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TM HOTAS Cougar Axis Centering Issue


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Hi all... brand new here, but a long-time simmer, and a long-time Cougar owner. The stick and throttle are both bone-stock, no modifications, and about 15 years old. They've always been very solid, no troubles, so I've never had to fuss with them much, but recently after a little break, I hooked them back up and found that both the X-axis on the stick and the ZR-axis on the rudder are off to the right (see pics attached). It causes enough yaw and roll to make things pretty unflyable.

 

I've done a lot of searching, but couldn't seem to find this particular issue. No amount of calibrating using the CCP will fix this, and I can't seem to get the CCP to maintain some of the settings. I've tried setting it to User Mode and manually calibrating, then saving that as a profile that gets loaded on startup, but the next time I open the CCP, the settings are back to default. I've tried re-flashing the stick with the newest firmware I could find, with no change. I've also tried adjusting the trim setting in the Axis Shaping tab of the CCP (which the software will remember), but when I set this to -7, it's just shy of center (still rolls the plane), and when I set it to -8, due to the size of the increments, it jumps over the center and begins rolling left. Can't set it to -7.5. In addition, this adjustment means that I can't give the plane full right aileron, since the trim setting seems to shift the entire range of motion, not just the center point.

 

I know the pots in these controllers are widely held to be not that great, and some have offered better ones in the past that people have modded their sticks with. I would put better parts in them if that would fix it, but I don't want to replace these controllers with the Warthog unless I absolutely have to--they are still pristine, no visible wear and tear on the exterior, and everything is like-new except for this, so it seems a shame to not try to fix them even if it's a hardware issue. EDIT: This doesn't help me with the rudders, but I suppose I can replace those easier than I can the stick... this is why I'm hoping this can be a software fix.

 

Does anyone know how maybe to address this?

Also, out of curiosity, are the Warthogs still supported by TM?

 

Thank you in advance very much for any assistance!

 

Here are my particulars:

Windows 10 Home version 1809

TM Driver version (in and out): 2.0.3.0

CCP version: 3.01

Foxy version 4.4.02

Firmware version 3.06

 

viewer.jpg

 

analyzer.jpg

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Hi all... brand new here, but a long-time simmer, and a long-time Cougar owner. The stick and throttle ar�e both bone-stock, no modifications, and about 15 years old.

 

Hi, my Cougar was purchased on early-2003, so it has about the same age as yours: 16 years :)

 

They've always been very solid, no troubles, so I've never had to fuss with them much

 

I havent been so lucky, or perhaps mine have more flight hours .. I've had to replace the Stick's pots three times, and the throttle one was also replaced once.

 

Also, the gimbals have broken, once for each axis :( ... fortunately, Thrustmaster still had spare parts at that time. I understand they are now out of stock, so a year ago I purchased a spare set from a fellow member of the Forum, just in case :)

 

... but recently after a little break, I hooked them back up and found that both the X-axis on the stick and the ZR-axis on the rudder are off to the right (see pics attached). It causes enough yaw and roll to make things pretty unflyable.

...

No amount of calibrating using the CCP will fix this.

 

 

That is strange, as the Cougar is able to autocalibrate itself ... most likely the affected potentiometers have lost contact on the extreme of their rotation .. the autocalibration re-adjust the limits, but then the center position gets placed off-center.

 

... I can't seem to get the CCP to maintain some of the settings. I've tried setting it to User Mode and manually calibrating, then saving that as a profile that gets loaded on startup, but the next time I open the CCP, the settings are back to default.

 

That's strange, on my PC the CCP starts up with the configuration that I want, like this:

 

tSBnK2g.jpg

 

I've tried re-flashing the stick with the newest firmware I could find, with no change.

 

This is a 15 year old device .. there has not been a firmware in more than a decade :)

 

I know the pots in these controllers are widely held to be not that great, and some have offered better ones in the past that people have modded their sticks with.

