January 17, 2005
Dive computer reviews

I'm looking for some good scuba dive computer reviews/advice. I'm planning to try out the Suunto Gekko, possibly some of the other computers in the Suunto range over the next month if the opportunities arise. I'm also open for alternative suggestions, although among the different models available that I have seen, I quite favour the wristwatch-shaped Suuntos over the bulkier versions some other competitors have out.

What I'll look for when choosing a dive computer:

  • Reliability: well, you can't beat reliability as a criteria for a gadget that may potentially save your life in certain situations
  • Price: I've seen computers from 150 punds to almost a thousand; I'd prefer a reasonable priced computer as I'm not a professional, full time diver, just a hobbyist needing to keep tabs of my underwater activity timings, depths etc
  • Ability to connect to a PC to upload dive data: fancy, but not the most important selection criteria
  • Alerts: bottom time, ascent speed audible alerts; ideally also auto-backlighting when alerting
  • ... what else should I be looking for?
I'll update this entry as I progress with my reviews; thanks for contributing your comments!



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Comments

There is some introductory reading available for new divers here:
http://www.newdiver.com/gear/divecomputers.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dive_computer

And here is a raving review of the Aeris AI dive computer:
http://www.northwestdiver.com/gear/20030729.php

Posted by: A on January 19, 2005 04:38 PM

well, I stumbled on your weblog while Googling for the solution to get the mt-moblog.pl script working properly on my server... anyway, noticed that you're checking out Suunto dive computers and hope my comment is not too late.

I've been using Suunto Stinger for a year now and I really recommend it. It's comfortable to wear and feel just like a normal watch (depending on the size of your hands) and it's really reliable.

The other model that's equivalent of Stinger but lesser costs is the Mosquito model - the same computing engine, but with rubber/non-steel casing and without Free Diving/Gauge mode.

The advantage of Mosquito over Stinger (I found that out after I bought Stinger) is that you can change the battery yourself without having to send to Suunto authorised shops.

Posted by: Yusmar on January 25, 2005 12:33 AM

Thanks for your comment Yusmar! I haven't bouhgt a dive computer yet, so your advice is most helpful. I'm trying to get my hands on a Suunto Gekko for my next dives to see if I like it - it's also quite low cost compared to the Stinger, but doesn't have a backlist screen nro computer interface.

Posted by: Anders on January 25, 2005 12:30 PM

Also have a look in Dive Rite (Nitek plus) before you buy.

I use it for about 2 years and i am really satisfied

Posted by: billy on February 25, 2005 04:15 PM

I've been using a Suunto Vytec for 2 years and love it! I love the hoseless air integration - one less stiff hose to snag stuff on. I haven't used the gas switching - one of these days I'll start diving geezer gas! Great dive download software. Not too huge, but not too small - I can push the buttons in the mitts I need to wear in the cold fresh Canadian water I dive in.
The Gekko is a 'puter that I would definately try, is cost is the bigest concern. I'd trust any Suunto product, frankly. I had an Alladin Air-X previous to this - it was stolen - and I liked it, but the Suunto is far better in my opinion.

Posted by: Greg on March 1, 2005 09:47 PM

Suunto mosquito does have free diving mode. In fact its got every feature the stinger does, just not in the metal casing.

I've been looking for a computer myself, the mosquito seems to be definately the best choice, and all the reviews I've read have been very positive - it does everything I need for recreational diving and it also supports compression / nitrox diving if you want to go that far.

The quotes I've got in singapore flog the prices from the web too - around $280 USD cash price here...

Posted by: ben on June 10, 2005 04:09 AM

I am just back from a few days diving in Koh Tao (Thailand). Several of the DMs there have mosquitos and have had problems with the battery contacts corroding. Hence they were of the opinion that the mosquito had good fucntionality but was unreliable.

I am also looking for a computer with almost identical needs as you.

Posted by: Kenneth Sullivan on July 16, 2005 12:29 PM
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Anders Jacobsen's blog: How does a dive computer work? (January 25, 2005 08:50 PM)
"A dive computer is an electronic device used by a scuba diver to measure the dive profile (depth, bottom time etc) and to display information needed for a safe dive, avoiding decompression sickness [...]"
Anders Jacobsen's blog: How safe are scuba dive computers? (February 2, 2005 05:46 PM)
"I came across this interesting-looking abstract where someone has done a piece of research I wouldn't have minded testing myself as a practical science project: 'Performance of dive computers exposed to profiles with known human subject results' [...]"

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