Earth Notes: Bats Around our Home aka 16WW (2021)Updated 2021-04-08 13:13 GMT.
By Damon Hart-Davis.
An AudioMoth v1.2.0 arrived today, with waterproof case, 64GB microSD card, and jack socket.
2021-04-02: AudioMoth Setup
Finally, over this long weekend, I think that I have time for AudioMoth's Initial Setup and some test recordings!
I have installed 3 x AA NiMH cells from my desktop stash. I have also installed the 64GB SD microSD card. The switch is in the USB/OFF central position.
Flicking the switch to CUSTOM has both (red and green) LEDs flash.
I downloaded the AudioMoth Time app to my Mac and used it to set the time over the USB cable, which seemed to be retained when unplugging the cable. This app also tells me that the AudioMoth is running
1.5.0, and that the battery is at 4.1V.
The AudioMoth Flash app similarly detects V1.5.0 on the AudioMoth.
The AudioMoth Configuration app likewise detects V1.5.0, 4.1V, the time, and offers me a selection of options.
I note that the default recording sample rate for the AudioMoth is 48ksps, as I use for non-ultrasonic field recordings. So a reasonable initial test is a recoding by each at that sample rate, ideally using mono on both devices. But getting the Zoom H1n to record mono seems a bot tricky, and I don't want to mess up later recordings, so I'm leaving it be, at 48ksps 16bit WAV.) The AudioMOth defaults to medium gain.
(I've configured the AudioMoth to know that it has NiMH cells in.)
I'm going to take the recording on the AudioMoth at my desk by flipping the switch to DEFAULT, and will manually start a Zoom recording too. Note that there is a disc rattling away taking a backup on the desk, and some noise outside!
The aim is to make sure that I can actually record at all, get at the files, load them in to Audacity, etc.
(The H1n's clock is currenlty about 4 minutes fast at this point. I fixed it after these desktop co-recordings.)
When I remove the microSD card from the AudioMoth and plug it into my MacBook Air's SD card slot using the supplied adaptor, it does not show up in Finder in the 'Locations' section, nor immediately in Disk Utility, so I wondered if it had a filesystem on it at all. It did show up in
About This Mac --> System Report ... --> Storage as a 64GB ExFAT volume "Untitled 1" internal. It did seem to show up later in Disk Utility, maybe after fsck completed. But still not in Finder directly. It was available under the DHDMacBook device. I have renamed it AudioMoth.
I was then able to access the initial recording, the
CONFIG.TXT configuration file, and the Zoom H1n recording at the same time, filed for posterity in folder
Zoom H1n recording:
file utility reports both recordings to be 16-bit:
20210402_122404.WAV: RIFF (little-endian) data, WAVE audio, Microsoft PCM, 16 bit, mono 48000 Hz ZoomH1n-210402-122858.WAV: RIFF (little-endian) data, WAVE audio, Microsoft PCM, 16 bit, stereo 48000 Hz
The config file content is:
Device ID : 242A26045F772B95 Firmware : AudioMoth-Firmware-Basic (1.5.0) Time zone : UTC Sample rate (Hz) : 48000 Gain : Medium Sleep duration (s) : 5 Recording duration (s) : 55 Active recording periods : 0 Earliest recording time : ---------- --:--:-- Latest recording time : ---------- --:--:-- Filter : - Amplitude threshold : - Minimum threshold duration (s) : - Enable LED : Yes Enable low-voltage cutoff : Yes Enable battery level indication : Yes (NiMH/LiPo voltage range) Always require acoustic chime : No
As a further test I set up the AudioMoth and H1n to record an entire 15 minute prewash cycle side-by-side in front of the Electra C1845W dishwasher.
AudioMoth raw sample from end of prewash:
Zoom H1n raw sample from end of prewash:
I expect to use the AudioMoth in the field at 192ksps for bat detection, but here is a max-speed 384ksps ambient (evening, at desk, by window) sample because I can...
And... The AudioMoth has been deployed outside at 192ksps after dark. I flipped the switch to DEFAULT, put it in its case, and strapped it to a bush. I'll check it in the morning, though it's unlikely to yield anything.
I have been somewhat slack and only just looked at the AudioMoth recording of overnight on the 2nd. I turned off the AudioMoth and brought it in .
Rather than one huge recording there seem to be multiple separate WAVs, presumably up to the 4GB limit for 32-bit WAV files. Each recording seems to be about 3 hours long.
4294656488 2 Apr 22:49 20210402_194330.WAV 4294656488 3 Apr 01:56 20210402_224956.WAV 4294656488 3 Apr 05:02 20210403_015622.WAV 4294656488 3 Apr 08:09 20210403_050248.WAV 4294656488 3 Apr 11:15 20210403_080914.WAV 1650524160 3 Apr 12:27 20210403_111540.WAV
Trying to load everything into Audacity at once seems to have been an error, including filling my disc!
Listening to the (non-ultrasonic bits of the) first one, the content seems to be mainly wind noise ie a breeze through the trees. There is the odd siren, and maybe signs of a small animal.
Here is a small sample (note the the FLAC is broadband ultrasonic):
FLAC encoding the first one does not quite halve its size at 2360541581 bytes out.
A sample before dawn with birdsong, breezes and distant church bells (note the the FLAC is broadband ultrasonic):
A sample after sunrise mainly pigeons and parakeets, with some ultrasonics eg from wing flaps (note the the FLAC is broadband ultrasonic):
At solar noon (1pm local) birds on the metal feeder(s) (note the the FLAC is broadband ultrasonic):
2021-04-08: TPP Visualisation
Mark W tells me that he has been putting out an Audiomoth most nights this year in the garden. The WAV files recorded by the Audiomoth have a file header which includes the temperature, so even if there are no bats you still have a record of what the temperature was.
Hot off the press he tells me:
Just processed last night's Audiomoth files, the temperature was a bit higher than the night before so got some bats. I think the batteries ran out before sunrise as missing some data. The last bat recorded was at voltage of 3.0 Volts and there were 6 red flashes when I switched from Custom to USB/Off, I either have some old LiMH batteries, the battery usage is greater than the Configuration app suggests or the capacity is not as great when the temperatures are low.