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Old 01-17-2017, 10:15 PM   #1
Rudel_chw
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Default HOTAS Cougar software on a modern Windows

Hello,

While I do realize that the preferred joystick on DCS seems to be the TM Warthog, those of us that still have the previous model, the Thrustmaster Hotas Cougar, are somewhat left behind and there is little support for our Controller.

Up until a few months ago I was happy to just use the DCS Control Configuration to setup my Cougar for each DCS module, but browsing through the User Files section I found the Foxy profiles that a spanish user of this forum (Legolasindar) had shared for Flamming Cliffs 2.

I saw then what I was missing by just using the standard DCS Control Config ... using the Cougar native scripting one could bind complex key combinations to the plane's commands, and have more programming positions by using the Dogfight switch of the Cougar.

But I needed to install the TM software in order to try the native profile ...
So, I began the rather complex journey of trying to use old software on current Windows ... I purchased my Cougar new in 2002 and it really shows when you try to find new software for it.

After a while, I managed to get everyting working on my Windows 8.1 gaming machine (actually its Windows Server 2012r2, but its almost identical to Windows 8.1) ... on this thread I wanted to share with other Cougar owners, all the steps for getting the Cougar software fully working on a modern 64 bit Windows.

1.- Install the TM 64 bits Drivers:

This is the first step, and probably most Cougar owners have already performed it. The driver can be downloaded from Thrustmaster:

https://support.thrustmaster.com/en/...otascougar-en/

The specific file that we need is the 64 bit driver: Package drivers - Vista RC2 (64bit)'

Once downloaded, change the .exe properties, so that its compatibility settings are: "Windows Vista SP2" and "Run as Admin" is selected:



After setting these compatibility options, unplug from the computer the USB cable of the Cougar and then run the installer, it should show:



The installer will copy the driver files into the default folder C:\Program Files (x86)\HOTAS ... and after a while it will ask you to plug in the USB cable of the Cougar, like this (sorry, my Windows is in spanish )



The install should finish after a short while, like this:



After the installer finishes, it will start another program to update the Cougar's firmware and it will fail because it doesn't have the admin rights:



This is no big deal, since most likely your Cougar already has the lastest firmware ... no new firmwares have appeared since 2003.

Now, restart the computer so that Windows can load the drivers properly and recognize the Hotas Cougar.

2.- Fix the Cougar Control Panel:

The driver installation will leave on your desktop an icon to run its Control Panel ... this software needs to run with Admin privileges, so open up its properties and select "Run as admin", like this:



Now, if you try to run the Cougar Control Panel you will most likely get this error:



To correct it, look in your folder at location "C:\HOTAS\drivers" and find "STTubeDevice203.dll" file. Then copy and paste the "STTubeDevice203.dll" file into "C:\Windows\SysWow64" folder, like this:

Copy from here:



... into here:



Now, the Control Panel should run without further problems:





The Thrustmaster software actually installs not only the Cougar Control Panel, but also several small utilities ... the most useful for debuging profiles is the Button State Viewer, which allows you to check not only the button's state but also the logical flag's too:



so I have placed a shortcut for it on my DCS icon collection:



I will continue on the next post, with the setup of the Foxy programming software, so see you later
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Old 01-17-2017, 11:48 PM   #2
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3.- Install the Foxy programming software:

This is more of a complete programming environment rather than just a "software", tailored for the creation of TM Cougar scripts using a GUI interface. It's version 4.0 can be downloaded from Thrustmaster:

https://support.thrustmaster.com/en/product/hotascougar-en/

The specific file that we need is called "Hotas Cougar Foxy v4.0" and this is the link:

http://ts.thrustmaster.com/download/...oxy/foxyv4.zip

Once downloaded decompress the zip file and change the setup.exe properties, so that its compatibility settings are: "Windows Vista SP2" and "Run as Admin" is selected, as shown here:



Afterwards, we run this setup:



The default installation folder is C:\Program Files (x86)\Foxy\:



