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rmacd83
30-04-2015, 06:33 PM
Hi,
I am thinking on getting a new computer and was thinking on getting a sunnto viper air with a wireless transmitter, I was wondering if anyone has experience in this computer and what you think of it?

also is there a warning indicator on there transmitter so it dose on run out of battery mid dive?


I also have a uwatec smart pro but it runs out of battery before it reaches 0% anyone know why that is?


Thanks


Ross

Ian@1904
30-04-2015, 06:54 PM
There is no warning for the transmitter battery that I am aware of. As a general guide I keep an eye on the computer battery level and when it is low I change both batteries.

The transmitter is useful but not absolutely essential. Having said that I have been using Suunto transmitters for over a decade. I have an old Vytec and Helo2. Having all the information in one place is handy. The connection can fail(very rarely in my experience) so do not dispense with an SPG.

Ian_6301
30-04-2015, 07:35 PM
Wow, where to start?!

What sort of diving are you doing / do you want to do?

Secondly, talk to us about the transmitter. What do you want to achieve by having one?

Suunto uses a VPM model. With nominal conservatism, I personally would consider it to be a bit aggressive and the conservatism factors are not quite as I'd wish either. Finally, there's Suunto minutes. When the Suunto tells you to ascend to 6m, using the up arrow, and that you have 5 mins deco to do, what it really wants you to do is to come up to 4.5m. If you sit at 6m, it wil count down, but it will take a lot longer than 5 mins to count back to zero, despite still showing 5-4-3-2-1 etc.

It's not a bad computer. It's perfectly fine if you're planning on doing recreational no-stop dives and don't plan on doing much deco. On the other hand, if/when you get around to wanting to do more than a nominal 5 mins or so of deco, you're going to want something different, probably something that uses the Buhlman model with Gradient Factors.

The good news is that you can pick up a second hand Vyper Air for peanuts off the t'interweb and sell it on in a few years for what you paid for it. Go for it.

Now, Transmitters.

Different folks have different ideas, but to be honest, I struggle to justify spending as much money again for a gimmick. I have an SPG. It's clipped off on my hip and I can grab it, unclip it and look at it almost as easily as looking at my wrist. I know how much gas I use at the surface (18 L/min). I know how that works out in Bar per minute for my cylinders (0.75 Bar/min). From there, I just multiply by the depth (eg 4 bar at 30m) and I have my consumption rate at depth (ie 3 bar/min).

I know what gas I need to reserve in order to get me plus a buddy to the surface (50 bar in twin 12ls from 30m).

So I know how much gas I have. I know how much gas I'm using. I know how much gas I have to leave the bottom with. Hence I know how long I have left before I begin the ascent. Better than that, I know roughly how much gas I'm expecting to see before I grab the SPG (which is every 5 mins).

I can either check this against the remaining no stop time on my computer, or I can use another piece of maths (which is a story for another day). Depending on the rules I'm diving to, I can either begin my ascent based on gas or based on deco obligation.

On the other hand, if you use a transmitter and computer but can't trust it, you'll still need a SPG on your rig. On the other hand, if you do trust it and you remove the SPG... You may well find yourself up the creek without a... well, a means of knowing how much gas you have left. That's fine, as long as you keep monitoring it regularly and can do dead reckoning in the same way that I do with my SPG. From there, you can realise whether everything is OK, or whether it is not as expected. If it fails dead, you need the discipline to ascend immediately. If it gives you an unexpected reading, you need to be able to know whether it is correct and you are using gas faster (or slower) than expected, or whether it is wrong. This is at best a fine art and in most cases guesswork.

I'm happy to put my trust in a spring, a capsule and some cogs. Not so a wireless link.

YMMV

Jackdiver
30-04-2015, 11:21 PM
Suunto's are great if you can be bothered to read the manual and understand what they want you to do if you reach deco.
The transmitters are very reliable, dispite what some would have you believe.

Mikael
01-05-2015, 06:55 AM
To the OP, just saw that Aquanauts are doing free transmitters as an offer with the the viper black and helio models.

Personally I have never tried one and like the majority just happily used an SPG.

jturner
01-05-2015, 07:42 AM
Hi,
I am thinking on getting a new computer and was thinking on getting a sunnto viper air with a wireless transmitter, I was wondering if anyone has experience in this computer and what you think of it?

also is there a warning indicator on there transmitter so it dose on run out of battery mid dive?


I also have a uwatec smart pro but it runs out of battery before it reaches 0% anyone know why that is?


Thanks


Ross

I've been using this combo for several years now. The Vyper Air is a nice computer for those doing recreational dives and perhaps occasionally taking a pony or stage along with a separate gas mix to do the odd few mins of deco or just to use anyway to flush yourself out during the last stages of the dive (though I wouldn't use one for more serious planned deco dives eg 10-20mins of accelerated deco). The compass works well and the batteries last for quite a while (think years rather than weeks). I haven't found the Suunto minutes problem that serious once you know and understand how it works - it's not really designed for deco diving, so the functionality is not quite what you'd expect if you've used a deco computer before but if you understand how it works, it's fine within it's limitations.

