Ask Us
WET Labs
Auto Fire Module (AFM)

Carousel Auto Fire Module (AFM)

Allows SBE 32 Carousel Water Sampler to operate autonomously on non-conducting cable, firing bottles at pre-programmed pressures or elapsed times.

The Carousel Auto-Fire Module (AFM) allows the Carousel Water Sampler (SBE 32, 32C, or 32SC) to operate autonomously on non-conducting cables. The AFM includes a microprocessor, memory, RS-232 interface, and battery power that supply the operating voltage, logic, and control commands to operate the Carousel. The AFM is typically installed on the Carousel, with the same mounting bracket used to mount a SeaCAT, and hangs vertically between the upper and lower adapter plates.

When used without a CTD, the AFM fires bottles at pre-defined elapsed times after receipt of the Arm command. The depth at which samples are taken can be determined (approximately) by monitoring cable length pay out and elapsed time. The AFM records bottle number, date and time, and fire confirmation for each bottle fired. At the end of a cast, the bottle data file is uploaded from the AFM.

When used with a CTD (SBE 19, 19plus, or 19plus V2 SeaCAT Profiler, or SBE 25 or 25plus Sealogger) or SBE 50 Pressure Sensor, the AFM:

  • Monitors pressure data recorded by the CTD (or transmitted by the SBE 50) in real-time,
  • Fires bottles at pre-defined pressures (depths), on upcast, downcast, or when the Carousel is stationary for a specified period of time, and
  • Records bottle number, date and time, firing confirmation, and five scans of CTD or SBE 50 data in AFM memory for each bottle fired.

At the end of a cast, CTD data is uploaded from the CTD (through the AFM) and bottle data is uploaded from the AFM. Sea-Bird software converts the raw CTD data and creates a CTD data file and a bottle data file.


  • Allows SBE 32 Carousel Water Sampler to operate autonomously on non-conducting cable, firing bottles at pre-programmed pressures or elapsed times.
  • 9 alkaline D-size batteries (60 hours operation), internal memory (for bottle data).
  • 6800 m aluminum housing.
  • Seasoft© V2 Windows software package (setup, data upload, and data processing).
  • Five-year limited warranty.


  • XSG or wet-pluggable MCBH connectors.
  • Rechargeable Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries and battery charger.
Memory 64K byte static RAM; holds data for 1 cast (24 bottles maximum).
Records for each bottle fired:
  • (with a CTD) Bottle sequence and number, date and time, firing confirmation, battery voltage, scan number of first of 5 CTD scans, and 5 scans of CTD data.
  • (without a CTD) Bottle sequence and number, date and time, firing confirmation, and battery voltage.
Power Supply & Endurance 9 alkaline D-size batteries, Duracell MN1300, LR20 (approximately 60 hours of operation).
Rechargeable 9-cell NiMH battery pack (order separately); approximately 45 hours of operation.
Real-Time Clock 32,768 Hz TCXO accurate to ±1 minute/year
Housing, Depth Rating, & Weight Anodized aluminum housing (with zinc anode protection); 6800 m;
8.1 kg in air, 4.1 kg in water


The list below includes (as applicable) the current product brochure, manual, and quick guide; software manual(s); and application notes.

For older AFM product manuals, organized by instrument firmware version, click here.

Title Type Publication Date PDF File
Carousel Auto Fire Module Datasheet Product Datasheet Monday, August 24, 2015 PDF icon AFMbrochureAug15.pdf
Carousel Auto Fire Module Manual Product Manual Tuesday, February 10, 2015 PDF icon AFM_016.pdf
SBE Data Processing Manual Software Manual Friday, December 8, 2017 PDF icon SBEDataProcessing_7.26.7.pdf
Carousel Auto Fire Module Quick Guide Product Quick Guide Wednesday, July 11, 2012 PDF icon AFMReferenceSheet_006.pdf
AN57: Connector Care and Cable Installation Application Notes Tuesday, May 13, 2014 PDF icon appnote57Jan14.pdf
AN68: Using USB Ports to Communicate with Sea-Bird Instruments Application Notes Friday, October 19, 2012 PDF icon appnote68Oct12.pdf
AN71: Desiccant Use and Regeneration (drying) Application Notes Wednesday, May 18, 2016 PDF icon Appnote71May16.pdf
Field Service Bulletin 13: Jackscrew Replacements Field Service Bulletins Monday, March 8, 2010 PDF icon FSB13.pdf
SeatermAF© is a terminal program for setup and data upload of Sea-Bird instruments that include Auto-Fire capability for operating a water sampler autonomously on non-conducting cable. SeatermAF is part of our Seasoft V2 software suite.
Version 2.14 released September 17, 2013
File SeatermAF_V2_1_4.exe for Windows 7/8/10

SBE Data Processing© consists of modular, menu-driven routines for converting, editing, processing, and plotting of oceanographic data acquired with Sea-Bird profiling CTDs, thermosalinographs, and the SBE 16 and 37 families of moored CTDs. SBE Data Processing is part of our Seasoft V2 software suite.
Version 7.26.7 released July 26, 2017

Please Note:

Seasoft V2 is a single install bundle with the following stand-alone programs (table below) for use with most of our products (especially SBE numbers products like SBE 37 MicroCATs). While most of our instruments uses one or more of these programs, not all instruments use all programs (eg.  Plot39 which is only used by SBE 39 family) .

