Recording Mother Nature is crucial to nature and environmental studies. While cameras are great for capturing wildlife on film, they can film what’s in front of them. Audio recorders are preferable because they can record species over larger areas. By mounting recording devices in nearby trees, scientists are able to understand ecosystems and wildlife just by listening to them.
Although there are many on the market, AudioMoth is one of the most popular recorders. Developed by Open Acoustic Devices, the open source recording device is cost-effective, power-efficient, and the size of a credit card – it can’t be easily spotted by surrounding animals. Though, would they care?
But Open Acoustic Devices wanted to build a smaller version of the device for researchers to use for animal-borne monitoring. That’s where μMoth comes in. Adapted from the original AudioMoth, μMoth is a micro, low-cost, full-spectrum acoustic logger.
Billed as “the world’s smallest full-spectrum acoustic development board,” the μMoth can listen at audible frequencies, well into ultrasonic frequencies. Equipped with a Silicon Labs EFM32 Gecko processor, the 26x36 mm unit can record uncompressed audio to microSD cards at rates from 8,000 to 384,000 samples per record. The device also has an onboard real-time clock interface that keeps track of time in UTC. It even shares the same supporting software and firmware as AudioMoth.
- EFM32 Gecko processor
- Capable of recording at sample rates up to 384kHz
- Records uncompressed WAV files to microSD card
- Powered by a two-pin JST-PH connector
- Can be used with 3.7 V - 6 V batteries
- Analog MEMS microphone
- Analog pre-amplifier with adjustable gain
- Configurable USB interface
- Built-in real-time clock keeps track of time in UTC
- Exposed header for GPIO expansion
Though μMoth won’t be ready for another month, the device is already proving to be popular. It’s currently sold out on GroupGets. Hopefully, more μMoths will be made available in the near future.