Thrustmaster HOTAS Cougar: The Luxury Joystick!

The Cougar And Its Programming Language

It’s quite an intimidating experience to launch Foxy and its Cougar programming files for the first time. The language is complex and uses very specialized syntax. Each button has its own identifier, such as "BTN H1U," that indicates the top position of the first directional hat switch. Then there’s an argument that defines the type of action to be associated with pressing the button. For example "/A" defines the command as having to be repeated as long as the button is being pressed. Finally, there is the control itself, which can be a key on the keyboard or a macro associated with a key. The Cougar is mostly programmed with the help of two files : the files containing the commands and the file containing the macros. This is an option that gives programming a certain amount of flexibility and greater readability. For example, the line :

BTN H1U /A Trim_Down,

means more to the user than directly associating a keystroke sequence with the line, as in the following :


There are also arguments that make it possible to reduce the number of accessible functions. In particular, you can assign two commands to each button, depending on whether or not button S3, at the base of the joystick handle, is pressed. Other arguments, associated with a three-position button on the throttle, enable you to use the same button for three commands ! As you can see, there are almost infinite possibilities for programming the Cougar and we have merely skimmed the surface. It’s not unusual for enthusiasts to spend more time tinkering with the programming files than actually playing on the simulator !