Shearwater Dive Computers

If you talk to those in the know, the name Shearwater becomes synonymous with “the world’s best dive computer”. Having built an outstanding reputation with technical divers over the last 10+ years, Shearwater’s new offering, the Petrel, brings full functionality OC & CCR capability to the market at an attractive size and price. Put simply, Shearwater computers do everything that you need, and nothing that you don’t – this makes these extremely powerful and very easy to use.

Three models are currently available, with a few variants:

Shearwater Perdix – $1090 *** NOW IN STOCK ***

Shearwater-Perdix-1-Dive-Dive-DiveThe Perdix is the newest and smallest model in the Shearwater range, with all the same features as the Shearwater Petrel 2. The Perdix is the clear choice for all recreational and technical divers. You can set the computer up to show you as much or as little information as possible.

Like all Shearwater computers, the Petrel is firmware upgradeable meaning you get the latest changes for free with no need to send the computer back for an update. The desktop software and Bluetooth interface (both USB adapter and software are included) allow you to upgrade the computer and download up to 1000 hours of dive logs, and runs on both PC and Mac.

  • Air/Nitrox/Trimix capable
  • 5 open-circuit gas switch presets
  • Bühlmann ZHL-16C with Gradient Factors
  • Optional Varying Permeability Model (VPM-B)
  • %CNS oxygen exposure tracking
  • Ascent rate monitor
  • Date, time and temp display
  • Easy to read large full color screen
  • Simple to use adaptive menus
  • Water activated and programmable
  • Logbook of last 1000 hours of diving
  • Depth sensor rated to { 450 ft | 137 m }
  • Battery voltage and warning
  • Metric and Imperial
  • Right or left wrist mountable
  • Battery life (Saft 3.6V LS14500) up to 90 hours of diving
  • Battery life (1.5V Alkaline) up to 36 hours of diving
  • Compass
  • Integrated Bungee mount or classic strap system to suit your type of diving

Rebreather features:

  • Constant PPO2 Set Point
  • Automatic Set Point Switching
  • 5 additional CCR Diluent gas presets
  • 2 button push OC bailout
  • Also Supports Semi-Closed

Shearwater Petrel 2 – $1090 

petrelWith it’s big QVGA full colour LCD display, it handles OC recreational diving just as well as it does full decompression CCR diving. Air, Nitrox, Trimix and CCR capable out of the box, the Petrel handles up to 5 OC gases and 5 CCR gases. Full decompression information is provided, so you’ll never be left guessing how much deco time you have.

The display brightness automatically adjusts with changes in ambient light, so whether you’re diving in bright conditions, at night or in a cave the screen’s LCD brightness is always at optimal levels. The Petrel is powered by an off the shelf AA battery, which is user changeable and lasts up to 36 hours of diving. An optional 3.6V lithium battery can be used to extend the battery life to 90 hours underwater.

Like all Shearwater computers, the Petrel is firmware upgradeable meaning you get the latest changes for free with no need to send the computer back for an update. The desktop software and Bluetooth interface (both USB adapter and software are included) allow you to upgrade the computer and download up to 1000 hours of dive logs, and runs on both PC and Mac.

  • Air/Nitrox/Trimix capable
  • 5 open-circuit gas switch presets
  • Bühlmann ZHL-16C with Gradient Factors
  • Optional Varying Permeability Model (VPM-B)
  • %CNS oxygen exposure tracking
  • Ascent rate monitor
  • Date, time and temp display
  • Easy to read large full color screen
  • Simple to use adaptive menus
  • Water activated and programmable
  • Logbook of last 1000 hours of diving
  • Depth sensor rated to { 450 ft | 137 m }
  • Battery voltage and warning
  • Metric and Imperial
  • Right or left wrist mountable
  • Battery life (Saft 3.6V LS14500) up to 90 hours of diving
  • Battery life (1.5V Alkaline) up to 36 hours of diving
  • Compass

Rebreather features:

  • Constant PPO2 Set Point
  • Automatic Set Point Switching
  • 5 additional CCR Diluent gas presets
  • 2 button push OC bailout
  • EXT model supports External PO2 monitoring
  • Also Supports Semi-Closed

Shearwater Predator – 

predatorReleased in 2009, the Predator shares the vast majority of features with the Petrel, however there are some differences including those listed below. A feature comparison sheet has also been provided by Shearwater Research.

  • Screen – the most significant difference between the Predator and Petrel is the display technology. Both screens are full colour and the same size, but the Predator uses an ultra-bright OLED which in some rare conditions is easier to read. For the vast majority of circumstances, the Petrel screen is as good or better than the Predator’s (e.g. bright sunlight) and uses much less power. The screen colours are configurable, but the Predator is default green as it uses the least power (versus white on the Petrel).
  • Size/Weight – the Predator is about 40% larger/heavier than the Petrel. In practice the Predator isn’t too large or heavy, it’s just that the Petrel is smaller.
  • Battery Choice – although the Petrel can use virtually any AA battery, the Predator must be powered by a lithium 3.6v primary cell. We sell them, and you can get them around the place but they’re not that easy to get in the tropics or when you really need one.
  • Software – the Predator has a different firmware set to the Petrel, and whilst it can be continually upgraded we are seeing some new features added to the Petrel that aren’t on the Predator (e.g. new vs classic gas selection, centre row information). We expect the gap will widen over time.
  • Cost – the Predator is also more expensive.

 

Option 1 – External PPO2 Monitoring

Both the Shearwater Petrel and Predator come with or without external PPO2 monitoring. The feature is purely for customers who want real time PPO2 monitoring for a CCR via a Fischer cable.

Do you need or want external PPO2 monitoring?

The answer is complex, as it depends on the type of CCR you have and whether or not you want to wire the Shearwater into it. From our experience, there is little need for real-time PPO2 monitoring with an eCCR, as the setpoint controller keeps tight control of your PPO2 and off-board PPO2 calculation works well. If you desire a second PPO2 display, or run a mCCR then we suggest you consider external monitoring as an option. Even with external monitoring configured, the computer can be dived standalone if you choose.

 

Option 2 – VPM Deco Algorithm

By default, all Shearwater computers come with a full decompression compatible Buhlmann ZHL-16C algorithm. As some people prefer to use VPM based algorithms, a software cross-grade to VPM-B and VPM-B/GFS can be purchased and installed at any time (including after purchase).

Do you need or want the VPM deco algorithms?

Generally speaking the answer is No. When it comes to decompression models, opinions differ so unless you know you want to use VPM, we suggest you’ll be more than happy with the standard algorithm.

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