Friday, April 18, 2014

First BIOS Update For SM3BAT! -And- The SM3 Configurator

From Wildlife Acoustics: The 1st Firmware Update for The SM3BAT! -And- The SM3 Configurator

Some time ago, I promised myself, that I would re-double my efforts to make my bat detector reviews shorter (in length of text, etc.). I also convinced myself, that I should do away with the 3-Part "essay type" reviews...
But, then a bat recorder like The SM3BAT comes along...And, here I am - Revisiting it, after the completion of a 2-Part Review.
What can I do? I really have no choice (the way I see it), I need to share as much information with you as I can.
In the case of certain bat recorders, I sometimes feel that I could easily write a book about them exclusively. It appears that such is the case with the SM3BAT... 

No, there won't be any 'Unofficial User Guide to The SM3' written...Not by me, in any case! As with any piece of electronic equipment, the owner will naturally become adept at utilizing all of it's features over time.
However, you can expect to see quite a few more Posts, with The Song Meter SM3BAT as the subject.

Another "News Flash" - The price of the new Song Meter 3 kit is not as high as some others have been advising... It is only $1598! (in U.S. Dollars, when ordered directly from Wildlife Acoustics). This includes The SM3BAT, one microphone, and cable. So, it is a competitively priced, World-class bit of kit, with excellent specifications.
Those  outside of The U.S., may compare prices from quite a few Authorized Resellers (depending on where you live). 
Wildlife Acoustics has just released a new firmware update for the SM3BAT. For owners of this platform, it may be downloaded Here.
Now, this (1st) firmware update hasn't been made conspicuous, it has not been announced all over the place, or even announced in their e-mail Newsletter - Presumably, because it is only of interest to owners of The Song Meter 3 platform; which, at this point in time, cannot actually be that many. However, I expect this to change soon!

I went ahead and updated the SM3BAT, with the new firmware (SYS1-0-7.SM3). I'm happy to report, that it was very easy. It's a matter of: Simply downloading/copying the (small) file to the root of an SD memory card...For the sake of convenience, I've pasted the complete Instructions from their Web site below:

"To upgrade the Song Meter SM3 firmware:
  • 1. Download the SYS1-0-7.SM3 firmware file.
  • 2. Copy this file to the top level directory of a flash memory card.
  • 3. Insert the flash memory card into Slot A of the SM3.
  • 4. Go to the "Utilities->Firmware Update" menu.
  • 5. A list of available .SM3 files will be displayed. Use the "Up" and "Down" buttons to scroll to the desired firmware file and press "Enter". You should see the following messages:
    Upgrading... Upgrading Complete! Rebooting...
  • 6. Repeat steps 3 through 5 for any other SM3s you wish to upgrade."
(As an added convenience, the link in Step 1 above, will allow you to download the firmware file directly)

As for observations of a post-updated SM3BAT: I don't have anything to report. I'm sure it was just a minor update. As of yet, Wildlife Acoustics have not provided a Changelog. My guess, is that the changes were too minor/brief to warrant the publishing of a Changelog, etc.
However, as always - I welcome all firmware updates with open arms: I enjoy seeing the developments, improvements, and even the "cosmetic" changes.

The SM3 Configurator

The SM3 Configurator is nicely covered (well-explained) beginning on page 33 of The SM3BAT User Guide. Chapter 5 includes a short introduction as well as the Link for downloading and installing the software. Also works on Apple Mac OSX computers.
It's a great little application, and is very useful. It basically gives you full, detailed control: Over all the functions, settings and options of the Song Meter SM3.
There is excellent advice on how to create your own (simple) Program, on Page 35. More advanced Custom Programs are covered beginning on Page 39. In short, there are plenty of customizations available even for the most discriminating of deployment plans.

Here is a typical screen capture:

The settings could use a bit of optimization in this example

Happy bat detecting!

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