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Field Service Bulletin 32: Battery Recommendations for SBE 56 Temperature Recorder

Publication Date: 
Monday, July 31, 2017
PDF icon FSB32.pdf286.51 KB

Equipment Affected

This field service bulletin applies to all SBE 56 Temperature Recorders with serial number 09999 or lower.


Description of Problem

The SBE 56 includes a coin cell and a main Saft LS14500 AA battery (AA cell). The coin cell powers the SBE 56’s real-time clock when the main AA cell is depleted or has been removed (for storage or during replacement). Sea-Bird discovered that a depleted coin cell can cause damage to the real-time clock and the processor chip when the main AA cell is removed. Extensive lab testing shows that generally it is still possible to communicate with the SBE 56 and download data, but the user setting for date and time will not persist when disconnected from USB power. As a result, the SBE 56 will not be able to sample and log data.



If your SBE 56 exhibits the symptoms of a depleted coin cell described above, please return it to Sea-Bird for service. Follow the practices below to prevent the problem from occurring.

Battery Replacement:

Replace the AA cell only while the SBE 56 is connected to a computer and powered via USB.


Always install a fresh AA cell before deploying the SBE 56.


  • Store the SBE 56 with the AA cell in place, to avoid drawing power from the coin cell.
  • In SeatermUSB – SBE 56, under Configuration Options, select Start sampling at . . . Choose a date and time far in the future, e.g., 3 years, to prevent sampling and depleting the AA cell while the SBE 56 is stored.
  • Replace the AA cell at least every 2 years, even when the SBE 56 has not been used.


Always ship the SBE 56 with the AA cell installed.


Long-Term Solution

Sea-Bird redesigned the SBE 56 electronics to address the issue. This change will be implemented on all SBE 56s with serial number starting at serial number 10000.


Contact Sea-Bird technical support ( with any questions.

Applies To