Song Meter SM2BAT+ (SM2 Bat Detector)
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are ordering multiple units as discounts may be available.
The Song Meter SM2BAT+ is the latest addition to Wildlife Acoustics' range of high quality sound recorders. Developed in response to customer feedback, the SM2BAT+ replaces and improves on the SM2 mono (384kHz) and SM2 stereo (192kHz) with the option to record at 192 or 384kHz. Consequently, European customers will no longer have to worry about whether or not they are likely to encounter lesser horseshoe bats (mono 384kHz) but will retain the ability to record bats, birds, frogs and other wildlife via a second microphone positioned up to 100 meters away (stereo 192kHz). The SM2BAT+ now includes the option to record in Wildlife Acoustics WAC format or in the WAV or ZCA formats meaning that users will either be able to quickly and easily analyse files in Analook using the ZCA format files or analyse in detail the amplitude and harmonic details of the original bat signal by recording in WAC or WAV format.
The SM2BAT+ can be easily programmed on your computer or directly on the SM2BAT+ to record on simple time-of-day schedules or to implement the most complex monitoring protocols, even scheduling recordings relative to local sunrise, sunset and twilight. Filenames are time stamped and include a programmable prefix to uniquely identify recordings made from each Song Meter. While making recordings, the SM2 also logs the internal temperature sensor and external sensor port every five minutes to a text file.
With use of all four 32GB cards you can expect to have storage space for 8 months continuous recording. Four D-size batteries record up to 240 hours spread out through months at a time.
* Ideal for passive monitoring
* Records WAC, WAV and ZCA
* Enhanced waterproofing
* Omnidirectional microphone
Also available as a Starter Kit which contains the SM2BAT+, 1 x 32 GB Class 4 Kingston SDHC card and 4 x D-cell batteries or as a Complete Kit which contains the SM2BAT+, 4 x 32 GB Class 4 Kingston SDHC cards and 4 x D-cell batteries.
SM2+ User Manual
Using the Song Meter with External Power
GPS Option for the SM2+
* SM2 microphone cable (various lengths available)
* Spare SMX-US microphone
* Power adapter
* Replacement microphone windscreen and clips
* External temperature sensor
* GPS option
* High performance microphone (SMX-UT)
* Ultrasonic directional horn attachment
* Ultrasound calibrator
* Acoustic night flight call microphone (SMX-NFC)
The calls collected were of very good quality and the detector worked precisely as programmed. Very good coverage.
- Joel Tigner, Batworks, LLC, South Dakota, USA
Wildlife Acoustics Song Meter SM2BAT+
by Al Milano in the United States (25/04/2013). Read more at http://batdetecting.blogspot.com/
To begin with, there are a few features that make this bat detecting system desirable:
- It is particularly well-suited for unattended monitoring/recording of bat activity (it's proven to be excellent for my nightly recordings).
- It is capable of recording many bat passes, for up to 9 nights! directly onto multiple (up to 4) SD cards.
- It's very easy to use, and no PC is needed for the set-up, or actual recording.
Another neat attribute of the SM2BAT I like, is how the microphone units are protected. Using a well-secured, dark gray foam. In the printed materials provided, Wildlife Acoustics explains just how waterproof their SM2 Platforms are. And also explains best practices, and tips for outdoor deployment. I have not used the SM2BAT in inclement weather. As I'm always reluctant to do so (with any ultrasonic recorder).
The SM2 has been blessed with great pick-up range. There is a PCB mounted, 3.5 mm earphone jack located inside the SM2 box. This is provided so that one can listen to the sound input while recording; this may be used for live monitoring, to check the status of microphone(s), perform test recordings, etc. Just plug a pair of earphones/headphones into the 3.5 mm jack, and listen for yourself -You'll notice that the omni-directional microphone is picking up everything! Very clearly, I might add. Of course, thresholds/triggers need to be set...
- To open the SM2BAT, you may use either an appropriately sized Flat-head screwdriver, or medium sized Phillips-head (which is what I prefer). The unit can be permanently mounted to a flat surface (or, a relatively large tree) using the 4 built-in screw holes. With the top cover screwed back on, in preparation for mounting/deployment – The green LED light will be visible to you, via a built-in diffuser. So that you can get feedback before, during, and after the unit is mounted:
- A steady, repeated blinking: Indicates the unit has started it's scheduled recording. This informs you that the system is awake, and is actively monitoring.
