Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Review: The SSF BAT2 Part 2 Of 2

The layout of the unit is pretty straightforward:

On the upper left, we have the On/Off Button -
Below that, the Enter Button -
On the right, we have the Up/Down Buttons; which are used for Volume and other functions -

This detector is powered by 4 AA size batteries. Any chemistry type can be used (Alkaline, NiMH, etc.).
Frequency range is 15-130kHz, in steps of 1kHz
It is equipped with a front-mounted, 1.5W speaker
Backlight brightness is adjustable, and it features an Auto Shut-Off - Which is fully adjustable, from 1 minute to Infinity.

I like the overall design, my only wish would be to make it smaller (if possible). At the same time, it must be realized, that packing all of these features into a smaller device... would not be easy!

Alright! Let's discuss some of the helpful features (the features that I like) on the SSF BAT2 -
(I really enjoy using this unit!)

* The audio-out jack, referred to in the documentation as 'Earphone Access'. Since I like to do a lot of un-attended recording; this is an important feature for me. When in use (using a 3.5mm stereo cable) the speaker is disabled.

* The (always visible) battery status indicator. This battery icon displays 4 levels of battery condition.

* The volume setting display.

Uncommon features of this bat detector:

* The frequency button - Which (among other things) functions to instantly tune the (main) heterodyne portion of the detector to the (FD) detected/displayed frequency. Neat!

Since we're on the subject of the frequency button - It can also be used to select one of four fixed frequencies. 3 frequencies are programmed (from the factory). 20kHz, 40kHz and 45kHz. The fourth fixed frequency space is left blank (000); you program a frequency of your choosing.

* The bat spectrogram display! Cool!

The SSF BAT2 uses a special microphone element (see Page 10 of the User Manual) which has an enhanced frequency response. And, a special Pre-amp is utilized in the circuit. Very interesting.

I believe that pretty much sums it up, for now. I would highly recommend this unit, there's no denying that it is fun to use!

Happy bat detecting!


  1. I was able to use an SSF BAT2 this evening on a bat foray and I'll have to reiterate what Al says about the unit. The sensitivity is excellent and the loudspeaker can be turned up very loud which is great for interpretive programs with large crowds. This unit is very easy to use which is great for a beginner. I've used a BB3 Duet before and tuning in myotis calls to any degree of accuracy on the dial can be challenging given the lack of a strong CF component. This detector does a really nice job of grabbing the peak frequency of myotis and giving you the freq number. 5 stars.

  2. Thanks very much for your comment Matt!
    I recently had an inquiry from someone trying to decide between the SSF BAT2 and the BatBox Duet. They are both nice detectors.
    I have not had the opportunity to test/review the BatBox Duet - However, I've heard nothing but great things about it's performance.

  3. I was given one of these detectors for a Christmas present & now that bats are starting to show up again, I'm curious how to use this device. I have never used a bat detector before. You know of a video or book that explains how a beginner should start using this or if not can you walk me thru the baby steps of getting started?