EXO Maintenance - Sensor Installation

EXO Maintenance - Sensor Installation and Cable Connectors

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EXO Maintenance - Sensor Installation and Cable Connectors

This video covers the proper installation of EXO sensors and maintenance of wet-mate connectors.

Timestamps of specific moments of the video

  • 0:00 – Overview
  • 0:49 – Sensor Removal
  • 1:23 – Sensor Installation
  • 2:14 – Port Plug Installation
  • 2:37 – Cable Connection
  • 3:50 – EXO2 Auxiliary Connector

Video Transcript

In this video, we’ll discuss connector maintenance for EXO Sensors and cables. We’ll also demonstrate how to properly install EXO Sensors and a cable on a sonde. EXO uses molded neoprene wet-mate connectors, which create a seal around each individual pin. This design significantly reduces the risk of pin corrosion associated with traditional underwater connectors.

For these connectors to remain effective, they must be properly maintained. Let’s focus on sensor connectors first. Every new EXO Sensor ships with the connector pre-lubricated and protected by a transport cap. That said, you should always double-check to make sure the connector is lightly lubricated with o-ring grease prior to installation. Now, before I review the sensor installation process, I’m going to review how to remove and maintain a sensor that has already been in use.

Before we remove a sensor, we recommend cleaning and drying both the sensors and the bulkhead as well as we can. Then loosen the locking nut on the sensor with the tool provided. Make sure the sonde bulkhead is pointed downward as we remove the sensor; that way, any moisture present does not fall into the bulkhead port. Whenever you remove a sensor from the bulkhead, the connector should be cleaned with a lint-free cloth or Kimwipe. Once you are ready to reinstall, apply a small amount of o-ring grease to the neoprene on the sensor connector. We recommend Krytox GPL 205 grease, and we include a small tube with every EXO Sensor.

As you apply the grease, make sure the connector is evenly coated and shiny. Be sure not to use too much grease, as this can reduce the integrity of the seal. Also, check the sonde to make sure the bulkhead connector is clean. If you see any debris, remove it using compressed air. Now that our connector is properly lubricated, we can reinstall the sensor. Line up the pins and insert the sensor. Finger-tighten the locking nut by twisting it clockwise until snug. Then use the sensor installation tool to tighten until the locking nut is seated on the bulkhead, typically about a quarter turn.

If you choose to remove the sensors for storage or have any open ports in the sonde, be sure to use the 4-pin port plugs to protect each bulkhead port. Follow the same lubrication instructions for the port plug prior to installation; this is vital to protect the bulkhead connectors.

Now let’s focus on the cable connectors. EXO Cables ship with dry connectors that you must lubricate prior to installation. Apply a light coat of Krytox grease to the flat rubber mating surface of the female 6-pin connector. Again, the neoprene should be shiny, but be sure not to apply too much grease.

The cable installs on the top connector of the sonde. This male 6-pin connector should also be cleaned and lubricated prior to cable installation. Evenly coat the 6-pin connector with the same Krytox grease. Avoid coating the gold contacts. Now that both connectors are lubricated, we can install the cable. Line up the pins and press firmly until there is no gap between the connectors. Next, finger-tighten the locking sleeve until it is fully seated. Do not use a tool for this.

Our cable is now installed. EXO cables also include a cable grip kit to act as a backup retention system by clamping near the sonde connector end of the cable. It may also be used to provide strain relief for the connector. The EXO connector is robust and does not require strain relief, but some users may opt to utilize this feature.

Finally, EXO2 Sondes feature a female auxiliary connector for linking multiple sondes or connecting third-party sensors. If this connector is not being utilized, make sure that the male 6-pin plug is installed. Again, follow the same lubrication instructions for the plug prior to installation.

By following these practices, you can extend the life of your instruments and protect your connectors for many years. For more maintenance tips, please be sure to check out our other EXO University videos, and thanks for watching!

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