Keep in mind, that the installation and configuration of the SM2BAT is an easy process. But, the (very nice) Folks at Wildlife Acoustics were kind enough to configure my loaner unit, so that it was all ready to go! What this means, is that they configured the unit to begin recording at sunset; and stop at dawn. Just install batteries 4 D cells (Energizer brand recommended), a Class 4 SD memory card, and you're done. Some of the other main features, located "under the hood" are: The LCD display – Which is easy to read, and will help you set all device options.
Among the main things you might want to do are:
- Set the Record Start and Stop times, set the internal clock.
- Change jumper settings for advanced filter settings
- Modify the trigger schemes
- Adjust Sensitivity values which you can use to fine-tune the level for the triggering.
And quite a few other things.
Of course, after a brief phone conversation with one of the gentlemen at Wildlife Acoustics – I understood everything very clearly. I had quickly learned how their proprietary WAC files work, and how to manipulate them, etc. – And it's been nothing but fun ever since!
The layout of the unit is nice and simple. The SM2 platform features a large LCD display, several jumpers for setting filtering parameters, and a green LED (for status indication). Sensitivity and filtering are fully adjustable, across the spectrum of the unit's abilities.
The fact is, that once you've read the User Manual(s); and become familiar with operation of the unit – You'll probably find your bat recording becoming so automated; that you'll become lazy! Especially, for those of us who are used to the typical set-ups required for overnight bat recording. In most cases, this consists of:
- Standard check of the detector – Battery condition, and any other settings
- Standard check of the recorder – Same as above
- Locating your audio cable – For connecting the two
- Masking (adhesive) tape, etc. for temporary mounting
Once the SM2BAT is set-up, you can let it go for a few days, a week, or more! And, the unit will diligently record bats, every evening – From sunset to sunrise. So, you can see how easily one can become "lazy".
Among the features I like:
- The fact that the unit records unadulterated sound, in 192 kHz, is great!
- The nice selection of audio filtering combinations available. There are lots of options selectable from the jumpers.
Among the features that I'm not crazy about:
- Obviously, one of the drawbacks, is that it cannot be used as you would a typical hand-held bat detector. You can't just grab it and go, on your way out to the woods, or to attend a Bat Walk.
- I also wish there was a way to insert and remove the SD cards a bit more easily – Instead of having to remove one of the D-cell batteries each time.
The additional offering of the free, WAC2WAV software – Which is of course, as the name implies: For converting the propriety Wac files into universally used Wav files – Could be placed in both the 'Like' and 'Dislike' category. Likes would be: That it is free, and very versatile. I must confess, that it does offer some features that I find fascinating. Such as systematic removal of noise – In the form of separate Noise Files that are automatically created. As well as a few other neat little options. But, at the same time, the Dislike would be: The fact that it is needed in the first place!
My usual workflow, is to:
- Remove the SD card from the SM2 and check it (on PC) for recordings from the night before.
- I select one WAC file at a time – Working from the largest (WAC) file to the smallest.
- Convert the WAC file to WAV format using the (free) WAC2WAV converter application. The WAC2WAV software allows for a few options & variables. One of the options, is to choose (check-box to tick) is the 'Divide Output By 10' which I normally use. This provides you with wav files that are slowed down by a factor of 10. So, for example, if you were to analyze the files later with BatBox's Batscan SW- You don't have to select anything for 'Frequency and Time Conversion' – It should be left 'Off' which is the default.
- Typically, the conversion will produce a lot of individual files. So, I go through each of them, using the same method above.
Recently, I've been using Audacity, to open each Wav file. It's very convenient, because it gives you a visual representation of the audio file very quickly. You can see if there are any bat calls, mixed in among the insect calls. My trees are all occupied by Katydids, etc. – I'm not complaining ('cause I like recording them also!). But, when you're focusing on bat recordings, you have to "weed them out" of course. Sometimes, I find an abundance of my triggered recordings to be entirely of Katydids (for instance). And, I simply delete those and check the next file.
Again, using Audacity (or another audio app) which displays the 'Project' (audio track) conveniently:
- What I do, is 'Select All', Amplify' and look at the recording closely, to find any area that looks like a bat call.
- I also find myself listening to certain areas of the recording sometimes, just to be sure.
* Two AA batteries for internal clock lasts up to two years.
* Four D-size alkaline or NiMH batteries enable up to 9 nights of recording in full spectrum or 1 month in native zero crossing
* Optional external power using SM2 Power Adapter (sold separately).
* Storage: From 8GB up to 128GB with SDHC or 512GB with SDXC cards. 512GB supports storage up to 9 months.
* Sampling Rate: 192kHz on two channels or 384kHz on one channel.
* Recording Technology: 16-bit full spectrum or native zero crossing.
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