AN57: Connector Care and Cable Installation
The Application Note describes the proper care of connectors and installation of cables for Sea-Bird instruments. The Application Note is divided into three sections:
- Connector Cleaning and Inspection, and Cable / Dummy Plug Installation
- Locking Sleeve Installation
- Cold Weather Tips
Note: All photos in this Application Note show standard Impulse XSG/AG connectors. Except as noted, all procedures apply to standard XSG/AG connectors as well as to optional wet-pluggable MCBH connectors.
Clean and inspect connectors, cables, and dummy plugs:
- Before every cruise.
- During the cruise — This is a good practice if you have a few days of down time between casts.
- After every cruise — This is the best way to find and remove any corrosion on connector pins before severe corrosion develops.
- As part of your yearly equipment maintenance.
Follow this procedure:
Replace severely corroded or otherwise damaged connectors, cables, and dummy plugs — contact Sea-Bird for instructions and a Return Material Authorization (RMA) number.
Apply grease to molded ridge
Apply grease to inside of cable boot / dummy plug
After the cable boot or dummy plug is mated to the bulkhead connector, install the locking sleeve. The locking sleeve secures the cable or dummy plug to the bulkhead connector and prevents it from being inadvertently removed. Important points regarding locking sleeves:
- Tighten the locking sleeve by hand. DO NOT use a wrench or pliers to tighten the locking sleeve. Over-tightening will gall the threads, which can bind the locking sleeve to the bulkhead connector. Attempting to remove a tightly bound locking sleeve may instead result in the bulkhead connector actually unthreading from the end cap. A loose bulkhead connector will lead to a flooded instrument. Pay particular attention when removing a locking sleeve to ensure the bulkhead connector is not loosened.
- It is a common misconception that the locking sleeve provides watertight integrity. It does not, and continued re-tightening of the locking sleeve will not fix a leaking connector.
- As part of routine maintenance at the end of a day's casts, remove the locking sleeve, slide it up the cable, and rinse the connection (still mated) with fresh water. This will prevent premature cable failure.
In cold weather, the cable or dummy plug may be hard to install and remove.
Removing a Frozen Cable Boot or Dummy Plug:
- Wrap the cable boot or dummy plug with a washrag or other cloth.
- Pour hot water on the cloth and let the it sit for a minute or two. The cable boot or dummy plug should thaw and become flexible enough to be removed.
Installing a Standard XSG/AG Cable or Dummy Plug:
When possible, install cables and dummy plugs in warm environments. If not, warm the cable boot or dummy plug sufficiently so it is flexible. A flexible cable boot or dummy plug will install properly.
Note about Wet-Pluggable (MCBH) Connectors:
As an option, Sea-Bird offers wet-pluggable (MCBH) connectors in place of the standard Impulse XSG/AG connectors. Wet-pluggable connectors have a non-conducting guide pin to assist pin alignment and require less force to mate, making them easier to mate reliably under dark or cold conditions, compared to our standard connectors. Wet-pluggable connectors may be mated in wet conditions; their pins do not need to be dried before mating. By design, water on the connector pins is forced out as the connector is mated. However, they must not be mated or un-mated while submerged. Like standard connectors, wet-pluggables need proper lubrication and require care during use to avoid trapping water in sockets.
If desired, Sea-Bird can retrofit your existing instruments with wet-pluggable connectors; contact Sea-Bird for pricing information.
Application Note Revision History
|September 1999||Initial release.|
|May 2003||- Add caution to not use WD-40 or other petroleum-based lubricants.|
|August 2007||- Revise recommendations on how frequently to unmate and check connectors.
- Add recommendations to lube inside of cable boot.
- Make more general (previously mentioned only I/O cables).
- Add description of wet-pluggable connectors in section dealing with cold weather installation.
|February 2010||- Update to include information about MCBH connectors.
