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fanatique
03-29-2009, 09:16
Hi guys, how important is it to own a computer with which you can download all your divelogs to your PC? I realise that many computers that are a couple of years old still use ancient connectivity interfaces like IR and serial port or one of them other ancient ports that I no longer have.

On top of that, the proprietary hardware and software required means an additional $100 or so down the chute. I know that dive algorithms do not change and computers are made to last, but still. At least usb, right?

I'm thinking of getting a Mares M2 or an Aeris XR1, but have yet to decide on one. Anybody with thoughts about one against the other? Still a newbie diver here.

Thanks in advance!

nrembis
03-29-2009, 09:44
Hi guys, how important is it to own a computer with which you can download all your divelogs to your PC? I realise that many computers that are a couple of years old still use ancient connectivity interfaces like IR and serial port or one of them other ancient ports that I no longer have.

On top of that, the proprietary hardware and software required means an additional $100 or so down the chute. I know that dive algorithms do not change and computers are made to last, but still. At least usb, right?

I'm thinking of getting a Mares M2 or an Aeris XR1, but have yet to decide on one. Anybody with thoughts about one against the other? Still a newbie diver here.

Thanks in advance!


Downloading your dive profiles to a pc are nice but not really necessary, unless you buy an AI I wouldnt worry about pc downloads at all, as you wouldnt be able to compare your sac rate with.

And dive algorithms do change and vary widely from manufacture to manufacture

gNats
03-29-2009, 09:59
Agree with Nrembis.

If you are not using an AI computer, the download piece is not all that important.

This is really a personal preference dependent on your geeky-ness.

I am a complete geek. Not only do I download my dive computer, but I also write in my log book (still).

I know that I will at some point have 2 AI computers. I currently use a hosed computer, but I have a transmitter for wireless and will be buying the wireless computer at some point. Downloading my individual dive computers into my laptop will give me a big picture review of all my dives.

I also write stuff into my log book. High level stats of the dive and also my comments on what I saw, enjoyed, problems, ect. I didn't know why until this month. I had my laptop stolen. EEEK. Without my paper log book, all my notes and musings would be gone. Sure, I would have the original dive logs off the dive computer still. But, the personal information would be lost. That's the best part.

All dive software is, I believe, proprietary depending on the computer manufacturer.

here is another thought - I don't know much about it, saw the vendor at a show in Chicago and I am just poking around with what they offer.

www.diversonly.com (http://www.diversonly.com) offers a web log book to keep track of your dives. I don't know if you can download/upload directly or if it is all keystroking. I believe membership is $12 a year for this service. The idea is you will be able to access your dive log, through any PC at any Resort/Dive Shop, and review your dive logs and certfications. Don't quote me, I haven't joined, still poking around in my spare time, when I am not posting here. :smiley2:

After my latptop was stolen, I started thinking about using more web-enabled services and remembered their service. Your question started me back down the road of to download or not. I'll send the designer/owner an email and see if he is interested in posting in this thread, without making it too much of an infomercial.

Sansho
03-29-2009, 10:03
Starting out, I wouldn't get too focused about downloading dives to a computer. You might want to get a dive computer with that capability, then you can decide later if that becomes important to you.

You might also look at the Oceanic Geo computer Oceanic Geo Nitrox Dive Computer reviews and discounts, Oceanic (http://www.scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?product_id=Oceanic_Blue_Geo) . I've used this one and can recommend it.

Defman
03-29-2009, 10:25
As someone who doesn't keep a "dive log", I kind of use the ability to download as one. I usually download the data, print it, and stick it in a notebook. However, I don't take the notebook with me on trip to show if someone asked to see my log book.

snagel
03-29-2009, 11:03
Great question....

It looks like you are just starting out and it is a prime time to make this decision. I still use the old fashion dive log book. It works for me and I'm kinda old fashioned that way. I've lost way too many things due to "computer technology". Recently, I puchased a new AI computer that has capability of downloading onto the computer. I tried it and my thoughts were - 1) Sometimes it's hard for me to keep up on my dive log, now I have to download stuff and 2) I wish I had the records off the computer of all the dives I've done up to this point.

