Here's how to get started with the Ringing Room.
To use the Ringing Room, you will need an account. You can create an account by clicking the "Log In / Register" button at the top right of your screen.
Once you've created an account, you'll be able to ring in any tower. Additionally, when not in a tower, the menu at the top right will include shortcuts to your 5 most recently visited towers. You can also modify your username, email address, or password by going to the Settings page, entering the information you want to change along with your current password, and pressing "Save Changes". From this page you can also permanently delete your account.
Your email address and an encrypted version of your password are stored securely on our server. We will not share them with anyone for any reason. If you ever forget your password, you can use the password reset link on the log-in page, which will send an email to your address on file with a link to reset your password. Note that this link is only good for 1 hour after being sent. Make sure to check your spam filter for the email if it doesn't arrive promptly.
Starting a new room is simple: go to the home page by clicking "Ringing Room" at the left side of the bar at the top of this page. Then put any name you like in the text box and click "Create". This will create a new "tower" with a shareable URL and ID number. To share this tower with other ringers, you can either copy the URL from your browser's navigation bar or just send them the ID number.
There are currently two ways to join a tower that already exists. The easiest way is to go directly to the link that the room's creator has sent you. Alternatively you may type in just the numerical ID (a nine-digit number) into the text box on the homepage and then click "Join".
Once you're in a tower, you can click on the ropes or handbells to ring them. Alternatively, the following hot-keys are enabled:
The tower controls will either be in the left-hand sidebar (on larger screens), or accessible by pressing the "Controls" button in the top right (on smaller screens). The controls allow you to set the number of bells in the tower (four to twelve); control whether the images and sounds are of handbells or of tower bells and ropes; and set all of the bells at hand.
The tower controls also include a list of users presently in the tower, which you can use to assign bells to particular ringers. To assign ringers, press the "Assign Bells" button to enter bell assignment mode. While in this mode, you may select any ringer from the user list by clicking on them, and then click on the box next to the bell you want to assign them to. Clicking the "x" by a user's name will unassign them from that bell. While in assignment mode, you can't ring any bells; when you're done assigning bells, click the "Stop Assigning" button to return to normal mode.
Assigning a user to a bell will have the effect of automatically rotating that ringer's "perspective" on the tower so that the bell is placed in the bottom right position. This will allow it to be rung using the [SPACE] or [j] hotkeys. If a user is assigned to multiple bells, the lowest-numbered one will be placed in position; this means that if the user is assigned to exactly 2 bells, those bells we be ringable with [f] and [j].
The user display will always list your own username first (or present you with the option to log in). If there is anyone in the room who is not logged in (or who is there via the "listener link" — see below), the number of such users will be listed at the bottom of the user display.
If you're logged in and not a listener, you will also see a chat box in the control panel; you can use this for communicating with the other ringers by text. In the Chat box is a "Leave Tower" button that will remove you from the tower and send you back to the homepage. Please be sure to read our Code of Conduct and abide by it in the chat; there is a link to report any violations of that to us below the chat box.
There are also hot-keys to trigger aural and visual notification for various calls, but be aware that in some browsers using these results in the sound of the bells being interrupted.
If you append "/listen" to the link of any tower, the resulting page will be a "listen-only" version of the tower appropriate for sending to anyone who wishes to observe the ringing without risking disturbing the band. (For example, if you have the tower ID '1234' and name 'Example', then the link "ringingroom.com/1234/example/listen" will go to the listen-only page.)
We want the Ringing Room to be accessible on as many platforms as possible. However, the platform is very much a work in progress! So far, we believe that the best set up is as follows:
Graham John's Handbell Manager has been adapted for use with Ringing Room, and supports using both Android phones and iPhones as simulated handbells. Contributors to this project include Richard Johnston, Adrian Nash, Mike Pidd, and David Wilson. You can read more about this at Richard's site here.
Tom Farthing has developed a Python script for those who have simulated handbells with a serial port input. This is definitely a "batteries not included" setup; if you're not comfortable with scripting in Python and working on the command-line, this probably isn't for you. But if you meet that description, you can download the necessary files here.
We encourage reporting significant Ringing Room performances on BellBoard. The Ringing World has published a set of guidelines for how to report distributed performances, including Ringing Room ones. We highly encourage you to donate to the Ringing World with your performance submissions, if you are financially able to do so.
Additionally, ringers should be aware that Ringing Room performances do not comply with all of performance norms given in the CCCBR Framework for Method Ringing, and as such this should be clearly stated in the BellBoard submission. At minimum, you should report that the performance was rung using key presses (unless you were using handbell simulators as described above) and simulated bell sounds.
As Ringing Room has been gaining in popularity, we have had several bug reports (thank you!) and have started a list of known bugs and any currently available fix. This list is not exhaustive. Always try refreshing as a first start when dealing with a bug; it may be the solution!