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Hoseless Air Integrated Dive Computer
sandworm30 - 6/11/2013 2:11 PM
Category: Equipment
Replies: 21

Hello Diving friends..
I am looking into purchasing a hoseless AI system (the fewer hoses the better!) but the options are simply staggering and honestly totally overwhelming!
I want to get feedback from people who have real life experience with AI systems. I want something reliable, simple (HATE OVERLY COMPLICATED GADGETS) and reasonably priced and PC compatible. I live near the Great Lakes but also travel frequenlty to warmer waters.
Any advice will be much appreciated..thanks!
ScubaSteve63 - 6/11/2013 9:05 PM
I prefer an integrated computer with a hose. I’ve seen sending units broken off and transmitters fail too many times.
RAWalker - 6/11/2013 11:55 PM
I’ve been using Oceanic wireless AI for years I’ve had or have the VT-Pro, VT-3. Atom 1.0 and Atom 2.0. The Atom series is nice if your sight is good and when I bought (the first few year I was diving them) my sight was better but the last couple of years age has caught up and I now need reading glasses for small print. I’ve gone back to the larger sized computer which has a easier to read screen I’m now also considering upgrading to the VT-4 to gain the built in computer.
ScubaSteve63 - 6/12/2013 1:45 AM
I also do not care for hoseless computers because your two options are wrist mount, which is no good for me as a lobster diver, or tethered, which I’ve also seen fail resulting in loss of the receiver/display.
RAWalker - 6/12/2013 3:15 AM
I feel the need to ask as to why wrist mount would be a problem to a lobster diver. It isn’t as if you constantly monitor your computer without taking your eyes off of it. It sounds to me as if you are just resistant to change and feel comfortable with a console. The only transmitters/sending units I’ve seen broken off are those that are mishandled (lifting the tank by the unit instead of the valve) I’ve seen plenty of console units broken when a user failed to properly clip it back onto their rig allowing it to get dragged, banged or caught up. This would seem a worse scenario as the wrist computed can still operate without a transmitter less the pressure information.
While I’m at it lets discuss the other complaint commonly heard of wireless AI computers sync issues. There are 2 types of issues failure to sync and failure to reacquire in a timely fashion. The second is not a failure unless the time to reacquire become so long as to risk an Out Of Air incident. It becomes more critical in later stages of a dive and at greater depth when gas usage is greater and tank pressure is lower and becomes a judgment call by the user. As an example some users report sync issues when using high power photo strobes. The computer loses communications for a few seconds and then reacquires. This is not a failure since the diver is never at any risk and the few seconds without info are no more critical than the few seconds the diver is distracted by any other event during a dive.
The other issue has 3 general causes one is battery condition of the transmitter and can simply be avoided with proper service intervals that replace weak batteries. The next 2 issues are design related... First is not programing in the transmitter’s correct code and again is a user error that should be avoided with a little care. The final is computers that seek or pole for a transmitter at startup. These can and have been know to find the transmitter of other nearby users and upon hitting the water are locked. Then the other diver swims away and you no longer have pressure info and are required to surface. I suggest avoiding these particular systems completely IMHO it is a design and engineering flaw that can lead to problems.
Console AI computers work fine and in most cases are highly reliable but are still a console that needs to be stowed and checked during a dive. They are still one more hose and as such may come loose, drag and get caught. Wireless AI computers do away with those possible hazards and bring convenience to your wrist at a simple glance.
LatitudeAdjustment - 6/12/2013 5:29 AM
I can understand why a lobster hunter wouldn’t want to put his $1500.00 computer in a hole where it could get scratched or worse lost.

For me the issue with the wrist mount is everytime i dump air the assent alarm goes off and no I can’t move it to the right arm, that’s busy with camera stuff and my back up computer is on the console.

It is another battery waiting to go dead. If you are diving in remote locations you need to carry that spare battery and know how to change it. I have seen a sender fail and the dive op not have a spare SPG, what’s your plan B to save this trip?

