What's New in Abel 3.9.2?
When using Abel for silent practice of ringing up and down, on tower bells with bottom-dead-centre sensors, Abel can now 'drop out' the backstrokes at the bottom of the raise/lower. You configure this in the Options/External Bells/Sensor Delays dialog.
When you're ringing a bell with the Moving Ringers, Abel can now highlight the bell that you have to follow. Tick Highlight Bell to Follow in the View menu. This is particularly useful when ringing with externally connected bells, or ringing from the keyboard with User Starts Bell Movement turned on in the Ringing menu.
When you're ringing a method with Abel, Abel can tell you your place bell at the start of each lead. See the Ringing/Speak Numbers menu.
When using manual call changes, Abel now speaks the change (eg, "Three to four").
When using the striking controls (right click a bell), you can now link the handstroke and backstroke controls together, so that changes to either affect both. Also, there are now two independent sets of striking controls: A and B. You can switch between them, to give quick comparisons of different striking errors.
Also in the striking dialog, the "Silent" tickbox, which you ticked to stop Abel sounding that bell, has changed to "Abel Bell", and you untick it to stop Abel sounding or moving that bell.
If you set up different start rows for Abel, these are now preserved the next time you run Abel (if it starts up with the same number of bells).
To avoid confusion about the User Bell Sound Delay setting (in the Ringing menu), it's now renamed to User Starts Bell Movement, and if you switch between static bells and Moving Ringers, the setting is restored to the value it had when last using Moving Ringers.
The Options/Save menu item now tells you the name of your current option file.
The port monitor, which previously showed information related to 'control' sensors, now shows information related to 'data' sensors too.
A few other minor improvements and bug fixes.
What's New in Abel 3.9.1?
The G key now does Start if the bells are not ringing, Go if the bells are in rounds, and Bob if there is a method going.
When configuring sensor delays for external bells, if you are using data signals (with an MBI) and set "Apply delays in software", Abel no longer sends the delays (or anything else) to the MBI.
What's New in Abel 3.9?
If you have the striking display turned on, you get additional feedback on your striking as you ring with the simulator, using a title bar for each bell, and a score out of 10 at the end.
There have been lots of improvements to the striking review: press S after ringing.
To help people learn to count where their bell is, Abel can now count bell numbers, or positions as it rings. It can also count the position just for the bell you ring, thus reciting the blue line as you go. It works for up to 8 bells. Turn it on in the Ringing menu (it is always turned off when you start Abel).
For Moving Ringers in a circle, added the ability to rotate the circle without changing bell mappings. This is important if you're ringing an external bell other than the treble or second: you want to be able to get your bell to the end of the row, thus giving the right perspective on the other ringers. Double click a bell to move it to the end. Single click the treble to restore normal rotation and mappings.
Added the ability to save striking data in Lowndes format, which can then be used by the CAS striking analysis software (available as a free download) used by the National 12-bell Striking Competition. Press Cltr-L to save a Lowndes striking file in Abel's Striking folder.
When you save a striking file, it is now held in an "AbelSim\Striking" folder within My Documents.
Added the ability to ring call changes by place number, rather than the conventional bell number. Thus "two three" swaps the bells in 2nds and 3rds positions.
Added a "Learning Exercises" method collection, containing various "methods" used in the Learning the Ropes training sylabus.
What's New in Abel 3.8?
The big new feature in version 3.8 of Abel is "moving ringers"; there are also some new bell sounds.
The "moving ringers" provide a "video" of ringers as the bells ring. If the PC is connected to silenced tower bells, or a dumbbell, you can get a real experience of ropesight as you practise with Abel. You can also try this from the keyboard - but it is much much harder than with real bells!
To turn this on, click the Options menu item, then Screen/Print Options, and change the Bell Pictures to one of the "Moving Ringers". You should probably click Long bell pictures shown in a crescent: "your" bell will then be at the right of the screen, with the other ringers arranged as you'd see them in the tower: for example, if you're ringing the 3, the 2 will be to the right, and the 4 to the left (or vice versa for an anticlockwise ring). If you click Long bell pictures shown in a line, all the ringers will be arranged in a line with the treble at the left hand end.
If you are ringing a bell connected to the PC, with a conventional sensor that tells Abel when the bell is to sound, you should click Ringing on the menu bar, and turn off User Bell Sound Delay; you will probably also want to click View and turn off User Bell Movement. If you are ringing from the keyboard, you can try to ring with User Bell Sound Delay and User Bell Movement turned on, pressing the J key when you want the rope movement to start rather than when you want the bell to ring - though it is extremely difficult to get good striking, and ropesight in methods is very difficult indeed, without a rope to pull!
Having changed Abel's options, you may want to save the new values: click on the Options menu item and then Save Options to save your settings in the current options file, or Save Options As… if you want to save to a different file.
There are also some new bell sounds with this version of Abel. If you click the Options menu item, then Sound Options, you will find you can select the sound of Worcester Cathedral bells. You may also want to set the pitch of Abel's bells to match the real bells.