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Transition to our new website!


Janet introduces the D500x and gets you ready for a simple recording session. See our advanced video below.

The D500X is a full spectrum "direct recording" ultrasound recording unit intended for long-term, unattended recording of bat and other high frequency animal calls. Designed to be deployed for weeks or months, this device detects full-spectrum ultrasound and records in real time using the highest quality, highest signal-to-noise ratio microphone presently available on any passive bat detector today. Coupled with sophisticated automatic species identification built into the new SonoBat 3 software, the D500x will become the hardware component of passive acoustic monitoring solutions for the future. This detector was produced by Pettersson at the request of bat biologists with features heavily influenced by BCM to meet the goals of long term passive recording deployments without compromising sound quality to make the best of today's automated bat call classifiers.

The D500x recorder is equipped with four slots for readily available CF flash memory cards. A total capacity of 128 GB can be obtained if four 32 GB cards are used. The triggering system allows the device to start recording as a sound is detected, and can include a predetermined time before a trigger event if desired. A sophisticated trigger system only records events that are more likely to be bats rather than noise. The recording length can be selected in steps from 0.3 up to 30 seconds, and even manually triggered. In order not to fill the card too fast at locations with extremely high activity, a wait time between two recordings can be applied. The newest (free) firmware upgrades includes automatic sunrise/sunset timers, more sophisticated trigger logic, rich metadata support, more detailed log file, more intuitive use of user profiles, and better power management and reporting.

Battery life depends on the chosen sampling rate (the D500x is optimized for a "best in class" 500 kHz sample rate), amount of bat activity, and the settings (e.g. how long to wait between recordings). It is expected to be up to 15 days for the internal "C" batteries. This assumes the unit "sleeps" during daytime and that it is active for 8-hours each night, but not constantly recording during that time. Using an external 6v battery will allow much longer operating times. The current consumption while recording is in the range 150-200 mA. We have run a D500x for one month on the external 13 Ah battery listed below and had over 6v of good charge when recovered.

"Direct Recording" is a relatively new class of bat detectors that is not intended for active monitoring, only passive monitoring where the unit will be deployed unmanned for hours, days, or weeks unattended. This class of detector usually has no speaker or bat call display and the memory cards must be downloaded into a laptop for analysis. For 2014 Pettersson added a headphone port (the SE FD model) allowing the user to monitor bat activity in real time by using frequency divison technology. This enables the user to take advantage of the premium microphone on this unit to record voucher calls or other active recording pursuits. Unlike other passive detectors, file numbers are readily apparent onscreen that enables you to keep track of what event you are recording. A manual record button allows you to make voucher calls of any length, and even record voice notes. The special FD Edition includes a headphone jack to monitor frequency division output in real time, enabling easy manual recording bat passes and tracking bats for voucher calls, or simply answer the question that inevitably plagues anyone who has deployed passive recorders: "Is this thing being set off by bats or bugs?"

d5002smaller1General D500x Features:

  • The most user-friendly of the direct-recording full spectrum detectors
  • Controls accessed without removing panels with tools and exposing electronics to the elements
  • "Power Fail-Resume Recording" feature resumes a recording session if power is interrupted
  • Four timers to turn the unit on/off at desired intervals, and four sunrise/sunset programmable offsets; the D500x knows when your local sunrise/sunset is
  • Four levels of sophisticated trigger sensitivity actively rejects noise and minimizes the number of noise files recorded
  • Storage capacity for weeks or months under normal conditions, generates *.wav files on CF cards. (BCM strongly advises leaving no recorder any manufacturer unattended longer than you can afford to lose your data!)
  • Copy .wav files into laptops ready for analysis, no transfer utility or conversion needed
  • Time & date & coordinates metadata stamped sound files
  • Log file records each timer session on/off, status every hour, memory remaining, and battery voltage.
  • Low power consumption <200 milliamperes. Uses commonly found inexpensive DC power plugs and is reverse polarity protected.
  • No computer required to launch detector or record files. CF cards format in the device.
  • Size: 165 x 170 x 53 mm, solid rugged aluminum (not plastic) housing that is weather and dust resistant
  • Sampling rates: 44.1 kHz, 300 kHz and 500 kHz (optimized for 500 kHz ; other wildlife recorders marketed as "bat" detectors cannot sample nearly 1/3 this rate without skipping over data and using software to mask this issue from the user!)
  • ADC resolution: 16 bits with onboard memory buffer that never drops data as seen routinely with less expensive passive detectors
  • Selectable high-pass filter to attenuate undesired low frequency signals, or leave off to record other wildlife below 15 kHz
  • Files read directly into SonoBat and BatSound
  • Sync the D500x time with your existing handheld GPS and record a track on your GPS (or even an iPhone). Then use the inexpensive app from to combine your D500x bat files with your GPS track and display your bats on Google Earth. No complicated, expensive connectors required.
  • One of the fastest post processing workflows when using SonoBat
  • The D500x microphone is 1) inherently weather resistant without needing a windscreen that must be replaced frequently and 2) moderately directional without add-on "cones" that degrade the sound recording.
  • BCM includes a handy microphone capsule for not only protecting the mic in storage and transport, but can also be used cleverly two ways to add even more weatherproofing during deployments if desired.

