Frequently Asked Questions
What is the lifetime of a cast bronze bell that is being rung frequently? How can it be preserved?
Cast bronze bells can serve for centuries provided that they are rung properly. Today, electronic bell swing controllers guarantee that the clapper stroke impacts are kept within limits. They can do so by means of a digital feedback system that constantly monitors the bell’s swing amplitude.
Professional automation equipment and regular maintenance are very important. In fact, all bells wear out at their stroke points (i.e. where the clapper strikes) but, when they are rung properly, these signs of wear only come up after centuries. Historical bells can be restored by welding new bronze on these stroke points. Bell cracks often start at these spots, so it is better to prevent them. Antique cracked bells are always repairable. These kinds of restoration take a lot of experience (a special welding technique must be applied on the heated bell) but can result in a new 10 year repair guarantee. Please contact us if you want to know more about this subject. For this type of bell restorations, we collaborate with the German company ‘Schweisswerk Lachenmeyer’.
Can I remotely control my bells or my carillon by my mobile telephone?
Most of our bell controllers (APOLLO III, TEMPORA, Digital Bell System…) can communicate with a telephone modem (both mobile and fixed). Thus, if you call the modem, you can control the bells by simply pressing the keys of the phone. If necessary, there is a protection code to prevent improper use.
Your dealer can install a kit containing a modem in your master clock. Remote radio-controls that do not use the public telephone net are available too.
Automatic Daylight Saving Time – can the new schedule be implemented in my bell/clock controller?
If necessary, we can update its bell/clock controllers by entering new DST software which automatically executes the new DST schedule. The new software is to be entered by means of a non-volatile memory module that is plugged onto the controller.
For master clocks that have no internal DST algorithm, we offer a GPS solution.
Do a swinging bell and a stationary bell sound different?
Yes, there is an important acoustic difference. When a bell swings, the sound source moves in relation to the listener, which results in both a Doppler effect and a ‘bell mouth effect’.
The Doppler effect makes the pitch of the bells fluctuate along with the bell swing speed, which is typical for a swinging bell. A stationary bell can never generate this effect: even when the loudness of the strokes on the bell is varied, the frequency spectrum emitted by the bell is not modulated.
The ‘mouth effect’ or ‘ding-dong effect’ of a swinging bell implies that the listener hears a domination of higher harmonics (‘ding’) when the bell mouth is turned away from them, and a domination of the fundamental harmonic (‘dong’) when the bell mouth is pointing in their direction.