Each instrument has the list of applicable programs under the product page's software tab. Each software includes Help files with detailed descriptions for use.

Version 2.2.7 released July 26, 2017
File SeasoftV2.2.7-b19.exe for Windows 7/8/10

Do you recommend a particular brand of alkaline D-cell batteries?

For Sea-Bird instruments that use alkaline D-cells, Sea-Bird uses Duracell MN 1300, LR20. While rare, we have seen a few problems with cheaper batteries over the years: they are more likely to leak, may vary in size (leading to loose batteries causing a bad power connection), and may not last as long.

What is the function of the zinc anode on some instruments?

A zinc anode attracts corrosion and prevents aluminum from corroding until all the zinc is eaten up. Sea-Bird uses zinc anodes on an instrument if it has an aluminum housing and/or end cap. Instruments with titanium or plastic housings and end caps (for example, SBE 37 MicroCAT) do not require an anode.

Check the anode(s) periodically to verify that it is securely fastened and has not been eaten away.

Do I need to remove batteries before shipping my instrument for a deployment or to Sea-Bird?

Alkaline batteries can be shipped installed in the instrument. See Shipping Batteries for information on shipping instruments with Lithium or Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries.

What are the recommended practices for connectors - mating and unmating, cleaning corrosion, and replacing?

Mating and Unmating Connectors:

It is important to prepare and mate connectors correctly, both in terms of the costs to repair them and to preserve data quality. Leaking connectors cause noisy data and even potential system shutdowns. Application Note 57: Connector Care and Cable Installation describes the proper care and installation of connectors for Sea-Bird instruments. The Application Note covers connector cleaning and cable or dummy plug installation, locking sleeve installation, and cold weather tips.

Checking for Leakage and Cleaning Corrosion on Connectors:

If there has been leakage, it will show up as green-colored corrosion product. Performing the following steps can usually reverse the effect of the leak:

  1. Thoroughly clean the connector with water, followed by alcohol.
  2. Give the connector surfaces a light coating of silicon grease.

Re-mate the connectors properly — see Application Note 57: Connector Care and Cable Installation and 9-minute video covering O-ring, connector, and cable maintenance.

Replacing Connectors:

  • The main concern when replacing a bulkhead connector is that the o-rings on the connector and end cap must be prepared and installed correctly; if they are not, the instrument will flood. See the question below for general procedure on handling o-rings.
  • Use a thread-locking compound on the connector threads to prevent the new connector from loosening, which could also lead to flooding.
  • If the cell guard must be removed to open the instrument, take extra care not to break the glass conductivity cell.

What are the recommended practices for inspecting, cleaning, and replacing o-rings?

Inspecting and Cleaning O-Rings and Mating Surfaces:

  1. Remove any water from the o-rings and mating surfaces with a lint-free cloth or tissue.
  2. Visually inspect the o-rings and mating surfaces for dirt, nicks, cuts, scratches, lint, hair, and any signs of corrosion; these could cause the seal to fail. Clean the surfaces, and clean or replace the o-rings as necessary.
  3. Apply a light, even coat of 100% silicon o-ring lubricant (Parker Super O Lube) to the o-rings and mating surfaces. For an end cap o-ring, a ball of lubricant the size of a pea is about all that is needed. Too much lubricant can cause the seal to fail as much, if not more, than no grease. Do not use petroleum-based lubricant (car grease, Vaseline, etc.), as it will cause premature failure of the rubber.
    CAUTION: Parker makes another product, Parker O Lube, that is petroleum-based. Do not use this product; verify that you are using Parker Super O Lube.
  4. After lubricating the o-ring, immediately reassemble the end cap or connector, verifying that no hairs or lint have collected on the lubricated o-ring.

Replacing O-Rings:

  • End Cap O-Rings: We recommend scheduled replacement of end cap o-rings approximately every 3 years, to prevent leaks caused by normal o-ring wear.
  • Connector O-Rings: Replacing connector o-rings requires de-soldering and re-soldering the connector wires, which makes it a more difficult task. Therefore, we recommend replacement of connector o-rings when needed, not on a routine, scheduled basis.

