Pettersson M500 Microphone
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What can I return?
You may return new, unopened items sold within 30 days of delivery for a full refund. Shirts, hats, and mugs are made to order and are not returnable.
When will I get my refund?
Most refunds are fully refunded in 3-5 business days after we receive and process your return.
Does BCM do replacements?
We can only replace the exact item and version you ordered, and you are responsible to return the damaged item within 30 days. If you want to exchange for a different item, you will need to return the item and place a new order.
Pettersson D500x and M500 Bat Detectors Return and Exchange Policy
All detectors 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 replace the unit at our discretion usually within one week. Units requiring repairs may take 6-8 weeks.
Pettersson factory warranty is one year.
D500x External Microphone Return Policy
All microphones are tested by BCM staff before shipping to customers. Please contact BCM first detailing the issue you are having with the Microphone 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.
DOA microphones are replaced immediately at no charge. There is a $150 for refurbishing used microphones, shipped immediately if in stock.
Electronics purchased from BCM are easily returned within 30 days of receipt of shipment. These items must be in new condition with original packaging and accessories. All bat detectors sold by BCM are supported by the device's manufacturers. In the unlikely event a detector appears to be defective, please contact the customer support network for the computer manufacturer to have it serviced under warranty. Pettersson D500x/M500 devices have specific policies, see above.
Software titles purchased from BCM are easily returned within 30 days of receipt of shipment. These items must be unopened and still in their plastic wrap.
Other items purchased from BCM can only be returned if:
- The return is packaged and shipped in the original packaging.
- The items are still in new condition.
- You ship your return within 30 days of receipt of the original shipment.
Any returns that do not meet the above qualifications may receive a reduced refund or be returned to the purchaser. Some items may incur a restocking fee as these items must be inspected, tested, and repackaged. If a restocking fee applies it will be noted on the product information page. All returns will be less original shipping costs.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERSAsk BCM a Question
An elderly lady living in New Jersey with some pet parrots is having a problem with a neighbor who gets up at 6 am and blows some kind of whistle until 9 am. Now, the lady cannot hear the whistle, but her birds do hear it. The talking birds will say: My ears hurt! My ears hurt! when that is happening. The elderly lady knows this neighbor is blowing the whistle because she can see her in her car when she arrives home in the afternoon and the birds start screaming. Apparently they are able to hear this whistle and it is quite irritating. But it is emitting a high pitched sound that humans cannot hear but the birds can hear. So, I am wondering if you have ever heard of this kind of whistle and if you have any type of recording device that will record it so it can be played and heard by humans.
I have been getting an increasing number of questions similar to this. The short answer is yes, I could sell you a solution hat allows you to see a real-time response of ultrasound as you wave a microphone around. The microphone I would suggest is the M500-384, is ~$400, and must connect to a Windows 10 device or smartphone. Interpreting the signals might be tricky; many things in a house can generate ultrasound and will be picked up by the microphone. That said, with some practice you can pin down the source of the sound and make recordings. However, I would say this is more of a law enforcement issue and the lady should first file a complaint with the local police who will visit the neighbor and perhaps that will be enough for the activity to stop. Ultrasound at high enough dB to travel between apartments is dangerous to human hearing for an extended time, even though we can't "hear" it, it is still harmful enough OSHA has set limits as to what safe levels are.
Would the M500 microphone pick up better than the D240x?
The M500 is actually the same high-end mic element as the D240x, so your recordings will appear familier in that the frequency response is essentially unchanged. A huge problem with certain other brands is every iteration of their microphones has a different frequency response, which can be seen in full spectrum and causes mis-classifications when using auto-ID apps. The M500 has updated electronics and supposedly is even better than the D500x microphone we compare to other brands. The much bigger difference using the M500 + SonoBatLIVE over the D240x is that the capture process is all automated, so you will be recording a lot more bat calls than you might with the D240x, in many but not all situations. You can also connect the M500 to an Android device and use a $6 app call Batrecorder, and it would actually function better than the D240 system you are currently using, because there is no downtime between recordings, it saves direct .wav files to the SD card in the phone. (You can buy Andrioid phones with no phone contract, etc. and use them as bat detectors.
