Frequently asked questions

When working with our products there will be once in a while questions, that aren’t answered in the manuals. Furthermore using our products on a daily base will generate questions on details. Please feel free to contact us to get answers. Please excuse the short english list for now, we are currently preparing content from the German list and will add it here.

Hardware

Questions regarding hardware products of ecoObs GmbH

Can the batcorder record social calls?

The batcorder does record all call like signals starting at roughly 12 kHz. It doesn’t play a role if it is a echolocation call or a social call. The call recognition that triggers recordings is designed in  a conservative way, that it will also record signals similar to calls.

Only the identification algorithms in batIdent are not trained for social calls apart from Pipistrelloid social calls.

What does the TSL value stand for and how is it calculated?

TSL stands for test signal level and defines a measure of microphone sensitivity. It is calculated as dB value and sent via the SMS. dB SPL is a logarithmic scale, thus a change of -6 dB means a halving of sensitivity.

For the TSL evaluation twice a day, when starting and when stopping per Timer mode, a well defined sound signal is played and stored by the batcorder. The RMS is measured and compared to an individual reference value.

The reference is individually measured per system after it is installed at its final location. This is done int he according menu of the batcorder, usually when or after checking the microphone correction factor. The reference is measured then automatically and stored for the daily tests.

batcorder

Questions regarding batcorder 1,2 or 3

Is data transfer via the service port possible?

The service port doesn’t not allow to communicate with the batcorder nor does can it be used for data download. Since 2017 we offer the GSM-batcorder which allows download of recordings via the built-in USB port.

Does the batcorder lose its settings when battery is empty?

The batcorder has an internal buffer for the clock and its settings. This buffer runs for multiple weeks. If the batcorder battery runs empty and is kept without power for a longer time the clock will reset.

GSM-batcorder

Questions regarding the GSM-batcorder and its usage

What does the TSL value stand for and how is it calculated?

TSL stands for test signal level and defines a measure of microphone sensitivity. It is calculated as dB value and sent via the SMS. dB SPL is a logarithmic scale, thus a change of -6 dB means a halving of sensitivity.

For the TSL evaluation twice a day, when starting and when stopping per Timer mode, a well defined sound signal is played and stored by the batcorder. The RMS is measured and compared to an individual reference value.

The reference is individually measured per system after it is installed at its final location. This is done int he according menu of the batcorder, usually when or after checking the microphone correction factor. The reference is measured then automatically and stored for the daily tests.

Does the batcorder lose its settings when battery is empty?

The batcorder has an internal buffer for the clock and its settings. This buffer runs for multiple weeks. If the batcorder battery runs empty and is kept without power for a longer time the clock will reset.

If the batcorder is run with the Enercon-box, make sure the Enercon box runs without timeclock.

Wind turbine extension

Questions regarding the wind turbine extension

What does the TSL value stand for and how is it calculated?

TSL stands for test signal level and defines a measure of microphone sensitivity. It is calculated as dB value and sent via the SMS. dB SPL is a logarithmic scale, thus a change of -6 dB means a halving of sensitivity.

For the TSL evaluation twice a day, when starting and when stopping per Timer mode, a well defined sound signal is played and stored by the batcorder. The RMS is measured and compared to an individual reference value.

The reference is individually measured per system after it is installed at its final location. This is done int he according menu of the batcorder, usually when or after checking the microphone correction factor. The reference is measured then automatically and stored for the daily tests.

Mini-batcorder

Questions regarding the Mini-batcorder

Does the Mini-batcorder has audible feedback?

The Mini-batcorder is a passive detector and thus has no audible playback of bat calls. Its concept is to be setup at a location for one or two nights to sample activity or to be carried with when doing transects.

Correct downloading from the Mini-batcorder

For downloading files from the Mini-batcorder or to change its settings, the device needs to be connected to your computer via USB. To avoid conflicts and possible data loss please make sure the Mini-batcorder is turned off before connecting it. It should never be activated while connected to your computer.

Does the Mini-batcorder store GPS-tracks?

The current version of the Mini-batcorder does only acquire a position when started and then turns off the GPS module to save power. It does not store tracks when used as passive detector when walking transects.

My Mini-batcorder has a red light for memory status. It doesn’t record.

The internal sd card needs to be formatted, so the Mini-batcorder can initialise it again for use.