January 2014-Current D500x Special Edition FD Features:

  • Headphone jack to monitor live frequency-divison output. This feature was requested by BCM so that the D500x could effectively be used to selectively record when listening during active monitoring, and tracking voucher calls in particular. You can now monitor activity during mobile transects, and monitor audio during deployment to better assess if your detector is triggering on noise or real bats.
  • The live monitoring feature essentally replaces the need for a Pettersson D240x+MP3 recorder combo for active monitoring.
  • The D500x Special Edition FD have an additional current drain of ca 14 mA in the Armed and Recording modes. This results in the following battery drain per 24 hours:
    • Assume the D500X FD is active for 10 hours and sleeps for 14 hours and records for 1 hours of the 10 active hours. This results in an approximate drain of 535 mAh per 24 hours. Without the FD circuit, this would have been ca 385 mAh, i.e. an increase by 38% with the FD.
    • Assume the D500X FD is active for 10 hours and sleeps for 14 hours and records for 3 hours of the 10 active hours. This results in an approximate drain of 1000 mAh per 24 hours. Without the FD circuit, this would have been ca 860 mAh, i.e. an increase by 16% with the FD.
    • If you have no interest using your D500x for Active Monitoring/listening to activity in real time, and would prefer the best battery performance for long term deployment, consider the standard D500x instead.

March 2013-Current D500x Standard Features:

  • Includes the Pettersson D500x External Mic with built in preamp, best in class.
  • Firmware upgrade for includes timer options based on local sunset/sunrise, and improved onboard noise filtering to reduce false triggers. This firmware is for all D500x generations; enhancing your valuable hardware investment!
  • External microphone input jack, an external mic can be 330' or more away with no signal loss
  • The external mic can be placed directly on the D500x housing without any extension cable if desired
  • Internal "C" batteries may drive unit ~10 nights
  • Simplified mic port configuration
  • Overpriced, proprietary cable connectors & power adapters have been eliminated. Relatively inexpensive mic extension and power cables are locally available aiding with field repairs.

d5003smallerMarch 2013-Earlier D500x features not carried forward:

  • Internal microphone
  • External trigger input jack
  • Internal "AA" batteries may drive unit up to 5 nights



While competitors's offerings are rapidly end-of-lifed,
Pettersson's detectors continue to
serve because they are among the highest quality, they are well thought out, and contain useful features end users need, instead of being rushed-to-market experiments.
What is your data
(and your time) worth?

"I spent the past two weeks teaching back-to-back workshops that focused heavily on acoustics..... and (as always) the D500X out-performed all the other models combined in number and quality of calls. I think our students were mightily impressed and my mantra "you get what you pay for" has started to sink in. Nothing beats how easy and user friendly the D500x is to operate and how easy it is to post-process the calls and get on with the business of analysis. I'm hoping it will become the "go to" device for applications requiring the best sound quality available in a passive detector." 

- Janet Tyburec, principal bat workshop instructor for BCI, BCM, USFS & others since 1992 and is an expert user of AnaBat, AnaLook, Wildlife Acoustics hardware, and SonoBat software




Janet takes you step-by-step system check to ensure you get a successful recording session.

