Real Range Bars and Custom Time Charts on Metatrader 4


Feb 9, 2024
Real Range Bars and Custom Time Charts (RRBCTC for short) uses real Tick data to create custom Range, Time, Renko and Volume bar charts for MT4. Tick data use is RRBCTC unique feature, which allows highest quality charting of current and historical price movement. Custom inputs provide option to create range bars with sizes from 0.1 pip all the way to 100+ pip and time bars periods from second all the way to a month. Charts are updated with new data in real time, allowing user use of MT4 indicators and advisors (EA). RRBCTC greatly extends MT4 native charting options.

MT4 by default only provides 9 time periods for displaying market movement. This limited options are simply not good enough for quality market analysis. Even if you were to purchase one the range, renko or custom timeframe creation tools available to extend MT4 charting options, such tools would still be limited by MT4 build-in restrictions. Existing tools create there custom charts by extrating data from 1 minute time chart, a method which does not allow for accurate construction of bars. Faulty chart data leads into inaccurate analysis and improperly placed trades. As former user of charts created in this manner, I have a lot of experience and knowledge with how inaccurate such data realy is.

RRBCTC was created to solve this problem, by importing tick data and use it to build every (real) bar piece by piece. This process is done so quickly and efficiently, that as a user you want be able to spot a difference between ordinary MT4 chart and a RRBCTC custom chart. Not only does RRBCTC provide you with quality data, it also combines all different charting options into one indicator, eliminating need for any other tool. Create any custom range, time, renko and equal volume charts you can imagine. If you have ever wanted to use some odd time period, like 7 min 30 second, now you can. Beside chart creation, RRBCTC also provides chart management accessible through on chart user interface. Functions, like opening new custom chart and switching periods are designed to make life easier for the user. Continuous chart updates, make charts suitable for live trading and for use with any standard indicator or EA. Simple put, RRBCTC was designed to be the last chart creation tool for MT4 you will ever need.

  • External component - RRBCTC uses external component to retrieve tick data it needs to build charts. Default external component for RRBCTC is called Data Extractor (DE) and is available for free on MT5 market. Experienced users are free to import tick data trough the use of there own tools. DE is free MT5 tool which can be used on any demo or live MT5 account to process and save data RRBCTC needs to function at full capacity.
  • Work modes - RRBCTC can operate in 3 different work modes. Live (MT4 only) mode creates charts from data it collects in real time from MT4. History (DE MT5 only) mode uses only external data to create charts. Combo (DE MT5 + MT4) mode uses combination of live data from MT4 and data from external component.
  • Custom input and predefined sequences - Through use of custom input, user can define sequence of values which will be used to create charts. Custom sequences provide user the ability to create only charts it needs and under conditions he chooses. RRBCTC also has a selection of predefined range and time sequences, for users who do no want or need to use custom input.
  • Custom Range chart creation - Range bars consider only price, thereby eliminating time from the equation. RRBCTC allows user custom selection of range bar size, starting from 0.1 pip (1 pipette) all the way up to 100 pip or more. Smallest increment is 0.1 pip (Example: 1.2, 1.3, 1.4 pip and so on). Values in pipettes are available for instruments using extra decimal (most of them do).
  • Custom Time chart creation - RRBCTC allows user custom selection of timeframe size in minutes or/and hours, starting from 0.02 min (1 second) all the way up to 720 hours (30 days). Smallest increment is 0.01 min. Scientific decimal system is used for time values (3.5 minutes = 3 min 30 sec)
  • Custom Renko chart creation - Renko are bricks created at 45-degree and filter out minor price movements. RRBCTC allows user custom selection of renko bar size, starting from 0.1 pip (1 pipette) all the way up to 100 pip or more. Smallest increment is 0.1 pip. (Example: 1.2, 1.3, 1.4 pip and so on). Values in pipettes are available for instruments using extra decimal (most of them do).
  • Custom Volume chart creation - Volume bars are all created with the same amount of tick volume and represent price movement within that volume value. RRBCTC allows user custom selection of volume bar size, starting from 1 unit of volume all the way up to 100000 units or more. Smallest increment is 1 unit of volume.
  • Tick chart creation - Tick bars are minimum measurement of price change. RRBCTC allows user display of tick bars, which changed price value.
  • Real time chart update - Opened charts are continuously updated (around 20 times a second), displaying new data and allowing MT4 indicators or EAs to function just as they do on regular MT4 charts. User will not be able to notice any delay in market movement.
  • User interface - Build in user help and interface. There are 2 versions of on chart interface, the first is displayed on the chart indicator was attached to and shows help, close and open chart buttons. Second interface is attached to every custom chart opened and provides user with information about the chart and option to change chart period directly.
  • Chart management - User can choose to use RRBCTC in more manual way or to leave chart management to auto function. In automatic mode RRBCTC will manage charts online/offline state and save data if needed.
  • Error prevention - Integrated user error prevention functions, which should handle most potential user errors.
  • Compatibility - Designed to work with all types of financial instruments, with automatic symbol recognition build in.

HOW TO USE RRBCTC and Data Extractor (You can also watch video tutorial!)

For full use of RRBCTC you must have demo or live account for MT5 and MT4. RRBCTC can be used without Data Extractor (DE), but its functionality will be limited. Only Live mode will work without it. Once you have downloaded RRBCTC for MT4 and DE for MT5, you must locate them in your terminal market indicator folder.