Proceed as following

Windows: right-click mounted Mini-batcorder in Explorer and choose format

Mac: use DiskUtility and format/delete as NTFS or exFat. Make sure to choose MBR = master boot record as scheme

Software

Questions regarding software products of ecoObs GmbH

Can the batcorder record social calls?

The batcorder does record all call like signals starting at roughly 12 kHz. It doesn’t play a role if it is a echolocation call or a social call. The call recognition that triggers recordings is designed in  a conservative way, that it will also record signals similar to calls.

Only the identification algorithms in batIdent are not trained for social calls apart from Pipistrelloid social calls.

bcAdmin

Questions on bcAdmin 3 and 4

bcAdmin opens Wave files in iTunes instead of bcAnalyze

bcAdmin uses the standard application for the file type wave. This usually is iTunes. You can set another application like bcAnalyze as standard application. For this you will need to locate a wave file in the Finder and then do as follows:

Right click a wave file in Finder. Choose Information from the menu. Scroll down in the information panel and locate Open with. Now choose bcAnalyze there and  click on the button below to make that standard for all files of that type. From then on wave files are opened in bcAnalyze.

Can I use bcAdmin and batIdent for recordings of other detectors?

bcAdmin works well with Wave files. We have customers successfully analysing and managing files of various detector systems with bcAdmin and batIdent. You may get less good identification results if recordings have  lower quality due to noise, echoes or lower sample rate.

Recording timestamps have an one hour offset in bcAdmin

After importing files into bcAdmin their time stamp differs exactly one hour from the correct recording time. That is due to the fact that the FAT file system on the sd-card is always interpreted in the current local time zone. If you have import recordings created for example within summer time and import is happening in winter time, you will see the timestamp being offset by one hour. So always make sure that timestamps are correct after importing.

A fix is rather simple: bcAdmin allows to shift recording times as well as session times by an user choosable offset. Set that to one hour and all time stamps are correct again.

bcAnalyze

Questions on bcAnalyze 3

Can you manually analyse recordings from bcAdmin/batIdent using BatSound or BatExplorer?

Yes, it is possible, but we do not recommend it. It means you have to transfer these to your Windows computer and you may have to export them as wave first. Regarding the seamless integration of bcAnalyze into bcAdmin, we recommend to use our tool bcAnalyze. You save precious time switching between systems.

bcAdmin opens Wave files in iTunes instead of bcAnalyze

bcAdmin uses the standard application for the file type wave. This usually is iTunes. You can set another application like bcAnalyze as standard application. For this you will need to locate a wave file in the Finder and then do as follows:

Right click a wave file in Finder. Choose Information from the menu. Scroll down in the information panel and locate Open with. Now choose bcAnalyze there and  click on the button below to make that standard for all files of that type. From then on wave files are opened in bcAnalyze.

How can I change the sound analysis application for opening sound files from bcAdmin?

bcAdmin uses the standard application for sound files. If you want to switch between various applications, you will need to locate a sound file in the Finder and then do as follows:

Right click file in Finder. Choose Information from the menu. Scroll down in the information panel and locate Open with. Now choose for example bcAnalyze 3 there and  click on the button below to make that standard for all files of that type. From then on wave files are opened in bcAnalyze 3.

You need to repeat that for each file type.

batIdent

Questions on batIdent

batIdent identifies species not occurring in my area. Can I disable them?

batIdent is trained with a rather complete set of calls of European bat species. The underlying statistics are fitted to the various genera and groups. It is not possible to remove a species without rebuilding the whole statistical data set.

Yet bcAdmin allows a simple batch replace of species, that way you can quickly and easily replace not occurring species with the one it was misclassified with. Note that currently spreading of species throughout Europe can be witnessed and species sets at sites may change including new species. So always make sure you control at least some recording software non occurring species.

Usage

Using the batcorder system for survey or scientific studies

Who is responsible for installation of batcorders in a wind turbine nacelle?

For working in wind turbine nacelles often various regulation are requiring medical tests and special education. Most consultants do not fulfil these requirements and are not allowed to enter a wind turbine nacelle. Thus, installation of batcorders is mostly done by service teams that are also servicing the wind turbine. Usually they are well aware of the technical requirements of installation and have done such installations quite often. We recommend you schedule installation in advance, the teams often have only limited time slots.

we are not qualified to do such installations.

Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous questions

Is it allowed to use the identification tree graphic in reports?

You will find an image for usage in your reports on our batIdent page.