In a bit of a testing lull, we thought it might a good idea to update you on the sort of kit that we're now using as this has changed somewhat from the first post about this here.
We've moved away from the quadcopter for a while now and have been testing a plane instead. This post is about the cost and suppliers of the stuff that we're using in case you would like to have a go at this yourself. So, let's take a look.
The first thing to mention is that we're not going to be 'hearing' any bats without a decent detector. As mentioned in our last post about the new detector we've been using a prototype detector from peersonic.co.uk. It's a brilliant bit of kit being much lighter and smaller than anything we've seen on the market. Thanks as always go to Peter at PeerSonic for his help with this.
We're also using a Bix3 from hobbyking (this link will take you to the Ready To Fly (RTF) version, we used the Plug aNd Fly (PNF) version but it doesn't seem to be on their website anymore). Something we haven't mentioned before is that we're also using a Spektrum DX8 transmitter. Have a look at our post here for why we went with a plane and this model in particular.
Might be easier from this point to use bullet points for the rest of the stuff (all prices include VAT):
We also use program called Mission Planner to plan our routes on a laptop which we take into the field with us. This is the software that you connect to the Pixhawk with in order to plot waypoints and configure how the plane flies. Have a look here for the firmware we're using on the Pixhawk, it's all open source and free: http://plane.ardupilot.com/
So that just about covers everything that's required to put together something that we hope will have a decent chance of recording bats in flight. We do have future iterations planed design wise for the plane to further distance the motor/propeller and the detector so watch this space for future developments.
Next time out in the field we'll be collecting some flight recordings with the detector and hopefully getting close to proof of concept.