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Sunscreen and Dive Computers
0 Dive Computers FAQ
Our answer greatly depends on your personal style of diving, experience and expectations. However, here is a simple overview of our curated selections:
- For those divers who like a multi-activity sports wrist-watch form factor suitable for everyday wear, the Garmin Descent Mk1 manufactured in Asia builds on the features of their fēnix® 5X multi-activity GPS smartwatch to add SCUBA diving. For divers seeking a very richly featured dive computer in a wrist-watch form factor, the Shearwater Teric dive computer incorporates the powerful and proven Shearwater feature set that focuses on ease-of-use by divers. For technical divers seeking a backup bottom timer or computer, the very compact nature of these devices makes either of them a good choice.
- For those divers, who like the 'air integration' feature of always having their tank pressure displayed on their wrist, we recommend the Shearwater Perdix AI or the Shearwater Teric manufactured in North America. They offer the added feature of monitoring either one or two cylinders with companion transmitter(s),and include the well regarded Shearwater sport and technical diving functionality.
- For all experienced sport and all technical divers who expect to be doing planned decompression open-circuit or closed-circuit dives now or in the future, we usually recommend the Shearwater Perdix manufactured in North America. This is by far the most popular technical dive computer on the market. All the Shearwater models have a unique easy-to-use "recreational OC" mode for sport no-decompression divers but can be switched between technical OC, CCR, and gauge modes as needed. For advanced Nitrox or technical divers you might also consider the Ratio iX3M computer manufactured in Europe that offers GNSS (aka GPS) and an exceptional QVGA display.
- The Poseidon M28, Shearwater Petrel 2 and NERD 2, are specialized technical dive computers mostly of interest to closed-circuit rebreather divers although they also have excellent open-circuit features.
There are literally over a hundred different dive computers in the market. We consider most of them only suitable for entry level sport divers, and we don't recommend them. There are some high-end models from the sport diving big brands but they don't really merit consideration among serious technical divers. We recommend and stand behind what we consider the best in class solutions for experienced sport and technical divers.
The Garmin Mk1 and Shearwater Teric both have a scratch resistant Sapphire Crystal face. This material is rated a 9 out of 10 on the Mohs Hardness Scale; only diamond is harder. Unlike plastic or glass face plates found on most computers, an aftermarket adhesive film is unnecessary and counter-productive on the Sapphire Crystal faces of the Mk1 and Teric. However, if peace-of-mind is more important then there are a lot of inexpensive 40mm round screen protectors on Amazon. But before you waste your money, watch this demonstration YouTube video to see for yourself the exceptional scratch and impact resistance of Sapphire Crystal.
Garmin offers the Descent Mk1 multi-activity smartwatch and dive computer in both a sliver/black color (aka "Stainless") version and a gray/blue color (aka "Titanium") version. The sliver/black Mk1 version has a stainless steel bezel with black accents and the gray/blue Mk1 version has a titanium bezel with blue accents. All models include the black silicone QuickFit wrist strap set, and some configurations also include a metal link QuickFit "bracelet" style wristband.
They differ in price, leading some to wonder if there is any difference in features or functionality. The body of the device on both versions is the same fiber-reinforced polymer with stainless steel buttons and sapphire crystal lens, yielding the same depth rating. Both versions of the Mk1 have the same electronics with Bluetooth Smart, Wi-Fi and ANT+ connectivity and the same firmware, thus having the same features and functionality.
Shearwater Research tells us that as long as the transmitter is marked with "FCC ID MH8A" on the body then the transmitter, regardless of the brand, will also work with their Perdix AI, Teric, and NERD 2 model air integrated dive computers. However, no other Shearwater dive computer models, including the Perdix model without the "AI" designation and the original NERD, supports integration with a pressure transmitter.
The first stage regulator tank-pressure wireless transmitter supplied by Shearwater Research is actually manufactured by Pelagic Pressure Systems. Pelagic has been supplying those same OEM transmitters to various dive computer manufacturers such as Aeris, Aqualung, Hollis, and Oceanic for many years.
Yes. Although Shearwater Teric package includes their charging stand, the Teric can also be charged by the flat mats that support the Qi wireless-charging standard. Shearwater reports good results with the inexpensive CHOETECH Wireless Charging Pad. For a portable charging solution, plug the wireless charger into a USB power bank like the ANKER PowerCore. The typical 10000mAh power bank should give enough full charges to yield around 200 hours of dive time.
Misaligned or mismatched charging antennas can generate too much heat and the charging process will be interrupted to prevent damage. If the Teric displays a high temperature warning while charging, check the position of Teric on the charger and resume charging once the temperature drops. Verify your Teric is running the most recent firmware V09 (16-Aug-2018) that included improvements to charging. If the problem continues it may help to change the "Quick Charge" setting in the Teric to disabled.
The start-up screen with the current version firmware for all models of the Predator, Petrel, NERD and Perdix (but not the Teric) can optionally display two lines of text on activation, such as the owners name and contact information. The Perdix, Perdix AI and NERD 2 can also optionally display an alternate 320 x 240 image. The factory defaults are the Shearwater logo with blank text. This feature is only managed using the Shearwater Desktop application tool under the menu item "Dive Computer" where you will find "Update Start-Up Text" and "Update Start-Up Image." The start-up image and text reset to factory defaults whenever the firmware is updated. The Shearwater Desktop application also provides for the image and text to be reset to their defaults. More information is available in a Shearwater Blog Post - How To: Resize Images.
Currently the Shearwater Cloud application and Shearwater Teric dive computer do not support the activation display feature. However, the Teric itself does have a "User Info" setting to store and recall the owner name and contact information.
The short answer is as soon as possible, typically in a few hours. The controlling factor is the exact time of day you placed your order and how that relates to Shearwater's office hours. The VPM code is generated manually using your serial number by the Shearwater office staff and it can be as long as 72 hours if you place your order on Friday afternoon before you receive the code by e-mail on Monday afternoon.