Upgrade from a Mares Smart dive computer to a Suunto D6I novo with air transmitter for £540?

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finn121

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Hi all,

Divemaster here with 150 dives. I am a rec diver and normally do 2 weeks a year dive holiday dives (with a couple of UK dives now and again).
I have had a Mares smart dive computer for the last 4 years with no problems. I have a full set off dive gear but always on the look out to upgrade the gear for a good deal.

Just seen an offer for a Suunto D6I Novo and air transmitter for £540. Seems really cheap and wanted to ask the board on their thoughts.
My initial thoughts were:
- A pro would be a dive computer with a built in compass.
- I have heard Suuntos algorithm is a bit on the conservative side.
- I have never used air transmitters before as I always thought they were unnecessary but i get why people love them.

I have the cash to buy it if i want it but i was interested to hear some thoughts

Thanks

Andrew
 

Zef

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Hi all,

Divemaster here with 150 dives. I am a rec diver and normally do 2 weeks a year dive holiday dives (with a couple of UK dives now and again).
I have had a Mares smart dive computer for the last 4 years with no problems. I have a full set off dive gear but always on the look out to upgrade the gear for a good deal.

Just seen an offer for a Suunto D6I Novo and air transmitter for £540. Seems really cheap and wanted to ask the board on their thoughts.
My initial thoughts were:
- A pro would be a dive computer with a built in compass.
- I have heard Suuntos algorithm is a bit on the conservative side.
- I have never used air transmitters before as I always thought they were unnecessary but i get why people love them.

I have the cash to buy it if i want it but i was interested to hear some thoughts

Thanks

Andrew

I may be mistaken but I believe Mares uses a similar RGBM algorithm as Suunto...not sure you will find a large practical difference between the two with regards to conservativeness.

I dive a Suunto Vyper Air with transmitter and I like the fact that I have my tanks pressure and air time remaining estimation in one place with the rest of the info my computer provides, but I got my computer and transmitter insanely inexpensively (150 euros for both) from a dive buddy who "upgraded" to a computer with a larger display due to his aging eyes. While I like and appreciate the air integrated aspect of my computer, for me it would not be worth the cost if I had to pay full price for an AI computer and/or transmitter.

The Vyper Air also has built in digital compass, and I mostly forget that it is even there as I wear (and prefer) an analog compass in a bungee mount on the back of my left hand.

To be honest I don't think you will find the compass on the D6i to be very useful, especially if you have to push buttons to switch to the compass feature. It will be pain to switch modes with the small form factor computer, especially if you are diving with gloves.

Both computers are wristwatch style computers...a major Con of each is the display size and the fact that it is a basic black on grey LCD. To me this is not much of an upgrade.

If you are really looking to "upgrade" then I would recommend a color display, both Mares and Suunto have AI models with larger color displays. Another option if you want to stick with a wristwatch style computer is the Teric by Shearwater, it too is AI.

My recommendation is to dive your current computer until it fails or you can articulate a reason to replace it, unless you just want to spend some money on new kit.

-Z
 

scubadada

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Hi @finn121

What makes you want to upgrade your Mares Smart, is it just air integration, or do you have other reasons? Do you find your Mares overly conservative on your dive holidays, especially with repetitive dives or shorter surface intervals? If the latter is true, you probably want to look at computers with a more liberal decompression algorithm

The Mares Smart runs Mares RGBM, on the very conservative end of the spectrum. The Suunto D6i Novo runs Suunto RGBM, very similar to Mares, perhaps not quite as conservative. The Suunto D5, Eon Core, and Eon Steel run Suunto Fused RGBM or Fused RGBM 2. These can be set to run considerably more liberally. There are computers running other algorithms such as Buhlmann with gradient factors or DSAT that are on, or can be set on, the liberal side
 
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finn121

finn121

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@Zef - thanks for the detailed feedback. I think your point on the compass issue is very valid. I end up doing a lot of guided dives and vary rarely actually need a compass. If i do i think a bungee mounted one would suffice.

@scubadada - being honest, i am a bit of a sucker when i see some scuba diving gear with a big 'for sale' sign haha. I was interested if the board thought it was actually that of a good deal (I'm not an impulse buyer but it sets off my detailed research to see if it is such a great deal). Air integration isn't my biggest priority really, i think i would still dive with an SPG to start with anyway.

From your advice, I think i will hold fire on the Suunto for the moment. The decompression algorithm is quite off-putting and I think i can handle a bit more on the liberal side as i am a pretty fit 28 year old.

I will just save up for a Garmin Mk2...
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/perdix-ai/

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