... but I prefer to locate it within the rest of the TM software, so I change the path to this:



Then the installer will run and we will end up with version 4.0 of Foxy:



Remember to tick the "Run as Admin" compatibility option on Foxy's shortcut:



Now, we can update Foxy to the latest version available (from about 2004), by downloading this patch:

http://cougar.flyfoxy.com/files/Foxy42beta.zip

This has no installer, you just decompress it and then copy the 13 files that it contains, over to the Foxy folder, replacing the older versions that are on that folder. Now, when we run Foxy it should show this version number on its about box:



Clean Up the Hotas/files folder:

The Cougar software comes with several sample profiles for games of the 90's and 2000's stored on its /Hotas/files folder:



I've saved them on a backup folder and then cleared the folder so that only my own profiles are there ... this makes for a cleaner development environment



4.- Using Foxy:

Now we can run Foxy and use it to create or modify Cougar profiles:



The Cougar Programming Syntax is available on Foxy's Help menu, a very complete 150 pages MS Word file that it's a pleasure to read ... written by Foxy's creator, Dr. James "Nutty" Hallows ... my gratitude to him for his creation.

If you compile one of my profiles, you may came across this error:



This happens if you have never on this PC calibrated the Cougar; the calibration is started from the Cougar Control Panel, by clicking on "Manual Calibration":



The calibration process is easy and consist on just moving every axis to its full extent:



... then the calibration data is stored and Foxy can use it:



The Hotas Cougar's memory can only hold a single profile at a time, so, when we want to use a different module than the last time that we used DCS ... say, the last time we flew the Blackshark but today I want to fly the Su-27, we need to first run Foxy to download the correct profile into the TM Cougar.

To ease somewhat all this profile mess, Foxy allows to create a Menu with all of our DCS Modules, that will allow you to download the correct profile and launch DCS in one swift step.

To create this "Games" Menu, you first load in Foxy the profile ... and then use this menu option:



Now copy from the DCS icon the fields "Target" into "Executable" and "Start in" to "Working", like this:



We will end up with a Menu listing all of our DCS modules, well just a single one for this example, but you get the idea



And that would be all, we now have on our PC everything necessary for developing and modifying Cougar profiles ... in the meantime you can download some of mine, that you can use as is or as starting points for creating your own:

For DCS Su-27: https://www.digitalcombatsimulator.c...files/2326383/

For DCS F-5E: https://www.digitalcombatsimulator.c...files/2322364/

For DCS Blackshark 2: https://www.digitalcombatsimulator.c...files/2312882/

For DCS Su-25T: https://www.digitalcombatsimulator.c...files/2282430/

So, that would be all and hopefully it will be useful to Cougar owners.
Cheers.

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Last edited by Rudel_chw; 01-17-2017 at 11:50 PM.
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Old 01-18-2017, 03:58 PM   #3
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Perhaps a silly question, but I'm curious if there's a special reason why you'd use the old Foxy software instead of the newer Target (which AFAIK supports Cougar as well)?
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Old 01-18-2017, 04:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dudikoff View Post
Perhaps a silly question, but I'm curious if there's a special reason why you'd use the old Foxy software instead of the newer Target (which AFAIK supports Cougar as well)?
Agreed, I would definitely use TARGET.
It is a different beast all together from Foxy so has a bit of a learning curve, but still a very powerful program.

