Simulators are very useful in the early stages of ringing as you do not need a band of experienced ringers around you to practise ringing rounds. A mixture of ringing with real people and practice on a simulator is an ideal combination to get you up and running quickly. New ringers can perfect their rounds and leading with an open handstroke lead without having the embarrassment of making mistakes in front of other people!
If you are teaching one or two new ringers at a time, or your more experienced ringers want to come and practise on their own, you only need a single workstation. One instructor can easily cope with two pupils taking turns to practise.
The single workstation can make use of a projector to project onto a large screen to give large life-like images to help develop ropesight. Alternatively, a large LCD TV screen can also give life-like images. However, in practice we have found that after a short while ringers soon rely less on the screen and more on listening, so a standard 18-inch LCD screen is more than adequate.
Often it is the ringers who have been ringing for some time, and who have become conditioned to ringing by watching rather than listening, who need the comfort of the screen.
If you have more beginners, a multiple workstation set up may be more appropriate; several bells can be in use at any one time and different people can be practising separate things quite independently. All it needs is an additional splitter box or interface with the capability of sending signals to different computers and sets of headphones for each workstation.
With multiple workstations a small number of instructors can hold a 1½ to 2 hour intensive tied-bell session with a large number of students and each student can get a significant amount of ‘rope time’. Ideally the ratio of students to instructors should be about 2 to 1.
Single workstation with 42 inch TV
Two workstations separated by a shower screen from a six-bell practice