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I'm wanting to record bat echolocation calls using an Audiomoth recorder. However, I can't find out anywhere how long these recorders can record for on a full charge.

What is the longest duration someone has deployed these recorders for, for the purposes of recording bat echolocation, and at what duty cycle (recording continuously, or just at dusk for a few hours?)

Additional info in the comments: They operate using 3 AA batteries.

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  • $\begingroup$ Audiomoth is apparently the designation of the circuit module, could you tell us what power-supply you're using? $\endgroup$ May 14, 2022 at 6:12
  • $\begingroup$ They operate on AA batteries (3x)... $\endgroup$
    – Matt
    May 14, 2022 at 6:15
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    $\begingroup$ AA batteries vary in capacity by a factor of more than 6 times (Wikipedia). This is a tricky on-off-topic question, because we need to establish things which are more suited to our Electrical Engineering stack. I'll try anyhow. With the most powerful batteries, the tech spec sheet indicates you should get just a shade under 3 days/nights continuous use - but the device can be programmed to go into sleep-mode making it maybe 6 nights in total. Can you code? $\endgroup$ May 14, 2022 at 10:06

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when recording high sample rate and continuously through the night (e.g. around 8hrs), then they will last about 3 nights or so. If you sample discontinuously then you will obviously get a longer deployment time. The new firmware also provides a triggering mechanism that will allow much longer deployment times - see here: https://www.openacousticdevices.info/support/announcements/audiomoth-configuration-app-1-7-0-firmware-1-8-0

Also - useful advice on Audiomoths generally is available at Tessa Rhinehart's GitHub (https://github.com/rhine3/audiomoth-guide) and at Wildlabs.net.

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I use Audiomoths for recording bats. If you are looking for continuous recording, depending on your sample rate (you want your sample rate to be at least twice the highest frequency you expect to record--256kHz should be good if you are in the US/Europe) you should be able to get 3 nights. The key here is the word "should." I've had batteries and Audiomoths do weird things in the field, so if the data are critical, I strongly recommend having redundancy if that's an option, meaning two Audiomoths recording at the same time. I also recommend changing the batteries at least one day earlier than when you think they should last until.

Another thing related to your question: consider where you place your Audiomoth and if a curious squirrel/raccoon/deer might chomp on it and affect your recording duration. Speaking from experience, I highly recommend the hard case.

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With an earlier version of the Audiomoth (v 1.1.0), I had continuously recorded at 384 kHz with duracell rechargable batteries, followed by another round with duracell ultra batteries. The latter lasted the longest for around 2.5 days. So it fluctuates based on the types of batteries recommended and some commercial rechargable batteries usually have a faster drain life.

More recently, Akiba from Freak Labs (https://twitter.com/freaklabs/status/1529915274853502980) has been experimenting with extending battery life using an external battery pack. So this could be a possible solution if suitable.

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