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waterpixel

which dive computer do you use

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Hi,

I was wondering what type of dive computer do you use when you have a housing in your hands while diving? 

Is air integration a requirement for you? or is it size of screen?

 

Let me know!

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I have used the ATOMIC AQUATICS, Cobalt air integrated since it came out. I like the large colored OLED screen. I hang it on a D ring from my right shoulder. All I have to do is look down and I see everything in living color. I also where a wrist computer (non-air integrated) as a back up. On an expensive trip, I cannot afford 24 hours out of the water. However, since the Cobalt I've never had a failure. But, I like the security. I have your same camera, just another housing!

Hope this helps.

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Hi waterpixel

You're going to get tons of advice on this - everyone has their own favourite!

Air integration is helpful for sure - one less gauge to travel with and one less gauge to check. You can sometimes find that underwater strobes firing can momentarily break the link between the air transmitter and the computer. At least it does sometimes with my Uwatec Luna - and did with earlier Uwatec models too. But the connection establishes quite quickly.

I'd suggest screen sizes depends on your eye sight! If you like small and can read it easily, go small. If not, go big.

Manufacturer: Uwatec? Suunto? You can't really go wrong. I'm sure others will suggest other things. I've had Uwatecs since the mid 1990s and have never had a problem with any of them. I ran a dive resort in the Lembeh Straits some time back and sold loads of Suuntos. Customers were always happy with them.

There was a discussion on WP some months back about the pros and cons of attaching the computer to the housing rather than on your wrist.

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For me, air integration and wrist mount are the key parameters.  That way all the info is right in my line of site at all times without needing to pick up a separate gauge. 
 

I have used a Mares Icon for about 5 years and like it.  It’s bigger and heavier than some, but I like a big screen and all the info you could want is on screen or one button push away.  The integrated compass is good and the color coding of various functions is more useful than you might think. You can even pre-load maps of dive sites, if you can find them.  The dive log is comprehensive.  There are similar style computers from Shearwater, Suunto, and Scubapro that I would consider next.  

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Shearwater is my recommendation. Does everything you need and then some, plus it features the most intuitive, user friendly menu system for setup I have ever found in a dive computer. Furthermore, it’s the most trusted dive computer in the technical diving community.

 

 

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Hi. So many options out there! I switched to a Shearwater Perdix AI a year ago from an Oceanic OCi ---- and agree with Walt -- it is so simple to use, bit bigger screen than a watch style and can manage tech work if needed. I  wear on my wrist .

The other great thing is that the battery is an AA - easy to get anywhere, and very easy to change. I have done 130 odd dives on 2 batteries.

Just one pet thing, I personally have kept my manual gauge as a back up (with a second console mounted computer) -- too many times I have seen divers rely on their transmitters and have one fail, run out of battery on a dive etc. Having the manual gauge means you can finish the dive. I personally don't rely on the transmitter alone.

Cheers

John

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I agree with the above, an air integrated, wrist mounted, easy to read computer plus a separate air pressure gauge as a backup, just in case.
 

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When I was training to dive a few years back I was struck by the issues my instructors had with air transmitters constantly beeping and other issues which lead me to rely on an SPG.   I don't find it a big deal to look at the gauge regularly.  I find I know pretty much where it's going to be based on dive time from my wrist computer.  I have an oceanic basic model and it's good enough for the diving I do.

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I use a Teric and Perdix AI.

My travel regulator only have a single HP port so no SPG but I have an extra one on my local coldwater gear. 

It's worth noting that Air Integration has been much better lately probably because the RF electronics has improved. A decade ago, using strobes or HID lights were just interfering with the wireless transmission. Now, I don't see it happening anymore. 

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I used a Suunto DX for many years with air integration. I mount my computer on my float arms, which makes it easy to keep track on depth/deco status and air supply without needing to lift my eye too far from the viewfinder.

I found that the Suunto was great for travel as it is "watch" sized, but my eyesight was starting to struggle to see its small digits. (I do not wear glasses-so my eyesight is not that bad!)

I also found that the Suunto model has an annoying quirk that severely limits repetitive dives when the surface interval is less than an hour. On the stroke of 60 minutes, you suddenly get a bunch more available dive time. As far as I know my body does not off gas like this!

Just over two years and about a 1000 dives ago, I switched to a Shearwater Perdix AI, and am really happy with it. The bigger screen is much easier on my eyes, and the interface is intuitive and straightforward. I have the wireless senders and they work seamlessly too.  I have used it with all manner of diving configurations (rebreather, side-mount, doubles, single tank etc.) Highly recommended!

Adam

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I have used several iterations of the Oceanic ProPlus console, mostly for the large easy to read screen.  I also wear a wrist computer as a backup.

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One extra thought: batteries

Depending how much diving you do and you location, it's worth checking out whether the battery in the computer is user replaceable and what type of battery is needed.

The Shearwater sounds really good from that perspective using a AA battery and user changeable.

The Uwatec Luna I mentioned has a very good battery life - easily over 150 dives - and is user changeable. It does though require a battery which isn't as easy to find as a AA.

But lots of computers require them to be sent back to a servicing centre for a battery change,. This can be a MAJOR pain.

 

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Shearwater is the buy it and never regret it choice.  The best support, the most consistent firmware upgrades, the best features, the most reliable.  If you are at all concerned about the price, buy one use on Scubaboard.  You can find the Perdix consistently for 550-650 USD depending on AI support or not.  You'll spend a few hundred more on the watch sized Teric.  I have both and prefer the Perdix/Petrel units for their bigger screens.

