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#51657
Hose vs. Hoseless Air Integrated Dive a Computer
Greg - 3/14/2015 3:45 PM
Category: Equipment
Replies: 29

I’ve always thought having a hose air integrated dive computer is the way to go. In my mind...it is one less battery to replace. But lately, I’m beginning to wonder if I should switch to hoseless. Mainly because my dive computer hose ruptured and I need to replace it. It costs over $100 for a replacement quick disconnect high pressure hose!

So let’s think about the parts that can break or need replaced on both designs:

Hose:
- O-ring on hose at First Stage.
- O-ring on hose somewhere in the quick disconnect port.
- Hose could rupture.
- Dive computer could leak and stop working.
- Dive computer battery needs replaced.

Hoseless:
- O-ring on wireless transmitter at First Stage.
- Wireless transmitter could leak and stop working.
- Dive computer could leak and stop working.
- Dive computer battery needs replaced.
- Wireless transmitter battery needs replaced.

If an o-ring on a hoseless wireless transmitter goes bad...that cost about 10 cents to fix...far less than $100 for a new hose!

What is your opinion? Would a hoseless air integrated dive computer be easier and cheaper to maintain? Obviously the initial cost of a hoseless design is more, but I wonder if it’s worth the price after you factor in replacement hoses.

Have anyone ever had issues with the wireless transmitter (ie: no signal, leaks, etc)?

#1103
OleCrab - 3/14/2015 4:45 PM
I would have to get the transponder only. Wonder if the cost would be worth it.
#629
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stewco422 - 3/14/2015 5:33 PM
When I upgraded to the Scubapro Luna w/ transmitter, I kept my hoses as a back-up. I was asked why, since my computer has the same information (and more) than my gauge set has. I felt that a little redundancy couldn’t hurt. My reg set is an older Aqualung Titan that only has one HP port. I found a HP splitter on eBay which works quite well. I’ve been told the computers hardly ever fail. My luck, I’d be one of the few cases that it would. I actually find myself confirming the computer with the gauges from time to time. So far, so good!
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Nitediver - 3/14/2015 6:04 PM
I have a wireless and love it! Maint costs are less in the long run.
#2015
bustem55 - 3/14/2015 7:59 PM
I have both. Primary is the wireless and then hose as backup....just in case.
#28716
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RAWalker - 3/14/2015 8:34 PM
I’ve been diving wireless for many years and dare say I know more about the ins and outs, plus’ and minus’ than the average diver. The reason is in addition to being a diver I’m also a electronic tech with a knowledge of metrology.(calibration technologies) as well as a computer programmer. I’ve been involved in a fair number of debates on this subject that always end the same way. From a failure standpoint the wireless air integrated computer have no greater failure rate if the batteries are replaced at the first sign of weakening or at regular intervals based on age since installation or a given number of hours of dive time which ever comes first.

Next question becomes that of accuracy of the electronic transducer vs. Brass and glass pressure gauges.
This effect all air integrated dive computers and nut just wireless but also hose type. It seems that although B&G pressure gauges are preferred by the majority of divers it is without the knowledge that the electronic transducers are far more accurate and their failures are more obvious and fewer overall.
A transducer is considered accurate +-50 psi while B&G gauges the requirement is only +- 150 psi and the gauges only have to meet that requirement at one point on the scale as dictated by the manufacturer.
The Transducer nearly always fails catastrophically and makes the diver aware of its failure. A B&G gauge is a failure when not performing to spec but because it continues to read although inaccurately the diver may be at risk.
The wireless does bring with it the reality of another battery and the transmitter attached to the transducer. Failures do happen but are rare and most often due to user failure (failure to replace the battery or not cleaning the O-ring seal properly when doing so) and are as mentioned catastrophic but without risk to the diver as they are aware of the failure and can respond as indicated by their training and the dive computers recommendations.
I do recommend the use of the technology but doing so you should understand the differences and requirements involved with it.
#18028
LatitudeAdjustment - 3/15/2015 5:09 AM
Some of the new ones will read the buddies air assuming the buddy is the same brand. I can see that being good for an instructor or some buddy pairs.

