Use Instructions

 18MAR15 (for Firmware V1.40 and later)

About the status LED

SeaTag-LOT uses small red & green status LED visible through the gap of the solar panel just above the burn chamber (in the area of the silver contact strip) to announce its current status. The blinking only occurs when the capacitor is at a high charge level in order to preserve power. To view the LED, first charge your tags fully by exposing to bright sunlight for 30 minutes or 2 hours on a cloudy day. After a charge, blinking will persist for several hours. Note that blinks are short (1/16 sec) and occur only once or twice per minute. So, watch closely.

OFF No blinking

If you do not see any of the LEDs blinking, then your tag is in a power-saving state to prevent clock loss. Generally, this will mean that your tag is in the SAFE SHIPPING state and is simply conserving power. After charging the SeaTag-LOT, make sure to observe the tag's LED blinks in a darkened space for more than one minute. If the tag does not blink after sufficient charging then the tag may be defective and should be returned to Desert Star.


Single RED blink once every 64 seconds

You will receive the tag in this state. However, if the tag's LEDs are not blinking then then charge the SeaTag-LOT. This state is intended to prevent an accidental firing of the kinetic release mechanism. The tag should be transitioned to this state prior to long-distance traveling with the tag.


Single RED & GREEN (ORANGE) blink once every 32 second

This is the state that the user will transition the tag to after arming the kinetic release mechanism. This state is used to store the kinetic release armed tags until the day (or day before) of tagging opportunity. After the tag has been transitioned to the ARMED state, it must be stored in a completely dark container for at least 2 hours. The tag will transition to the ONFISH state and start the mission timer when it sees light again after at least 2 hours in a darkened container.


Single GREEN blink once every 32 seconds

The tag will transition to this state after being exposed to light after at least 2 hours in a darkened container in the ARMED state. Once the tag has been exposed to light and successfully transitioned to ONFISH mode then the tag will start the mission and the mission duration timer will count down.


Single RED blink once every 32 seconds

This state initiates after the mission duration timer has elapsed, or if one of the release triggers were activated. The tag will fire it's release mechanism, transition to the REPORTING state, and begin reporting its data. This state will only be observed if you were able to physically recover the tag after a deployment. You may see this state if the tag was accidentally transitioned to the ONFISH state and subsequently completed its mission duration. This error may occur if the tag was removed from its darkened container without subsequently using the tag on a fish or transitioning the unused tag back to the ARMED state. A tag in the REPORTING state may be transitioned back to the ARMED state. However to re-use the tag, you will also have to re-arm the kinetic release burn chamber with a new igniter, powder, and nylon rod. This may or may not be possible depending on the state of the burn chamber and its two electrical contacts. Please contact for more information regarding the re-use of tags after accidental mission start or physical recovery.

Transitioning a tag to a READY state

Alternating dark-bright light signals are used to transition a tag that is in the SAFE SHIPPING, ON FISH or REPORTING state back to the READY state. The method is based on exposing the tag alternately to darkness and bright light in response to LED signals. The LED will flash a quick RED-GREEN signal in 16-second intervals if it detected a dark-bright or a bright-dark change during the last 16-second interval. An uninterrupted sequence of bright-dark-bright-dark-bright transitions the state to READY as indicated by a long (1/2 second) GREEN blink.

Transitioning individual tags to the READY state

Use the provided tag light signal sleeve. You will need to go outside for sufficient light, or go close to a light (> 1000 Lux is required). Insert the tag in the sleeve, aligned so that the LED can be viewed through the view hole. Wait until you see any blink pattern (the RED-GREEN light signal pattern or any other pattern). Once you see a blink, remove the tag from the sleeve, exposing it to light. Wait for the RED-GREEN blink and return the tag to the sleeve. Repeat until you see the 0.5 sec GREEN blink, indicating the tag has transitioned to the READY state. Remove the tag from the sleeve. Wait about two minutes for the tag to start operating in the new state, then verify that it is in READY state by viewing the blink pattern. READY state is both LED lit simultaneously ('ORANGE' blink).

Picture: SeaTag-LOT inserted in light signal sleeve. LED view hole is aligned with the LED.

Transitioning many tags to the READY state

Place the tags close to a bright light at night or in a dark room. You may lay or tape them on a fluorescent bulb (make sure the light source is not hot and will not burn the tag). Watch the LED of one of the tags, and execute the bright-darkbright- dark-bright sequence by switching the light ON and OFF in response to the LED blink patterns as in the first method. Once transitioned, check all other tags individually to make sure they also transitioned to the READY state.

Trouble Shooting

The principal problem with the light signal method may be that you don't have bright enough or dark enough conditions. The bright signal requires > 1000 Lux, which compares to for example 500 Lux in a typical office environment. The dark signal must be < 10 Lux. In this case you might see the quick RED-GREEN light sequence only sometimes, and see the tag state blink patterns as on the first page at other times. If this happens just occasionally, simply keep alternating the tag between dark and light on each LED blink pattern, even if it is a tag state blink pattern. If you can't complete the sequence, seek brighter light and make sure the tag's solar panel is shielded completely during the dark phase. If you lost the sleeve and have no tools available whatsoever, you can shield the tag with your hand for darkness. In this case, make sure you hand covers the solar panel in its entirety for the dark phases, without any gaps. Do this in day light outside and you should have enough brightness and enough darkness.