[2017-07-27] New hardware support for Sound Blaster Play 2 USB soundcard see latest news. The (previously recommended) Cirrus Logic Audio Card has been discontinued, so we recommend this sound-card instead.

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There is an introductory video.

The Solo is an autonomous, high definition audio recorder for unattended environmental monitoring. Protected in a weatherproof enclosure, the Solo comprises a microphone, mini-computer and battery. It is tailored for long-term, continuous recording, with data being stored on a removable memory card.

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The Solo is straightforward to assemble, and inexpensive at around £120 (including a 5-day battery, memory card and a really good microphone). The cost without battery and memory card is £83 (for comparison with commercial systems). But there’s a lot of flexibility with components if you are picky. For example - with a car battery the system will record for around 40 days (costing £167 pounds).

A typical deployment (the Solo:basic - pictured above) would be powered by a USB battery bank which would run the system for five days of permanent recording, 24 hours per day. Alternatively, a 12kg car battery runs the Solo for about 40 days, 24/7.

Recordings are split into manageable 10-minute long files which are stored on the memory card, grouped into an intuitive folder-per-day layout. The recordings are in the .wav format which is compatible with almost all audio software. Everything is configurable.

It is simple to prepare (flash) the memory card with the software to run the Solo, and just as easy to harvest the audio data onto your desktop/laptop using a card reader. All software is free to download and licensed openly.

Have a quick look through the tabs on this website, then jump to the Getting Started guide.