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Good Computer fore New Diver
JackS - 3/06/2007 5:52 PM
Category: Equipment
Replies: 14

I am a relatively new diver and wanted to get some recommendations for a good dive computer for a new diver, and I figured what better place to ask than all of the divers on this site. I need a computer which is easy to use and understand while I am diving. I have a pretty good dive watch which I have been using along with my dive tables for the past year. Unfortunately, it does not give me my no-decompression time left so I have to do math under water, which is no fun. I want to upgrade to a reliable basic computer which will give me all of the important information I need when I am diving. Thanks for your help.
DalelynnSims - 3/07/2007 12:39 AM
We get ask this a lot. Dive computers do a lot for you, you should know, from the tables, the max dive limit for deaths even if your using a computer. Computers today are awesome however when something happens you need to know where you are in the dive plan. If you do not have some type backup plan the dive is over Immediately. I dive with two computers, one air integrated (AI) and one in the BC pocket that is not as well as a Iron man watch hooked to the BC to log total time. I have had a computer fail. Less than 20 min into a nitrox dive I was leading with students I rolled over and the computer beeped then registering 155 minutes down at 50% O2. hmmm that not right. Backup payed off. As far which computer do the research. An AI e.g. Aries, Oceanic, Cocran, etc provide remaining dive time. Fine one who’s display is easy to read and understand. Rent before purchase is a great way to try. Don’t settle for an Air computer if Nitrox is in your future. Wireless is another story.
atomic333 - 3/07/2007 9:40 AM
I`ve been diving for a year and right after getting my OW cert. I got an air integrated computer. I`m using an Oceanic VT3 and I really like it. Although I don`t have experience with other computers, I caught on quickly to it. It`s dive data is PC downloadable and is in a great format with tons of information that I`ve found helpful in understanding my dives after the fact. Like ascent rates, bouyancy, air consumption rates, etc. The Oceanic is supposed to use a conservative dive model to keep you from getting bent or from exposure to micro-bubbles. Even though the dive model is conservative I haven`t found that my dive time is any shorter just my ascent rates are more controlled. "DalelynnSims" makes some good points about redundancy. I`m am not redunadant with another computer, but I plan on getting one. Some people suggest having a small SPG for redundancy that you can tuck into your BC pocket if you are using an AirIntegrated computer and I may do that too.
DalelynnSims - 3/13/2007 11:44 PM
The Wireless saga. Wireless computers are now made buy many manufactures, to many to name. Like purchasing other computers you should consider much with these. I have used these and had a couple as well. I like the Aries GT750 and therefore the Oceanic as they are about the same. That said there are some things you need to know about these. There are additional points of failure, you now have two batteries one in the transmitter and the other in the computer, therefore two ‘O’ rings. Connectivity to the transmitter can be a problem. Normally mounted in the first stage I have seen some add an 18” HP hose and move it to the LP inflator area over the shoulder to ensure connectivity. When they loose the connection they will provide an annoying beep and then flash indicating that no gas reading is available. Holding my arm on top of the head helps restore connection. Out of the water distance is smaller to maintain connectivity. Wearing the computer on the wrist is another consideration.
Dorkfish - 3/24/2007 4:00 AM
I too am now on the Oceanic VT3. The only drawback most of us have had was that the pc/laptop software was a bit goofy, so Oceanic put out a Betaware update for eval on scubaboard.

Personally, the VT3 has A LOT of features to work with. Not to mention the capability of the "buddy check" if your buddy has a VT3 and transmitter too.

