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View Full Version : Cougar HOTAS and CH Rudder Pedals-Alternative Mini Review and Shameless Plug!



ytareh
05-27-2007, 11:26 AM
Cougar HOTAS: granite build quality(boxed weighs 8 to 9 lbs or 4+kg!!!)but 'granite' feel to stick motion.I like a tight spring but this baby tires you out.And its not so much pure 'tightness'!In fact it felt surprisingly loose at the center.But man try and rotate it around the very perimeter/outside of the metal 'gate'(yeah like a Ferrari!)and you'll grimace.It feels as if there are 2 or 4 springs which are so 'determined' to pull the stick back to the center that movements other than perfectly straight forward/back or left/right seemed hard to coordinate compared with my beloved Logitech Extreme 3d Pro.
There are mods galore for this set up including an aptly named Evenstrain spring mod and Hall sensor mods.I suppose modding this is like trying to get 1000bhp from your 350bhp Nissan Skyline !!!Button/trim wheel/hat switch/mini joystick choice is beyond comparison.The 'trim wheel' at the base of the throttle (above the serial number-yes theyre that exclusive!)isnt actually a trim wheel at all.It sets the tension for the throttle .

CH Pro Pedals (Gameport connection)Plug directly into Cougar so can be calibrated by Cougar software(adaptable to suit n00bs or computer programing professors!).Just felt weird -had to do major surgery on desk to get them to fit -these need to be the 'right' distance from you to 'feel' right (maybe because I used be a cyclist I felt fussy about distance to pedals!These are gonna make your legs ache .
My whole experience of these was unpleasant in the extreme .It almost became a chore to fly!!!You had to align four body parts,(!) two hands and two feet,with the monitor and focus on three pieces of apparatus instead of putting both hands on a simple joystick and sticking yer nose in front of the screen...

I have no doubt these are in perfect working order(the Cougar has only had a few days use) and center up perfectly in IL2 joystick setup.
So if you like your simming to feel like stirring a granite wand in a bowl of granite poridge while ballet dancing and having all your body going numb drop me a pm!!! What a sales pitch!!!But seriously these will be going on Ebay if there's no interest here.I know the two items are sought after and sold as a pair save you the hassle of hunting both down separately.

Thank God I didnt pay full retail for this pair!!!!!!!!!!!!

PS I have since changed the pots in my Logitech joystick using those from a spare one and look forward to it serving me loyally for another 3 years....

ytareh
05-27-2007, 11:26 AM
Cougar HOTAS: granite build quality(boxed weighs 8 to 9 lbs or 4+kg!!!)but 'granite' feel to stick motion.I like a tight spring but this baby tires you out.And its not so much pure 'tightness'!In fact it felt surprisingly loose at the center.But man try and rotate it around the very perimeter/outside of the metal 'gate'(yeah like a Ferrari!)and you'll grimace.It feels as if there are 2 or 4 springs which are so 'determined' to pull the stick back to the center that movements other than perfectly straight forward/back or left/right seemed hard to coordinate compared with my beloved Logitech Extreme 3d Pro.
There are mods galore for this set up including an aptly named Evenstrain spring mod and Hall sensor mods.I suppose modding this is like trying to get 1000bhp from your 350bhp Nissan Skyline !!!Button/trim wheel/hat switch/mini joystick choice is beyond comparison.The 'trim wheel' at the base of the throttle (above the serial number-yes theyre that exclusive!)isnt actually a trim wheel at all.It sets the tension for the throttle .

CH Pro Pedals (Gameport connection)Plug directly into Cougar so can be calibrated by Cougar software(adaptable to suit n00bs or computer programing professors!).Just felt weird -had to do major surgery on desk to get them to fit -these need to be the 'right' distance from you to 'feel' right (maybe because I used be a cyclist I felt fussy about distance to pedals!These are gonna make your legs ache .
My whole experience of these was unpleasant in the extreme .It almost became a chore to fly!!!You had to align four body parts,(!) two hands and two feet,with the monitor and focus on three pieces of apparatus instead of putting both hands on a simple joystick and sticking yer nose in front of the screen...

I have no doubt these are in perfect working order(the Cougar has only had a few days use) and center up perfectly in IL2 joystick setup.
So if you like your simming to feel like stirring a granite wand in a bowl of granite poridge while ballet dancing and having all your body going numb drop me a pm!!! What a sales pitch!!!But seriously these will be going on Ebay if there's no interest here.I know the two items are sought after and sold as a pair save you the hassle of hunting both down separately.

Thank God I didnt pay full retail for this pair!!!!!!!!!!!!

PS I have since changed the pots in my Logitech joystick using those from a spare one and look forward to it serving me loyally for another 3 years....

super71957
05-27-2007, 03:00 PM
I feel for ya.
I just purchased a brand new CH Products Fighterstick USB and it is just the opposite.
Like rowing a canoe with a wet noodle!!
As much as people dislike Logitec they do have a great "feel" to them.I have a Wingman Extreme digital I have had for about five years now.I think I will stick with it. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

ytareh
05-27-2007, 03:13 PM
So its not just me!I hated a Saitek Cyborg Evo for having a limp spring and the compromised ergonomics of the grip (just to accomodate lefties!)The Logitech is the only one Ive ever felt which is 'just right' (and only the 'normal' Extreme 3D Pro not the wireless one(looser)

JG52Uther
05-27-2007, 05:12 PM
Its funny really.I much prefer my cheapo Logitech attack 3 stick to my X45.Its been more reliable and lasted longer too.

