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flfishhead
October 24th, 2012, 09:53 PM
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"?)

gcarter
October 24th, 2012, 09:58 PM
It is a scam, not a reputable agency.

Jim Lapenta
October 24th, 2012, 10:34 PM
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!

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fjpatrum
October 25th, 2012, 11:10 AM
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.

boulderjohn
October 25th, 2012, 11:17 AM
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!

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.

Jim Lapenta
October 25th, 2012, 01:06 PM
Thanks for the correction. Knew it was in a desert somewhere. :=)

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flfishhead
October 26th, 2012, 09:23 AM
Thanks for the info folks. Had a feeling they might not be on the up and up. I'll keep looking into other options.

GoBlues
October 26th, 2012, 03:59 PM
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.

buton
October 29th, 2012, 10:24 AM
My course was 120 plus the book at my lds with class at the shop with instructor...

mselenaous
October 29th, 2012, 09:02 PM
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 (http://scubanase.com/elearning/index.html), SDI (http://www.sdi-onlinetraining2.com/courses.cfm?callname=course_detail&course=14&frame=false), others), while PADI (http://www.padi.com/elearning-scuba-registration/purchasecourse.aspx?CourseType=eanx&tid=EANx_online_homepg_link) 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.

flfishhead
November 4th, 2012, 12:40 PM
Thank you all for the informative comments.

Hatul
November 4th, 2012, 08:50 PM
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"?)

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.

beaverdivers
November 4th, 2012, 09:16 PM
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?

dwhthediver
November 4th, 2012, 10:23 PM
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.

Hatul
November 5th, 2012, 01:43 AM
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?

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.

BRT
November 15th, 2012, 01:40 AM
It is a scam, not a reputable agency.

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.

Absolutbill
November 15th, 2012, 08:40 AM
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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boulderjohn
November 15th, 2012, 04:13 PM
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.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.

Hatul
November 17th, 2012, 01:05 AM
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.

Johnmpcny
July 10th, 2013, 11:28 AM
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.

beaverdivers
July 10th, 2013, 11:56 AM
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.I feel that you started on the right path. It absolutely makes sence to put money in to a nitrox course instead of just replacing a C-card. In your case you didn't have a choice.
Yes, it was good that they were able to help you. However, upon completing your on-line course did an instructor go over your test?

Did he explain how to analyze a Nitrox cylinder? Did he have you analyze at least two Nitrox cylinders? Did he show you how to set the FO2 on your dive computer? Did he have you set at least three different nitrox mixes on your dive computer?

Did you fully understand Nitrox after your on-line course?

Johnmpcny
July 10th, 2013, 12:51 PM
I feel that you started on the right path. It absolutely makes sence to put money in to a nitrox course instead of just replacing a C-card. In your case you didn't have a choice.
Yes, it was good that they were able to help you. However, upon completing your on-line course did an instructor go over your test?

Did he explain how to analyze a Nitrox cylinder? Did he have you analyze at least two Nitrox cylinders? Did he show you how to set the FO2 on your dive computer? Did he have you set at least three different nitrox mixes on your dive computer?

Did you fully understand Nitrox after your on-line course?


I have not done the Nitrox yet I got my OW NASDS card replaced with a SDA. I then took a PADI refresher at my LDS and got my Padi OW. I am now thinking I may take the online Nitrox from SDA or some other group, or I may do it at my local LDS. 3 of us will be taking it.

FO2 on your dive computer is pretty simple for anyone who can read instructions, I have been with my fiends who check their Nitrox tanks again nothing real hard. I am not sure why some try to make it sound like you're getting MD licence. Back when I started diving guys did their own mixes. Would I today? nope but anyone with a more than a lukewarm IQ can learn this stuff. I know for insurance sake you have too but really come on in all reality Nitrox should be part of your OW base certification, but you know you gotta put another dollar in.

BVickery
July 10th, 2013, 01:06 PM
Well, if your near a Diver's Supply they got it on special for like $70 for an SDI Computer Nitrox class.

This thread got me thinking I should actually look to retake the class from another agency, wasn't really satisfied with my own class.

Panama Jones
July 10th, 2013, 08:38 PM
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?

Good point beaver...so I have a question. Do any of the well known organizations (PADI, SSI,SDI NAUI etc) allow a pure on-line only, card's coming in the mail nitrox course? If these guys don't, and another does, I'd be suspect. Even on-line colleges and universities require some direct contact with professors and classmates in order for you to complete the class.

iluvtheocean
July 11th, 2013, 12:31 PM
just to make sure -- we are talking about S D A not having acceptance/recognized by most agencies (whether a particular shop will accept it is up to them) - not S D I -- which is accepted, yes ?

online colleges & uni's are different - but they still require accreditation and not all/some/any credits may transfer to another school depending on the accrediting agency.
SDA is apparently from prior discussions here is only accredited by itself although claims it is by "ANY" agency - who usually offer their own online courses.

