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XyZspineZyX
10-21-2002, 09:14 PM
...the stick of choice for those who enjoy the tweaking part even more than the actual flying. Or am I wrong?

Before ordering the Cougar I visited their homepage
( http://cougar.frugalsworld.com ), just in case there would be some major issues I thought. After some time of browsing through its content I was actually a bit detered.

Zillions of tips & tricks on how to make your cougar even better, how to reduce the extreme spring-tension, how to get rid of strange noices in the throttle and so on...

Yeeez!, I said to myself, I just want a damn good HOTAS stick without spending two-days and a night reading through a 185 pages manual + download some strange tweakings and drivers from some obscure hardcore simmer's homepage... (No offense anyone who dedicated an entire site on the cougar!) /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

So please Cougar owners, tell me if it's possible to get he best possible use of a Cougar + pedals without spending tens of hours browsing through forums, websites and patches. Or should I stick with my fairly good TM Top Gun Afterburner 2?

regards, GurraZ

XyZspineZyX
10-21-2002, 09:14 PM
...the stick of choice for those who enjoy the tweaking part even more than the actual flying. Or am I wrong?

Before ordering the Cougar I visited their homepage
( http://cougar.frugalsworld.com ), just in case there would be some major issues I thought. After some time of browsing through its content I was actually a bit detered.

Zillions of tips & tricks on how to make your cougar even better, how to reduce the extreme spring-tension, how to get rid of strange noices in the throttle and so on...

Yeeez!, I said to myself, I just want a damn good HOTAS stick without spending two-days and a night reading through a 185 pages manual + download some strange tweakings and drivers from some obscure hardcore simmer's homepage... (No offense anyone who dedicated an entire site on the cougar!) /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

So please Cougar owners, tell me if it's possible to get he best possible use of a Cougar + pedals without spending tens of hours browsing through forums, websites and patches. Or should I stick with my fairly good TM Top Gun Afterburner 2?

regards, GurraZ

XyZspineZyX
10-21-2002, 09:18 PM
- So please Cougar owners, tell me if it's possible
- to get he best possible use of a Cougar + pedals
- without spending tens of hours browsing through
- forums, websites and patches.

Yes.

But if you want to get it set up just right for you - and chances are you will want to do that eventually - you can.

Cheers,
Fred

XyZspineZyX
10-21-2002, 09:34 PM
If you want to you can get your Cougar out the box, plug it in and be flying with it in a couple of minutes. As a HOTAS stick its as good as any and better than most.

If you want to get into modifying your stick or just writing the programs to assign the controls to the buttons you want them to be on then you can do that as well.

A Cougars a lot of money to invest in a stick if all you want is a basic flying control with no frills, but if you want something a bit special and thats very flexable then I'd highly recommend the Cougar.


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Hunter82
10-21-2002, 09:48 PM
I love my Cougar


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XyZspineZyX
10-21-2002, 10:18 PM
Hmmm... Well, OK. No bad experiences? No buggy software?


So, do SimHQ offer the lowest price ($279) ? Seems like it, or do they not include tax in that price?



regards, GurraZ

Hunter82
10-21-2002, 10:37 PM
tax is not included I would imagine. Software is not buggy IMHO. You do need the first patch after that it is OK. As for the spring tension you can leave it as is. What most people are talking about is the springs themselves until worn in (allot of playing /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif ) are quite stiff. You can open up the case and stretch them to loosen (as I did) to speed up the process.


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XyZspineZyX
10-21-2002, 10:50 PM
If you like a stick with light spring tension then you will want to consider picking up F22 spring kit from thrustmaster's online shop. With a tiny bit of bending to remove any play the resulting tension is much lighter than the quite heavy spring strength that the cougar comes with.

Also, to take it to the extreme there are mods that improve the gimbal system (uber mod) in the cougar (adding bearings ect.) and a mod that replaces the potentiometers with Hall effect sensors that results in incredible accuracy/resolution (far more than any human could actually use).

I already spent an extra 125 bucks US for the uber mod (look for thread "Mods and Tweaks" for info) and it was worth every penny. I plan on getting the hall effect sensor kit for around the same cost.

Getting a cougar in itself is a major investment. If you are serious about having the ultimate setup then it's the right way to go. There's the option to improve it even more. All the upgrades so far have come from fantastic engineers within the cougar owner community.

XyZspineZyX
10-21-2002, 11:08 PM
I have not been able to improve on my flying in IL2 with my stock cougar over my MS FF2. Just not the right feel with prop sims for gunnery...so I have sent out some parts to be uberized. I believe this is what TM should have done originally.