Actually for me I have gotten where, at least in DCS, I prefer to setup my Warthog in the game controller GUI...
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Old 01-18-2017, 05:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dudikoff View Post
Perhaps a silly question, but I'm curious if there's a special reason why you'd use the old Foxy software instead of the newer Target (which AFAIK supports Cougar as well)?
Not really

I tried TARGET for a while (when I was trying to use Home Fries' scripts) and found that only a true computer programmer could learn it ... I'd rather spend my time flying on DCS than struggle with programming in TARGET

Foxy is simple enough that I can usually create a new profile in a few hours, the longest step is creating the Macro file that contains all of the game's commands. Once you have the Macros, creating the profile is short and simple.
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Old 01-18-2017, 05:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudel_chw View Post
Not really

I tried TARGET for a while (when I was trying to use Home Fries' scripts) and found that only a true computer programmer could learn it ... I'd rather spend my time flying on DCS than struggle with programming in TARGET

Foxy is simple enough that I can usually create a new profile in a few hours, the longest step is creating the Macro file that contains all of the game's commands. Once you have the Macros, creating the profile is short and simple.
Well, there is the Target GUI where you define the key commands and then assign them to buttons easily, but unfortunately it lacks all the other features of the Target scripts (e.g. even a tempo function for long presses).

Pretty lame of them not to add more functions to it, IMHO, so if Foxy allows you those some of those things with a simpler notation than Target scripts, I fully understand why you'd stick to it.
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Old 01-18-2017, 08:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dburne View Post
Agreed, I would definitely use TARGET.
It is a different beast all together from Foxy so has a bit of a learning curve, but still a very powerful program.
That's the beauty of Foxy: it's powerful but without being complicated ... and you can do things that are impossible using just the game controller config.

Let me show just one example ... on the Su-27 your weapon system have five different modes of operation; using Foxy I can assign all five to a single button (Hat2 UP button) ... that cycles among them; the programming for this is:

Code:
BTN H2U /T Close_Air_Combat_Vertical_Scan_Mode 
        /T Close_Air_Combat_Bore_Mode 
        /T Close_Air_Combat_HMD_Helmet_Mode 
        /T Longitudinal_Missile_Aiming_Mode 
        /T Beyond_Visual_Range_Mode
For this to work, I have to define these macros on the asociated Macro file, that correspond to the actual keyboard key that DCS uses for each control:

Code:
Beyond_Visual_Range_Mode = 2
Close_Air_Combat_Vertical_Scan_Mode = 3
Close_Air_Combat_Bore_Mode = 4
Close_Air_Combat_HMD_Helmet_Mode = 5
Longitudinal_Missile_Aiming_Mode = 6 
Air-To-Ground_Mode = 7
Now, the Cougar has a "shift" button (the S3 button), that allows us to give dual function to every other button of the Cougar; so I can modify the above script to perform another function in adittion to selecting the weapon system's modes, for example to change the radar into Track While Scan Mode the script would look like this:

Code:
BTN H2U /I Radar_RWS/TWS_Mode_Select
        /O /T Close_Air_Combat_Vertical_Scan_Mode 
           /T Close_Air_Combat_Bore_Mode 
           /T Close_Air_Combat_HMD_Helmet_Mode 
           /T Longitudinal_Missile_Aiming_Mode 
           /T Beyond_Visual_Range_Mode
/I designates the macro that executes if I press H2U together with S3, while /O designates the Macro that executes if i press just H2U

I dont want to bore you with more examples, but this should show the power of Foxy along with its simplicity.

Cheers!
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Old 01-19-2017, 10:44 AM   #8
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I am still using HOTAS Cougar also and its programmed in Foxy and I still like it, not too difficult to program but is very powerful at the same time. Still serving me well all these years.
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Old 09-12-2017, 10:41 PM   #9
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My only problem with the old cougar is every once in a while I get a "device detection error" and the only way I can get it going again is to plug it into the old old old XP machine and set it up there. Than move it back to the Win10 machine. Don't know why it does that but it does!

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Old 09-13-2017, 01:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Menessis View Post
My only problem with the old cougar is every once in a while I get a "device detection error" and the only way I can get it going again is to plug it into the old old old XP machine and set it up there. Than move it back to the Win10 machine...
Sorry to hear that ... makes me glad of not having yet changed to Windows 10, I'm still using a server variant of Windows 8.1 and it works just perfectly for my needs ... only downside so far is that VoiceAttack is not compatible.

My Cougar is still going strong, and I still program it using Foxy
Best regards.
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