Support & Downloads

Downloads

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FAQ

The downloads for the Petrel or the Petrel 2 are the same downloads, and are found HERE

Yes.  The original Petrel and Petrel 2 have the same firmware versions, and updates for either will be posted in our firmware downloads section.

For full instructions with pictures explaining the best way to remove and replace the O-ring, please click here.

The official determination of whether a Petrel supports the compass is checking the hardware version in:
System Setup->Adv Config->System Info

For SA and EXT:
Hardware version 2.4.0 or higher has the compass and Bluetooth Smart Ready.

For DiveCAN models:
Hardware version 3.4.0 or higher has the compass and Bluetooth Smart Ready.

We are sorry that you are having a problem with your dive computer that can't be resolved with our FAQ’s.  If your dive computer needs some kind of repair, simply email us at info@shearwater.com to initiate the process.

Please include your name, address and phone number,  description of your problem, your unit model, S/N and Firmware Version.  We’ll get you an RMA number and instructions on how to send your computer in for repair.  Please do not return your computer to us or any of our service centers without an RMA number.

To find your S/N and firmware, turn on your computer (unless it won’t turn on) and from the main screen press the right side button 8-10 times until you see the S/N displayed (lower left) and Firmware (lower right) of the screen.

Short Answer:

While almost any kind of AA sized battery works with your Shearwater Petrel, the standard 1.5V alkaline battery (the type found in stores around the world) works best.

Long Answer:

There are numerous types of AA sized batteries that will work in your Shearwater Petrel, read below for more details:

Alkaline

We recommend the AA 1.5V alkaline battery (e.g. the Duracell Coppertop) because it is:
A) Inexpensive
B) Available anywhere
C) Reliable
D) Gives about 35 hours of diving
As an added bonus your Petrel provides a useful “Fuel Gauge” display for these batteries.

Saft

The Saft 3.6V LS14500 battery (used by the Shearwater Predator) is also a good choice, primarily because it has the longest usable life (90 hours on medium brightness). However they are:
A) Expensive
B) Hard to find
C) Sensitive to temperature and storage conditions
In addition they are incompatible with the new “Fuel Gauge” feature so only three levels are given: Full, Low (Yellow) and Critical (Red).

Li-Ion - Rechargeable

The 3.7V Li-Ion 14500 battery is a good choice that can be purchased online. The AW brand is recommended and typically high quality. The brands Trustfire and Ultrafire can be good, but seem to come from a wider variety of sources and many users report getting duds. The Li-Ion batteries give about 35hours per charge and are compatible with the new “Fuel Gauge” feature. Note that these batteries are actually about 4.2V when fully charged.

NiMH - Rechargeable

The 1.2V NiMH battery can also be used. These are commonly used in photo flashes and digital cameras, and can be purchased in most electronics stores. About 30 hours per charge can be expected. We recommend using the low self-discharge models typically labeled as “pre-charged”, “ready charged”, “stay charged” etc. and have capacities around 2000mAh. The older style high self-discharge batteries have higher capacities (around 2800mAh) but not recommended. They will work, but will go dead in a few weeks just sitting on the shelf. Also, all NiMH batteries are incompatible with the new “Fuel Gauge” feature so only three levels are given: Full, Low (Yellow) and Critical (Red). If you have these batteries already from your photo flash, feel free to use them. However we do not recommend buying them for the Petrel as better choices are available.

Photo Lithium 1.5V

These are the best choice for cold water divers. Sold as the Energizer brand Advanced Lithium and Ultimate Lithium batteries. The 1.5V Photo Lithium batteries offer almost double the run time in a Petrel when compared to an alkaline battery. However they can cost about 4X as much as an Alkaline. They are a good choice if you want longer run time than alkaline batteries provide or if diving in waters colder than 8 degrees Celsius (46 degrees Fahrenheit) . They can be found in most department stores or electronics stores and also in many drug stores.

Zinc-Carbon 1.5V

1.5V Zinc-Carbon batteries are el-cheapo batteries commonly found in dollar stores. Although they work, they only provide about 10 to 15 hours and so are not recommended. However if they are all you can get on a tropical island somewhere, feel free to use them.

To summarize:

Type Nominal Voltage Approx. Med. Battery Life Rechargeable Availability Cost (USD) Cost (500 hrs)
Alkaline 1.5 V 34 hrs No Excellent $0.75 $11.50
Saft LS14500 3.6 V 90 hrs No Poor $7.50 $42
Li-Ion 3.7 V 34 hrs Yes Poor $12.00 $35*
NiMH 1.2 V 30 hrs Yes Good $5.00 $20*
Photo Lithium 1.5 V 55 hrs No Good $3.00 $27

*For rechargeable batteries, cost for 500 hours of diving is cost of 2 batteries plus charger.