Recommended procedure on how to use RRBCTC:
  1. Open your MT5 terminal, select chart for a symbol, from which you want to extract data and drag Data Extractor (DE) on the chart. The only DE setting you might need to adjust according to your preference is called Period_in_days. This setting controls how many days of history data you wish to extract. It's recomended to leave this setting unchanged on your first use of RRBCTC. Other DE setting should never be changed (ignore them).
  2. Open your MT4 terminal, select chart with matching symbol and drag RRBCTC on the chart. Symbols in MT4 and MT5 must match, but they do not need to match perfectly. Some market data providers add there own identifiers in a form of a letter or word. RRBCTC is coded to recognize symbol despite this added identifiers. You as the user only need to match the symbol name. Example: EURUSD is the symbol name, sometimes symbol name get added identifier, which may look like this EURUSD-X.
  3. When dragged to chart, RRBCTC custom indicator properties window will open. Select Input tab and then adjust the settings in accordance with your preference. For best experience, please follow instructions stated in this product description or in the indicator itself.
  4. Once settings have been confirmed and properties window closed, RRBCTC will initialize. The length of this process depends on the quantity of data RRBCTC need to process. For most use cases this will only take a couple of seconds. On chart a user interface will appear, from which you can quickly open any of the custom charts.
RRBCTC has many user error prevention functions, so there is no need to worry about doing any damage to your existing charts or MT4 terminal. Example of such function: RRBCTC does not allow you to write over any of MT4 default timeframes (like M15, H1,..).

Video tutorial:

For more details about RRBCTC and how to use it, please look at the pictures, added video and read product description on the product page.

Please try a free demo, so you can experience using RRBCTC first hand.
If you feel like RRBCTC adds value to your trading, consider purchasing it.
I would also appreciate any feedback you can provide. If you have tested free demo or purchased the product, please post your questions, critiques and suggestions.

Links to MQL5 market product page of RRBCTC and Data extractor:

Pictures of custom charts:
Pictures of charts are cut for presentation, custom chart created by RRBCTC look and behave as normal Metatrader 4 charts:
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (recommended reading)
  • Q -> What happens with open custom charts, if user removes (closes) RRBCTC from chart?
    • A -> All opened custom charts will remain open. If setting Online chart mode is set to TRUE, then any open online chart will be set to offline state, before RRBCTC closes. If setting Online chart mode is set to FALSE, then charts will remain in the state user manually set them to. By default such charts are in offline state. Objects and indicators attached to open custom chart will be preserved.
  • Q -> What happens with open custom charts, if user closes MT4 terminal without removing RRBCTC from chart?
    • A -> On next MT4 terminal start up, RRBCTC will initialize and set open custom charts to state they were in before closing of MT4 terminal.
  • Q -> Can user switch between custom charts in the same way one can switch between timeframes on normal MT4 time charts?
    • A -> If setting Display period selector is set to TRUE, every open custom chart will have user interface displayed in the upper left corner of the chart. This interface allows user to switch between custom charts, without opening new chart. Interface displays information about current chart, a legend containing information about other custom charts and input field, where period of other custom chart can be entered. Simply click on the input, write period number of chart you wish to display and confirm input by pressing Enter or clicking out of input field. Chart switch might take a second to happen, this is because MT4 terminal does not prioritize this function. If setting Online chart mode is set to FALSE, all custom charts are in offline state. Period selector will not work in offline state!
  • Q -> Can RRBCTC be used for financial instruments, other than forex?
    • A -> RRBCTC should be able to recognize all symbols (even more obscure ones) and correctly build custom charts for them. There is a however a chance, RRBCTC might struggle with correct chart construction for some symbols. If you encounter such an example, please inform me, so that error can be fixed.
  • Q -> Can more then one RRBCTC run at the same time?
    • A -> Several RRBCTC can run simultaneously, but only one can be attached to a unique chart. You can even run 2 or more RRBCTC for one symbol, as long as they are attached to separate chart and periods used for saving custom charts don't overlap. If the periods do overlap, it is likely that will cause error.
  • Q -> How many custom charts can RRBCTC create?
    • A -> RRBCTC has no theoretical hard limit on how many custom charts it can create, but in practice the number is limited by the length of user defined custom sequence. There are 2 input lines, each can hold 64 characters, so 128 characters combined. The max value depends on the values inserted by the user, but on average you can expect RRBCTC to create maximum of around 32 custom charts. It's advised to only create as many custom charts as is needed. Maintaining custom charts, that will not be used, is a draw on resources.
  • Q -> How safe are RRBCTC created charts for live trading?
    • A -> Custom charts are as safe as the default MT4 time charts, provided user follows instructions. Live and Custom modes should be used for live trading, because they update current price values directly from MT4. History mode can also be used for live trading, but since it only uses external data, there could potentially be slight differences in price values. If you use quality market data provider, there should be no difference between values. Market data should always be the same, regardless of data provider. If you observe mismatch in charts, there are 2 potencial problems. Aither you have set up RRBCTC wrong or your market data provider has low quality data.
  • Q -> Is RRBCTC use of external data a potential safety risk?
    • A -> RRBCTC only uses data needed to construct charts correctly. This data is read-only and processed in very specific order. Any interference with this data would only result in error. RRBCTC does not collect, process or communicate any data related to user account.
  • Q -> What happens, if user applies template to custom chart and overrides previous custom chart content?
    • A -> RRBCTC was coded to handle such situation. Users are free to use templates to quickly move chart content to custom chart. After user applies template, RRBCTC will restore its custom chart user interface and leave content created by template intact. User might notice slight delay and chart switching to 1 hour (H1) period for a moment. This is normal and unavoidable part of how MT4 handles custom online charts.