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Field Testing Bat Detector Prototype

In the next few days (weather permitting) 
Ron and I are going bat hunting.  
We’re going to field test our Bat Detector.   

   Bats roosting in La Cuevas de Ventos


Why a bat detector?  Simple, we live in Austin where there are lots of bats.  
Furthermore, I like bats.  I remember when we went into la Cuevas de Vento 
(Wind cave) in Puerto Rico and actually found bats roosting.  I had a blast.  
Above photo of the bats roosting.   When I get a chance I’ll post some photos 
of that adventure.


Back to the Bat Detector; I first breadboarded it to see if the design would 
work and it did.

               Breadboard Bat detector

See how quickly it became a rat’s nest with all the wire clips and components.  Tip – 
It's a good idea to have a small tray thus keeping things together so that if you have 
to move your project elsewhere you can easily. 
For further tips working in small spaces 
read – Electronics Storage For Small Spaces.


While I’m at it, another tip is using peg boards.  Peg boards are great because it allows 
you to use vertical space.  In my previous posting LED Bat Display Sign the first photo 
shows how my work area was compared to now:

      Improved work area. Notice pegboard.

I have most of my tools and what not easily accessible and since the peg board is a plastic 
white sheet it does double duty as a reflector.  We bought this at Lowe’s incase you are 
interested in getting one for your work area.


When I was bread boarding this detector some of the components such as a audio jack, 
potentiometer, or switch doesn’t necessarily fit will in the board.  That’s when the alligator 
chips come in handy.  But even then it’s not enough.  The pain I encounter was connecting 
alligator clips to a double pole double throw (DPDT) switch since its small and there isn’t 
enough distance between each connecting points.  


Solution, make my own stand-alone unit for prototyping only.  

              DPDT switch stand-alone unit


Once built, I was easily able to interface with the bread board and test the bat detector.

Here’s is the finished prototype bat detector.  Notice the side view it still has a rat’s nest 
and once we confirm our values I’ll start the process of making the printed circuit board 
(PCB) and verifying the component on the final stage.  Eventually we will be developing 
and offering such project kits for you to build your own Bat Detector.


                 Bat Detector Front View
                    Bat Detector Side View

 Does it seem interesting?  Drop in a line, let me know what you think?

         (c) 2006-Current -All context and photos by Sybarite13




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