Bat Detector Information Pack
Bat Detector Information Pack
The Basics
There are four types of bat detector:
1. Heterodyne
 Heterodyne detectors are tuneable – you select the frequency range to listen to. This makes them
the best detectors for immediate identification of bats in the field.
 They work by filtering the inaudible bat sound with an ultrasonic signal from the detector, and
producing the audible difference between the two sounds.
 Sounds can be recorded onto a recorder, but recordings cannot be used with sound analysis
software to generate sonograms as frequency information is not retained.
 They are the cheapest of the detectors and are simple to use, making them ideal for beginners.
2. Frequency Division
 Frequency division detectors detect all frequencies, so there is no need to tune in to a specific
frequency and you don’t miss any bats.
 They work by outputting a single sound wave for every ten waves (if divided by 10) in the original
call, thereby making the calls audible by reducing the frequencies by a factor of ten, while still
enabling you to hear the calls in real-time.
 Sounds can be recorded and analysed with sound analysis software but some information is lost.
 They are generally low to mid-price, but cheaper versions tend not to retain amplitude information.
3. Time Expansion
 Like frequency division detectors, time expansion detectors detect all frequencies.
 They work by digitally recording a short snatch of sound (e.g. 1 second), then playing it back at a
slower speed, resulting in very high quality recordings and retention of the same information as the
original call. However, recording is not continuous as calls are not detected during the playback
period, so snapshots of calls are sampled.
 Sounds can be recorded and used with sound analysis software. They enable a very detailed
analysis of the sound and a clearer sonogram when compared to frequency division.
 They are among the most expensive of the detectors.
4. Full Spectrum, Real-time Sampling
 Like frequency division and time expansion detectors, full spectrum, real-time sampling detectors
detect all frequencies.
 They sample at very high rates to capture all signal information and output it in real-time – so you
get the detail of call structure as with time expansion, but also the real-time continuous monitoring
as with frequency division.
 Sounds can be recorded and used with sound analysis software. They enable a very detailed
analysis of the sound and a clearer sonogram when compared to frequency division.
 They are generally more expensive than frequency division and time expansion detectors.
Additional note
 Some detectors feature more than one type of sound conversion. For example, some frequency
division detectors have a heterodyne mode as well, and some feature three models of sound
conversion.
There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a bat detector. These include:
 Price
 Microphone and frequency range: Microphones determine the sensitivity of the bat detector.
Piezo – best at mid frequencies (~45kHz), MEMS – mid frequencies (40-60kHz), Electret – lower
frequencies (<30kHz), and Capacitance – higher frequencies (>80kHz). You will still be able to detect
other frequencies, but the distance from which you can detect them will vary. Detectors with more than


one microphone are best, because they will be sensitive at more than one frequency (e.g. Pettersson
D100 overleaf). All European species are detectable within the range 20-120kHz.
Bandwidth: How many kHz either side of your tuned frequency on which you can hear calls
(heterodyne). A wider bandwidth reduces the chances of missing species you are not tuned into, while a
narrower bandwidth makes it easier to discern the difference between bats calling at similar frequencies.
Design: size, display (LED/LCD), controls on side or top (side-controls easier for single-handed
operation).
The following is a guide to some of the detectors that are available on the market at the present time and their
main features. It is not intended as a review and prices should only be used as a guide as they may change over
time or between suppliers. BCT do not recommend any specific type or model of detector.
Heterodyne Bat Detectors (Summary, in price order)
Model
Approx
cost
£40
Microphone
(type & no.)
unknown
Frequency
range
unknown
Bandwidth
Batteries
Size (mm)
Speaker
16kHz
(± 8kHz)
1 x 9V
(PP3)
145x80x34
Y
Semafor
UF-140
£46
unknown
10-140kHz
unknown
1 x 9V
(PP3)
145x60x45
Y
Semafor
UF-220
£55
unknown
10-220kHz
unknown
1 x 9V
(PP3)
145x60x45
Y
Ciel CDB
105 R2
Mono
£60
Electret (1)
18-120kHz
10kHz
(± 5kHz)
1 x 9V
(PP3)
140x64x31
Y
Magenta
Bat4
£62
Electret (1)
15-130kHz
9kHz
(± 4kHz)
4 x AAA
145x80x34
Y
Ciel CDB
103 R3
Stereo
Magenta
Bat5
£90
Electret (2)
15-130kHz
10kHz
(± 5kHz)
1 x 9V
(PP3)
170x75x40
Y
£95
Electret (1)
10-130kHz
9kHz
(± 4kHz)
4 x AAA
135x72x27
Y
Ciel CDB
101 R3
Stereo
£120
Electret (2)
15-130kHz
10kHz
(± 5kHz)
1 x 9V
(PP3)
170x75x40
N
Ciel CDP
102 R3
Professional
Stereo
£150
Electret (2)
- external
15-130kHz
13kHz
(± 6.5kHz)
External
9-12V
DC
Source
125x75x40
N
Boxed (for mounting and
long-term surveys).
