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New computer for scuba-diving

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Jul 3, 2003
Hi everybody!

I know, this topic has been discussed so many times but I'm still not sure which computer to buy. I had a Smart Pro until a few days back when I lost it (please don't ask how this could happen....) and I was quite pleased with it. I'm not a very frequent diver (between 50 and 70 dives a year) but would like to become more skilled with this hobby of mine. This means I certainly will try Nitrox-diving one day and maybe, in a few years time, will try to advance to instructor level. Btw, right now I'm a PADI AOWD.

Do you recommend buying one with integrated air (?) or is this s.th. for pros only? As I said I was quite please with the Smart Pro but here on this board everybody seems to favour a SUUNTO computer. Say, the money doesn't matter (up to 800 or 900 Euros +/- ), which computer gives the best value for my money? I'm a bit into apnoe as well, but the computer should be mainly for scuba diving.

My diving places are the lake just in front of my flat (Lake Constance, Germany) as well as Valle di Verzasca (Switzerland), lakes in high mountains (like Lago del Narèt, 2314 meters) and, of course, the usual places like nice spots in Liguria (Italy) and Egypt, Seychelles, Bali, ....).

I would be very thankful for any postings here!
Sorry about my bad english.

Have an ice day! :p
Go with something small and simple, like a Sunnto Stinger or Misquito. Use thew rest of the money that you just saved to take a nitrox class.
"Pro's" that I know would never think of using an integrated computer. Actually, they usally just use bottom timers.

Thanks a lot for your answer, Jon. As I said above I was, for the short time having it, quite please with the Smart Pro. Now reading more and more postings here in this forum I tend to favour a Suunto one, namely the Stinger or the Vytec. I can't say for sure but maybe the O2-setting of the Stinger of only 50% seems a bit low for me (saying that as a beginner) right now with me wanting to get into Nitrox-diving shortly.

The Smart Pro has a huge display compared to the Suunto-models, that's true, isn't it?

Ah, and befor I forget again: sorry, that may sound stupid, but what exactly is this po2-stuff? I know what it means written out, of course, but could someone please explain to me or send me some links when and why I should change the given value. Thanks in advance, guys!
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PPO2 = partial pressure of oxygen

The 50% setting will be more than enough for single mix nitrox dives. Because of the PO2 your not allowed to go below 70', at a very high level of 1.6 PO2, and should probably stay above 60' to stay safe.

You'll learn all about this when you take a nitrox class. If you get into the deeper stuff where you need deco mixes with higher than 50% O2 in them you will probably end up switching your computer into guage mode anyhow.

I have no problem reading the guage face on either my D-3 or my Stinger during trimix dives in the dark, dirty water that we somtimes find in the Great Lakes. Either one would be easy enough to read.

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I took a quick shot of my D3 while I was playing aroud this weekend. I have no problem seeing the guage face. I wear the little rubber protector on mine, but you wouldn't have to if you didn't want to.

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I would have to agree with Jon on this topic.

Go for a computer that has the ability to do all the diving you want to do (now and in the future) and the Suunto units really fit that bill.

Don’t buy a computer that you can’t use in gauge mode. I own 2 nitrox computers that I don’t use at all anymore, preferring a simple bottom timer for all my diving.

The Vyper, Stinger and Mosquito will give you a relatively conservative air and nitrox computer with the ability to set it in gauge mode if and when you need to.

Another point is that the Mosquito and the Stinger also make nice freedive timers.

At least with the Suuntos, you have all the options available to you and they won’t end up in a box somewhere like my Sherwood and Oceanic computers.



Gauge mode is where the computer acts as a bottom timer and doesn’t give you any decompression information at all. So you would get current depth, max depth and bottom time.

This is for when you are diving to a dive plan (for example in technical diving) where the deco information of a recreational dive computer is of no use whatsoever.

The Suuntos give you an ascent rate indicator in gauge mode (as far as I recall) and will log the dive profile for later downloading.

The Vytec will also do gauge mode but has extra functionality in terms of being able to deal with multiple nitrox mixes for decompression and has an optional transmitter to make it air integrated. I would never use these features, maybe you will but personally I would save my money.


Uwatec Smart Pro and Com will work in gauge mode. And they will show profile when downloaded from gauge mode. Not sure about ascent rate display in gauge. And they will do deco planning. Not that I would but they can.

Hi Joe

It's true that the Uwatec has a gauge mode but as I understand it, the computer still tracks O2 exposure while in gauge mode.

From what I read about this, it will still display depth and time even if the O2 exposure gets over the limit but it will lock out on the surface until the CNS returns to what it considers a safe level.

Because the O2 can't be set to less than 21%, the CNS gets high very quickly on deeper mix dives.

I haven’t used one of these computers though, I wonder if anyone can in fact confirm the above?

I would look at all the recalls lately and go with a gensis resource or react....
solid...dependable....easy to read...affordable
What about Mares

A very interesting board since I am about to buy a diving computer.

And what about the Mares M1? ... and it is a lot cheaper than Uwatec.

I probaby gonna wait 'til the Boot in Duesseldorf, Germany, early next year. Prices are considerably cheaper there.

But still.... I do favour a Suunto by now but all my friends have, as recreational divers, UWATEC computers.
Anyway. Thanks for all the good advice and help.

"Gut' Luft" to all of you!
I use the OMS Nitrox computer but I sure wish that it had a gauge mode. It's the same 'puter as the Dive Rite Nitek which they are phasing out. But since I got it for $150, I can't complain too much. If I was getting another one, I would opt for the Dive Rite Nitek Plus which looks like a wrist watch but has two gases plus a gauge mode. It's a little small to read with all the data on it - but this only applies to decrepit old geezers like me. It's also going to run you around $500 too.
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