Worf101
05-27-2007, 05:19 PM
Well, sorry to hear you hate the Cougar so much. I'm a weight lifter and I like the Cougars heft but I modded mine with IJ's UBERII kit and couldn't be happier. I also went with Simped pedals which are wider than the CH and all metal. I'm sure you'll get most of your dosh back and I hope you find a suitable replacement.

Da Worfster

Chivas
05-27-2007, 07:25 PM
Don't get rid of the Cougar...it has the best throttle made. It fits the hand perfectly with all the buttons and rotaries in their optimum position. It has two rotaries and atleast 26 possible button functions.

Unfortunately the Joystick has to be connected to use the throttle but I just keep it under the desk. You could use the Cougar joystick as a button bay but the Cougar throttle combined with the MSFF2 joystick, I have more than enough options to hardly ever use the keyboard.

ytareh
05-29-2007, 09:59 AM
These items will be going on Ebay v soon if dont go via here.Send me a pm immediately if you want to negotiate a community deal/discount

Viper2005_
05-29-2007, 12:11 PM
Fix #1 - Stick
Mod with realsimulator FSSB from here:

http://www.realsimulator.com/html/fssb.html

It's relatively expensive, but it's a simple drop-in mod which can be completed in an afternoon by even the least technically adept (ie me). I went for the R2 option. Well over a year in with heavy use & transport too & from university I have had 100% serviceability. It's utterly magical.

You can set your stick forces with dip-switches on the base of the unit (individual settings for pitch & roll) to suit your needs. I currently run rather hard settings (10 lbf for full deflection in pitch, 8 lbf for full deflection in roll). Despite this, the stick is so sensitive that I can fly with my fingertips - in fact when I use the top hat to trim the change in stick force actually causes my aeroplane to gently nod in pitch!

Eventually I plan to bolt the stick down and go up to 21 lbf for full deflection in pitch & 17 lb for full deflection in roll.

Here is the manual

http://www.realsimulator.com/Doc/FSSB_manual_English.pdf

(And no, I don't work for them.)

Fix #2 - Rudder pedals

Simpeds. Make sure you get the ones with the gameport. It can be quite hard to get hold of them, but don't give up - it's worth it!

Fix #3 - Throttle

Get a set of IJ's switch housings.
Get a Hall sensor for the main throttle itself. CubPilot sells a good one:
http://www.cubpilotshangar.net/

Throttle "sticktion" can be solved in a number of ways.
http://www.hanskrohn.com/Overview/Cougar_Throttle/Throttle_Hall_Sensor.htm

http://cougar.frugalsworld.com/mods.php#smooth
Be warned - frugalsworld tries to bring up all manner of horrible popups etc on my system.


***

Congratulations - you now have a World Class control system which requires next to no maintenance* and should last almost forever. If you're a serious simmer then in addition to greatly improved performance (watch your gunstat soar, and enjoy perhaps 5-10 km/h higher speeds due to reduced control input noise) you'll find that over a few years it'll probably even save you money, since you'll never have to replace it again; before I got my modded Cougar I went through 2-3 sticks a year. At 20-50 a go for something like an X-45 it adds up quickly!

*You might have to apply silicone grease to the DOG FIGHT & SPD BRK switch housings once every couple of years; I've done that once so far, and I've had to re-align the Hall sensor once after transporting my system between home & uni.

Chivas
05-29-2007, 01:09 PM
Those mods must be good because Viper has become a bit of a sniper, before the mods he couldn't hit anything he shot at. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Chivas
05-29-2007, 01:14 PM
Another option for rudder pedals are the Logitec Pros that are very good, cheaper, easier to find and are USB avoiding any pitfalls having to connect them thru the Cougar joystick.

JG52Uther
05-29-2007, 01:40 PM
I think we live in different worlds.You buy an expensive stick and the spend $100's in mods to make it work properly? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

Viper2005_
05-29-2007, 02:38 PM
It depends upon your definition of expensive.

Since the 2nd of February this year I have logged 87 hours on warclouds alone. Given that I've had final year exams for my degree during that time, it's lower than I might normally expect.

If we say an average of 100 hours in 3 months, that would be 400 hours/year on warclouds alone.

Throw in other servers and offline flying and I'd say I'm logging at least 500 virtual flying hours/year.

Even if I had spent 1000 (and I didn't BTW) on setting up my stick then it's only cost me about 2/hour over the first year, which is hardly expensive fun. But of course its design life is significantly more than a year. The Hall sensors and force transducers have expected lifetimes of hundreds of thousands of hours. I expect at least 5 years and probably more like 10 years out of this setup, and at 500 hours/year the total hourly cost will therefore be pretty tiny.

Over 5000 flying hours (ie 10 years which is my target) it works out at less than 0.20/hour.

When compared with the price of buying top of the line SLI cards every year or so it's actually a relatively cheap hobby.

To put it another way, I know plenty of students who will spend more money on beer in a year than I've spent on my Cougar & Simpeds. Life is all about priorities! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

JG52Uther
05-29-2007, 04:11 PM
Well i am certainly not knocking you,it just seems a bit expensive.But hey,its a hobby http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif
I spend 10 hours per week 'organised' squad flying,+ weekends,using my el cheapo logitech attack 3/ X45 throttle/ CH pedals.

ytareh
05-29-2007, 05:47 PM
Attack 3 ?!Now that is cheap!Still I guess its effective enough and has an ok feel to it...

JG52Uther
05-30-2007, 02:40 AM
I prefer it to my X45,and its more reliable!20 and a 3 year warranty.The only thing I would swap it for is a CH fighterstick.

ytareh
05-31-2007, 12:50 AM
HOTAS and pedals now on Ebay dot co dot uk . Buy both and get a free X800XT! (terms and conditions apply!!!)(lol)