Author Topic: Found a new tool for getting HOTASes working  (Read 3060 times)

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Found a new tool for getting HOTASes working
Hi everybody. I recently replaced my old broken x52 Pro with a Defender Cobra M5 and a CH Throttle Pro. I was going to go for a full CH setup for ease of playing older games, but assumed that there would be tools that would allow me to do so with a mixed-brand setup (I... should have checked, first). I got back from picking up my throttle, plugged 'em in, fired up Elite Dangerous and puttered around for a bit. Then I updated my FSO install, as it had languished for the year I've been without a HOTAS, and tried to play - only to run into the problem that it only recognised one of my two devices.

So I googled, and I searched the forum, and I found recommendations for vJoy and UJR (Universal Joystick Remapper). Figured "okay, let's try this." Unfortunately, while vJoy allows for the maximum amount of buttons and hats that a Windows machine can handle, UJR is limited by AutoHotKey's joystick interface, which it is built on. So UJR only allows for thirty-two buttons and one hat. Which is more than you need for any joystick I can think of, but once you start combining it with a throttle, you can run into problems. My CH Throttle Pro alone has four hats and three buttons, or nineteen buttons if you don't count the hats as hats! ...Which was another problem. AutoHotKey wasn't seeing those four hats on my throttle at all. So I would have had my throttle's axis and the ministick, but only three of the buttons, leaving sixteen inputs unutilised.

So I kept looking around. And then I found an in-progress project by the guy who made UJR, UCR, Universal Control Remapper. It's still a little glitchy, lacking a few features, and the UI needs work, but it allows for the full utilisation of vJoy's virtual interface! So that's up to eight axes, a hundred twenty-eight buttons, and four hats! Which sounds like more than you'll ever need, and probably is, but I was surprised to find that when I counted my shift button and the three-way mode switch, my HOTAS can go up to seven axes and a hundred and eighty combined button and hat inputs! So there's still a limit. But since it's built on an enhanced AutoHotKey base, you can actually have some of the physical inputs trigger macros, instead of additional virtual buttons - so you could have some of your buttons/hats instead carry out a sequence of commands, like for using the communications menu, or something.

UCR is itself built on another of the guy's projects, AHK-CHID - a rewrite of AutoHotKey's joystick support that is in-progress.

Some links.
Here's vJoy's site.
Here's UJR's site.
Here's CHID's forum thread.
And here's UCR, which I am in the process of teaching my setup.

While I'm using this for a Cobra and a CH Throttle Pro, it will also work for any other two-USB-port setup, such as a Saitek X-55, or any mixed-brand combination.

Hope this proves to be helpful, and saves someone the six-plus hours of googling, installing, experimentation, and reading documentation that I did!
« Last Edit: September 27, 2016, 06:20:57 pm by RecklessPrudence »

 

Offline deathspeed

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Re: Found a new tool for getting HOTASes working
Maybe someday God will give you a little pink toaster of your own.

 
Re: Found a new tool for getting HOTASes working
...but assumed that there would be tools that would allow me to do so with a mixed-brand setup

While we're assuming here, can I assume that if I'm using an all CH Products setup that I won't need to jump through these same hoops you did?  I'm brand new here and haven't had a chance to fire FSO up just yet to test it myself (still downloading the updates).

 
Re: Found a new tool for getting HOTASes working
As far as I'm aware, yeah. CH is one of the only vendors that does it, though - their Control Manager can make a virtual joystick with CH products. It can even include pedals and stuff, all seen as one massive joystick/throttle/pedal/wheelbarrow frankenstein by the computer. The basic drivers don't cut it though - you need the control manager. But since you use that for calibrating and everything anyway, it's not a big deal.

Also:
Thanks!  I added this to FreeSpace Joystick FAQ and Recommendations.
No problem! Cool, I get to be linked in the sticky.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2016, 09:41:59 am by RecklessPrudence »

 

Offline Herra Tohtori

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Re: Found a new tool for getting HOTASes working
CH Control Manager is a very powerful tool, but I've been having weird issues with the CH drivers themselves.