 

Guillemot no longer has Pots for the Stick, back in August 2018 they only had pots for the Throttle. So, I purchased an aftermarket Pot from a fellow member of these Forums ... here I wrote a review with my experience with it:

 

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=225733

 

I would put better parts in them if that would fix it, but I don't want to replace these controllers with the Warthog unless I absolutely have to--they are still pristine, no visible wear and tear on the exterior, and everything is like-new except for this, so it seems a shame to not try to fix them even if it's a hardware issue.

 

By all means you should keep them .. after DCS releases its F-16 you will be the envy of all the Warthog owners :D

 

If I were you, I would at the very least replace the stick Pots with the ones Rel4y manufactures. Afterwards, you could try to contact Guillemot and see if you can purchase the pot for the XR thumbwheel, it should be cheaper than a set of rudders :)

 

Best regards

 

For work: iMac mid-2010 of 27" - Core i7 870 - 6 GB DDR3 1333 MHz - ATI HD5670 - SSD 256 GB - HDD 2 TB - macOS High Sierra

For Gaming: 34" Monitor - Ryzen 3600 - 32 GB DDR4 2400 - nVidia GTX1070ti - SSD 1.25 TB - HDD 10 TB - Win10 Pro - TM HOTAS Cougar - Oculus Rift CV1

Mobile: iPad Pro 12.9" of 256 GB

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If I were you, I would at the very least replace the stick Pots with the ones Rel4y manufactures. Afterwards, you could try to contact Guillemot and see if you can purchase the pot for the XR thumbwheel, it should be cheaper than a set of rudders :)

 

Thank you for all the info. The XR thumbwheel is actually in good shape, it was just twisted a bit when I screenshotted the viewer.

 

I took the stick apart and that X-axis pot is indeed very squirrelly. Could feel something weird happening in there when I turned it with my fingers. Gimbals look fine, at least to my eye.

 

I will definitely replace the pots, looks like--at the very least--they're an upgrade, and I should have them anyway. If that doesn't fix it, at least I know they're not the problem (but I bet they are). I'll post a follow-up after I replace them.

 

Cheers and thanks again. :thumbup:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Reporting back... I installed Rel4y's sensor replacements, and they are definitely a big upgrade, and very easy to install. Unfortunately, that doesn't appear to be what was causing the centering problem with the X-axis. It is still off to the right by the exact same amount as with the old pots. The gimbals seem fine... I can't detect anything that looks broken or not straight. I'm very surprised, and not sure where to go from here. If anyone has any other ideas for what might cause this, I'd love to hear.

 

Not sorry at all that I bought the replacement pots!

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The only thing that I can think of as producing this effect, is that somehow you have applied a Trim on the axis and as the Cougar can hold its configuration even when disconnected, it is still being applied.

 

Use Foxy's Composer to generate these statement:

 

TRIM (JOYSTICK,0)

 

This should reset the trim if it is in fact applied.

 

For work: iMac mid-2010 of 27" - Core i7 870 - 6 GB DDR3 1333 MHz - ATI HD5670 - SSD 256 GB - HDD 2 TB - macOS High Sierra

For Gaming: 34" Monitor - Ryzen 3600 - 32 GB DDR4 2400 - nVidia GTX1070ti - SSD 1.25 TB - HDD 10 TB - Win10 Pro - TM HOTAS Cougar - Oculus Rift CV1

Mobile: iPad Pro 12.9" of 256 GB

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Use Foxy's Composer to generate these statement:

 

TRIM (JOYSTICK,0)

 

Hello,

 

Actually, there is an easier way to reset the axes to default:

 

1) Run Foxy. If you dont have it on your PC, you will need to install it first.

 

2) On the Download menu, ensure that the option "Reset axes when downloading" is ticked

 

3) Select the menu item "Apply Default.tmc now"

 

gRcBYcP.jpg

 

4) Now run the Cougar Control Panel and use the Viewer to see if your axes work better now ... fingers crossed :)

 

Best regards

 

For work: iMac mid-2010 of 27" - Core i7 870 - 6 GB DDR3 1333 MHz - ATI HD5670 - SSD 256 GB - HDD 2 TB - macOS High Sierra

For Gaming: 34" Monitor - Ryzen 3600 - 32 GB DDR4 2400 - nVidia GTX1070ti - SSD 1.25 TB - HDD 10 TB - Win10 Pro - TM HOTAS Cougar - Oculus Rift CV1

Mobile: iPad Pro 12.9" of 256 GB

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Thanks again for all the thoughts and ideas, and for explaining that so clearly. Sadly, after I did those steps several times, it still won't center. I think I'll try uninstalling all the drivers, just in case something got tweaked. After that it seems like it might be time to move on.