I think i'll start F.A.S.T. -- Florida Association of Scuba Training and see if i can get any takers for cards...
hmm F.A.S.T. will get you diving fast! as a slogan? (yes i'm joking about starting this) but i can see it possible for a modest layout. how much would depend on if you actually take out a business license/permits for it. As long as you don't claim to be accepted everywhere and actually send a physical card -- you are providing an actual product albeit a shady one.


bottom line - stick with an established agency - but shop around for the best deal. i did my nitrox in an actual classroom - i like being able to ask questions of the instructor now and in the future. my price was very reasonable but for certain courses they use a sliding scale depending on how many people sign up - valid business model as long as they are still making a profit - which includes repeat business.

knotical
July 11th, 2013, 12:46 PM
just to make sure -- we are talking about S D A not having acceptance/recognized by most agencies (whether a particular shop will accept it is up to them) - not S D I -- which is accepted, yes ?
Yes !

iluvtheocean
July 11th, 2013, 01:20 PM
just making sure since Hatul said never had his card refused -- wanted to make sure his was actually SDA not SDI .. but it makes one think - if some of the shops/charters are taking the SDA cards - do they just not care, do they not know about them, getting them confused with SDI, or are they just assuming a card that says nitrox certified no matter where from means you are trained in it at least to minimum ISO standards?

it might be safe to assume that the major agencies teach at least the min ISO standards or beyond for a particular course - assuming a standard exists for a particular specialty.

Hatul
July 11th, 2013, 08:35 PM
just making sure since Hatul said never had his card refused -- wanted to make sure his was actually SDA not SDI .. but it makes one think - if some of the shops/charters are taking the SDA cards - do they just not care, do they not know about them, getting them confused with SDI, or are they just assuming a card that says nitrox certified no matter where from means you are trained in it at least to minimum ISO standards?

it might be safe to assume that the major agencies teach at least the min ISO standards or beyond for a particular course - assuming a standard exists for a particular specialty.

I think you're making a big issue out of nothing. We're not talking cave diving. There are not a lot of skills or knowledge to use nitrox safely. Practically speaking: be able to verify the O2 content of the tank and stay above the max operating depth. And most computers will tell you the latter. And any reasonable nitrox course will include this and more.

In fact without mentioning names at I've seen a dive operator not even check certification. They give you a nitrox tank and tell you to stay above the MOD in a guided dive.

Jim Lapenta
July 11th, 2013, 10:18 PM
Good way to get people dead. What happens when the computer dies and a diver needs to do MOD's, EAD's, and best mixes the old way? Can they? What's your MOD for 26%?
And how does your CNS clock look after three dives with the mix?

Lost down under
July 11th, 2013, 10:44 PM
Good way to get people dead. What happens when the computer dies and a diver needs to do MOD's, EAD's, and best mixes the old way? Can they? What's your MOD for 26%?
And how does your CNS clock look after three dives with the mix?

I don't think the PADI courses teach those things anyway (Mine certainly didnt). To be fair I was pretty pissed off leaving my Nitrox course with PADI's over reliance on computers and how micky mouse the course was by taking the usual PADI approach of reading a book and answering some terribly written multiple guesses.

fjpatrum
July 11th, 2013, 11:05 PM
Good way to get people dead. What happens when the computer dies and a diver needs to do MOD's, EAD's, and best mixes the old way? Can they? What's your MOD for 26%?
And how does your CNS clock look after three dives with the mix?
Every shop I've gotten a fill from requires me to write the MOD directly on the tank myself when I pick up the tank.

When in doubt, stop diving. Simple solution, nobody dies, and worst thing that happens is you've wasted a couple hundred bucks. Not great but certainly not the end of the world and not worth making a big deal about.

That said, I took the TDI nitrox class simply because it taught tables vice (or plus) computers.

Hatul
July 12th, 2013, 03:22 PM
Good way to get people dead. What happens when the computer dies and a diver needs to do MOD's, EAD's, and best mixes the old way? Can they? What's your MOD for 26%?
And how does your CNS clock look after three dives with the mix?

The formula for partial pressure of O2 in atm at any depth in feet is (depth/33+1) * FIO2 ( for 26% FIO2=.26) . If you set that to 1.4, the depth is the MOD, which you can solve for. Or you can download a nice iPhone app to work that out for you or use a spreadsheet or get a table. Any nitrox dive computer displays that as well. For 26% it's 145 feet.

As far as long term O2 toxicity you're unlikely to reach that in recreational diving.

beaverdivers
July 12th, 2013, 03:50 PM
Good point beaver...so I have a question. Do any of the well known organizations (PADI, SSI,SDI NAUI etc) allow a pure on-line only, card's coming in the mail nitrox course? If these guys don't, and another does, I'd be suspect. Even on-line colleges and universities require some direct contact with professors and classmates in order for you to complete the class.As far as I know, all of the major SCUBA agencies require direct contact w/ a SCUBA instructor. I know for a fact, SCUBA Diving International (SDI) does.

I agree. If an agency just sends the Nitrox C-card w/o a follow-up w/ an instructor, then I would question that certification.

Jim Lapenta
July 12th, 2013, 04:28 PM
Not even going to bother. You get what you pay for. Just shows how trivialized training has become.

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Lopez116
July 13th, 2013, 12:31 AM
I would defer to the anesthesiologist on the gas breathing questions 😉


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