Club games with "RealBridge"

I don't know if this is the right forum for this question, or whether there is a right forum, but I promised I'd ask the question:

My elderly parents have got the hang of playing in BBO games, and they've recently started playing at a club that uses Real Bridge. They've managed to play most of the boards but every now and then one of them loses connection with the game and is unable to play a few hands. It doesn't seem to be a lost broadband connection or a computer freeze, as all other functions seem to be OK (I'm diagnosing this from a distance, so I can't be sure). They have two laptops, and it's the older model that is affected, although it's far from obsolescent. They want to know if the solution is to buy another new laptop.

Does anyone know if this is a common problem, and if there are ways to minimize the risk of it happening? Does using a particular browser help? Any advice of what to try would be welcome.

Comments

  • Are they unable to play at all during one of those periods, or just unable to use video and/or audio?

    If the latter, refreshing the browser with Ctrl F5 may well help. But if it's consistently the same laptop that could be the problem.

    The browsers recommended by RealBridge are up-to-date versions of Chrome or Edge.

  • Thanks, Gordon. I don't think it was just a failure of audio or video function. All action froze and they couldn't play any more cards (I think). I did suggest they try playing with the video switched off to see if it works better, but I don't think they've tried that. They were using Edge, and I presume it was the latest version.

  • I've an oldish Acer Aspire Timeline X which every now and again freezes. This was most awkward when playing bridge as restarts took some time. My solution was to replace the disk with a solid state one (done at the local shop). It hasn't stopped the freezing of the system but it means that restarting doesn't take an embarrassing amount of time. It's worked for me and means that starting and ending any session on the laptop is now much faster.

  • They were using Edge, and I presume it was the latest version.

    Always worth checking which version before considering a new laptop - RealBridge say that it only works with the new Edge not the old Edge. I know, I know... You can tell if you've got the new Edge by looking at the logo - here's the difference:

    https://myfopinion.wordpress.com/2019/12/11/microsoft-edge-new-logo-2019/

    Alternatively load and install Chrome or Firefox and try that instead.

    My regular partner trialled RealBridge and had a rotten time - he got stuck on the old table after each move and the sound+vision was painfully poor. Turned out his Chrome was badly out of date and needed fully reinstalling - all good now.

  • Thanks very much for your suggestions. It might be reassuring to them that they're not the only ones having trouble. I'll do my best to put your ideas to work.

  • I had a thought the other day that I don't expect to work, or someone cleverer than me might have suggested it. If a particular laptop is losing contact with BBO or Realbridge frequently, could it be the wifi link to the router that's at fault, and would connecting it with a cable be likely to improve the situation? Does anyone know about such things?

  • Yes, an ethernet connection should be stronger than a wi-fi connection.

  • They can test whether it's the wi-fi connection when they're on BBO/RealBridge by:
    * Shortly before the start of the duplicate, open a second tab (or window) and go to a different website on it - say BBC News.
    * When the BBO or RealBridge connection seems to fail, go to this BBC News window and click on a story, then another and another.
    * If these News stories don't load up then you've confirmed that the wi-fi connection is at fault.

  • I did think of that too, Usually, but I'm pretty sure they don't lose their wifi connection completely. Is it possible the link could be just weak enough to break the connection with BBO transiently, without losing their internet connection completely? I'm thinking that if the wifi signal cut out for a second or so, that might boot them off BBO and make them have to log in again, but might not cause any noticeable interruption if they are reading the BBC news online.

    I may be talking nonsense, I just don't know enough about how wireless signals, receivers and connectors work. They're going to try the ethernet cable next. Thanks again.

  • I tried several times with a plugged-in ethernet cable tonight - BBO tolerated nearly ten seconds interruption.

  • Excellent, thanks for that, it sounds promising.

  • Reading back, my last comment is rather ambiguous - here's what I was trying to say:

    I tested simulating connection breaks by unplugging my ethernet cable several times. BBO tolerated nearly ten seconds interruption keeping me logged in - after about ten seconds it decided I had disconnected and logged me out.

    So I'd expect that momentary wi-fi interruption of a few seconds should not result in BBO disconnection.

  • Using the ethernet cable they've played complete sessions on BBO and RealBridge without interruptions, but are thinking of getting a new laptop anyway. They want to know if there are any specifications they should look for (in terms of RAM and processor speed, etc.) to ensure problem-free online bridge. I would have thought any modern run-of-the-mill machine would be adequate, but does anyone have any recommendations?

  • Temporary inability to see or hear one of my opponents in RealBridge.
    I joined a Realbridge duplicate session as East yesterday and for the first 2 rounds I was unable to hear or see my South opponent. My partner and North were both able to see and hear everyone and my South opponent could hear and see everyone including me. I logged out of the session and refreshed my audio /vision using the eliptical arrow button to no avail.
    I have a new Dell Inspiron top spec laptop and use the Firefox browser with good wi-fi connection. I am guessing the problem lies with the 2 Souths who were both using i-pad minis that were about 3 years old and possibly using too much bandwidth. However it is strange that the other 2 members at the table could see and hear South.
    I'd be grateful for any suggestions as to why this should happen and how to solve the problem

  • It sounds as though you have tried the first things we would have suggested. Did you try using a different browser? That sometimes helps.

  • Thank you Gordon. That's worth a try if it happens again.
  • I suggest you email the Realbridge support desk. They are very helpful and RB have done lots of testing with different devices and browsers.

  • Thank you very much Mick. A great idea!
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