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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Review: Brand-New Stereo Batscanner From Elekon AG Part 2 Of 2

Review: The new Stereo Batscanner - Scanning bat detector from Elekon Part 2 of 2

The current User Manual, is a straightforward, one page document (now available in pdf format Here). It is currently available in both the English and German language.

I'll admit, I do not have a lot of experience using Stereo bat detectors - But - Testing Elekon's new Stereo Batscanner (on a recent field trip) was a real pleasure.

I was pleasantly affected with this new Stereo Batscanner, right from the start. Having a sensitive, high-quality microphone on each side of the unit, makes it twice as hard to miss any foraging bats.

An FG Knowles Mic on each side (Port & Starboard):

Above the detector in this Pic, is a (high-quality) right-angle stereo adapter. Along with a (shielded) Stereo patch cable (for connection to a recording device). Both are 3.5mm.

The 3.5mm audio output jack, is located at the front & center of the bat detector. A right angle (male-to-female) stereo adapter (like the one pictured above) may help to keep things neat. These may be found/purchased separately, 
As many are already aware, The FG Knowles microphone element(s), such as those used in The Stereo Batscanner are rather robust. In other words, they are quite tough. Their small, dainty appearance might lead one to presume they are delicate - But, this is not the case. Even so, I rather wish there were something there to protect the Mic...Perhaps a thin circle of (acoustically-inert) Felt/material.

There is no denying, that the Stereo Batscanner is unique. The only other (popular) Manufacturer producing stereo bat detectors, is Ciel (in Germany).

The Batscanner Stereo (in the dark)
  
In use - The best description I can offer, in one word is: Pleasant. I envision experienced Bat Workers enjoying the sounds of bats foraging, in stereo. In heterodyne mode, mind you; considered by most (experienced bat listeners) to be the most pleasant mode in which to listen. I'll take this opportunity to remind the reader, that even with the year 2015 approaching, there are still those who enjoy the simple pleasure of listening to bats. In heterodyne mode.
Have a listen yourself, to a quick & easy recording I made below:
(The Stereo Batscanner was connected to a Tascam DR-08 via a stereo patch cable)

Can you tell which direction the bat is flying from? 

The point is, that this detector is of value to both the Hobbyist (who, for example) may not be overly concerned about which direction the bat began it's flight from -To- The Professional, just starting out (with Surveys, etc.) -To- The seasoned Professional, who will be able to easily confirm the bat's direction of flight. -Or- even an individual who prefers to use it outside of work; just relaxing in the back garden. I'm sure the market for potential owners doesn't end there...

Pros -
  • Stereo!
  • No tuning needed - Scanning Heterodyne.
  • Wonderful, small size - Fits in a pocket!
  • Relatively long battery life.
  • Easy to record from, for unattended monitoring.

Cons -
  • Slightly higher price than some other detectors.
Thank you, to Elekon AG, for the loan of the new Stereo Batscanner.
I understand, that there have been a few (minor) improvements made, since the very first prototype was released. Perhaps I'll be re-visiting one of the very latest (full-production) Stereo Batscanner units in the future?

In any case, I am planning to add more recordings -and- a couple of sonograms to this post, in the near future.

Until then...
Happy bat detecting!

Up next, will be a Review of The New SMZC Songmeter platform from Wildlife Acoustics.
Followed by a Review of the new M500 USB Mic from Pettersson.

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