PDA

View Full Version : Cougar HOTAS owners..an opinion please.



Sultan_of_Swing
05-25-2005, 07:19 AM
Is it worth the $ ? After trying the Saitek Cyborg Force, I came to the conclusion that the best stick I've had was the Thrustmaster Fox Pro. What it lacked was programability, which the Cyborg has. So I'm thinking of just getting the best stick out there and being done with all the middling choices.

Those of you who have the Cougar: is it worth it? If you had to do it over would you buy it (be honest http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif or would you get an X-52?

Thanks in advance.

Sultan_of_Swing
05-25-2005, 07:19 AM
Is it worth the $ ? After trying the Saitek Cyborg Force, I came to the conclusion that the best stick I've had was the Thrustmaster Fox Pro. What it lacked was programability, which the Cyborg has. So I'm thinking of just getting the best stick out there and being done with all the middling choices.

Those of you who have the Cougar: is it worth it? If you had to do it over would you buy it (be honest http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif or would you get an X-52?

Thanks in advance.

lbhskier37
05-25-2005, 08:05 AM
I love mine. IMHO it is on a different level from anything from Saitek. When I purchased mine, it was a toss up between it and CH Products gear, which I am told is also excellent. I went with the Cougar though because I think the CH throttle is useless without any rotaries. There are a few issues with the Cougar, but they haven't affected my enjoyment of the stick. This site has all the info you could ever want and more on the cougar, and a good supportive community that will answer any questions.

http://cougar.frugalsworld.com/

Sultan_of_Swing
05-25-2005, 08:13 AM
Thanks man http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

fng083
05-25-2005, 09:20 AM
It's not worth it!! I have one
Its realy hard to play pf with a standard cougar.I can believe that your Thrustmaster Fox Pro is good.
I have 4 sticks and the best of all is my Thrustmaster Afterburner 2.
I dont now about CH Products,most owners are happy with it i think.

CruiseTorpedo
05-25-2005, 09:28 AM
I own a cougar but would suggest you take a good look at the CH stick. The other poster had a point about the lack of rotaries but I dont think it's that big of deal now that CH has the new 4 axis throttle out. The cougar is a very nice product but for 300 dollars I would have expected at least some updates to the hardware inside in recent years. There's so many modifications people have made it's amazing cougar never designed something better themselves. Far as CH's high end stick goes, it has a longer throw to the stick but it's springs are quite light. Better to be light than so strong sometimes the base of the stick comes up off the table when you pull on it! LOL

FatBoyHK
05-25-2005, 09:39 AM
If you are willing to pay $500 more for after-market mods, cougar is your choice. Out-of-the-box cougar, while excellent in many way, has several design flaws, some of them quite serious. These aftermarket mods are purpose-built to elminate these flaws.

With these mods, cougar is perfect. I have it and I would recommend it, as long as you have the budget.

Worf101
05-25-2005, 10:03 AM
I bought a Cougar setup used on the bay. I combined it with Thrustmaster gameport pedals as they suggest. I find the product to be nice, but not perfect. Really clunky programing software. Not sure about how much it costs to get these things "perfect" but I'm flying them as they are right now...

Da Worfster

Chivas
05-25-2005, 10:39 AM
I have the Cougar, X52, and a few Microsoft sidewinders.

The Cougar joystick is great if you fly bombers or civilian airliners. Its definitly to clunky for prop fighter jocks unless you get one of the gimbal mods which are also very expensive.

The Cougar throttle is excellent and the programing is great. I found the Cougar throttle more precise than the X52 throttle.

The X52 is a great option if you get one without a deadzone. Be very carefull to buy one from a dealer you can easily replace or return the product.

The joystick return force is a little weak but easily moded to your taste. It uses Hall sensors that can be off center but these can easily be centered. The stick programming is excellent.

The microsoft joysticks are the most precise sticks I've used yet, unfortunately they are not made anymore. I prefer the twist stick otherwise I would definitely try one of the CH products. They have a good reputation.

Taylortony
05-25-2005, 12:43 PM
Buy a Cougar and expect to shell out to get it right in a year or too............ me i didnt even bother with that instead i used it twice then pushed it to the back of the desk to gather dust and went back to my trusty X45.......... resting under my desk gathering dust as well is the pedals for the thrustmaster... one day when i get a burst of interest i may unplug em dust em off and chuck em back in their respective boxes to collect more dust there..........

Sgian_Dubh_001
05-25-2005, 01:01 PM
As another Cougar owner I would also say check out the CH products. The Cougar is good and I'm glad I bought it, however you will have to replace the standard pots with Hall sensors (sooner rather that later). I am in the process of doing this now. If you pop over to http://www.frugalsworld.com and then clickt he link to Cougar world and poke around in the forums you will find a poerson trying to seel their Cougar for about $150.00

If you can swing this and purchase the Hall sensors, you will have a nice HOTAS for the money spent.