I have used the Suunto Vyper and Uwatec computers as well. So far, the Suunto and Oceanic lines are what I personally prefer, partly due to customer service and reliability. (although Oceanic has had some issues with their new Atom line)
NWKatShark - 4/02/2007 7:57 PM
I went with an Oceanic Datamax Pro (The Pro is a step up from the Datamax Sport). It`s Oceanic`s Air ONLY version, so you can`t use it with nitrox. It`s nice because it`s digital display is huge, easy to read underwater. There are bar graphs on the sides, top and bottom and it`s easy to understand. I`ve bought a few on e-bay for $100.00 to $200.00.
okmister1 - 4/04/2007 11:54 PM
Any thoughts on the Cressi Sub Archimede II? I`ve seen some good reviews, it looks right and it`s in my budget. I`d like some of the more high end ones better but I`m pretty much buying the whole kit right now and I can`t spend THAT much.
Texmed169 - 5/29/2007 10:35 PM
I have been using the uwatec aladin air for years and have just recently swithched to the Uwatec smart Z as it is nitrox ready and can be set up to monitor 3 gasses at a time. this computer will grow with you and is wireless, wrist worn
PEZ2U2 - 6/05/2007 6:30 PM
I would recommend Sherwood`s new Wisdom 2 comming out this July. It is similar to the Wisdom 1 in that it has a nice large LCD screen for easy reading. It has a backlite, is nitrox and regular air compatible. You can have it with a quick disconnect hose and is computer downloadable. Also it is not that difficult to use. The display will be different from the Wisdom 1. It will be able to log and record all of your dives. It will also carry a 2 year warranty against manufacturer defects. Should it flood after the 2 year period it will still be considered manufacturer defect providing it was not flooded due to abuse. Over all though it is a great computer comming out, and I would recommend either the Wisdom 1 or 2. Since the Wisdom 2 is comming out you may be able to find the Wisdom 1 for a good deal somewhere. -PEZ
pk - 7/02/2007 12:16 AM
Hey, I use the Cressi Arc II. Have since I got my ow. Very easy to read under water, easy to set, large screen. Only neg is the compass is on the backside and must rotate back and forth. Has a lot of options.
psjanssen - 7/03/2007 1:28 PM
Having used a couple different computers, I have found I like the Uwatec Aladin best. I currently have the Aladin, Suunto Mosquito, and my g/f has a Cressi Arcemedies. Of the 3 the Aladin has the best software/interface to the computer. The one thing I do not like about the Aladin that the other two computers do is automatically tell you when to do your saftey stop. The Aladin you have to hit a button when you hit 15 ft then it does a 3 min count down. I love the simplicity of the Mosquito though easy to use, and works every time. But as was stated before unless you have an analog SPG redundancy is the key! Don`t EVER rely on only one computer to provide your info for you, always have a backup. The Mosquito is a great low cost option. I picked mine up for $250 on ebay brand new.
psjanssen - 7/03/2007 1:35 PM
One other thing I must say about the Cressi Archemedies is the computer interface completely sucks. It`s in essense a giant clothespin with metal contacts on it that must line up exactly on the computer unit itself. I have literally spent hours trying to download data from my g/f`s computer. Whatever computer you get try to find one with an infrared computer interface, it will make life so easy for you. Don`t let anyone tell you otherwise IR is IR is IR meaning you don`t need to spend an aditional $100 for a special brandname IR reader to download your computer. I paid $11 for a usb IR reader for my desktop computer and it works like a champ. If you look on ebay you can find everything you need to download whatever computer you choose at a reasonable cost. Whatever you choose good luck to you.
sambolino44 - 7/18/2007 2:00 AM
I`m pretty happy with my Suunto Gekko. It`s about the least expensive computer I could find, but it works for me. I had no problem using my dive light to illuminate it during a recent night dive. No downloading, but I don`t miss it. I`ve heard, though, that AI is the way to go. I`m just too cheap!
Tinman - 8/28/2007 1:52 PM
Hey Man I just purchased the Cressi Achrimede2 and it is e-z to use and understand however, this computer is very very conservative you will shorten your total bottom time by ten or more min. depend on your depth. I`going to swap mine for a less conservative one. Do some comparing with a few and see if the one you want is librial or conservative. Archimede is good computer just a little too conservative. Have fun let me know what computer you get.
RAWalker - 10/14/2007 4:06 PM
I am another 1 of the Oceanic VT3 owners. I am very happy with it. I used a Mares M2 for a few dives and found it to be a worth computer also but not air integrated. As for the redundancy question... Do we use dual SPG rigs? Are air integrated computer designed to replace the SPG? Aren`t the computers designed and engineered as safety devices? And my final thought is since I dive with a buddy isn`t it fair to say that my buddy`s equipment is my redundancy? As a diver I feel fine using my VT3 without a SPG as a matter of fact the main reason I switched to a remote air integrated computer was to eliminate an extra hose from my rig. I`ve taken this further with my gear and use a Sherwood Gemini auxilary secondary regulator/inflator instead of an octo so the only hose not streamlined on my gear is my primary secondary regulator.