Battery life depends on two things: screen brightness and battery type.

The “Auto” brightness setting measures the ambient light to adjust the screen brightness for the best balance of battery life and screen readability.

On medium brightness a 1.5V alkaline battery gives about 35 hours of operation and 6 months of standby (battery in but computer turned off). The Shearwater Petrel uses a small amount of power while turned off to keep track of your tissue loading. Other types of batteries will give anywhere from 30 to 90 hours on medium brightness.[/accordion]

How can I tell if my Petrel1 has battery contact issues?

This issue is only present in computers built before January of 2014; this is because they were not built with gold plating.

If your computer exhibits the following symptoms, then this issue may apply to you:

  • Spontaneous Resets
  • Flickering of the Display
  • Lower than expected battery life
  • Fluctuating battery levels

Please refer to this document to help solve your problem:

The Shearwater Petrel has a super capacitor that provides power to the computer during a battery change. The Shearwater Petrel uses a small amount of power even while turned off to keep track of your tissue loading.

This super capacitor has enough energy to maintain your tissue status for at least 15 minutes. This means that if your battery change takes less than 15 minutes you can continue with repetitive dives. Additionally, you will not need to set the date or time as the Petrel will have remembered it.

The GF99 value shows the current leading tissue inert gas super-saturation percent gradient as defined by the Bühlmann ZHL-16C decompression model. If that sounds confusing, then recommended reading is Erik Baker’s paper, “Clearing Up Confusing About Deep Stops”.

This value can be used as a rough measure of the current decompression risk. A value of 100% (Bühlmann’s originally allowed super-saturation limit) is now generally accepted to be too risky. The GF low and high conservatism settings are used to scale Bühlmann’s original limits to reduce risk of decompression sickness. The default GF low value of 30% limits the super-saturation gradient at the deepest stop. The default GF high value of 80% sets the surfacing limit. Between the deepest stop and the surface the GF limit is linearly interpolated.

The GF99 value shows the current super-saturation as a percentage of Bühlmann’s original limits. If no super-saturation exists, then the GF99 displays “On Gas”. Once a super-saturation exists, the GF99 is displayed in green. It switches to yellow when the GF99 exceeds the value defined by the GF conservatism settings. Above 100% it is displayed in flashing red.

In extreme conditions, decompression risk can be traded for operational risk by using the GF99 display. For example, in a low-gas situation or perhaps a bailout or injury, you may want to get to the surface faster, but not blow off all the remaining decompression stops. You could then violate the stop displayed by the Predator, and decide to follow a more aggressive GF99, say 95%. This will get you out of the water faster, at a higher risk of decompression sickness, while still remaining within some limits. Upon resurfacing, appropriate action for omitted decompression should be followed such as rest, surface O2, monitoring symptoms and contacting DAN or other diving medicine center.

Conversely, the GF99 value can also be used to add conservatism. For example, if you knew that you had been exposed to factors that increase decompression sickness risk such as exercising during the bottom time or being colder on deco than the bottom, then you could use this value to extend shallow stops. Of course, you could always just add a few minutes to your last stop, but this gives a quantitative measure to correlate with “how you feel” after the dive.

The @+5 (at plus five) feature shows the Time-To-Surface (TTS) in minutes if you were to remain at the current depth for 5 more minutes. The main screen NDL value can be setup to show @+5 once deco is required. The @+5 can be compared against the current TTS to provide a variety of information.

The @+5 can be used as a measure of how fast decompression is accumulating. For example, you could be on a wreck with a scheduled time to meet back at the boat. By looking at the @+5, you can tell how much more deco time staying 5 more minutes on the wreck would cost, and plan accordingly (keeping of course within gas quantity and other limits).

Also, the @+5 value can be used as a rough measure of on or off gassing and the current deco efficiency. For example, say you are decompressing from a deep dive where there is a nice reef at 50 feet. Once the 50 foot stop has cleared, it may not seem too appealing to just head up to the deco line to hang. If you look at the @+5 and it is 4 minutes less than the TTS, then this means you are getting about 80% deco efficiency, so you might decide to hang out to enjoy the reef a little longer. Once the @+5 has drawn equal with the TTS, you are no longer decompressing effectively. This means staying 5 more minutes will make the dive 5 minutes longer, but the deco stops won’t be any longer. This is helpful information in deciding when to head up.

Depth is not measured directly. Dive computers measure pressure, and convert this to depth based on an assumed density of water.

