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Mares Icon HD Net Ready Reviews and Dive Experiences

Discussion in 'Mares... Just add Water!' started by Naboodiver, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. Cateri55

    Cateri55 Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: New York
    Hi. Just returned from my local dive shop here in NY. Attempted pairing here, under pressure as done in Cabo. still no luck, the units will not link. Sending back to Dealer for refund and exchange.
  2. Naboodiver

    Naboodiver Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Maryville, Tennessee
    Did you try updating to the 3.07 Firmware? I am not sure it will make a difference but try it.
  3. zoranb

    zoranb Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Zagreb, Croatia
    Ahh… The Mares transmitter story again. I feel a bit happy that I no longer remember all the details, and the things I went through to get it to work, but I'll try and remember:

    1st Mares Icon was supposed to have air integration at release, but development of the transmitter delayed as there were some licensing issues involved for the technology used. This technology allowed the transmitter to be paired either under pressure larger than 10bar or without pressure. This meant the transmitter would listen for a signal now and then to try to pair with the Icon. This was described in the first version of the AI. Many people bought the Icon counting on the Air Integration (AI), but sadly it never came. One more thing planned/designed was for the transmitter to have a wake-up button, as the continuous "listening" was draining the transmitter battery. This was scrapped early on, but the remains of the button can be seen in all the transmitters, as the same mould is used.

    As a PR nightmare, Mares decided to scrap the technology they were planning on using in the original Icon and go with a different technology altogether. This was a problem as the old Icon lacked the needed hardware to connect to the new transmitter, so Mares bit the bullet and offered all its original customers to upgrade to the new Icon Net Ready free of charge. You had to purchase the transmitter separately. In fact, it was a good deal. After diving for a year with my Icon, I got a new one free of charge, and I purchased the transmitter.

    And that's when the fun started.

    The new transmitter tried to use the same pairing process (pressurized/non-pressurized), but as the new technology used was different there were problems from the start. On top of that the new technology was draining the transmitter battery as it was "listening" for a pairing signal all the time. There were other issues with the software running the transmitter, and combined with a few glitches in the Icon's firmware, generated a mess!

    These first gen transmitters can be identified as having no lettering/markings on the bottom ring of the transmitter.

    The 3.06 was planned to solve the issues with the transmitter, but it only made things worse. Unlike the Icon, it was not possible for users to upgrade the firmware of the transmitter, so Mares offered an exchange for all the old transmitters, providing you with new transmitters with an upgraded firmware. These transmitters can be recognized by having the text on the bottom ring.

    The difference from the old firmware was that the non-pressurized pairing was scrapped to conserve battery life. This firmware, however did not work as expected with the Icon's firmware intended for the old transmitters, so again there were problems. The only way to "reset" the transmitter was to take the battery out, and put it back in, necessitating opening the transmitter. Not a great solution when getting ready for a dive. I've gotten a lot of laughs from my buddies, me with an open transmitter attached on the 1st stage in one hand, and the Icon in the other trying to pair and removing and inserting battery at the same time, while breathing on the regulator.

    Finally the new 3.07 with the new transmitter worked as it should.

    My story
    After taking my Icon to be replaced by the Icon Net Ready,
    After taking my Icon Net Ready for repair (it reset itself mid dive, and after that a couple of times during a single dive)
    After taking my old transmitter for repair (battery ran out)
    After taking my old transmitter for exchange for the new transmitter,
    After taking my new transmitter for repair as it would not pair and having it replaced (The shop manager tried 5 transmitters off the shelf, and only 1 paired, and that after a 5th attempt)
    After upgrading Icon to 3.07, the thing finally worked as it should.

    Bear in mind that the market is full of the following
    Icon with fw 2.00
    Icon with fw 2.11
    Icon Net Ready fw 3.04
    Icon Net Ready fw 3.06 (no longer available for download)
    Icon Net Ready fw 3.07
    1st gen transmitters intended for the original Icon (test, not publically available)
    2nd gen transmitters intended for the Icon Net Ready
    3rd gen transmitters intended for the Icon Net Ready (2nd gen with new firmware)

    When you look at all this, problems are bound to happen, as most people don't know, or need to know about all this.

    If you have the 3.06, UPGRADE IMMIDIATELY!
    If you have the 3.07 and a new 3rd gen transmitter, pressurize the transmitter and pair with the icon. If it won't pair immediately, try the following during the pairing process:
    - Breathe on the regulator (pressure change)
    - Simulate breathing by pressing the free flow on the regulator
    - Keep the transmitter 10-15 cm from the Icon ("The closer the better" doesn't apply here)

    If you have a 1st or 2nd gen transmitter ask your Mares dealer about the possibility to upgrade to 3rd gen.

    And yet, I still like the Icon and wouldn't trade it.

    All of the info here is my version of the Mares Icon story based on my experience and observation. It is not, and should not be considered and official version of the history of the Icon.
  4. alphaev7

    alphaev7 Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Singapore
    i lose my Icon HD Air's USB interface adapter. Anyone knows where i can get a replacement?
  5. zoranb

    zoranb Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Zagreb, Croatia
  6. WetAndHappy

    WetAndHappy Solo Diver


    Is there a way to distinguish a 2nd generation transmitter from a 3rd generation transmitter? Can I check my transmitter firmware from the Icon? Can the firmware on the transmitter be upgraded by me at home as with the computer, or is it a send-for-service situation?


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