The transmitters now have an LED which seems to indicate things (mine's the old one so doesn't have it) but you'd have to check the manuals to see what it does (downloadable at Suunto.com). Battery wise, what you find is that they begin to be more difficult to pair and less tolerant of being away from the computer before the battery fails completely. That said, my battery lasted well over 2 years with careful use (eg turn off gas a depressurise it when not required rather than leave the air on and the transmitter running for the 15mins before it automatically shuts down) and I managed to do a week's solid liveaboard diving with the battery almost dead without any problem beyond needing a little more care than usual. The data provided is very handy, giving you a time for "if you keep using gas at this rate, you'll be at 35bar in this many minutes), as well as recording gas use during the dive for analysing later. FWIW, I keep an SPG attached too and always check that they agree a few times during the dive but that's because I also teach a lot (and I'm paranoid!) and need it for demonstrations really, but the transmitter hasn't ever let me down.

Bottom line is understand how the whole setup works by reading the manual - if that works for you, It'll be a good setup and work nicely.

Adrian66
19-01-2016, 06:14 PM
Do you have to pair both for each dive?

Ken
19-01-2016, 06:40 PM
No.

Rob Dobson
19-01-2016, 09:54 PM
FFS just stick with the soddin SPG. Why build in additional failure?

Chrisch
20-01-2016, 07:19 AM
....
Suunto uses a VPM model. With nominal conservatism, I personally would consider it to be a bit aggressive and the conservatism factors are not quite as I'd wish either. .......... you're going to want something different, probably something that uses the Buhlman model with Gradient Factors...

The manual says it is a modified Buhlmann. Unless I am mistaken it has a Bruce Weinke add on to mimic the RGBM model. This feature can be turned off.

Most people seem to think it is too conservative a computer (Suunto in general).

I have the old Viper and the missus has the newer Air model. Our stop times are more or less identical, so I assume the algo has not changed.

Ian, you are spot on with the stops/deco - you need to ascend a bit to get the thing to work properly. Once you understand that I think it is a good unit. Agree with everyone about the AI - don't bother. Agree also the resale value is high so hard to make a mistake buying it. Agree that if you do a lot of deco diving and multi gas buy something better. For me it is a recreational unit with enough extras to do the odd deep dive (which sums up my diving).

Rob Dobson
20-01-2016, 07:42 AM
^^^^^ I had let the 'VPM' comment go as quite frankly I couldn't be bothered to open that box of poo again but Chrishch is correct. No, it's not VPM. They like using the phrase 'RGBM' to make their computers sounds more advanced than they are but it seems to be some kind of proprietary Bühlmann or even 5 compartment Haldane model under the hood. It's fine for recreational fish bothering type diving and sure as shit ain't gonna get you bent. Nor would a bottom timer and a disciplined approach to doing min mandatory stops on all your dives but that's a different discussion....

jturner
20-01-2016, 07:47 AM
Do you have to pair both for each dive?


No.

What Ken said. I tend to pair them before every dive anyway but that's because I have a routine for setting up and kitting up and that doesn't change just because it could.


FFS just stick with the soddin SPG. Why build in additional failure?

A variety of reasons. Redundant reading of cylinder pressure, gas duration remaining calculations that don't involve doing maths in your head whilst you're diving, convenience of having that pressure reading available on your wrist to be checked every time you check the computer... more than enough reasons really. They're not essential of course and I wouldn't use them for diving where gas leakage would be a potentially serious problem eg when incurring decompression obligations or the like, but for simple recreational open water dives, why not?

Adrian66
21-01-2016, 02:11 PM
I only asked about pairing as I bought a viper air and the transmitter came free, I wouldn't spend £250 for it other wise.
I have just fitted it and paired but will still keep my spg , just going to see how it fairs tbh

Stinky Diver
22-01-2016, 10:37 PM
Used one for a few years with the transmiter but dont leave the first stage presurised when not diving as the transmiter stays on and will flatten the battery in it....i know from past experence apart from that the puters are good peace of kit and does what it says on the box..

Adrian66
23-01-2016, 03:02 PM
First dives with the transmitter today ,love all the info on my wrist,air used/remaining and times (still have the spg though) :nod:

MinimalMayhem
23-01-2016, 04:11 PM
I use one too. Like it mostly because of the easy SAC calculation (ie look at the number in desktop dive log of choice). Handy to have on the wrist too but i'd never leave home without my spg.

PaulH
26-01-2016, 02:36 PM
mostly because of the easy SAC calculation

I imagine SAC is totally automatic with a transmitter but for those of us without one, you only need to supply your start and end cylinder pressure(s) to your dive log software of choice to get the SAC calculated for you.