[Coral-List] behavior event logger

Charlie Dryden c.dryden at ymail.com
Thu Nov 7 06:50:54 EST 2013

Hi all,

Just thought I would update you on my search for a behaviour event recorder. The options I am now looking at are:

1. With the help of the marine technology department here, developing an analogue device with a simple timer, counter and 8-12 buttons. Each of these buttons would represent a different behaviour. The recorder would then give me information on amount of time spent performing each behaviour and frequency of each behaviour. 

2. Using a waterproof case to house an android device, such as smartphone or tablet. On on this I could use behaviour logging software such as: http://www.noldus.com/animal-behavior-research/products/the-observer-xt. At the moment this company: http://www.drycase.com/ claim that their case would be safe for this use, though I have concerns about the usability of a touchscreen at depths of 20 m. Also the nature of a touchscreen means finding the buttons for specific behaviours might not be as quick or reliable.

3. Using a full face mask for diving and a digital voice recorder to dictate the observations. This would either mean placing the recorder inside the face mask, and speaking directly into it, or using a radio transmitter to speak to the recorder which would then require a receiver and waterproof housing. Having the recorder in the mask is likely to both uncomfortable and annoying, but may be much simpler than having to use a transmitter/receiver and create a housing for it. 

4. Good ol' fashioned slate, stopwatch, behaviour codes...

Hope this information is useful to you and any further help/discussion on the matter would be great. 


Charlie Dryden
PhD Student
Marine Science and Technology
Newcastle University 
c.dryden at ncl.ac.uk

On Friday, 25 October 2013, 1:13, Peter Nelson <pnelson at cfr-west.org> wrote:

While I don't have any good suggestions for you, please do report back to us on what you learn. There are others here interested in similar techniques. I understand that there are some fairly functional UW cases for iPhones; it may be that the best solution would be to program something. If you do, I'd consider making it free and open-source--this way, others can take your work and improve on it. (See http://ifossf.org/)

Thanks in advance, Pete

On Oct 23, 2013, at 8:26 AM, Charlie Dryden <c.dryden at ymail.com> wrote:

Hello again,
>Thank you to all those who responded to my earlier message about an event recorder. However it seems I didn't explain myself particularly well. What I am looking for specifically is a behavior event logger, not a video recorder. If anyone can think of anything that fits this description please let me know.
>There are bits of computer software designed for this work in labs or for terrestrial fieldwork, however getting them underwater in a manner where they will work looks like it could be very challenging and costly. These are also more sophisticated than I would necessarily require. 
>Thanks again to those who responded first time round and any further suggestions would be great.
>Charlie Dryden
>PhD Student
>Marine Science and Technology
>Newcastle University
>NE1 7RU
>c.dryden at newcastle.ac.uk
>Coral-List mailing list
>Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

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