Controlling PTZ Cameras with a USB Joystick
Rocosoft PTZJoy Controller Software allows users to turn any wired USB joystick, wireless Bluetooth joystick, or gaming joystick into a precise professional PTZ camera controller.
With PTZJoy, you can connect up to four Joysticks to your computer, and use them to control your cameras. Each joystick's buttons can be configured to complete different tasks (call a preset, zoom, lower/raise exposure, etc.)
In this article, we will walk you through step by step how to start controlling PTZ cameras with a USB joystick.
CALIBRATING USB JOYSTICK
Before getting started, you must first calibrate your joystick. Calibrating your joystick controller will help the joystick to work more accurately with the PTZJoy application by finding the exact zero points and peripheral borders of the controller.
- Make sure your joysticks(s) are connected to the computer and are being recognized.
- Open Control Panel > Open Devices and Printers
- You should see a screen showing all available devices
- Find your Joystick Controller and right click on the icon. Select Game Controller Settings. Highlight the controller you wish to calibrate and select Properties.
- To start the calibration process, select Calibrate under the Settings tab to initiate the Device Calibration Wizard.
CONTROLLING YOUR PTZ CAMERAS
- Click on the USBJoy Button.
- Move your USB joystick in the desired direction to control your camera. Regulate the speed of the pan and tilt movements by the movement of the joystick relative to its center point, or zero point. The further you move the joystick away from the zero point, the quicker the camera will rotate.
- You can switch between your joysticks in the Settings panel (the cog towards the bottom of the PTZJoy interface).
CONFIGURING BUTTON ACTIONS
Each button on each joystick can be configured to do a different task.
- Open the Settings tab (the cog towards the bottom of the PTZJoy interface)
- Select which joystick you'd like the configure
- With USBJoy activated, press a button on your joystick to learn which button number it is. The color of the corresponding button will change in the settings panel
- Click the drop-down arrow and choose what action you'd like that button to complete. Click Set. Note: you do not have to click Set each time. Clicking Set saves ALL of the button configurations at once.
- Repeat this process for any other joysticks you'd like to configure
CONTROLLING ZOOM FUNCTION ON A GAMING JOYSTICK
If using a gaming joystick with a zoom lever, you can use this lever for controlling the zoom function with variable speeds. Since gaming joystick levers do not have a center, or zero, position like professional joysticks do, they will not return to the zero position when you release the lever – it has to be done manually.
Always start the program with the zoom lever in the middle position. By doing this, you will have full zoom control with variable speed of your camera.
- Start PTZJoy with the joystick’s lever in roughly the middle position.
- Move the zoom lever up and down to zoom in and out to find the point where you can completely stop the zoom. This is your zero point.
- Restart PTZJoy with the lever in middle position. Your joystick will be calibrated to use the zoom lever with a zero point.
- You can now regulate the speed of the zoom by the movement of the zoom lever relative to its zero point. The further you move the lever away from it’s zero point, the quicker the camera will zoom in and out. To stop the zoom, move the zoom lever back to the zero point.
JOYSTICK PERFORMANCE MODES
SLOW JOYSTICK MODE
- This mode allows for slower, more precise movements of the camera while using the Virtual or USB joystick. Click on the Slow Mode button to switch to Slow Joystick Mode. There are three Slow modes available that you can cycle through.
SOFT JOYSTICK MODE
- This mode allows for gradual speed acceleration of the camera while using the Virtual or USB joystick. Click on the Soft Mode button to switch to Soft Joystick Mode.
X JOYSTICK MODE
- This mode limits camera movements to only the X-axis while using the Virtual or USB joystick. Click on the XJoystick button to switch to X Joystick Mode.
PTZJoy Control Software
This blog is in relation to our PTZJoy Camera Controller Software. We designed PTZJoy with one idea in mind: to simplify PTZ control without sacrificing power. PTZJoy simplifies every aspect of managing your PTZ cameras, while also bringing a host of powerful features to your fingertips.
Click on either of the links to the right to learn more!