Campus Timing

Physical Plant Management Information Systems maintains several time synchronization systems on campus.

The first system is a radio transmitted GPS time code that is used to synchronize the Primex clocks on campus. The second system is called the Carillon and is responsible for playing half-hour and hour clock strikes, as well as other melodies at specific times of the day. The Carillon is also GPS connected and should always remain in sync.

Primex Clocks

Facts about Primex Clocks:

Primex clocks are used widely on campus and come in various styles ranging from analog to digital.


 The digital clock is showing the incorrect time - Notify PPM and include the location of the clock or clocks affected.

(Analog clocks only)

The second hand is double-stepping

The clock is unable to sense the synchronization signal or the battery is low.

This could also occur due to the physical location of the clock. Though the campus has multiple transmitter locations to ensure maximum coverage, due to the physics of radio waves, some locations are harder to reach. These include basements and heavily concreted rooms. If the clock is mounted too close to a steal beam (which maybe hidden within the wall), this could cause a 'shadow' of sorts from the radio time signal. However, if the clock was functioning normally in the same location until recently, chances are the batteries need to be replaced.

Please contact PPM to schedule a service call.

The clock is showing the incorrect time, but the second hand is moving normally

This can happen for several reasons: The clock was manually adjusted using the adjustment knob on the back, there was an error in the time sync signal, or the clock was configured incorrectly during battery replacement.

Contact PPM to schedule a service call.

The Carillon

The Carillon has an extensive history and is one of the many fixtures on campus that help provide a unique ambiance to California State University, Northridge. Originally received as a gift from the graduating class of 1966, at which time the campus was still known as San Fernando Valley State College, the Carillon, produced by Maas-Rowe, consisted of 54 bells and a computerized controller. In 1988, 98 more bells were added to provide the Carillon with a wider range of notes and tones. As of today, the Carillon features 222 bells divided into groupings based on their tones. The groups are: Clock strike, Major and Minor bells, Bourdon, Flemish and Harp-Celeste. The Carillon uses the Clock strike bell group exclusively for the half hour and hour clock strikes, then uses the other groups of bells to play any melody from either its memory bank or the attached organ style keyboard and pedals.


Are the bells really bell shaped?

No, the bells are actually tuned rods ranging in length and are struck by individual hammer-like solenoids. These rods are tuned by creating depressions, like cuts in a flute, along their length.

How is the sound captured?

The bells feature pickups, similar to those in an electric guitar to detect the vibrations from the individual tuned rods.

Does the clock strike begin exactly on the hour or half hour?

If it is a half hour clock strike, the initial sounds occur exactly at the half hour mark. For hour clock strikes, the initial sounds begin just prior to the hour so that the first indicator bell (the single bell tone that gets rung the same number of times as the hour) is first rung exactly on the hour.

Can the Carillon be disabled/altered during certain events on campus?

Yes. PPM MIS accepts Carillon schedule adjustments for special events such as Commencements and other formal ceremonies that may require silence. These schedule changes can consist of playing extra music such as the campus alma mater or other songs at certain times or playing nothing and silencing the bell strikes during a given time. Please contact PPM to request changes to the Carillon.

What is the current schedule for the Carillon?

The Carillon begins half-hour and hour clock strikes at 7 AM and ends at 10 PM, Sunday - Saturday. The Carillon also plays the campus alma mater at 11:50 AM and 6:50 PM, Sunday - Saturday, and a random song from its memory bank at 4:50 PM, Sunday - Saturday.

Where is the Carillon housed?

The Carillon is housed on the 2nd floor of Cypress Hall in a glass enclosed room, on the west bridge between Cypress Hall and Nordhoff Hall. Please feel free to contact PPM for a tour.