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Hydrophone (Underwater Microphone) Kit

Regular price $ 69.00

Ages: 10+
Skill level: intermediate
Time to assemble: 30 minutes (no soldering required!)

Build your own hydrophone - an underwater microphone that can detect sound waves underwater. Listen to the calls of marine animals, boat traffic, or if your pool is leaking. It can be used at your local fishing hole, a river, a lake, or ocean.

New! This tool is now available on SciStarter. If you are using it for citizen science, be sure to add it to your project: https://scistarter.org/hydrophone-underwater-microphone

Inside the Basic Kit

Note! You will need an amplifier to hear the sounds. If you don't have an amp, then we recommend the premium kit.

  • 2 Piezo elements (1 as backup)
  • 1 PVC pipe brushing
  • 1 liquid-tight cord grip
  • 1 25-ft mono TS cable (1/4" male to male)
  • 1 roll electrical tape
  • 1 foam bumper
  • 1 instant mix epoxy
  • Latex gloves

Inside the Premium Kit

  • 1 Amplifier* (may not be exactly as shown)
  • 2 Piezo elements (1 as backup)
  • 1 PVC pipe brushing
  • 1 liquid-tight cord grip
  • 1 25-ft mono TS cable (1/4" male to male)
  • 1 roll electrical tape
  • 1 foam bumper
  • 1 instant mix epoxy
  • Latex gloves

*Amplifier -  includes a microphone input and a speaker/earphone jack. Comes with a 9-volt battery.

About Hydrophones

What are hydrophones used for?

Did you know that hydrophones used to be the only way to detect submarines? They’re also used to listen for marine animals' calls, like dolphins and whales, and can be used to map very deep waters. They help us listen for boat traffic, figure out whether undersea pipelines are leaking, and understand if and how underwater noise affects sea life.

What can you do with this kit?

Here are some of the exciting uses of this versatile piece of equipment. Let your imagination go wild.

  • Underwater bio-acoustics - what do the animals that live in your local pond, lake, river, estuary, or ocean sound like? Listen to them swimming, eating, or paddling around.
  • With your hydrophone, you can collect underwater sounds using a recording device and software like Audacity and then upload the sounds to Soundcloud to share with other hydrophone enthusiasts.
  • Discover what a dripping faucet sounds like in the bathtub
  • Stick it in ice (or better yet, a lake covered in ice)
  • What does CO2 sound like? Stick it in your favorite soda drink to find out
  • Helpful at home - listen to find out if your pool is leaking.

Data Sheet

This hydrophone can record low (10-500 Hz) and medium (500-15,000 Hz) frequency sounds. It was designed and tested at a depth of 25 feet but has been used successfully at 50 feet.

 

Sound wave frequencies can be divided into three categories: low (10-500 Hz), medium (500-25,000Hz), and high (>25,000 Hz). For reference, fish hear sound frequencies between 500 to 1000 Hertz (Hz), some species up to 5000 Hz, a range within the low and medium frequency band. Low-frequency sounds, such as noise from cargo ships and/or seismic exploration, propagate long distances and experience low attenuation levels. In contrast, high-frequency sounds such as breaking waves or rainfall propagate short distances and experience high levels of attenuation. Therefore, low-frequency sounds affect greater ocean areas over longer periods of time relative to high-frequency sounds that affect smaller, localized areas for shorter periods of time.

 

Hydrophones utilizing a piezo-element are commonly employed for data collection. Piezo-elements convert a pressure wave into an electrical signal, amplified and recorded through external recording devices for later analysis.

Research

The research was done to compare commercial-grade hydrophones (thousands of dollars) to this piezo-element design. Read the study.

How to Become a Citizen Scientist

A citizen scientist is a person, like you, who is interested in science and is willing to contribute time, ingenuity, and creativity to understand our world a little bit better. If we all add our observations together, we’ll get a clearer picture of what’s happening in our environment --land, sea, and air.

Gallery

Safety

 

Overview

KitHub ships next business day. We do not ship on the weekends or US holidays. Once your order has been made, we cannot guarantee that the shipping courier can be changed. For orders that contain batteries, depending on the type and quantity it may be necessary to ship via ground or to split an order. 

Shipping within the United States

We offer shipping via USPS, UPS, Fedex. For high-valued orders, we highly recommend shipping via UPS. Fedex or USPS Priority Mail or Express Mail so that your packages are trackable and insured.

United States Postal Service

  • USPS First-Class Mail: Usually 3-5 business days.
    • Trackable
    • Not insured
    • No guaranteed delivery date.
  • USPS Priority Mail: Usually 2-4 business days.
    • Trackable
    • Not insured
    • No guaranteed delivery date.
  • USPS Priority Mail Express: Usually 1-3 business days.
    • Trackable
    • Insured
    • The guaranteed delivery date is 1-3 days depending on your location. Please note that this method does NOT guarantee overnight delivery since our shipments go out after the Post Office’s cut-off. Please contact the post office for the guaranteed delivery date to your destination (we ship from zip code 90039, after the cut-off time).