I have never been asked to present my log book to anybody and really know only one dive site that requires this (haven't been there yet - Bonne Terre Mine and really not a requirement, but if you get your book signed you can move onto other tours in the future) I'm old fashioned and like to make all kinds of notes in my book for future reference. If the software allows this, it would be something I might consider.

You also bring up another good point, what happens as technology advances and current technology becomes obsolete. I've got many instruments at work that in the '90's where interfaced with computers, but no longer can be because they don't have the proper interfacing software or hookups.

Just some thoughts and again good question for somebody starting out.

S. Nagel

Skred
03-29-2009, 11:42
All dive software is, I believe, proprietary depending on the computer manufacturer.

Actually, there is software that is not proprietary and supports quite a wide range of computers. Our resident omnipotent Grand Master Spammer Compudude posted this link in another thread recently.

Take a look:

Diving Log 4.0 - scuba logbook software for diver - dive log, scuba log (http://www.divinglog.de/english/home/index.php?Site=Desktop)

I currently use Suunto Dive Manager but am going to download this and do a comparison.

rawalker
03-29-2009, 18:11
I've always used the download capabilities of my computers and I find the ability to download a great convienience whether or not using a AI computer. That said it is not essential but it is nearly always more detailed and accurate than manual logging with a minimum of fuss.

I also print a hardcopy that I keep in a looseleaf but bring it with me.
I do print dives list pages that are condensed to essential info with 50 divers per page.
I've found this to be all the experience proof that any dive operation might look for.

Oceanic has recently debugged their Oceanlog software so that their line of computers finally have a functional software package.
I have looked at Scubase, Divelog and a few other packages and found they offer me little or nothing beyond what Oceanlog offers and some still require the Manufacturers software to handle the actual downloading.

BubblesMcCoy
03-29-2009, 20:17
I just started using the M2 and I really like it. I haven't used the download function yet, but the software itself has a nice planner/simulator on it. Pretty basic stuff though.

My dive buddy brought his new VEO and we found them to be pretty comparable when diving on air. The M2 will handle nitrox, his model veo would not. But, mostly the differences were minor.

fanatique
03-30-2009, 14:05
Hey thanks guys, lots of helpful input.



And dive algorithms do change and vary widely from manufacture to manufacture

I was referring to the fact that algorithms do not change over time (it's either RGBM, Buhlmann or Haldanean), and other then bug fixes there shouldn't be much changes to diving computer programs either. Doesn't get more complicated than an excel spreadsheet with a UI, from what I can tell? Which was why I was wondering companies haven't switched to more universal standard like USB yet.

With regards to AI dive computers, what are the main benefits to having the AI feature? It computes in real-time how much air I have left at a certain depth correct? Or does it also predict based on consumption thus far an approximate time I have left in the water to resurface with a safe 500-level still in the tank?

My main concern is still budget, because I'm currently still studying but would like to indulge in some diving. My main reason in considering a dive computer is that other than learning Nitrox diving, it seems like using a computer is the best way to increase your water time. And while other equipment do differ between make and model, dive computers are the worst offenders in this respect, and it just doesn't make sense spending a good couple of hours trying to learn how to work a rental computer. And gNats that's a good reminder as to why I should religiously fill up my divelog, thanks.

I would really appreciate any additional input on the Mares M2 and the Aeris X1.

AndyDragon
03-31-2009, 08:53
The biggest benefit to having an AI computer *FOR ME* is that the pressure is shown on my wrist (I have a wireless AI - Oceanic VT3 - awesome computer for my needs). This may not seem like a big deal, but as an instructor, a quick peek while with students is great and then every 2 minutes, the mechanical, obvious look at my SPG as a reminder to them to look at their air pressure. It allows me to keep much closer tabs on my own air.

I am one of the 'must download all dives to stare at the pretty graphs' geeks. LOL, I love to download dive profiles and then have the software (I use DivingLog 4.0) calculate all the essentials like RMV (always mislabeled as SAC), PO2 levels, etc. I like to track this over time to see improvements in consumption, to monitor my O2 usage and so on. I keep a printed copy of the log as a PDF file on a USB thumb drive when I travel. If I need to produce a log book, I toss them the USB drive and they can see the log, but showing them the big black instructor card usually foregoes any need for the log...

