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Thread: Completely lost on what dive computer to buy

  1. #1
    TadPole
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    Completely lost on what dive computer to buy

    I have not even gotten certification yet, but I am looking to purchase all my gear so I can use it on the last day of my certification at Catalina Island. I am not sure what computer to get. I read forum posts about people saying to get a wrist computer because eventually everyone wastes money on a console. Is AI worth it since it would be a backup to a SPG and more accurate or are the failure rates on them too high to be worth having? I want something I don't have to replace soon and something with a good warranty. I was looking into Petrel but it doesn't have AI. I also was looking into some consoles like the cobalt and oceanic datamax pro 3s. Basically I am all over the place for looking for a dive computer, but I want something that is user friendly and easy to read underwater and something that I won't need to upgrade.

  2. #2
    TadPole
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    If you are sure you want to spend this much money (cobalt, etc), get Liquivision, AI is an option. Will never regret it, can take you anywhere, including tech. I wouldn't take it on a beach dive in Malibu, thus I own $250 Hollis DG03 in DSS bungee mount with used transmitter I bought for $100.

  3. #3
    Barracuda
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    Quote Originally Posted by abstract View Post
    I have not even gotten certification yet, but I am looking to purchase all my gear so I can use it on the last day of my certification at Catalina Island. I am not sure what computer to get. I read forum posts about people saying to get a wrist computer because eventually everyone wastes money on a console. Is AI worth it since it would be a backup to a SPG and more accurate or are the failure rates on them too high to be worth having? I want something I don't have to replace soon and something with a good warranty. I was looking into Petrel but it doesn't have AI. I also was looking into some consoles like the cobalt and oceanic datamax pro 3s. Basically I am all over the place for looking for a dive computer, but I want something that is user friendly and easy to read underwater and something that I won't need to upgrade.
    You will probably want a Nitrox computer, so you will be set if/when you start diving Nitrox. Another nice feature is being able to download your dive information to a computer. And get something that lets you change the battery yourself (and throw a spare or two into your dive bag - personal experience!). I can't speak to the Air Integrated aspect beyond a feeling of "another point of failure" and another battery to check/change. I prefer a wrist mount because I can take it away from the tank to set it, get information off it, keep it secure, etc.

    I dive both an Oceanic Veo 1.0 and Oceanic Geo 2.0 wrist mounts (redundancy). I like things about both - I prefer the display on the Veo but like the user interface on the Geo and it can download. I used to have a Mares M2 but found the dive algorithm too restrictive, so I was missing bottom time. The Oceanics have 2 algorithms which you can choose.

    As a diver just starting out, sit down and think about what you really need, what is a nice to have, and where you think you will be in 3 years. Talk to other dives for their opinions, and be prepared to acknowledge you made a mistake and need to replace something.
    And on the eighth day, God said, "OK, Murphy, you take over"

  4. #4
    Shark Zeagle Eagle's Avatar
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    Absolutely DO NOT BUY ALL YOUR GEAR NOW. Get mask snorkel and fins and then rent the rest. You do not know what you need or like yet. We are all different. You will go through a lot of gear until you figure out what you want. Try everything you can get your hands on and then figure out what works for you. Ask the experienced divers on this forum and most of them will tell you the same thing.
    --Zeagle Eagle

  5. #5
    Shark Zeagle Eagle's Avatar
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    BTW, I own several wrist mount computers; but, I prefer a console. It's a matter of personal preference. I own the Atomic Cobalt and love it; but, there are lots of good ones out there.
    --Zeagle Eagle

  6. #6
    Shark snagel's Avatar
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    I'm with Zeagle....not sure I would go out and spend a lot of money on gear at this point. I have double and triple of many things because I wasn't sure what I wanted. As far as the computer, I have a console with a disconnect (Sherwood Wisdom). I started with the console and then moved to a wrist mount because everybody told me to and I hated it. (Personal Preference). What I didn't like is having to remember to put it on at the beginning of a dive, where to put it when I wasn't diving in-between dives....always paranoid that somebody was going to walk by and steal it. What I liked about it was that I could grab it and look at it to fill out log book so I like the disconnect I have now. Again all of this is personal preference.

    My recommendation is that if you feel you have to get a computer right now....get one that you can read without glasses, get one that can do nitrox, and really I would look at something very cheap or used until you get into diving and figure out exactly what you want. AI never used it and honestly I don't know anybody that has it. Downloadable, not a big issue with me, but others love that option. Again, all of this is personal preference that you really don't know until you get into the sport.

    Snagel

  7. #7
    Barracuda Founding Member
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    First you need to decide wrist or console. I have both and dive my wrist computers more and like it being out of the way but there. Not that I ever really had a problem with a console computer.

    I would forget about the Petrel. Not that it's a bad computer IMHO it's the absolute best technical dive computer but is overkill for a new diver. I have and older Shearwater but usually just throw on my smaller Dive Rite puck computer for rec. dives.

    The Data Max is a good computer and easy to read. I used one for awhile and really like it.

  8. #8
    TadPole
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    As Zeagal Eagles has stated, don't go out and buy all your gear now.

    When you have completed your cert. have a think how you are going to be diving? Is it on holiday a couple of times a year when you will be hiring gear or will you be getting the entire lot yourself?

    If your going to be hiring most of your gear (BC, regs etc) then a wrist one would make sense as it is completely independent and easy to transport in hand luggage, if you decided to get all the gear yourself then its more a personal preference.

    My personal brand of choice is Suunto, however than is partially down to the type of diving I do most (cold and often poor vis) so nice big clear simple screen with big clunky buttons does the job. The "main" range of their computers (as opposed to there D range of watch+computers) have a user replaceable battery and its in a separate compartment to the computer electronic. This mean if you mess it up and it floods all you do is kill the battery and not the whole computer. Not sure how popular Suunto are in the US though.

    AI is another topic, for every person I have met that likes it I have met as many who have found it a pain.

  9. #9
    Shark
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    I would like to point out that Abstract has already purchased an Atomic ST1. So, I think that he is pretty serious about getting some high quality gear.

    Buying nice scuba gear is part of the fun and excitement of diving.
    "Time's fun when you're having flies." -Kermit the Frog

  10. #10
    Guppy
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    Petrel 2
    If it doesn't fit, force it. If it breaks it needed to be replaced anyway.

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