Essentially, when the CH Control Manager (and the drivers associated with it) is installed, any attempt to install, re-install, or update any other USB device drivers will result in a bluescreen that traces back to the CHDRVR.sys as the culprit.

Not sure if it's something that's unique to my computer or built, but it is very annoying as my head tracking solution relies on PS3 Eye with the driver from codelaboratories.com, which occasionally decides to put the camera on a holiday and it disappears from the list of camera devices visible to any program. The only way to fix that is to run the driver installer to re-install it, which could be done without re-booting... except with CH Control Manager installed, it results in a bluescreen.

And CH Control Manager cannot be removed without a system restart, so any time the PS3 Eye driver fails, I need to also uninstall the CH Control Manager, restart the PC, then reinstall the CL PS3 Eye driver, then reinstall the Control Manager... it is, to say the least, rather annoying.

But hey, at least I'm not using NaturalPoint's cartel products for head tracking.
There are three things that last forever: Abort, Retry, Fail - and the greatest of these is Fail.

 
Re: Found a new tool for getting HOTASes working
Huh. That is weird. I tried an Eye for headtracking, but it didn't like my glasses, so I gave it to my brother. Currently waiting on one of my electrician friends to come over with his soldering stuff so I can solder together an EDTracker while we watch movies.

 

Offline Herra Tohtori

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Re: Found a new tool for getting HOTASes working
I tried an Eye for headtracking, but it didn't like my glasses, so I gave it to my brother.

I have the camera sitting on a shelf above my monitors, about 30 degrees offset angle looking at the clip on the side of my headphones. This means I'm practically never looking at the camera in a way that would produce a reflection from my glasses.

Sunlight is a much bigger issue, but I do believe TrackIR equipment would be equally affected because physics.
There are three things that last forever: Abort, Retry, Fail - and the greatest of these is Fail.

 
Re: Found a new tool for getting HOTASes working
Currently waiting on one of my electrician friends to come over with his soldering stuff so I can solder together an EDTracker while we watch movies.

As an EDTracker user I can say that it's a good product and works as advertised.

 
Re: Found a new tool for getting HOTASes working
Is the only way to get CH Products devices to play nice with FSO to use the Control Manager software?  I've messed around with it briefly, it seems complicated.  Is there anywhere to download a Control Manager profile for use with Freespace?
« Last Edit: September 28, 2016, 03:32:15 pm by AttractMode »

 
Re: Found a new tool for getting HOTASes working
I'm using the same Cobra M5 and CH Throttle Pro.  However with CH Pedals and Freetrack.
I don't use CH soft.  Instead I use  vjoy with Joystick Curves to map axis and Svmapper to map buttons

 

Offline Cobra

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Re: Found a new tool for getting HOTASes working
Is the only way to get CH Products devices to play nice with FSO to use the Control Manager software?  I've messed around with it briefly, it seems complicated.  Is there anywhere to download a Control Manager profile for use with Freespace?

It's really not that complicated. It only looks that way because it's not a flashy, holds-your-hand GUI like Saitek's stuff. The only time it gets complicated is if you're programming CMS, but CMS is where the whole thing really shines.

All you have to do is go to the control wizard and it's pretty self explanatory from there. Select the devices and number of axes and buttons, set the thing to mapped mode, make sure the pedals are set to the R axis, save, download, and that's all it takes.
To consider the Earth as the only populated world in infinite space is as absurd as to assert that in an entire field of millet, only one grain will grow. - Metrodorus of Chios
I wept. Mysterious forces beyond my ken had reached into my beautiful mission and energized its pilots with inhuman bomb-firing abilities. I could only imagine the GTVA warriors giving a mighty KIAAIIIIIII shout as they worked their triggers, their biceps bulging with sinew after years of Ivan Drago-esque steroid therapy and weight training. - General Battuta