MSilvia
03-31-2009, 09:57
Hi guys, how important is it to own a computer with which you can download all your divelogs to your PC?
It's only as important as you feel it is. Personally, I've never used one or missed having it.

thor
03-31-2009, 10:58
The biggest benefit to having an AI computer *FOR ME* is that the pressure is shown on my wrist (I have a wireless AI - Oceanic VT3 - awesome computer for my needs). This may not seem like a big deal, but as an instructor, a quick peek while with students is great and then every 2 minutes, the mechanical, obvious look at my SPG as a reminder to them to look at their air pressure. It allows me to keep much closer tabs on my own air.

I am one of the 'must download all dives to stare at the pretty graphs' geeks. LOL, I love to download dive profiles and then have the software (I use DivingLog 4.0) calculate all the essentials like RMV (always mislabeled as SAC), PO2 levels, etc. I like to track this over time to see improvements in consumption, to monitor my O2 usage and so on. I keep a printed copy of the log as a PDF file on a USB thumb drive when I travel. If I need to produce a log book, I toss them the USB drive and they can see the log, but showing them the big black instructor card usually foregoes any need for the log...



I also like the AI wireless and absolutely love it for similar reasons. It is also nice to be able go back over some older dive, as different areas of my diving become more relevant, or less relevant, as I progress. A computer download will keep track of many details that I may not have written on a paper log.

CompuDude
03-31-2009, 11:40
Hi guys, how important is it to own a computer with which you can download all your divelogs to your PC? I realise that many computers that are a couple of years old still use ancient connectivity interfaces like IR and serial port or one of them other ancient ports that I no longer have.

On top of that, the proprietary hardware and software required means an additional $100 or so down the chute. I know that dive algorithms do not change and computers are made to last, but still. At least usb, right?

I'm thinking of getting a Mares M2 or an Aeris XR1, but have yet to decide on one. Anybody with thoughts about one against the other? Still a newbie diver here.

Thanks in advance!

Ancient connectivity interfaces like IR?

The only company I can think of that uses IR is Uwatec, and frankly, it's incredible that it uses a STANDARD interface that doesn't require a custom $100 cable to connect to your computer... and the software is free. IR may not be in common use these days, but a lot of notebooks still have IR ports, and IR dongles can be had for a whopping $10. That beats any other computer maker out there, in my book. Every other company uses serial to download... some of the newer ones convert the serial to a USB endcable, but the underlying signal is actually pure serial, same as the funky old db9 cables we used to use to connect an external modem back in the day. THAT'S ancient connectivity.

I'm just waiting for someone to put out a computer the downloads via Bluetooth... that would be sweet. :) But meanwhile, IR is as new as it gets... and while not common, certainly not as ancient as the other options out there. And a LOT cheaper and easier to deal with.

bperrybap
04-01-2009, 23:44
I believe the main reasons most Dive computers use serial interfaces is
design simplicity and to preserve battery life.
Serial communications will use substantially less power than a wireless
interface, even IR uses more power than a simple serial interface.


--- bill

fire diver
04-02-2009, 04:40
I love the ability to download my dives off my computer. the software was free and it lets me put in my own notes, location data, and air usage data. Then I can print off all that data along with a graph of my actul depth and times for the dives. I have thrown out my old dive log and gone to just a binder with my printout sheets in it.

BTW, if you think you mid-water hangs are good, just look at it on a computer recorded graph. It was a humbling experience for me!

jball
06-26-2009, 21:17
Fire Diver: I couldn't agree more about the safety stop stats. As a total newbie, you can only imagine how I felt after reviewing the ones from my first several dives. I thought I was as steady as a rock. To say the least, the computer (and now my permanent log history) begged to differ!

As another in the "total geek" category, I do love the digital log approach, however.

jball
06-26-2009, 21:20
Thanks for the Diving Log 4.0 link. I'm downloading it now and will check it out.