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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Review: The Batlogger M From Elekon Part 2 Of 2

Part 2 of 2 Review of The Batlogger M from Elekon

When a new bat detector arrives for me to review: One of the main things, that I always look for, is it's ability to detect bats at good distances. It just happens to be one of my major interests, as far as performance goes. It always has been my favorite "yardstick" in measuring performance. In years past, I didn't have access to the excellent locations that I do now (some excellent habitats are among them). Therefore, the majority of my bat detecting was done from home - a passive (overnight) monitoring situation. So, the ability to pick up bats at greater and greater distances became important to me.
And, I suppose old habits are hard to break... The point is, The Batlogger M is able to detect and record bats, from greater distances than any other device I've ever tested.
It's as simple as that. And I am well pleased. The interesting thing, is that at the same time - The unit will not record non-bat sounds. What we're discussing here, is a very unique instrument. I'd like to share a link; for those who enjoy reading more detailed/technical info. There are excellent graphs and explanations, of how just some of the features work: Batlogger M FAQ

In a side-by-side comparison, with the AnaBat SD2: During the course of one evening - The Batlogger M consistently picked up and recorded bat calls, while the AnaBat did not. These bats were at a distance of over 45 Meters, in this particular case. I believe these results are very telling!

Another major feature, that is amazing in and of itself - Is the built-in GPS. In a word? Wow.
I realize, that some view the GPS feature as unnecessary (especially well-experienced Bat Workers). But, I believe that generally, most appreciate having the feature. In the case of the Batlogger M, it really integrates very well. The GPS is efficient, and very precise. I quickly found out just how accurate the unit is: When I noticed that it basically "knew" which room of my home I was in! In addition, there is a integrated feature that knows which direction the Batlogger was pointed in, at the time of a bat pass. An electronic compass. Not only does this help make transects and other surveys extremely accurate; but it opens up additional possibilities (for future advances). You can get a glimpse of just what it's capable of, when working with Elekon's BatExplorer software (more on that in a separate post). 

Some things that I like:
  • It is comfortable to hold for long periods of time (Bat Walks, Surveys, Transects) 
  • The position of the microphone.
  • Front-mounted speaker provides plenty of clear audio.
  • The SD card is easily accessed - No screws, doors, latches, etc.
  • There are 5 different Trigger Modes to choose from.
There is the Standard (default) microphone
There is the Ultrasonic microphone FG Black 
There is the Extension Kit which includes the FG Green microphone

The best part, is that Roger Jones and Sally-Ann Hurry (in The UK) will be posting their findings in regards to these unique microphones, on Roger's blog in the future.  
I'm really looking forward to it!  Not only are they experts on the Batlogger detectors, but they have also been instrumental in getting some features and developments in place on the system. Keeping the communication flowing with Elekon.



Some things that I'd change:
  • I would like the unit to have a Date & Time feature that is independent of the GPS. In other words, not related to the built-in GPS. Currently, if the GPS is active - It will synchronize the unit's time via satellite. Some may welcome this feature (I don't).
  • Although the microphone is robust, and fairly impervious to all but exposure to water - I would still like to see a bit of foam (such as a tiny windscreen) just for added protection.
Well, although this is Part 2 Of 2 of the Review. I have a feeling that I'll be re-visiting this detector here again soon. Indeed...even as I type this, I realize there may be some things that I've missed... I'll also be completing a review of Elekon's free BatExplorer software.
And a few other things... 

Happy bat detecting!

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