Getting Started

Welcome to Ringing Room! Ringing Room is a web platform that lets you ring online with friends near & far. Getting started on Ringing Room is easy: Just create an account, join a tower, and catch hold!

Creating an account / Logging in

You can create an account by clicking register here or Log In / Register on the front page. You'll need to provide an email address (which will be used as your log-in name), a username (which is what will be displayed to other users when you're ringing), and a password; any of these three can be changed later. You'll also need to click the box to accept the Privacy Policy. After you register, you'll be automatically logged in, and will you'll be able to log in from the front page as well as the Log In / Register page in the future.

You need to be logged in before you can join a tower. You can tell whether you're logged in by looking in the menu bar at the top of the page; if it says your username instead of Log In / Register, you're good to go!

Joining a tower

Ringing on Ringing Room takes place in towers, which are like virtual rooms that you and your band can share. To start ringing, you can either create a new tower or join an existing one.

Creating a new tower

Creating a new tower is as simple as entering a name for the tower in the box in the middle of the front page. (If you don't see this box, make sure to log in first.) When you do this, your tower will be assigned a new tower ID number and link; these will allow you to get back to the same tower in the future.

Joining an existing tower

There are three ways to enter an existing tower:

  1. Entering the Tower ID number on the front page. If you've entered the number correctly, you should see the name of your tower show up under the box before you press the Join button. (Note that you can't enter a tower by entering the name of the tower — this will always create a new tower with the same name!)
  2. Going directly to the tower link. All towers will be assigned a unique link that will look something like this: ringingroom.com/TOWER_ID_NUMBER/TOWER_NAME. You can always get back to the tower just by entering that address in the URL bar of your browser. (The easiest way to invite the rest of your band to the tower is just to send them this link!)
  3. Selecting the tower from the User Menu or the My Towers page: If you click your username in the menu bar at the top of the page, you'll be presented with a menu. (If you don't see your username but do see Log In / Register, you'll need to log in before proceeding.) This menu will contain links to your recently visited towers, your bookmarked towers, and the My Towers page. You can click the name of any tower in the menu or on the My Towers page to go directly to the tower.

Ringing

Congratulations, you're in a tower and ready to ring! You should see a circle of either ropes or handbells in the center of the screen; if you click on any of these, it will cause it to ring; anyone else currently in the tower will also see and hear that bell. Most people prefer to ring using the keyboard: By default, the space bar will always ring the bell in the bottom-right corner of the circle, while the left & right arrow keys or the f & j keys will ring the two bells in the bottom left and right (useful for ringing a handbell pair).

The easiest way to change which bells you're ringing is to assign yourself to a bell: In the Tower Controls, you'll see a list of all users currently in the tower; click the Assign bells button to enter assignment mode, then click the box next to the bell you want to take hold of. Make sure to press Stop assigning when you're done catching hold and ready to ring.

And that's really all there is to it! The next section includes a few helpful tips & tricks, but what you've read already will be enough to get you started ringing on Ringing Room.

Tips & Tricks

This section includes a few other tips & tricks to help you get the most out of Ringing Room.

  • Use voice-chat: While Ringing Room does have a built-in chat functionality, most bands find it easiest to use another platform (like Zoom, Discord, or Google Meet) to talk while using the platform.
  • Use (wired) headphones: If you're using an audio chat platform, it's important to wear headphones so that your microphone doesn't pick up the sound of your bells — because of transmission delays, other ringers will generally hear your bells at a different time from you, so it can be very distracting to hear them from two sources! If possible, we recommend wired headphones — wireless ones often introduce extra delay and may make it hard to strike your bells.
  • Use the built-in calls: Ringing Room does provide built-in calls like look to or bob. These can be accessed via keyboard hotkeys. Some people prefer to use these rather than a voice-chat platform for organizing the ringing, and they're also necessary for controlling Wheatley, the Ringing Room simulator.
  • Adjust the volume: The volume slider in the tower controls can be useful for getting the balance of the bells to the voices in your voice-chat program right.
  • Leave the tower when you're done: The Leave tower button will take you back to the My Towers page and will remove your name from the list of users in the tower. If you just close the web page, there's a chance your name will remain in the list of users even though you're not there, so it's polite to always use the Leave tower button.