Pettersson D500x Programming Part 2
Problem playing video? See this video on YouTube

Full Spectrum "missing" Myth
There is a persistant myth that full spectrum devices do not record as many bat passes as frequency division (a.k.a. ANABAT) devices. This refers to the Pettersson D240x unit which is a "full spectrum time expansion" detector. The D240x unit must pause to download the recording to a recording device and in theory would miss other bat activity during download (however, this is highly disputed in real life tests). The D500x is a "full spectrum direct recording" device and essentially does not pause between recordings (although it can be programmed to.) Time Expansion was a method of allowing relatively slow computers of the '80s and '90s to record at high sample rates necessary to record bat calls. This method has been surpassed by faster computers that simply record to memory cards and hard drives. Time Expansion is still an extremely valuable during post processing tool; for example, listening to a a file in TE allows you to easily hear multiple bats in a single recording.

Confused about acoustic monitoring for bats?

Acoustic monitoring is more complicated than it appears. How do you know if what you are recording is any good, if you don't know what it's supposed to sound like in the first place? Please see our acoustic help section particularly for placement and weatherproofing suggestion. BCM also offers highly rated workshops of various lengths around the country for those wishing to jumpstart their learning curve. We also offer professional services ranging from managing your acoustic data for you to complete project management; contact John Chenger for quotes.

A note about placement and weatherproofing the Pettersson D500x
The Pettersson D500x and SonoBat software meets the guidelines contained in the USFWS Indiana Bat Survey Protocol. We recommend:


Pettersson D500x Pricing
Contact Jenni, Bryan, or John for quantity discount pricing


d5004T1Pettersson D500x FD
Special Edition Bat Detector

Includes (1)- 16GB SanDisk Gold compact flash card, external microphone with preamp, protective microphone capsule, and manual. Live frequency divison sound output via headphone jack. 4- C batteries and mic extension cable not included.

In Stock

$1,995.00 elitesilver001praddtocart2b1





d5004T1a1Pettersson D500x
Standard Bat Detector

Includes (1)- 16GB SanDisk Gold compact flash card, external microphone with preamp, protective microphone capsule and manual. 4- C batteries and mic extension cable not included. No audio output.

In Stock

$1,595.00 elitesilver001praddtocart2b2a1



Starter Acoustic Survey Package
Everything in one box for short term surveys
(Meets USFWS Indiana bat survey protocol)

PETd500system2 sonobat1


$3,266.00 USD In Stock
elitesilver001praddtocart2 viewcart
Please select SonoBat version type,
operating system, and regional pack on the Checkout.

*For use with EchoClass or BCID software, full spectrum .wav files must be down sampled to frequency divided (Anabat compatible) files using the free tool in the demo version of Kalideoscope from Wildlife Acoustics. AnaBat files cannot be converted for use in SonoBat as there is too little data in AnaBat files.


"Grab and Go" Field Acoustic Survey Package
Additional kits for short term surveys (no software)



$1,675.00 USD In Stock
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D500x Help

What's the Grab 'n Go box for?PETgrabngotips1aNote: Current Grab n' Go Kits no longer include a battery or external power cable due to the larger capacity of the internal batteries. We will update the graphic shortly.


What's the Microphone Capsule for?PETgrabngotips2a

Pettersson D500x
"When Your Results Matter"

Simple, proven, long term recording
now also for active monitoring

The Pettersson D500x Special Edition FD and included external microphone takes a field proven, rock solid recording platform and expands it with even more capability for power users. This device design was influenced by BCM and other bat field workers specifically to obtain the highest quality sound recordings and be user friendly to feed data daily into auto classifiers when post processing calls. The external mic input is balanced (differential) and cable runs up to 100m (330') long have been tested with no discernable signal loss.

The Special Edition FD is a new option requested by biologists who wanted an easier method to record voucher calls and other active monitoring tasks. Live frequency-division output is available using headphones and allows you to make full spectrum manual recordings for as long as the bat of interest can be heard.