Stereo/dual option-can
observe 2 frequencies at
same time. LCD display.
Mini-3
£155
Electret (1)
15-160kHz
8kHz
(± 4kHz)
2 x AA
147x65x40
Y
Large illuminated tuning
dial.
Batbox IIID
£156165
Electret (1)
19-125kHz
16kHz
(± 8kHz)
1 x 9V
(PP3)
125x69x32
Y
Digital LCD display with
backlight. Side controls.
Wrist strap.
Magenta
MkII Kit
Design features/ other
factors
Requires soldering &
electronics skills & the
ability to understand
circuit diagrams.
Integrated LED torch.
( ‘BATZ’ model also
available-same spec.
aimed at children)
LED torch. Large
frequency dial with top
illumination. Side
controls for singlehanded operation. Wrist
strap.
LED display. Wrist strap.
LCD display with
backlighting. Inbuilt
LED torch. Side controls
for single-handed
operation. Wrist strap.
LCD display. External
speaker can be added.
Wrist strap.
Model
Approx
cost
£170
Microphone
(type & no.)
Electret (2)
Frequency
range
15-130kHz
Bandwidth
Batteries
Size (mm)
Speaker
10kHz
(±5kHz)
1 x 9V
unknown
N
Batscanner
£187
Electret (1)
15-120kHz
unknown
3 x AAA
120x65x27
Y
SSF Bat2
£215
MEMS(1)
15-130kHz
10kHz
(±5kHz)
4 x AA
185x65x28
Y
Pettersson
D100
Pettersson
D200
£220
Electret (1)
& Piezo (1)
Electret (1)
10-120kHz
8kHz
(± 4kHz)
8kHz
(± 4kHz)
1 x 9V
(PP3)
1 x 9V
(PP3)
113x71x33
Y
119x60x25
Y
Ciel BM1
Professional
Stereo
£280
10-120kHz
Design features/ other
factors
Clock, temp & humidity
sensor. Bat counter. Can
categorise frequency into
3 different ranges for
counting different spp.
Wrist strap.
Adjusts automatically to
detected frequency. LED
display.
In addition to heterodyne
function, also uses
frequency division to
monitor all frequencies &
reports peak frequency.
Backlit frequency
control.
Fully backlit LCD
display. Side controls –
easy to adjust.
Broadband Bat Detectors
Frequency Division Detectors (Summary, in price order)
Model
Approx
cost
Division
Factor
Microphone
Freq.
range
Amplitude
retaining
Batteries
Size
(mm)
Design features/
other factors
1 x 9V
(PP3)
1 x 9V
(PP3)
140x64x31
LED torch.
165x46x34
4 x AA
(internal)
or 12V
(external)
155x90x45
Comes with BatScan
sound analysis
software. Very simple
design & easy singlehanded operation.
Designed for
unattended long-term
monitoring.
CF & GPS compatible.
PDA with pre-loaded
software.
Does not retain
amplitude so analysis
based largely on call
structure and frequency
parameters.
FREQUENCY DIVISION ONLY
Ciel CDB
205 Mono
Batbox
Baton
£60
10
Electret (1)
18-120kHz
N
£80
10
Electret (1)
20-120kHz
Y
Anabat SD2
and PDA
package
£2,090
8,16,32
Capacitance
(1)
4-200kHz
N/A
FREQUENCY DIVISION AND HETERODYNE
Ciel CDB
305 R2 Dual
£100
10
Electret (1)
Ciel CDB
301 R3
Advanced
£200
10
Electret (2)
Batbox
Duet
£255280
10
Electret (1)
18-120kHz
Bandwidth:
10kHz
(± 5kHz)
15-120kHz
Bandwidth:
10kHz
(± 5kHz)
N
1 x 9V
(PP3)
140x65x40
Wrist strap.
Y
1 x 9V
(PP3)
170x75x35
17-125kHz
Bandwidth:
16kHz
(± 8kHz)
Y
1 x 9V
(PP3)
125x69x32
Backlit LCD display.
Separate microphones
for each function.
Commentary button
enabling note-taking.
Wrist strap.
