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Torn Between Two Computers

Discussion in 'Diving Into New Gear' started by Patrick Star, Apr 3, 2021.

  1. Patrick Star

    Patrick Star Registered

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: New Hampshire
    Hello Divers,

    After a long hiatus, I am getting back into diving. The inspiration is a trip to Roatan a year from now, but I plan to get started practicing and diving here in my local New England as soon as I acquire a thick enough wetsuit to get the party started.

    From reading here and elsewhere, it appears desirable to have you own computer, both to keep track of all your dives and because if it is yours and not rented, your comfort level with it will only grow. As a beginner, I know I don't need all the bells and whistles, so i have been focusing on entry level models. There are two that are at just about the same price that I am stuck on.

    Everyone on our Forum raves about the Shearwater Peregrine, and it looks wonderful and solid. From what I have read, a new diver could not go wrong getting this computer.

    At about the same price point, one could also acquire a Suunto Vyper. As I understand it, the Vyper is good unit and adds a few things the Peregrine does not have, like a compass and the ability to add air integration at a later point, which I would enjoy so that I could monitor my air use progress. Given the legendary New England visibility, a compass seems like it would come in handy too.

    A good thing to know about me is that I am not much of an upgrader. I tend to do my research, spend a bit more than bargain basement, and keep things for a long time. If I chose the Peregrine, I will not be upgrading it soon. The Vyper strikes me as something I can grow into, but perhaps at the cost of some quality and the legendary Shearwater customer support.

    Any advice and/or nudges are greatly appreciated. Thank you.
  2. gqllc007

    gqllc007 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Albany NY
    If finances are a non issue then the Shearwater Perdix AI does it all...Otherwise the Peregrine is a solid choice with customer service second to none that is superb.....
    mheaster, Addison Snyder and JimBlay like this.
  3. rongoodman

    rongoodman ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Albany, NY
    Stay away from Sunnto or anything else running a proprietary algorithm or that will lock you out if it gets in a snit. Shearwater or Deep 6 both have less expensive models running Buhlmann GF. I'm a big fan of Shearwater's support.
  4. Curious_George

    Curious_George Green water guy ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Arkansas
    Welcome to scuba board.

    The viper (and other Suunto wrist computers) are readily available used at half the price of the peregrine. Shearwater makes nice gear, but a waste of money to get a Perdix if you are going to be the occasional diver.

    Amazes me sometimes the way people suggest gear with no clue what a persons interests or plans are.

    What’s your budget? Are you diving just a few times a year, or planning to get into "tech"? Do you want fancy color screen, or ok with something basic that will keep you safe? Air integrated is only good if you also own your own regulators of course.

    Worries about Suunto "locking you out" are BS. If that happens, you have bigger problems than your computer.
  5. gqllc007

    gqllc007 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Albany NY
    He states he "want's to grow into it". So if he wants air integrated and likes the Peregrine then the Perdix AI makes complete sense
  6. Centrals

    Centrals Barangay Pasaway

    # of Dives:
    Location: Hong Kong
    Read the difference between Buhlmann and RGBM first.
    After that you might not be interested on any DC using RGBM.
    Do you need to spend so much money on a DC? What is the alternative?
    Even the cheapest DC provide ALL the necessary information to execute a safe dive. NO exception.
    Dive time lapsed, max depth reached, present depth, remaining NDL left, nitrox compatible, user replaceable battery, simple lock book. What else do you need?
    Big screen, multi-colour, integrated compass, air-integrated, temperature, Date and Time of the day, Blue Tooth etc etc?
  7. KenGordon

    KenGordon Rebreather Pilot

    The Vyper is fine but the Peregrine has a MUCH nicer screen. A proper compass can be worn separately if required. I dive in the U.K. and I am sure we can match dreadful vis stories.

    I have done a lot of dives with booth Shearwater Buhlmann computers and Suunto RGBM computers. The differences is in how long they want you to leave between dives. With a 2 hour SI they will be very similar in NDL times. When doing more serious dives with up to half an hour of deco they pretty similar. SB is home to a lot of RGBM haters. Oddly the people who have implemented Buhlmann are not them. (Actually it is not odd).

    Air integration is nice to have as it makes understanding gas use of the dive easy. Is it worth the less nice screen (plus $300 for a transmitter)? Maybe not.

    As recommended above, you could get a Perdix with AI for a bit more than double the cost of either of these computers. I think the Peregrine is a bargain in comparison. If you decide to get into diving in a big way you will end up spending a lot more and the odd $1k on a fancier computer will seem sensible. Meanwhile save the money and use it to go diving.

    I often use “you could buy a drysuit for that” when illustrating the opportunity cost of a fancy computer. I suggest ignoring advice to spend more on a computer, not buying a thick wetsuit and using the money saved to buy a drysuit.
    Searcaigh and chillyinCanada like this.
  8. Jonn

    Jonn Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Alberta
    The digital compasses built into computers have a poor reputation. I can confirm the one in my Subgear XP-Air is totally worthless! If you step up to a Perdix you're probably safe, Shearwater won't rip you off, but you pay for that quality. Not saying the Suunto Vyper or its compass is no good, I've never used one and Suunto is a compasses company if any is, but if you're buying if for that feature make sure you see it demonstrated in person first.
  9. Centrals

    Centrals Barangay Pasaway

    # of Dives:
    Location: Hong Kong
    The safety factors on RGBM algorithm have to be followed diligently. Otherwise you will find the NDL diminishes rather quickly.
    I am still using the DC bought in 1997.

    BLACKCRUSADER Contributor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Taiwan
    I had a Suunto Vyper but Suunto was knowing about their faulty pressure sensors and selling faulty dive computers. They refused to repair or replace mine but did in the USA when Suunto lost a class action lawsuit. Sunnto also use a software that other companies do not. Go with the Shearwater as it has better software. The Suunto even with backlit screen was difficult to use on night dives whereas the Shearwater is clear in all conditions night day or low vis.

    I bought a Shearwater Perdix and cannot be happier and the Peregrine would be a great DC for you. I do not wear a watch and wanted the larger screen the Perdix. I am a recreational diver and yes those bells and whistles are good to have as you can advance to other courses in your diving lifetime.

    25m PO2.jpg
    JimBlay likes this.

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