The T16000M Joystick LED & Tension Mods

The Thrustmaster T16000M joystick is an excellent piece of kit you can improve with a little manual intervention and patience. There are two issue you can change:

  1. The stick glows orange for a few seconds each time you move it, which has no practical use and is distracting. In this guide you can find out how to disable the LEDs.
  2. The spring holding the joystick central is far too strong for comfortable prolonged use and is problematic when you want fine control, such as making minute adjustments to keep an aircraft flying straight and level. In this guide you can find out how to reduce the spring strength using zip ties.
The Thrustmaster T16000M TWCS Joystick

The Tools You’ll Need

As a minimum you will need a screwdriver, a wire cutter and some zip ties to complete both mods.

You will need a screwdriver, a wire cutter and zip ties

The LED Mod Photo Guide

Normally the base of the stick will illuminate for a few seconds each time you move it. If that’s not what you want you can disconnect the hardwired LEDs with a wire cutter.

Please bear in mind that you are making alterations at your own risk! Do not make alterations if you are undecided, not confident or don’t understand any of the steps involved. A dry run will help, but even this can cause problems if you don’t reassemble correctly. The golden rule is: if in doubt do nothing.

Thrustmaster base
Unscrew the base plate
Remove the base plate and put the masking tape strips aside. You will need them when you reassemble the stick.
Thrustmaster detached circuit board
Remove the screws on the green circuit board
The LEDs are powered by a black and red pair of wires that are next to the switch. Follow the wires down into the recess to prove to yourself that these are attached to a strip of LEDs around the handle. When you are 100% sure you have the right ones, you can then cut the two leads near to the soldering spots, which will allow the leads to be reconnected as necessary.
Thrustmaster LED wires covered
The ends of the LEDs should be covered so they don’t have the chance to cause any short circuits and also to identify them if you do want to reconnect them at a later date.

The Spring Tension Mod Photo Guide

The strength of the spring will start to interfere with your fine control after prolonged use. If you loosen the spring enough you will be able to make subtle movements with your fingers without the need for high pressure on the stick.

Please bear in mind that you are making alterations at your own risk! Do not make alterations if you are undecided, not confident or don’t understand any of the steps involved. A dry run will help, but even this can cause problems if you don’t reassemble correctly. The golden rule is: if in doubt do nothing.

Unscrew the base plate
Thrustmaster tape removed
In this photo I have already removed the masking tape that keeps the wires out of trouble. Unscrew the green circuit board.
Carefully roll back the green circuit board revealing the soft plastic caps for each of the buttons on the base of the joystick.
Thrustmaster button caps
Take care to save the soft button caps underneath the green circuit board. Note that the cross head on the pillars is aligned with the white caps.
Carefully begin unscrewing the screws on the square block holding the spring in place. Go around each screw in turn releasing a little at a time to prevent undue pressure on any one part.
Thrustmaster spring revealed
Keeping the spring under control, remove the screws from the 4 pillars. Keep a good hold of the plastic cage as you release the screws to stop the spring from decompressing in an uncontrolled way.
Gently roll the cage onto its side to reveal the spring. Take great care not to pull any of the wires or other pieces unless intended.
Thrustmaster zip ties
The trickiest part in the operation is trying to gage what part of the spring to compress with the zip tie. I went through this process twice because the spring tension was still high after my first attempt. On one side of the spring connect the topmost part with the the next coil down at a reasonable distance, try 1/4 or 1/3rd of the total distance. Apply a zip tie on the opposite edge to try to strike a balance with it. You do not want the spring to have a bias in one direction. The plastic cage will help to diffuse the spring force when your done.
Clip the zip tie so that the free end does not snag on anything when in use. Pointing the excess tag towards the centre might be a better solution than the outward facing one shown here.
Thrustmaster replace screws
You will need to exert pressure onto the spring cage in order to properly insert and tighten the screws. Fit all screws loosely at first and then go around in a circle tightening each one a little at a time to avoid undue pressure on any one connection point.
Replace the masking take to keep the wires under control when the base plate is reconnected.
Thrustmaster reassembled
Replace the base plate

YouTube Videos Guides

The LED Mod Guide
Spring Tension Mod Guide
The HOTAS Mounting Guide

Flightsim Hangar Contents List

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