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View Full Version : Wrist Computer: To go AI or not



Tiptopperoo
12-16-2007, 02:44
Hi all, this is my second post on the board! Woohoo.

Looking to get a whole set of gear before I head over to Thailand to do my instructor course. This thread is dealing with the computer! I want a wrist one that can be worn as a watch (ie not too big)

I really like the look of the Mares Nemo Excel (http://www.scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?product_id=MaresNemoExcelDiveComputer) for $524.95

I will be doing all recreational diving for the next few years, does this computer NOT do anything I MAY need it to?
The only thing I can think of is that it is not AI, but then is that really an issue?

So the alternative would be an Oceanic Atom 2.0 (http://www.scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?product_id=Atom2.0Computer) for $649.95 + $310 (transmitter) = $959.95

Its $435.00 more just for the AI? Is it worth it? Surely its more reliable to have a console SPG and compass than worry about the AI?

Also can the atom be worn as a wrist watch like the nemo can, comfortably that is, or is it too big?
Does anyone know if you can set the backlight to always on for night dives on either of these?
Does anyone know if the battery is user replaceable in either of these.

Thanks in advance
Dave

navyhmc
12-16-2007, 07:48
Welcome to Scuba Toys!!!

I am looking at getting my first computer as well. I have setteld on an Oceanic Geo. partly because it's on sale right now and for less then $400 it will do everythign I can see me needing in the foreseeable future:
Nitrox capable w/O2 CNS as well an Nitrogen loading, down loadable w/temp feature.

I borrowed a buddys console Veo 350 and it was okay, but I like a wrist mount better. My buddy wears a Atom 2.0 and it doesn't look that big on his wrist.

mitsuguy
12-16-2007, 15:37
I run a wrist computer and a single SPG for tank pressure... in terms of reliability, its about as good as it gets for a computer type setup, and the wrist mount is extremely handy, especially for watching ascent speed and such...

AI is significantly more expensive, and I may eventually go that route, but I am quite happy with my current setup...

PsychDiver
12-17-2007, 01:07
Buy as much computer as you can afford. AI is the way to go if you can afford it. The convenience and extra features of AI is worth it. And if you buy a little beyond your current needs you will have some growing room without having to buy another computer.

Krafcheck
12-17-2007, 07:30
I have a VT3 with transmitter. I went on a cruise to Cozumel the week before Thanksgiving and dived with rental gear that had a console. Man that was annoying. I never realized how much more convient it was to have everyting on your wrist. It may be because I wasnt used to it but I know now I will always buy a wrist computer with transmitter. I imagine by the time I need a new one that masks with the computer display will be widespread and I will get one of those.

Zenagirl
12-17-2007, 07:38
I like having all my information in one place....hence why I prefer an AI computer.

abcitydiver
12-17-2007, 20:19
the atom 2 is very comfy as a regular watch. Personally, I would spring for the AI. (as obviously I did)

mndiver
12-17-2007, 21:06
Has anyone bought a Geo and regreted not buying the Atom? Any experience (good or bad) on the reliability of the wireless link?

Cambria
12-18-2007, 02:06
I have a VT3 with transmitter. I went on a cruise to Cozumel the week before Thanksgiving and dived with rental gear that had a console. Man that was annoying. I never realized how much more convient it was to have everyting on your wrist. It may be because I wasnt used to it but I know now I will always buy a wrist computer with transmitter. I imagine by the time I need a new one that masks with the computer display will be widespread and I will get one of those.


How do you like the size of the VT3 on your wrist? Everyone talks about the Atom 2, but unless you want to wear the computer around like a watch, I would think the VT3 would be preferable since it is easier to read.

PsychDiver
12-18-2007, 06:38
I have a VT3 and chose it because of the size. I wanted something that offered larger print underwater. I lose to many watches to want one that costs $600+. Linking is not a problem. I have lost the link before and I think it is from holding the comp in close to my body on my stomach while swimming which places by body inbetween my transmitter and the comp. As I move it up to look at it I can see is says link lost. But, while a second or two it relinks and I have the data. I am sure it links faster than it would take me to locate a SPG on a hose and look at it.

