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Vintage TM Cougar HOTAS Mods Help


rbenashverizon.net
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Hello:

 

New member to DCS.

 

I'm an original owner of a low SN original TM Cougar HOTAS Set.

I purchased an Uber2 Gimbal Set and the related Cub Pilot set of pots.

Found all that still in the packaging from years ago.

I'm wanting to revive the HOTAS set with the Uber2 mod with those HALO sensors.

All went well EXCEPT when I was working to do the physical install of the HALO sensors it looks as though the shaft end do not have the proper fittings to fit correctly into the UBER2 X/Y holes.

What I've discovered is that the HALO sensor kit (from Cub Pilot) were for the stock gimble set, not the UBER2/UBERX) I'd like to convert them for use on the UBER2/X Gimble.

I'm happy to post photos or work off line with a person experienced with these mods.

I'd like to consult before doing anything that is not reversible.

My goal is to get this set modified, back up, and tested.

 

Looking for someone familiar with these early mods to TM HOTAS Cougar.


Edited by rbenash@verizon.net
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If you haven't asked over at SimHQ forums there are a few guys over there for sure that have those types of setups and experience with the U2NXT gimbals.

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Thanks reschke - As I have researched things, it appears that I have the Halo kit from Ernie (Cub Pilot) Smith that was for the Cougar Uber mod. The shafts on the HALO's are specific to that implementation.

 

I'll certainly have a look at SimHQ to see if I can find some help there.

 

Looks like I either have to just put things back together as stock, try to find the other parts needed to modify to UBER mod else see if it's possible to mod the HALO shafts I have to work with Ian J's UBERx gimbal set.

 

Thanks for your info!

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I may still have Cubpilots email contact information sitting around in a notebook here somewhere. I'll see what I can locate and post it here for you if I have it.

 

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

According to some research I just did on the SimHQ site it appears that Ernest (Ernie) "Cubpilot" Smith passed away around 2013.

 

https://simhq.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/4375249/re-where-is-ernie-cubpilot-smith

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

 

It still wouldn't hurt dropping into the SimHQ forums and seeing if someone has any information or a little help to give on this.


Edited by reschke

[sIGPIC]http://img686.imageshack.us/img686/9323/reschke.png[/sIGPIC]

VADERBOX SPECS

i7-8700k

32GB DDR4 RAM

EVGA GeForce RTX2080

Gigabyte Z370 Aorus Gaming 7

Dell 27" S2716DG & Samsung SyncMaster P2770FH

TrackIR 5 with Trackclip Pro

Windows 10 64bit

Warthog #1397...compliments of SimHQ

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Looks like that is more the case to took this parts for a (competent) machine shop and milling the hole in gimbal or Hall sensor pole, what probable require dismantle then, became little viable.

 

An alternative, use GLV224 MagREZ (KMZ41 magnetoresistance*) contactless sensor (around ~10 each), fitting a diametrically magnetized Neodymium magnet in gimbal.

 

Or Rel4y contacless sensor (too KMz41 magnetoresistance) kit:

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=220916

 

* KMZ41 is too used in VKB MaRS contactless sensor.

Magnetoresistance contactless sensor is from automotive industry, more advanced than Hall sensor, but in practice you will don't notice difference.

 

But before all, take measure and pictures of gimbal hole for fit the sensor.

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Have you looked in to replacing the pots with magnetic sensors and converting the game controller d9 setup to usb a guy going by Rel4y has the parts kits to easily do it that only leaves the buttons, switches and knobs to go bad

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Taking at a look at my total kit.I will post photos.

 

Basically as it looks now. I have the original HOTAS Cougar set. SN is in the 4k range. I used it only a fair amount as I was heavy into the RAH-66 Comanche flight SIM back in the day.

 

Figured back then I would go with UBER mod which was the Halo Sensor kit from Cub Pilot and some parts from Ian S.

 

Kept playing the software, but never installed the sensors or the Uber upgrade.

 

Then Ian came out with the Uberx mod and I bought one. None were installed. But is looking like the Halo kit for Uberx was a bit different.

 

So looks right now that I have HALO sensor kit for the UBER mod from Cub Pilot. As well as the UBERx gimbal set from Ian S. None were installed and are NOS.

 

I'll be figuring out if I should just reassemble as original, install the Uber mod, or go for the UBERx install. Once I sort things out.

 

This Throttle and Stick is pristeen. Very light use. Want to put it to best use.

 

Thanks everyone for your support. It's a moving project I have the kit spread across the bench today and taking photos.

 

I don't want to move forward with any move that can't be reversed unless it makes sense.


Edited by rbenash@verizon.net
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Maybe you could contact Ian and ask for options to make this work?

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Personal Wish List: A6 Intruder, Vietnam theater, decent ATC module, better VR performance!