What is the furthest you can record a bat with this microphone?
This is highly variable and no manufacturer will be able to give you an exact answer. If it is a loud calling bat, directly at the microphone, you might detect it several hundred feet or more away. If it is a whispering bat, such as a Northern long ear, you might only detect it ~20’ from the microphone. “Detection” is much different than “recognizing”. To “recognize” a particular species you will need to be something closer to faithfully record the characteristics necessary to confidently identify something to species. If the animal is behind the microphone, again you will need to be something closer. Obstructions such as leaves & limbs and air contribute distortion, so long distance typically introduces more distortion. Most of these factors are best compensated by deployment times… longer deployments over 1-2 weeks has been shown to most effectively record most species in a given area. This is simply because the longer time allows bats to more likely encounter the microphone and make a number of good recordings.
Hello. I need the datasheet of the sensor equipment. I would like to know what the frequency response is and how flat it is. Can you help me.
Hi- the response curves for the M500 and M500-384 are located on the product page as one of the images:
What do you mean by this? "* requires the M500-384 model or an existing M500 which has been changed to the 384 version via a firmware change" If I but the M500 and the bat android app and I good to go or do I need to buy something else?
The M500 is available in 2 different sampling rates, 500 or 384. Mobile devices must use the 384 version of this microphone because they are not powerful enough to use the faster 500kHz sample rate. If you only ever to plan to use the microphone with a laptop/desktop computer, and have a critical need the faster 500 kHz sample rate, then the 500 kHz version is your choice. It is possible to change the firmware of a 500 model to operate at 384 if desired, but it may not be able to be changed back easily. 384 kHz sample rate should make recordings up to ~192 kHz which easily resolves any North American bat species with upper bandwidth to spare. If you are wanting to record something higher than ~192 kHz then consider the 500 kHz model. -JC
I purchased this M500 microphone through Bat Management last year, and when I use it with my panasonic toughbook laptop, there is a loud continuous hiss in the 0-20Khz range, and I have to turn down the volume on the computer. As a result I can't turn up the bat calls (as they come in) when recording with Sonobat Live. Any idea what could cause this?
This could be everything/anything in the environment, starting with the laptop. Using a 15' USB cable, see if the sound is less noticable the further you are from the laptop/pointing away from the laptop. This could also be lights nearby, outdoor motion sensors, or insects. Software should filter 0-5 kHz eliminating some non-bat noise, but if you are in eastern US with the exception of south FL, you can set your recording software to filter to up to 20 kHz as there are no bats below ~20 kHz in that area; this will dramatically improve recordings. You should try headphones as this will dramatically improve the listening experiance as well. Extend the mic off the ground using extention cables such as: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0777FDCX7/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&qty=2&th=1 I use the 50' one sometimes chained to an additional 30' one. Avoid the longer cords as none are waterproof and it is better to replace shorter cords if/when they go bad. - JC
What are the uses for a bat detector? Can it be used in attics to see if there are bats there? Sorry, I'm new to this. I found a bat in my home and I want to make sure that there are none found elsewhere.
Hello- a bat detector records bat calls, if bats are calling. The M500 can be extended on USB Active Extenders at least 60', maybe further away. You could place the microphone in the middle of the attic midway between floor and ceiling and make recordings connected to a computer elsewhere. It may also pick up rodents and squirrels. The recordings would need looked at manually to determine of they are bats, using analysis software. One software, SonoBatLIVE, only records bats, so that would be a huge time saver. In theroy you could leave SonoBatLIVE running 24/7 monitoring the attic space, you would have close to $1000 into this kind of system. You might consider laying down newspaper in the attic where you have seen dropping previously. If you get new droppings, you have bats.
Hi, what is the dB range for M500? Can we change the gain?
