Bridge Command - Using external controls

Introduction

To increase the realism of the simulation, it is possible to use physical throttle levers and a wheel to control your vessel in Bridge Command. In principle, any three axis analog joystick can be used, but in practice suitable joysticks are not readily available, and it is quite simple to construct one to your own requirements. How to do this is explained at How to make a set of throttles and wheel.

Details

Enable Bridge Command's joystick support

In the start menu area for Bridge Command, find the shortcut to 'Joystick Settings', under the 'Settings' sub-menu. Use this to change the 'use joystick' setting from 0 to 1 to enable Bridge Command's joystick capabilities.

You may also need to change a few more values, depending on how your joystick is set up. If the controller you want to use is not the only joystick connected to your system, you may have to change the 'joystick_no_' values to the correct one.

You can also open the joystick configuration file joystick.ini directly, in the Bridge Command root directory (Usually "C:\Program files\Bridge Command 4.7GPL\").

More options

If your set-up doesn't work with the default options, or you want more control over how the throttles and wheel work, you can edit all of the options in the file. A complete example is geven below, and the options are:

In addition the the three joystick axes for engines and rudder, joystick button 1 will sound the ship's horn.

Example joystick mapping

This is the mapping in the example below. Each point is indicated, and the map gives fixed slow and half ahead and astern positions, and then the engines can be controlled up to full power. Half of the joystick input range is used.

Joystick Mapping

Example

This maps the full engine range to half of the joystick range, and has the following mapping, which gives the fixed positions of slow ahead and half ahead, and then allows continuous control up to full ahead, and is the same going astern.

use_joystick=1
joystick_no=0

port_throttle_channel=1
stbd_throttle_channel=2
rudder_channel=3

joystick_map_points=12

joystick_map(1,1)=-0.5	
joystick_map(1,2)=-1

joystick_map(2,1)=-0.25	
joystick_map(2,2)=-0.5

joystick_map(3,1)=-0.125	
joystick_map(3,2)=-0.5

joystick_map(4,1)=-0.125
joystick_map(4,2)=-0.25

joystick_map(5,1)=-0.0625	
joystick_map(5,2)=-0.25

joystick_map(6,1)=-0.0625	
joystick_map(6,2)=0

joystick_map(7,1)=0.0625	
joystick_map(7,2)=0
	
joystick_map(8,1)=0.0625	
joystick_map(8,2)=0.25
	
joystick_map(9,1)=0.125	
joystick_map(9,2)=0.25
	
joystick_map(10,1)=0.125	
joystick_map(10,2)=0.5
	
joystick_map(11,1)=0.25	
joystick_map(11,2)=0.5
	
joystick_map(12,1)=0.5	
joystick_map(12,2)=1

port_multiplier=1
port_offset=0
stbd_multiplier=1
stbd_offset=0
rudder_multiplier=1
rudder_offset=0