The Indispensible route to better ringing
Church bell ringing simulators have been around for a long time now and their use as an important training tool is widely accepted. Besides being great fun, time spent ringing on a simulator greatly helps development of both handling and listening skills and allows a person to get more practice (and with a perfect band) than can ever be achieved in a conventional practice night environment.
However, the vast majority of simulators are installed in bell towers and therefore stand idle and inaccessible most of the time.
Ideally, a ringer should have a simulator at home and be able to "ring a quick course/touch of something" whenever he or she wishes. Owning a Saxilby Simulator makes this possible.
The design of this piece of equipment has been developed and refined over several years and can be regarded as optimal in many ways:
Appearance: The simulator is finished to a very high standard of workmanship and comments have always been very favourable! A significant proportion of the 100+ hours taken to hand-build each unit goes on painting. The simulator comes complete with a top quality 24" sally bell rope developed specifically for this application.
Weight: The simulator is heavy enough to feel extremely realistic, but light enough to be mounted in a normal domestic roof space.
Size: The simulator is not so small as to seem unrelated to a small tower bell, but not so large as to present a problem finding a place to install it, for example, in an attic or a pitched-roof garage. A split wheel version is available to allow installation through a loft hatch.
Portability: The simulator can be easily dismantled and transported in a hatchback car (see Technical Info. page) A basic tool kit is provided with each simulator.
Installation: The simulator generates very modest forces during use and mounting it across two or three joists or roof trusses has been found to be quite adequate. A mounting kit and a smooth wooden ceiling boss are included with each simulator where applicable.
Set-up: The simulator is fully ready for plugging straight into a suitable PC or laptop running ABEL , BELTOWER or Virtual Belfry and comes complete with a strike-point sensor, 5 metres of cable, a 9-pin serial port connector and a serial/USB adaptor.
Ease of use: Ringers of all skill levels find this equipment extremely easy to use. The simulator can be hurried along to Minor or stroked along to Maximus with equal predictability and satisfaction. A person who has never touched a bell rope before can often ring unaided in less than 5 minutes.
Safety: The simulator is of robust construction and will not break under normal usage. The novel stay/slider arrangement is both silent and virtually frictionless in operation, while making it impossible for the bell to "go over the top" and pull the tail end through the ceiling. A spare dowel is supplied with each unit.
Cost: The simulator supplied as shown is being offered for sale at the lowest practical price taking into account the ever-increasing cost of quality materials and the large number of hours of labour. How to buy.
The size of the Saxilby Simulator has been optimised to allow proper, two-handed ringing with a proper, high quality bell rope, while maintaining an acceptable level of portability. This realistic and robust construction makes it an ideal tool for introducing the concept of bellringing to a wider audience. The modular design allows any number of units to be arranged together to form a pleasant, versatile, low cost ring. A couple of short video clips of ringing on the simulators can be accessed here and from the Denmisch Ring page of this site.
Saxilby Simulators support
Saxsim website last updated June 2021