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Console vs Wrist Mount Computer


Katdb

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Hi Everyone! Quick question for all you divers out there. I've bought my first set of scuba equipment (very excited, just waiting for it to come in!!!), BUT I'm having some 2nd thoughts about my computer. I ended up going with the Sherwood wisdom II console, but I'm wondering what the advanted would be to go with an analog console and a wrist mount computer. I'd appreciate any thoughts (i.e. what you like/dislike) about either of these setups that you've used!

 

Thanks!

Katdb

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I use a wrist mounted computer (normaly on my right wrist). I prefer having my computer right there while I am doing the "reach up, look up, go up" drills during ascent. Having my computer on my wrist lets me look at it as needed instead of having to reach down / look down to my chest for my console.

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Hi,

 

Of course the obvious advantage of an analogue gauge is it doesn't need batteries. I have a console mounted computer and make sure that every time I take it in for annual service that I get the battery replaced. But the advantages are, it's easier to read at a glance, it tracks my nitrogen, and oxygen on Nitrox, levels, gives me a dive profile at the end of the dive and glows in dim water. With that said, I'm a pessimist and wear a digital dive watch that gives me depth and water temp as a backup (easier to see as well since I just have to lift my wrist).

 

As far as where to put the computer, the question is "How often do you look at your gauges and read them?" I look about every 5 minutes, more often when I get to the bottom 1/2 of my air, or any changes at depth. I also have my console on a retractable, spring loaded clip so I don't have to search for it or worry that it's dragging through muck while I'm taking pictures, etc. If you're comfortable with the computer in the gauge console, I personally don't see any problem with that as long as it's available, you can read it, and you keep good maintenance on it.

 

Randall

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I like a console mounted computer. The console holds my computer, air guage, and a compass on the back.My console is on a retractor attatched to my BC.I just keep the console in my hand as I usually dive with my arms folded underneath me.It is easy to glance at the air guage and the computer 3-4 times per minute on a deep dive.I do have a wrist boot and sometimes I dive with my air computer in it also--especially if the Oceanic Veo is acting up--which is almost any time the water temp drops below 60---darn thing just goes blank--Oh well LP has replaced the Oceanic 3 times now and it worked fine at Ginnie Springs in February--we will see how it does in the lake in a few weeks.

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Both the War Department (aka Mrs. B) and I are divers and we have set ups that are virtually alike. Each of us has both a main computer which is air integrated and we both have Aeris wrist type computers.

 

Her main computer is an Oceanic Datamax II and mine is a Suunto Cobra. The advantage to these console type units is their larger displays - very easy to read underwater. We keep these consoles attached to our BCD's via a retractor clip to keep them from dangling. The Aeris wrist mounted computers are very handy to read. All four computers are Nitrox capable.

 

Why have both? Well, it's always nice to have a backup. I learned that the hard way when we were fixing to go diving with The Dive Bus folks on Curacao three years ago. Back then we only had our main console computers. Even though I had replaced the battery in mine just before we left home it was DOA when we assembled our gear. Fortunately the folks at the Dive Bus are some of the nicest people ever. One of their personnel loaned my his $900 titanium Suunto wrist computer. He and Suzy were heading into to town and while there picked up a battery for me. Super nice folks and a bunch of fun to dive with as well. I did have one of our old analog consoles with us and I could have used that. Having the dive computer though made the dive safer and a lot more enjoyable.

 

From my perspective there is no difference in the ease of use or functionality for either the console computer or the wrist mounted ones. Both can be air integrated with the wrist computer having no hose. The wrist computer with its associated transmitter will leave your wallet a good bit lighter though.

 

So enjoy that new gear you just bought. Dive safely and live long.

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My personal thoughts are to have a backup for anything that could possibly fail. If you are at depth and relying on a computer and your battery dies, you have some major problems if you don't have a backup of a regular gauge and tables with you. Don't get lazy and just rely on your computer, it's a good way to end up in trouble.

 

That said, I do use one, wrist mounted, so I'm still streamlined and don't have stuff bouncing on the bottom or killing coral and I don't have all the drag holding me back when I swim. Just my thoughts.

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I have both. I wear a Suunto Vyper on my wrist and have an inexpensive Aeris on my console. The Aeris came with a package deal that I bought but I already had the Vyper by then.

 

I use the Vyper more, probably because it's so easy to look at, being on my wrist. As a result, the Aeris is used only as a backup. The Aeris is just as accurate as the Vyper though. I compare data between the computers after each dive and both give me the same information.

 

Given that, I wouldn't necessarily go out an buy another computer just to have it on my wrist. Now if you want another computer as a backup, then I would consider a wrist mount.

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I also have both. I prefer to have a backup - just in case. Having a computer go out a depth means going back to the tables and very often if you are using a computer and multilevel diving, you will find that you are near to or off the tables. Have a Suunto Mosquito on my wrist and an air integrated Sunnto Cobra console clipped to my BCD.

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Quite a lot depends on your habits. Knowing that we had been diving for a long time using analog consoles, developing the new habit of looking at our wrists seemed awkward for DH and me. So when we got computers we stuck with the console. But then we don't wear wrist watches either, above or below water. Our dive watches are the clip on variety clipped to our BC's.

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One of the main perks of being an instructor is all the gear I get to play with for free. First off, the Wisdom is a great AI computer. Easy to read, accurate, and will keep you safe. I currently have a couple of Cobras, and like them a lot. I prefer a console, because every time I use a wrist mount, I forget the thing is there and it gets tangled in my BC straps when I am either gearing up or down.

 

If you decide to go wrist mount, get one that is wireless AI. If you have an extra HP port on your first stage, get an analog backup SPG as well.

 

Dale

PADI OWSI

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Hi Dale,

 

Thanks for your reply! I'm actulaly leaning towards an AI wrist mount (looking at the VT3/T3/Atom 2/D9... oh the decisions!) just because I did find a little 'freedom' when I dove with a wrist mount last year. I would definitely want a backup gauge too!

 

Thanks again

*Katdb

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The D9 is sweet! The digital compass is useless, but the computer itself rocks. If you are serious about it, just make sure it has the current software and isn't a first generation one...they had a weird issue with certain calculations that is now fixed.

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