Extensively deployed at BCM workshops along with other similar detectors from other manufacturers, the D500x is the "gold standard" we compare others to for recording quality and ease of use. See Chenger/Tyburec poster Comparing Bat Detector Deployments at Different Heights, In Different Orientations, and Using Different Microphone Types



surveypouchsmall1aD500x Survey Pouch

Any bat detector should be up off the ground during a recording session. The microphone is closer to bats and there is less chance the detector will be stepped on, run over, or carted off by unhelpful wildlife. The size and weight of this detector does not lend itself to be easily taped to a limb or balanced on a ledge. BCM designed this custom pouch so that a D500x can be hung on a tree trunk and the microphone angled in any direction by an adjustable strap. The front side is heavy mesh and allows the buttons to be used. The display is mostly visible for visual confirmation that the detector is working and can be seen from a distance. Not waterproof. Compatible with early D500x when using the internal microphone, or current D500x when the external microphone is plugged directly into the chassis.


In Stock

$34.00 elitesilver001praddtocart2b1b1



ExtMic2T1D500x External Microphone
Weatherproof but like any microphone, not long term corrosion proof. Mount horizontal for best weatherproofing.

In Stock

$495.00 elitesilver001praddtocart2b1a2



DMXcableT1D500x Mic Extension Cable
Heavy duty professional audio cable to remotely place microphone. No signal loss on a D500x external mic. Select length in shopping cart; longer lengths over 100' available, email or call for quote.

In Stock

$34.95-$99.00 elitesilver001praddtocart2b1a1b



DMXAdapterpre2013T1D500x-to-DMX Mic Cable (pre-2013 replacement)
1m long cable required to connect 5-pin DMX mic cables to the D500x external mic port. One is included with every external mic sold before March 2013. This is a replacement item for these units. Not necessary for D500x purchased after March 2013, or units which have been upgraded with the DMX port on the chassis.


In Stock

$115.00 elitesilver001praddtocart2b1a1a1



ammobox1Storage/Travel/Short Term Deployment Case
Intended to hold everything in our "Grab and Go" kit; a D500x, 25' cable, and mic capsule. We have cut a small groove in the lid for you so the mic cable can exit. Plastic, weather resistant, lightweight construction and stackable. Large box can also hold the external battery for longer deployments between servicing.

In Stock

$38.00 elitesilver001praddtocart2b1a1a1a1b



D500x External Power


powercablepre2013T1D500x External Power Cable, original
30cm/16 inch cable terminates in "S" for connection to 6v rechargeable batteries or
Battery Tender accessories. Solid "S" connector and epoxy-filled detector plug for reliable long life. For all D500x purchased before March 2013.

In Stock

$26.00 elitesilver001praddtocart2b1a1a1a1a2


D500x External Power Cable 2013-Present
30cm/16 inch cable terminates in "S" for connection to 6v rechargeable batteries, Battery Tender, or Xciter charger accessories.PETD500xpower2014a

Custom manufactured specifically for the D500x, the 2.5mm power plug with screw-in "locking-ring" is designed for reliability, long-life and a secure connection between your detector and external power supply. For all D500x purchased after March 2013.   

In Stock

$29.00 elitesilver001praddtocart2b1a1a1a1a1b



BatTend6v16v Battery Tender Charger
Smart charger will not overcharge 6v batteries. Includes a fused ring "S" connector as well as other accessory leads to connect to other various batteries.

In Stock

$39.00 elitesilver001praddtocart2b1a1a1a1a1a3






ampbattery120Ah External Battery
Newest firmware is doing more noise scrubbing, requiring more battery capacity. This 6 volt, 20Ah sealed lead acid battery, non spillable, still fits in the Grab 'n Go kits. Requires a fused ring "S" cable connector to be compatible with
Battery Tender Jr. 6v chargers and the D500x external power adapter. For comparison, the best rechargable C-size D500x internal batteries are 5Ah capacity.

Not available from BCM: Obtain from your local battery supply store or online



BTRingTerminal1Fused Ring terminal Quick Connect and Hardware
Quick connector to attach to the 20Ah battery with ring terminals. This enables you to quickly charge the battery with a 6v Battery Tender and also connect to the D500x External Power Cable. We include machine screws, washers, and lock washer hardware for the connection.

