Using external switches

External switches are useful if you want to control Abel and cannot reach the keyboard easily - for example, if you are in the tower and the computer is some way from the bell you are using, or if you are ringing two handbells and therefore cannot use the keyboard.

Footswitches are probably the most convenient form of control, though a panel of large buttons that you can operate with an elbow might also be useful.

These control switches are connected to Abel in a similar way to bell sensors, using the serial port control signals - see Connecting External Bells and Switches - Overview, and also the circuit diagram shown under handbells for an example. You then configure the switches as described in Configuring External Control Switches.

You can use up to 4 footswitches with Abel, and you can configure each switch to perform one of the following commands:

Start/Go

Press the switch once to start the bells ringing rounds. Press it again to start ringing the current method.

Bob

Press the switch once to call a bob at the next lead end. Press it again before the bob is made to cancel that call.

Start/Go/Bob

Press the switch once to start the bells ringing rounds. Press it again to start ringing the current method. Press it again to call a bob at the next lead end. If you press the switch again before the bob is made, it will be cancelled.

Single

Press the switch once to call a single at the next lead end. Press it again before the single is made to cancel that call.

Call X

Press the switch once to issue whatever call you have configured as "Call X" at the next calling position. Press it again before the call takes effect to cancel it.

Call Y

Press the switch once to issue whatever call you have configured as "Call X" at the next calling position. Press it again before the call takes effect to cancel it.

All Calls

Press the switch once to start the bells ringing rounds. Press it again to start ringing the current method. Press it during method ringing to make a call: successive switch presses rotate around the available calls for the current method (bob/single/callX/CallY/plain/none; Plain and None are available for all methods). Thus, if the current method has bobs and singles defined, one press will call a bob; two presses will call a single; three presses will force a plain lead (overriding any bob or single in the current composition); four presses have the same effect as none.

Auto

Press the switch once to put Abel into Auto Start mode. When in auto start mode, a learner can ring a tied bell and after a few blows Abel will join in at the learner's own speed. Press it again if the learner gets out of time, and Abel adjusts to fit in again.

Escape

Press the switch to stop Abel from performing the current action: if ringing is paused it restarts it; in a method, it forces rounds; in rounds, it calls stand; in a dialog, it exits the dialog.


See also:

  Connecting bells using the serial port
  Connecting bells using the Multi-Bell Interface
  Tower bells as external bells
  Handbells as external bells
  Configuring Abel to use bell sensors
  Configuring Abel to use control switches