Mabel Release Notice / Change History
Mabel 1.0 was released in May/June 2009. There has been one update, version 1.0.2.
Users of Mabel 1.0 can upgrade to v1.0.2 only if their Mac runs
MAC OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard), 10.7 (Lion) or a later version of OS X.
Changes in Version 1.0.2 (14 Jan 2012)
In OS X 10.7 (Lion) Apple introduced a compatibility problem, which caused Mobel's
File>Open to misbehave. Version 1.0.2 avoids this problem.
For 20+ bells, place notation is changed to not use letter I for bell 20:
the 24 bells are thus 1234567890ETABCDFGHJKLMN.
This conforms to Central Council decisions.
The release includes a new version of the 17-24 bell method collection, with changed
place notation for Stedman 23. For those
upgrading from v1.0, the existing 17-24 bell method collection is preserved as
If the user has added any methods for which the place notation
includes 20th place or above, the user will have to edit the place notation themselves.
Updated the microSIRIL libraries.
There was a problem adding methods from the microSIRIL Treble Place method libraries.
This is fixed.
Mobel Release Notice / Change History
Mobel 1.0.0 was released in Apple's App Store on 26 October 2010.
For an outline of Mobel's facilities, click here.
Mobel 1.1.0 was released on 1 December 2010. The only significant change was
the additional option to get a score out of 10 for the user's striking.
Mobel 1.2.0 was released on 29 October 2013. It provided iPhone 5 and iOS 7 compatibility,
and a number of small improvements and bug fixes.
Mobel 1.3.0 was released on 18 October 2014. It provided iOS 8 compatibility,
and updated the microSIRIL libraries.
Mobel 2.0 was released 14 November 2016. It provided the ability to add compositions.
Mobel 2.1 was released 21 November 2016. It showed place bells in blue line listings.
Mobel 2.2 was released 6 January 2017. It allowed you to show the blue line for compositions (as well as methods), and to browse blue lines for methods in the microSIRIL library without first adding them to Mobel's library.
Mobel 2.2.1 was released 31 January 2017. It had minor improvements.
Mobel 2.2.2 was released 17 August 2017. It provided improved calls for some slow course methods (eg Julie McDonnell SC Minor) when you add them from the microSIRIL library.
Abel Release Notice / Change History
Many enhancements and some minor bug fixes have been made to Abel since its
first release on Windows on 3 December 1999. The various changes are described below
Option files and method collections created with any version of Abel are
not necessarily compatible with previous versions, so if you go back to a saved version of
Abel and use option files created with the newer program, you might get
an "Invalid option file" message. If this happens, Abel will use its built-in defaults.
Changes in Version 3.9.2 (10 Oct 2017)
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.
When you're ringing a bell with the Moving Ringers, Abel can now highlight
the bell that you have to follow.
When you're ringing a method with Abel, Abel can tell you your place bell
at the start of each lead.
When using manual call changes, Abel now speaks the change.
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
If you set up different start rows for Abel, these are now preserved the
next time you run Abel.
The User Bell Sound Delay setting (in the Ringing menu) is 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 the current option file.
You can now use the Port Monitor with external bells configured as Data in
Changes in Version 3.9.1 (Sept 2015)
The 'g' key now does Start if the bells are not ringing, and Bob if a method
is ringing, as well as the traditional Go if the bells are in rounds.
If you set Options>ExternalBells>SensorDelays>ApplyDelaysInSoftware, and are
using data connections (via an MBI), Abel no longer sends the delays to the MBI.
Removed the black title bars under bells in a circle.
Changes in Version 3.9.0b
A bug fixed: The CAS striking analyser expects upper case letters for bells 11, 12 etc,
but Abel was using lower case. Corrected it.
Changes in Version 3.9.0a
A bug fixed: in Abel 3.9, if you increased the number of bells by at least two,
then rang a bell yourself before clicking Start, you got a strange message.
Also, added one more item to the Learning Exercises method collection, and added a
Help page for the Learning Exercises.
Changes in Version 3.9
Major improvements to the striking review (press S after ringing). They are fully
described in the Abel Help (press F1).
If the striking display is turned on, after the simulator stops ringing
a striking score appears in the title bar of each manual bell (bells in a
circle now have a title bar).
If the striking display is turned on, the title bar of each manual bell now
shows an indication of striking accuracy for every blow.
Added capability to save striking data in a file suitable for input
to CAS striking analyser
(a free download), used in the National 12-bell Striking Competition.
For Moving Ringers in a crescent, added the ability to rotate the ringers to
put any ringer at the end of the line, without changing the relationship of
external bells to Abel's bells. Double click a ringer. This is important
only if you are ringing an external bell that is not mapped to bell 1 or 2.
