QuadStick

Game controllers for quadriplegics

How to install and use the QuadStick Manager Program (QMP)

Fred DavisonComment

Updated: 01/16/2016 to link to the new installer programs

The QuadStick Manager Program (QMP) can be used to tailor the QuadStick to the personal preferences of the user.  It performs the following functions:

  • Control settings for joystick sensitivity, sip and puff pressure thresholds, activation delays and operating modes.  
  • Allows the user to download and manage custom game configuration files as well as companion voice command files.  
  • Automates the process of updating with new firmware, by backing up and restoring the user’s game (csv) files in the QuadStick’s flash memory.
  • Provides a data connection between the QuadStick and a CronusMax device (for PS4 support).
  • Allows Voice control of the QuadStick when used with Dragon Naturally Speaking.

The installation files come in two parts:

  1. QuadStick Manager Program itself.
  2. Optional Vocola installer to allow use of Dragon Naturally Speaking for voice commands

The QMP was originally dependent of the Vocola installation, but it now runs as a stand-alone program.  The video below refers to running a "Prerequisites" installer prior to installing the QMP itself.  What was in the prerequisites installer is now in the Vocola installer and is only needed for using voice commands and may be skipped or installed later. 

The QuadStick Manager Program can be used to tailor the QuadStick to the personal preferences of the user by giving them access to the various settings that control joystick sensitivity, sip and puff pressure thresholds, activation delays and operating modes.  It allows the user to download and manage custom game configuration files as well as companion voice command files.  It automates the process of updating with new firmware, by backing up and restoring the user’s game (csv) files in the QuadStick’s flash memory.

When used with Dragon Naturally Speaking and Vocola, it allows the user to employ voice commands to supplement the inputs from the joystick movement and sip/puff tubes.

When used with a ControllerMax, it gives the user access to any of the consoles the ControllerMax supports, including the PS4, XBox One and XBox 360, or even the PS3.  (The XBox consoles can also be used directly with a QuadStick and those consoles but the PS4 requires a PC running this program in the loop due to the Playstation’s more restrictive security methodology)

When first started, the program looks like this:

Each Tab across the top gives access to different functions or configuration areas.  The Voice Control is the default tab since when the program is started by voice command, it will be ready to relay commands to the QuadStick without any further user action.  The center section of the window contains a transcript of the voice command activity that will be familiar to those who currently use Putty or the first version of this program.

The Joystick tab allows the user to adjust the physical movement of the joystick required to send a 100% signal to the game console.  Each direction can be individually adjusted, or grouped in vertical or horizontal pairs, or, as all directions grouped together.  The size of the neutral center zone is controlled by the center slider.

After making changes, click on the Save prefs.csv to QuadStick button. This will replace the file currently in the QuadStick.

The D-Pad thresholds are scaled to the 0-100% range defined on the Joystick page.  There are two degrees of movement, an outer ring and an inner ring.  When the joystick is moved in the North, South, East or West directions past the outer ring, the configured D-Pad signal is immediately sent.  It the joystick is instead held between the inner and outer rings, a second signal can be generated, after a delay.  This is similar to the “soft” sip or puff, but for the joystick position.  

The Sip and Puff pressure settings control how hard the user applies pressure to activate the configured signal.  The pressure range between the High pressure and Max pressure settings is scaled into 0-100% of the finger pressure for the emulated controller button.  Holding the pressure between the Low and High thresholds for a delay period can generate a second signal (and is often configured for seldom used controls, like Home, Start or Select)

The Lip sensor position is scaled between the Minimum and Maximum signal to generate a 0-100% activation of the configured control button (often mapped to X)

The miscellaneous tab allows the user the adjust the mouse speed relative to the Joystick range settings along with the LED brightness and speaker volume.  The digital outputs, indicated by the two upper green LEDs on the right side of the QuadStick, can be controlled.  The Bluetooth module settings and the use of the Long Strong Sip and Puff signals on the Right Side tube to allow users to change configuration files or swap inputs with the Lip sensor are controlled here.

This tab allows the user to remove existing game csv files or download new ones from the QuadStick website.   Scanning for new files takes several seconds, so the program remembers the results from the last scan for the next time the program runs.

The different game configuration CSV files in the Quadstick flash drive are sorted in alphabetical order, with the exception of prefs.csv, which holds the general preference settings, and default.csv, which is the initial configuration file loaded at power up.  To switch between the different game files, a long strong sip on the side tube places the quadstick in the "file selection mode", where the purple LEDs flash rapidly, indicating the file number, starting with the Left LED for file number 1, the Default.csv, LED 2 for the next file, in this example, battlex.csv, and so on.  The file number is selected by moving the joystick left and right.  The full description of this process can be found in the readme.pdf file in the QuadStick or here.

The game files are generated by Google Doc spreadsheets which can be found here:  http://config.quadstick.com

Currently, this program only lists the “official” QuadStick configuration files.  Users are still free to make a copy of any configuration spreadsheet, alter it, compile their own csv file and manually download the csv file into their own QuadStick.

The "Preferences Bluetooth Off" prefs.csv and the "Default Configuration" default.csv files are the original files shipped with the QuadStick

Voice files that reside in the user’s Documents\Natlink\Vocola folder are managed here.  Voice files come in two types: VCH and VCL.  The vch files relate to individual games played on consoles and the vcl files relate to individual programs, like PC based games or this program.

When used with voice commands, the user says a phrase, like “Load Call of Duty”, and the QuadStick will load the “cod.csv” and the voice commands in the “cod.vch” file will become active.

The Firmware tab displays the current firmware version (called a Build number) in the QuadStick.  The right hand pane lists available versions.  When the system updates the firmware, it attempts to save and restore all the user’s current configuration files.