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.
Mares Puck Air
Mares took its Puck computer, put it in a sleek console, and added air integration and a dot-matrix display to create the Puck Air. The screen layout offers crisp black data digits that are easy to see. A single control button moves you easily through the computer’s menu, and a Deep Stop feature can be disarmed. Interestingly, divers can regulate the amount of screen contrast to minimize ghosting. Screen prompts make navigating and setting parameters easy business. Underwater, test divers liked the streamlined “Italian” design of the console as well as the clean screen layout.
Liberal or Conservative
Conservative. For an even larger margin of safety, there are two “personal correction” settings.
We like the sleek console casing and air integration. With the ability to pop a compass onto the console, it’s a pretty complete package for recreational use.
|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|