Computers and backups - looking for pearls of wisdom from the more experienced

Please register or login

Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

Benefits of registering include

  • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
  • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
  • You can make this box go away

Joining is quick and easy. Log in or Register now!

nanohawk

Contributor
Messages
70
Reaction score
14
Location
Houston, TX
# of dives
50 - 99
Getting ready to go diving after a several year break. Part of the prep is replacing my Uwatec SmartCom (aka SmartBomb). It's currently off getting a new battery (fingers crossed). Overall it was an okay computer, but it did go beep crazy on me once and lock me out. I was doing a group dive and was a few minutes into a dive when it did. I've never really liked the interface on it. The contacts that function as buttons just flat suck on it.

I initially bought a Suunto EON Core, but am in the process of returning it for a refund. I did not really appreciate the differences between RGBM and Buhlmann ZLH16 until I watched this video. I also have read too many posts about customer service issues with Suunto.
After watching that video I think that Buhlmann ZLH16 wtih GF (Gradient Factors) is the approach I want to follow. I consider myself to be a conservative diver. By conservative I mean that I don't push my limits, I don't go deeper than necessary, and I try to plan redundancy and safety into my dives. While I do dive with a buddy it's usually insta-buddy on a trip, so I treat it as accompanied solo diving. I get my regs rebuilt annually when I'm diving, regardless of the number of dives on them. No shade thrown at anyone who is into pushing their limits, it's just not my thing. My "happy spot" on dives is 20 to 45 feet of water. On a group dive I tend to stay shallower unless there is something to be seen.

I think a Perdix is what I want to buy with AI via a Swift transmitter. I like that Shearwater designed the computer to let me be a little more self-sufficient with regards to batteries. I do not think that Tech is in my future. However, I like that if my horizons expand the computer supports it. I prefer the wrist mounted square style of computer and plan to put it on straps or bungies. I do not care for the wristwatch style of computer.

My diving is recreational, typically on trips and I like to do underwater photography. That's what I really enjoy the most.

1) Is there a different computer model I should be considering?
2) What would be a good backup? Assume that SmartCom takes a trip on eBay never to be seen again.
3) How likely is a transmitter failure on the Swift? I considered a second AI computer, but was concerned that the transmitter was a single point of failure. I'm considering a SPG on a hose in conjunction with a second computer. I considered the peregrine, but am not a huge fan of the sealed battery. I particularly like the Peregrine Console setup that pairs it with a SPG. Enough that I might come around to the sealed battery.
 

Angelo Farina

Contributor
Scuba Instructor
Messages
2,285
Reaction score
3,611
Location
Parma, ITALY
# of dives
1000 - 2499
Getting ready to go diving after a several year break. Part of the prep is replacing my Uwatec SmartCom (aka SmartBomb). It's currently off getting a new battery (fingers crossed). Overall it was an okay computer, but it did go beep crazy on me once and lock me out. I was doing a group dive and was a few minutes into a dive when it did. I've never really liked the interface on it. The contacts that function as buttons just flat suck on it.

I initially bought a Suunto EON Core, but am in the process of returning it for a refund. I did not really appreciate the differences between RGBM and Buhlmann ZLH16 until I watched this video. I also have read too many posts about customer service issues with Suunto.
After watching that video I think that Buhlmann ZLH16 wtih GF (Gradient Factors) is the approach I want to follow. I consider myself to be a conservative diver. By conservative I mean that I don't push my limits, I don't go deeper than necessary, and I try to plan redundancy and safety into my dives. While I do dive with a buddy it's usually insta-buddy on a trip, so I treat it as accompanied solo diving. I get my regs rebuilt annually when I'm diving, regardless of the number of dives on them. No shade thrown at anyone who is into pushing their limits, it's just not my thing. My "happy spot" on dives is 20 to 45 feet of water. On a group dive I tend to stay shallower unless there is something to be seen.

I think a Perdix is what I want to buy with AI via a Swift transmitter. I like that Shearwater designed the computer to let me be a little more self-sufficient with regards to batteries. I do not think that Tech is in my future. However, I like that if my horizons expand the computer supports it. I prefer the wrist mounted square style of computer and plan to put it on straps or bungies. I do not care for the wristwatch style of computer.

My diving is recreational, typically on trips and I like to do underwater photography. That's what I really enjoy the most.

