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peterbkk

First Dives with Uwatec's Galileo Sol

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Ha!

 

People ask me about my Galileo Sol. I tell them that I could never justify the price, but that it is the best dive computer I have ever had. Maybe the best piece of dive gear I've ever owned.

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Ha!

 

People ask me about my Galileo Sol. I tell them that I could never justify the price, but that it is the best dive computer I have ever had. Maybe the best piece of dive gear I've ever owned.

 

 

"best piece of dive gear I've ever owned" - I think that you just did justify the price... :-)

 

For me, it is easy. Anything that helps you dive more safely, is worth the price. The Sol, with its "all important data in one place and clearly readable" design definitely makes a dive safer, especially if you are already task-loaded.

 

Regards

Peter

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Very true peterbkk but especially for me as I regularly dive solo and the alarms are very useful for me.

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I agree it is the best dive computer I have had it mixes high performance, flexibility with ease of use.

 

Although I wish I knew more about modifying more of the alarms. Especially when it beeps continuously if you reach tank reserve at depth. There is no way to shut it up once it starts beeping - it bleats all the way through your ascent until you reach safety stop level - which to me encourages you to ascend faster to shut it up - not necessarily a good thing. There needs to be a "Yes I know, shut up!" button.

 

I also had a strange problem with mine in on just one Cayman at Sunset House. I tend not to wear the heart monitor, but on one dive I started getting high heart rate warnings. I was diving with another Galileo user and he was wearing a heart monitor, but we weren't that close together (and his heart rate was low). On the same dive it also lost the Tank Pressure signal a couple of times, which was strange. The submarine was close by and I was wondering if the interference was coming from that (although I have seen the sub many times with the Galileo and not had the problem). I was also shooting with Inons, rather than Subtronics which I have used for most of my dives with the computer - although I have never had any problems on my other dives with Inons.

 

After the dives I gave it a long soak in fresh water (the only thing I could think of doing) and it has performed faultlessly from then on.

 

It wasn't a big issue and I shot this image on that dive:

Cay09_am10.jpg

 

:D

 

Alex

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I did a cave dive with the heart-rate monitor in the pocket of my BC (by accident). It seemed to give fairly sensible readings. I checked this with Sergio Angelini at Uwatec (now gone) and he told me that if you don't wear the monitor the Galileo will pick up background radio signals and not display the correct info - so always wear it!

 

A typical e-mail exchange with Sergio:

 

I am sure the first thing you did was to turn it on, wear the polar

belt, and make sure you still had a heart!

sergio

 

-----Original Message-----

From: John Bantin [mailto:bantin@blueyonder.co.uk]

Sent: Donnerstag, 1. Mai 2008 12:10

To: Angelini, Sergio; Shears, Andy

Subject: Thank you!

 

Gentlemen.

Today I received what appears to be a brand new shiny Galileo Sol.

I will make sure it appears in lots of pictures!

Thanks very much.

I'd be lost without it.

John Bantin

Edited by John Bantin

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I did a cave dive with the heart-rate monitor in the pocket of my BC (by accident). It seemed to give fairly sensible readings. I checked this with Sergio Angelini at Uwatec (now gone) and he told me that if you don't wear the monitor the Galileo will pick up background radio signals and not display the correct info - so always wear it!

 

I nearly always wear the monitor. You get used to all the strange looks from others on the dive deck...

 

And, as I mentioned somewhere earlier in the thread, it gives you a useful indicator in the dive log of when the exciting bits of the dive happened. A strong current, bunch of sharks, etc, will put the heart rate up a bit.

 

Did you mean that Sergio has left Uwatec? That's a shame. He was a very approachable CEO, answered every email and became personally involved in helping clients. Where did he go?

 

Regards

Peter

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Did you mean that Sergio has left Uwatec? That's a shame. He was a very approachable CEO, answered every email and became personally involved in helping clients. Where did he go?

 

Regards

Peter

I'm not sure. Maybe Eumis

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<snip>

I was also shooting with Inons, rather than Subtronics which I have used for most of my dives with the computer - although I have never had any problems on my other dives with Inons.

 

After the dives I gave it a long soak in fresh water (the only thing I could think of doing) and it has performed faultlessly from then on.

,snip.