 

Best regards!

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...Sadly, after I did those steps several times, it still won't center. I think I'll try uninstalling all the drivers, just in case something got tweaked.

 

Sad to hear that ... here is a Guide I wrote that might guide you trough the software setup process:

 

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=181049

 

Hope this sorts out in the end ... if you want, we can coordinate a time and I could connect with Teamviewer to take a look at your Hotas software.

 

Best regards

 

For work: iMac mid-2010 of 27" - Core i7 870 - 6 GB DDR3 1333 MHz - ATI HD5670 - SSD 256 GB - HDD 2 TB - macOS High Sierra

For Gaming: 34" Monitor - Ryzen 3600 - 32 GB DDR4 2400 - nVidia GTX1070ti - SSD 1.25 TB - HDD 10 TB - Win10 Pro - TM HOTAS Cougar - Oculus Rift CV1

Mobile: iPad Pro 12.9" of 256 GB

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I think I've reached the point where I'm going to have to give up on this and replace them with the Warthogs when I can. Very sad. Rudel has been incredibly patient and helpful in trying to help me solve this, (and I've learned tons from him), and I appreciate that very very much!

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How about switching to a 5$ Arduino ProMicro with MMJoy and get rid of all the Thrustmaster software and mainboard. You would just need to connect the two axis to pins and VCC + ground to the sensors. If your hardware is fine, this may definitely be worth a try.

Cougar, CH and Saitek PnP hall sensor kits + shift registers: https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=220916

 

Shapeways store for DIY flight simming equipment and repair: https://www.shapeways.com/shops/rel4y-diy-joystick-flight-simming

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Interesting development... had the opportunity to plug the Cougar stick into another computer and launch DCS. I did this without any Cougar drivers installed (when I did this with my computer after un-installing all the software and drivers, it still showed it off-center), This time, the stick was centered perfectly, so whatever is going on is not with the Cougars. Now to find out what in the world could be wrong with my computer such that it's doing this to the stick. I didn't have a chance to plug the throttle or rudders in, but I'd be surprised if they weren't centered as well. This makes me happy, because now I at least know the Cougars aren't the problem.


Edited by ColonelPanic
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I’m glad that your Cougar isnt at fault, as its a really sophisticated Hotas ... looks like you will need to reinstall windows ... remember to deactivate your dcs modules prior to the reinstall.

Cheers

 

For work: iMac mid-2010 of 27" - Core i7 870 - 6 GB DDR3 1333 MHz - ATI HD5670 - SSD 256 GB - HDD 2 TB - macOS High Sierra

For Gaming: 34" Monitor - Ryzen 3600 - 32 GB DDR4 2400 - nVidia GTX1070ti - SSD 1.25 TB - HDD 10 TB - Win10 Pro - TM HOTAS Cougar - Oculus Rift CV1

Mobile: iPad Pro 12.9" of 256 GB

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This seems to be solved now. Windows was the culprit. Their joystick calibration panel is hidden in Windows 10. If you search for "joy.cpl" in the Windows search bar, you'll get more direct controls to your joysticks, and one of them is calibration. Once I went through this (with the throttle connected), everything was centered in DCS and steady as a rock (with no Thrustmaster drivers or software installed). Plus, I have some hot new Rel4y sensors that I can already tell are making a big difference.

 

The rudder isn't recognized yet, but I'm working on that. Will report back.

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I’ve never had this issue myself, but I understand that you dont have to use Window’s calibration ... on the Foxy folder is this document "Calibrating the Cougar", give it a read, perhaps it can explain what was going on on your Windows.