1) Is there a different computer model I should be considering?
2) What would be a good backup? Assume that SmartCom takes a trip on eBay never to be seen again.
3) How likely is a transmitter failure on the Swift? I considered a second AI computer, but was concerned that the transmitter was a single point of failure. I'm considering a SPG on a hose in conjunction with a second computer. I considered the peregrine, but am not a huge fan of the sealed battery. I particularly like the Peregrine Console setup that pairs it with a SPG. Enough that I might come around to the sealed battery.
I vote for the Peregrine console as the only serious backup for a Perdix+AI.
I appreciate your prudent approach.
And of course money does not seem to be a coinstraint for you...
So, if you do not like the Peregrine, the only other option would be to use a second Perdix as the backup of the first one...
 

tursiops

Marine Scientist and Master Instructor
ScubaBoard Supporter
Scuba Instructor
Messages
14,507
Reaction score
13,337
Location
U.S. East Coast
# of dives
2500 - 4999
1) If you want AI, only the Teric is competitive to the Perdix, IMHO.
2) Deep6 Excursion.
3) Very unlikely, although the experience with the Swift is not yet extensive. Why not just get the old MH8A transmitter, which is bulletproof, highly regarded, and cheaper. Some like to carry a SPG too; no big problem to do that. I have a button gauge on my first stage so I can tell if the tank I'm using is full or not. As to a console, I personally dislike consoles; I want the info on my wrist which is nearly always in front of me and is always easy to find.
 

tbone1004

Technical Instructor
ScubaBoard Supporter
Scuba Instructor
Messages
19,846
Reaction score
13,132
Location
Greenville, South Carolina, United States
# of dives
I'm a Fish!
1) Is there a different computer model I should be considering?
2) What would be a good backup? Assume that SmartCom takes a trip on eBay never to be seen again.
3) How likely is a transmitter failure on the Swift? I considered a second AI computer, but was concerned that the transmitter was a single point of failure. I'm considering a SPG on a hose in conjunction with a second computer. I considered the peregrine, but am not a huge fan of the sealed battery. I particularly like the Peregrine Console setup that pairs it with a SPG. Enough that I might come around to the sealed battery.

1. Not unless you wear a smart watch every day for fitness and what not where the Garmin Descent may be an option worth considering.
2. If your dives are typically in that shallow of a range I personally wouldn't use a backup computer. DSMB with knotted line for backup depth gauge and a dive watch if you own one. If you don't then something like the Peregrine is a decent backup though I would not get the console mount. It's unnecessarily bulky. Deep6 Excursion is more capable than the Peregrine and is cheaper but doesn't have the big colored screen which you may appreciate, but also as an infrequent diver the Peregrine operates the same as the Perdix.
3. It is highly unlikely to truly fail. The Shearwater computers are one-way transmit so it is like an FM radio station or a walkie talkie where anything tuned to that channel can listen. It's not like the Suunto's and others that require 2-way communication and they can actually lose their pairing. I would not bother with the new transmitter as a recreational diver though where you aren't worried about the multi-transmitter issue. I do not advocate for an analog SPG in addition to a transmitter. Keep it in the regulator bag, but not on the regulator. If the transmitter fails that dive is then over and you ascent. On your SIT you swap to the analog SPG, easy.
 
OP
N

nanohawk

Contributor
Messages
70
Reaction score
14
Location
Houston, TX
# of dives
50 - 99
1. Not unless you wear a smart watch every day for fitness and what not where the Garmin Descent may be an option worth considering.
I can't remember the last time I allowed a watch on my wrist. I own several that were given to me as gifts, I just don't wear watches. If I need to know what time it is I look at my phone or ask something in the house (aka Siri Alexa) or look at a computer. Probably sound jerk-ish but I got away from managing my life around the clock.
2. If your dives are typically in that shallow of a range I personally wouldn't use a backup computer. DSMB with knotted line for backup depth gauge and a dive watch if you own one. If you don't then something like the Peregrine is a decent backup though I would not get the console mount. It's unnecessarily bulky. Deep6 Excursion is more capable than the Peregrine and is cheaper but doesn't have the big colored screen which you may appreciate, but also as an infrequent diver the Peregrine operates the same as the Perdix.
I'll look at the Deep6. I'm not always that shallow, but as a photographer there is more interesting stuff in shallower water for me. I'm quite happy to settle down on the sand next to a coral head and watch the little stuff.
3. It is highly unlikely to truly fail. The Shearwater computers are one-way transmit so it is like an FM radio station or a walkie talkie where anything tuned to that channel can listen. It's not like the Suunto's and others that require 2-way communication and they can actually lose their pairing. I would not bother with the new transmitter as a recreational diver though where you aren't worried about the multi-transmitter issue. I do not advocate for an analog SPG in addition to a transmitter. Keep it in the regulator bag, but not on the regulator. If the transmitter fails that dive is then over and you ascent. On your SIT you swap to the analog SPG, easy.
I suspect if I lost a transmitter I could also rent a SPG from wherever I happened to be diving. I get to dive a couple weeks a year in nice water, so I don't want a repeat where I get locked out because of a computer failure or malfunction.

