A few weeks ago I seen a video on YouTube where a guy used a mini Bluetooth gaming controller to operate his DCC trains. I found this interesting so I set out to look for a controller and see what I could come up with.
After a few minutes on eBay I realized there all types available with many different prices. So I purchased one for $3.28 total including shipping. They all have basically the same button arrangement so I went cheap in cast I couldn't get this to work.
After doing a Bluetooth connection with one of the old phones I use as a controller. I turned on the layout and then started JMRI. Then started a WiFi Throttle connection within JMRI.
Next I started the Engine Driver App on the phone connected it to JMRI and went to settings, which is the 3 dots at the top right hand corner.
In setting look for Gamepad Preferences.
In the Gamepad Preferences there is a list of different Gamepad types. I had to go through the list to see which one be suited my controller and change the function of the buttons. The buttons can be set up in different ways to the user's preferences, but I used the joystick left and right to controls the directions. Up and down for increase and decrease of the speed, and used the 3 of the 4 side buttons to control head lights, bell, and horn.
This controller does take a little to get use to but once the setting are how the user wants then, it is really easy to use and can be use with one hand. I leave the phone the controller is connected to on the control stand and only carry the controller around.