Last updated on or about June 17, 2010 (minor link updates February 2017).
I think wikipedia has a lovely chart, clear enough for even the meanest understanding: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ships_bells
I installed ship’s bells on my pc so that I (and the squeakers) could really get the hang of them. So, this is probably more than you wanted, but following are my comments from that endeavor.
Note: I’m including some clocks that I picked up from an earlier search for Westminster chimes. Also, all my “negative” comments are really neutral statements – these are all free applications and I’m not complaining, not even one tiny little bit. Also, it is quite possible that I made a mistake or that the authors have made updates since I checked.
In alphabetical order:
Chimer (www.blaiz.net seems to be overtaken; try download.cnet.com/Chimer/3000-2350_4-10774997.html)
A very pretty little clock for your desktop. I have kept it around for looks. However, it does not have a way to restrict times or select a chime wav file. Unfortunately, it does not do ship’s bells correctly (at least not the dog watches).
Citrus Alarm Clock (www.ornj.net/software/citrus-alarm-clock)
An elegant alarm clock application that was not intended to be used as a clock chimer. It fit the bill for me though (now we will see my obsessive nature come shining through), as I couldn’t find an application which (1) did the ship’s bells correctly, (2) allowed me to restrict the times, and (3) allowed me to specify the wav file for the ship’s bell. It only took me about 15 minutes to set up all the alarms and now I have complete control (ah ha!). I did have to download and use an application to create a wav file for 1 through 8 bells, but this also did not take very long and I was able to shorten the pause between double-bells (I hope I do not offend!).
DS Clock (www.dualitysoft.com)
A nice little clock that runs in your system tray. I configured it to display the date and time with a white font and no background which looks really nice on my dark background (which I just did a mental “hey …” because my background has been an ocean wave for the longest time, even pre POB).
Has Westminster chimes or you can specify your own wav files as well as restrict times to chime (but doesn’t do ship’s bells).
Ship’s Bells (www.nigelk.org/shipsbells)
“Being a No-Frills Java Program For the Striking Of Bells Of The Watch”. Displays with text the last bell that was rung (in case you weren’t paying attention when your watch ended!). Has much nicer bells (IMHO) than I have picked up elsewhere. Since the author was so kind as to put them in the public domain, I extracted them for use in the application that I ended up using.
Ship’s Bell (
Fred’s Place has closed down, but you might still be able to find the app elsewhere.
Runs in the system tray. If you bring up the Bell Control Panel, you can see the current watch and bells, plus strike the current bells. Also has other nifty features such as alarm clock and notes.
However, you can’t restrict bell times and I don’t think you can specify the wav file.
World Time (www.pawprint.net/wt)
Much more than most would want, I keep this around for the time zones. I’ll pass along the good advice of another lissun and suggest that you stick with version 5 as version 6 is buggy. It does restrict times and lets me modify the wav files, but I never could get the ship’s bells to strike correctly.
So in the end, I had 3 clock applications running in addition to my trusty citrus alarm clock. Which I should have just gotten a 30 minute sand timer and made one of the squeakers turn the glass and strike the bell!