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Old Friday 2nd March 2018, 22:05   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Limousin France
Posts: 526
Help needed with DIY field recorder

My field recorder continues to surprise me with some great recordings but I've got a few issues I'd like to sort out.

I've hooked up the recorder to a powerbank (for charging mobile phones) with the idea that it should run for 2 or 3 days and nights unattended. I like the idea of the powerbank as it's neat and tidy and in theory should power the recorder for nearly a week.

The microphone from micbooster is linked here

It seems to me to be an improvement on the on-board mics at least for ambient sound and it also seems to be more sensitive.

The box is just a clip-loc food container covered in camo tape.

Until now I've been using the set-up in France in my backyard with access to a mains power supply and I've been very happy with the performance and have had no problems (apart from identifying some of the calls!!)

I'm in the UK for a while and have started leaving it out in the woods for extended periods - again the results have been really exciting but it's not working as I'd hoped.

The main issue is that the recorder draws so little current that the powerbank behaves as if it's a mobile phone that's fully charged and drops out after a few seconds. I've partially managed to get round this by leaving the screen display on and with the mic power activated too it will run for about 16 hours - then it drops out and the on-board batteries kick in giving me about the same again - so after about 32 hours it turns itself off.

I'm going to try plugging in a tiny little LED light into the powerbank to see if that stops it dropping out (not keen on hacking a battery into the compartment) but I'm actually wondering whether to start on a MK2 version using cheaper components.

I'm wondering if something like this can be hooked up to some kind of battery to extend recording time? It's got a USB charging lead but I don't know if it can be used like that?

I really like the microphone but I think I can source the components for a fraction of the price (not sure if the performance will match though).

The other thing I'm struggling with is a source of weatherproof enclosures in various sizes - the sandwich box I'm using seals well but it's too big in volume and not long enough to allow the use of normal leads (only right-angled ones).

Any thoughts would be most welcome
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