 

Alex

I am still using the old tank connected consol and loose “hockey puck” computers. The last time I visited the wireless computers (long ago) there was a short info. interrupt problem with ikelite strobes and some of this type of computers. I take it that there are no such problems with the G Sol and Inon 240’s???

 

R/Bob

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Don't want to discourage you but I found that the "maps" feature of my Sol to be the least useful and stopped using it. Firstly the resolution means that you are limited to very large thick lines and large shapes. Anything fine, small or complex gets lost in the resolution. I tried doing a simple map of one of the wreck sites that I dive often. I drew it in a simple drawing package and uploaded to the Sol. I tried several versions. If I made it big and simple, it was not useful underwater. If I made it detailed and complex, the detail was lost in the resolution.

 

On the other hand, I have found the ability to load text messages very useful. I have programmed about 15 simple messages, a few related to diving (e.g. let's turn around and go back) but most related to video shooting with a model.

 

Some examples are:

 

"Stop, wait here 15 seconds, then follow me",

"Swim over my head",

"Look at this thing that I am pointing at",

"Please don't smile or wave at the camera".

 

I use these to give instructions to people who volunteer to model for my underwater videos. Works well. Just scroll to the message and show it to them. Beats waving your arms around like a crazy man... ;)

 

But, please let us know if you do have a successful experience with drawing maps for the Sol.

 

Regards

Peter

 

 

Do you now the resolution of the screen?

Regards,

 

Hans

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400 dives now on the computer. I changed the battery in the transmitter but it still won't show more than 100 bar on a full tank so I guess the transducer is outa span.

I have noticed the padding on the underside of the computer has begun to wear away down to the plastic. This is quite a surprise as I only wear a rash guard whish I didn't think was too abrasive.

 

As for the heart monitor I quit using that after 20 dives or so, I really couldn't see the point of its use although it was interesting to note that my heart rate fell consistantly throughout the dives usually starting around 84 bpm and decreasing to 74 after about an hour. My resting rate is about 62 - 65 bpm.

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Do you now the resolution of the screen?

Regards,

 

Hans

 

I can not find any data on the screen size. I am guessing that it would be about 320 pixels horizontal by about 200 vertical.

 

Regards

Peter

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As for the heart monitor I quit using that after 20 dives or so, I really couldn't see the point of its use although it was interesting to note that my heart rate fell consistantly throughout the dives usually starting around 84 bpm and decreasing to 74 after about an hour. My resting rate is about 62 - 65 bpm.

 

I understand that the heart monitor, if worn, is used to adjust the NDL calculation by adding in a workload factor. This is similar to the "breathing rate" adjustment on earlier Uwatec air-integrated dive computers. I read that the heart rate monitor is a better measure of workload impact because it relates directly to blood flow, which relates directly to N2 absorption by the faster tissues.

 

More workload = faster heart rate = greater N2 take-up during that time.

 

Therefore, if you were wearing the heart monitor and swimming hard in a current during the descent or bottom-time, the Sol would reduce the NDL accordingly.

 

Assuming that the above-mentioned method is adding to the DSC safety margin, I do wear my heart monitor on all dives. I have become used to the curious stares and jibes about my thin black bikini top...

 

As you mentioned, I too like to see what my heart is doing. It usually goes up during entry and for the first part of the descent but drops a lot during the relaxing part of a dive. When I see sharks, it goes up rapidly, providing a handy marker in the dive log!

 

Regards

Peter

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Mares has a new computer coming out this year - backlit LCD screen with a rechargeable Li-Ion battery, the Icon HD. Looks pretty sweet; not sure it has all the features of the Galileo but sure looks like computers are stepping up in recent years.

 

Of course, I'm still diving with an ancient console-mounted puck and can't afford either. (sigh)

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Just got my computer and brand new transmitter back from Scubapro in Hong Kong.

Nice job and it all took only a week to send it from Qatar in the middle east and have it returned again.

 

Well done Scubapro, nice support.

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Does anyone know a source of prepared dive site maps that can be downloaded for the Sol?

 

I'm particularly interested in maps of the most common dive sites for Little Cayman and Socorro.

 

Thanks.

 

I see where several companies are coming out with mainstream computers with similar functions that cost over 1500$ US.

 

I guess the Sol has revealed a market to the Dive companies that they want in on.

