Release Elite Cougar MFD Cockpit Display - game changing new companion app

Okay, I'm sold - I've already got the Cougars and have been using Amazon 8" Fire tablets to lite up a display in the center to mark out essentially the 28 options on each freaking panel. It works (see attached), but as I've seen what you're up to here, your screens are adaptive and I applaud it, my only concern or questions are the 8" displays and how they get integrated. View attachment 174579
Currently run an three screen spread and adding screens may be tricky but doable.
So when is this ready for primetime?
By the way, a word of advice, you have a great concept - stop adding and just fine tune it. Get it fully fleshed out - THEN add other options. Think of No Man's Sky's release but on an 8" scale, brother.
For the record, contributing to Patreon for vaporware is not my thing. Impressive images, but until there is a working item then I'll buy. To finally get these Cougars working as intended I'll toss you $100, but I need to know what monitors to buy first and foremost for I've looked high and low and that's where I settled on the Fire tablets (refurb $69 each) and they "work", but not like what you're promising. Hope to hear more.
Hi Palindari, screens are super easy have my windows desktop spread over a number of cheap 8" Android tablets as follows.... also as they are Tablets the touchscreen function works perfectly. These would be a great addition to BB's software.... Best bit it is lag free 60Htz, wireless and you can stack as many screens as you like...

@Bionic Bytes I tried to download the package to try it on my setup, the DL link doesn't work, not sure if I wish to patreon at this time just wanted to see if it worked before laying out the cash
 

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@Bionic Bytes I tried to download the package to try it on my setup, the DL link doesn't work, not sure if I wish to patreon at this time just wanted to see if it worked before laying out the cash
I’m super close to a release date.
When I do then I’ll add a download link to the web site.

How are you getting windows to recognise the tablets as displays? I have no idea if the app will display on them.
 
I'd love this for the xbox etc.. as it is, I just use the various tablets, and connect to the different sites via them.. and my laptop (this) to chat. Still deciding on a layout though
 
I’m super close to a release date.
When I do then I’ll add a download link to the web site.

How are you getting windows to recognise the tablets as displays? I have no idea if the app will display on them.
Piece of Software called SpaceDesk (Beta) installs on PC and then tablet and adds Tablets as extra windows real estate along with Touch capability...
 
Just had a quick play with it as any new development always interests me, even though i don't use Cougars. Very impressed! Just one word of caution, had a couple of crashes and on the 2nd crash, Bit-defender free flagged the .EXE as malicious. Going to watch this with interest! Very good start!
 
Thrustmaster make them, and they can fit over an existing display like a 2nd monitor hence some people don't need dedicated displays for games like DCS flightsims. I do that with mine or mount them on a cheap digital photo frame but of course the content is static.

I think you have done an amazing job Bionic Bytes

Does this mean in theory you could export or rebuild the entire galaxy map interface on another screen?
Yes it does!
Currently, the galaxy map displays in the primary MFD when you have accepted missions, and /or visit the Mission Log UI screen. It's a full 3D render of the galaxy and plots the points between each mission destination. The route optimiser displays the best route between those locations.
There's much more I want to do with it in future releases!
 
Uploaded a short video showing the MFD displays in action whilst attempting to dock.
Apologies for the poor quality (first attempt at this; and one hand holding a phone, the other pressing keys and hotas).
 
@Bionic Bytes ,

Regarding one of the FAQs around unreliable modified keys.

I have had the exact same issue with TARGET Script.
What I found was when using a modified key (eg RSHIFT+1)...when TARGET releases the combo, it releases 'RSHIFT' several milliseconds before the '1'.
This results in the '1' key registering in game.

I know you don't use TARGET for your solution, however I thought perhaps your code is doing something similar.

Hope this helps.

Clicker
 
@Bionic Bytes ,

Regarding one of the FAQs around unreliable modified keys.

I have had the exact same issue with TARGET Script.
What I found was when using a modified key (eg RSHIFT+1)...when TARGET releases the combo, it releases 'RSHIFT' several milliseconds before the '1'.
This results in the '1' key registering in game.

I know you don't use TARGET for your solution, however I thought perhaps your code is doing something similar.

Hope this helps.

Clicker
Many thanks for taking the time to reply.
I looked into this in some detail. In the end I had to specifically add a time delay between "pressing" modifiers and keys, as well as a delay releasing them. The issue is most noticeable when the key is bound as a UI focus panel hotkey.

I still can't get Elite to react satisfactorily with HOME + some combination of (L/R shift/alt/ctrl) however.
 
New EXE version 1.1 released today.
After the carrier update I noticed that the FSD Jump animation can sometimes get "stuck" when arriving in systems with a lot of carriers.
Added a fix to allow for more carriers!
 
So, I have so far 2 Tablets one iPad Pro and 1 Tesco HUDL 2 running this software as touch screen monitors, so far 1920x1080 60FPS kinda of of made my 1070ti cry quite a lot... while running main screen at 3440x1440 / 100FPS..... ambitious I know !

Shown in the bottom of the 2 pictures below...

So back to 1024x600 30FPS on both screens and once more little GFX card is slightly happier. Having to reposition the MFD screens each time restart the program, now ran out of time to test further have an additional 3 HUDL 2's which I would like to use for the info screens and lose the bloody iPad coz it looks stupid.

