Saxilby Ringing Simulators
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:
Saxilby Simulators support
Saxsim website last updated May 2023
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.