Field Service Bulletin 10: Retrofit for Support of SBE 39 Battery
Most SBE 39s shipped before October 2006.
- This Field Service Bulletin does not apply to SBE 39s that have been returned to Sea-Bird for service or repair in October 2006 or later; Sea-Bird has already performed the retrofit for these instruments.
- This Field Service Bulletin does not apply to the SBE 39-IM, which has a different design.
Description of Problem
Strong repetitive motions, such as cable strumming or vibrations on a towed net / sled can cause the SBE 39’s internal battery to vibrate. In a few cases of severe vibration, the battery movement cracked the PCB, affecting operation of the instrument and resulting in loss of data.
Approximately 3500 SBE 39s have been deployed since the instrument’s introduction in 1998; this problem has only been reported in less than one dozen instruments.
Sea-Bird can provide a battery support retrofit kit, PN 50419. The retrofit holds the battery firmly in place, preventing battery movement due to cable strumming or vibrations:
- SBE 39s with firmware version 2.0 and higher — Retrofit is very easy and simply requires slipping a plastic battery support over the battery and attaching the battery support to an existing screw hole in the PCB with a small screw.
- SBE 39s with firmware version less than 2.0 — Retrofit is slightly more difficult. You must drill the screw hole in the PCB before slipping the plastic battery support over the battery and attaching the battery support to the PCB with a small screw.
See PN 76141C SBE 39 Battery Support Retrofit Kit Documentation (in the .pdf version of this document) for details.
- The firmware version is shown on the first line of the SBE 39’s status command (DS) response.
- Sea-Bird switched to firmware version 2.0 at approximately SBE 39 serial number 1283. However, SBE 39s with serial number less than 1283 but firmware version 2.0 or greater have been retrofitted with a newer PCB when they were at Sea-Bird for service / calibration; this newer PCB already has the screw hole necessary for the battery support installation.
Corrective Action by Sea-Bird
- SBE 39s shipped before October 2006: Sea-Bird will install the battery support in these instruments (at no charge) the next time they are returned to Sea-Bird for calibration or repairs (note that Sea-Bird began to do these retrofits in October 2006). Alternatively, you can request that Sea-Bird send you the battery retrofit kit (at no charge) if you want to do the retrofit yourself before you are able to send it in for calibration or other repairs.
- SBE 39s shipped in October 2006 and later: The battery support is already installed in these instruments.