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I picked mine up last September after my SmartTec decided to check out the 600' base of the oil rigs without me. About 70 dives on it so far, and it's been flawless and fantastic. I liked my SmartTec a lot, but always HATED the wet contacts, and the fact that there is no way for me to change the battery if needed. The Sol fixes both of those issues and then some. The screen size is fantastic!

 

Other than price, which was not too bad for me between pro deals and the insurance payout from my SmartTec, the only downside I can think of is the fact that there is no ideal way to convert the computer to a bungee mount, which I prefer. The strap is quite good, fortunately, but I still wish it could be attached via independent bungee loops instead, as with my compass and backup computers. (refer to lessons learned after loss of SmartTec computer)

 

I've never bothered with the heart rate monitor. Still sitting in the box. It's cool, in theory, but I have more than enough crap to strap to my body before I dive as it is, I really don't need another piece of gear... especially when the main purpose to that piece of gear is to make my dive shorter if I get excited.

 

For travel I just stick the computer in with my regs. No special treatment needed. The screen protector has a few scratches, sure, but nothing that stops me from reading the screen easily underwater, so I don't mind that.

Edited by CompuDude

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Peter,

 

When you do the service and Clean/replace o-ring what grease did you choose to use?

I was curious if it was a silicone compound or a fluorinated grease.

 

David

 

 

Don't let the 3 batteries influence your decision. The batteries are easily managed.

 

Firstly, the one in the heart monitor lasts "forever" and is not critical anyway. It will last for 2,500 hours of use and switches off as soon as it is dry. You'll probably buy a new computer before this battery dies. If not, just buy a new Polar heart monitor or dive without it. For most recreational diving, the heart monitor is not essential.

 

Secondly, the battery in both the computer and tank transmitter are user replaceable and reasonably easy to purchase in most large cities. I keep a spare for each in my little toolkit. They can be changed in a few minutes, as long as you know how to clean and grease an O-ring.

 

Thirdly, both batteries are monitored by the dive computer and the PC interface and you are given plenty of warning when they need replacing.

 

So, the worse case scenario, is a battery going from good to bad during a dive. That situation is not likely. But, if it happened, you would do an immediate slow ascent and an extended safety stop. Then get out of the water and replace the batteries.

 

So, the "battery issue" is easily managed with the normal due care and attention that you put into all your dive gear and procedures.

 

Regards

Peter

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Peter,

 

When you do the service and Clean/replace o-ring what grease did you choose to use?

I was curious if it was a silicone compound or a fluorinated grease.

 

David

 

Hi David,

 

I have not yet changed the battery in the main computer. It seems to be lasting quite well - about 300 dives over 2 years - with 4 out of 5 bars still full. I have changed the battery in the tank transmitter (even though I learned later that I did not need to change it yet). I used the same grease supplied by Light & Motion for my video housing - only because that's the one I have in my dive tool box. I think it is a silicone grease.

 

Regards

Peter

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I just bought the Galileo Terra. The manual and Scubapro website reference only Windows in order to download their Smart Trak software, and I have a Mac. We went to the Apple website which showa a "J trak" download for the Uwatec dive computer. Can anyone tell me if I am on the right trak? ( pun intended?) I can't believe that the Subapro website makes no mention of a Mac download.

 

Thanks,

 

Fletcher

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I just bought the Galileo Terra. The manual and Scubapro website reference only Windows in order to download their Smart Trak software, and I have a Mac. We went to the Apple website which showa a "J trak" download for the Uwatec dive computer. Can anyone tell me if I am on the right trak? ( pun intended?) I can't believe that the Subapro website makes no mention of a Mac download.

jTrak was a poor country cousin to SmartTrak anyway. I wouldn't bother, personally.

 

You might be able to get jTrak to work with a Galileo-series computer, but you'll be much happier if you run SmartTrak under Parallels or VM Fusion. (Yes, I mean you'll need to install Windows in order to get the most out of your dive computer.) And that's IF you can get jTrak to talk to your IR adapter, which is often a stumbling block on the Mac side, unless you fork out $100 for the ScubaPro-branded adapter.

 

Sad situation, but true.

 

I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if ScubaPro has dropped Mac support for the Galileo's, considering how poorly they supported them under the Smart series. I gave up jTrak with my SmartTec after playing with it for all of 10 minutes, realizing how pathetic it was compared to the Windows version. I haven't even bothered trying with my Galileo Sol.

