AI transmitter woes

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stuartv

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I currently have 5 of the Shearwater/Oceanic/etc-compatible AI transmitters. The newest 2 are Shearwater branded and dated 10/18. The others are all Oceanic branded and older.

Both my Shearwater ones have died and replacements are on the way to me.

The first one (XmtrA) died back in January, but I didn't realize it at the time. It was on my CCR and when I went to use it, I found that the cylinder it was connected to had gotten turned on during travel (2 months prior) and it had been sitting, pressurized, for 2 months. No surprise that the battery was dead. I put a new battery in it (that had been in my reg bag for a while), it started working, and I jumped in the water. As soon as I submerged just a few feet, it stopped working. I checked it and there was no water in it, so I figured it was just that the replacement battery was no good from being in my reg bag for a long time and (probably) getting soaked in water more than once. I swapped the transmitter for one off my backup reg set and went diving.

This past weekend, my other Shearwater transmitter (XmterB) died. Rather than mess around with changing batteries on the spot, I just swapped the transmitter out for the one on my backup reg set. I was quickly reminded that that was XmtrA, which had been dead since January. I had another "new" battery in my reg bag, so I put that in and XmtrA started working. It was working when I splashed that day, and died during my dive. Again, I thought the battery I put in was probably bad from (again) having been in the bottom of the "parts" pocket of my reg bag. Note to self: Keep spare batteries in a Ziploc bag, if you're going to keep them in your reg bag. Dumbass.

I got home earlier this week and ordered all new batteries, to replace all of them in all my AI transmitters.

I received the new batteries and put new ones in XmtrA and XmtrB. Neither one worked at all. And, I noticed that XmtrA (or B? I can't remember for sure) got hot while I was sitting there waiting to see if my computer would start displaying a tank pressure. I took the battery back out and it was too hot to hold!

XmtrB did not get hot, but it still didn't work.

I grabbed my single tank reg set, with an older Oceanic transmitter on it, and put that on the cylinder, just to make sure it wasn't my Teric. I changed the Teric to the serial # for the Oceanic and picked up the pressure signal right away.

I talked to the folks at the Shearwater repair facility last night. I sent them pics of the transmitters and they are swapping me out for 2 new ones. Apparently, in the last year or two, problems with these transmitters made by PPS have become a lot more common. No surprise that my older ones are still working. But, also no surprise that the newer ones have crapped out. Most people reading this probably know this, but for those that don't, the Oceanic and Shearwater transmitters are all actually made by PPS (Pelagic Pressure Systems), so it's not a Shearwater issue. It's a PPS issue. But, this does make me really glad that I did get Shearwater-branded transmitters versus getting the same ones with, for example, Oceanic branding. I don't think any other brand would have netted a result of sending the first email yesterday and having 2 new transmitters on the way to me in less than 24 hours.

I have been (and still am!) a big proponent of AI and particularly AI using these PPS transmitters. This is pretty disappointing. I never before felt like having a spare (or backup SPG) was really that important. Now, I do. At least until such time as some kind of word gets out that whatever problem(s) is happening with these recently-made transmitters has been identified and fixed. And, at this point, I would still recommend AI, but only if you buy the actual Shearwater-branded transmitters. They are warrantied for 2 years and, obviously, Shearwater is going to take THE BEST possible care of their customers - even though the problem appears to be squarely in PPS' court.


Side note: Why do I have 5 transmitters you ask? 2 are on my CCR (1 for dil and 1 for O2, read by my NERD2), 1 on my single tank reg set, 1 on my primary doubles reg set, and 1 on my backup doubles reg set (which also serves as a backup to my single tank reg set and my CCR).
 

BoltSnap

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That's too bad, I never had any problem with my Ratio or SP transmitters. My Ratio transmitter is rechargeable and lasts for a very long time before needing recharging.

I guess you live and learn.

Hahahahaha
 

kelemvor

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I've also used Ratio and SP transmitters. I haven't had any problem with the ratio tx, although I dislike the light. I had plenty of problems with my SP transmitter prior to realizing the battery SP was using had too low a voltage for the thing. There's a detailed post about that on scubaboard somewhere.

Sorry to hear about the problems you're having with your PPS transmitters. I wonder if the battery wasn't inserted in reverse that time it got hot. That could happen if the manufacturer didn't bother to include a diode on the board to prevent problems due to reverse polarity.
 

lexvil

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So far the only transmitter I’ve had fail was SP, the older one with the 2450 battery, so far my SW transmitters have been perfect, I do always remove them and place an SPG in their place if I’m testing regulators or soaking, electronic stuff does fail but thankfully not to often.
 