Large LED display &
control for singlehanded operation. Wrist
strap.
Model
Approx
cost
Division
Factor
Microphone
Freq.
range
Amplitude
retaining
Batteries
Size
(mm)
Design features/
other factors
Pettersson
D230
£450
10
Electret (1)
10-120kHz
Bandwidth:
8kHz
(± 4kHz)
Y
1 x 9V
(PP3)
119x60x25
LCD Display.
Comment switch.
Wrist strap.
U30
£630
10,20,40
unknown
15-200kHz
Y
2 x AA
147x65x40
Miniature ‘ultra-lownoise’ microphone.
Dodoultra*
unknown
10
unknown
10-125kHz
unknown
2 x AA
147x89x25
Het/frequency shift. In
f.s. mode, is a
broadband detector &
displays peak. F.s.
output can be recorded
through headphone
socket. LCD Display.
*NB this detector uses frequency shift instead of frequency division. The signal is digitally processed to reduce the
frequencies by ten with less loss of information.
Time Expansion Detectors (Summary, in price order)
Model
Approx
cost
Expansion
Factor
Microphone
Freq.
range
Batteries
Size (mm)
Design features/ other
factors
145x95x45
Hands-free (worn around
neck). No speaker.
4 x AA (&
internal
battery)
1 x 9V
(PP3)
155x95x52
LED display. Internal digital
recorder. 10.24sec memory.
119x60x25
4 x AA
170x110x40
LCD Display. Comment
switch. Storage time 3.4, 1.7
or 0.1sec. Automatic or
manual trigger.
25.6sec memory. Voice
commentary. Time tag-30min
intervals. Back-to-back
recording.
TIME EXPANSION ONLY
Tranquility
Transect
£470
N/A
Capacitive
10-160kHz
4 x AA
TIME EXPANSION AND HETERODYNE
Tranquility III
£755
10,32,64
Capacitive
12-160kHz
Pettersson
D240x
£1160
10
Advanced
Electret (1)
10-120kHz
8kHz
(± 4kHz)
ECO-Mega
£1555
10,32,64
Capacitor
12-160kHz
Time Expansion, Frequency Division, Heterodyne and Full Spectrum Sampling
Model
Approx
cost
Frequency/
Expansion
Factor
Microphone
Freq.
range
Batteries
Size
(mm)
Design features/ other
factors
Batbox Griffin
£15001550
8,10,16 (FD)
16 (TE)
Electret
unknown
AA
unknown
Pettersson
D1000x
£4350
From 1
(original
speed) to 30
Capacitance
(1)
10-200kHz
Internal
batteries or
external
power
supply
6-10V
170x80x35
Built in recording. Date, time,
temp & light reading levels.
Programmable menu-driven
function set-up. Can record
continuously (up to a max file
length of one hour) for full
spectrum, real-time sampling.
Built-in recording. 16-bit
recording system using compact
flashcard as storage. Manual or
level-triggering modes.
Comments recording mode. TE
factor of 1 (for real-time full
spectrum sampling) to 30 can
be selected.
(built to
order)
Full Spectrum, Real-time Bat Recorders (long-term, unattended monitoring)
Model
Approx cost
Microphone
Freq. range
Batteries
Size (mm)
Design features/ other factors
(Email
[email protected]
for quote)
Electret (1)
16-150kHz)
4 x AA
unknown
Song Meter
SM2
Ultrasonic
384 kHz
Digital Field
Recorder
£995
SMX-US
Up to
190kHz
4xD
unknown
Analyses microphone signal in realtime & discriminates between bat
calls & other sound signals.
Autonomous long-term monitoring.
Independent recording device &
software built to co-operate with the
hardware.
Designed for long-term deployment.
Records frequencies up to 192kHz.
Sufficient for monitoring nearly all
spp. present in Europe. Second
channel can be used with
conventional SMX-II microphone to
record other wildlife at scheduled
times, though not simultaneously
with ultrasonic monitoring.
Song Meter
SM2
Ultrasonic
192kHz
Digital Field
Recorder
£995
SMX-US
Up to
190kHz
4xD
unknown
Designed for long-term deployment.
Records frequencies up to 96kHz.
Widely used in North America.
Two channels double monitoring
potential & can record
simultaneously.
Batlogger
£1535
Electret (1)
10-150kHz
155x80x38
Manual or automatic recording.
Integrated GPS. Coordinates &
temperature recorded with each
sound recording. Free BatExplorer
analysis software.
