How to install Voice commands for the QuadStick

Adding voice commands makes using the QuadStick and playing games easier.  This post will focus on setting up the software.  A second post will discuss using voice commands in games.

The voice command system consists of several independent parts:

  • Dragon Naturally Speaking (DNS), any version >= 10
  • Natlink & Vocola, two free programs that work with DNS.
  • The QuadStick Manager Program (QMP)
  • A serial connection to the QuadStick, either Bluetooth or wired.

Dragon Naturally Speaking

DNS, by default, will be configured to perform many tasks with a multitude of programs.  For our purposes, we would like to create a User Profile that turns off many of those extra features, so we don't Tweet "Fire Weapon" to the world by accident.  When using DNS with the QuadStick, the player's attention is not on the computer and they may not notice DNS performing an unwanted function because it misheard a command.  We also want the fastest possible response with a limited vocabulary.

If you use DNS for other applications, create a new User Profile for games, then make the following changes to the Tools->Options menu command (these images are from version 12.5):

Turn off any Select, Correct, Spell or Smart Format Rules.

Disable most of the commands listed below, except "Click", and the ability to launch programs

Turn off all the commands on "More Commands"

Some of these are personal preferences, but turn off "Use Dictation Box for unsupported applications", "Alert when audio quality is low", and move "Speed vs Accuracy" all the way to the Left.

If it has not been installed yet, install the QuadStick Manager Program, as outlined in this post.

Serial Connection:

A serial connection is required to send the voice commands generated by DNS, Vocola, and QMP, to the QuadStick.  There are two options:  Bluetooth or wired.  Many computers already have Bluetooth, or it can be easily added.  The wired option requires a specific cable, but is simpler to set up.

The Bluetooth serial connection requires turning on the Bluetooth module in the QuadStick by plugging the QuadStick into a PC, running the QuadStick Manager Program and changing the Bluetooth Mode selection from none to SSP on the Misc tab, and saving the preferences back to the QuadStick.  After a delay the QuadStick will load the new preferences.

Bluetooth connections require a one time "pairing" of the QuadStick to the computer's Bluetooth.  This process varies between computers and versions of Windows.  Follow the procedure to add a Bluetooth device for your computer.  The QuadStick can only be paired in the first 60 seconds each time it is powered up, so prepare your computer, then plug in the QuadStick.  When it shows up as a new device, enter the pairing code "1234".   Give the computer a few minutes to complete the connection then it should be ready to go.

Fred DavisonComment