Added the capability to speak bell number or position at every blow. Bell
position can also be spoken for manual bell(s) only: thus Abel recites the
blue line. See Ringing>Speak Numbers.
Added the ability to ring call changes called by bell place, rather than bell
Added a "learning exercises" method collection, with various "methods" used
in Learning the Ropes levels 2 and 3 syllabus and ART’s teaching toolboxes.
Changes in Version 3.8.0a
Some users felt the strike point of the Moving Ringers' bells was too late.
This update corrects it, and also allows you to set the strike point yourself,
via Abel's Options/Screen&Print.
Changes in Version 3.8
Version 3.8 adds a "moving ringer" display: a video-like display of
real ringers as they ring the simulated bells. When ringing with a tower bell or dumbbell
connected to the PC, ringers who are used to ropesight find
it easy to follow the ropes. Learners find it very helpful for learning ropesight,
initially while tenoring behind, and later while ringing inside. The ropes are normally
arranged as you'd see them in the tower while ringing: for example, if ringing the third,
the four is at (your) left and the two is at (your) right. Your own bell is at the edge
of the screen, and can be greyed out as you start to ring, thus not distracting you from
watching the other ringers.
You can also use the "moving ringers" while ringing from the keyboard, pressing
the 'ring' key when you want the rope to start moving rather than when you want the bell to sound.
However, without the rhythm of the bell rope to help, ropesight and good striking are
much much more difficult than they are with real bells!
To use them, click Options/Screen&Print Options,
then select one of the "Moving Ringers" sets of Bell Pictures. To control whether the
keyboard (or external bell) starts a user bell moving
or makes it sound, use the Ringing menu User Bell Sound Delay. You may also
wish to turn off View/User Bell Movement.
There are additional tower bell sounds, for Worcester Cathedral: see
For people configuring Abel to work with external bells, there is a Discover Ports button
that reports which COM ports appear to be be available.
Note that if you're updating from a version before 3.4.0 and want to use the
call change composition facility, you must download the
call change prompts
as well as the latest Abel update. You will also
need the extended voice prompts
if you want to ring call change compositions on more than 12 bells.
Changes in Version 3.7.0c
For 20+ bells, changed to not use letter i for bell 20: the bells are thus
1234567890etabcdfghjklmn for 24 bells. This conforms to Central Council decisions.
If the user has added any methods for which the place notation
includes 20th place or above, Abel displays warning messages when the user
opens the method collection, and the user will have to edit the place notation.
Changes in Version 3.7
Added smoothly moving ropes and handbells, with options for display layout
and control of when the user's bell(s) sound. To use them, click Options/Screen&Print Options,
then select one of the "Moving ..." sets of Bell Pictures. To control whether the
keyboard (or external bell) starts a user bell moving (the default for moving ropes)
or makes it sound (the default for moving handbells), use the last item in the
Added an option to scale the pictures of bells in a circle, making it easier to
pick out the treble, particularly on higher numbers of bells. It is turned on by default.
See Options/Screen&Print Options.
Added an option to use a large font for the blue line display. It is turned off by
default. See Options/Screen&Print Options.
Added higher definition rope and handbell pictures, for the benefit of larger screens.
See Options/Screen&Print Options/Bell Pictures.
When using up/down key mode for the user's bell(s), made the automatic Start
on first key-down be optional. See Options/Ringing.
This option is particularly intended for use with
Changes in Version 3.6
Added the ability to start a composition/method at any backstroke row: just double
click a row in the blue line display when the bells are not ringing, then click
Start/Go as usual. Good for practising those tricky bits in the middle!
Added the ability to use keyboard keys to rotate the bell circle, and to select
compositions and methods (for the benefit of those who are unable to use a mouse).
Use the Ctrl+B (bell), Ctrl+T (touch) and Ctrl+M (method) keys, respectively
to initiate these.
Updated the Abel Help system. It used to be based on the old Windows help system
(winhlp32.exe), which Microsoft no longer support. It is now based on compiled HTML.
Users will see some presentation differences, but the facilities provided are
basically similar. It requires Internet Explorer 4.0 or later (standard on Windows 98
and all later versions); a more basic HTML help system is available for the very few
PCs that don't conform.
Started using the NSIS installer for upgrades, rather than self-extracting zip files.
Changes in Version 3.5.3b
- Fixed a user-reported bug. When using a method collection containing methods with
varying numbers of bells (eg, the demo collection), if the user selected a generic
composition (eg, Plain Courses) AND selected a method with a different number of bells
to the default method for the collection (Rutland Major in the demo collection), then
if they closed Abel it would fail when they next tried to run it.
