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Hiya All

As a recent addict, I mean open water graduate, I have decided to get all my kit in pretty much one go to get it out of the way

I already have the following and am very pleased with it..

Seaquest Pro QD+ BCD
Scubapro Mk16 + S550 Regs
Mares Avantis
Tusa Visulator Mask


Next on my shopping list are the following items. If I quote some approx prices limits, I would really appreciate your thoughts on what you would recommend.

Dry Suit - I'm after a membrane, and would like to pay no more than 550 including hose, bag and undesuit
Computer - no more than 350 or so

Let battle commence...and thanks in advance

Gareth
 

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My drysuit was £460ish from Otter - that was with extra pockets. Make sure you get braces fitted. Otter undersuits have a fairly good reputation (I use a Weezle tho)
Computer - anything with a decent-sized display and Nitrox capability.
 

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I use an Oceanic Flex 2000, now replaced by the Flexia, excellent suit very comfortable, weezle undersuit (very warm, quick drying).
Dive computers - Suunto Viper - very good, easy to use - and a Suunto Stinger as a backup - looks good in the pub, bugger all use underwater as the digits are too small and dark in anything less than red sea vis...

Hope this helps.
 

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If you're looking at spending £300 for a computer, you can't go far wrong with the Vytec, as it will probably go as far as most people's diving will take them. Saves on buying another computer for a long, long time.

As for drysuits, try and get in the water with a few different types and makes, and see what you think. A good fit, as I'm sure you're aware, is essential.
 

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I'm using an otter drysuit, very happy with it. Would also like to vote for the Vytec over the Vyper, I bought a Vyper and it is great for what it does but I'm frustrated at not having the multi gas options.
 

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<font color='#000080'>Another vote for the Vytec.

As for dry suits definitely horses for courses, I know a lot of people who use Otter and they are all well satisfied, personally I would recommend an Aquatek (not to be confused with Aqua-Tech) from Aqualeisure Watersports 01745 815476 but possibly they're a bit above your budget from what you say. Whichever one you get go for the made to measure option unless you're the one person in a million who is an absolute stock size.

I also use a Weezle undersuit and definitely give that the thumbs up as well.
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>Hi

Computers: For £350 you are spoilt for choice. I use a Vytec because it has a good gauge mode. (It shows mins and seconds). The vyper is just as good except it only shows minutes. I know I will never use the multigas facility and so that is useless IMO. If you get the Vyper you could also afford the computer interface thingy with it which makes keeping your dive log easier. (You can download your profiles onto your PC, much better than writing it all down)

Drysuits. The suit itself doesn't matter (Well it does to me because I use a DUI suit but thats not in your budget) Get a membrane suit, preferably with a shoulder dump and look at a front entry zip. Also braces help. Make sure it fits and you will need to try the suit on with all undersuits etc. Otter seem to have a good rep and their service is good too. You might even get made to measure for that price. Ensure the boots will fit in your fins.

Your undersuit however will definitely need some thought. When you get an undersuit in a package it is usually a 100gm cheepo thinsulate. If you plan on diving all year round that won't be good enough IMO. Its alright piling layers on but anything cotton will soak up sweat and make you cold.

I use a Polartech Xerotherm base layer and a 400gm thinsulate which keeps me warm and comfortable (I also have a 200gm Northern Diver suit for the warmer summer months) It is better to wear a base layer as that reduces the number of times you need to wash your thinsulate as that ruins the thermal protection. I would strongly suggest doing some reading about undersuits and their thermal properties. Not all thinsulates are the same.

Andy
 

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Im in pretty much the same boat, recently qualified (only 35 dives since march) so as a result my information could be useless!

As for drysuit, i was lucky in that i effectively got given one so didnt have to buy.  However, having used it and seen others around i like the idea of a membrane suit meaning you can vary what you wear underneath depending on conditions.  I did manage to cut my suit on a wreck and flood it a while ago (yeah i know....) but the repair was nothing more complicated than a cycle repair kit - quick, easy and can dive again later the same day.  Im not sure how easy neoprene is in this respect.

I have a cuff dump on my suit so cant comment on shoulder/auto dumps but even so, i dont find a cuff dump rocket sciene - raise arm to dump.  The dump on mine is slower than my BCD dump though so if using suit for buoyancy think a little bit ahead.

Undersuit, i use a weezle extreme with booties - its fine this time of year however in march/april with 6-8c waters i was a little cold so wore a thin top and tracksuit bottoms under it.  The one big plus with it is the wicking effect keeps water away from your skin and onto the outside of the suit.  My drysuit neck seal leaks every dive and the outside of undersuit is always soaked - i stay warm and dry.
The thing does seem to trap a lot of air though so i occasionally have to squeeze myself hard to start to sink and likewise be a little careful on ascent to make sure nothing is trapped.

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]
Computers: For £350 you are spoilt for choice. I use a Vytec because it has a good gauge mode. (It shows mins and seconds). The vyper is just as good except it only shows minutes. I know I will never use the multigas facility and so that is useless IMO. If you get the Vyper you could also afford the computer interface thingy with it which makes keeping your dive log easier. (You can download your profiles onto your PC, much better than writing it all down)
Ive recently bought myself a Vyper, currently only used it on one dive weekend and a few holiday dives where i hired one but i like it.  Easy to read underwater, display is fairly uncluttered and concise, the only minor issue i have is pressing the buttons (backlight, bookmark etc) is a little difficult with thick gloves on though far from impossible.
It does have a nitrox mode and a gauge mode.  I got mine for £209 including P&P last week.  If your budget is more though a Vytec maybe a better idea as its probably a computer you'll never outgrow.  Alternatively, use the £140 you save and put it towards a better drysuit (or beer or something)

As for the comment about using the extra to buy the interface, im not sure thats needed.  The interface costs about £60ukp but i built my own yesterday in about 3 hours for under £3 of components and it works perfectly so if you have any electronics knowledge or know someone that does do that and save yourself a lot of money (the same goes for other Suunto computers and interfaces).
 