In Stock

$12.00 elitesilver001praddtocart2b1a1a1a1a1a2a




Servicing a D500x

All detectors and microphones are tested by BCM staff before shipping to customers. Please contact BCM first detailing the issue you are having with the hardware and obtain a Return Authorization. Should email or phone troubleshooting fail to resolve the issue, you should send the unit in suitable packaging to BCM, with the RA number written on the packaging. BCM will confirm the unit is defective was not abused or water damaged. BCM will repair or replace the unit at our discretion usually within one week.


Pettersson factory warranty is one year. We have such confidence in this time-tested hardware, BCM extends this warranty 4 additional years for D500x and M500 devices purchased thru BCM, for a total of a 5 year warranty from date of purchase.


DOA microphones are replaced immediately at no charge. There is a $125 for refurbishing used microphones, shipped immediately if in stock.

Early External Microphone Port Upgrade: Very early units require an internal modification for the external microphone port to function correctly. Units with a serial number (printed on the label next to the CF card slots) of 178 and higher do not need the modification (anything purchased after November 2010). This does not affect the use of the internal microphone, and those early units only need upgraded if you wish to start using the new external microphones. This upgrade is covered by the manufacturer.

2013 External Microphone Port Upgrade: This upgrade replaces the more weatherproof external mic port Switchcraft connector on pre-March 2013 D500x with the current less weatherproof DMX microphone port. This upgrade forever releases you from the having to use the proprietary Switchcraft-to-DMX adapter.

Clock Battery Upgrade: If you must reset the clock on every power up, the internal lithium clock battery needs replaced. On very early units, this unfortunately requires completely disassembling the unit. (In newer units the backup battery is located near the CF cards.) We can modify your early D500x so that the clock battery is user-replaceable. After this upgrade the clock battery is expected to last 5-10 years. This upgrade is covered by the manufacturer.

Port Connectors Replacement: If you have broken the physical connectors on the D500x (ext mic/ext power/ext trigger), the unit must be disassembled. However, often this is not a time critical repair if the port still functions.

For USA D500x Upgrade Service as described above, please ship with signature confirmation to: Myotisoft, Attn: David A. Riggs. Note that shipping to our main office in Carlisle will only delay your upgrade; please ship directly to Myotisoft. Repair quotes available once the unit arrives and is tested. Units that do not power up will be referred to the manufacturer. Some upgrades may be covered by the manufacturer, shipping is additional

D500x Manual

D500x Quick Start Guide


D500x Quick Data Swap Guide

D500x Firmware
Pettersson's website for the latest firmware recommended for all users. Use the D500X Utility (be sure the Utility has an .exe extension) to transfer firmware to a CF card, do not drag and drop the firmware onto the CF card.

Bat Conservation and Management, Inc. Carlisle, Pennsylvania (717) 241-ABAT

BCM Returns Policy

Deploy for passive recording in 4 easy steps...

1. Verify time settings

Under TIME SETTINGS, program the time, date, and time zone (aka UTC off-set), and enter GPS coordinates in D/M/S. If a project spans the "daylight savings time" time-change-date(s), make the D500x "DST aware" by turning DST "ON.


2. Verify timer

Under TIMERS, select Relative Timers. Activate a timer by pressing the "on" button on the keypad. Verify that sun set/rise times are accurate (if not, something in TIME SETTINGS is incorrect). The D500x will then turn on at sunset (18:59 in our example) and turn off at sunrise (05:49). Users can enter a +/- HH:MM offset if desired. Deactivate any active Absolute Timers to avoid conflicts.


3. Check user profile

Under USER PROFILES, use the left/right arrow keys to select USER0 and program the values on the screen-shot, and press ENTER. Then at the "ready" screen, ensure that USER0 is the current active profile by pressing ENTER. Use the left/right arrow keys to select USER0 and press ENTER.


4. Start a recording

Press REC and use the left/right arrow keys to select the settings of 45/160/0 for a typical recording session. (Note; for whispering bats, you might try 80/120/0). An asterisk will flash when input and trigger thresholds are met and the D500x would record. If the asterisk is solid and the Tr bar is maxed out, move to a less noisy area or reduce gain & increase the trigger level until levels stabilize. Trigger levels higher than 200 will start missing bat passes.



D500X starting at $1,595.00
including 5 year BCM USA warranty

Pettersson and BCM are supporting large scale research projects with additional quantity discounts! Contact John, Jenni or Bryan for quotes.