This is a Technical Support Bulletin from Wildlife Acoustics regarding problems that can occur when using the SM4 family of recorders with certain SD cards.
A number of customers have recently reported deployment problems when using SanDisk Extreme and SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC flash cards with their Song Meter SM4 family recorders. The issue can affect all Song Meter SM4 family products including the SM4, SM4TS, SM4BAT-FS, SM4M, and SM4MU (but excluding SM4BAT-ZC).
The failure generally manifests with schedules that make continuous back-to-back one-hour recordings and can result in recordings being lost. Corrupted .WAV recordings with a 256KB length and/or many .sm4dump files on the card are both indications. The issue only rarely affects schedules with short duty cycle recordings such as 10 minutes on the hour, or on triggered recordings on the SM4BAT-FS.
Note: Many of the above symptoms are normal at the end of a deployment as batteries fail. What is unique to this issue is it can occur while the batteries are fresh.
Wildlife Acoustics have released firmware version 2.3.3 that corrects this problem and may improve interoperability with other flash cards as well. We strongly advise customers to update to this latest version as soon as possible whether you are seeing issues or not. The firmware is available on the Wildlife Acoustics website after you log in to your account here: https://www.wildlifeacoustics.com/account/downloads/sm4.
Firmware version 2.3.3 also fixes an unrelated issue, introduced with firmware 2.3.1, which could result in corrupted cards that are formatted in exFAT and have the “dirty bit” set (this indicates an issue with unmounting the card previously).
Note: If you experience card corruption, Wildlife Acoustics have tools that can possibly recover recordings off the card. Contact their support team using the details below for more information.
Contact Wildlife Acoustics
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