The following sections describe how to use Handbell Stadium as a simulator for practising.
Setting up your computer
- Download the appropriate version of Handbell Stadium for your computer from Downloads.
- Find the downloaded zip file and unzip all its contents into a folder.
- 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.
- Plug in your two dummy handbells/motion controllers to USB ports and check that they are recognised as joysticks by your Operating System.
- Check your system output device for sound is selected for what you want e.g. speakers or headphones.
- Run Handbell Stadium.
Checking your controllers are working correctly
- Select Handbell Stadium Options and click the Input tab.
- Click the dropdown on the first DeviceId, you should see at least two motion controller devices listed.
- If there is only one or none, unplug your controllers, wait 20 seconds and reinsert them. Repeat from step 1.
- Select left and right controller from dropdowns making sure that you have selected different numbered motion controller devices.
- 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.
- Leave the other values as their defaults if you are using ActionXL wired controllers.
- Click DONE, then PRACTICE.
Choosing a Room and Method
- 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.
- Click on METHOD to select the method you wish to ring, or leave it as the default method, Plain Bob Minor.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- If you select an odd-bell method, a tenor behind is assumed, to give an even number of bells.
- Click START to be put in the room with your bells.
Checking Your Bells are Working
- 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.
- If not, and Handbell Stadium is running in a Window, it must have focus, so click on it.
- This is the button showing two handbells and your current pair.
- Each time you click the pair button you will move round clockwise to the next pair.
- 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.
- This is the button showing an aircraft.
- If the button is displaying off, then your controllers are operating the two bells shown on the Pair button.
- If the button is displaying on, then the computer will ring the displayed pair, and your controllers are disabled.
- This is the button showing a pair of lines.
- If the button is showing off, then the blue line display is off.
- 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.
- A red and blue line are shown for the trebles and green and blue line for the other pairs.
- This controls the speed of ringing, and is the final control in the bottom left hand panel.
- The speed of ringing is measured as the equivalent peal speed (calculated as the time to ring 5040 changes).
- Drag the slider right to go faster or left to go slower.
Keyboard Controls and Motion Controller Buttons
- 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.
- The pause key, P or right-hand controller button will pause and resume ringing without restarting from the beginning.
- The F9 or R key will stop ringing and reset the bells to handstroke rest.
- Pressing T is the same as clicking the autopilot button.
- Pressing C is the same as clicking the camera button.
- Pressing B is the same as clicking the blue line button.
- Pressing H displays or hides the avatars (men in black).
- Pressing N hides your own pair from view, provided that the camera is set to POV.
- Lower case letters work exactly the same as upper case.
- Pressing Options/Help will display a reminder of these functions.