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Installing the software

Page history last edited by R H Johnston 2 years, 4 months ago

Installing the Software - for the single dumbbell version


(For details about using the multi-bell interface, make contact via this website, as it is still in early development)


This is essential as it links your dumbbell to the program that connects to the internet to send your bell pulls to the other ringers.


Note this software ONLY runs on PCs using the Windows operating system. 

If you do not have a PC, get hold of a second hand one.  Get one that runs at least windows 7, as RingingRoom, Muster and Handbell Stadium won't run on anything less.


Apart from Handbell stadium which needs a powerful machine, it does not have to be expensive - I run my simulator on a Acer Aspire One D255 - second hand ones are about £40 on ebay. 

I use mine without virus protection but that is ok for what we want to use it for, and because you won't keep important documents on it.


Download the latest version of the interface from here  Please always use the LATEST version.


Unzip the file to a directory/folder.  - there is a program file and a PDF with instructions


Make a shortcut link and put it on the desktop, so you can start the program quickly.


The program does not need "installing" and will run from anywhere, but the interaction with the dumbbell has to be calibrated which is done the first time it runs.


Make sure programs like Abel or Beltower that connect to your dumbbell are NOT running, as they will make the COM port invisible..


Start up the program


When it starts for the first time it will ask easy questions, and you will have to ring the bell.


[NOTE: if you are using a John Norris or some other types of magnetic sensor  you may have to move the sensor unit closer to the bell wheel, and/or install more powerful/ longer magnets.


You will know there is a problem if during the installation, if a) the first handstroke/backstroke correctly reports data on the ciorrect COM port but b) the second handstroke and backstroke fails to detect any sensors, and asks for the input to be repeated.  It will auto-close eventually, but you can also close the window manually (with the x in top right of window).


On the bell wheel there is a magnet to activate it.  Unfortunately the magnet is not long enough/close enough  to be certain to work.  So what you need is


either move the sensing unit closer to the magent on the wheel.  Make sure it does NOT touch.


or (more usually) additional magnets that can make the magnetic field last longer.  The extra magnets are put next to existing to make the magent longer circumferentially

Here is what someone else did:

I then upgraded to a slightly stronger magnet (link below).

I've recently put two together around the diameter of the wheel - this has helped to elongate the signal (due to the strength of the magnets, although they are separated by about 1/2", the fields overlap producing one longer signal, rather than two short signals).


Although looking on Amazon, I'm sure something like the link below would do a neater job, with just one magnet.


End of Norris sensor fix]


There is a facility to change the user settings without recalibrating the dumbbell input.


Version 0.7.1a onwards can ring (in rounds) the other bells in ringing room - useful for getting setup and for practice and for seeing how good your internet link is (or not)  Once the program is running there are some on screen options for changes such as the target program (Ringingroom, Muster) etc.




You will also need to use Zoom, either on the same computer - or especially if it is not powerful another device like a phone.


The details for the Zoom meetings are:



Meeting ID: 872 8693 9536

Passcode: 722055

If a different Zoom meeting is convened, the details will be posted in the ringing room tower chat.


Ringing room tower:





For longer ringing sessions we have occasionally used Discord, as the video can be fully turned off, improving latency.


I can't provide a permanent invitation link for that unfortunately, but once you have registered and joined the dumbbell group that is then always available.



Ping latency monitoring  (optional but very desirable)


1) Download the program from here: pinglogger.zip : For windows 10 extract the zip to a folder and use the batch file installer to install it. (Let me know if it doesn't work for you.)  It tracks up to 4 servers, and is ready configured to track ringingroom.com, google, handbell stadium, and a server used by Zoom.  The last one is only a proxy for zoom performance, as zoom servers are not pingable.


2) Alternatively Download the pinglogger program from this website: https://pinglogger.co.uk/ (a local copy is here)  It has to be run from an administrator account (or with elevated privileges) in  Vista and above.  If using ringingroom in basic settings, set the Host to ringingroom.co.uk and x axis 0 to 6000 and in advanced settings set Interval to 1000 and Timeout to 900.  Then start the program.  The chart will show how reliable the connection is to ringing room. 


What should I see?

Ideally you are looking for normal values of less than 25ms - 12ms is about the best possible from a domestic installation.  There will be occasions when it is a lot longer, and those long delays will be reflected in delayed sounds.  100 ms is a 1/10 of a second, and very noticeable.  If there are many values above 100ms then you may have to get your broadband connection checked out.  A wired connection to the router sometimes helps.


There is a program you can use to check why you have a problem - see the ping latency section in http://dumbbells.pbworks.com/w/page/141137619/Computer%20and%20Internet%20problems


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