Advanced features

This section goes over all the features of Ringing Room in more depth.

Tower Controls

Once you've joined a tower, you'll see two things:

  1. The bell circle (either of handbells or ropes); and
  2. The tower controls.

If you're using a narrow screen, you may need to click the Controls button to show the controls; otherwise the controls should show up on the left of your screen. Here are some useful things in the controls:

  1. Volume: The volume slider affects how loud the bells and calls sound to you, but not to anyone else in the tower.
  2. Tower size selector: A row of numbers from 4 up to 12 (or 16 — see Tower Settings for more details). Click on a number to change the number of bells you're ringing.
  3. Tower / Hand selector: Toggle whether the tower has ropes & tower bell sounds, or handbells & handbell sounds.
  4. Set at hand: This button will immediately set all the bells in the tower at handstroke for everyone.
  5. Users: The Users list shows the usernames of all the users currently in the tower. Your own user name will always be listed first (and bolded). You can click the title of the Users list to collapse or expand it. See below for more details on the Users list.
  6. Chat: The Chat box allows you to send text messages to anyone else currently in the tower; you can click the title of the Chat box to collapse or expand it. Messages are never stored on the server — this means that the only people who can see your messages are those who are in the tower right at the moment they're sent. Users joining the tower later will not see them. Please make sure to abide by our Code of Conduct at all times and be kind to your fellow ringers!

Users

The Users display is also used for assigning users to bells:

  1. To enter Assignment Mode, click the Assign bells button. Note that you cannot ring while in Assignment Mode.
  2. When you first enter Assignment Mode, your own username will be highlighted, indicating that you're ready to assign yourself to a bell. You can click other usernames to select and then assign those users instead.
  3. While in Assignment Mode, all of the bells will either show the name of the user currently assigned to them or (none) to indicate that no user is assigned. You can click (none) to assign the currently selected user to that bell, or click the X by a name to unassign that bell. If you want to quickly remove all users from their bells, click the Unassign all button in the Users display.
  4. Finally, make sure to click the Stop assigning button in the Users list to exist Assignment Mode.

If you are a host at the tower, you will an X button to the right of each users' name. This button can be used to remove users from a tower. If you click this button twice, the user will be redirected to the homepage of Ringing Room. (Note that this removal is temporary — nothing prevents the user from immediately re-entering the tower if they so desire. This feature is mostly useful for removing names of users who aren't actually present but didn't click the Leave tower button.)

Note that Host Mode affects the operations of some of the Tower Controls; see that section for more details.

External Controllers

You can use external motion controllers such as eBells or ActionXLs directly with Ringing Room. You should see the Controllers box in the Tower Controls whenever you have your controllers connected; if it doesn't appear, try moving one of the controllers to make it send a signal for Ringing Room to detect.

The behavior of the controllers depends on how many controllers you have selected:

  • 1 controller: The controller will ring the same bell as the space bar — either the bell in the bottom right corner or the lightest bell to which you are assigned.
  • 2 controllers: The controllers will ring the same bells as the left & right arrow keys — either the bottom two bells or the lightest two bells to which you are assigned. A Swap button will also be displayed at the bottom of the Controller box, which allows you to swap which controller is paired with which bell.
  • 3 or more controllers: The Controller box will display a list of all the bells to which you are assigned along with the option to Assign bells to controllers. If you click the Assign button next to a bell in the list, then ring a controller, the controller will then pair with that bell and will continue to ring it until either it is reassigned to a different bell or you are unassigned from the bell entirely.

Finally, at the bottom of the Controller box is a Disable button, which will temporarily disable input from any controllers. This can be useful if you prefer to use motion controllers with external software such as Handbell Manager.

There are a number of parameters for controllers that are customizable in User Settings; see the Controller Parameters section for more details.

Wheatley

Wheatley is a computer ringer for Ringing Room, made by Ben White-Horne and Matthew Johnson and designed to be a 'ninja helper with no ego' - i.e. Wheatley will ring any number of bells to whatever you want to ring, but should fit in as much as possible to what you're ringing. Wheatley is now available directly inside Ringing Room, without any installation.

