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Computer decision - buy or don't buy

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by Viper12161, Aug 20, 2019.

  1. Viper12161

    Viper12161 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Rhode Island
    I am a new diver, just certified this past Saturday 8/17. I have all my own gear already and only need to get a few other things like weights and a hood to complete my setup. I have a computer, though it is old, and honestly I am not a big fan of it. Hard to read and dive history is terrible and I just don't like it. However, it gives me the basic info I need for my dive log (depth, temps, dive time) I was all gung ho to go get a new computer next week. I was going with a Scubapro Aladin Sport Matrix. Then I started wondering if I should get something with air integration. Double the price, but was looking at a Galileo Luna. Then I started talking with a few buddies that dive and I wonder if I really need all the jazz that those 2 computers are going to give me. I live in New England. Most of my dives are going to be 20-30' max. I don't really plan on doing more than one dive per day. But at 20-30' is there really going to be an issue with allowable bottom time? Pretty sure I would run out of air waaaaay before I hit that time. I was just reading a thread about gear to get first and computer seemed to always be on the top of the list so it records "your dives" but do I really need all that info if I am doing shallow single dives? Not saying I won't go deeper, but around here that is pretty much the norm for seeing things around here. Also being in New England, my diving window is closing. Probably about another 2 months or so before the water temp gets a bit too cold for my liking. So wondering if I should just dive with what I have for now, and then maybe do some research over the winter months and make a decision then. But then I'm wondering if not having the new computer to log all these dives is not a good thing and may hamper me. Uuggh, so many damn decisions to make lol. And once I decide the yes or no...then which one. As a newbie, am I really going to use all the bells and whistles the Luna is going to give me or should I just stick with a basic computer to start and then upgrade in a few years.
    Any info appreciated as always!!!!
  2. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach

    What computer are you currently diving?
  3. Outbound

    Outbound Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Michigan
    Having a dive computer that you like and that is easy to read and understand is pretty important when it comes to safety. On the other hand, you have something that works for now and it doesn't seem like you plan on doing that much more diving this season. If I were you I'd hold off on buying another computer and spend a lot of time thinking about what features you want in your next one, and whether or not you want air integration. I went air integrated for my first computer and am definitely glad I did so. Others don't mind or even prefer having an SPG. For me, it meant one less hose, one less thing dangling from my BCD, and the ability to get all the info I need during a dive at a single glance of my wrist computer.
    Esprise Me likes this.
  4. Landau

    Landau Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Vancouver
    Even though you only plan to go 20-30 feet deep assume that someday you will see something really cool looking just a bit deeper that you want to check out. Then something a bit deeper than that. Computers come in really handy for that sort of unplanned excursion. And your one dive a day may turn into two when you and your buddy decide "we really need to go back and take a better look at that!"

    Some will say "Plan your dive, dive the plan" but I find at recreational depths most people's plan is to look for interesting critters etc.
    Esprise Me, edwants2dive and Steve_C like this.
  5. Viper12161

    Viper12161 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Rhode Island
    Currently using a Suunto Companion console mounted.
  6. kelemvor

    kelemvor Big Fleshy Monster ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Largo, FL USA
    I used a galileo luna for about 4 years. It's a nice computer, and will get the job done. That said, it's a bit outdated and there are better options out there.

    The good : Readable display of a good size. Does what most recreational divers will want. Very easy to use and navigate. It works with subsurface (free third party open source dive software). Price. Since it's an older model, you can get used ones VERY cheap (compared to modern competitors).

    The bad: Display is only good for day dives. If you do anything in low vis or at night, it kind of stinks. The backlight is poor and you'll need to shine your light on it, which means reading your computer becomes a 2 hand operation. The compass really sucks, don't bother trying to use it. The infrared PC interface is outdated. it's hard to get irda working on a modern computer. Laptops don't usually ship with built in irda anymore so you'll have to try and get the scubapro usb dongle working. Transmitter is pathetic on battery life. I can't overstate how bad it is. I was only getting about 15 dives on a fresh transmitter battery until I switched battery type to something other than what scubapro ships. There's a detailed post on this forum about the battery swap.

    I switched to a shearwater for about a year, this year I replaced the shearwater with a Ratio ix3m. Both of these computers have displays that are FAR better than the scubapro. They're both color, and very bright. They both have compasses that actually work. The shearwater only supports 2 transmitters (which was part of my upgrade decision). The ratio has gps and a host of other features.

    Shearwater: Perdix AI - Shearwater Research
    Ratio: Ratio Dive Computers - Choose a model

    If you do go with the galileo luna, look for used ones. They show up all the time for well under $500 with the transmitter.

    Bottom line, unless you get into serious technical diving any computer that you know how to operate will work perfectly. Nobody makes dive computers that don't support nitrox, so don't bother considering that a criteria.

    A note about air integration: I've used it for years. Except for technical diving, I use it exclusively to monitor my gas pressure. It works very well in both galileo, shearwater, and ratio. Other brands are probably great, too. Combine hoseless AI with an air2 and you can have a regulator with only two hoses!
  7. Viper12161

    Viper12161 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Rhode Island
    Awesome input so far from everyone!!! Thanks!!! In regards to a used computer....is that an ok thing to get used?
  8. purbeast

    purbeast Barracuda

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Rockville, MD
    I would say get a new (to you at least) computer. Nothing has brought me more enjoyment this past year as far as purchases go, than purchasing my SCUBA gear, and I'm just a vacation diver.

    When I first started shopping for a computer, I was looking at the low end models - Zoop Novo or a Mare Puck Pro.

    I ended up buying both with the intention of returning one. Mares Puck Pro was $175 and Zoop Novo was $310. I decided to keep the Zoop Novo just because I liked the display better, having more buttons, and I liked the blue color.

    Then I saw the Vyper Novo model for $600, which also includes a compass and AI integration if I wanted that possibly in the future. But the transmitter is $400 so that would be $1000 total for that.

    Then I saw on the forums here someone selling a barely used Vyper Novo with the USB adapter and bungie kit, and we agreed to a price of $375, so I decided to go with that. For $65 more, I got basically the same computer with a compass, and it also came with the USB adapter, bungie strap kit, and the computer comes with the rubber boot by default. And he also included a little Suunto puch case for it too. So I returned the Vyper Novo after purchasing this.

    Then I started to see some Vyper Novo + transmitters pop up on these forums for $400 - $450. Which made me think maybe I could find a transmitter for cheap now too.

    Then about a month ago I found a transmitter on there and it was a refurb sent back from Suunto after fixing the recall issue, and hadn't been used since. I ended up paying $88 shipped for it.

    So while I initially thought I would have to spend $1k for an AI computer, I ended up spending $465 for it after finding it in good condition on the used market. So don't think you HAVE to spend tons of money for AI on a computer.
  9. rddvet

    rddvet DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Florida
    I’m selling a shearwater predator that I haven’t posted yet for $300. Good price, better screen than the new shearwaters, and will last years and scale able to whatever diving you end up doing
  10. edwants2dive

    edwants2dive Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Charlotte county FL
    To add to the above post.
    Suddenly one day you may decide you want to dive somewhere not local or take a dive trip. :) Having your own computer will be so much better than renting one for many reasons. Just get an Idea of what features you want and research from there. Oh and those of us who live in colder climates tend to like to take dive trips during those times not sure you will this winter but I'd bet you will eventually when the lure of the underwater world takes hold (and it's butt cold outside).

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