That is my 2 cents on the issue.

coturnix
05-25-2005, 01:29 PM
Best possible combination: Saitek X45 or X52 throttle, Microsoft Sidewinder ForceFeedback 2 stick, CH ProPedals and TrackIR 3 pro with vector expansion.

lbhskier37
05-25-2005, 01:41 PM
Also, if you want to buy a cougar new and are in the US, check out amazon.com. I bought mine for $200 there after getting $30 off my first amazon.com credit card purchase. (then promptly cut up the card)

Hristos
05-25-2005, 01:51 PM
I have both Cougar and CH.

Cougar is collecting dust somewhere in the basement, while CH is my choice.

Sultan_of_Swing
05-25-2005, 03:17 PM
It looks like the winner is CH. But I didn't want to get into pedals just yet. So I'll give the Cougar a try, though from what I've read here and elsewhere, it might take some time to get up to speed in it.

And lbhskier37, thanks for that link to Cougar World. great sight.

S!

lbhskier37
05-25-2005, 03:27 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Sultan_of_Swing:
It looks like the winner is CH. But I didn't want to get into pedals just yet. So I'll give the Cougar a try, though from what I've read here and elsewhere, it might take some time to get up to speed in it.

And lbhskier37, thanks for that link to Cougar World. great sight.

S! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Not sure what you mean about pedals. You will need pedals with the Cougar just like with the CH gear, the cougar has no twist, or rudder rocker. As for pedals, the CH ones are very good, but the best pedals you can buy (aside from the crazy expensive ones from pro simulators) can be found here. http://home.t-online.de/home/d-hofmann/homeeng.htm
They are hand built by a guy in Germany, and take a few weeks to get, but it is worth it. If you get a Cougar, get the gameport pedals as they will plug right into the cougar and can be programed right along with the cougars software.

DarkStar68
05-25-2005, 04:09 PM
I have one - I wish I would have checked out CH gear instead. I'm back to using my Afterburner II.

Sultan_of_Swing
05-25-2005, 04:42 PM
Hey lbhskier37 you're right, I would need pedals with the Cougar. Geez I missed that. For some reason I got it my head that it was like the X-52, witnh a twist. So....I guess I'll look into the X-52. To be honest, it's a bit more in my price range.

Thanks for all the advice everyone.

S!

Taylortony
05-25-2005, 04:54 PM
I to had this Infactuation with having the best of the best sticks Sultan and to be totally honest it was a major dissapointment, yes it looks trick and is heavy, yes it is metal and feels cool to hold, but to be honest, its stiff, its bigger than the X45 and the buttons are uncomfortable to reach.

So the x45 is plastic, but i find all the buttons far easier to use, its been faithful and hard wearing, I mean that, I ain't gentle with it...... myself I like the rudder, I just can't get round a silly twist grip, but that probably because I have run flown and taxied aircraft for more years than I care to remember......... the rocker comes natural and is more in keeping with the real thing in my opinion......... never tried a real plane with a twist grip in my life, but have seen a rocker mod in a disabled pilots plane before.......

One thing i would say, go find a shop if you can and try them both, I would hate to think we have ruined your dream and swayed your judgement without trying one first........... you don't want to forever regret that stick you felt you should have purchased... Me, well, I might be biased, but one mans ideal is not another mans...........

Sultan_of_Swing
05-25-2005, 05:08 PM
Tony I appreciate your advice. I did have an X-45 and I just could not adjust to the rocker rudder.

I'm starting to think that what I should get is the CH Fighter Stick and pedals. Why not? Combined it's still cheaper than the Cougar. Did someone say that the CH stick has a throttle wheel? If so, I''d strongly consider that.

bun-bun195333
05-25-2005, 07:37 PM
I have the Cougar with the Evenstrain mod and Simped pedals from Germany. This is probably the best setup out there - very smooth, very precise.

The stock Cougar has 0.250 of play measured at the top of the stick which results in deadzone where you need the finest control.

The programming software is excellent.
Want to recenter the rudder to trim the 109, use the HOLDTRIM(RDDR) command and the current location of the pedals becomes the new center.

d.burnette
05-25-2005, 08:39 PM
I have had the Cougar Hotas for over 3 years now, and have loved it.
I just recently modded the gimballs to the Uber2 NXT mod, with the Hall Sensors for both the stick and the throttle.
It made, imho, a great setup, perfect for me.

Yes, it was pricey, but well worth it for me. The stick is so smooth now, not as much spring tension, and the tension gets gradually stronger the farther to the extreme that you move the stick. And with the hall sensors, I know I won't have to worry about any pot woes any longer.

Understand, I had no real problems with this setup in the 3 years I have used it as it came stock. I even picked up another Cougar hotas from Amazon when they were running a sell on them about a year ago, and it still sits new in the box.

To me, the Cougar, especially modded with the Uber2 NXT gimballs, is the ultimate Hotas setup. I know it is not for everyone, not all are going to want to invest the dollars, but I look at it as it will last me a really long time, and I don't have that " I wish I had something better" feeling when using the Cougar. And the programmability, is second to none, it is truly amazing the flexibility the programming software for the Cougar gives you...