Hotas's & Applemacs: Issues with compatibility

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Cholmondely
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Hotas's & Applemacs: Issues with compatibility

Post by Cholmondely »

Since I was enjoying Oolite so much, I decided to splurge on a Hotas to enrich the experience.

Needless to say, the enrichment has proved a bit of a curate's egg.

The Macintosh recognises all of the various buttons and hat switches BUT only 2 of the 5 axes: 'x' and 'y' on the joystick - but not 'z' (the twist), nor the throttle, and not the 'rocker' on the throttle. The inability of the 'PS' button to switch between red and green has yet to prove fatal, but in an ideal world it would be nice to fix this too.

See next post for solution.

The inexistence of the throttle in game has proven a severe impediment to the enrichment process, needless to say.
And, I'd rather appreciate being able to use the 'rocker' for 'yaw' at this stage of the game (having all three axes on just the joystick would lead to my flying like a drunken dodo as my imprecise handling would cause my cobra to whizz around in ever-decreasing circles - rather similar to the NPCs in original Elite who had been programmed to shoot themselves).

Waltzing around the world-wide web, I have unearthed one or two comments to the effect that Apple recognises HID devices which communicate with it according to HID protocol, but that where the manufacturers have added to this (to 'enhance functionalities'), the Macintosh will not pick up those signals from the device. I have found nothing else that yields any insight into the matter.

Is this correct? Or am I misunderstanding what I've read?

Is there some way that I could correct this?:

a) Is it feasible for me to write a MacOS driver for the missing functions? Which software language would such a driver be in?

b) Or would I write an OXP/Z which would identify these signals and translate them into something usable in the game?

c) Or is there some other piece of software which would address my predicament?

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1) I have faffed around with 'Joystick and Gamepad Tester', ControllerMate & Enjoyable. All three indicate the existence of the various buttons and axes, BUT only recognise the manipulation of 2 of the 5 axes (and, of course, recognise all the buttons & the hatswitch).
Peculiarly, one of these also indicates the existence of a seemingly invisible sixth axis and a fourteenth button on the TM4! I assume that these are either extant in witchspace or perchance refer to a foot-pedal 'add-on' which could be plugged into the back of the unit.

2) The computer is a MacBook Air running the Catalina Operating System (10.15.3). (I must say that the Ooniverse looks quite magnificent on the Macintosh display. Just sitting in the cobra and looking at Zygo-Ugo's galaxies whilst listening to Johann Baptist S. is a most marvellous experience).
The Hotas is a Thrustmaster TM 4 (when I plug it into a Windows machine endowed with a TM driver, the 'z-axis' and the throttle spring to life, and the PS button merrily flickers between red and green, but the 'rocker' remains obstinately obdurate!)

I bought the TM4 because it was the cheaper of only 2 in stock within the glorious realm of Her Most Britannic Majesty at the time of purchase. I remain most impressed by the thought that has gone into the physical design. I only wish that Guillemot had put half as much thought into writing a driver for the Apple-Mac (... and what a shame that they are unable to construct the contraption outside the Peoples' Perfected Paradise of China).
Last edited by Cholmondely on Mon Nov 15, 2021 8:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hotas's & Applemacs: Issues with compatibility

Post by Cholmondely »

After almost a year and a half, I have finally found the solution for the Thrustmaster TM 4 with the AppleMac.

Hold down the PS, SHARE & OPTIONS buttons while you plug in the HOTAS to your AppleMac.

The green light will come on inside the PS button, and you will now find that the throttle and the axis on the back of the throttle now register, and can be set in the Joystick Configuration pages in Oolite! (I've not yet tried the twist on the joystick as I don't use it).



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Denizen of the Dark and Dismal Deserts of Digebiti.

Milo wrote Dancing the Gavotte

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