Solo Practice

The following sections describe how to use Handbell Stadium as a simulator for practising.

Setting up your computer

  1. Download the appropriate version of Handbell Stadium for your computer from Downloads.
  2. Find the downloaded zip file and unzip all its contents into a folder.
  3. Create a shortcut to the Handbell Stadium executable and put it in an easily accessible place, such as on your task bar or start menu.
  4. Plug in your two dummy handbells/motion controllers to USB ports and check that they are recognised as joysticks by your Operating System.
  5. Check your system output device for sound is selected for what you want e.g. speakers or headphones.
  6. Run Handbell Stadium.

Checking your controllers are working correctly

  1. Select Handbell Stadium Options and click the Input tab.
  2. Click the dropdown on the first DeviceId, you should see at least two motion controller devices listed.
  3. If there is only one or none, unplug your controllers, wait 20 seconds and reinsert them. Repeat from step 1.
  4. Select left and right controller from dropdowns making sure that you have selected different numbered motion controller devices.
  5. If your controllers are working, and the window has focus (click on it), then the numbers in the green boxes should move independently as you move each controller.
  6. Leave the other values as their defaults if you are using ActionXL wired controllers.
  7. Click DONE, then PRACTICE.

Choosing a Room and Method

  1. There are three rooms to choose from to ring in. The Basement, the Lounge, and a Black Box. Which of these you choose is purely a matter of personal preference. Some may be clearer to ring with than others depending on the quality of graphics on your computer.
  2. Click on METHOD to select the method you wish to ring, or leave it as the default method, Plain Bob Minor.
  3. To choose any other method, your computer needs to be connected to the internet, as it will retrieve methods from Composition Library where over 20,000 rung methods on 4-12 bells are available.
  4. If you are learning to ring handbells from scratch, and are looking for Plain Hunt, then type Original, as Original is the name for plain hunt when rung as a method (Original Minor is plain hunt on six bells).
  5. You only need to type as many word fragments in the select method box as is necessary to display the method in the short list, before selecting it.
  6. If you select an odd-bell method, a tenor behind is assumed, to give an even number of bells.
  7. Click START to be put in the room with your bells.

Checking Your Bells are Working

  1. If everything is set up correctly, the pair of bells immediately in front of you should ring when you swing your controllers up and down like a handbell.
  2. If not, and Handbell Stadium is running in a Window, it must have focus, so click on it.

Room Controls

Pair

  1. This is the button showing two handbells and your current pair.
  2. Each time you click the pair button you will move round clockwise to the next pair.
  3. The pair button also controls which bells have lines drawn through them in the blue line display, even if you are not ringing them yourself.

Autopilot

  1. This is the button showing an aircraft.
  2. If the button is displaying off, then your controllers are operating the two bells shown on the Pair button.
  3. If the button is displaying on, then the computer will ring the displayed pair, and your controllers are disabled.

Blue Line

  1. This is the button showing a pair of lines.
  2. If the button is showing off, then the blue line display is off.
  3. If the button is showing on, then the rows being rung are displayed in a transparent panel on the right hand side of your screen with lines drawn through your pair.
  4. A red and blue line are shown for the trebles and green and blue line for the other pairs.

Speed Slider

  1. This controls the speed of ringing, and is the final control in the bottom left hand panel.
  2. The speed of ringing is measured as the equivalent peal speed (calculated as the time to ring 5040 changes).
  3. Drag the slider right to go faster or left to go slower.

Keyboard Controls and Motion Controller Buttons

  1. The space bar, G or left-hand controller button will cycle through Start/Go/Reset, so press once to ring rounds, press it again to start ringing changes, and a third time to stop and reset the bells to handstroke rest.
  2. The pause key, P or right-hand controller button will pause and resume ringing without restarting from the beginning.
  3. The F9 or R key will stop ringing and reset the bells to handstroke rest.
  4. Pressing T is the same as clicking the autopilot button.
  5. Pressing C is the same as clicking the camera button.
  6. Pressing B is the same as clicking the blue line button.
  7. Pressing H displays or hides the avatars (men in black).
  8. Pressing N hides your own pair from view, provided that the camera is set to POV.
  9. Lower case letters work exactly the same as upper case.
  10. Pressing Options/Help will display a reminder of these functions.