Newbie Needs Recommendations on 'Better' or 'Best' Dive Gear

Newbie Needs Recommendations on 'Better' or 'Best' Dive Gear

Post by Kris » Thu, 30 May 2002 10:42:43


I am seeking guidance on equipment selections for use with air.  I am
working on a budget of roughly $3,000 for BC, Hoseless Computer,
Camera, and optionally - full face mask.  (maybe roughly $500 each +
misc.)

Are there any hoseless computers to avoid?  What do you recommend?

Should I consider a full face mask?  Is there any reason not to get a
full face mask?  If so, which one?

Are the "Scuba Lab Testers Choice" ratings a good indication?

What other goodies should I consider?  (Spare Air for example?)

Should I upgrade my old Plana Avanti fins?

If my questions are a little 'off', please understand that I am not
even certified yet.

 
 
 

Newbie Needs Recommendations on 'Better' or 'Best' Dive Gear

Post by Rob Turne » Thu, 30 May 2002 17:26:26



Quote:
> I am seeking guidance on equipment selections for use with air.  I am
> working on a budget of roughly $3,000 for BC, Hoseless Computer,
> Camera, and optionally - full face mask.  (maybe roughly $500 each +
> misc.)

> Are there any hoseless computers to avoid?  What do you recommend?

If you buy a new computer, look at the Aladin and Suunto.

If you buy an older computer, keep in mind that they tend to be a little more
liberal on the NDL's.  Moreover, make sure that the manufacturer will still
service an older computer.  Some computers, like the Genesis Escort are good air
computers but Genesis has stopped making them.   Finally, buying used means no
warranty.  This is relevant.   Having said that, there are a lot of old Oceanic
computers on the market that are still ok.  Also, Mares makes a couple of very
simple utilitarian computers that I like.

Don't bother with Air Integrated.  It's not worth the money and the extra
functionality is deceptive and virtually useless in reality.  (I should know, I
bought one and found out the hard way).

Buy a computer that will do Nitrox even if you think you'll never dive Nitrox.
The cost is virtually the same and the extra functionality may just come in
handy at some point.

Quote:
> Should I consider a full face mask?

This is a matter of personal choice, but if you compare the costs, I'd say that
a full face mask isn't worth the money.

Quote:
> Is there any reason not to get a
> full face mask?  If so, which one?

Exorbitant cost.

Quote:
> Are the "Scuba Lab Testers Choice" ratings a good indication?

The testers choice award is subjective but in my experience the recommendations
are ok.  Rodales also focusses on the fashion conscious (and perhaps the
inexperienced) segment of the market so there are some excellent bits of gear
that don't get reviewed and some really crappy bits of gear (HUB's, for example)
that do.  You have to decide for yourself what's important to you.  Personally,
I chose function over form because that's the only thing that matters when
you're in the water.....  (I'm also someone who, if I can't find the bit of gear
that I need, will buy something close and modify it or make my own).

Anyway, don't ignore Rodales but do keep in mind who their audience is.

Quote:
> What other goodies should I consider?  (Spare Air for example?)

Absolutely not.  Spare Air is undersized and useless for it's intended purpose
(bail out).  If you really want a redundant bailout (a good idea, btw) then you
need minimally a 3 liter (19 cubic foot) pony bottle.

Also, depending on where you dive, a flashlight may not be a supurfluous luxury.

Seems to me that you'll need a regulator, weights, exposure suit etc too.

If you do much boat diving, a DSMB, reel, whistle, and/or noise maker are nice
to have.

As for the camera, I'd learn to dive first and start taking pictures after
you're comfortable with the diving.

Quote:
> Should I upgrade my old Plana Avanti fins?

Is there something wrong with them?

Quote:
> If my questions are a little 'off', please understand that I am not
> even certified yet.

Your budget is reasonable for gear but you don't need gear.  After everything I
wrote down, I'd would utimately recommend that you buy only a mask, snorkle,
fins (your fins are ok) and spend the 3k on training.   While in training, a
shop will provide you with all the gear you need and using rental gear will give
you the time you need to form an opinion about what you need and would like.

Cheers,
R..

 
 
 

Newbie Needs Recommendations on 'Better' or 'Best' Dive Gear

Post by WalkerDlwal » Wed, 05 Jun 2002 12:50:00

Quote:
>Don't bother with Air Integrated.  It's not worth the money and the extra
>functionality is deceptive and virtually useless in reality.  (I should know,
>I
>bought one and found out the hard way).