Enabling Wheatley

Wheatley needs to be enabled on a per-tower basis with the switch in the Tower Settings. Once Wheatley is enabled, two things will happen:

  1. A user called "Wheatley" will appear permanently in the Users list.
  2. A box will appear above the chat with Wheatley's settings.

To ring something with Wheatley, assign Wheatley to any bells that you need filled. You can use the Fill In button in the Wheatley box to quickly assign all unassigned bells to Wheatley.

Now, you need to tell Wheatley what you want to ring. Wheatley can ring any method you want, and will respond to any calls made through Ringing Room via the hotkeys while ringing.

To start ringing a method with Wheatley:

  1. Click in the text box that says "Start typing method name".
  2. Start typing the name of the method you want to ring. As you type, a list of potential method names will appear (filtered according to the tower size).
  3. Click on the method name you want to ring, or press "Enter" to select the first option.
  4. If everything worked out, the first line of the Wheatley box should say "After 'Look To', Wheatley will ring <your method name>", and Wheatley will ring that method after Look To is called.

A few other options are available in the Wheatley box:

  1. Peal Speed controls the speed at which Wheatley rings.
  2. Ring up-down-in controls whether Wheatley rings "handbell-style" — i.e. two blows in rounds and then directly into the method, without waiting for a Go call.
  3. Stop at rounds controls whether Wheatley stops the method when it comes round, or continues ringing — useful if you're ringing a multi-extent quarter peal, for instance.
  4. Reset Wheatley destroys and creates a new Wheatley instance on the server — useful if Wheatley seems to have gotten confused about what's being rung.

My Towers

The My Towers page keeps a record of all the towers you visit, bookmark, create, or host. It allows you to quickly return to towers you've used in the past, and also to access Tower Settings for the towers you've created.

Recent

The first tab on the My Towers page shows your recently visited towers, sorted reverse-chronologically (so your most recently visited is always at the top). Each row in the list includes the following items from left to right:

  1. Bookmark icon: Click this to toggle whether the tower is bookmarked.
  2. Tower name: Click this to go directly to the tower.
  3. Tower ID and clipboard icon: Click the icon to copy the tower id to your computer clipboard.
  4. Settings: If you are the tower creator, you can click on Settings to view and change the Tower Settings.
  5. Remove from Recent: Click this to remove the tower from your list of recently-visited towers. (Cannot be undone.)

Bookmarks

Ringing Room provides a facility for you to bookmark towers you return to often. Bookmarked towers will appear at the top of the User Menu (available by clicking your username in the top menu bar from any page on Ringing Room other than a tower page when you are logged in; it will be replaced by Log In / Register if you are not logged in). The bookmark icon appears on any of the My Towers tabs and on the tower page itself (next to the tower name); click this icon to toggle whether the tower is bookmarked or not.

Created

The Created tab lists all the towers you've created. These are the towers for which you will be able to access Tower Settings.

Host

The Host tab lists all the towers at which you are a host.

Tower Settings

Each tower in Ringing Room has a Tower Settings page. This page is accessible only to the tower creator, and allows that person to perform a number of useful actions, including changing the tower name and deleting the tower entirely. (See Why can't I access tower settings? if you can't access the settings for a tower you created.) Note that for many of the settings below, you and other ringers will need to refresh the tower page in order to see the changes take effect.

Host Mode

Host Mode is a feature that allows ringers to restrict control of a tower during ringing to a small group of people. When a tower is in Host Mode, the following restrictions apply:

  • Only Hosts may change the number of bells or switch between handbell & tower bell mode.
  • Non-Hosts may only make calls when assigned to a bell (that is, cannot call from outside the circle).
  • All ringers may only ring the bells they are assigned to.
  • Only Hosts may assign other ringers to bells. (Anyone can catch hold of open bells.)

To use Host Mode, the tower creator must first go to Tower Settings and switch on the Host Mode Permitted feature. If this is switched to Yes, any Hosts will see a Host Mode toggle in the Tower Controls which they can use to turn Host Mode on and off; non-hosts will not see this toggle and instead will see messages describing the function of Host Mode (when it is turned on). Host Mode will be automatically disabled if there are no hosts present in the tower.

