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View Full Version : Feeling like a noob, difference between a dive computer and a bottom timer?



Phate
20-08-2014, 10:58 PM
Hi all,

Most of you know that while I'm a professional geek who's handy on a forum/good with clicking I'm still a young diver.

I've tried googling, but my google-fu has failed me.

Whats the difference between a bottom timer and a dive computer?

TIA
Jake

Woz
20-08-2014, 11:00 PM
Computer tracks your deco. Bottom timer is just a watch and depth gauge combined with a few bells and whistles.

Phate
20-08-2014, 11:03 PM
Computer tracks your deco. Bottom timer is just a watch and depth gauge combined with a few bells and whistles.

Cheers. What was throwing me was looking up the X-Deep online. Saying it was a bottom timer/computer. But then seen you can upgrade it from a BT to a Trimix computer via a software update...makes sense now.

Ta!

jb2cool
21-08-2014, 06:23 AM
If you want it to tell you what no-deco time you have left or how much deco you need to do then you want a computer. Bottom timers can tell you lots of info like dive-time, depth, temperature but they won't tell you about deco obligation so you'll have to plan your dive some other way.

Phate
21-08-2014, 07:17 AM
So my Suunto D4i - where that tells me how much no-deco time I have left along with 3-at-5 stop thats a dive computer.

But the X-Deep Black out of the box is just a fancy bottom timer, so in effect couldn't fully replace it until it had the software upgrade to EANx?

jb2cool
21-08-2014, 07:29 AM
Correct unless you have some other way of planning your dives. Remember, we all probably learned to plan our dives before getting in the water and used a basic depth gauge and watch during training, the bottom timer will replace these.

Phate
21-08-2014, 07:33 AM
Correct unless you have some other way of planning your dives. Remember, we all probably learned to plan our dives before getting in the water and used a basic depth gauge and watch during training, the bottom timer will replace these.

Gotcha. Ok my pea-brain is understanding now.

I vaguely remember doing that on my OW 12 years ago...thanks :)

Gareth Jones
21-08-2014, 11:53 AM
It is perfectly possible to plan and execute a dive using a bottom timer only. Your inner geek may be interested in software like Vplanner which can help with this, other packages are available. I believe the GUE guys use pre-planning, a bottom timer and rule based "on the fly" calculations to determine their deco obligations (correct me if I'm wrong guys).

Whichever method you use, proper training and awareness of the limitations of your chosen method is essential.

Paul Evans
21-08-2014, 12:39 PM
You would order the Xdeep EAN version if you wanted a Nitrox Computer, I am on the waiting list, been waiting 6 weeks now I think :p

OSTC are releasing a similar spec thing (Different screen) Rob has posted some info on it but no arrival time!! Bit like my xdeep order............:rofl:

Gareth is spot on about not needing one, although it does become easier if your doing a lot of diving back to back, Holiday's live-aboard etc. to track all the dive's and any build up effect.

HTH's

Phate
21-08-2014, 12:43 PM
You would order the Xdeep EAN version if you wanted a Nitrox Computer, I am on the waiting list, been waiting 6 weeks now I think :p

OSTC are releasing a similar spec thing (Different screen) Rob has posted some info on it but no arrival time!! Bit like my xdeep order............:rofl:

Gareth is spot on about not needing one, although it does become easier if your doing a lot of diving back to back, Holiday's live-aboard etc. to track all the dive's and any build up effect.

HTH's

Nice one thanks. Yes I know about the huge waiting list. I read on their own website they only anticipated about 500 orders in the first year and they got several thousand orders in a few months! ha!

I'm not looking to buy anytime soon, my D4i does the job perfectly for me at the moment, it's just more next year when I start looking towards tech, doing background research now ;) :)

Paul Evans
21-08-2014, 12:47 PM
Nice one thanks. Yes I know about the huge waiting list. I read on their own website they only anticipated about 500 orders in the first year and they got several thousand orders in a few months! ha!

I'm not looking to buy anytime soon, my D4i does the job perfectly for me at the moment, it's just more next year when I start looking towards tech, doing background research now ;) :)

If your going Trimix buy a Predator.........
Yes its a lot more up front but its the Ducks nut's.

If only they did a EAN version with the price trimmed a bit...........:nod:

Phate
21-08-2014, 12:51 PM
If your going Trimix buy a Predator.........
Yes its a lot more up front but its the Ducks nut's.

If only they did a EAN version with the price trimmed a bit...........:nod:

Ah so many choices! Theres the OSTC, Predator, Petrel, X-Deep.

Something about the X-Deep I just like. Maybe its the whole 'new kid on the block' syndrome. Who knows.

Buy the time I come to buy one either way there will be plenty of stock and lots to play with at a Dive show no doubt :)

Paul Evans
21-08-2014, 12:55 PM
sorry i meant petrel...........:p

Phate
21-08-2014, 01:05 PM
sorry i meant petrel...........:p

Haha. My friend just picked one up. Looks fantastic.

jb2cool
21-08-2014, 01:06 PM
There seem to be a fair few people that don't like the X-Deep. Yes it's the new kid on the block but it's not quite refined and polished yet.

OSTC or Petrel would be my choices.

Paul Evans
21-08-2014, 01:08 PM
Haha. My friend just picked one up. Looks fantastic.

You have to ask yourself why ISC and JJ use them on their breathers..........