Why is it not worth the money?  I'm a few major purchases away from a Dive
Computer (suit, BC and maybe reg first - I'm newly certified), but was thinking
about a an air integrated wrist computer (with the trasmitter coming off the
tank) so as to avoid another dangly thing (console).  Is there a problem with
air integrated computers, or do you just not think they are worth the cost?

Thanks
Dave Walker

 
 
 

Newbie Needs Recommendations on 'Better' or 'Best' Dive Gear

Post by Jer » Wed, 05 Jun 2002 14:00:46

Quote:

> >Don't bother with Air Integrated.  It's not worth the money and the extra
> >functionality is deceptive and virtually useless in reality.  (I should know,
> >I
> >bought one and found out the hard way).

> Why is it not worth the money?  I'm a few major purchases away from a Dive
> Computer (suit, BC and maybe reg first - I'm newly certified), but was thinking
> about a an air integrated wrist computer (with the trasmitter coming off the
> tank) so as to avoid another dangly thing (console).  Is there a problem with
> air integrated computers, or do you just not think they are worth the cost?

> Thanks
> Dave Walker

A two dollar equipment clip will eliminate that dangly console thing.
And I've seen more than my share of pressure transducers broken off from
a fallen tank.  Also, some of these wrist rockets get wiped when a photo
strobe fires close by.

--
jer
email reply - I am not a 'ten'
ICQ = 35253273

"All that we do is touched with ocean,
yet we remain on the shore of what we know."
                     - Richard Wilbur

 
 
 

Newbie Needs Recommendations on 'Better' or 'Best' Dive Gear

Post by Rob Turne » Thu, 06 Jun 2002 00:37:05



Quote:
> >Don't bother with Air Integrated.  It's not worth the money and the extra
> >functionality is deceptive and virtually useless in reality.  (I should know,
> >I
> >bought one and found out the hard way).

> Why is it not worth the money?  I'm a few major purchases away from a Dive
> Computer (suit, BC and maybe reg first - I'm newly certified), but was
thinking
> about a an air integrated wrist computer (with the trasmitter coming off the
> tank) so as to avoid another dangly thing (console).  Is there a problem with
> air integrated computers, or do you just not think they are worth the cost?

Just not worth the extra cost.  What it gives you in extra functionality is
having the tank pressure on the computer (which is nice) and some sort of "time
to die" calculation based on the air consumption over the last couple of
minutes.

It's true that the wrist mounted computers will allow you to eliminate the
console but as someone already said, the console isn't in the way if you attach
it properly.  Remaining bottom time calculations (RBT) don't give you any
information that you can rely on in reality, so looking at your tank pressure is
still the only relevant gas-status number.  Furthermore, RBT can't be used at
all for gas planning because gas planning gets done before you get in the water.
And finally, RBT doesn't make it any easier to calculate SAC after the fact.
The fact is, you can calculate SAC easily with any computer that gives you the
average depth.

Personally, I've used both AI and non-AI computers and it doesn't make or break
my day either way.  Thus, the conclusion that it's not worth the cost.

Quote:
> Thanks
> Dave Walker

 
 
 

Newbie Needs Recommendations on 'Better' or 'Best' Dive Gear

Post by Ross Bagl » Thu, 06 Jun 2002 03:04:04

Quote:



> > I am seeking guidance on equipment selections for use with air.  I am
> > working on a budget of roughly $3,000 for BC, Hoseless Computer,
> > Camera, and optionally - full face mask.  (maybe roughly $500 each +
> > misc.)

> > Are there any hoseless computers to avoid?  What do you recommend?

[...snip...]

Quote:
> Don't bother with Air Integrated.  It's not worth the money and the
> extra functionality is deceptive and virtually useless in reality.
> (I should know, I bought one and found out the hard way).

I disagree with this recommendation.  Air Integrated computers are
certainly useful (as I have found in my experience), though I wouldn't
use one on a staged deco dive.

Both the Suunto Cobra (hose AI) and Vytec (hoseless AI) are excellent
computers.  My next computer will be a Vytec and my Cobra will then
become my loaner.

Regards,
Ross

-- Ross Bagley       http://rossbagley.com/rba
"Security is mostly a superstition.  It does not exist in nature...  
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."  -- Helen Keller