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Friday, June 10, 2011

The NEW Batscanner from Elekon! Part 2 Of 3

Well, the good news, is that I'm now the happy owner of a brand-new Batscanner from Elekon.
The bad news, is that it will be raining here for the next 3 nights! : (

Since I'm currently unable to write one of my regular, full reviews yet (with no bats on the wing); I'm anxious to share what I can, about this new detector. So, this is Part 2, of a 3 Part post.
Part 3, will be a full review of The Batscanner, along with a performance report, of how well it picks up bats, etc., etc.  : )

Let's see...As I stated, in Part 1 - The unit is sensitive! One can immediately tell how sensitive it is, simply by powering it on, and rubbing your fingers together in front of the microphone. The microphone on this unit, is the now popular MEMs type. When in the field (without any man-made or electronic interference nearby):
Pressing the power button will cause the unit to display three dashes " - - - " on the (green) LED display.
In contrast to powering it on indoors, where it will latch on to whichever electronic signal that reaches it first.
As you can see, in the photo below:

The above photo was taken very close to a WiFi router and laptop computer, so...

As you can see, this unit fits very comfortably in the hand! It also seems to fit in just about any pocket. The unit simply displays the last frequency that was detected; until a new bat flies by, within it's range. I believe this is a clever arrangement. It is also useful, in case you weren't looking at the display during the bat pass - You can just look down & see what the detected peak frequency was.

For now, the only "nit-picking" I can do, is in regards to battery changing. You do need a small Phillips head screwdriver in order to remove the 2 small screws that hold the battery door in place. But, as far as I'm concerned this arrangement isn't too bad. My minor issue, is that you need good dexterity to properly insert the batteries. It's a slightly tight fit. I've found an easy method: Always insert the (+) positive side of the battery first, then the (-) negative side will slide in easier. Another issue of concern, is that the unit seems to power itself off, after about 30 minutes of inactivity. Not very good for un-attended recording! It seemed to have powered off at least 4 times during the night (I kept checking it, of course). I needed to press the power button, to turn the unit back on. Hmmm...I'll have to look into this further; and possibly contact Elekon.

I've always used NimH re-chargeable batteries, in all my bat detectors. This one is no different. Many years ago, I learned (from the R/C toy hobbyist "community") that Sanyo brand batteries were tested & found to be the best performing batteries of all. So, I try to buy them whenever I can. Battery usage for this unit seems good. Luckily, there has been very little rain this evening - I've installed 3 newly-charged AAA (Sanyo) batteries, and I've already picked up some bats (using the BatBox Baton). The Elekon Batscanner was set-up, right by it's side : ) I've just finished going through those recordings. And, it seems that the Batscanner was unable to produce any good recordings yet... I'll need to find out why that is.

Here is a quick pic, of the two digital voice recorders in use, along with one of Sanyo's latest batteries; called 'eneloop' -
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These Olympus recorders are both set to use the 'VCVA' (voice-activated) recording feature. Finding the correct combination of volume setting on the new detector and the VCVA setting on the recorder (on the right) has proven to be quite frustrating.

So far, I like this detector! Stay tuned for Part 3 of the Elekon Batscanner testing.

Click here for Batscanner From Elekon Review Part 3 Of 3

Happy bat detecting!

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