Online Nitrox Certification Course(s)

Discussion in 'Advanced Scuba Discussions' started by flfishhead, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. flfishhead

    flfishhead Angel Fish

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Florida Panhandle
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    Looking at getting my Nitrox certification. Was talking to the owner of a local dive shop; and he said they offer a course that is taught at the shop, but "most folks" prefer to take an on-line PADI course (this shop apparently is mostly PADI oriented), which costs about $189 (roughly). Anyway, found an on-line course offered by someone called Scuba Divers of America (SDA), upon satisfactory completion of which, they will send me a Nitrox certification card which is recognized "anywhere in the world". Their course costs about half the PADI course.
    Question is, are they (SDA) a reliable organization, and will their cert card really be recognized "anywhere in the world"? (If I take their card into my local dive shop, will they look at it and say "sorry, not acceptable"?)
     
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  2. gcarter

    gcarter Surface Interval Member

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ottawa, Canada
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    It is a scam, not a reputable agency.
     
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  3. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Scuba Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
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    No they are not reputable. The physical.address for them I believe to at one time been a vacant lot in Vegas. No agency will accept their course work. you still have to go into a shop and analyze tanks with an on line course. The shop accepts paperwork from a legit on line class. This one is not. They also post names of shops that are supposedly affiliated with them or will accept their paperwork. Problem is that many shops don't know they are on that list!

    Sent from my DROID X2 using Tapatalk 2
     
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  4. fjpatrum

    fjpatrum Surface Interval Member

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: DC area
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    I did the TDI nitrox course for $119 online. I think the SDI version (computers vice tables) is also $119. PADI's is overpriced, in my opinion, but it's basically the same course from what I could tell.
     
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  5. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Blue Whale Staff Member

    # of Dives:
    Location: Boulder, CO
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    Actually, the physical address is a vacant lot in Arizona, not Vegas.

    Many agencies (including PADI) have warnings on their web sites that they do not recognize anything from SDA.

    SDA is absolutely a scam, but if you show the card at a shop and the person there doesn't know better, it might be accepted. Or it might not. Ask yourself this--how lucky do you feel today?

    If you want to save money and have a card with that same legitimacy, make up a name for another agency and find someone with a card printer to make one for you.
     
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  6. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Scuba Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
    15,943
    7,407
    113
    Thanks for the correction. Knew it was in a desert somewhere. :=)

    Sent from my DROID X2 using Tapatalk 2
     
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  7. flfishhead

    flfishhead Angel Fish

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Florida Panhandle
    54
    5
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    Thanks for the info folks. Had a feeling they might not be on the up and up. I'll keep looking into other options.
     
  8. GoBlues

    GoBlues Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: St Louis / IL
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    I took the PADI OW course but with my schedule I ended up take the SSI course. At home study, very limited classroom time, and we did two dives (just to make it legal, all we really needed to do was analyze the tanks). It was a good course, easy to do, but the instructor is the main part.
     
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  9. buton

    buton Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Fort Worth, Tx
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    My course was 120 plus the book at my lds with class at the shop with instructor...
     
  10. mselenaous

    mselenaous The Handler Staff Member

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    Many of the reputable agencies offer online Nitrox courses. The certification needs to be completed with an instructor who will give you a quiz, review how to analyze & document your mix, dive planning & calculations (tables/computers), etc. Most charge about $120 (NASE, SDI, others), while PADI charges $205. The only advantage to the PADI course is that you can find a PADI instructor to complete it just about anywhere you go. I recommend finding a local instructor, then use his/her agency's elearning. It is the instructor that is going to fill-in/enrich your basic knowledge and general understanding of the academic materials.
     
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  11. flfishhead

    flfishhead Angel Fish

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Florida Panhandle
    54
    5
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    Thank you all for the informative comments.
     
  12. Hatul

    Hatul Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tustin, California, United States
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    I did the SDA nitrox course and found it quite reasonable. I've never had my card refused. I don't know about their other courses, perhaps those don't meet requirements, but the nitrox course is just fine.
     
  13. beaverdivers

    beaverdivers ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

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    Hatul,

    The problem with the SDA course is the student does not go over the key parts of the course with an instructor.

    Those key elements being how to properly analyze a tank, how to set the mix on their dive computer or use the dive tables and making sure the student understands all the questions and correct answers on the on-line test.

    Don't you agree that these key points are vital?
     
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  14. dwhthediver

    dwhthediver Scuba Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tinley Park, IL
    440
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    I don't have a problem with the online EANx classes, but still go over the tables, hand out sheets with the formulas, when they come to analyze tanks and do the work on the simulated dives. I also recommend they bring their dive computer with them so I can show them how to set their mix.
     
  15. Hatul

    Hatul Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tustin, California, United States
    3,624
    411
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    I can find faults in any course if I want. Just because you get a card it does not mean you stop learning. The SDA course did not teach how to set your dive computer nor how to use your O2 analyzer, but when you buy these they come with instructions, and any dive operator will help you with the use of the analyzer, especially if you stick with one of the common ones like the Analox.
     
  16. BRT

    BRT Manta Ray

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    A scam would be when my wife and I have learned to do the mixing ourselves, bought 2 O2 analyzers so we could check one against the other, dive only nitrox and when we want to use nitrox in Mexico we need to pay $410 to get our "certification" of someone showing us how to blow air through an analyzer and tell us to use a different set of tables and not go below 111 feet on 32%. That would be a scam.
     
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  17. Absolutbill

    Absolutbill Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Naples, Florida, United States
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    My LDS offered nitrox for $95 right after my ow class and I took it. But we never did any dives specifically accompanying the nitrox classes. I thought it was a bit much, but when considering the .50 it costs for your card I guess it is worth it.


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  18. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Blue Whale Staff Member

    # of Dives:
    Location: Boulder, CO
    18,143
    9,448
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    I have never taken the SDA course, so I don't know its quality. I think the ultimate problem would be when you go to get a nitrox fill from an operator who knows what SDA is and refuses to give you the fill. In that case, it doesn't matter how much you know or where you learned it.
     
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  19. Hatul

    Hatul Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tustin, California, United States
    3,624
    411
    83
    If you don't trust the SDA course then look for another online course. It allows you to complete the certification on your own time, and, aside from learning how to use the O2 analyzer there are no new physical skills involved in using Nitrox, so there really is no need to attend a class at a shop or complete any dives.
     
  20. Johnmpcny

    Johnmpcny Surface Interval Member

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Oswego NY
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    I have a replacement card from them. Never had an issues using it and I put it out just to see. I lost my NASDS card and I am also PADI card carrier, but I use my SDA card just to see if anyone says no to it. Not one person has yet at over 15 dive shops, from the USA, Bahamas, PR, DR Virgin Islands and Tobago. I will be using it in Bonaire this winter let you know about how it works. I may even do his nitrox one just to prove the point that most dive shops talk a good game but really only want your cash.

    Bottom line I lost my NASDS card and was being told no way to get a new one (fire and so on). I used his service and he helped me.
     

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