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If your gimbal is UberNXT version (the last produced), check pictures there:

 

https://forums.eagle.ru/showpost.php?p=2697859&postcount=36

 

 

The Hall sensor used is Midori OP-2HC, don't know if still in production.

 

https://www.midoriamerica.com/pdf/QP-2HC.pdf

 

Time ago cost around $100 each, why the mentioned Rel4y and GVL224 alternatives are more interesting, and modern. ;)

 

BTW - Have in mind that VirPil VPC WarBRD base - with modern CAM gimbal and GMR sensors, is compatible with Cougar grip and cost less than two Midori Hall, is €169.95/$185.00

 

https://virpil-controls.eu/vpc-warbrd-base.html


Edited by Sokol1_br
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Here's what I have. You can sort and look through detail on the hall sensor kit as well as the Uber Gimbal set. Pretty sure it's the NXT version. My issue is that the Hall Sensor kit might only be compatible with the Cougar Uber, not the NXT. When I checked at fit the shaft ends of the sensors didn't want to fit into the NXT. I might have been doing something wrong? I'd like to see an image of the sensors that Cub Pilot sent when someone bought an NXT from Ian.

 

https://photos.app.goo.gl/ijYckuZyBoGrQC4M9

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Looks easy to solve.

 

Your Midori Hall (HS2 kit) have a brass sleeve with "D" recess, this sleeve is need for fit in place of original potentiometer in Cougar gimbal, that have more diameter.

 

Hall_and_OEM_pots.jpg

 

Early Uber are just a reinforcement for Cougar horrible gimbal, see the brass sleeve in right Hall:

 

UberCougarwithHalls.jpg

 

See HS2 hall installation here in CougarPilot page backup in Web.archive:

 

http://web.archive.org/web/20140405163232/http://www.cubpilotshangar.net/page38.html

 

Unfortunately Webarchive backup for install instructions of Hall HS3 kit (for UberNXT gimbal) loose the pictures.

 

But what you have to do is remove this brass sleeve - cut the brass lengthwise with Dremel tool, because is fit under pressure and maybe glued.

 

Se the picture there:

Cougar_Uber2_Hall%20modification.jpg

http://mcchii.com/PC_Related/FlightSim/FlightControls/Cougar_HOTAS/cougar_U2_gimbals.htm

 

And there: http://mcchii.com/PC_Related/FlightSim/FlightControls/Cougar_HOTAS/cougar_U2%20Development.htm

 

 

The Midori Hall pole fit in UberNXT gimbal, that have the hole with same diameter of Midori Hall pole. Anyway measure before made any modification.

 

Midori QP-2H dimensions, pole is 3.8mm OD.

 

szqp2h.jpg

https://www.midoriamerica.com/cotnactlesssingleturn/qp-2h/

 

You will need make (3D printer?) a new support for Hall, like this:

 

Evolution%20054.jpg

 

BTW - In Wingsofhonour have a article about installation of HS3 Hall kit in UberNXT, but pictures are small, anyway you can seed that Hall pole don't have sleeve.

 

https://www.wingsofhonour.com/hardware/thrustmasterhotascougar/review_modding-u2nxt-hs2-hs1_20090718/html_woh_hardware_review_cougar-u2nxt-hs_20090718.en.html

 

Pictures of Hall (HS3 kit) installed in UberNXT gimbal.

 

https://hanskrohn.com/cougar-flight-stick/


Edited by Sokol1_br
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Thanks everyone - so I did get the bushings off. Ian also recommended the pliers appraoch. I did try just placing the two nuts as a jam assembly to give pliers a place to lever. But a couple care ful attempts were not moving them. Used the Dremel to cut through the narrow area on the shaft without the flat. Came off nicely by wedging after that against the jam nuts. Luck as there was red thread locker on them, so best that I didn't force without cutting first.

 

Going to start the assembly now. Wish I had some of those tiny inline connectors on some of the picks but since I only need a small number I'll just solder and shrink tube them.

 

https://photos.app.goo.gl/8p4igPpozy5K2VwL6

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Partway through reassembly now. Picked up on the set screws on the x and y axis for binding the HALL sensor shafts. Thing is the one on the end was get to. The center shaft actually has 2 set screws. I tried just popping the springs off and using the set screw there to allow the flat of the sensor shaft to pass but no good even when backed out all the way. Had to disassemble to get to the set screw on the other side :-) Before I finalize assembly - do you folks recommend thread locker on the set screws for Hall Sensors? Nothing was on them, I'm thinking just adjust to tight and let them alone. But maybe blue thread locker would be best as I finalize the settings to "slide fit"

 

https://photos.app.goo.gl/o1YafQsx9Nxcfh7a7

 

Ray


Edited by rbenash@verizon.net
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No need for thread locker. They won't come loose.

Don't apply thread locker on the screws that hold the springs either, i had already 5 of them broken (needed to order a backup set from Ian already because they are custom made) and they can be a bitch to replace.