But.... It does seem to work and all on WIFI from main machine so all good so far.... any chance I can get a time extension to troubleshoot the screens?

Will buy it eventually but currently on week 13 of my COVID lockdown due to Leukaemia so not much money to be had!

Great bloody effort though buddy am thoroughly impressed so far!

This is my outcome so far

The top picture is an option I am playing around with that of using decommisioned POS terminals like the one in the middle, small problem is that you need USB + Power connections which I don't have but at sub £30 on ebay they are a bargain if you can power them, but personally I like the HUDL 2 option as it seems much cleaner all round and all the same size and shape

Hope it helps

Cherry



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. Having to reposition the MFD screens each time restart the program,
This happens when the code detects that the whole of the window is not contained within the dimensions of the monitor. It does this so that the screen are not "lost" if upon next boot one of your monitors is disconnected and the x,y coordinate of the MFD would be out-of-bounds.
My advise would be to check that the screens are fully within the target window. There is an MFD.ini file which gets updated with the position and size of each MFD. You can use that to fine tune, because sometimes it's difficult to see window edge thicknesses near the monitor extremes (like top, bottom, left and right edges).
It's also possible that if you use the window's maximise function, that the window size is actually larger than the monitor containing it!
Nuts I know - but I have seen this on my rig. Check MFD.ini to confirm if this is the case when you exit the program.


It does seem to work and all on WIFI from main machine so all good so far..
Just how you are connecting the screens over WIFI I don't think I'll ever get my head around!

Recognise those thrustmaster joysticks! Only just getting around to using them - my family bought them for me as a birthday present in January, but I've been so busy getting the code ready never really had a chance to play Elite so stuck with my ageing T-Flight Hotas.

Keep in touch with your progress. Loving the layouts and the ingenuity!

Fly safe, o7
 
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Hi @Bionic Bytes !
I tried your software yesterday, seems really interesting, thanks !
I couldn't make Elite react to the MFD buttons, although I followed your instructions : clicked the "quick key assign" then "Replace Elite's key binding" (also tried "Use Elite's key bining").
Also, the "Edit cockpit layout" button only works once, when the program is first started.
 
Also, the "Edit cockpit layout" button only works once, when the program is first started.
Yes, I was having some odd quirks with the XML Idocument interface. Seems that the compiler components may have a bug whereby I can't destroy and re-create the objects multiple times. For now, you are correct, you have to re-start in order to load the changes made to XML files. Slightly annoying. :mad:

Hi @Bionic Bytes !
I tried your software yesterday, seems really interesting, thanks !
I couldn't make Elite react to the MFD buttons, although I followed your instructions : clicked the "quick key assign" then "Replace Elite's key binding" (also tried "Use Elite's key bining").
1. Check that the Cougar.ini file has the name of the Elite window - something like Elite - Dangerous (CLIENT)
and that Elite's window has the same (use task manager to confirm).
2. Check that Elite is working in window mode - not full screen (using the menus in Elite to change mode)
3. You can see if the key presses are being sent if you have Thrustmaster's TARGET software. It comes with an eventViewer utility; this tool reports back what keys are being 'processed' / pressed. Since it's a global hook (like my own debug tool) it should confirm that the correct key presses are being sent.
4. In the MFDCougar.ini there is a keyboard delay value you can experiment with. If the following section is missing, add it like this:
[keyboard]
keydelay=40
Experiment by increasing the delay value (in milliseconds)


Let me know the outcome!
 
Right...... so some small troubles here. Have 2 screens up and running using the Android Tablets. Look great but have a problem, looking at main screen in game and have 100 FPS, turn on "MFD Cougar Display" on one screen (set at 1024x600) and FPS drops to 30, turn on both screens and we are between 10 and 20 FPS... Seems to be a lot of graphics moving around on the MFD screens and having looked at it maybe it's because of the use of BMP as file type as these are usually not optimised for small size and efficiency?

Any ideas as is pretty unusable as is.

Ryzen 7 3800X % 4.4 allcore
Geforce 1070ti @ 1973 core 4400 RAM
32GB DDR4 3600
Elite on stand alone 3200 NVME SSD
 
The overhead on my 5 year old AMD R9 is less than 5% GPU time for both rendering contexts.
For the record the graphics are not BMP files and the file format really doesn’t matter as the images are uploaded as textures into an OpenGL context.
And that’s the key. A device on your setup needs to render those windows. If it was your nVidia you wouldn’t be seeing a problem.
Try moving the windows on to a second monitor and you’ll. see what I mean. It should be running at lightning speed with minimal impact on Elite.

Thus, the tablets running Android must be trying to run the OpenGL contexts. It is possible that they don’t optimally support the 16bit floating point format that I assume is available on the PC.
How are the tablets being added to windows as additional monitors?
What ever that mechanism is - it’s responsible for the GL context for the device and thus the cause of the performance hit.

For best performance I recommend attaching USB monitors directly to your nVidia card. If you have reached the max limit on screen output on the nVidia, you could add a second and very cheap GFX card for about £40. Nothing fancy- but it will render the app nicely and allow you to add extra monitors via HDMI
 
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