I have always avoided hoseless intergrated because it’s another battery/o-ring to die.
#3720
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tstormdiver - 3/15/2015 6:37 AM
I have dove with wireless integrated computers (Oceanic Datamask, Suunto Helo2 & Vyper Air & an Oceanic VT4). The Oceanics were definitely better than the Suuntos. Where the Suuntos commonly lost signal, the Oceanic would only lose the signal from time to time. One of the biggest issues I have seen with console computers vs Wrist computers, whether air integrated or not, is on an ascent. While going up the anchor/ buoy line w/ right hand & controlling the BC inflator with the left hand,... it can be a pain to constantly let go of the inflator hose to check air & ascent, then take back up the inflator to continue to control buoyancy. With a wrist unit, it can be worn on the left arm & turned inside the wrist to read, while operating the inflator hose, at the same time. Personally, I never paid much attention to the pressure readouts & have always used an analog gauge ,... but that is just me.
#51657
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Greg - 3/15/2015 7:21 AM
From LatitudeAdjustment: I have always avoided hoseless intergrated because it’s another battery/o-ring to die.

I thought the same thing at first...but a hose design has at least two o-rings (and a hose that can rupture)...the hoseless design only has one o-ring.

And batteries are cheap and easy to replace. Regular maintenance on the battery will avoid that type of failure.
#629
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stewco422 - 3/15/2015 7:31 AM
I had an o-ring rupture on my transmitter on a dive recently, during our surface interval. No big deal, just swapped out the o-ring. As far as the battery, $23 for 2 spares and 2 o-rings isn’t a huge amount, especially in the scuba world. Just like all of your other equipment, check it before you go on your trip. I have 40 dives on my current batteries (2 years old) and they still show a good charge. I bought my son the same computer and I can keep tabs on his air also when we dive.
#1269
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NORTHEAST - 3/15/2015 10:27 AM
I would never trust wireless as my primary reading. My friend has one and it’s constantly screwing up. Fancy doesn’t get you home!
#28716
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RAWalker - 3/15/2015 10:14 PM
Well here is something for all you console divers to think about....
The spool between the hose and the Brass and glass pressure gauge has 2 O-rings and their use is dynamic to allow the gauge or console to spin so you can position it to be at an angle for easy reading so in effect that is 2 O-rings over the single one to attach a transmitter to a first stage.

I agree with tstormdiver IMHO Oceanic computers are more reliable and with the dual algorithm can be matched with a Suunto or set more or less conservative depending on the algorithm and conservative setting.

Also what people may need to realize is communications between the computer and transmitter are not required to be 100% stable to be perfectly functional.
#8590
dalehall - 3/16/2015 4:25 AM
It only took me one time of getting locked out of my air integrated computer on a dive trip to go to an analog SPG. I can dive without a computer, but I can’t dive without an SPG. I don’t care what kind of fancy-schmancy doodads I have on my rig, I will always have an analog SPG.
#28716
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RAWalker - 3/16/2015 9:19 AM
I love it when someone complains about being "locked out" of a computer it tells me I don’t want to dive with them. Simply understand If you get locked out, it is for safety because you have violated the rules in some way that was severe enough to cause the computer to tell you no more. Brass and Glass won’t stop you from screwing up and injuring yourself. In fact if you aren’t paying enough attention you may not even know how badly you screwed up until you are on your way to the hospital.
#3720
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tstormdiver - 3/16/2015 9:27 AM
RAWalker, Seawater computers are one of the few computers that will not lock you out. it will give you a warning that you have violated deco, high CSN,.. or such & ask you to confirm it. Being a technical computer, The manufacturer assumes the diver is a big boy or girl & knows h poo w to use the computer. I agree though, too many divers do not know how to use their computer m
#3720
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tstormdiver - 3/16/2015 11:09 AM
Sorry not Seawater, but Shearwater.
#8590
dalehall - 3/16/2015 12:13 PM
Actually RAWalker, you ought to get the facts before you accuse someone of not knowing what they are doing. But, don’t worry, you won’t have to dive with me.
#28716
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RAWalker - 3/16/2015 12:20 PM
Some more food for thought:
If the technology for computers wasn’t superior to using Brass & Glass with tables why would all of the sanctioning bodies gone with computer diver open water certification programs?
I’ll agree with those that may say it is a dumbing down of the program. However the numbers don’t lie and they say that properly trained computer divers have few incidents and accidents.
Now take the one additional step add in the wireless technology. All it does is replace the pressure gauge and in doing so allows the computer to give us many more features. Just as we don’t have the Brass & Glass pressure gauge glued to our mask for constant viewing we also don’t need the computer to tell us pressure 100% of the time. Just as we monitor the B&G based on how long since we last looked, the depth we are at and whether the tank is towards the beginning of the dive or closer to the end, this is also the criteria for judging the wireless and how fast it reacquires signal.
If the statistics for computers were not at least equal to Tables/B&G then the computer manufacturers and sanctioning bodies would have opened themselves up to litigation from accidents using computers and this has not been the case.
#1269
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NORTHEAST - 3/16/2015 6:38 PM
Brass and glass all the way baby!!! By the way I run two of them. I do dive doubles and redundency is always key! Sorry I have to stick to my guns with analog.
#28716
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RAWalker - 3/17/2015 2:59 PM
I was feeling so positive while writing here over the last few days I ordered the newest of the Oceanic computers the VTX 4 gas wireless with electronic compass and Organic Light Emitting Diode display.

