Prerequisites

Desktop Computer

Detailed desktop hardware requirements are shown in the following table. It includes support for most reasonably modern Windows and MacOS configurations.

For Windows, please check whether you have a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows. This can be checked by clicking on the Windows key and typing "About", selecting About your PC or "System" selecting System Information. Look for System type which will say, for example 64-bit operating system, x64-based processor.

Operating system Windows macOS Linux
Operating system version Windows 7 (SP1+) and Windows 10 Sierra 10.12+ Ubuntu 16.04 and Ubuntu 18.04
CPU x86, x64 architecture with SSE2 instruction set support. x64 architecture with SSE2. x64 architecture with SSE2 instruction set support.
Graphics API DX10, DX11, DX12 capable. Metal capable Intel and AMD GPUs OpenGL 3.2+, Vulkan capable.
Additional requirements Hardware vendor officially supported drivers. Apple officially supported drivers. Gnome desktop environment running on top of X11 windowing system
Other configuration and user environment as provided stock with the supported distribution (such as Kernel or Compositor)
Nvidia and AMD GPUs using Nvidia official proprietary graphics driver or AMD Mesa graphics driver.

Audio

For practising with Handbell Stadium, standard PC speakers are sufficient to hear the bell sounds. However, if you want to ring online with others, you will want to set up and audio conference with them. To avoid feedback of the bell sounds repeating back to other ringers, you will either need to mute your microphone while ringing, or better is to use a headset.

Motion Controllers

Handbell Stadium can be run without controllers, for example, to playback Handbell Stadium recordings or with the computer ringing all the bells to a method. However, to ring a pair of bells yourself, either in practice mode or online with other ringers, you will need a pair of motion controllers.

ActionXL Motion Controllers

ActionXL wireless (Friihand) and wired motion controllers

Handbell Stadium has been tested with the wired and wireless (“FriiHand”) motion controllers manufactured by ActionXL. Many handbell ringers have acquired these over the last ten years to use with Abel or BelTower simulators. Unfortunately these controllers are no longer available to buy new, and most motion controllers that are still available are designed for games consoles and need additional drivers to be installed to allow them to be used with Windows or OSX.

We have found that you get the best results if you weight your motion controllers to make them as similar as possible to a pair of handbells. The photos below show some of the home-made approaches ringers have tried.

figure1 figure2 figure3 figure4-1 LesleyB's bells
JohnS's bells JohnH's bells Pot bells GrahamJ's bells JohnH's bells

We have been investigating other controllers to recommend, and are aware that other options do work such as old smartphones. Unfortunately most motion controllers currently available are designed to work with gaming consoles rather than PCs, so identifying something suitable has proved difficult.

Instead we have formed a small team to design our own electronic handbells. Below are some protoypes:

SimonG's bells TimH's bells BenJ's bells eBells

We are now going into small-scale production of the prototype on the right, and will provide details of how to purchase them in due course.