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hiflier

Low End Gear And Research Equipment

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Catmandoo
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I have considered a thread in  BIGFOOT RESEARCH GROUPS FORUM AREA . I was way too busy in the past to put something together. Now that I am sort-of-kind-of retired ( R.E.D.,  Retired Extremely Diabolical  ) I may put something together in the near future.

Stay tuned.

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gigantor

I ran across this video demonstrating a Flip-Flop winch for emergency use in the field, thought it might come in handy to somebody one day...

 

 

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BC witness

Nice one, gigantor. I've heard of that system, but never seen it demonstrated before.

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NorthWind

So I am not sure if one would consider this "low end", but it was fairly inexpensive (around $275 for all) the pieces sure seem to work well together for me. I may want to get another microphone for the recorder (if you have suggestions, let me know).  Here's what I just picked up.

 

Yi 4k action cam

Nice clear video, similar in size and functions (that I need) to the GoPro, only costing much less at around $99. 

yi-4k-action-camera-03.thumb.jpg.9ace30690e6b190445b2adaaa0f75643.jpg

 

 

The iSteady Pro motorized gimbal

Really smooth, simple interface, and can even charge the above camera on the fly. Cost around $99. 

41kF5nhJibL.jpg.1aaae7de262e58c89fddcab8bdb2364b.jpg

 

 

The Tascam DR-05 digital audio recorder

Pretty easy to use, lightweight, and records for a long time from 2 AA batteries onto a micro SD card. Cost around $77. Great not just for vocalizations, but recording little spoken field notes such as temperature, humidity, other animals seen or not seen, terrain type, moon phase, what have you.

TAS-DR05.jpg.6b8cbbbc0f299986e220f17109b2443e.jpg

 

Looking forward to this spring / summer. These little expeditions are going to be fun! Hopefully I can get some more evidence.

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SWWASAS

Been a while since I made this.     It is a true 15 inch parabolic dish I found in a scientific supply place.       I mount my digital recorder at the focal point with one mount or use a remote separate recorder.    During the day you can heat water on it if you are so inclined.     One word of caution,  I was careless putting it in my truck on day and burned a hole in the seat.      You can hear a leaf fluttering in the wind from a hundred yards.     I heard a humming bird fly past and it sounded like a freight train.   Not something portable enough to hike around with.   

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NorthWind

Wow, that's quite the setup!

 

I have an old Weber Smoky Joe grill just lying around, wonder if that would work?

 

But what mic do you use when you don't want the extreme directionality of something like this? Or do you?

 

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wiiawiwb

Don't the Weber grill tops have the sliding adjustment near the center that allows more air in it? Wouldn't that mess up the sound deflection? I wonder if a massive wok at an Asian market might do the trick.

 

The one that SWWASAS has is a perfect profile and shape for the a parabolic dish.

 

Here is a commercial-sized wok (30") whose shape is a bit more deep than I'd like but has the general shape needed.

 

https://www.webstaurantstore.com/town-34730-30-hand-hammered-cantonese-wok/88534730.html?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Shopping HP&utm_term=1100404859989&utm_content=Smallwares

Edited by wiiawiwb

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gigantor

You could use an old satellite dish from somebody who had DirecTV...

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wiiawiwb

The winch video was ingenious. Thanks Gigantor!  That's something that could be used to bail yourself out of a bad situation particularly if you're out of cell range and on left to your own devices.

 

I'll look in the "For Sale" section of my local paper to see if anyone has a dish for sale.

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Huntster
BFF Donor
8 hours ago, gigantor said:

You could use an old satellite dish from somebody who had DirecTV...

 

Would metal work better than plastic? My satellite dishes are 6'ers, but plastic.

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gigantor
2 hours ago, Huntster said:

Would metal work better than plastic?

 

I don't think it matters, you're just bouncing sound waves and both materials do so.

 

The cool thing about old satellite dishes is that they already have the focal point mapped out for you.

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SWWASAS

The oblong satellite dishes like the pictured ones are designed to get the signal to a multiple head receiver thingys.    ( I cannot remember what they are called)    So while it does focus, it spreads it out some at the focal point.        A parabola can be formed by tying a slack string between two nails and running a pencil along the slack spring.    If you are good with fiberglass you could make a plaster female form,  wax it, then lay up fiberglass into the form to get a dish as big as you want.    Or take one of the round satellite dishes,  wax the inside, and lay up fiberglass.    That would be a lot lighter than the medal dishes.    Mine has the long PVC pipe with lead weight at the end to counter balance the weight of the dish.    The surface need not be super smooth because the sound waves are significantly longer in wave length than light to make any difference with sound reflection to the focal point.    My metal dish is mirrored to focus sunlight.    I would bet the sunlight at the focal point is pushing 1200 degrees.    Lights stuff in nothing flat.   Brilliant white light that is like looking at a welding rod.    Some umbrellas are close enough to a parabola that they would certainly collect the sound and not weigh much.  

 

On the subject of sound, while getting BF vocalizations is neat but hard to be set up at the right time to get them.   I have heard the famous Ohio howl twice now but it was in the middle of the night and I did not have a recorder running.      On the other hand,    a BF moving at anything other than creeping around a camp speed makes significant sound with each footstep even without any brush snapping noises.   Believe me it is a heavy footfall that sounds like the large bipedal animal it is,    moving along.    Think velocoraptor in Jurassic Park to give you an idea of what the thuds sound like.    If you could pick that up with a dish,  you certainly could track a BF moving around without seeing it from some distance.         My recorder operates in stereo mode on the dish and with earphones I can hear the direction of movement.   Left to right or right to left.    Play with that so the stereo recorder microphones are oriented so you hear the sound moving the correct direction in your headphones.      Just have someone to walk past or track a car passing to get everything set up and oriented properly feeding sound into your earphones.      

Edited by SWWASAS

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NorthWind

Yes, the Weber has a vent hole, but it wouldn't be difficult to patch. I noticed that the bottom part has a better looking parabola shape than the lid. If I lined it with something shiny, a laser shined in there would indicate the level for the mic, I would think. 

 

There's this guy that makes them from space blankets... (yes, I know it's for solar, but same principle)

 

 

 

Another guy uses trash can lids, and another uses a squirrel baffle that is used to keep squirrels out of bird feeders. 

 

 

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SWWASAS

Just like the Picture Northwind posted be careful with a highly reflective dish in sunshine.         Think of what your hand,instead of the smoking stick,    would do if you unthinkingly stuck your hand in the focal point when the dish was aimed at the sun.    I positioned my recorder using a laser pointer.      Put something like a dowel sticking up out of the dish and then run the laser light  across the dish keeping it parallel to the dowel.    The laser light will illuminate the focal point on the dowel.     Mark that on the dowel then measure that distance for future reference.   The Weber central hole is not an issue.   You have to mount the recorder or micriphone to something and a central hole is better for that than putting things across the face of the dish to hold the recorder or microphone and blanking out a lot of surface area of the dish.   You can see that my dish also has a central hole.  The rod I used is aluminum and not very heavy.    It also allows me to mount a microphone or the recorder itself as it can be slid in and out to keep the microphone in use at the focal point.   I simply threaded it and screw it into the camera mount type hole the recorder has in the base.   

 

Another thing I would not recommend is aiming it at a neighbors house.   That might get you in trouble with local privacy laws.   

Edited by SWWASAS

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