Pettersson
D500x
£1795
Electret (1)
N/A
Sampling
rates: 44.1,
300, and
500kHz
(optim. for
500kHz)
3.7V
4600mAh
Li-Ion
12 V DC
charger
4 x AA
or
external
power
supply
184x172x52
Detects & records ultrasound in
real-time. Aimed for long-term
unattended recording of bat calls. 4
slots for CompactFlash memory
cards with total capacity of 128GB.
Triggering system allowing device
to start recording as sound is
detected.
Batcorder
Manufacturers and suppliers (details correct at time of going to print)
Alana Ecology Ltd:
www.alanaecology.com The Old Primary School, Church Street, Bishop's Castle,
Shropshire, SY9 5AE Tel: +44 (0)1588 630173 Email: [email protected]
Anabat SD1
Batbox: III-D, Baton, Duet, Griffin
Magenta: MKII Kit, Bat4, Bat5
Mini-3
Pettersson D100, D200, D230, D240x, D500x, D1000x
Batbox Ltd:
www.batbox.com 2A Chanctonfold, Horsham Road, Steyning, West Sussex, BN44 3AA
Tel: 01903:816298 Email: [email protected]
Batbox III-D, Baton, Duet
Bat Management:
www.batmanagement.com US-based – email for a UK quote [email protected]
Pettersson D200, D500x (only available here), D1000x
Bat Planet:
www.batplanet.co.uk C/o Yarwood Ltd, Treefield Industrial Estate, Gelderd Road, Leeds LS27 7JU
Email: [email protected]
Full range of Ciel detectors (not including CDP 302), Belfry bat detector
Bioquip:
www.bioquip.net
Batbox III-D and Duet
Full range of Ciel detectors (not including CDP 302)
Courtpan:
http://courtpan.gnxt.net 3 Suffolk Street, Cheltenham, GL50 2DH Tel: 01242 570123
Email: [email protected]
Tranquillity Transect, Tranquility III, ECO-Mega
Dodotronic:
www.dodotronic.com Via de Gasperi 5, 00040, Castel Gandolfo, RM, Italy
Email: [email protected]
Dodoultra
EcoObs:
www.ecoobs.com Contact via online contact form http://www.ecoobs.com/cnt-contact.html
Batcorder
Elekon AG:
http://www.elekon.ch/en/batlogger/products/ Cheerstrasse 16, CH-6014, Lucerne, Switzerland
Tel: +41 41 250 40 40 Email: [email protected]
Batlogger, Batscanner
Green witch:
www.green-witch.com (search for bat detectors) Tel: 01954 211 288.
Batbox: III-D, Baton, Duet, Griffin (available to pre-order)
Magenta Electronics Ltd:
www.magenta2000.co.uk 135 Hunter Street, Burton on Trent, Staffs, DE14 2ST
Tel: 01283 565435 Email: [email protected]
Magenta: MKII Kit, Bat4, Bat5
NHBS:
http://www.nhbs.com/ 2-3 Wills Road, Totnes, Devon, TQ9 5XN Tel: 01803 865913
Email: [email protected]
A range of detectors including SSF Bat2
Pettersson Elektronik AB:
www.batsound.com Sweden-based – email for a UK quote [email protected]
Full range of Pettersson detectors (except D500x)
Semafor:
http://www.semafor.co.uk/bat-detector.html Email: [email protected] (for a catalogue)
Semafor UF-140, UF-220
Titley Electronics:
www.titley.com.au Australia-based – can be shipped to UK. Email: [email protected]
Anabat SD1 and SD2
Ultra Sound Advice:
http://www.ultrasoundadvice.co.uk 27 Merton Hall Road, Wimbledon, London SW19
3PR Tel: 020 8287 4614 Email: [email protected]
Mini3 Detector, U30 Detector
Sound Analysis Software
A selection of software packages for analysing bat echolocation calls recorded using a broadband bat detector
(time expansion or frequency division) are listed here (with some of the more frequently used ones at the start).
We do not recommend specific packages, but BCT training courses in sound analysis cover the following:
BatSound, BatScan, Wavesurfer, and TF32.
 Adobe Audition v 3.0. is a substantial package that calculates all the start/end/peak frequencies of a
pulse for you and allows you manipulation sounds. It can also convert batches of mp3 or other formats
to WAV format quickly. You can also listen to heterodyne separate from the FD channel on Duet
recordings. Audition v 3.0 is available as a 30 day try-out and the full package is $350. Web site
http://www.adobe.com/uk/products/audition/
 Avisoft at www.avisoft.com offers a free download of a minimal program called SAS Lab Lite (5.7
MB) for very basic editing and generation of spectrograms. The full Avisoft has a whole range of
functions although it takes time to learn how to use them all.
