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Dive Computer Advice

Discussion in 'Diving Into New Gear' started by SamDM, Jun 29, 2020.

  1. SamDM

    SamDM Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Dallas
    5
    1
    3
    I am new to diving and looking for a dive computer that is reliable and one that I won't outgrow. I plan to do nitrox but no diving deeper than 100ft. Wrist mount or console is OK with me. Any suggestions or personal experience?
     
    markmud likes this.
  2. runsongas

    runsongas Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: California - Bay Area
    4,013
    1,741
    113
    do you want a color screen and willing to pay more for it? are you comfortable with used?

    if yes to both and 400 to 500 is in your budget, you can try to find a used shearwater

    if yes to color screen, but no to used, take a look at the atmos mission at piranha dive

    if no to both, keep it simple with a mares puck
     
    descend, markmud and KWS like this.
  3. KWS

    KWS ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: SE TEXAS
    4,823
    1,217
    113
    shearwater is also color. menu is easy to learn and is intuitive. I see one detering thing to shearwater and that is at some point they stop making updates for them. that is not to say that other brands keep making firmware updates. all computers have a designated life.

    If the OP would consider it ,,,, get a predator at a reasonable price. it is an outdated one per se because they no longer up date them. That is not a concern because many brands have no updating. if the computer is 10 yrs old the firmware was up to date the day it was made. Its down sides are it takes a ls450 battery (the size of a AA) but is a 4.5vdc battery. It has a light sensitive screen so just keep it covered and not laying in the sun screen up It will last for years and there are many looking to sell their preditors to move up to a perdix or other computer.


    look at this link there are perdix and petrals for the 500 range in price used.

    shearwater computer | eBay
     
    markmud likes this.
  4. SamDM

    SamDM Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Dallas
    5
    1
    3
    I will take a look at the shearwater. I like the idea of replaceable battery and color screen. Thank you for recommendations.
     
  5. Streydog

    Streydog Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: DFW, TX
    900
    562
    93
    Take a look at the Suunto Vyper Novo Lite. They are selling for $300 which I think is a steal for what you get: AI capable, compass, multi gas. It does not come with a download cable but there is a better aftermarket cable available, at least there used to be.

    No doubt that Shearwater is a better computer but it won't make you a better diver.
     
    BlueTrin and SamDM like this.
  6. Esprise Me

    Esprise Me Kelp forest dweller ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Los Angeles, CA
    739
    850
    93
    I don't know of any computers being manufactured today that can't handle Nitrox or aren't considered reliable. You say you won't go below 100 feet, but might you be interested in someday doing longer dives that exceed the no-decompression limits? If not, again, any computer can handle that. If so, you may outgrow a computer designed for recreational diving, and I'd echo the advice to look at used Shearwater computers. They're not the only computers that can handle tech dives, but they're quite well-regarded.

    Outgrowing your first computer isn't the worst thing, though. You can sell it, or keep it as a backup, when you're ready to upgrade. Different people have different--and sometimes very strong--opinions on what they like in a dive computer, and you might be better off figuring out your likes and dislikes on something that only set you back $100-200 instead of $500-1,000.
     
  7. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    12,400
    8,333
    113
    I would pay some attention to the decompression algorithm. Some are liberal, some are conservative, some are in the middle. Choose one that fits you and your diving, now, and in the future
     
    Dark Wolf and KWS like this.
  8. Dubious

    Dubious ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Wisconsin
    289
    166
    43
    I like the simplicity of my aqualung i300c. I also liked the price. It shows me everything I need to know. My wife has an oceanic OCi which is a watch style air integrated watch that retailed new for $699 (we got it used for much cheaper). While the OCi has many more options and capabilities, my wife actually prefers the simplicity of the i300c. Based on your initial post, it doesn't really seem you would need something like the shearwater. Then again, when I started diving last year, I had no clue what direction I would go as a diver.
     
  9. Belzelbub

    Belzelbub Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Largo, Florida
    361
    156
    43
    I love my Shearwater, but honestly it's overkill for a new diver. With 0-24 dives in your profile, there is no telling what your diving future holds.

    Without a doubt you can't go wrong with any of the Shearwaters. They are easy to use, and you will not outgrow them. They are usually pretty expensive, though. They also tend to hold their value, so if the price doesn't scare you, by all means pick one up. If you later find that diving is not for you, you can probably sell it for close to what you paid.

    Honestly, for a new diver, I can't think of a dive computer that won't serve the user well. It generally comes down to the algorithm, user interface, and features.

    There are lots of algorithms out there. Many are proprietary, so it's not easy to find out how it is going to react. Most of the Tech capable/oriented computers are running Buhlmann. This is good because it's well understood, and open. Also usually offers user customizable safety settings. But, I don't think you can really go wrong with any of the algorithms for a new diver. Their role is to inform the diver about tissue loading, NDLs, ascent rate, etc. and to safely get a diver to the surface in the event that they miss all the warnings and exceed a limit.

    User interface is somewhat open to what the user is comfortable with. But there does seem to be one constant. Button count is a pretty good indicator. One button computers are probably the hardest. They tend to have a complicated short press/long press interface. Two or more is better. My old computer had 3, so I could go back in menus. My SW Perdix only has two, but it's easier to navigate overall. Just can't go backward, so if you skip by a setting, you've got to keep going forward to get back to it.

    Features are where it gets costly. Air integration adds cost. Especially wireless AI. Logging and computer connectivity are a couple of things I wish I had long ago, as once I had a computer with this capability, I became a lot more dilligent about logging dives. Bluetooth connectivity is best here as you can probably log at the dive site using a smart phone, and there is no proprietary (expensive) cable to get lost.

    If I were just getting started diving today, I'd probably pick up the Deep 6 Excursion. It's relatively inexpensive, runs Buhlmann with an added safety factor, Bluetooth connectivity, and rechargeable battery.
     
    Esprise Me likes this.
  10. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    12,400
    8,333
    113
    Esprise Me likes this.

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