The Batlogger M from Elekon is a sophisticated bat detector / recorder designed for transect surveys and bat walks. This compact handheld device features a weatherproof FG Knowles microphone which allows it to record full spectrum ultrasonic calls over the range of 10 – 150kHz. These recordings retain details of the amplitude and harmonic structure of the original bat signal; details which play a huge role in the accurate determination of species. Files are saved in WAV format onto an internal SD card along with additional information such as location (using the built-in GPS) and temperature.
In addition to recording full spectrum calls, the Batlogger M also features a super heterodyne monitoring capability which will automatically convert bat sounds to a frequency that you can hear. Like the Batscanner, the Batlogger will automatically adjust to the peak frequency so that you don’t need to worry about missing bats or adjusting the settings yourself (although you can if you want). Calls are played through the built-in speaker or you can listen via earphones.
Different recording settings are available, including scheduled, permanent or instant as well as different trigger thresholds for call identification. All settings can be accessed directly on the Batlogger M. Alternatively, the free BATPARS Editor Software can be used to customise your settings on your PC. These are then transferred to the device via the SD card.
The Batlogger M is powered by an internal lithium-ion battery which is charged using the included charger. As this device is made by a Swiss manufacturer, please note that this charger has a type C Europlug (CEE 7/16) power plug). The internal battery allows recording over several nights, but for those who want longer autonomous observation and protection against weather influences, a Strongbox can be purchased separately which includes a set of batteries in a weatherproof case. Alternatively, if you are looking for a long-term recorder, you may wish to consider the Batlogger A+ or the Batlogger C.
The Batlogger M comes in a sturdy foam-padded carrying case, and includes a 16GB Kingston SDHC-card (loaded into the device) and a charger. For additional accessories, please scroll down to the bottom of the page.
The free BatExplorer Software for Windows allows you to manage and analyse Batlogger M recordings easily and quickly. Listen to time-expanded recordings, filter and sort to find relevant data and import, export or backup your data. A customisable spectrogram with zoom and measuring aid facilitates manual species identification. BatExplorer also includes computer-aided identification of species with the help of an integrated bat species library (European species). Requires Windows Media Player version 11 or above.
Free software is also available for Mac users (BatScope) to analyse and manage recordings. BatScope allows you to transfer recordings from your Batlogger M to a structured and easily searchable database from where you can view spectrograms and automatically analyse and classify calls to species. It also enables you to cut long recordings into single bat calls.
GPS data from the Batlogger M can also be extracted for use with Google Maps/Earth. Requires a minimum of OS X 10.6 and 1 (preferably 2) GB RAM.
The Batlogger M is covered by a 2 year warranty, please note that this does not include the microphone. Replacement microphones are available to purchase separately and are extremely easy to change - just unplug your old one and plug in the new.
Charger / Charging:
Batlogger M From Elekon
by Al Milano in the United States (25/04/2013). Read more at http://batdetecting.blogspot.com/
Now, this is a Bat Detector! What a fantastic package. It currently comes standard with:
- A Kingston 16GB (Class 10) memory card.
- Power adapter for charging the built-in, high performance, Lithium battery.
- Sennheiser earphone set, with accessories and carry case.
- A high-quality microphone (the mic is also replaceable).
- A nice, sturdy, black plastic carry case – The case is foam-lined; and keeps the Batlogger and it's accessories safe.
In any case, I'd like to take this opportunity to point out a few things: This kit may be a little more expensive than some others that are currently out there - But, it's easy to see: That what you are investing in, is a very high quality product. The old adage is certainly true here – "You get what you pay for"
The Batlogger M arrived here in the U.S., very quickly, and well packaged. The unit comes equipped with a lot of extras, as standard accessories. Including a great, foam-lined, custom carry case. The Batlogger M fits in the case like a glove. And, it provides an ample amount of protection. The other neat thing about it, is that there's also a bit of extra space in the foam-lined case. I've found it useful for things like: A small weather meter, microphone extension cable, and a small notebook. I've found, that the addition of a microphone extension cable makes the unit even more versatile; and I highly recommend getting one (Elekon even offers one on their Web site).