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The trick with the neoprene's is that you're much less likely to puncture one. You'd have to snag soething pretty damned sharp and quite hard to get through my 7mm of protection. And even when it's punctured, it's still plenty warm enough. Enough of my neoprene sales drive.

Can you offer some detail on the interface malarkey? I'm not too hot with electronics, but I've got a soldering iron and a lot of mates who are, and use a mosquito to log my dives, is this going to be easy? Link?
 

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Good advice from everyone about the Drysuits cheers, the wife comes from yorkshire, so perhaps its time I took her home to see the folks "see ya in a few hours love im just off to bradford, seeing as we are up here of course..."

I popped my head into a dive shop and the blokey tried to sell me a suunto stinger. It did look bloody flash tbh. Has anyone any postivie / negative comments re this?

Cheers

Gareth
 

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A watch trying to be a computer....

But seriously..  Very nice. Very flash but the Vytec offers more for the money and the display is quite small on the Stinger.

Basically it is too big to be a watch and too small to give a reasonable size display as a computer.

Just my humble opinion.

Daz
 

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Fair point with the neoprene, ive seen a few people with patches over though so gawd knows what theyve done to it.  A few in our club have mentioned the seams going but membrane can have that problem too.

Anyway, the interface...

The PDF document with circuit diagram, components, test details along with plans for making the custom connector is here:

http://www.geocities.com/scubadiver_roli/download/cvmif.pdf

There is a PCB layout on there but as i dont have etching materials i used stripboard.  I found a great single page PDF plan which fits onto 14 x 7 holes so the size is 3.5cm by 2cm.
There is no web address on the PDF, my history and google are unable to find it again but if you want the file, pass your email address and i can attach it.

The only other construction note is the transistors are TO-92 case style so looking directly at the flat face, from left to right, its Collector, Base, Emitter.


I havent yet made a custom plug, will have to do some cutting for that however ive got mine working using the low tech method of 2 x PCB pins and some bluetac.

I got all the components via Maplin mail order (as they shop had nothing i wanted)

Another vyper page with lots of interface designs is here:

http://vyper.bunny.hu/e_index.html
 

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Thanks for the info. The first link took some playing to get onto a page I was able to open. Sorted now.

Did you download the software from the Suunto website? Is it free download? If so, another link would help out, as it's a fairly big site to navigate!

As for the Stinger, all well and good, but for the same money you could have the Vytec. That's what you want for UK diving, certainly. I've struggled along with the mosquito, but in reality it's just not up to the job now. The only advantage as I see it is that I can keep it strapped to my inflator hose as a backup, and I wear it between and after diving, so if I need to go to the pot, it's all there attatched to me.
 

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Yet another vote for a Vytec it is a first class bit of kit and I still rate it after mooving on to the VR3 and Trimix diving. The computer graphics package is prety good and is now my only log book.

Dry suits I will again vote for Otter on price and O3 on pure quality but not cheep.

ATB

Mark Chase
 

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IMHO the stinger is to small to see properly in UK waters, everyone I know who has one complains bitterly about this.  The Vyper/Vytec are much easier to see, and when you see how small the all important words 'asc time' that define the difference between the main time meaning your no-stop time or your deco stop time then you will see how important this is.
Other than that though its nearly the same as the Vyper.
I personally use a Vyper but wish I had paid the extra money for a Vytec now.  You can also upgrade the Vytec to wireless air integration at a later date if you wish (kind of nice if you don't like looking at your console).
I'm not into membrane suits, I wear a crush neoprene one which means I can dive in shorts and t-shirt in summer, neoprene may be over your budget though.
When it gets really cold I move up to a bodyglove thinsulate - weasle ones give to much insulation for me and I overheat big style!
I prefer shoulder to cuff dump since once its set up you don't have to do anything with it, this is good if you have torch in your left hand as you can dump and still see where your going.

Digger: it is quite simple to bodge a suunto interface go to http://freespace.virgin.net/c.beale/divecomputer.html for some instructions and links on how to do it.  Wish I'd known this a few years ago when I bought mine.
 

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RE Stinger vs Vyper/Vytec...

Get one where you can change the battery yourself, instread of having to send it back to be changed (costs more, leaves you without it, probably just when that liveaboard trip starts...). Note sure so cjheck but I think the Stinger you can't but the vyper/vytec you can. FWIW I use a vyper and like it a lot - not a cool as Stinger in the pub maybe, but useful under water, which is more what it's about, surely....?

ATB,

Dave.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
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Thanks Chaps, a Vytec it is

Very cool software from suunto too, but I think I'll wait a wee while before forking out fifty odd quid for a cable

Anyway, cheers for all the advice


Regards

Gareth
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (GarethB @ Aug. 29 2003,13:46)]Thanks Chaps, a Vytec it is

Very cool software from suunto too, but I think I'll wait a wee while before forking out fifty odd quid for a cable

Anyway, cheers for all the advice


Regards

Gareth
but I think I'll wait a wee while before forking out fifty odd quid for a cable
Why waste the money when you can DIY one for about £4
 
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