If you go back thru the forum you’ll find this subject has been beaten to death before.
sandworm30 - 6/12/2013 6:50 AM
I knew there wasnt going to be a short and sweet answer to this question that everyone would agree on!
Thank you all for lots of great input!
ScubaSteve63 - 6/12/2013 7:00 AM
LA has it right. I am constantly jamming both hands into cracks and crevices that would either bang up a wrist mounted computer or strip it right off my wrist. And because some of these crevices are in very tight spots I frequently hit my first stage on overhangs and the like.
My hosed computer is on a tether that keeps both the computer and hose snug to my body.
RAWalker - 6/12/2013 11:41 AM
Maybe you are able to keep your console close to your body but the hose is still a loop from your reg to your tie point and could present an area to catch onto outcroppings and tangle with kelp. As for scratching a wrist computer that is why they come equipped with replaceable polycarbonate lens protectors. Even the housing on many are replaceable as I have done so with my own switching from the factory band on my Oceanic VT3 to the DSS Bungee wrist mount. But still just because a computer is called a wrist mount doesn’t require it be used that way. My backup computer is a second wireless AI an Atom 2.0 which I put on my left chest D-ring so I can simply face it towards my face to ready it. This is actually the computer I log with. The wrist computer is the one I dive by but as LA mentioned move your arm quickly and you may get an alarm. (Is this really an issue we have to discuss) So what your alarm sounds and stops a moment later. Battery issues so are any of us saying that because it has a battery we should not use it or just because a wireless uses a second computer is it considered an issue? Be proactive with your equipment maintenance and reduce the likelihood of a problem. Or lets say that removing the extra hose and adding a second battery to the equation puts both rigs on equal terms as for failures and issue possible counts.
Gentlemen I do think you protests the technology too much and for reasons that are highly controllable.
ScubaSteve63 - 6/12/2013 11:55 AM
Well, my computer’s hose is sized to not loop and runs off a 90 degree and runs right around my body snugly. And I use a 7" regulator hose that pretty much does the same. In loop-less.
As for covers on wrist computers they are no match when it comes to wrestling a 4 pounder out of a crack in granite boulders.
If a wrist mounted computer works for you then go with that. For me it’s not even worth considering.
RAWalker - 6/12/2013 2:24 PM
I guess it goes back to what the original poster asked for and that was..."I want to get feedback from people who have real life experience with AI systems." and stated an interest in "hoseless".

Both SS63 and LT start by criticizing the choice of wrist computers. I hope the OP understand that is their preference and in fact wrist computers whether AI or not are very popular and many divers prefer them over consoles.

The question wasn’t about wrist vs. console or computer vs. spg and yet we get responses from people who clearly have their own agenda.

So, If it isn’t your choice for your own reasons feel free to keep it to yourself unless an poster’s question asks for comment on why they shouldn’t consider it. Then we can start the debate, not when they are asking which versions to consider and why.

The only valid statement I see from Steve is..."If a wrist mounted computer works for you then go with that."
tardmaster - 6/12/2013 4:56 PM
mares icon hd. AWESOME.....USER FRIENDLY
sandworm30 - 6/12/2013 4:56 PM
For the record, I am NOT nor probably ever will be, a lobster diver! I am a recreational diver who doesn’t get to dive nearly as much as I would like to. That said, when I DO get to dive, I do not want to be tangled in hoses and dragging them on the bottom and would prefer to deal with as few hoses as possible.
I am very grateful for everyone’s input, and like most things in life, it seems that personal preference seems to dictate people’s opinions and there is probably no right or wrong answer here.
sandworm30 - 6/12/2013 5:02 PM
The Mares looks awesome but is way out of my price range!
DiveBuddyChgo - 6/12/2013 5:55 PM
Can’t really help you decide what type of computer to buy. I don’t know factors about what type of diving your doing. The cheapest computers will do most that a recreational diver with 80cu/ft. tanks may need to stay out of deco. When you get into larger tanks, cold water or dives that take a lot of excersion. Then the factors change. For me I need a computer that takes into account for water temp., heart rate and RBT that includes any deco. stops. I also need a large screen to see all that info. easily even with corrected mask lenses. Anyways I need the extra safety margin and a computer that remembers my rythms from previous dives. A recreational nitrox computer doesn’t take into account a lot of factors. Anyways for me I have been diving with UWATEC SOL since. But I need as much info. for the diving that I am doing. D.A.N. can also use that info. to presribe to the hosp. chamber team. But the normal recreational diver can get away with the cheapest computer be it hose or hoseless. I have never had any trouble with the hoseless air integrated unit. I hope this helps you out.
zielit - 6/13/2013 5:41 AM
I’m a big fan of redundancy when it comes to diving. I do always dive with buddy but I’m usually prepared like I was diving solo. I use AI Suunto Air with transmitter but I’m not entirely hoseless. There is analog single SPG still attached to my HP port. I had a situation when at the end of the dive computer flooded and thanks to this configuration I was able to without any stress or panic finish the dive including safety stop (I was lucky and comp was still on warranty and unit was replaced by Suntoo :) ). Since than I dive with cheap second non AI computer as backup (did I say I’m a fan of redundancy...).
Diver38 - 6/14/2013 12:11 PM
I have a atom 3.4 I think out 3.0 and love it been doing wreck diving and minus the extra hose and also dropped my octo and went with a all in one inflater and octo all in one so only have two hoses and slim and trim its great safe for you and nothing hitting the reefs.
SCUBAFOX - 6/14/2013 6:18 PM
I am glad to see I am not the only one who believes in redundancy. I use two dive computers a analog SPG and analog depth gauge. I can honestly say I don’t trust dive computers 100% of the time.
RAWalker - 6/14/2013 6:48 PM
There is nothing wrong with redundancy it can significantly lower the odds of a failure becoming an incident or accident. Note that even with my advocacy of wireless technology I did mention my use of a second computer attached to my left chest D-ring. Since we are going off topic a bit it should be mentioned that for redundancy to be functionally compatible it requires you to dive by the most conservative of the employed methods. Which would be tables, timer and gauge. this is because if you were to dive the least conservative employed method (the computer that allows the most bottom time) you can no long depend on backward compatibility of successive dives without a total nitrogen wash out. For this reason a true backup should be a second computer that uses the same algorithm. For those that don’t trust computers you should be aware that analog gauges are at best accurate at 2 points on their scale one of them being zero. Digital transducer tend to be far more accurate and when they fail generally do so catastrophically making the user aware of the problem unlike a analog gauge. Stated simply analog gauges don’t deserve any more trust than digital and in most cases less.
John_giu - 6/18/2013 8:53 AM
I’m the stand out here. I don’t even like trusting the SPG, much less all the other things there are to break.