The tower creator is always a Host at that tower. Additional Hosts may be added by going to Tower Settings and entering the email address associated with a Ringing Room account in the Add host by email box. A list of Hosts is also displayed, and Hosts can be removed from here as well.

Wheatley Permitted

In order to use Wheatley in a tower, you must first go to the Tower Settings and flip the Wheatley Permitted switch to the Yes position. Once this is enabled, the Wheatley box will appear in the Tower Controls.

Additional settings

  • Additional Sizes: If this setting is enabled, the Tower Controls will show options for 5, 14, and 16 bells in the tower, in addition to the usual numbers.
  • Half-Muffled: If this setting is enabled, when the tower is in tower bell mode the backstrokes will be muffled.
  • Anticlockwise: If this setting is enabled, the bells in the tower (both ropes and handbells) will be arranged anticlockwise.
  • Cowbell: If this setting is enabled, the tower will have the option to use cowbell sounds & images.

User Settings

The User Settings page can be accessed by clicking your user name in the top menu bar of any Ringing Room page other than a tower (once you are logged in) and then selecting User Settings. There are 3 tabs available:

  1. The Account tab contains settings relevant to your account, such as changing your username or password.
  2. The Keyboard tab lets you modify the keyboard hotkeys.
  3. The Controllers tab lets you modify the parameters used for motion controllers (such as eBells).

Account settings

The Account tab contains settings relevant to your account.

To change your username or email address, enter the new username or email in the relevant box, then enter your current password in the next section down and click Save changes. Note that changing your email address will change how you log in to Ringing Room.

To change your password, enter your new password twice in the New Password and Repeat New Password boxes, then enter your current password below and click Save changes.

If you would like to permanently delete your account, enter your current password at the bottom of the page, then click Delete account. This will immediately delete all your stored data and cannot be undone.

Finally, one more setting is available at the top of this page: Dark Mode triggers an alternative light-on-dark theme for Ringing Room across all pages.

Keyboard settings

The Keyboard tab allows you to customize the keyboard hotkeys used to control Ringing Room in the tower.

  • To remove a hotkey from a function, click the X button by that key.
  • To add a hotkey to a function, click the + button by that function, then press the key (or key combination) you want to bind to that function.
  • To restore a function to the default key bindings, click Restore defaults. You can also restore all settings to default by clicking the button at the top of the page.

Available hotkey functions

  • Ring left hand: Ring your left-hand bell — either the bottom-left bell or the second-smallest to which you are assigned (Defaults: f, F, left)
  • Ring right hand: Ring your right-hand bell — either the bottom-right bell or the smallest to which you are assigned (Defaults: space, j, J, right)
  • Set at hand: Set all bells at handstroke (Defaults: shift+s)
  • Bob: Call "Bob" (Defaults: b, B)
  • Single: Call "Single" (Defaults: n, N)
  • Go next: Call "Go next" (Defaults: g, G)
  • That's all: Call "That's all" (Defaults: h, H)
  • Stand next: Call "Stand next" (Defaults: t, T)
  • Look to: Call "Look to" (Defaults: l, L)
  • Rounds: Call "Rounds" (Defaults: o, O)
  • Change method: Call "Change method" (Defaults: c, C)
  • Sorry: Apologize (Defaults: s)
  • Ring bell 1–16: (Advanced) Ring specific bell (Defaults: 1–9, 0, -, =, q, w, e, r)
  • Rotate to 1–16: (Advanced) Rotate the circle so that a given bell is in the bottom-right (Defaults: shift + 1–9, 0, -, =, q, w, e, r)
  • Catch hold of 1–16: (Advanced) Assign yourself to the given bell. (Defaults: ctrl + shift + 1-9, 0, -, =, q, w, e, r on Windows, ``cmd + shift+ 1-9, 0, -, = ,q, e, r on Mac.)
  • Silently flip left: (Advanced) Silently flip the stroke of your left-hand bell. (Defaults: a, A)
  • Silently flip right: (Advanced) Silently flip the stroke of your right-hand bell. (Defaults: ;, :)

Controller settings

The Controllers tab allows you to control the parameters used by external motion controllers such as eBells or ActionXLs. You can always restore these to default settings by clicking the button at the top of the page.

