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Field Service Bulletins

This page contains links to alerts on product problems that may cause injury to people, damage to equipment, or loss of data.

Field Service Bulletin Number & Date Product Brief Description
#34 - Feb 2018

SBE 39plus/39plus-IM

A firmware bug will delete samples logged to the beginning of the memory during long-term deployments.
#33 - Jan 2018


The HydroCAT-EP's pH sensor (HC-PH) storage block was redesigned to prevent the KCl storage solution from inadvertantly contacting the connector.
#32 - July 2017 SBE 56 SBE 56 back-up coin cell, if depleted, can cause damage to the real-time clock and processor chip. Recommendations for procedures for shipping, storage, and main battery replacement to prevent depletion of back-up cell are provided. A redesign is in progress to address the issue.
#31 - July 2017 HydroCycle Service times for Cycle-PO4 and HydroCycle-PO4 have become significantly affected by instrument component issues and a growing backlog of instruments in for service.
#30 - Apr 2016 SBE 25plus Some SBE 25plus users have reported missing data from some casts while profiling in cold seawater (< 5 °C, 30-35 psu). The problem does not occur on every 25plus, and is intermittent. A firmware upgrade addresses this problem.
#29 - Nov 2015 Sea-Bird Scientific sensors with electrical bulkhead connectors Certain Sea-Bird Scientific sensors have electrical bulkhead connectors that may fail due to a change in material by our supplier. The bulkhead connectors in question are the MCBH wet-pluggable versions. This issue does not apply to XSG connectors.
#28 - Jul 2015 SBE 39plus, 56 USB drivers for SBE 39plus and SBE 56 may not have installed properly on all computers, preventing communications via internal USB connector. New drivers have been incorporated in SeatermV2 and Seasoft V2 software.
#27 - Oct 2014 SBE 37-SMP-ODO, 37-IMP-ODO These MicroCATs were set with an incorrect factory default value that affects pumping time. Instruments in warm waters (> 25 °C) with rapidly changing oxygen concentration may not be measuring fully equilibrated maximum and minimum oxygen concentrations.
#26 - Jul 2013 SBE 49 SBE 49s manufactured before May 2013 have a 2.5 mK noise signal when not averaging samples (16 Hz sampling); temperature probe redesign.
#25 - Apr 2012 SBE 56

Battery endurance is sensitive to deployment orientation and temperature; applies to SBE 56s manufactured and delivered before 2012 (Serial Numbers (SN) < 1088).

