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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Some Opinions & Info Recently Shared With Some Readers (Via e-mail)

I received a few questions recently, from some beginning Hobbyists; and others who are new to bat detecting equipment. So, I'm passing along some of the information I shared, and the suggestions I offered.

Detector Recommendations, Responses To E-Mails , And Other Tips:

The new SSF BAT2, is a fantastic detector, that has excellent sensitivity and range It's reasonably priced - And is a lot of fun to use! The review of this one, is still "in the works"...But will be posted up here soon. Have a look at this great unit (I love the display):


In regards to Dodotronic's Ultramics:

I believe that the Ultramic may be useful, for your application - For more info, in regards to the Ultramic, from Dodotronic:
You may also want to have a look at the Forum discussion that took place here: http://www.forumbretagne-vivante.org/t2751-micro-ultrasons-usb
A lot of the posts are in French - Just scroll down, until you see the post in English, written by Ivano of Dodotronic.
You'll have to disregard the mention of it's ability to do unattended recording - As this feature has not been implemented into the SeaWave software yet. In fact, that functionality may be added to the SeaPro software.
The Ultramics do need to be connected to a computing device of some sort. When hooked up to a laptop, netbook, or Tablet PC, the Ultramic works very well.
The way I see it, when it comes to the Ultramic - Is this: If you will be recording in a place where substantial numbers of bats are pretty much "guaranteed" (Pond, Lake or Stream/River) then; the Ultramic would be good. - But, it does pick up and record other ultrasounds as well. Any sound (or noise) that resonates in (or close to) the ultrasonic spectrum will be picked up.
It would not be my first choice for un-attended recording.

If your budget allows, I would recommend the D240X. As it allows you to listen to the both the Heterodyne, and the TE activity that is going on at the same time (using any stereo earphones). You can hear the Heterodyne sounds in one ear and the TE activity in the other, simultaneously. With a digital stereo recorder, you'd be all set.
I was very fond of that unit during my testing and review period. One of the things that I noticed, was the noise-free recordings I got (using the D240X & a Zoom H1 Stereo recorder). The TE recordings were very clean (no background noise). Even the heterodyne recordings were clean.

The D240X on bat walks - The neat thing is, you can plug the recorder into the Tape jack, to capture (record) any triggered events; -and- listen to the heterodyne portion over the speaker at the same time.
Folks in attendance, will be able to hear the live bat activity (while you are recording it). The speaker Volume setting has no effect on the recordings. Excellent.
The only issue here, would be the higher cost...
As I mentioned on a previous post: The very lowest cost I've seen them for, (New) was $1499 US.

The Ciel CDB 305 Dual Bat Detector looks OK - It's not a terrible choice. However, relying on the printed knob tuning won't be extremely accurate.

Something with a digital readout would be ideal (and accurate).
A unit like the BatBox Duet would be excellent, but it is not cheap -http://batbox.com/duet.asp

Having said that; if cost is a major consideration - I would recommend the following unit:
The BatBox Baton (an outstanding performer - and cheap!).
In any case, with a simple digital recorder - It's very portable. Try to get the shortest stereo cable you can find (with 3.5mm plugs on each end). You'll be able to travel all over (and all night) making FD recordings.
A blog post, regarding cables and other small accessories will be coming up in the not-too-distant future.
The resulting frequency division recordings produced, will be a good starting point - In regards to analyzing the calls and creating sonograms. And, let's keep in mind that the Baton comes with a CD containing the Batscan software! Which I like very much, for creating sonograms, etc. As a side note: BatBox Ltd.'s Batscan software is very similar to the (no-longer-available) Spectrogram 16 software.

The resulting FD recordings will be useful. And you'll be able to analyze them, etc.

Well, I hope that helps. I'm probably forgetting something!
Happy bat detecting!
-Al

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