New bell system, sound at CHS

Freshmen+in+American+Studies+wait+for+the+bell+to+sound%2C+sending+them+to+nutrition+break.

Lilli Braun

Freshmen in American Studies wait for the bell to sound, sending them to nutrition break.

Karin Juhl and Lilli Braun

The bells at CHS have been updated, but have they been upgraded? The new bell sound and system have become a conversation piece as of late.

The original bell system was in dire need of repair. Over time, the clocks in each classroom began to lose synchronization. And the bells rely on the clocks in order to go off on-time. In addition, this old system made it hard to add new clocks into the system.

This year, the outdated wired system was replaced with a newer wireless one to allow for more flexibility.

Along with a system update, the sound signifying a period’s end has also changed. While an audio file of the old bell sound could have been used, it would have taken some time and thought to connect it to the new software. So a new sound was selected instead.

“Really we can program the bells to play whatever sound we want. The current sound is just one I found that sounded the closest to a simple bell sound,” said Mr. Kip Enneper, the district’s network administrator.

While the old tone generator is still operational, the new and old systems are very different. The older system has more triggers and hardware while the new system is software-based.

“I prefer the new sound because it is less obnoxious,” said senior Devon Schneider. “I think it was only changed due to technical difficulties, but I believe it should have been changed.”

In addition, the bell software had to be correctly wired to the paging system, so they would play over the correct speakers.

“I think the bell is all right. It gets the job done, which is all that really matters,” freshman Savannah Peterson said. “If there would be one thing I would want to change about the bells, I would say making them louder.”

The old bells had been controlled by a program called Raspberry Pi, a computer programming board with many different uses. Mr. Enneper wrote a script to play the sound file at the beginning and end of every period.

“Something as simple as ringing some bells is actually a much more complex process than one would think,” Mr. Enneper said.