Thursday, September 5, 2013

What To Do During The Fall and Winter Months?

First, I'd like to point out that we will still have plenty of bats around (to detect and record) during the  Autumn months. Some diehard enthusiasts might be happy to know that certain species of trees bats have been spotted during the Winter months as well!
The main thing that I always do, and I also suggest this to other Hobbyists (each year) is to go through all of the year's recordings - Double-checking, identifying, and organizing.
I also plan to compile and organize some notes, etc. regarding the different (currently available) microphones; and related technology.

And, for those of us who are not Professionals (and don't have a tremendous amount of recordings) This may not be enough to keep ourselves occupied for all those months. If you fall into this category – then you might consider building a bat detector. The average DIY detector kits are easy enough to build (for someone who is moderately skilled with a soldering iron).
Basically, the only DIY bat detector kits I can heartily recommend, are those produced by Tony Messina.
There is the 'Simple Bat Detector' Kit - Which is a very neat (Frequency division detector). For listening in real-time, you need to use an earphone.
You may also produce some recordings (with some trial & error) using various digital recorders, etc.
I've done so (successfully) in the past, so...
There is The Bat Scanner kit (which may still be available).

But now, there is something brand-new out! From (another) collaboration between Frank and Tony.
It is: The ArduBat.

Now this is something a bit different. You'll need more than just a fleeting familiarity with building electronic kits. The unit is based on The Simple Bat Detector...But, goes on to the next level. The ArduBat is aimed at the incurable tinkerer - It is best suited for someone who loves building things, electronics -And- software programming. 
Yes, the unit is designed to work on top of an Arduino Uno mini-computer unit. Yes, this is where it gets interesting...
At the same time, this unique unit has a lot to offer those who do long-term monitoring/recording of bat activity.
I haven't ordered my PCB (Printed Circuit Board) yet...So, I cannot give you much insight into the whole "ArduBat experience" but, I plan to take on the challenge - And post my findings. For now, the best way to find out more: Is by visiting the very well-laid-out Website pages: Read about The ArduBat

Neat-looking device, eh? 

I'll add some more to this post, over the next few days. The fact is that a limited supply of PCBs are now on hand, in case anyone is interested. I'll be ordering mine shortly.
In the words of Tony himself:  "This is a project for those who like to program and hack on Arduino projects... non-programmers will likely not find the ArduBat as interesting."

Happy bat detecting! (and detector building!)

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