I really have no idea what I did to get locked out and chalked it up to computer misbehavior. We had completed a 1+ hour SIT between dives and were on the second dive. We were about 5 minutes into the dive swimming towards our objective. It's entirely possible the contacts had shorted themselves and adjusted something..... more reasons I don't like that design.
 
OP
N

nanohawk

Contributor
Messages
70
Reaction score
14
Location
Houston, TX
# of dives
50 - 99
1) If you want AI, only the Teric is competitive to the Perdix, IMHO.
I want AI on the primary for sure. Not opposed to it on the backup.
2) Deep6 Excursion.
3) Very unlikely, although the experience with the Swift is not yet extensive. Why not just get the old MH8A transmitter, which is bulletproof, highly regarded, and cheaper. Some like to carry a SPG too; no big problem to do that. I have a button gauge on my first stage so I can tell if the tank I'm using is full or not. As to a console, I personally dislike consoles; I want the info on my wrist which is nearly always in front of me and is always easy to find.
I'm accustomed to diving with a console. I used to hang the Smart Com so I could just look down at it. I just look at an SPG as less prone to failure then something that has batteries.
 

scubadada

Diver
Staff member
ScubaBoard Supporter
Messages
16,534
Reaction score
13,838
Location
Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
# of dives
1000 - 2499
... If you don't then something like the Peregrine is a decent backup though I would not get the console mount. It's unnecessarily bulky. Deep6 Excursion is more capable than the Peregrine and is cheaper but doesn't have the big colored screen which you may appreciate, but also as an infrequent diver the Peregrine operates the same as the Perdix...
So when is the Deep 6 firmware upgrade coming out? The Tech Lite was initially said to be December.
 

Shabaday

Contributor
Messages
306
Reaction score
157
Location
NYC
# of dives
50 - 99
I went with Perdix AI primary and a Peregrine back up....I do use an analog SPG/Compass console....Interestingly enough I had an analog brand new fail on me and luckily my Perdix AI worked fine for the dives.
 

tbone1004

Technical Instructor
ScubaBoard Supporter
Scuba Instructor
Messages
19,846
Reaction score
13,132
Location
Greenville, South Carolina, United States
# of dives
I'm a Fish!
@nanohawk none of the Shearwaters are able to lock you out for any reason so nothing to worry about there. I would certainly recommend owning an analog SPG though renting is certainly an option.

I have an aversion to dangling consoles and while you can cross clip it to your right chest d-ring it's not really necessary if you are diving with an AI computer and if you have AI you'll certainly appreciate having it on your wrist which makes for much easier checking, especially as a photographer where you don't have to take your hands off the camera to check any of your gauges.

@scubadada I have the beta firmware right now, a couple of things to iron out and it's coming soon.
 

scubadada

Diver
Staff member
ScubaBoard Supporter
Messages
16,534
Reaction score
13,838
Location
Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
# of dives
1000 - 2499
@nanohawk none of the Shearwaters are able to lock you out for any reason so nothing to worry about there. I would certainly recommend owning an analog SPG though renting is certainly an option.

I have an aversion to dangling consoles and while you can cross clip it to your right chest d-ring it's not really necessary if you are diving with an AI computer and if you have AI you'll certainly appreciate having it on your wrist which makes for much easier checking, especially as a photographer where you don't have to take your hands off the camera to check any of your gauges.

@scubadada I have the beta firmware right now, a couple of things to iron out and it's coming soon.
Hi @tbone1004

Will the Tech Lite version offer presets that are actually called 35/75. 40/85, and 45/95 as well as custom GFs or will the displays be somewhat different? It would actually be refreshing if the GF lows were increased to something reasonable.
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/peregrine/

Top Bottom