Cougar Throttle: Hall Sensor and "Anti-Sticktion" Modifications


The Thrustmaster Cougar Throttle is a beautiful device. It is made entirely from metal and conveys a strong feeling of authenticity. But it is not without shortcomings:

  • The stock pots are rather cheap and tend to produce unpleasant spikes after some use due to dirt on the sliding contact inside
  • The axis of the throttle lever is held in place by two plastic bearings. Even though everything is well lubricated, the stock throttle displays an annoying "stickiness". In order to change the lever position, this initial stickiness needs to be overcome, often resulting in larger than intended control movements. The problem is a combination of stickiness and friction, hence the term: "Sticktion".

But there is help out there! CubPilot "Cubby" at http://www.cubpilotshangar.net has made it his task to make the excellent Cougar products (and other input devices) even better. He offers contactless, ultra precise Hall sensors as a replacement for the stock pots and an Anti-Sticktion kit for the Cougar Throttle.

 

This is the Cougar Throttle, it's base painted grey like the rest of my cockpit.

The first step of the Hall Sensor installation was the removal of the original pot's metal mounting bracket.

I know it's an ugly sight, and the real Cougar enthusiasts among the readers will cringe with disgust, but I needed the space for the gearwheel that drives the lever during autothrottle operation. For more info, see the Autothrottle Page.

Because of the autothrottle gear wheel I could not use Cubby's Throttle Kit out of the box, but had to make some modifications to his modification (a strange breed, us cockpit builders...).

The attachment point for Cubby's linkage on the throttle axis is covered by the AT gear wheel, so I had to make a new linkage system. It consists of two identical levers. One side attaches to the center of the throttle axis, the other to the axis of the Hall sensor.

The Hall sensor was installed opposite the PCB, since there is more space on that side. I used Cubby's original aluminum rail, glued to a piece of wood that acts as a spacer. It puts the Hall sensor axis exactly on the same hight as the throttle lever axis.

Same thing, from a different angel. This shot makes it perfectly clear why the original pot mount had to go.

The glossy tape on the handle's axis is part of the "Anti-Sticktion"-effort. It is a Teflon based tape, placed in the area where the brake pad applies presure. It helps to give the throttle a very smooth movement and almost completely eliminates the stickiness that was present before.