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What is the the best (affordable) Dive Computer

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by jw2013, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. KEdiver

    KEdiver Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Lake Michigan
    27
    7
    3
    Why would anyone use rocks and sticks when they have modern technology. Dive tables are going the way of the rotary dial phone. Know the history embrace the future.
     
    scottishscuba and beaverdivers like this.
  2. Centrals

    Centrals Barangay Pasaway

    # of Dives:
    Location: Hong Kong
    6,195
    1,527
    113
    If I am in the market looking for a computer(user replaceable battery and nitrox compatible), Sunnto Zoop, Cressi Leonardo and Mares Puck would be high on the list. I will either add a Uwetac bottom timer as a back up or simply buy two identical computers.
    BTW, I am still using two 16 yrs old Aladin.
     
  3. maat1976

    maat1976 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Singapore
    281
    83
    28
    I got a Zoop for Xmas. I didn't have it for my OW course or my dives right after, but I would have liked it for the record of the dives, AND feeling like I had a bit more control than I did, particularly around the safety stop and the ascent rate. Since having the Zoop for my AOW course, I feel like I am less panicky about being reliant on others. The three minutes doesn't feel like 20 anymore. :)
     
  4. navi_jen

    navi_jen Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Boston
    75
    33
    18
    Jim, for the first time in 3+ years on this board, I beg to differ with you...and I'll tell you why.

    My first buy was a snorkel, fins, and mask. Was debating on which to buy next, the computer or BCD. Of course, an opportunity for a last minute trip to GC arrived, so I went to GC on rental gear. (I was OW certified, maybe 20 dives under my belt). My GC operator wanted everyone to have a computer, so I rented one. (heck, given I always forgot my table times 1/2 thru my dives, I thought a computer was a better idea anyhoo). Challenge was, I wasn't very comfortable reading it (and of course, there are no manuals with rental gear...and I generally learn best when I get my grubby paws on stuff anyways). Could I read max depth, could I read time? Yes. Did I have an inkling about NDL readouts. Sorta. I thought so.

    Half way thru our week long diving extravaganza, we tipped into deco (weren't on Nitrox) and I had no idea what my computer was telling me to do. Of course, now I know it was saying "Hey stupid, you're in deco. Stop here for a while while your body gets rid of this nasty gas it's accumulated". Did I understand what it was saying? Not really, so we extended our time at 15 feet, but wasn't really sure what happened. And wouldn't ya know it, later in the day I ended up visiting GC's very nicely appointed tank for an overnight trip.

    Yes, I was stupid, yes I was diving too aggressively and yes, I should have known my computer better. I freely admit to all of this.

    However, I submit that there are a lot more variances with computers than there are with BCDs. IMHO, it's a heck of a lot easier to get used to a new BCD than get comfortable with a new computer..and I think the computer has a lot more important stuff to get familiar with than a BCD. I mean, how hard is it to find the purge on a BCD? Will fiddling with getting trim with a new BCD put a newbie in a compromised position? Likely not. But most basic (read: rental) BCDs have very similar equipment in very similar positions.

    But not being able to read & understand a rental computer? Is there a lot of important stuff on there? Could not fully understanding all that it's telling you put you into a compromised position? Absafreakinlutely. I am stupid, living proof of this.

    If I had to do it again, I would buy in this order:

    1. Mask, Fins, Snorkel, Computer (I think a Zoop is an excellent first computer. It's easy to read, has nitrox, ability to have different algorithm settings, and it has nitrox. If you outgrow it, it can easily become a secondary or console mount. Only thing that sucks is no backlight, but it does hold a flashlight 'reading' pretty well)
    2. Regs (Have Atomic Zs....love 'em)
    3. BCD (I have a Zeagle Lazer, looooove it)
    4. Wetsuit (next on the list to buy)

    Of course, YMMV. Safe and happy diving everyone!
     
    fjpatrum likes this.
  5. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    10,809
    6,250
    113
    It might be best to know what you want in a dive computer before you buy one. This might include a rudimentary understanding of dive algorithms and implications thereof. I'm quite sure the Zoop is a very good computer but is amongst the most conservative available. You'll probably be using your 1st computer for some time and will only use it for backup if it matches your primary computer
     
  6. Bentley Hamm

    Bentley Hamm Solo Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: Aimlessly wandering about North America
    27
    12
    3
    This is by far the best advise posted on this thread...read it carefully and you won't go wrong following this...BTW, I've met Peter, FWIW, he's a pretty smart guy...

    The only thing I could think to add is, follow this advise to figure out what you want...then look for a used one...this will be the "best affordable" version your looking for. But you may wish to wait a while, because at this point you have no idea what your future requirements may be...
     
  7. navi_jen

    navi_jen Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Boston
    75
    33
    18
    Eh...I think you can learn most of the (what you want) by reading the threads here. I specifically wanted a Suunto because it is conservative. And I didn't want AI (too expensive, too risky IMHO) and I am pretty sure I will never do technical diving (since I hate cold water)...so I didn't need gauge or tri-mix. I think the most important thing is how easy is it for you to read and understand it. The Sunnto displays made 'sense' to me and are large enough/easy enough to read.

    That's my 2 cents....
     
  8. Centrals

    Centrals Barangay Pasaway

    # of Dives:
    Location: Hong Kong
    6,195
    1,527
    113
    Understanding of various diving algorithms would not make it any easier to choose a dive computer. All of them are based on different mathematical models etc. I have yet to come across any algorithm that can guarantee absolute safety in scuba diving.
    What is wrong with a conservative computer?
     
  9. drrich2

    drrich2 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
    7,867
    5,042
    113
    It cuts your bottom time short and, if buddy diving, may cut your buddy's bottom time short, even if he or she has a more liberal computer.

    Whether and to what extent that is a bad thing has been debated in other threads.

    Some computers give you the option to make a conservative setting. Suunto has a rep. for being conservative compared to some competitors, without a particularly liberal setting option compared to them.

    In real world terms; 2 dive buddies, one with a Suunto and one with an Oceanic, are going to do a 2-tank boat dive, both tanks on a deep wreck with a modest surface interval. Assuming both computers are set at their most liberal and the divers have good SAC and will push (but not violate) NDLs, whose computer is most likely to limit dive time?

    I'm guessing the Suunto user.

    Richard.
     
  10. Insta-Gator

    Insta-Gator Blue Whale

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: West Villages, Florida
    21,908
    25,600
    113
    Now that the Pro Plus 3.0 is out, the 2.1 is on sale. Great features, easy to ready, data download. We love ours. This is a great value. (I have no affiliation with Diver Supply)

    Oceanic Pro Plus 2.1 with Compass
     

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