Hello- the recording software will record even the slightest ultrasound, or even just set to constantly record. This is how the recordings are controlled for "gain" in a way. There is no real "gain" dial, if your recordings contain way too many poor quality out-of-range bat calls, then set the recording threshold to something higher so that it only records the stronger bat passes. If your purpose is to record every sound regardless of strength, then very long recordings could be made, essentially set it to always trigger, and select a long file size, like 30 seconds or more, etc.
Hi The sampling frequency of an M500 can be changed from 500 to 384 kHz by changing firmware. Is it also possible to change the sampling frequency of an M500-384 from 384 to 500 kHz by changing firmware ? Best regards Gösta
No- you must start with the M500 to obtain the high sample rate. The M500-384 is max 384 only. The firmware change requires slight disassembly however if you are comfortable with very basic electronics it is easy enough; we have modified M500s to run at 384 in a few minutes at workshops.
Hello! I have a Pettersson M500-384 and an iPhone with Ultrasonic Analyzer. I bought a female USB A to mini USB so the two devices could talk to each other, but it appears that the phone won't power the detector, since when connect the two, the M500 doesn't turn on and the phone doesn't seem to recognize that the M500 is plugged in. The M500 does work when it's connected to a computer, so I don't think that's the problem, and I've tried using a different iPhone, which also didn't work, so I don't think it's my specific phone. Any suggestions you have would be appreciated! Thanks!
Hello please be sure you are using an Apple iphone camera adapter https://www.apple.com/shop/product/MD821AM/A/lightning-to-usb-camera-adapter this is the only way to connect a USB device like the Pettersson M500-384 to an iOS device. Be sure you get the right connector for your generation iOS device; I even picked one up a Wal-Mart at one time.
Would this be able to detect rat vocalizations? I am interested in researching rat vocal communications and would like to be able to record subjects' calls, but am unsure what device I should be getting.
Hello - The M500 with record 10 kHz and up, but the u256 and u384 would record from 1 kHz and above. This lower range might be more suitable for your application. All of these are USB microphones and recordings would be made using BatSoundTouch (Windows) software, included with purchase. https://batmanagement.com/collections/pettersson-collection Another option is the Binary Acoustic AR125 which can also record low frequencies and produce a realtime feed suitable for capturing in the lab environment. https://batmanagement.com/collections/binary-acoustic-technology
I do not see spec requirements for the tablet to collect data with the M500 microphone. Are there minimum requirements for ram, 32 bit vs 64 bit OS, Windows 10 version? I am looking at getting this for data collection in the field, and using a more capable PC for data analysis. Can you tell me if this tablet is suitable? https://www.amazon.com/NuVision-8-inch-Touchscreen-Quad-Core-Processor/dp/B01H3B17R8 Thanks,
Hello Mike- Some of the software that the M500 works with is:
Windows: SonoBatLIVE, BatSound Touch, SoundChaser, Audacity
Android: Bat Recorder, USB Bat Detector iOS: Ultrasonic Analyzer Linux: Audacity OS X: Audacity
The tablet must be able to handle a microphone at a 384 kHz sample rate. Some low end tablets cannot do this.
Probably the most intensive software to use with the M500-384 is SonoBatLIVE. For that you want at least Hardware Requirements: Windows 10 PC, Mini PC, or tablet. 4 GB RAM + 1.5 gHz processor or higher, 64 bit. More RAM and a higher clock speed will help reduce perceived lag, especially in areas with high noise or high bat activity.
The tablet you spec is lacking in too many areas... it is a 32 bit machine where 64 is required for the latest SonoBat. It has too little RAM. Finally be wary of those machines with only one port... this means you cannot charge it while the mic is plugged in/running. Expect to pay ~$400 for a refurbished SurfacePro 4 with the minimum specs. We are testing a SurfaceMe with is smaller and lighter, but can't say one thing or another about it yet.
Can this mic connect/run with a USB-C to USB Mini B cable? Upgrading a laptop and the new ones don't have USB A. Thanks, Trinity
Yes- the Pettersson M500 will run correctly thru various adapters, although care must be made so that the connection is not lost while moving the computer around, etc.
