for the re-sale value of the TS XW ...when Thrustmaster brings out their Direct Drive wheel at some stage...lol.
     
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  6. Atsuki

    Atsuki Member

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    thanks for the answer, mate!
     
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  7. Alan Nash

    Alan Nash New Member

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    Nice review. And JoyToKey really is a fantastic tool isn't it.

    Great to see a fellow ECCI pedals user. Have been using a black three-pedal set for a dozen years through several wheel upgrades (starting with the 6000 wheel) . . . Just great equipment that is still like new and can't see replacing them any time soon. Are yours the PMBII or have you either of the RaceBrake upgrades?
     
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  8. M D Gourley

    M D Gourley Member

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    Yes, the ECCI Pedals are fantastic, and like you I can not see myself replacing them either. I got mine 7 or so years ago when I had my G27 and had them made so I could plug them directly into my G27 wheel base so the pedals have the G27 connector plug on the end of the cable...now though I use the 'Ricmotech G27 to Thrustmaster Pedal Adapter which is plugged directly into my TS XW Wheel Base....unfortunately no 'Race Brake' upgrades, but that does sound nice.
    Thanks for showing some interest....and the 'JoyToKey' software was worth every cent.
     
  9. Alan Nash

    Alan Nash New Member

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    That's a cool setup. I don't have the "Race Brake" either. Have been intrigued, but not sure I'd like the shortened travel, and it's too expensive to buy and involved a tear down of the pedals to just try out.

    It is neat that the ECCI pedals adapted directly to the Thrustmaster. They are versatile. I actually tinkered around enough to get mine wired into my Simucube, and alternatively can wire it into a Bodnar usb board. With their wiring flexibility, they are virtually future proof.



     
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  10. Alan Nash

    Alan Nash New Member

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    By the way, Gourley, what is that wrap you put on the rim of the TS-XW? It looks really nice.
     
  11. M D Gourley

    M D Gourley Member

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    Look a couple of posts above...I answered that above:D
    It is Cotton Tape, a 100% Non-stretch tape for sewing & craft, I just used some coloured adhesive tape at the ends to stop it un-winding, but careful not to get any adhesive on the actual TS XW Suede.
    The Cotton Tape is non sticky and I am using it to protect the suede from wearing...this is good for the re-sale value of the TS XW ...when Thrustmaster brings out their Direct Drive wheel at some stage...lol.
     
  12. M D Gourley

    M D Gourley Member

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    I assume you are talking about the 'Thrustmaster TSS Handbrake Sparco Mod'...I have had 2 of them for nearly a month, at time of typing this reply, and I am personally very happy with both purchases, very robust, they both work flawlessly in the Sims that I have installed on my PC....but it is up to the individual person to make up their own mind as to whether they are going to make a purchase of the TSS Handbrake Sparco Mod, ....quote from the 'Matrix' movie...
    'I can only show you the door, it's up to you to walk through it'
     
  13. Alan Nash

    Alan Nash New Member

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    Oh, yes. I see your previous post about the tape. Your setup looks really nice. Thank you.
     
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