The following parameters are available to control: - Debounce: The minimum time between one stroke and the next, in milliseconds; if the controller detects a second strike within this time it will be ignored. (Default: 600.) - Handstroke: The point at which the controller detects a handstroke; higher numbers indicate a more vertical bell. (Default: 100.) - Backstroke: The point at which the controller detects a backstroke; higher numbers indicate a more vertical bell. (Default: -1200.) - Controller buttons: Set which buttons on the controllers perform which actions.

The controller buttons can be set to make calls or to silently flip the stroke of the bell. If you have only one controller attached, it will always be considered a "right controller" and will use those settings; if you have more than one, the controllers will alternate right and left in order from lightest bell to heaviest bell. The controller buttons have the following defaults:

  • Left bell: Left button: Stand; right button: Go.
  • Right bell: Left button: Single, right button: Bob.

Additional features

There are a few miscellaneous features that don't fit elsewhere.

Listener links

All towers have an associated Listener Link, which loads a "listen-only" version of the tower in which you cannot interact with the ringing in any way; this can be useful for allowing non-ringers to attend the ringing (for example, allowing members of a congregation to listen to service ringing). Listeners in a tower are anonymous — there's no need to create a username, and ringers in the tower will not know whether there are listeners present.

To reach the Listener Link for a given tower, simply append /listen to the normal URL for the tower. For example, if your tower has the link ringingroom.com/1234/example_tower, the Listener Link will be ringingroom.com/1234/example_tower/listen.

Local servers

Ringing Room has a number of different servers around the world; we recommend that you use whichever server is geographically closest to all your band, in order to reduce the latency between your computer and the server. The different servers are reached by prepending a different prefix to the base Ringing Room URL:

  • ringingroom.com or ringingroom.co.uk: Both URLs direct to the primary Ringing Room server in London.
  • na.ringingroom.com: The North American Ringing Room server in New York. (Note: This server has it's own database — you will need a separate account, and tower IDs may differ.)
  • sg.ringingroom.com: The Singapore Ringing Room server. (Note: This server has it's own database — you will need a separate account, and tower IDs may differ.)
  • anzab.ringingroom.com: The Australia & New Zealand server in Sydney. (This server uses the same database as the primary Ringing Room: You can use the same account, and tower IDs will be the same. Make sure that all ringers in a band are using the same server.)

FAQs

Why am I getting lag?

Lag is an inherent part of the online ringing experience, unfortunately — it simply takes time for the signals to get from your computer up to the Ringing Room server and back. We find that most people are able to have a good experience on Ringing Room most of the time. However, if you are experiencing a lot of lag there are a few things you can do to help:

  • Reduce the number of applications using bandwidth on your local network: Make sure no one on your network is streaming video, and possibly disable video in Zoom or whatever other platform you're using for communicating.
  • Use a wired ethernet connection: If you're struggling with lots of lag, connecting your computer to the internet via ethernet cable (rather than WiFi) can help.
  • Be aware of peak hours: Lag is often worst on weekday evenings.

I created this tower; why can't I access tower settings?

Ringing Room only started keeping track of tower creators in June 2020. If you created your tower prior to that time, this won't be marked in our database. Please write to us at ringingroom@gmail.com and let us know both the email address associated with your Ringing Room account and the Tower ID number; we can then manually mark the tower as having been created by you.

Will Ringing Room work on my Kindle (/Android/iPhone/etc)?

In general, Ringing Room works best on a Mac or Windows PC and in the Google Chrome browser; it has also been tested in Safari, Firefox, and newer versions of Microsoft Edge. On other platforms we expect performance to be degraded; in particular, we cannot recommend using Ringing Room on a Kindle / Kindle Fire or other Android device.

For iOS devices, there is a Ringing Room app developed by Matthew Goodship; we recommend using that app rather than going through the browser.

Why aren't the hotkeys working for me?

Some browsers handle hotkeys differently. In particular, older versions of Microsoft Edge and all versions of Internet Explorer are not guaranteed to work with Ringing Room by default. However, even in these browsers you should be able to set custom hotkeys that may work better.

Additionally, regardless of your browser, there are currently some known issues with how the numpad keys are handled.