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 OC1 is a digital wristwatch/computer in a titanium casing that you can wear for work or play. It uses a new easy-to-read dot-matrix display with big data digits and a relatively intuitive screen layout. It’s unique with two selectable algorithms — one conservative and one liberal. There’s also hoseless air integration for up to three transmitters, and both a Free Dive Mode and a Gauge Mode. While all test divers agreed this dive computer offers lots of potential, they also agreed it requires real time with the owner’s manual and a number of practice dives.
Liberal or Conservative
Both. The ability to switch between two algorithms allows you to choose, and both have the option of programming in additional safety levels.
We like the wristwatch mode, wireless air-integration and choice of two algorithms — definitely “full-featured.”
|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|