The SM4BAT is the latest SongMeter system, available in both full-spectrum and zero-crossing models, from Wildlife Acoustics.
It is a ultrasonic bat recorder,designed to be used as a passive/unattended recording solution. It's a single channel recording system, which is both lightweight and compact. I can also tell you, that no less than 9 of them will fit into an ordinary backpack.
As per Wildlife Acoustics' Web site: "The new, low-power microprocessor, combined with 4 D-size batteries, enable the longest deployment times of any other bat recorder available. The SM4BAT FS has a recording run time of 250 to 450 hours (e.g. 25-45 10-hour nights) depending on bat activity and other factors."
There are several features which make this bat detecting system desirable: It's particularly well-suited for those in need of unattended monitoring/recording of ultrasounds; especially bat activity. It is capable of recording an unprecedented number of bat passes - up to45 nights! directly across multiple (up to 2) SD cards. It's very easy to use, and no PC is needed for the set-up, or actual recording.
As always, the Customer Service/Support aspect of Wildlife Acoustics: In a nutshell, their Technical Support is second to none.
This new SM4BAT FS has proven to be excellent for my nightly recordings.Another neat attribute of the SM4BAT 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 SM4BAT platforms are. As in the past, they also provide tips and best practices for outdoor deployment.
The SongMeter SM4 has been designed with great pick-up range. There is a PCB mounted, 3.5mm earphone jack located inside the SM4BAT's enclosure. 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.
No tools are required to open the unit. With the top cover snapped 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.
The installation and configuration of the SM4BAT is a very easy process. Just install batteries - 4 D cells (Energizer brand recommended), a Class 4 SD memory card, and you're more than halfway done.
Some of the other main features 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. - Adjust Sensitivity values which you can use to fine-tune the level for the triggering.
There are a few other things, which you will learn all about from the User Guide; which happens to be one of the best I've ever seen. It has been a pleasure to use. And thanks to Wildlife Acoustics' Kaleidoscope software: The analysis of bat recordings has been a breeze ever since! I've got lots of recorded bat calls to listen to, and create various sonograms with.
The SM4BAT happens to be the approximate size of other comparable unattended recording solutions. In fact, it is a bit smaller than some. It is easily portable, fitting one (along with accessories, etc.) into a backpack is effortless. Without batteries installed, the unit is very light. As previously stated - The fact is, you can fit 9 of these units in a typical backpack (with room to spare).
Sensitivity and filtering are fully adjustable, across the spectrum of the unit's abilities. The fact that the unit can be used as a "Set-and-forget" recorder (for up to 45 days) is a plus. The unit is very economical; especially when compared to the similar systems that are currently available.
The Kaleidoscope software, from Wildlife Acoustics is very versatile; and produces nice-looking (and informative) sonograms. With the great help/suggestions and support I received from the Folks at Wildlife Acoustics, I ended up with a diverse collection of recordings. The nice thing about it, is that I was able to test a lot of different variations of settings. In a short period of time.
You can basically go either way, in your approach to the use of this system: You may choose to rely mostly on the default settings - And take a more simple approach (which is exactly what I did in the beginning of the test period). Or, you may be the type who enjoys tinkering & experimenting. Happy bat detecting!
What can I say about the Wildlife Acoustics SM4BAT FS?
If you're looking for a static full spectrum recorder to leave out on site, the Wildlife Acoustics SM4BAT FS, the Anabat Swift, the Pettersson D500X, the Elekon Batlogger C and the new MINI BAT are the ones to consider.
All units record bat calls very efficiently, but the main consideration is going to be deployment times. The Batlogger C can last for 5 nights with the single included battery or 10 nights with the optional additional battery. The D500X can last for 14 nights. The SM4BAT FS and Anabat Swift can last for up to 30 nights and the MINI BAT can last for 30 nights with alkaline or 150 nights with lithium ion batteries.
I thoroughly recommend the SM4BAT FS, MINI BAT or Anabat Swift for their long deployment times and ease of use.
With the SM4BAT FS and Anabat Swift you'll also get a free bat calls book worth £35: either British Bat Calls by Jon Russ, Social Calls of the Bats of Britain and Ireland by Neil Middleton et al, Bats of Britain & Europe by Christian Dietz & Andreas Kiefer, Is That a Bat? by Neil Middleton or a £35 voucher.
I want you to be 100% happy with your purchase so call me on 0333 9000 927 for advice.
Compact, lightweight, single-channel bat detector and recorder.
Developed specifically for bat research, the SM4BAT recorders combine innovative design with a new low-power processor and easy-to-use scheduling features. Available in full-spectrum and zero-crossing models, the SM4BAT will make bat research simpler, faster, less costly and more reliable. The SM4BAT FS creates high-quality, full-spectrum recordings that can be easily converted to zero-crossing recordings using free Kaleidoscope conversion software. The SM4BAT ZC creates zero-crossing files that optimize power and data storage.