Bruce has refined this to such a degree. wonderful bit of kit. I just wish he'd do a "Lite" version :rofl:

And don't get me started on the NERD :p

Phate
21-08-2014, 01:11 PM
There seem to be a fair few people that don't like the X-Deep. Yes it's the new kid on the block but it's not quite refined and polished yet.

OSTC or Petrel would be my choices.

From what I've read they seem to have a few QC issues with the first batch of units that went out...although a few others are popping up now, will be interesting to see. I read Garfs review and he was saying about the buttons being too easy to press accidentally. Otherwise it seems to be ok. Some mention the screen having difficult viewing angles...well when are you not going to look at it directly and how difficult is it to turn your arm for a quick glance...none issue really. No different to my D4i :)


You have to ask yourself why ISC and JJ use them on their breathers..........

Bruce has refined this to such a degree. wonderful bit of kit. I just wish he'd do a "Lite" version :rofl:

Oh I know, there is no doubt the Petrel is an amazing bit of kit. Like you say though...dat price....

dwhitlow
21-08-2014, 01:11 PM
There seem to be a fair few people that don't like the X-Deep. Yes it's the new kid on the block but it's not quite refined and polished yet.
Not refined or not finished yet?


OSTC or Petrel would be my choices.
Which OSTC would you choose? I have an OSTC2N and there is the OSTC2C, OSTC3 and now the OSTC Sport :)

Paulo
21-08-2014, 01:18 PM
VR3, the only computer you will ever need

londonsean69
21-08-2014, 01:21 PM
VR3, the only computer you will ever need

Until it needs a repair.....

Paulo
21-08-2014, 01:22 PM
Thats why I had to replace mine with a Petrel :D

jb2cool
21-08-2014, 01:22 PM
I don't know much about the OSTC3 and the OSTC Sport is not actually out yet (As far as i know). I have an OSTC mk2 which is the predecessor of the OSTC 2N which itself was the predecessor of the OSTC 2C.

Rob Dobson posted a good summary here (http://www.thediveforum.com/showthread.php?12360-OSTC-2n-2c-amp-3) of when you'd use the OSTC2 and when you'd use the OSTC3. I think they are aimed at different people.

jb2cool
21-08-2014, 01:26 PM
double post

gobfish1
21-08-2014, 02:39 PM
seems to me that the new bottom times / computers , work along the same lines as McDonald's.


get em young , and you can feed them all there life,s lol

Paul Evans
21-08-2014, 03:02 PM
seems to me that the new bottom times / computers , work along the same lines as McDonald's.


get em young , and you can feed them all there life,s lol


If someone said, "Gobber's me old mucker, here's a NERD for your Box" your would'nt.....................

:nerd:

gobfish1
21-08-2014, 03:53 PM
If someone said, "Gobber's me old mucker, here's a NERD for your Box" your would'nt.....................

:nerd:

yes maybe , but if i was still diving air to 30m on a single 12l id say no thank you ,
in ten years time i may need something NEW , . not a old bottom times i can reprogram , for a fee,

remember that other computer , the only one you will ever need , lol
iv a old vr3 and a top end Shearwater on 3 cells , so i cant see a nerd doing much more for me at the mo ,



ps a 2nd hand nerd will cost 50 quid in ten years time , and all my dive kit will be sitting in some young guns dive locker lol

Mark Chase
22-08-2014, 07:12 AM
I use a bottom timer and i use a computer.

The problem with modern computers is they are so damed expensive. If you dive just a computer you need two. Incase one breaks or goes wrong during the dive. Depth sensor failure is a common issue in my diving history

I used to run two VR3s total cost about 800

Now i run a Shearwater Preditor and two of thise would be about 2300

QED I run a single dive computer and I ran a depth and bottom timer with my version of GUEs ratio deco for back up in case it failed.

Problem is now i have stoped / greatly reduced my deep stops so ratio deco needs a major rethink. QED I have bitten the bullit and baught a second Sheerwater but the older Persuit S/H for 350

So back to running two computers :(

My2p is its not worth worrying about till you get into full on deco diving.

I didnt own a computer at all for the first 6-7 years as a single tank diver and i was fine. My first computer came with my first twinset.

ATB

Mark

Phate
22-08-2014, 07:17 AM
My2p is its not worth worrying about till you get into full on deco diving.


Mark

Oh I'm not, I just like to research and find out more info :)

Garf
22-08-2014, 07:22 AM
Some mention the screen having difficult viewing angles...well when are you not going to look at it directly and how difficult is it to turn your arm for a quick glance...none issue really. No different to my D4i

It's VERY different to a D4, because I used to dive a D4. You'll find out how forgiving the D4 was when you use an XDEEP, because if your arm is not aligned with your eye you can't read the XDEEP, whereas a casual glance at the D4 would do. TBH you get into the habit of turning your arm to meet your eye after a while, but it's a bit irritating at first. It does this because there is an airspace behind the glass. The buttons ARE too easy to push and put it into settings mode. You just get used to wearing it further up your arm.

Rob Dobson
24-08-2014, 09:14 AM
[QUOTE=Paul Evans;177361]

OSTC are releasing a similar spec thing (Different screen) Rob has posted some info on it but no arrival time!! /QUOTE]

The OSTC Sport should be in the UK early next week.

SilentDiver
25-08-2014, 03:44 PM
On eBay right now:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/171423956651?_trksid=p2060778.m1438.l2648&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

No it isnt mine but not a bad price so far.

I was thinking about getting an xdeep but will probably save up the extra and get a Xen instead.