From what I have read changing to the F22 springs is not recommended as they are a softer material and lose some "memory" with use.

fox out

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XyZspineZyX
10-21-2002, 11:25 PM
Amazon.com ships it for free which saves you around $30 or more. It says you should expect to get it in 2 weeks but its not the case. I got mine in 4 days and have loved it ever since http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif For Il2 you might want to take the rubber thing at its base off (very very simple process) and look around for a good profile you like and modify it a bit to your liking (another very simple process).

XyZspineZyX
10-21-2002, 11:38 PM
I've used the f22 springs almost from the day I got my cougar. From late winter until now they've been in there.

I've noticed no increasing slop in the springs. You don't have to bend the spring's coil itself to make it fit the cougar but the extensions so they contact resting posts properly.

Also, the lighter springs should increase the wear life as the stock ones are putting alot of force on the mechanisms at full deflection.

XyZspineZyX
10-22-2002, 12:02 AM
I some what have to agree with the Cougar having problems. You'd think for around $300 bucks thrustmaster would have used HS pots instead of the sh#t pots that came with it. Pots are definatly the achileas heel for the cougar right now. I have had to clean my pots several times to get rid of the occasional spiking,which happens to be a delicate process. If your not carefull you can damage them which was the case with my throttle pot. Luckily I managed to fix it. Also there is the slop or play issue that seems to develope or come with some cougars. And probibly the only other issue concerning the cougar is the lousey support thrust master has trying to get damaged parts for thier hotus.
Over at Cougar world some folks have come up with some realy good mods that would make your cougar second to none. But all those extras cost and by the time your finished you cougar jumps from a $300 stick to around $600 to $700.

As Odd Ball said on the Dirty Dozen, "They look pretty colnell,but can they fight?" I'm starting to ask the same about my cougar.

Oh,and if you have small hands the cougars not for you.

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XyZspineZyX
10-22-2002, 04:44 AM
I have to admit it's exspenive. If I could spend 650 dollars to get what I'll have after the uber mod and hall sensors are added, I'd buy a stick like it.

Honestly, thrustmaster should have just gone all out with hitech features simular to what uber and hall effect sensor equiped cougars have and sold it for 650 dollars or so.

Many of the people who own the cougar are gonna end up spending that much anyway. Next time any company markets an "ultimate" HOTAS, they should live up to it and not cut any corners.

XyZspineZyX
10-22-2002, 04:53 AM
Chips and bits is the place to get a cougar, 257 and cheap shipping. I went with the ch hotas set up though, the modding and tweaking and what not scared me away. Great stick but seemed like a 1 and 5 chance of having problems by reading the forums.

JG27>Targ
http://www.jg27.net

XyZspineZyX
10-22-2002, 06:04 AM
If you ask me, you can get the Cougar out of box...install the drivers and software and fly in very short time. However you asked if you can get "THE BEST" out of the Cougar easily...my answer to you is NO!

The best out of the Cougar is the programability, and unless you've done that previously you will need lots of reading and learning to do.

Also for Cougar to be flawless, you do need to "fix" it up. If you're not a hard-core simmer..I do not recommend it to you! But if you wish to have a HOTAS that will last you for some years to come...I highly recommend it!

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XyZspineZyX
10-22-2002, 06:37 AM
I go against the grain here, and say I don't like the Cougar. I had two of them. Why two? I didn't think I gave the first one a good chance, so I bought another one. I gave it a chance, fixed the problems it had, and then sold it.
I have the CH Fighterstick, Pro Throttle, and Pro Pedals. It does everything I want. You can also use it right out of the box without it needing any mods. I has a long smooth throw, and a light touch. From what I hear from guys who have had CH products. They last forever, with out breaking. That's my .05.

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XyZspineZyX
10-22-2002, 08:37 AM
Hi,

I have a cougar, but don't use it.

It's too complicated to program it and, what shall i say, it has not enough buttons!

Went back to my USB- CH gear, Fighterstick, throttle, pedals.

Allthough the antenna axe is a good thing for trimming, the rest is not so good for a WWII simulation.

Programming the CH gear for the first time is made in one hour, if you are familar with, in fife minutes. One easy to learn software let you get out the best of it in much, much, much shorter time. And, i have some more buttons on the throttle.

Over the last eight years i had four full sets of thrustmaster gear, sticks throttles pedals. I had problems over problems. Many mechanical ones.
With CH, all was done. Mechanical quality was much better and so easy to program.

Then i saw the Cougar. Nice! Made of metal and better materials. Hmmmm that's something for me. But Thrustmaster? I gave it a try.
It took me days until it ran. I still knew the programming language from the early days.
Ok, then i build up. Hmmmm TQS- axes not recognized. Another two days of trying etc.
Then the software: oh god. Must this be sooo chaotic?