 Bat Scan, available from www.batbox.com,comes with a selection of sample files so that you can
compare your own recordings. It costs £17 (plus VAT and delivery) and is a simplified version of
Spectrogram. In general it is faster and easier to use than BatSound, but does not have all of the
functions. It is designed to be used with frequency division recordings. Follow-up service and advice is
good. It is also available from Alana Ecology www.alanaecology.com at £30 (including VAT).
 BatSound is the original software developed by Pettersson especially for use with ultrasonic bat calls
and is generally considered to be the industry standard. It is available directly from Pettersson
(http://www.batsound.com/?p=34), and also from Alana Ecology (www.alanaecology.com). Costs start
at around £275 for a single user licence, and more for multiple licences. BatSound has a nice big
window for sonograms and an easy to use toolbar with shortcut buttons that operate on a mouse click
for common functions. It also has lot of additional functions and newer versions have improved settings.
The help files are generally well-structured and easy to use. Newer versions also allow you to import
mp3 files directly into BatSound and to manage recordings from the D500x. You can download an
evaluation version of the latest software for free from the Pettersson website.
 TF32 is a free programme designed for speech analysis. A user manual is available from
http://www.medsch.wisc.edu/~milenkvc/tools.html and a sound analysis instruction booklet from BCT.
 Wavesurfer is another completely free program available from http://www.speech.kth.se/wavesurfer.
This was developed for speech analysis and you need to establish your own spectrogram parameters and
save them. Therefore, you need to know a little about the terminology (FFTs, etc.) or you can look at
the ibats website for instructions written by Dr Jon Russ (http://www.ibats.org.uk/page.aspx?tabid=256.
 Cool Edit Pro 2.1, produced by Syntrillium, has been taken over and is now sold as Adobe Audition.
However,
the
old
version
is
available
as
a
free
download
from
http://www.softpedia.com/progDownload/Cool-Edit-Pro-Download-2076.html (18.20MB) for a 21-day
free trial in which you can analyse 10ms calls. The spectrogram and oscillogram cannot be viewed
simultaneously.
There are also a number of programs that have been developed in the USA and/or are designed to work
with Apple Macs, although most of these have not been tested.
 Sonobat v 2.5.5 is a program developed in the USA. It includes an auto-trigger recording function
developed especially for the D240x set up to trigger automatically and allowing remote recording to a
digital recorder. It allows you to look at reference calls in the same window next to a call that you are
trying to identify. Reference calls are automatically adjusted to match the time and frequency scale of
the one you are looking at. Analysis functions are plentiful including definition of low/high
frequencies, bandwidth, duration, heel, slope, characteristic frequencies, harmonics and automatic
calculation of the inter-pulse interval. The program costs US$320. There is a free downloadable
demo of v2.4 for Mac and PC (http://www.sonobat.com).
 bcAnalyze 1.0 is a programme designed to work with real-time recordings of bat calls. To be used with
recordings from the Batcorder system (http://www.ecoobs.com/cnt-bcAnalyze.html). A call finding
algorithm quickly finds calls within the recording. A license costs €140 (+VAT) and runs for 30 days in
trial mode. System requirement is a Mac running Mac OS X 10.5.
 The Bioacoustics Research Programme at Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology developed a wellrespected sound program called Canary some time ago. It is free to download, but unfortunately only
runs on Mackintosh ( http://www.birds.cornell.edu/brp/software/canary-information). The user manual
includes background information about how spectrograms are created and analysed. If you are willing
to delve into some physics, it can help you to use other sound analysis programs more effectively.
Relevant sections (available from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/brp/software) are Appendix A: Digital
Representation of Sound and Appendix B: A Biologists Introduction to Spectrum Analysis.
 The new sound analysis software from Cornell University, called ‘Raven,’ is available from
http://www.birds.cornell.edu/brp/raven/Raven.html. There are two options – Raven v 1.4, and Raven
Lite which is free. The full version is able to display any number of sound files simultaneously, with
each file in its own window. It has other features that allow you to easily measure, compare and edit
parts of different sequences and sounds. The Raven Lite version has the ability to view only a single
spectrogram at one time. Both versions are available for Mac OSX or PC. The full version is US $400
($100/year for students).
September 2011 The Bat Conservation Trust, Quadrant House, 250 Kennington Lane, London SE11 5RD
Tel: 0845 1300 228 Fax: 020 7627 2628 Email: [email protected] www.bats.org.uk
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