UPS

Review UPS rates and delivery times.

Fedex

Review Fedex rates and delivery times.

Canadian Orders

From Canada Border Service Agency:

Any item mailed to Canada may be subject to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and/or duty. Unless specifically exempted, you must pay the 5% GST on items you import into Canada by mail. The CBSA calculates any duties owing based on the value of the goods in Canadian funds. The duty rates vary according to the type of goods you are importing and the country from which they came or were made in. Depending on the goods or their value, some other taxes may apply, such as excise duty or excise tax on luxury items.

The recipient is responsible for any GST or HST or PST owed.

Please use the Duty and Taxes Estimator tool to calculate any fees.

International Orders

Important Notice

All international shipments are subject to local tariffs which are the full responsibility of the recipient. Once shipments pass through US customs, the recipient’s own country’s postal service assumes responsibility for delivery. International shipping times are dependent upon that country’s service and policies.

Important disclaimers for international customers

For the most part, our international packages arrive safe and sound, though sometimes they can be delayed for six weeks or more depending on the destination country’s customs regulations. We highly recommend you select a trackable, insured shipping method if shipping outside of the USA. We have found that UPS, Fedex and DHL is generally more reliable than USPS, but you can contact your local customs, courier centers, and post office to see what will work best for your particular situation (depending on whether you are a business or buying more than a certain amount, one shipping carrier might be better than the other). Please read the following disclaimers carefully and contact us if you have any questions.

  • No guaranteed international deliveries: Unfortunately, delivery times to international destinations are NOT guaranteed due to the unpredictability of time spent in customs. Customs might delay delivery for six weeks or more depending on your country’s regulations. Please contact your local customs office for more information.
  • Customs fees and taxes: All international duties, taxes, brokerage fees, and any other fees associated with customs clearance or international imports are your responsibility. Please contact your local customs office for an estimate of any additional fees.
  • Tracking and insurance: Some shipping methods listed below are not insured or trackable. You are solely responsible for taking the risk of sending any products uninsured and without tracking.
    • If you select an untrackable shipping option via USPS, there is no way to know where your package is during transit. If the package was insured, and you do not receive it, you must wait until USPS deems the package lost before you can file an insurance claim. Please contact USPS to find out how long you have to wait until a package is officially lost (typically at least 30 days).
    • By selecting an uninsured shipping option, you agree that if the package is lost, damaged, or stolen in transit, you will not hold KitHub responsible for the loss. We will not re-ship the item for free, we will not provide a refund, and we will not provide a credit.
    • If your package is insured and it is lost, damaged, or stolen in transit, you might have to wait for up to 12 weeks for the United States Postal Service or UPS to process your claim. We will do our best to make sure they process your claim in a timely manner, but sometimes it can take up to three months depending on the situation. We will refund you the amount paid by the claim once it has been processed. We will not provide a refund unless USPS or UPS pays the claim. Please contact UPS and USPS for information on what their insurance covers and how long a package must be delayed before they deem it lost.
  • Recommended shipping options: We generally recommend that you select an insurable, trackable shipping method via UPS, Fedex, DHL or Priority Post, especially for high-valued orders. Please contact your local customs offices to determine the best shipping method for your situation.

United States Postal Service: International

  • USPS Priority Mail Express International:
    • Typically takes about 3-5 business days to reach your country, and then has to go through customs and get delivered by your local postal service.
    • No guaranteed delivery date; customs clearance might delay a delivery for six weeks or more depending on your country’s regulations, especially in Europe. Please contact your local customs office for more information.
    • Insured
    • Trackable
    • Please read our Important disclaimers for international customers above.
  • USPS Priority Mail International:
    • Typically takes about 6-10 business days to reach your country, and then has to go through customs and get delivered by your local postal service.
    • No guaranteed delivery date; customs clearance might delay a delivery for six weeks or more depending on your country’s regulations, especially in Europe. Please contact your local customs office for more information.
    • Insured
    • Not trackable
    • We do not recommend this shipping option for high-valued orders since we cannot track it.
    • Please read our Important disclaimers for international customers above.
  • USPS First-Class International:
    • Typically takes about 7-14 business days to reach your country, and then has to go through customs and get delivered by your local postal service.
    • No guaranteed delivery date; customs clearance might delay a delivery for six weeks or more depending on your country’s regulations, especially in Europe. Please contact your local customs office for more information.
    • Not insured
    • Not trackable
    • We do not recommend this shipping option for high-valued orders since we cannot insure or track it.
    • Please read our Important disclaimers for international customers above.

UPS: International

Refer to UPS information for your country.

Fedex: International

Refer to Fedex information for your country.

DHL: International

Refer to DHL information for your country.

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