#24 - Jan 2012 SBE 43, 43I, 43F SBE 43, 43I, and 43F sensors manufactured or serviced in 2011 may fail as a result of a seal failure.
#23 - Nov 2011 SBE 37-SMP, 37-IMP, 44 SBE 37-SMP and IMP with firmware < 4.0, and SBE 44 that is supplying power to the RS-232 sensor, may have significantly shorter deployment durations than previously predicted by example calculations in the product manuals and in the Deployment Endurance Calculator software.
#22 - Jun 2011 SBE 3 SBE 3s integrated with SBE 25s or a non-Sea-Bird system that provides less than 11.5 V of power to the SBE 3 and are used in very cold water (< 2 °C) may see an output frequency shift.
#21 - Oct 2010 SBE 39-IM SBE 39-IMs shipped through June 2010 may allow the batteries to be dislodged in rough conditions, resulting in loss of data (data collected before batteries are dislodged not affected). Sea-Bird is supplying a kit and retrofit instructions.
#20 - Apr 2010 SBE 55 ECO Water Sampler SBE 55 frames shipped through March 2010 may have a dimension out of tolerance, resulting in potential for cracks in the latch assembly. Sea-Bird is supplying a shim package and retrofit instructions.
#19 - Apr 2010 SeaCAT — SBE 16plus V2 SBE 16plus V2 with firmware version 2.0 - 2.1 require firmware update to eliminate a bug related to use of delayed logging feature (StartDateTime= and StartLater).
#18 - Apr 2009 PN 90402 SBE 45 Power, Navigation, & Remote Temperature Interface Box A wiring error in serial numbers 0052 - 0091 (shipped March 2007 - March 2009; serial number 0080 & 0084 unaffected) prevents Interface Box from functioning if providing DC input power. Box is easily fixed in the field, or it can be returned to Sea-Bird for repair.
#17 - Sep 2008 SBE 37-SI and 37-SIP with RS-232 Interface A firmware bug in 37-SI and 37-SIP with RS-232 interface and firmware 3.0 - 3.0d causes the MicroCAT to not store data in FLASH memory.
#16 - Aug 2008 (rev Mar 2009) SBE 11plus, 33, and 36 Deck Units; PN 90488, 90545, 90158, and 90204 Interface Boxes Some newer NMEA navigation devices output latitude and longitude minutes to 7 or more digitsright of the decimal place (i.e., xxx.xxxxxxx). Older Sea-Bird Deck Units and Interface Boxes do not correctly decode latitude and longitude data with more than 6 digits right of the decimal place, resulting in NMEA data with incorrect and unpredictable fractional minutes for latitude and longitude.
#15 - Aug 2008 SBE 37-SM, 37-SMP, 37-IM, 37-IMP, 37-SI, 37-SIP, and 49 with Plastic Housing MicroCATs and FastCATs with plastic housings require more care and caution in handling than those with titanium housings. In 2008, Sea-Bird modified the existing end cap screw holes and screws in all plastic MicroCAT and FastCAT housings, to reduce the potential for cracks caused by over-torqueing.
#14 - Mar 2008 SBE 39, 39-IM SBE 39 with firmware 3.0 or 3.0a (shipped 2006 - March 2008), and 39-IM with digital firmware 1.02 - 1.04 (shipped before March 2008) have a bug related to the leap year.
#13 - Dec 2007 SBE 9plus, 16 (not plus), 17plus, 17plus V2, 19 not plus), 21, 25, 26, 26plus, 32 (all versions), 52-MP, 53, 54, and AFM Jackscrew kits shipped May - December 2007 may include jackscrews that are slightly oversized. Jackscrews are used to remove the end cap to access the electronics for testing or repairs.
#12 - May 2007 SBE 39 SBE 39s with firmware version 2.0 - 2.2 require modification to eliminate potential for a short between battery + and - power, causing premature battery failure.
#11 - Dec 2006 SBE 37-IMP, 37-SMP, 37-SIP In very turbid waters, pumped MicroCATs oriented with intake/exhaust plumbing in upright U-shape can become clogged with sediment, resulting in poor flushing and poor quality data. Sea-Bird recommends that the MicroCAT be oriented with its intake/exhaust in an inverted U-shape. A modification implemented in MicroCATs shipped after December 2006 allows trapped air to escape when deployed as recommended; a retrofit kit allows the customer to easily implement the change in older MicroCATs.
#10 - Dec 2006 SBE 39 SBE 39s shipped before October 2006 require modification to eliminate the possibility of battery vibration caused by cable strumming or vibrations on a towed net/sled, which can crack the PCB, affecting the instrument operation and resulting in loss of data.
#9 - Nov 2006 SeaCAT — SBE 16plus, 16plus-IM, 19plus, 21 A firmware bug causes SeaCATs (SBE 16plus, 16plus-IM, 19plus, and 21) shipped before November 2006 to store data incorrectly after a Flash Initialize command is sent, if logging is started before sending the Initialize Logging command.
#8 - Dec 2005 SBE 26plus A firmware bug in instruments shipped before December 2005 causes the SBE 26plus to ignore the user-input wave sample duration, and to always use a 0.25-sec duration.
#7 - Sep 2005 SBE 39 A firmware bug prevents SBE 39s with firmware version 2.0 and 2.0a from taking full advantage of 4 MB memory.
#6 - Aug 2004 SBE 9plus SBE 9plus shipped between September 1997 and April 2004 require a retrofit to prevent damage to the 9plus if is used with an SBE 17plus Searam that is powered with alkaline batteries.
#5 - Nov 2003 SBE 41/41CP CTD Sensors for Argo floats Handling precautions to prevent Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) damage
#4 - Aug 2003 SBE 19plus with optional cage, shipped before Aug 2003 A retrofit is required for SBE 19plus shipped prior to August 2003 and supplied with optional cage.
#3 - Apr 2001 SBE 37 (IM,  SM, SI with Paine pressure sensor, full scale pressure < 1500 psi, and serial number < 1789) Retrofit kit prevents intrusion of salt water into the pressure sensor cavity (which could lead to corrosion) on MicroCATs (IM, SM, SI) with serial number < 1789 that include a Paine pressure sensor with full scale pressure < 1500 psi; these MicroCATs shipped prior to April 2001.
#2 - Mar 1997 SBE 25 (shipped before Mar 1997) Retrofit required for SBE 25s shipped prior to March 1997 to prevent potential for sensor damage from transient over-voltage condition
#1 - Aug 1997 Opto-Isolated Junction Boxes (with external fuse holder, shipped before Aug 1997) Retrofit is required for potentially dangerous condition that may exist in junction boxes having external fuse holders and shipped beore August 1997.