At lease if the SPG says 800 lbs I know it’s likely there is still some air in the tank. Worse case I would say a hose integrated, but I don’t like consoles.

Plus I to cheap to go for the expense.
Diver38 - 6/18/2013 11:10 AM
All I know is I love my atom 3.0 it works awesome and I like the no clutter a lot but one thing to remember is all equipment can fail it all in what your confidence in your equipment so dive clutter free or dive with clutter just dive with what works for you and be safe and enjoy
SeaLionScuba - 6/19/2013 1:40 PM
A few comments... using Suunto Vyper Air with transmitter. I like it. (BTW it is avail for sale complete with extra shield, USB connect, complete kit $550) As much info as I care for with options for more at my choice. Alarms programmable or off as you please. Advantage to Air Integrated: Remaining Time is shown by No Deco Limit or Air/Nitrox Use Rate, WHICHEVER IS LESS. The transmitter should not get banged unless you are truly not paying attention. I have the wrist model for specific reasons.

1) Previous computer, missed Low Bat warning (my bad), it went dead during a dive. Now I keep a std console spg/depth with a watch strapped on. Backup=Good.

2) With my camera I strap the Suunto onto the handle top of my cam housing, close to where my eyes are looking at the cam screen. Very easy to monitor computer info.

3) When I’m lobstering (I mostly use a tickle stick) but the Suunto stays strapped to the D-ring by my heart as RAWalker suggested. Very safe, convenient at a glance down. No funky alarms or scratches.

Lightly on the topic of less hoses... I used to have (& liked) my AIR2 inflator/regs, until...

the 1st day of one dive weekend my BC tube was pulled & the flange at the shoulder broke off. Didn’t see THAT one coming, never happened in 25 yrs diving. Local shop could not fix it. My other 3 BCs were at home. Yikes! Good thing my friend (another inst) had extra gear, loaned me a BC ...with std inflator. My AIR2 coupler didn’t match, so I had to use the reg that went with the BC. Performance FAR inferior to my reg (boo hoo) AND MY COMPUTER was in my console so the residual record of 1st dive was lost. The computer in my friend’s consol was unfamiliar to me. Didn’t want to fool around disassembling regs to put my console on the other reg. Fortunately the dive lost was only 12’ depth for 30 min, but you see the point. After that I switched back to standard configurations, sold all my AIR2’s. BTW; also had an AIR2 fail because of poor servicing. I found out when it nearly drowned me at 50’ deep. Not failure to maintain, the Tech had been sloppy reassembling the exhaust valve, it was pinched & ready to flood. GRRR.

So back to 4 hoses and recently changed my octo to a 5’ hose. MUCH more comfortable if you actually have to use it. Double coil it with a clip to keep it trim. I don’t have any problem with my hoses getting snagged because they are kept in the right place.

Why am I offering my Suunto Vyper Air for sale? Because I want a model with a smaller face. I added "gauge reader" lenses to my mask. LOVE ’EM!!! I can read the icons on my camera screen as well as all info on computer. I bought the Vyper new early in 2013.

Sandworm, if you have questions feel free to message me directly. I’m not receiving notice of further thread posts.

Thanks for reading my opinions.

Good diving to All.