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  • Tony Land

Using a Shearwater Swift AI Transmitter with your NERD2

The new Swift wireless air integration transmitter from Shearwater Research is out, and we just received our first one. There is a lot of information on the web covering the SWIFT transmitter, but what has been lacking is using AI if you're a rebreather diver, and specifically how it works with the Shearwater NERD2.

Many of you already know the NERD2 supports wireless air integration and will display your diluent and O2 pressure in your display. Formerly the NERD2 would support only 2 transmitters, and the reason for this was to avoid data transmission conflict. Wireless AI sensors transmit a burst of data every 10 seconds. While I was able to find any information disclosing the the actual length of the burst transmission, we know its duration long enough that it can conflict with other nearby transmitters if they happen to overlap. This conflict would result in the dive computer not being able to read either of the tank pressures.

Shearwater's solution to this was to release 2 different transmitters. Grey versions transmitted their burst every 10 seconds, while their yellow ones transmitted every 10.5 seconds. The idea was this interval would prevent overlap.

The SWIFT however is different, in that it actually "listens" for other nearby sensors transmitting data, and only will send its burst if the channel is clear and unused. This new design, along with Shearwater Firmware version 84, the NERD2 can now support up to 4. This is a great addition, because a typical rebreather diver usually will have at least 3 tanks on them.

The NERD2 is the only device in Shearwater’s lineup that will display live PO2 from a rebreather, as well as supporting air integration, making it a perfect rebreather monitoring solution. I've always felt the NERD2 was one of the most underrated pieces of rebreather equipment on the market.

In the below video, I talk about these point, as well as show how the NERD2 displays the tank pressures if you have different transmitters connected. I also talk about how you can now name these transmitters, and my humble request for Shearwater to modify this in their next firmware update.