MelC
12-18-2007, 13:41
I will chime in on the Mares since you seem to be getting a lot of feedback on the Atom. In general it is a good computer and I haven't had a moments issue with it. I don't mind it not being AI since I don't check my air as regularly as the rest. However, AI seems to be getting more reliable and may be taken into consideration when/if I upgrade. The display on the Mares is pretty reasonable and I love the four button design which are easy to push. However, there is always a little salt in the ointment. Here are the things I have noticed about it that I am not so keen on:
a. It was much larger and heavier than I expected (I ordered the stainless steel version of the Nemo) so, as a woman it is unrealistic that I could wear it as a watch. Consequently I am thinking I should have gone bigger on the face.
b. The watch should be well rinsed because the buttons do start to stick.
c. The safety stop starts at 16ft vs. 18 or 20 for other computers which gives you a lot less of a range for your hang and at a much more precarious buoyancy level.
d. It is more conservative than some of the others and if I were choosing again I might go a little more middle of the road - Scubapro/Uwatec, Dive Rite or Tusa.
e. Completely impossible to see on night dives - the backlight doesn't light up enough of the edges to see the time and doesn't stay on long enough in any event and shining a light (mind you I have a pretty powerful LED) completely obliterates anything on the screen. Basically I did my safety stop with my watch and my pressure gauge which is not a big deal but a bit of a waste since I had a perfectly good computer ticking away.
f. This might be the same for all computers but certainly with the Nemo I have never managed to make an ascent without getting a too fast beep no matter how slowly I go... it doesn't seem to average your speed up but calculates on a foot by foot (or possibly inch by inch!) basis which means that any movement at all upwards seems to register as too fast.

Good luck with your choice.

Mel

ryssyr
12-22-2007, 16:51
I have done approx 10 dives with my VT3 + transmitter(bought early this year). It is a great computer. I like the large dial. its really easy to read and with a full suit and gloves its easy to operate while down.

I also like the AI it has since it affords me with more bottom time than using a dive table or wheel for planning multiple dives. It also has a great PC interface to download graphs of the dives and details so I dont have to track that on paper while on my trips.

teog
12-22-2007, 18:06
I currently have a dive rite nitek thats wrist mounted and realy enjoy it. But Im going to go AI and use the wrist mount as back up.

rye_a
01-05-2008, 20:30
I went with an SPG and an Oceanic Geo. I can have absolute faith in my pressure reading, never worry about losing the wireless link, and with ST selling the Geo for $315 right now, how can you go wrong with an SPG and Geo for $400?

Scoobidoo
01-06-2008, 04:19
e. Completely impossible to see on night dives - the backlight doesn't light up enough of the edges to see the time and doesn't stay on long enough in any event and shining a light (mind you I have a pretty powerful LED) completely obliterates anything on the screen. Basically I did my safety stop with my watch and my pressure gauge which is not a big deal but a bit of a waste since I had a perfectly good computer ticking away.

f. This might be the same for all computers but certainly with the Nemo I have never managed to make an ascent without getting a too fast beep no matter how slowly I go... it doesn't seem to average your speed up but calculates on a foot by foot (or possibly inch by inch!) basis which means that any movement at all upwards seems to register as too fast.
....
Mel
:smilie39: This is too funny!!

Right ok, I have the Atom 2.0 and also an SPG. The transmitter seems to be very reliable, haven't lost a signal so far, and double checking the AI pressure against the SPG, they seem to match closely, so yup the Atom 2.0's AI is reliable.

I have a VERY small wrist (I use the 1st or 2nd hole on the wrist band), and I can still wear the Atom 2.0 as a watch on the street no problem, it's very stylish too.

Aussie
01-06-2008, 16:09
Hi all, this is my second post on the board! Woohoo.