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stuartv

stuartv

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Sorry to hear about the problems you're having with your PPS transmitters. I wonder if the battery wasn't inserted in reverse that time it got hot. That could happen if the manufacturer didn't bother to include a diode on the board to prevent problems due to reverse polarity problems.

Nope. The battery was installed correctly. The Shearwater repair guy seemed to know exactly what was going on with that one. A known issue with one of the components in the transmitter.
 

BoltSnap

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Guys,

It wasn't meant to be a competition, I am teasing @stuartv , he is a good friend of mine.
 

Boston Breakwater

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I currently have 5 of the Shearwater/Oceanic/etc-compatible AI transmitters. The newest 2 are Shearwater branded and dated 10/18. The others are all Oceanic branded and older.

Both my Shearwater ones have died and replacements are on the way to me.

The first one (XmtrA) died back in January, but I didn't realize it at the time. It was on my CCR and when I went to use it, I found that the cylinder it was connected to had gotten turned on during travel (2 months prior) and it had been sitting, pressurized, for 2 months. No surprise that the battery was dead. I put a new battery in it (that had been in my reg bag for a while), it started working, and I jumped in the water. As soon as I submerged just a few feet, it stopped working. I checked it and there was no water in it, so I figured it was just that the replacement battery was no good from being in my reg bag for a long time and (probably) getting soaked in water more than once. I swapped the transmitter for one off my backup reg set and went diving.

This past weekend, my other Shearwater transmitter (XmterB) died. Rather than mess around with changing batteries on the spot, I just swapped the transmitter out for the one on my backup reg set. I was quickly reminded that that was XmtrA, which had been dead since January. I had another "new" battery in my reg bag, so I put that in and XmtrA started working. It was working when I splashed that day, and died during my dive. Again, I thought the battery I put in was probably bad from (again) having been in the bottom of the "parts" pocket of my reg bag. Note to self: Keep spare batteries in a Ziploc bag, if you're going to keep them in your reg bag. Dumbass.

I got home earlier this week and ordered all new batteries, to replace all of them in all my AI transmitters.

I received the new batteries and put new ones in XmtrA and XmtrB. Neither one worked at all. And, I noticed that XmtrA (or B? I can't remember for sure) got hot while I was sitting there waiting to see if my computer would start displaying a tank pressure. I took the battery back out and it was too hot to hold!

XmtrB did not get hot, but it still didn't work.

I grabbed my single tank reg set, with an older Oceanic transmitter on it, and put that on the cylinder, just to make sure it wasn't my Teric. I changed the Teric to the serial # for the Oceanic and picked up the pressure signal right away.

I talked to the folks at the Shearwater repair facility last night. I sent them pics of the transmitters and they are swapping me out for 2 new ones. Apparently, in the last year or two, problems with these transmitters made by PPS have become a lot more common. No surprise that my older ones are still working. But, also no surprise that the newer ones have crapped out. Most people reading this probably know this, but for those that don't, the Oceanic and Shearwater transmitters are all actually made by PPS (Pelagic Pressure Systems), so it's not a Shearwater issue. It's a PPS issue. But, this does make me really glad that I did get Shearwater-branded transmitters versus getting the same ones with, for example, Oceanic branding. I don't think any other brand would have netted a result of sending the first email yesterday and having 2 new transmitters on the way to me in less than 24 hours.

I have been (and still am!) a big proponent of AI and particularly AI using these PPS transmitters. This is pretty disappointing. I never before felt like having a spare (or backup SPG) was really that important. Now, I do. At least until such time as some kind of word gets out that whatever problem(s) is happening with these recently-made transmitters has been identified and fixed. And, at this point, I would still recommend AI, but only if you buy the actual Shearwater-branded transmitters. They are warrantied for 2 years and, obviously, Shearwater is going to take THE BEST possible care of their customers - even though the problem appears to be squarely in PPS' court.


Side note: Why do I have 5 transmitters you ask? 2 are on my CCR (1 for dil and 1 for O2, read by my NERD2), 1 on my single tank reg set, 1 on my primary doubles reg set, and 1 on my backup doubles reg set (which also serves as a backup to my single tank reg set and my CCR).
Hey, Stuart. How are you? Very nice write up, and informative. All "Hail." Shearwater.......LOL.
Cheers.
 

BoltSnap

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And I was expecting some ribbing on this from you... LOL

You are lucky since I am very busy with work and meeting an urgent deadline otherwise I'd have spent more time with you lol.

Cheers my friend :)
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/teric/

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