At the end it wasn't better with it and when i made changes to the programming, i decided to go back to the CH.

Morgenstern

XyZspineZyX
10-22-2002, 11:16 AM
This truely represent a dilemma, especially since the combined price of the CH fighterstick & pro throttle lands on about the same price as the Cougar... /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif


"Oh mirror, mirror on the wall, tell me which flightstick's best of them all!"

He he, I like fairytale poetry /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif


Eventually I guess I'll find an option I'm satisfied with.

Oh, by the way, can I combine CH USB equipment with CH gameport pedals?

regards, GurraZ

XyZspineZyX
10-22-2002, 05:19 PM
I am by no means speaking from hands-on experience. So, you can just crumple this up and throw it in the trash without reading further.

-

I have been researching a good 'flight system' for about 3 months. I have only tried two sticks. The MS SW Precision 2, and the MS SWFF2. (I still have the latter.) I like the FF2 better, but I do not use the FF of the stick.

I have read, and read , and read some more at dif forums and web sites.

My conclusion from just reading concerning the CH vs the Cougar... If I wanted to spend the money, I would get the whole CH set of products. (I have been wanting a racing game. So, I would get a wheel, also.)

-

I have been meaning to try the Saitek X45. I just have not got around to it.

I have really been getting the urge to buy the CH setup lately, though.

-

Anyway, keep giving info. This is a good thread.

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XyZspineZyX
10-22-2002, 05:19 PM
~S! All,
I'm a puter nub!!! But I have a COUGAR HOTAS fully programmed for TrackIR. Someone mentioned in this string that there were not enough buttons???? 26 PROGRAMMABLE BUTTONS (Dang! if there were more, I COULDN'T HANDLE 'EM! LOL! :^) )

Here's the trick. There is a super COUGAR community. Just go to their board (located at frugal) and post what you want. SOMEONE THERE EITHER HAS IT OR CAN TELL U HOW TO DO IT!

So here I am...puter nub...fully programmed COUGAR and I do not ever touch the keyboard!! The feel of all metal gear is fantastic. It's NOT PLASTIC! It has truthfully enhanced my IL2 experience.

~S! Gold

Hope to C U on Deck!

~S! BPO6_GoldenWing
Commanding Officer
Birds of Prey
Http://bpnest.homestead.com

XyZspineZyX
10-22-2002, 07:16 PM
I have owned and used the Cougar for about as long as they have been out -or- around 2000 Flight Sim hours!
The Cougar is as easy to program as any, and as difficult (more so) than any!
It all depends on what you want to do and what degree of control you want over your Sims.
I have owned and use most HOTAS and not one is the equal of the Cougar, either in terms of software or hardware! But that is my opinion based on my experience!
The fact is that in IL-2 you simply program into IL-2's input setup and go from there. That's all that is required. Don't let the overall Foxy program or other Cougar software intimidate you and don't try to master it over night! You will master the software as time goes on, because you'll find that when you have the ability to do more you usually find yourself doing just that.

The Cougar is as close to cheating as I care to go!

As for why people want the Cougar. That is simple! They want the best! They are somewhat more dedicated to the Flight Sim world and spend more time doing it. That type of person will also go for the MODS. I know I am!
The Elite Rudder pedals work great! But they are not the best in my opinion! But I am one of those that want to wait for the Cougar pedals and the Elites will do for now!

But the opinion about the Cougar is also the opinion of about 6000 other people around the world! I say that because there are that many Cougar owners (and growing)!

Have a good day


Top Kelley

XyZspineZyX
10-22-2002, 09:27 PM
Ok, but what about the "the-Cougar-is-not-a-suitable stick-for-a-WII-sim" statements then.

I will probably not engage in any serious jetsims in the future (I kind of like the prop-era of aviation so much more), so I don't want something that feels "way off" either. But that metallic feel really appeals to me though...

regards, GurraZ



Message Edited on 10/22/0209:33PM by GurraZ

XyZspineZyX
10-22-2002, 10:15 PM
GurraZ wrote:
- Ok, but what about the "the-Cougar-is-not-a-suitable
- stick-for-a-WII-sim" statements then.
-

That was my opinion with the stock cougar as supplied from TM. The springs are too stiff for my gunnery style. As Hunter stated you can take some of that tension out. Others have said the F22 springs are ok but I have heard otherwise also.

My kitty is getting shipped off to Ian to be uberized right now so that might make all the difference when it comes to gunnery I'll have to wait and see. At present I am using my MS FF2.