Add some grease to the springs eyes.

Win10 Pro 64-bit, i7-4770K @ 4.5 GHz, Corsair H100i, AsRock Extreme4, ASUS Strix 1080Ti OC 11GB, 32 GB DDR3 G.Skill 2400. Monitors: LG 27GL850-B27 2560x1440 + Samsung SyncMaster 2443 1920x1200, HOTAS: Warthog with Virpil WarBRD base & hegykc MFG Crosswind modded pedals, TrackIR4, Oculus Rift S.

Personal Wish List: A6 Intruder, Vietnam theater, decent ATC module, better VR performance!

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  • 2 weeks later...

There's about 200 or so of those custom springs still in stock at the supplier in Australia that custom made them for Ian years ago. I've been in contact and have a dozen on order. In the meantime getting back to reassembly. After removing those brass couplings things went well. I did have to dissasemble the gimbal to adjust the set screw for one of the sensors. Gimbal is back together, with sensors installed just have to look at that url that shows how to get the springs back to position. I did get some proper gauge Scotchlok clips to complete the wiring so won't have to solder.

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BTW - Have in mind that VirPil VPC WarBRD base - with modern CAM gimbal and GMR sensors, is compatible with Cougar grip and cost less than two Midori Hall, is €169.95/$185.00

 

https://virpil-controls.eu/vpc-warbrd-base.html

 

I have a question regarding the VirPil WarBRD base.

My TM Cougar gimbal just snapped in half.

But this being $185 U.S. I'm wondering which is better.

For an additional $200 I can buy the entire TM Warthog setup. But I would still suffer the same TM issues that everybody else does.

I really like my TM Cougar controls with the throttle system.

And I already have the TM Elite Rudder pedals that still work perfectly.These things are solid.

You could drop it from a building and it wouldn't hurt it.

Can I put my Cougar stick on the VirPil WarBRD base and have a more reliable system than the TM Warthog?

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I have a question regarding the VirPil WarBRD base.

My TM Cougar gimbal just snapped in half.

But this being $185 U.S. I'm wondering which is better.

For an additional $200 I can buy the entire TM Warthog setup. But I would still suffer the same TM issues that everybody else does.

I really like my TM Cougar controls with the throttle system.

And I already have the TM Elite Rudder pedals that still work perfectly.These things are solid.

You could drop it from a building and it wouldn't hurt it.

Can I put my Cougar stick on the VirPil WarBRD base and have a more reliable system than the TM Warthog?

 

 

VirPil base CAM mechanics is far superior than Warthog (and Cougar) base, check opinion of people who did this upgrade in this forum.

 

You can buy Warthog base only - is called "HOTAS Magnetic Base", announced for $159.99 and use your Cougar grip there.

What make the $185 for VirPil base much more interesting.

Availability of "Tm HOTAS Magnetic Base" now is may a problem, due Corona Virus.

 

Getting Tm HOTAS Magnetic Base or VirPil base you have an additional problem, need a USB controller for Cougar TQS, because this controller is "brainless", slave of cougar base electronics.

 

Real Simulator has the TUSBA adapter in two options. Other is use an Arduino - DIY work.

 

BTW - Al alternative that will cost a bit less is Debolestis UberNXT gimbal clone for Cougar, and so avoid changes in TQS.

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=195464

Is more "bullet proof" than original Cougar and Warthog gimbals, and a better mechanism, with bearings in pivots.

Parts cost around ~$100 plus conctactless sensors (check with rel4y), but require assembly.


Edited by Sokol1_br
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  • 2 months later...

Hello, it's been a good while. I'm hoping folks are still watching this. I do have my hs kit installed in the stick and all back together. I will post a photo set and some follow up questions, but physical assembly went well. And I have a good number of the original custom springs Ian had made in Australia.

 

I'm now moving on the the HS-1 kit install on the throttle. I did find some online photo/text/tutorial for that install. But if someone has a pointer to something that they really liked that would be helpful.

 

My major concern now is once I have physical installs done on the Throttle and Stick - what do I use for calibration? There used to be Cougar Control Panel/CCP but not sure if that's even available anymore to bring firmware up to date and test/calibrate the pair.

 

I did see a thread from 2013 that said it (CCP) was discontinued and didn't work past Windows10 for example.

 

Can anyone provide a pointer to a software load/app that would allow me to calibrate the two devices?

 

I'm on Macbook Pro, so would probably have to load a virtual Windows machine to run the software (CCP or other) unless there is now something that runs on Mac IOS?

 

On the other hand I do have an old desktop that still runs on an old version of windows, and I think I might have CCP still loaded on it, but would need to fire it up and have a look once I'm done with the physical work.

 

 

Either way would need a usb/aui adapter just to get started if I need to use the Macbook Pro.


Edited by rbenash@verizon.net
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