Hi, I see a response to another question that the M500 can be converted to run M500-384 firmware with a simple hardware modification. How is this done, exactly? I have opened up my unit and discovered two DIP switches and not sure what configuration they should be in if that is how the change is done at all. Thanks.
A M500-500 kHz mic can be changed to 384 kHz to then be recognized by smartphones, etc. with a firmware change. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for instructons and the link to download software. This process requires a PC and would void the warranty.
Is the M500-384 even omnidirectional in ultrasound frequencies or only in more low frequencies ?
Hello- there is no such thing as a true omnidirectional microphone, and the higher the frequency, the more pronounced that will become. Low frequencies are easiest to record and therefore are more liely to be picked up at various ranges in all directions. Your milage will vary depending on amplitude and distance at all axis from the microphone. You can remove the directional horn from this microphone to make it respond to wider area, at the expense of more noise and decreased range. Contact Pettersson directly for polar plots of frequency response
What is a longer USB cable to use with the Pettersson (or Binary Acoustic) microphones?
The cable that comes with the Pettersson M500 is a 0.5 m USB (type-A to mini-B) cable. This cable by itself is too short to do anything but velcro the mic directly to the laptop. Either get a longer A to Mini B (15’ should work, not sure how reliable longer than that is): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08R6VTFPM?smid=A1F4MO8CLOOQSY&ref_=chk_typ_imgToDp&th=1 Or use USB 2.0 Active Extension cables (We have chained multiple 30’ lengths together, but there are longer runs available too. We recommend using several shorter runs instead of one super long run…if it gets wet you lose the entire cable) https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-Active-Extension-Cable-Female/dp/B01L81WQ2O/ref=sr_1_5?crid=12BXF16OL7AEC&keywords=usb%2Bactive%2Bextension%2Bcable&qid=1683048253&s=electronics&sprefix=USB%2BActive%2BExtension%2Celectronics%2C117&sr=1-5&th=1
I would like to complete bat entry/exit surveys on several buildings and thus, would need the detector to be able to record calls, analyze the data and properly identify which bat species is picked up by the microphone. I thought the Pettersson u256 or u384 would be a good option, however, I am unsure of the detection range (from my understanding it is about 40 ft on the website). I am looking for a detector that can do a longer range, if possible. Additionally, what is the average and maximum distance these detectors would be able to pick up a bat call? As this would be beneficial to determine distance from the building and spacing of detectors to cover each building.
The “U” series microphones have a connector for a specific smartphone, and as such clumsy adapters are needed and the connector is a bit fragile. That type of mic is better suited for public programs or quick snapshots of bat activity. The only configuration I can recommend is a Pettersson M500-384 microphone (~$400) coupled with a Windows 10 device (refurbished i7 Surface Pros are ~$350 (you provide), and the SonoBat software ($~300/year or $~1500 one time). The SonoBat software includes SonoBatLIVE which is the best bat recording app available. You then use the “regular” SonoBat app to review recordings and produce a spreadsheet output of species. All bat detector microphones are different, and all bats call with different amplitudes. Loud bats will be recorded hundreds of feet away, while whispering bats, like the Northern long ear, will only be detected within ~15’, if you are lucky. Also, just because you record some bats around a building, does not mean it actually came out of the building, so any emergence should be visually monitored as well, perhaps with night vision cameras. Also, bats emerging from a roost will be producing approach-phase calls which cannot be used to reliably determine Myotis-type species. You can determine if the emergence contains low frequency big brown bats vs. high frequency myotis, but that’s about it. For that purpose, I recommend a BatScanner Stereo and live monitoring. Do not attempt to determine which of the 4 myotis you might have from those recordings; instead, monitors should be hundreds of feet away down a flyway in hopes of obtaining more diagnostic “search phase” recordings.
Which software is iOS compatible?
Ultrasonic Analizer is one, there are likely others. Join the facebook group Bat Call Analysis Workshop and that is a large user group that will have suggestions.