Saitek Without Wires

Review

posted 10/17/2002 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
One Page Platforms: PS2
When I was reviewing a few cordless controllers, I thought someone should come up with a receiver transmitter combo so that you can plug any controller in and make it wireless. Lo and behold, Saitek has released such a product and it works to a T.

The Saitek With Out Wires, or WOW, consists of one transmitter with two controller ports, and one receiver that plugs into both of the PS2 controller ports. The transmitter has a little rotating antenna, rumble button, and a battery indicator on top. You can save battery power by turning off the rumble feature. The battery indicator has four LED’s that let you know how much juice is left. It’s nice to see when you’re about to run out so you’re not guessing on how much power you have left. The middle of the transmitter holds the battery pack. Four AA batteries power the unit and Saitek has included four Nickel-Metal Hydride batteries that give you eight hours of continuous play.

The receiver has two LED’s that indicate charging batteries and signal reception. A rotating antenna is also attached to the receiver here. The receiver doubles as a battery charger and it will take two hours to fully charge the batteries. Saitek did a good job in designing the battery compartment to fit on the receiver at the bottom and helps provide support to the receiver. Rather than having just the connections be the only support for the receiver, the battery compartment provides a nice base to help prevent damage in the controller ports because the receiver sticks out pretty far from the front of the PS2.

If you need to use a remote or a corded controller, the receiver features a pass through plug that allows you to attach another device. Say your batteries die out and you don’t have a spare. Just plug a controller into the pass through and you can get back into the game. Or if you have a DVD remote you’d still like to use, just attach it to the pass through. With a peripheral plugged into the pass through, port 1 of the transmitting unit will not work but port 2 will. Part of the limitation of this device: you can only have a maximum of two devices attached.

You can use any four AA batteries you would. The good thing about the WOW setup is that you can charge one set of batteries while using another set. Two battery compartments allow you to keep a set in each and just rotate them out. While Saitek had good intentions in not having an external plug charge the batteries, you do have to have the PS2 on for it to charge. It’s not enough to have the PS2 in standby mode so the first time I got the unit I had to have the PS2 charge the included batteries. While I waited for the batteries to charge, I popped in four of my own batteries and tested out the unit. I do like the setup in terms of being able to use your own batteries instead of some rechargeable units that have a specific battery built in. Just make sure the only ones you are recharging with the unit are Nickel-Metal Hydrides or otherwise you might have a big mess on your hands.
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