When you’re working under a wind-blown tarp with 48mm of rain coming down in 24 hours, water creeps in where it really shouldn’t, and gear shorts out. Most geophysics equipment is amiable to field repairs, using twisted wire and clamps instead of soldering or including spare parts to pop in and out, and packing a hairdryer in the toolbag can work wonders, but sometimes, it’s all just too much.
The good nodes are shiny black, while the now-bad node is matte grey and smells of burnt electronics. A damaged, burnt component of an integrated circuit board is not field-repairable.
The damage was severe enough it wasn’t camp-fixable, either, nor even ‘Bring back to the office machine shop’ fixable, and had to be sent back to the manufacturer. The listed cause of the short was water, and required the replacement of bad relays, ICs, and diodes, and the replacement of a multi-switch.