Changes in Version 3.5.3
- Added “AutoGo” option to RingingOptions: the ability to call Go automatically a number of whole
pulls after Start, AutoStart (including during ringing) and Rounds.
- Added the ability to browse a microSIRIL file, within AddMethod/GetFromMSLibrary :
just click the obvious Browse button in the MS method name dialog,
then you can browse the library and select a method from it.
- Added to Ringing Options an option for the bell keys (usually j and f) to operate on
key up/down (up for handstroke, down for backstroke), simulating ringing handbells.
Also, on the first down of a bell key, if the bells aren’t already ringing
(and AutoStart not clicked) Abel does a Start; aside from this, the initial
down of bell keys is ignored (to allow user to get to the initial “bells down” position),
and thus the user must join in at a handstroke. AutoStart works too.
After the start, AutoGo, see above, could then start the method a few rounds later.
NOTE: because of the way keyboards behave when you hold down several keys at once,
(a) this feature will generally not work for more than two manual bells;
(b) some other keys may not work if two manual bell keys are being
down at the same time (eg, GHI may not work if J and F are being held down) –
therefore if you want to press other keys (eg for Go), do this while at least one bell key is not pressed.
NOTE also that auto-repeat on the keyboard may have a bad effect on performance (rhythm) on slow PCs.
- When the user presses Return while focus is in the methods list, Abel
now changes method to the currently highlighted method (selected by single
click, then optionally cursor up/down or typing the start of the name).
- Made the Apply button in the external delays dialog come straight back into that dialog,
not into the parent external connections dialog (which isn’t even displayed again until user
exits from the delays dialog).
- Allowed use of Ctrl+R to clear/reset the striking records and stats during ringing,
at the next time when all bells are at handstroke (might be immediately, or not be for
a while if a bell is on the wrong stroke!). Added a corresponding button on the tower
control bar, and a menu item in the ringing menu.
- Allowed the user to declare in the Striking Dialog that a bell cannot be rung from
an external connection, to allow a learner to practice ringing a bell simultaneously
with a teacher without the learner’s bell affecting Abel. Like other controls on the dialog,
it has immediate effect; and it is not persistent across Abel restarts.
The Reset / Reset All buttons on the dialog do re-enable external ringing for the
current/all bells respectively; but the on/off and AllOn/AllOff radio buttons do not affect it.
While this facility would normally be used with the bell circle not rotated, note that
(like other controls on the Dialog) it applies to a logical bell, not a physical one;
thus the affected physical bell changes if the user does rotate the circle.
- Provided an option to do AutoStart without synchronising the ringing speed:
added an AutoSync checkbox to the ringing options dialog.
- Added an Apply button in the Sound Options dialog, so that users can start
the bells ringing then conveniently experiment with pitch, scale and bell sound.
- Added sound options to
(a) reduce bell volume relative to the prompt volume;
(b) reduce the volume of Abel’s bells relative to manual bells;
(c) do half muffled ringing at hand or back (by reducing the volume of one stroke).
These options affect live ringing but not replay of the striking buffer.
- Added an “All Calls” option for external switches, which if bells are not ringing does
Start; else if method is not going does Go; and otherwise, causes successive switch
presses to rotate around the available calls for the current method
(bob/single/callX/callY/plain/none; Plain and None are available for all methods).
- Lifted the documented restriction on use of cut/copy/paste work in the Add Comp dialog.
Abel now cuts/copies/pastes correctly within the composition, including handling of method IDs.
Cut/copy also put a copy of the selected characters from the composition on the global clipboard,
for use by other applications. Note that paste does NOT pick up from the global clipboard.
- Made mouse scroll wheel work in the blue line window and striking view (when the bells aren’t ringing).
- There have been a number of fixes of very obscure bugs, mostly never reported by users.
Changes in Version 3.5.2
- Some further limits have been changed so that Abel can now ring more bells (up to 24), and support
more COM ports (up to 8). Many modern PCs don't have COM ports, but you can now use the commonly-available
USB-to-serial converters to provide interfaces for Abel: these commonly appear as a port in the range
Changes in Version 3.5.1
- Abel can now ring longer touches - in particular, it can now ring
the then-record 50400 Treble Dodging minor peal that was rung on 2nd October 2004 (RW 15/10/2004).
Changes in Version 3.5.0
- It's now much easier to see the "line" of the method on the blue line display
- Abel now simulates not only bells tuned to a major scale, but also minor scales, other modes, pentatonic scale, whole tone scale and chromatic scale. And you can define your own scales too
- Abel now supports MIDI sound, either via external MIDI devices or through the PC speakers
- You've always been able to conduct spiced compositions by double clicking on the method list to change method. Now you can also use keyboard keys 1 to 8 to change to any of the first 8 methods in the list.
