Saturday, 23 June 2012

D500x settings

When setting up the D500x, the settings that might cause some confusion are the gain, trigger level, interval and trigger sensitivity. The gain is how much the signal is amplified, so set it low if the bats are near and loud, or high if they're far and quiet. The trigger level is level at which the signal will trigger the device. The interval is the time between recordings in seconds  - this is to avoid recording the same bat over and over again (unless you want to of course). The one that's got me scratching my head is the tigger sensitivity, which seems to be how long the signal has to remain over the trigger level to start the device. The options are very high, high, medium, low and very low. I guess the idea is to have a setting that will not tigger the device over short signals, rain perhaps.
When setting it up, the device gives a handy indication of when it will be triggered, so you can jangle keys or loose change and make sure it will trigger but that it's also not going all the time.
For the purposes of testing it in my garden, I've got gain and tigger level set to 30, interval at 0 and tigger sensitivity at low.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

D500x - it's arrived

After a slightly delayed trip from Sweden via several courier depots and my neighbour, my D500x has arrived. First impressions are that it's small and well built. The menu is quite user friendly, and it's pretty easy to set up. Unlike the older versions with the previous firmwear, this one just needs Windows FAT32 formatted CF cards in it, not the specially formatted ones that the D1000x needs.
As the device is not totally weatherproof, and looks rather high-tech and appealing dangling from a tree, I set about maiking an enclosure to keep the weather off, and make it more discrete.
I started off with an plastic electronics enclosure box and cut a hole for the microphone. I then used that cut-off section as a shield above the microphone. The external power lead annoyingly comes out the front of the device which means you have to bend the lead back in to the battery pack.
For batteries I made a pack up from a 6xAA holder I got from Maplins. That should give about 7.2 V at 2500 mAH. The device only needs about 4 V to work, but six batteries should give some margin if a battery or two fails, which seems to be quite common for NiMH batteries, for me anyway.

The D500x with a 6 AA battery pack wired into the external power socket.

Packed inside the box, the external power cable has to come out and then be net back around again.

All done up inside the box and sprayed a nice drab olive colour.

The microphone is shielded from rain by the cut-out section which has been bolted to the lid.

Deployed for testing in my garden.