The next factor that becomes apparent, is the size and shape of the Batlogger itself: It's not square! Yes, someone was "Thinking outside the box" on this one! It's hourglass shape fits very comfortably in the hand (their Batscanner sports the same shape, by the way). At 350 Grams, it's not too heavy either. I also like the built-on, frame of grey rubber armoring, it provides a positive grip in the hand. It also seems to offer a bit of protection from the occasional accidental bump, etc. It features an extremely accurate, built-in GPS system.
In addition, when the unit is updated to the latest firmware (Version 2.2) – It's ultrasonic pick-up range expands. It's able to tune all the way down to 2 kHz (on the low end) and up to 155 kHz (on the high end). The previous firmware version only went down to 15 kHz, and up to 150 kHz. This is excellent for singing insect recordists – like me! Now, one may specifically target many species of singing insects! For example: It can be set for: 2 kHz - 25 kHz when I'm after cricket and katydid recordings. But, for a more relevant example, the unit can be set for: 15 kHz - 65 kHz Which is how I keep the test unit set (for my local bats).
Offering the ability to update firmware on a high end bat recorder is wonderful – Because the manufacturer can always add some great new features!
I believe that this is the best handheld bat detector I've ever had the pleasure of reviewing. I realize this is very high praise. Especially when you consider the World class instruments that I've been fortunate enough to test and review over the years...The reason why I can make such a statement, is: The Batlogger M is sensitive beyond belief! The range at which it can detect and record bats is unprecedented. Yet, at the same time, is almost impervious to man-made and other unwanted noises. I have estimated the "pick-up" range of the unit, and it is often over 50 meters.
The Batlogger M, with it's simple Menu system, is an absolute pleasure to use. It has all of the features one would desire in a bat recorder (and none of the useless ones). It also produces excellent sonograms, as good as those produced by instruments costing thousands of dollars more! The other (somewhat reassuring) factor is, there are other very experienced individuals (Bat Workers, Professionals, and others) - Who have reviewed the Batlogger M, and have come to similar conclusions. There are a couple of fairly well-known Professionals who have chosen it to be their primary bat detector – The only detector they use. And, they are not the only ones...
This bat detecting system is particularly well-suited for unattended monitoring/recording of bat activity. It's proven to be really excellent for my nightly recordings; during this test period. The included AC power adapter, effectively removes any concern of running out of battery power (if you have access to a mains power outlet). While on the subject of power: I really like the fact, that the unit is powered by a built-in, Li-Ion battery (3.7 V 4600 mAh). No AA's to re-charge!
I'm very fond of the display on the Batlogger M; and the way it constantly changes and updates it's current status. While detecting bats, it is calculating/indicating the peak frequency. It then displays the peak frequency of the last bat call recorded. Very nice! It's undoubtedly, the most aesthetically pleasing display I've seen. It looks really cool! The brightness is also fully adjustable. Some additional Pro's and Con's:
- Built-in Li-ion battery, provides long up-time even in low temperatures.
- Incredible sensitivity / Able to create good recordings of bats at great distances.
- The most pertinent information is constantly displayed.
- The stock microphone is not weather or waterproof. Although, Elekon does offer two models of (optional) microphones that are.
When a new bat detector arrives for me to review: One of the main things, that I always look for, is it's ability to detect bats at good distances. It just happens to be one of my major interests, as far as performance goes. It always has been my favorite "yardstick" in measuring performance. In years past, I didn't have access to the excellent locations that I do now (some perfect habitats are among them). Therefore, the majority of my bat detecting was done from home – a passive (overnight) monitoring situation. So, the ability to pick up bats at greater and greater distances became important to me.
And, I suppose old habits are hard to break... The point is, The Batlogger M is able to detect and record bats, from greater distances than any other device I've ever tested. It's as simple as that. And I am well pleased.
In a side-by-side comparison, with the AnaBat SD2: During the course of one evening – The Batlogger M consistently picked up and recorded bat calls, while the AnaBat did not. In this particular case, the bats were at a distance of over 45 meters. I believe these results are very telling!
Happy bat detecting!