So I have my freshly factory refurbished Atom 2 for sale.
It is complete with transmitter and download cable for $500 firm
Buyer pays shipping.
#214
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john_f - 3/18/2015 3:45 PM
What RAWalker said about the accuracy (and resolution I guess). I dive a Shearwater Preadator on most dives but use an Aeris T3 Elite (hoseless) for some stuff. When I want to get real good RMV info I take along a transmitter and the T3 for gas usage info. You get much more resolution via the electronics. If I’m worried about cracking the transmitter off the first stage on a wreck or cave ceiling I put it on an HP hose and stuff it in a safe place.

As far as lockouts on the recreational computers, shouldn’t really happen to NDL divers or very light deco divers. Anything else and the recreational computers are useless, except for gauge mode for depth and time backup, but that would be for another thread.
#427
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Pdillard - 5/22/2016 2:29 PM
This is very interesting. How often do hoses blow. Providing a diver always checks his/her gear and hoses and replace them at the first sign of damage.
#28716
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RAWalker - 5/22/2016 2:47 PM
High Pressure hoses nearly never fail without first showing signs of problems. That doesn’t rule out failure due to manufacturing problems as we saw a few years back on high flex style hoses. Under normal circumstances a hose will show signs of wear at the connectors or delamination which results in small bubbles.
#3720
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tstormdiver - 6/07/2016 8:25 AM
From RAWalker: High Pressure hoses nearly never fail without first showing signs of problems. That doesn’t rule out failure due to manufacturing problems as we saw a few years back on high flex style hoses. Under normal circumstances a hose will show signs of wear at the connectors or delamination which results in small bubbles.

Not always. I & my tech instructor both had a Scuabpro HP hose that was later found to be defective. It ruptured & blew apart very suddenly right where the internal fitting that attached to the first stage, ended, right behind our heads. His hose ruptured about 6 months before mine.
#28716
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RAWalker - 6/07/2016 5:23 PM
tstormdiver,

As you stated your hose was found to be defective and from the sound of it due to a problem in the attachment of the fitting. If you read my statement that you quoted you will see it falls squarely into the category of a failure due to manufacturing problems. Secondly I would have to ask if you regularly slid the hose end protectors up to inspect for problem signs before each dive outing. Although it is common for failure to occur at the location of the fitting swage proper visual inspection will often find evidence of the impending failure. We use strain reliefs to lower the chances of this particular failure but unless we inspect our gear properly it is a likely spot to occur. However as statement you quoted does state "High Pressure hoses nearly never fail without first showing signs of problems." It does not rule out that it happens occasionally. Again under normal circumstances it will show signs prior to failure.
#3720
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tstormdiver - 6/07/2016 5:26 PM
I do not use hose protectors on any of my recreational or technical equipment. Too prone to freeze up & makes hose routing poor. These hoses that failed were only about a year old.
#822
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Diver_Diva - 6/07/2016 6:19 PM
Call me old school, but I wear a Mares Puck wrist computer and a compass on my right arm, and a dive watch and old fashioned capillary depth gauge on my left arm in case the puter takes a dump. Plus I still plan the dive using dive tables.