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As a tech diver, I use a pair of Shearwater Petrels. As a photographer, I put eneloop AAs in them because I have hundreds of them. I get about 20 hours out of each battery I think. I don't really keep track - easy enough to pull the battery and charge it with the rest of the strobe batteries. The advantage of the newer Shearwaters (Perdix, Teric) is that they have an inbuilt compass. Helpful for consolidating gear when the boat driver tells you to swim a certain way to hit the wreck.

I haven't seen anyone in the water with a console computer in a very long time, at least not unless they were a newbie using hire gear. 

And I tend to keep my primary computer on my right wrist as this is the one I hold the camera with for shooting. That way it's always out in front of me and easy to glance at. I guess this is a strange habit for those who wear watches in their dry life but there's not as many of those people as there used to be.

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1 hour ago, errbrr said:

 And I tend to keep my primary computer on my right wrist as this is the one I hold the camera with for shooting. That way it's always out in front of me and easy to glance at. I guess this is a strange habit for those who wear watches in their dry life but there's not as many of those people as there used to be.

Thanks! that's actually a great tip i've never really thought about..

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Posted (edited)

Hmm... you may not be looking closely at those around you ;)

I've been shooting for years and still have a gauge mounted computer (with integrated SPG) - as do many that I know that have been shooting for a while. I also carry a (non air-integrated) wrist mount computer that I attach to my housing. I subscribe to the "as lean and streamlined as possible" philosophy - large wrist mounts (worn on the wrist) tend to just get caught on various bits of gear, boat lines, etc. Console is rigged on a retractor to keep it streamlined.

And to answer the original post - both are Suunto's - they are definitely more conservative on repetitive dives, but doing 3-5 dives/day for a week+, I want conservative.

Edited by oneyellowtang

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I use my old Oceanic VT-3 in a DSS bungee mount.   Easy to see.  Has the info I want/need.  

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Hi. 

I had several Suunto’s. Always with air integrated. Initially consoles, now wrist computers with wireless air integration. 
First one was a Suunto Favor Air. Then a Suunto Cobra.

My wife started diving, she kept my cobra and I bought a Suunto Vytec DS.
And then I decided to offer her a wireless one, She said she likes mine, so I gave her mine and bought the Suunto D9 for me ;)

And 2 years ago I was struggling to read the small numbers underwater and decided to sell the D9 and bought a Suunto Vyper Novo. I offered it to my wife and get mine back but she said she wants to keep the Suunto Vytec DS.

Regarding  another gauge, I do not use it. The decision to go wireless was  to reduce the number of hoses. I decided to have all the rig the slim possible. 
If is loose connection with the tank, I end the dive.
All these years I never had a dive aborted due to problems on the connection with the transmitter. Indeed I know some people that struggles a bit with the air transmitter of Suunto, but I think it’s a bit of lack of pacience and not understanding/knowing properly the drill to do the connection. 

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On 5/29/2020 at 6:27 PM, oneyellowtang said:

Hmm... you may not be looking closely at those around you ;)

I've been shooting for years and still have a gauge mounted computer (with integrated SPG) - as do many that I know that have been shooting for a while. I also carry a (non air-integrated) wrist mount computer that I attach to my housing. I subscribe to the "as lean and streamlined as possible" philosophy - large wrist mounts (worn on the wrist) tend to just get caught on various bits of gear, boat lines, etc. Console is rigged on a retractor to keep it streamlined.

Very non-tech. Obviously I spend too much time with ninja-all-in-black-drysuits-too-cool-for-school cave divers :lol2: Retractable lanyards are a no-no generally for me.

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For open circuit recreational dives, I use 1 or 2 Terics, with AI.

For open circuit tech dives, I use 2 Terics, with AI on my back gas.

For closed circuit dives, I use a Shearwater Predator controller and a NERD2, with AI.

 

The NERD is THE BOMB, to me. I can see my CCR cylinder pressures without moving my hands. Or, if I'm somewhere that navigation is something I actually have to pay attention to, I can change the NERD to show the compass and see that at all times without moving my hand. It even works fine in combination with my 45 degree view finder on my camera rig. I press the VF to my mask on the side of the other eye from the eye that can see the NERD.

 

If I'm only diving with 1 computer, I always put it on my right wrist. One, so that I can monitor my depth while my left hand is operating my inflator or butt dump valve to control my buoyancy. And, two, so that if I were to have to bring a non-responsive or panicking diver to the surface, I can hold their reg in their mouth (from behind - with my right hand) and still see my computer to track depth, while using my left hand to control our buoyancy. In my opinion, everyone should always have a way to monitor depth mounted on their right wrist.

 

As for AI... if someone says it is not reliable and doesn't specify the brand they are talking about, then you are safe to just ignore them. Different brands of AI are no more equal than different brands of cars. If someone buys a Chevette and has trouble with it, don't let them tell you not to buy a Honda, "because I had a car once and it was very unreliable!"

The AI that is used by Shearwater is the same as what is used by Oceanic, Aqualung, Hollis, Sherwood, Tusa, Aeris, and I'm probably forgetting one or two. It is rock solid (as long as you follow the maintenance schedule). I have done way more dives with AI than with an SPG and yet I've had multiple issues happen with an SPG and never had an issue with my wireless AI.

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