Additional Information:

  • 9-minute video covering O-ring, connector, and cable maintenance.
  • Short, silent video of application of lubricant to o-ring.
  • Short, silent video of application of lubricant to o-ring mating surface (note the use of a plastic dental syringe — no sharp points to scratch the housing — to apply the lubricant).

How do instruments handle external power if internal batteries are installed?

Most Sea-Bird instruments that are designed to be powered internally or externally incorporate diode or'd circuitry, allowing only the voltage that has the greater potential to power the instrument. You can power the instrument externally without running down the internal batteries. This allows you to lab test using external power that has higher voltage than the internal batteries, and then deploy using internal power, knowing that the internal batteries are fresh.

For the SBE 25plus, if external power of 14 volts or higher is applied, the 25plus runs off of the external power, even if the main battery voltage is higher.

Family . Housing Connectors
AFM . 1 – 6800 m (aluminum) 1 – XSG/AG
      2 – MCBH

Example: AFM.11 is an AFM with 6800 m housing and XSG/AG connectors. See table below for description of each selection:


Auto Fire Module (AFM) programmable controller/battery pack/CTD interface for autonomous operation - accessory for SBE 32 / 32C / 32SC Carousel Water Samplers when used with SBE 19/19plus/19plusV2/25/25plus CTDs. Fires bottles at user programmable depths. Includes AFM mount, AFM/32 interface cable, data I/O cable, Seasoft software, and complete documentation.

For autonomous operation of SBE 32, 32C, or 32SC Carousel Water Sampler (no conducting wire; bottles close based on pre-programmed pressures or times) with SBE 19, 19plus, 19plus V2, 25, or 25plus CTD or SBE 50 Pressure Sensor; or no CTD.

Order water sampler and CTD separately.

AFM Connector Selections — MUST SELECT ONE
AFM.11 XSG/AG connectors

Wet-pluggable connectors may be mated in wet conditions. Their pins do not need to be dried before mating. By design, water on connector pins is forced out as connector is mated. However, they must not be mated or un-mated while submerged. Wet-pluggable connectors have a non-conducting guide pin to assist pin alignment & require less force to mate, making them easier to mate reliably under dark or cold conditions, compared to XSG/AG connectors. Like XSG/AG connectors, wet-pluggables need proper lubrication & require care during use to avoid trapping water in sockets.

AFM.12 Wet-pluggable (MCBH) connectors


Many cables, mount kits, and spare parts can be ordered online.


  • 801436 To computer COM port (from AFM with XSG connector),  20 m, DN 32808
  • 801460 To computer COM port (from AFM with Wet-pluggable connector), 20 m, DN 32861
  • 17821 To SBE 19, 19plus, 19plus V2, 25, or 25plus (RMG connectors), 1.2 m, DN 31670
  • 17884 To SBE 19, 19plus, 19plus V2, 25, or 25plus (RMG connectors), 1.8 m, DN 31670
  • 171846 To SBE 19, 19plus, 19plus V2, 25, or 25plus (Wet-pluggable connectors), 1.8 m, DN 32859
  • 17168 To SBE 32, 1.1 m, DN 30568
  • 17198 To SBE 32, 2 m, DN 30568
  • 171798 To SBE 32 (Wet-pluggable connectors), 1 m, DN 32758
  • 171741 To SBE 32 (Wet-pluggable connectors), 2 m, DN 32758
  • 171730 To SBE 32 and SBE 50 (RMG/AG connectors), DN 32740
  • 171991 To SBE 32 and SBE 50 (Wet-pluggable connectors), DN 32959
  • 171220 To SBE 35 or 35RT (AG connectors) (when SBE 32 used with AFM), Y-cable (AFM/35/32), DN 32208
  • 171995 To SBE 35 or 35RT (Wet-pluggable connectors) (when SBE 32 used with AFM), Y-cable (AFM/35/32), DN 32963

Mount Kits

  • To SBE 19, 19plus, 19plus V2, 25, or 25plus
    50154 AFM or PDIM to SBE 19/19plus/19plus V2 or 25/25plus Mount Kit
  • To SBE 32
    50121 SeaCAT, Sealogger, or AFM to SBE 32 Bottle Position Mount Kit (document 67020)

Spare Parts

  • 50092 Jackscrew kit for SBE 16, 17plus, 19, 21, 25, 26, 26plus, 52-MP, 53, 54, AFM, or PDIM
  • 60021 Battery end cap hardware & O-ring kit for SBE 16/16plus/16plus-IM/16plus V2/16plus-IM V2, 17plus, 19/19plus/19plus V2, 25, 26/26plus, 53, 54, 55, or AFM (document 67042)
  • 30044 Zinc anode, 1 inch diameter, for end caps [BUY NOW}