Looking to get a whole set of gear before I head over to Thailand to do my instructor course. This thread is dealing with the computer! I want a wrist one that can be worn as a watch (ie not too big)

I really like the look of the Mares Nemo Excel (http://www.scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?product_id=MaresNemoExcelDiveComputer) for $524.95

I will be doing all recreational diving for the next few years, does this computer NOT do anything I MAY need it to?
The only thing I can think of is that it is not AI, but then is that really an issue?

So the alternative would be an Oceanic Atom 2.0 (http://www.scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?product_id=Atom2.0Computer) for $649.95 + $310 (transmitter) = $959.95

Its $435.00 more just for the AI? Is it worth it? Surely its more reliable to have a console SPG and compass than worry about the AI?

Also can the atom be worn as a wrist watch like the nemo can, comfortably that is, or is it too big?
Does anyone know if you can set the backlight to always on for night dives on either of these?
Does anyone know if the battery is user replaceable in either of these.

Thanks in advance
Dave

G'day Dave,

Suunto is big in Thailand and actually all my friends that work in the industry (mostly European/English) use Suunto. Have a look at the Suunto D6 and D9 as they cases are made out of stainless steel and Titianium and a face made out of Crystal glass. Backlight turns on with a press of one button (always on will reduce battery life on any computer by some what).

I would recommend that you have a nice glass and brass SPG with an setup you choose. Especially when your instructing. Asking students to show you their tank pressure, its easy to pick up a SPG and point to it. If you point to your dive computer (especially with a watch version) with AI you will get all sorts of looks and they might even reply "half past one" or "Lunchtime".

I personally think the extra money for AI/wireless (transmitters) isnt really worth it. dont get me wrong its nice to have all the data on your wrist but the price you have to pay for the transmitter is a honestly a joke. I have pull apart my Suunto transmitter for battery replacement and there is nothing to them to justify its cost.

Maybe If the transmitters were like $100-150 would suggest in getting one but over $400 I would recommend in getting a nice backup computer instead.

Aussie

Tiptopperoo
01-07-2008, 04:00
Hmm, I ended up going with the Nemo Excel, however now that it has arrived it is MUCH bigger and heavier than I originally thought it would be. I am thinking of sending it back and getting an atom 2. Will let you know!

Draq
01-08-2008, 14:45
I have a wrist computer with AI. I love it and cannot imagine going back to a console. Shop carefully, there is a lot of "room" in the pricing of these things.

Tiptopperoo
05-09-2008, 09:54
Ended up getting the Atom 2.0 However the first one I got was faulty. This was no drama as scubatoys and oceanic swapped it. However now after 4 months with the replacement it too needs to be returned. I will let you know what the outcome is, as Oceanics customer support is top notch as is Scubatoys.

Singlerm
05-10-2008, 07:31
My wife has the Aeris wireless A.I. computer, same as the Oceanic Atom you asked about. I currently use an Aeris wrist mount computer and a brass/glass SPG.
We both have different views on what route to take in choosing a computer. I think wireless air integrated is cool, but for $600 or so plus $300 for the transmitter, it wasn't something I wanted to get.
As for my wife, it's all she wanted. Everything shown on one wrist watch.
If the price came down, I would probably bite. But for now, I'll stick with the wrist computer and spg.
If you have the money to spend, the A.I. computers are cool. $1,000 buys a lot of other gear.

Regards,
Mitch

imasinker
05-10-2008, 08:56
I bought my first computer when I bought my first setup when I started classes. I went with a Cobra 2 air integrated computer. It is nitrox compatable, dive profiles, history, dive plan mode, downloadable, back light and easy to read screen. very easy to use and navigate. I love It and have no problems with It. The cost was about the same as other high end non integrated computers and cheaper than wrist computers with transmitters. I also have a Gekko. I have heard pro's and con's about many brands and styles. ANY computer can fail. . It's all about preference, the types of diving you do, and how you advance as a diver that you should consider when buying a computer. Don't let people tell you air integrated computers are not worth it, or the same about wrist style computers. Buy what you like, what you feel suits you, and what your comfortable with. Remember your the one diving with It!