- Update address.
|January 2014||- Update to include caution about using silicone spray that contains propellants incompatible with MCBH connectors.|
- Carousel Auto Fire Module (AFM)
- Glider Payload CTD (GPCTD)
- SBE 13 Dissolved Oxygen Sensor - DISCONTINUED
- SBE 14 Remote Depth Readout
- SBE 16 SeaCAT C-T (P) Recorder - DISCONTINUED
- SBE 16plus SeaCAT C-T (P) Recorder - DISCONTINUED
- SBE 16plus V2 SeaCAT C-T (P) Recorder
- SBE 16plus-IM SeaCAT C-T (P) Recorder - DISCONTINUED
- SBE 16plus-IM V2 SeaCAT C-T (P) Recorder
- SBE 17plus V2 Searam Recorder & Auto Fire Module
- SBE 18 pH Sensor
- SBE 19 SeaCAT Profiler CTD - DISCONTINUED
- SBE 19plus V2 SeaCAT Profiler CTD
- SBE 21 SeaCAT Thermosalinograph
- SBE 23 Dissolved Oxygen Sensor - DISCONTINUED
- SBE 25 Sealogger CTD - DISCONTINUED
- SBE 25plus Sealogger CTD
- SBE 26 Seagauge Wave & Tide Recorder - DISCONTINUED
- SBE 26plus Seagauge Wave & Tide Recorder
- SBE 27 pH/O.R.P. (Redox) Sensor
- SBE 29 Strain-Gauge Pressure Sensor
- SBE 32 Carousel Water Sampler
- SBE 35 Deep Ocean Standards Thermometer
- SBE 35RT Digital Reversing Thermometer
- SBE 36 CTD Deck Unit & PDIM (Power Data Interface Module)
- SBE 37-IM MicroCAT C-T (P) Recorder
- SBE 37-IMP MicroCAT C-T (P) Recorder
- SBE 37-IMP-IDO MicroCAT C-T-ODO (P) Recorder - DISCONTINUED
- SBE 37-IMP-ODO MicroCAT C-T-ODO (P) Recorder
- SBE 37-SI MicroCAT C-T (P) Recorder
- SBE 37-SIP MicroCAT C-T (P) Recorder
- SBE 37-SIP-IDO MicroCAT C-T-DO (P) Sensor
- SBE 37-SIP-ODO MicroCAT C-T-DO (P) Sensor
- SBE 37-SM MicroCAT C-T (P) Recorder
- SBE 37-SMP MicroCAT C-T (P) Recorder
- SBE 37-SMP-IDO MicroCAT C-T-DO (P) Recorder - DISCONTINUED
- SBE 37-SMP-ODO MicroCAT C-T-ODO (P) Recorder
- SBE 38 Digital Oceanographic Thermometer
- SBE 39 Temperature (P) Recorder - DISCONTINUED
- SBE 39-IM Temperature (P) Recorder - DISCONTINUED
- SBE 39plus Temperature (P) Recorder
- SBE 3F CTD Temperature Sensor
- SBE 3plus Premium CTD Temperature Sensor
- SBE 3S Oceanographic Temperature Sensor
- SBE 4 Conductivity Sensor
- SBE 43 Dissolved Oxygen Sensor
- SBE 44 Underwater Inductive Modem (UIM)
- SBE 45 MicroTSG Thermosalinograph
- SBE 49 FastCAT CTD Sensor
- SBE 50 Digital Oceanographic Pressure Sensor
- SBE 52-MP Moored Profiler CTD & (optional) Dissolved Oxygen Sensor
- SBE 53 BPR Bottom Pressure Recorder
- SBE 54 Tsunameter Tsunami Pressure Sensor
- SBE 55 ECO Water Sampler
- SBE 56 Temperature Logger
- SBE 5M Miniature Pump
- SBE 5P and 5T Submersible Pump
- SBE 63 Optical Dissolved Oxygen (DO) Sensor
- SBE 7 Microstructure Conductivity Sensor
- SBE 8 Microstructure Temperature Sensor
- SBE 911plus CTD
- Slocum Glider Payload CTD
- Underwater Inductive Modem Module (UIMM)