This year’s dive computers offer something for everybody. From basic and inexpensive to feature packed and pricey, divers have a choice of big screens, small screens, three-color bar graphs, dot-matrix displays, increased battery life, larger memories and up to three gas mixes. Hoseless air-integration continues to be a hot item, on-board digital compasses have really come on strong, and some kind of Deep Stop feature can now be found on virtually every model.
To tackle the massive job of evaluation, ScubaLab uses a testing protocol divided into four phases: Lab Work, Ocean Work, PC Downloads and Chamber Runs. We start off in the ScubaLab shop and pour over spec sheets and websites to familiarize ourselves with all the features and get all the facts. Then we fire up each computer, and with an owner’s manual in hand we dive into the system, scrolling through modes, searching out menus and setting parameters to prepare the units for our ocean work.
The DG-02 is a simple computer that uses a single control button. Highly intuitive green-yellow-red bar graphs track nitrogen and oxygen loading as well as ascent rate. The DG-02 offers a Deep Stop feature you can elect to turn off, and Hollis touts the DG-02’s bottom-timer feature for technical divers. Setting up the DG-02 is pretty easy using a push or push/hold strategy to move through the menu. The colored bar graphs are foolproof. Back on the surface, the computer provides post-dive data for a couple of minutes and then defaults to a system scroll.
Liberal or Conservative
Middle-of-the-road, although there are no programmable settings to further increase your safety cushion.
We like the intuitive three-color gas-loading bar graphs and economy price. Defaulting to the system scroll, while not uncommon, can still be annoying.
|September / October 2009 Issue Scuba Lab Review Quick Links|
|Hollis DG-O2||Mares Puck Air|
|Oceanic OC1||SCUBAPRO/UWATEC Galileo Luna|
|Sherwood Wisdom 2||SUUNTO Cobra 3|
|SUUNTO Vyper Air||Tusa IQ-650 Element|
|Zeagle N2ition 3|