View Full Version : New computer for AOW diver working to DMT & Nitrox

05-16-2009, 16:07
I am looking to buy my first dive computer. I have been diving for about a year and am an advanced open water diver. I am hoping to work towards becoming a divemaster in the next 2-3 months. I am also interested in getting my Nitrox qualification, so I'd prefer a computer that can deal with this.

I am looking for something wrist mounted that has a user replacable battery, costing less than $300-400

I have looked around and like:
Suunto D4
Suunto Vyper
Oceanic Geo

People seem to like Suuntos a lot. I have not read anything about the Geo, so I'd particularly appreciate if anyone can compare it to the Suunto's. If any wisdom to impart concerning Vyper vs Vyper 2 and Vyper Air I would be grateful. Is it all that important to have an air integrated computer? I feel it is something a little gadgety that encourages you to spend a few 100 bucks more.

Does anyone have any comments or suggestions? Thank you!

fire diver
05-16-2009, 16:11
Suunto's have a VERY conservative model, which may or may not limit you time in the water compared with other computers.

Personally I would recommend either of the Zeagle computers. The N2ition or N2ition 3 are both good, wrist mountable computers that won't cost an arm and a leg. ScubaToys also sells the wrist mount for these.

05-16-2009, 19:07
Take a look at the Zeagle N2ition 2, it has all of the features you are looking for and at 30% off comes in under budget ($279). I really like mine and tend to use it more than my Wisdom 2.

05-16-2009, 21:05
While I use Uwatec computers, I also own Suuntos (D4 and Moskito). The difference between the two brands is the decompression modeling. The Suuntos are conservative on bottom time, but not so much on ascent rate. The Uwatecs are more liberal on bottom time but scream bloody murder if you ascend faster than the model allows. To my mind and body, slow ascents are critical, so I prefer my three Uwatecs, which show by way of a percentage how close to the maximum ascent rate I'm getting.

Air-integration is not just a gadget. If your AOW is PADI, you should have done a depth gauge comparison during the deep dive to demonstrate that different analog gauges show differing values. This is true of SPGs as well as depth gauges. The digital air-integrated comps are more precise. Two of my computers are air-integrated, and these are the ones I normally use--I have the transmitters installed on my reg sets. If the idea of an air-integrated model piques your interest, keep in mind that for an air-integrated wrist-mount computer (any brand), you need an extra high-pressure port on the first stage for the transmitter. Make sure your reg set has one available before you buy.

Sorry I can't help with the Oceanic comp in any way other than to remind you to think about where you want to work when you become a DM. In my experience here in Asia, Oceanics are really hard to get serviced (I've had to try to get emergency repairs for clients). A brand with a bigger market share, like Suunto (or Uwatec) is a lot easier to get service for. I use the old Suunto Moskito as a rental comp, and even though it's supposed to be consumer-friendly for battery changes, I find that often this leads to flooding because of old/unreplaced/damaged o-ring seals at the time of the battery change, so even for that I take my rentals to the tech for battery changes and complete pressure testing after the battery change. After-purchase service is an important consideration, so check that there is available technical support where you plan to be diving before you invest.

05-16-2009, 21:46
My first computer was an Oceanic VEO 250, no complaints except that there's no DSS bungee mount made for it. Since then I fell in with a bad crowd and ended up with a Liquivision X1--prettiest display you've ever seen, and it runs V-Planner just like my Mac G5 at home.

05-17-2009, 07:47
Welcome to the ScubaToys forums.

If you haven't already, you might do a ST search on both the Oceanic Geo and Aeris Manta. I started with an Aeris Manta (same as Oceanic Geo), and can recommend it as a basic non-air integrated wrist computer. Works well, easy to read, supports Nitrox. As I recall, tested well in Scubalabs tests.

I've since added an air-integrated Sherwood Wisdom, which I really like. I use it as my primary computer, and wear the Manta for backup. If I were doing it again, I'd make my first computer buy an air-integrated one, as the additional consumption information is very useful.

Heavy D
05-17-2009, 10:01
I also recommend Uwatec computers, but they can get a bit pricy. If you are looking for something on the lower end but still a very good computer, then I would recommend any of the Oceanic computers.

05-17-2009, 15:07
If you're going to be a working DM, I think you'll be happiest with Suunto.

If you're going to be diving a lot for YOU, and therefore want to maximize your bottom time, I'd look at Oceanic, which is FAR more liberal and will allow the most bottom time. Bear in mind Quero's comments about servicing. In the US it doesn't matter, but Oceanic does not have the same presence outside the US as Suunto or Uwatec.

I dive Uwatec as well. But for working DM's, I know they like the Suunto because they're extra conservative and get them out of the water faster. The Gekko is a great little computer that covered everything you'll need, and is not overly expensive.

Air integrated is a nice toy to have, but it's not essential and it costs a LOT more. Better to put that extra money into diving, at this point. Consider computers, perhaps, that can be upgraded to AI down the road, rather than needing one up front. Wireless AI computers are far less reliable than a good, simple SPG. So best to have a backup SPG just in case. And at that point... why bother with the expense of AI in the first place? It's convenient... but by no means necessary.

As for your pace, personally, I'd slow the heck down. I don't have much respect for a DM who has only been diving for under a year, total. Get yourself rescue certified (you'll need to get past 25 dives first), and then spend a year diving your heart out. Rack up 100 dives, at least, before you consider going for a professional level of certification. PADI will let you rocket up the levels, but there are many things that only experience can teach you.

05-17-2009, 15:29
I'm a new diver and my husband got me an Oceanic Veo for Christmas. Just recently returned from diving on vacation using it for the 1st time and love it. It is easy to use and read. Mine is wrist mounted and I like the idea that I still have all my normal guages incase something happens to my computer. It is also easy to change the battery yourself.

05-19-2009, 01:47
Thank you for all your advice. I finally went with the Suunto Vyper. It seemed to be the most popular option as well as the one that gave most value for its price. Leisurepro.com sold it to me for $242 before shipping - they list it at around $300, but I shopped around and asked for a price match, hence the lower price. Just a tip for anyone looking at this model.

Just a quick note to training and so on. I completely agree with what has been said concerning the need for experience before becoming a divemaster. However, this experience can definately be gained in the course of a year. I am graduating college and hope to work full time for my local dive shop over the next months before starting long term work. I am hoping to hit the water pretty much every day now that I am done with hitting the books. If this that in a couple of months my diving instructor thinks I am good to go, then I'll be thrilled; if not, then I just intend to keep working at it until I am good to go.

05-19-2009, 14:13
I know this is too late, but the Mares M2 would have been a very good alternative. Cheaper, same functions (mostly), and similar algorythm. Oh, you could have bought it at scubatoys...:smiley36:

But I'm sure the Suunto will serve you well! Good luck on your DM course! I had a ball doing mine, even though it was mainly for the experience and knowledge...:smiley20: