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New dive computer recommendations


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#1 loftus

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 06:39 AM

Any folks have recommendations for a new dive computer starting her marine science program at University of Miami. Not too fancy, but something she will keep for a while.
Anyone have any experience with some of the newer computers with LCD screens like the Mares?
Nikon D800, Nikon D7000, Nauticam, Inons, Subtronic Novas. Lens collection - 10-17, 15, 16, 16-35, 14-24, 24-70, 85, 18-200, 28-300, 70-200, 60 and 105, TC's. Macs with Aperture and Photoshop.

#2 fdog

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 08:53 AM

Given your intro, I'd expect her to need a nitrox computer.

For best future proofing, my list would include:

  • Wrist mount
  • Nitrox/air
  • Gauge mode
  • User replaceable battery

The one that leaps out at me is the Oceanic Veo 2, which does all that without being hideously expensive.

The Suunto Geko (now Zoop) has been my first recommendation in the inexpensive and amazingly reliable department; however, the Suunto algorithm is something you either love or hate (hate in my case, over-the-top conservative for a thinking diver). And it's lacking a gauge mode. Hmm. OK, the Geko does (kinda) have a gauge mode: bend it. Take it on a dive and bend it, and for the rest of the lock-out time it will function as a gauge.

Some caveats:

  • Nitek Duo's (and all the variations sold, such as the Zeagle N2ition, Tusa IQ 700, Apeks Quantum, DiveRite Duo, Cressi Archimedes, etc) have a button sealing problem and eventually leak water, shorting out the electronics and generally acting wonky.
  • Vypers will fail by starting to dive without you. It's just a matter of time, usually, 2 years.
  • Hard-core techies will tell you just to use a bottom timer like the Uwatec. This costs as much as the Veo 2 (which HAS a gauge mode for "those kind of dives") and the bottom timer lacks a computer for easy recreational diving.
  • The only watch-sized one I'd consider is the D4. The rest have a terrible track record, I know, I gave up on the Geo/Manta and watched a parade of all the rest, like the Atoms and D9's, go back to the factory for repair.
Hope this helps...!


All the best, James



edit: added the watch sized ones with issues

Edited by fdog, 07 September 2010 - 08:56 AM.


#3 fdog

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 09:18 AM

Oops. I guess I should have answered the question, eh?

Yes, I've used the following LCD/OLED screened computers:

The Mares is medium sized, and difficult to navigate. I kept referring to the little printed cheat sheet. Underwater it was OK but not intuitive.
The Sol is expensive. Honestly it does some nice tricks, is OK in the navigation through screens and options department, but too much $ for what it does.
The Uemis has a fantastic screen, is easy to navigate, and seems reliable. You're stuck with Buhlmann, though. And it's huge - just stick a suitcase on your wrist.
Predator has a nice sized display that they really don't seem to use as effectively as they should - lots of wasted space. The color change of numbers when something's wrong is nice. Again it's Buhlmann but you can at least modify the gradient factors.
The X1 has the smallest case size. Solid as a chunk of aluminum. The display size is the smallest, too, but oddly, seems to impart information better. VPM has a great reputation, and the X1 uses V-Planner. Factory support that makes you swoon.
The VR3 worked nicely until it didn't - which was often. I'd rather wear a bottom timer and do Ratio Deco.

All these are very expensive (except for the Mares, which is only darn expensive), and mostly are a pretty face on a regular old computer. The Uemis, Predator and X1 make good use of the OLED, and each has something special to offer, but for the recreational diver, I would recommend a regular computer.


All the best, James

#4 eyu

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 11:13 AM

Jeff,

I like the Uwatec Galileo Sol. It is easy to read at a glance and easy to navigate through the menus. Also it has a great non-tilt compass. I use it with a Suunto D4 as a backup.

