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Suunto Cobra II Dive computer
AirOn - 8/08/2007 2:29 PM
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Category: Equipment
Comments: 3
I purchased a Cobra II dive computer with my Package deal from my LDS. Its a nice unit, complete with the quick disconnect and padded cover. The unit works very well for air, temp, time, depth... etc. The downloads and related software/database are really cool. The problem I discovered is the digital compass. It works great nice on land. It even has handy markers that help you dive patters like Box, trianges, etc. The problem is the 30 or 60 second intervals before it kicks back to gauge mode to save battery life. It pretty much means your going to have to keep pressing on the fairly stiff button OVER and OVER as your tring to navigate. It seemed that almost half the time it would initiate a bookmark when I held the button for too short a time? Then you have to start the long HOLD again to bring it up. It has a 5 degree margin or the lubber line and patters don`t work and the compass works irregular (even freshly calibrated) The way the gimble of the gauge appears it looks like a verticaly read ball compass. Or even the back window on the scuba console compass, Not the flat dial type that it actually opperates as. So instead of the head up facing forward with arms extened (seeing things comming) with a regular compass you have to hold it level and directly in front of your eyes to see the LCD screen. This pretty much means tucked arms looking down holding the compass level below you as you swim in trim. Prone to not see things and run head first into things. Unless your in very clear water with no current or surge... You`ll probably have some issues with this. You might even just miss and swim past your marker buoy a few feet and not see it. Did I mention the visability of the LCD? As with any LCD you need to look at it from a specific angle to see it. This is made even more true with the protectve plastic lense that fits over the screen. If I want to check my gauges, I just hold it up and glance at it. Thats not the case with the compass though. It has to be held level and looked directly into at the same time. Now if that happens to be in murky water, in the shadow of your body, or at night... The opposing button, working the same way the compass operates is the backlight in the unit. So your gripping the unit looking down, arms in, pushing alternatively at 2 stiff buttons, for long durations, trying to keep the 30 or 60 second compass display lit and visable. The apparent solution... Just use a dive light and the after market ADD ON $100 ($60 online) Suunto SK7 end mount compass. It replaces a rubber bumper on the front of your Suunto dive computer and basicaly it becomes like an old school console compass unit (with an integrated air dive computer) I`m hoping Sunnto makes a software patch available that removes the 60 second limits and lets me manualy turn on/off the back light and compass mode. That would be better on nav dives. Battery replacment is a lesser issue in my mind. I like the unit a lot... As long as I don`t have to use the digital compass or backlight. Anyone else experience this?


Nesher - 7/08/2008 4:46 PM

I also purchased the Cobra II last year. I bought a wrist compass from Scubapro for about 70.00 and just called it a day.

The feature of the compass in the conputer is nice but there’s too many complications as you very well noted.

AirOn - 10/09/2007 11:12 AM
Well, I received the Compass for the Cobra series for my Birthday. It attached without any issues. The size of the unit is about doubled now, but its pretty ergonomic. There are grips and grooves in all the right places to hold the unit. The center point changed and perhaps the small magnet in the add on compass disrupts it, but the digital compass is all screwy now and calabration isn`t able to complete. Looks like its one or the other... I`ll take the manual compass! It more forgiving as far as tilt and MUCH better visability and usability. I`d recomend chops to includ this as standard with any package Cobra II units until Sunnto can address the other issues.
flaski - 8/14/2007 8:09 AM
Sorry but several dive equip guys I spoke to told me that your issue was the common complaint with that unit. Your unit was what I wanted but several different dive shops all told me the new aries integrated units with an actual compass was the way to go. I ended up not buying anything because I really liked your model best, and will wait a few months until they work the bugs out. Good luck, their factory service is the best though. PS.( just an unverified note, I was told that they stoped production on that unit for that reason but no recall was issued yet as per factory tech support,this was forwarded to me 7/22/07).