- In call change compositions, you can now have the composition continue to ring a change for longer than the normal interval, either because you like the sound of the change (eg, queens), or to give the ringer a rest
- After using the simulator (that is, with Abel ringing some of the bells) you've always been able to see a review of your striking. You can now do this when Abel has been used for "silent practice" too: that is, when people have been ringing all the bells. You can now use the S key as a shortcut to the striking review
- You can now replay the ringing, thus allowing ringers to listen again to their striking as well as review it on the screen
- You can save the record of your striking to a file, and can read it back into Abel later to review at your leisure
- You can also save a record of your striking in a "comma separated variable" file, which can be read by spreadsheet programs such as Microsoft Excel
- You can now configure a single footswitch to call "Stand" if the bells are in rounds, and "Rounds" if they aren't. This replaces the earlier Rounds switch.
Changes in Version 3.4
- Abel now lets you specify "Call Change Compositions" where you can
describes sequences of changes. Abel will call the changes using
verbal prompts, and can call either up ("two to three") or down
("three to one").
Note - if you download Abel to take advantage of this new
feature, don't forget to download the
voice prompts as well, and the
extended voice prompts
if you want to ring call changes on more than 12 bells.
- A "Duplicate Composition" option has been added to copy an existing composition. This is useful where you want to base a new composition on a current one without having to retype all of it.
- Error messages have been improved.
- Abel could sometimes speak calls after "Stand" had been called. This has been fixed.
- F4 now works as documented (it is a shortcut for RESET CONNECTIONS).
- A number of other minor bugs have been fixed.
Changes in Version 3.3.1
- The stereo sound separation of the bells has been reduced: previously, on higher
numbers, there was a tendency for bells to sound as though they came either from
the left or from the right, with nothing in-between.
- It was previously possible to lose a newly entered composition if
you changed to a different options file before saving the composition.
- The mono sound option now works properly.
- If the option file that Abel expected to use was missing, Abel would crash. This is
- Previously, if you clicked on 'Go' and then immediately on 'Stand', Abel would
say both "GO" and "STAND". This now behaves more sensibly.
Changes in Version 3.3.0
- A new print style has been added that displays just one lead of a method, with lines drawn through all the bells.
- For those of you who use one of David Bagley's multi-bell interfaces, an 'apply' button has been added
to the delays dialog to make it easier to try different delay values with your sensor setup
Changes in Version 3.2.1
- You can now save any rows displayed in the blue line window as a text file. This can be useful, for example, if you want to perform a musical analysis of a touch.
- You can change the circle of bells so that Abel rings them either clockwise (as normal) or anticlockwise.
- There is now a place notation display in the status bar that shows the place notation of the current change as a method is ringing.
- You can now choose to let Abel carry on ringing rounds until 'Stand' is called after a touch has come round, instead of automatically stopping after one whole pull. This is more realistic for tower-bell use.
- Abel can now ring 'random' compositions, where calls - including method changes, if you are learning spliced - are made differently every time the touch is rung. The frequency of calls or methods can be specified, so you can ring, say, 8 spliced but with proportionately more Bristol and London than Cambridge.
- You can now specify compositions that stop
automatically when rounds has come up a number of times. This means that
you can enter 240s of doubles, or quarters or peals of minor, that stop
automatically at the end of the composition.
- If you pause the ringing, Esc will now restart it.
Changes in Version 3.1.0
A number of improvements have been made to printing, and some new options added:
see the Options/Screen & Print Options dialog.
A command-line option has been added to Abel which allows you to choose an option file
as well as a method collection file.
This means you can now set up shortcuts on the desktop to (say) 8-bell methods
on tower bells, 10 bell methods on handbells, etc.
There is a bug in Windows 95, such that sometimes changes in the RI signal are
not correctly reported to Abel. This only affects you if you have externally
connected bells that use the RI signal of a serial port (pin 9 on a 9-pin connector
or pin 22 on a 25-pin connector). Abel has been enhanced to find a work-around for
this problem, and so you can now have up to 4 externally connected bells
per serial port.
A new option has been added to the Options/External Bells dialog that allows
you to set a debounce time of up to 100ms for incoming signals from externally
connected bells and switches (the debounce period used to be fixed at 20ms).
This is useful if you have (say) a simple handbell design that uses switches
and no circuitry, and can be used to prevent multiple rings of your bells as
the clapper 'bounces' against the switch contacts.