Edited by CompuDude

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Well this is unhappy news. Thanks for the information, unpleasant though it is. I left Windows and PC's 4 years ago, and have no desire to return. Scubapro sure doesn't mention " for PC users only" when they're extolling the features of Galileo on their websites.

 

My old Beuchat Alladin Pro finally died on me after 19 years of loyal service ( Hey! A good dive computer SHOULD last that long!) The Galileo looked so similar I guess I expected that I could just slap this on my wrist and hop in the water. sigh.

 

Thanks for the news,

 

Fletcher

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The good news is, parallels and vmware make Windows pretty painless, as long as you don't mind devoting a few GB of hard drive space to your dive log software. Hard drives are cheap. Good dive log software is hard to come by. Moreso on the Mac side of the fence. And it's not like you're running Windows full time, only when you're actively running the dive log software.

 

But with parallels and vmware, you never have to see a Windows logo. Pretty slick.

 

I wish Uwatec would rewrite SmartTrak and make a mac-native version, but it's not likely, since it's a MS Access database on the back end, and MS hasn't seen fit to grace Macs with a compatible database.

Edited by CompuDude

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Well this is unhappy news. Thanks for the information, unpleasant though it is. I left Windows and PC's 4 years ago, and have no desire to return. Scubapro sure doesn't mention " for PC users only" when they're extolling the features of Galileo on their websites.

Fletcher

 

Hi Fletcher,

 

Yes, this is a strange situation with Scubapro / Uwatec regarding the Mac platform. Their standard response "use JTrak" is an insult to our intelligence. JTrak doesn't work and lacks most of the features of SmartTrak. Running a Windows partition on a Mac is a waste of good disk space.

 

They've been blind-sided by over-simple statistics. They believe that "the 90% of PCs in the world are Windoze" applies equally to the target customers in the top-end dive-computer-using scuba diving community. Anecdotal evidence and rational logic indicates that the percentage of Mac users in their target customer base is much higher, driven by the large numbers of "independent thinkers" and photographers who dive.

 

I have had this dialog several times with many execs in Scubapro / Uwatec and I think I was making some headway with the previous CEO of Uwatec (himself a Mac user in his personal life). But then he left and progress stopped. (I have also been encouraging the author of MacDiveLog (http://www.macdivelog.com) to build in integration to Uwatec dive computers but the problem lies in the IR connection.

 

Having said that, I find that the Galileo Sol functions well enough to live with some annoyance. I run Windows XP in a small (5Gb) partition on my MacBook Pro, solely to run SmartTrak. In addition to the log book feature, it also enables personalisation / customisation of some of the dive computers functions.

 

But, maybe we can all help out by putting pressure on Uwatec to address this issue. Most of their main competitors all have Mac software options, even if offered by third party software vendors. If we all bombard Scubapro / Uwatec with emails on this issue, they might get their finger out and do something about this.

 

If this issue is important to you, I suggest you buy a competitor's offering. But, please, do us Uwatec users and favour and email to Scubapro / Uwatec (http://www.scubapro.com/americas/english/about-us/contact-us) that you have done this.

 

Regards

Peter

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I use JTrak with my sol. works fine. The PC version is a lot prettier, but JTack covers all the basics just fine.

 

Initially it wouldn't work with my sol. My dealer put me in touch with Scubapro's tech guy. He e-mailed me about 4 versions before they got it to work. Works fine ever since. This was about a year ago.

 

I've got the PC version on one of my computers that can boot in windozes. Since they got JTrak working I haven't bothered with it though.

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I use JTrak with my sol. works fine. The PC version is a lot prettier, but JTack covers all the basics just fine.

 

Initially it wouldn't work with my sol. My dealer put me in touch with Scubapro's tech guy. He e-mailed me about 4 versions before they got it to work. Works fine ever since. This was about a year ago.

 

I've got the PC version on one of my computers that can boot in windozes. Since they got JTrak working I haven't bothered with it though.

I wouldn't mind a copy of that. Is it posted anywhere, or does that version only come from SP direct?

 

Mostly for curiousity, though. I have both Macs and PCs, so I'm not all that put out by running SmartTrak on one of the PCs. Even though the Macs would be a little more convenient, I didn't care for the numbers of features I had to give up with jTrak vs. SmartTrak... when I really want to pull up log data on one of my Macs I just pull the current file over to that computer and drop it on the Windows partition for SmartTrak under Parallels.

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