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Has anyone else experienced issues with SoundTrap 500s? Two of mine stopped recording early. One had a battery issue, but the other issue went undiagnosed.

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  • $\begingroup$ undiagnosed by you, or undiagnosed by the manufacturer? $\endgroup$
    – Chloe
    Jul 6, 2022 at 7:38
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    $\begingroup$ Undiagnosed by the manufacturer. $\endgroup$ Jul 26, 2022 at 20:42

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Yes, there are a lot of software issues with the ST500. Which is likely why the manufacture stopped making them and now sells the ST600. The ST600 has a much better software design (though it isn't in oil, like the ST500). But if you will see at this post, they have their own hardware issues.

You can write to the manufacture with the unit that went undiagnosed, and see if they will still provide support. If you can still get it to connect to Sound Trap Host, sometimes a firmware update can help get the unit working again. In general, if you still plan to use them, it is good practice to update the firmware, which can be done by going to View -> Service. Here, the manufacture can also supply you with a specific firmware to address your problem, if it can be diagnosed.

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We used ST500s at over 20 locations cross the US from ~2018 into 2022. Some deployments (~4 month continuous recordings at 48kHz) worked well, however we did have issues with several deployments. The trouble was, the issues were not consistent, meaning we couldn't easily track the problems to solve them. We did communicate often with the manufacturer and that was helpful to some degree, and they replaced hydrophones we suspected were faulty. I agree with the other responder that you should consider upgrading to the newer ST600 with a built in hydrophone; we have concluded that many of our issues (however, not all) stemmed from the connection between the recorder and hydrophone. ST600 has improved the hardware. It also uses different batteries, that I hope will be more reliable and even may extend the recording possibilities. We just started using ST600s so I can share more in a few months when we have a better handle on their performance. Feel free to email me directly if you want to discuss any of your ST500 issues in detail, I'd be happy to. I can also point you to others who have used them extensively. Good luck!

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We deployed six ST500 for a two-year projects and ran into a few issues as well, especially with the duty cycling. For some context, the goal was to record at 96kHz on a 1/3 duty cycle (20/60 min ON/OFF), with the automated click detector enabled.

One unit randomly recorded two hours only in the middle of a 5-month period. The others usually recorded for the full deployment duration (2-6 months), but following erratic duty cycles (e.g. 5 seconds,30 seconds, 4 minutes, 17 minutes, 27 seconds, 20 minutes...). We reached out to the manufacturer, and they suggested a conflict between the GPS and click detector, but after a few trials, disabling the GPS did not appear to fix the issue. Our hypothesis after some testing and troubleshooting is that the problem comes from using additional SD cards to extend memory capacity (even the Samsung Evo+ cards recommended by Ocean Instruments). So best advice we have is not to use them unless strictly necessary (in the end, endurance appears longer than what we estimated using the OI spreadsheet, so we were able to get long deployments even on the default internal memory space)

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