Friday, October 10, 2014

Review: The AR125 From Binary Acoustics Technology

Review: The AR125 From Binary Acoustics Technology - A Re-Visit Review For 2014

So, I've actually written a (somewhat brief) 2-Part Review of The AR125 Ultrasonic Receiver before (approximately one year ago): 
Part 1 (2013)
Part 2 (2013)

Why a Re-Visit Review now? Well, there are two reasons:

1. After witnessing the wonderful performance of The MiniMIC from Binary Acoustic Technology, I began to wonder if there was something I missed (when I originally tested their AR125). After all, The AR125 Receiver is described (on B.A.T.'s Site) as having the ability to pick up bats at "...distances up to several hundred feet" 

2. I've decided to begin writing Re-Visit Reviews of several (previously reviewed) bat recording devices. I hadn't originally planned to begin with The AR125, it's just they way things turned-out.

The AR125 Ultrasonic Receiver is a directional bat detector, which utilizes a wideband ultrasonic element. It does not have an omnidirectional microphone.

Packaging is still the same:The receiver arrives very well protected. The unit itself (with handle removed) weighs in at almost 16 ounces.

The current price (direct from Binary Acoustic Technology) is $1095.
You can have a look at the spec sheet Here (PDF format).  

At first glance, some have said that it looks like the radar gun used by Police to catch drivers speeding. It's very easy to use, simply point it in the direction of suspected bat activity. It may be mounted on a standard Photo tripod, and aimed at any area of suspected bat activity.

The ideal buyer, would be someone who does roost surveys. But, of course, there are many other uses.
This product would be good for anyone who need to focus on a particular area, when making their ultrasound recordings.

With The AR125, the (ABS plastic) handle may be removed.
Now that I've reviewed two samples of this unit, I can advise, that the method of handle attachment may vary.

The unit is connected to your (PC-based) computing device, via (the included) USB cable. Installation of software and drivers is very straightforward, without any issues.
Once you're connected, you have control of a directional, ultrasonic microphone - Via a medium-sized (default) Dialog box.

Accuracy is very good, but sensitivity isn't as good as expected. In other words, when it records a bat - It will register/reproduce the sound faithfully. But, it doesn't pick-up (detect) as many bats as say...The new Pettersson M500 (which I've pitted it against several times).
The Pettersson M500 may be used as a directional bat detector, by attaching the small cone (provided).

I've always "got to call 'em as I see 'em". And, lately, I've had to report some harsh realities here on the Blog. There's a limit to how diplomatic I can be.  

Pros - 
  • Accurate.
  • Very good rejection of non-bat sounds.
  • Very convenient to mount and aim.

Cons - 
  • Only records strong bat calls.
  • Pick-up pattern is very directional.
  • Range is not nearly as far as advertised.

The AR 125 may be ordered, directly from Binary Acoustic Technology Here.

I'm very happy to have had the opportunity to Re-Review The AR125. This review will be updated and revised as needed.

Happy bat detecting!

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