Small, secure and weatherproof.
Designed around the footprint of 4 D-size batteries and made of rugged polycarbonate, the SM4BAT is less than half the weight and size of the SM3BAT. The integrated mounting bracket and weatherproof security cover keep the unit safe and dry in the most punishing environments.
Longest deployment times available.
The new, low-power microprocessor, combined with 4 D-size batteries, enable the longest deployment times of any other bat recorder available. The SM4BAT FS has a recording run time of 300 to 500 hours depending on bat activity and other factors. The SM4BAT ZC run time is even longer. See Specifications for details.
Easy to program.
To get you started quickly, the SM4BAT features a brand new, easy-to-use, Quick Start menu and Scheduler. Use built-in schedules, or customize them for your specific recording needs.
Available GPS accessory to set clock and location.
When deploying multiple recorders, use a single GPS accessory to automatically set the date, time and location settings of all recorders. The GPS accessory can also be attached to log the recording locations and path for mobile transects.
Recording Technology: Single-channel
SM4BAT FS: 16-bit .wav
SM4BAT ZC: Zero-Crossing
Sample Rates: Full-Spectrum, single-channel, 256kHz, 384kHz, 500kHz
Run-Time: SM4BAT FS: 300-500 hours, depending on bat activity, SM4BAT ZC: 500 hours (NOTE: SM4BAT FS and ZC run times can vary by as much as 50% depending on the characteristics of specific brands and models of flash cards, the kind and quality of batteries used (alkaline versus rechargeable), temperature and configuration. We recommend SanDisk brand SDHC/SDXC cards.)
Power Options: Internal power using 4 D-size alkaline (included) or NiHM batteries; External power via optional SM3/SM4 Power Cable
Storage: 2 SDHC/SDXC flash card slots (Class 4 or greater)* More than 1 terabyte total capacity using 2 512GB SDXC cards* (I recommend using SanDisk SDHC/SDXC cards and I include 2 128GB SDXC cards in the complete bundle).
Height: 8.6"/21.8 cm; Width: 5.9"/ 15.0 cm; Depth: 2.8/7.1 cm; Weight:
1.4 lbs./.64kg without batteries, 2.7 lbs./1.2kg with batteries
Enclosure Material: Polycarbonate
Operating Temperature: -4°F to +122°F or -20°C to 50°C
Warranty: 3 years (4 years if you buy from me)
If you're not sure whether the SM4BAT FS is the one for you, just give me a call on 0333 9000 927 and I'll loan you mine to see if you like it.
Download SM4BAT FS User Guide - English - Spanish (Manual de usuario) - German (Bedienungsanleitung) - Chinese (用户指南) - French (Guide de l'utilisateur) - Japanese
The SM3BAT and SM4BAT FS implement a serial communications interface in support of wind energy SCADA systems to report possible bat activity. With firmware version 1.3.3 and later of the SM3BAT, or SM4BAT FS recorders produced with serial numbers greater than S4U06942 (shipped on or after March 12, 2019), the recorder responds to serial requests with information including cumulative number of bat passes and pulses detected as well as timestamp, voltage, temperature, and flash card capacity information.
New Products to protect your Song Meters and the SMM-U2 microphone from electrical surges!
o The Song Meter Surge Suppressor protects SM4/SM4BAT and SM3/SM3BAT recorders from power surges that could harm your recorders. This accessory should be used wherever microphones are mounted at elevation.
o If you’ve mounted your SM4BAT and SMM-U2 to a metrology tower, wind turbine or some mounting point several feet off the ground, the SMM-U2 Grounding Bracket protects the SMM-U2 microphone from electrical surges that could damage the microphone and recorder.
Recorders to be left out on site and producing full spectrum files.
Hand-held recorders that can record full spectrum files and most of them log GPS co-ordinates.
Hand-held recorders that can record birds, frogs and other audible species. Some also record bats.
Comment from a client:
"My bat detector microphone failed during a dawn survey and knew that I had a group of dusk surveys starting in two days time. I was not in a good place as I did not have a spare, but my equipment was less than a year old.
After my survey I contacted Martin by email and he called me back on the same day, a few hours later, after a quick nap. He told me he did not have a part in stock, but had already contacted the supplier on my behalf.
The next day I received a replacement part, free of charge and express delivered from Switzerland. I thought it was amazing, and could not believe it was resolved so quickly.
Due to Martin's exceptional service I was good to go with the surveys, and I really would like to thank Martin and Wildlife Countryside Services for making the dusk surveys happen."