Water density varies by type. The weight of salts dissolved in salt water make it heavier than fresh water. If two dive computers are using different densities of water, then their displayed depths will differ.

The water density is adjustable on the Predator. In the Advanced Config 1 menu, the Salinity setting can be set from 1000 kg/m³ to 1040kg/m³. A cubic meter of pure water has a mass of 1000kg. So what we are setting is the mass of salts dissolved in the water.

Some guidelines:

  • Fresh Water = 1000kg/m³
  • EN13319 = 1020 kg/m³
  • Salt Water = 1025 to 1035 kg/m³

The EN13319 (European CE standard for dive computers) value is between fresh and salt and is the Predator default value. The EN13319 value corresponds to a 10m increase in depth for pressure increase of 1 bar.

In Gauge Mode the Petrel does not know what gas you are breathing and therefore cannot track the inert gas tissue loading.

  • The Shearwater Petrel should be stored in a clean, cool and dry environment.
  • Do not allow salt deposits to build up on your dive computer. Wash your computer with fresh water to remove salt and other contaminants.
  • Do not use detergents or other cleaning chemicals as they may damage the Petrel dive computer.
  • Allow to dry naturally before storing.
  • Do not wash with high pressure water as it may damage the depth sensor.
  • Store the Shearwater Petrel upright and out of direct sunlight in a cool, dry and dust free environment. Avoid exposure to direct ultra-violet radiation and radiant heat.
  • Do not store batteries in the Petrel for long periods (several months). Batteries can and do leak, so don’t risk your expensive computer on a simple task like removing batteries. Dead batteries are at a higher risk of leaking.

Shearwater has a 2 year warranty on all products. The warranty lives with the unit, not with the original purchaser. This means that whether you buy your unit from our dealer network or second-hand the warranty will still be effective. Once the warranty period has passed computers should be serviced annually at your nearest service center.

It is unnecessary to register your unit upon purchase. Every Shearwater unit is tracked with a unique serial number.

To purchase the VPM-B upgrade you can contact any dealer from our dealer network, provide them with your serial number, and request to purchase the unlock code.

We recommend you remove alkaline batteries from your unit if you intend to store it for an extended period. Alkaline batteries have a tendency to leak when they have fully discharged.

The name of the o-ring used is AS568-112. The size of this o-ring is 1/2" ID by 3/32" width. This is the same o-ring used in the majority of DIN regulators (not Apeks however).

You can use replacement o-rings made of either nitrile, EPDM, silicone or viton. Be sure to use a lubricant compatible with the o-ring material selected. We recommend a Shore 70A durometer, however both harder and softer will work.

Please see our troubleshooting section here.

To improve the sealing performance and O-ring life span, the battery compartment O-ring gland design has been changed from a crushed gland to a radial gland. Identification of the new radial cap can be made by reading this article. All units being shipped from our factory currently have a radial battery cap.

Firmware Updates

Current Firmware Version: V44

Update instructions

Note: Updating the firmware will reset the decompression tissue loading.

  1. Ensure that you have the latest Shearwater Desktop installed
  2. In Shearwater Desktop, go to Dive Computer > Update Firmware...
  3. On your Perdix, navigate to Start Bluetooth or  System Setup > System Setup > Load Upgrade, depending on your firmware version
  4. Shearwater Desktop will detect your Perdix and select the latest available firmware.
  5. Follow the instructions in Shearwater Desktop to select your firmware language and begin the update.

Getting Firmware Files

The easiest way to update you firmware is to download the new Shearwater Desktop and select Dive Computer-> Update Dive computer.  Follow the instructions on the screen and Shearwater Desktop will handle the rest.

Support Request

SERVICE CENTERS

Please contact your service enter via email for RMA shipping details.

US Service Center

Rebreathers USA, LLC.
Curt McNamee
+1-425-418-1425

Richard Morton
+1-858-775-4099
Everett, WA, USA
usasupport@shearwater.com

EU Service Center

Narked at 90 Ltd
+44.1933.681255
Northamptonshire, UK
info@narkedat90.com

Asia/Pac Service Center

Paul Trainor
+64.27.6128265
Wellington, NZ
asiapacservice@shearwater.com

United States Sales & Customer Support

Rebreathers USA, LLC. (Curt McNamee)
+1-425-418-1425
Everett, WA, USA
cmcnamee@shearwater.com

Canada and California Sales & Customer Support

Alex Tayler
604-669-9958
Richmond, Canada
atayler@shearwater.com

Asia/Pac Sales & Customer Support

Paul Trainor
+64.27.6128265
Wellington, NZ
ptrainor@shearwater.com