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Saturday, April 2, 2016

Review: Baton XD From BatBox Ltd. Part 2 Of 2

Review: Baton XD From BatBox Ltd. Part 2 Of 2

As for the process of using it, it just doesn't get much easier - The Baton XD may still have just the one button. However, for those even vaguely familiar with the (simple) instructions: It's a piece of cake, really.
For instance, I would direct the reader, to Page 2 of The Quick Start Guide
The operation of the Baton XD is very straightforward. So much so, that an attempt to describe the graphical instructions, seems redundant. 



The unit is very accurate. As for the resulting spectrograms: They are simply lovely. And by that, I mean not only aesthetically pleasing, but very accurate as well. While testing the last few bat recording units, I have accumulated a lot of data... As a result, while testing bat detectors these days, I find myself deleting the majority of recordings - Including spectrograms. So, please bear with me, while I collect some (using The Baton XD) to post directly into this review. 

The weather here in New York, USA - Has just now become conducive to bat flight/activity. And I hope to have some spectrograms pasted here very soon...Along with other data. However, I would like to do more than just post spectrograms, as I've done in the past.

This year, I thought it would be nice, to provide night vision videos of the bats; as they are being recorded: Essentially giving Visitors a more accurate experience of each individual bat detector, while in use. It is also a lot easier to include video recordings of the bats in flight, than to include audio clips only.
Well, more on this later... 

Back to the subject at hand: The new BatBox Baton XD

What can I say about this new Baton XD? In my experience, it's proven to be every bit of a workhorse as it's predecessor. That being the original BatBox Baton; which I've owned and used, for years. Although, this unit is even more capable and versatile. When you're in a hurry: It's nice to have a (good quality) bat detector, which you may count on, on your way out the door. 
It's the type of unit, which is simply there when you need it.

As an analogy: It's very similar to the compact pair of binoculars, which a Birder "usually grabs on their way out the door". As you may know, avid Birders usually own quite a few pairs of binoculars. But, many of them come to realize (in time) that there seems to be one pair, which they always reach for - At a moment's notice. That is how I would describe The BatBox Baton XD.
A Hobbyist, and especially a Pro Bat Worker, is also likely to have many bat detectors at their disposal. Now, depending on exactly which, and how many they have available - Chances are, if they are in a rush, The Baton XD would be the one chosen.

Having made that statement, I shall go directly into The Pros & Cons of the unit:

Pros:
  • Simplicity - It may be operated without even thinking about it.
  • Small / Self-contained - Relatively easy to slip into a (large) pocket (if need be).
  • Sensitive / Accurate - It's general performance, is in a word: Impressive!
  • Great battery life.
  • Features ("real") Time Expansion mode.
  • Attaches to a cell phone / smartphone for recording, live spectrograms & advanced features.  
Cons:
  • Recording is not built in - An external device of some type must be attached.
  • The unit is somewhat directional, by design - Microphone cannot be expected to be effective at more than 180 degrees.
  • Microphone sensitivity not adjustable - Professionals may desire this feature.
In summary: I'll go ahead and state it - Many of you may already be thinking it: The Cons listed above, may seem a bit "nit picky" to some. Fair enough.
The fact is, I've had a relatively difficult time providing substantial Cons.
For example: The two settings for the volume (in FD mode) have proven satisfactory during my tests.
I happen to like the fact, that the microphone element is protected - Recessed into the built-in "horn" in front.
As previously stated, this (Part 2) component of the Baton XD review, will be updated. Spectrograms, etc., will be added soon.
In the meantime, as always, please feel free to leave Comments (or questions) regarding The Baton XD.
Happy bat detecting!