The cougar rudder pedals from TM might not ever make it to production from what I have read but Simped makes an excellent rudder pedal for this stik and is soon to release toe brakes for it.

fox out

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XyZspineZyX
10-22-2002, 10:39 PM
Morgenstern wrote:
-
- Hi,
-
- I have a cougar, but don't use it.
-
- It's too complicated to program it and, what shall i
- say, it has not enough buttons!
-
- Went back to my USB- CH gear, Fighterstick,
- throttle, pedals.
-
- Allthough the antenna axe is a good thing for
- trimming, the rest is not so good for a WWII
- simulation.
-
- Programming the CH gear for the first time is made
- in one hour, if you are familar with, in fife
- minutes. One easy to learn software let you get out
- the best of it in much, much, much shorter time.
- And, i have some more buttons on the throttle.
-
- Over the last eight years i had four full sets of
- thrustmaster gear, sticks throttles pedals. I had
- problems over problems. Many mechanical ones.
- With CH, all was done. Mechanical quality was much
- better and so easy to program.
-
- Then i saw the Cougar. Nice! Made of metal and
- better materials. Hmmmm that's something for me. But
- Thrustmaster? I gave it a try.
- It took me days until it ran. I still knew the
- programming language from the early days.
- Ok, then i build up. Hmmmm TQS- axes not
- recognized. Another two days of trying etc.
- Then the software: oh god. Must this be sooo
- chaotic?
-
- At the end it wasn't better with it and when i made
- changes to the programming, i decided to go back to
- the CH.
-
- Morgenstern

----------------------------------------------------------

S!,
Do you still have the Cougar?? I'd be interested in buying it from you if it's available. Please let me know.

Contact me at: JV44HeinzBar@hotmail.com

thanks,
JV44HB



American by birth; Southern by the Grace of God!

XyZspineZyX
10-22-2002, 11:28 PM
FoxThree wrote:

-
- My kitty is getting shipped off to Ian to be
- uberized right now so that might make all the
- difference when it comes to gunnery I'll have to
- wait and see. At present I am using my MS FF2.


Sounds very costly though, but are there any other improvements but increaced gunnery that you expect to get from this "uberization"?

regards, GurraZ



Message Edited on 10/22/0211:29PM by GurraZ

XyZspineZyX
10-23-2002, 12:45 AM
GurraZ wrote:
- are there any other
- improvements but increaced gunnery that you expect
- to get from this "uberization"?
-


You might want to investigate this link...
http://cougar.frugalsworld.com/ubercub.php

I think the weakest part in my flying skilz would have to be my gunnery and I was not getting the results with my cougar that I get from my other stik. I love the cougar and do not regret buying it at all.

The old catch phrase "if you have to ask how much does it cost then you can't afford it" might apply to the cougar when it comes to modding it.
HTH

fox out

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XyZspineZyX
10-23-2002, 01:09 AM
I'm slowly starting to mod my cougar for now. I found some Hall sensor pots that I'll be putting in shortly.
The cougar makes it hard to have a real steady gun plat form.
One thing you might want to try is instead of using manual calibration,calibrate your cougar with "Get Auto Calibration" in the Hotus Cougar controll panel.
These are the settings I use for the hard wear set up

X=1,3,7,13,23,33,43,53,71,85
Y=0,1,3,9,18,28,43,58,73,83
Z=0,7,16,27,37,49,60,73,84,97

Note: I fly strickly LW and these setting work for me.

And one other final note,I use the H2 Button for trim aplication,one click up and one click down as it should be. Opps sorry thats another thread./i/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

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XyZspineZyX
08-07-2003, 07:18 PM
What?



Be seeing you.

RichardI
08-07-2003, 07:49 PM
I've had a Cougar for about 4 months now. I added a set of CH Pro pedals (gameport - they plug right into the Cougar and I use only 1 USB port).
I LOVE my Cougar. Before the Cougar I broke 3 joysticks. Snapped 'em right off (including a MS FFB). I guess I have a "heavy" hand? /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif
Anyway, I use it right out of the box. No mods. It doesn't need any. Sure, it can be improved, like you might add some chromed options to your new car, but it doesn't need them. The buttons and rotaries are positioned perfectly, IMHO, and programming is not required. You can download programs for darn near any game.
As far as I'm concerned, it's great! I'm one happy camper.

Rich /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

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XyZspineZyX
08-07-2003, 08:13 PM
Have to add that getting a cougar is not going to magically make you a better shot. Also must add that forums are generally where folks go to complain. There are many happy cougar owners and I am one. It like every other sticks out there has its issues. There is no perfect stick but there are better than average sticks. The cougar is one of these.