 

For work: iMac mid-2010 of 27" - Core i7 870 - 6 GB DDR3 1333 MHz - ATI HD5670 - SSD 256 GB - HDD 2 TB - macOS High Sierra

For Gaming: 34" Monitor - Ryzen 3600 - 32 GB DDR4 2400 - nVidia GTX1070ti - SSD 1.25 TB - HDD 10 TB - Win10 Pro - TM HOTAS Cougar - Oculus Rift CV1

Mobile: iPad Pro 12.9" of 256 GB

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I'll take a look at that, thanks Rudel.

 

The rudders wouldn't show up under Windows... I had to install the drivers for that... and that now replaces the control panel I used to calibrate with TM's viewer, and the rudder is still off-center to the right. Fortunately, the trim controls in the CCP could fix this better than they could the stick, so I'm not going to worry about it at this point, just glad the Cougars are doing their thing.

 

I had to break away for a long work project, but as soon as I can I will look at the calibration document you referenced. Thank you again for all your help.

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You might consider upgrading the stick with RealSimulator force feedback mod to replace the gimbals. Cost probably similar to new Warthog set, but with Warthog you would also have the dual throttle and all those extra switches. It is also possible that the main PCB in the stick has become defective. Happened to me for no apparent reason, but the defect only affected inputs from the throttle. Solution: Warthog throttle. Good luck.

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  • 6 months later...

Hi there!

 

 

Any news on your problems with the cougar? Have you ever tried connecting it to another pc? I have two Cougars, one with standard gimble, the other with FSSB2 . Both are alway of center on both , x and y axis by a fixed amount of units, regardless of how i calibrate them. the interesting part is, as soon as the ccr viewer starts, they show perfekt center, until i touch then. immediatly they are of again.

Now the fun part: as soon as i connect them to any of my three other pc, win xp, win7 and win 10, both work like a charm, perfect centered and calibrated.

a tried everything, even the HOTAScleans.exe application in Foxy, nothing helps.

 

Try on an other pc to see if it is the same issue, at least the you know that nothing is wrong with your cougar, it seems to be a maschine specific problem.

 

Maybe we find a fix in the future

best regard!!

mirco

Win 10 Pro 64 - i6700K @ 4.7GHz - MSI 1080ti Gaming X OC - 32 GB DDR4 Fury X - 1x 512GB 960 Pro SSD - 1x 512GB 850 Pro SSD - TM Cougar - TM Warthog - MHG Crosswind - Rift CV1 - Track IR 5

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Hi there!

 

Any news on your problems with the cougar? Have you ever tried connecting it to another pc? ...

 

See post 16 https://forums.eagle.ru/showpost.php?p=3804107&postcount=16 .. the problem was indeed with his Windows install.

 

For work: iMac mid-2010 of 27" - Core i7 870 - 6 GB DDR3 1333 MHz - ATI HD5670 - SSD 256 GB - HDD 2 TB - macOS High Sierra

For Gaming: 34" Monitor - Ryzen 3600 - 32 GB DDR4 2400 - nVidia GTX1070ti - SSD 1.25 TB - HDD 10 TB - Win10 Pro - TM HOTAS Cougar - Oculus Rift CV1

Mobile: iPad Pro 12.9" of 256 GB

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Yes, stupid me, read the whole thread AFTER my post ;) .

But I found a solution at last. After doing the absolutely forbidden faux pas of using the windows calibration for the cougar once in the past, windows wrote the calibration data into its registry. After using CCP with auto calibration, the old data interferes with CCP and causes the bias. The in Foxy included HotasCleanse.exe that is exactly for the purpose of cleaning the registry doesn’t seem to work for windows 10, so I started to erase the reg keys manually. Then I discovered Clear Calibration Utility by Logitech that did the job. Now everything is working as advertised, the cougar is perfectly centered again.

A lot of research and fumbling, but totally worth it, hope it helps ;)

Bert regards

 

 

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Win 10 Pro 64 - i6700K @ 4.7GHz - MSI 1080ti Gaming X OC - 32 GB DDR4 Fury X - 1x 512GB 960 Pro SSD - 1x 512GB 850 Pro SSD - TM Cougar - TM Warthog - MHG Crosswind - Rift CV1 - Track IR 5

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