Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Review Of The USD6 Detector - From YS Design in Japan

The USD6 Bat Detector, from YS Design (in Japan) is a heterodyne type detector. The current cost, is 14,800 Yen (approximately $194.00 US dollars + Shipping). It utilizes a Knowles MEMs microphone element, and as you'd expect: It's very sensitive! I really like the layout of the controls and knobs. They are all labeled, as you can see from the various photos (from the YS Design Web pages).

This detector uses a standard 9v / PP3 battery. I like the fact that the designer uses a heavy-duty, hard plastic 9v battery snap top. Battery life on this device is wonderful: I was able to monitor bats for almost 4 entire evenings; before having to replace it. And, that was using the regular (standard) Alkaline battery provided. It wasn't even a "name-brand" battery. So, imagine the mileage you'd get with a Duracell!

The speaker is mounted behind the unit, but does not hinder the hearing of sound in any way. Indeed, this detector provides all the audio you would want and more.
The USD6 also features a Tape Out jack (3.5mm); so you can hook up a (voice-activated) recorder, for un-attended recording of bat passes. As many of you know: That's my favorite part!

The unit covers the ultrasonic spectrum, from 10 to 73kHz. Manual tuning is done by pressing the small (front mounted) red button, until the red dot appears in the lower right-hand side of the display: Then, you can release the button, and turn the Frequency knob to your desired frequency. Trust me: It's much easier than it sounds! The only negative I can report, is that you need two hands to operate it (change frequency). Again: Pressing the small red button, on the front, "enables" the Frequency Control Knob.
The other neat "feature" I like, is how the MEMs mic element is recessed into the metal cylinder. It's great, because it's well protected down there...and I also like the way it illuminates red when the unit is powered on. I can't say for sure whether it was intentional or not...but it looks cool!
As I type this, YS Design Studio is working on an English-version of the User Manual. It will be available soon (most likely, in PDF format).
It is fun to use, very sensitive and looks great!
See the short video, attached - It is simply a video of the inexpensive (mono) recorder I used, to make an un-attended recording tonight - I just wanted you to hear the (recorded) output.

You may contact Mr. Sugimoto, via e-mail, at E-Mail YS Design

Happy bat detecting!

...I must apologize for the lousy video quality, but the digital camera I had to hand, just happened to be my oldest one : ( I'll be sure to use my good camera, for future videos...

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