discussion / Biologging  / 9 January 2019

How to build my VHF tags from the scratch?

Hi all,

I was wondering if anybody has experience in building VHF-tags from the scratch. I couldn't find useful instructions online, so maybe anybody wants to share own experience...I am working on bats and sometimes I simply need to locate a roost of a bat, which I caught foraging. 150€ for a commercially avaliable tag is quite a lot for this simple application. 

all the best,



Hi Simon,

Try Naef-Daenzer, B., Früh, D., Stalder, M., Wetli, P., & Weise, E. (2005). Miniaturization (0.2 g) and evaluation of attachment techniques of telemetry transmitters. Journal of Experimental Biology, 208(21), 4063-4068.

It's a single-stage transmitter (so lower range than a two-stage) and the components are probablly all out-of-date, but most of them look easily replaceable. At 0.2g, probably good for bats though!




Hi Harold,

the bats we track weigh at least 20-30g. I am currently looking into building the tags described in the reference Rob posted. I will order some prototype boards at some point.

However, I'm also interesting in any instructions to build less sophisticated tags (they should be < 1g), if they are easier to assemble that the ones in Naef-Daenzer et al. 2005. Would be a cool thing to do with students...

all the best,