Elmer

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#5 loftus

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 11:39 AM

Thanks guys, she wants something fairly small, probably does not need air integration. What do you think of the suunto D6
Nikon D800, Nikon D7000, Nauticam, Inons, Subtronic Novas. Lens collection - 10-17, 15, 16, 16-35, 14-24, 24-70, 85, 18-200, 28-300, 70-200, 60 and 105, TC's. Macs with Aperture and Photoshop.

#6 bvanant

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 11:53 AM

Thanks guys, she wants something fairly small, probably does not need air integration. What do you think of the suunto D6

I have both the D6 and the D9 with air integration. Both are great, a bit conservative for the DIR crowd but never had any issues with them and both are small enough to wear as a watch too. The software is really nice and the download software is fine if totally mac incompatible.

Bill

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#7 eyu

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 03:05 PM

Jeff,

Another watch computer to look at is the Cressi Edy II, you can adjust algorithm more than the Suunto.

Elmer

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#8 loftus

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 03:25 PM

Jeff,

Another watch computer to look at is the Cressi Edy II, you can adjust algorithm more than the Suunto.

Elmer

Thanks again guys; leaning towards the D6 over the D4 just because of the compass feature, seems like they are otherwise similar. Should be fine for her needs for the foreseeable future. I don't think she plans any tech diving, and is happy with the console pressure guage she had. As a dad, conservative Suunto algorithms are fine with me.
Nikon D800, Nikon D7000, Nauticam, Inons, Subtronic Novas. Lens collection - 10-17, 15, 16, 16-35, 14-24, 24-70, 85, 18-200, 28-300, 70-200, 60 and 105, TC's. Macs with Aperture and Photoshop.

#9 jdaley

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 07:12 PM

Thanks again guys; leaning towards the D6 over the D4 just because of the compass feature, seems like they are otherwise similar. Should be fine for her needs for the foreseeable future. I don't think she plans any tech diving, and is happy with the console pressure guage she had. As a dad, conservative Suunto algorithms are fine with me.



Jeff,

I have used the D6 for over four years now and I just had to send it in for a battery replacement but other than that it has been a trusted piece of my dive kit for a while now. I am not a fan of air-integrated computers so I went with the D6 over the D9.

Do you need a local (Miami) dealer to help her?

James
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#10 betti154

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 09:28 AM

Shearwater Predator rocks!

http://shearwaterres...or-oled-prot-sa
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#11 cor

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 12:48 PM

I have a D6, I think its fine. It does what it needs to do, and keeps me alive on a sane dive profile out in the middle of nowhere.
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#12 echeng

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 01:07 PM

I really like the Oceanic OC-1. It's a little bigger than the D6, but it gives me a profile closer to the Uwatec I used to use (and has never lost connection with the transmitter, unlike the Uwatec, which seemed to have connection interference as a leading feature).

(disclaimer: Oceanic lent me a unit to play with)
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#13 scubaseven

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 06:41 PM

I have the Suunto D9.
Its a good computer.
The compass is terrible and recently it cost me $250AU to get the batteries replaced (watch and transmitter).
So thats something to consider before you buy.

Get one with user replaceable batteries to save big $ down the line.
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#14 ChrigelKarrer

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 07:22 PM

I have a Suunto Vyper 2 and made about 800 dives in the last 3 years with this computer.No issues till now and changed onve the battery by my sellf.I would buy it again
The Suunto Zoop and the Suunto Gecko are very good entry models, doing all the necessary.

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#15 tangler

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 01:38 AM

Nitek Duo's (and all the variations sold, such as the Zeagle N2ition, Tusa IQ 700, Apeks Quantum, DiveRite Duo, Cressi Archimedes, etc) have a button sealing problem and eventually leak water, shorting out the electronics and generally acting wonky.


All the above are made by Seiko and simply branded accordingly. I had the Cressi Archimedes II and was quite happy with it. Unfortunately I lost it, so it's been replaced with a Dive Rite NiTek Trio (which is the next generation in this Seiko family of computers). Where did you hear about the button sealing problem? I'd be interested to know if the problem has been resolved.

Cheers,
Dave.