I'm sure its been done before, but please help me decide.
I'm changing my dive computer as I find the Mosquito face small to read underwater. I want a computer which has a large face, can be used with nitrox and has user-replaceable batteries. What do you think the best choice is?
I went for a Vyper, great computer but no gas switching so ended up buying a VR3. Think if I was to go back in time I would go for one that allows at least one gas switch like the Vytec(£100 dearer than the Vyper) or on a budget the Apeks Quantum which is the same price as the Vyper to allow for a bit of future proofing. So I would probably ask the kind people here for their opinion of the Apeks Quantum and if the reports were good go for that.
ive just bought the suunto gekko well pleased and with all suunto computers that are not watches also...nice big figures......i dont need to alter gas mixes at depth so i find this to be superb.....its replaced my old air suunto favor which has given me 7 years great service.
We purchased Vypers at Brum a few years ago, no problems at all, good 'puters. We brought ours as we thought that we may progress onto Nitrox, which we have. Now onto twins too, so who knows............
Like the other posts, it all depends on what you expect to be doing in the future.
Just shop around for the right price.
Gekko nice but no facility to download, unless you're not interested in this.
Uwatec, too many buttons to make it work. Suunto, one button to turn it on, but each to their own I suppose.
I've got a UWATEC Smart Pro, mostly because it has infra-red data transfer and I didn't want to spend any extra cash on a serial cable kit.
It's got a massive screen, is very easy to read at depth and is very intuitive to use. BUT - if I had to choose again I'd get a Vytec.
Gas switching is starting to look like a sensible option for the diving I've been doing but the main reason for moving to the Suunto camp is that my UWATEC tried to kill me!
Apparently if waves slosh over those bloody stupid wet-contacts they use instead of real buttons the computer can switch itself into logbook or planning modes or, on one particularly memorable dive on the Lucy, can switch it's gas mix to 32% when you are diving on air!
Fortunately I noticed at the bottom of the shotline and reverted to my backup tables, but it could have been pretty nasty.
I would have posted about my Aladin Air-Z Nitrox, but it doesn't meet your criteria for user replacable batteries. But I can't adequately sing the praises of air integrated computers. It makes your diving so much more comfortable to be able to see exactly how much breathing time you have left and being able to compare that with your deco information. Really helps you to get the most out of your diving. You might want to consider the Vytec and transmitter, but it's so much more expensive than the Aladin - enough for a couple of battery changes.
The problems Rick mentions are new to me. I've been diving with Aladin computers for 5 years now and it's never happened to me. Rick, was yours faulty or have you heard of others having the same problems?
The Vytec will give you plenty of options now and for the future and is easy to read. You can also add the optional transmitter later if you want to go air integrated - it's not cheap but you do get stacks of info from it.
It may be a problem with the sensitivity on the Smart model - my regular buddies use older aladins / aladin pro's without any difficulties.
So far it's only managed to change the gas mix that one time, but it often switches around between battery check / log / planning if I'm waiting on the surface for any length of time.
Not a massive problem, just something I'll be watching for in the future!
Re. the batteries in UWATECs, mine has about 100 dives over the course of a year and is still showing 95% - unless you are doing an incredible amount of dives per year I can't see that user-replacable batteries will be much of a saving... Of course if you are doing enough dives to warrant it, then you'll probably be wanting to gas switch on a Vytec anyway
I'd say the Vytec. I used to dive the Cobra (air intergrated Vyper) which was a really good computer, but I then wanted the gas switching option. I did dive the Cobra in gauge mode for a bit, but I wanted a computer that could do more, not just act like a dive timer!
I love my Vytec now. Got the transmitter bit too which is really neat.
I'm starting to hear good things about the Quantum too, but not enough to comment. It seems a good option if your on a budget.
I'd definatly say go for a computer that will allow you gas switching though. You may not want to yet, but you probably will do soon!
Priced at £199 for a two gas switch computer with fresh/salt water adjustment, water temp in points of Oc, stops count down in seconds not just mins, plus all the usual information. (PC download out beginning of December) User changeable battery. Makes me wonder why people still go for the Viper etc.