For my birthday, 3 years ago, I was given a Suunto VYPER. Since I was given it, I have taken it on every dive with me. It is an invaluable piece of kit. It is a little bulky but its large display is easy to read. I only have two issues with it. The first is that when doing the safety stop it only shows the minutes, I know I am being pedantic but when you are waiting for those 3 minutes to tick down it can seem like an age. The second is one of conservatism. The algorithm that the Suuntos use is very conservative. Brad and I had done the same dives (yes there will be some discrepancies between what we did but we should have similar NDL) and while we were doing the last dive on the 3rd November we had to call it as my NDL running out. Brad on the other hand had over 30 minutes of NDL remaining at the same depth. He was using an Oceanic Veo 2.0 (it counts the seconds down as well).
Even though that was frustrating, I like how my computer is conservative. Working in the diving industry means that we are repeatedly exposed to high levels of nitrogen and there is risk of bubble formation. So I think being a little more conservative is a good thing.
One thing I have wanted to do, which you cannot do on the VYPER, was view my dive profiles. When I first got the dive computer I looked for the cable to connect it to a computer, but it was a serial cable and my computer didn’t have a serial port. I wasn’t sure what to buy so I didn’t buy anything. When some of my friends got the Suunto D4i, it came with a cable and I looked at getting one for my computer but I put it off for the same reasons as before. Occasionally I would search the internet looking for a cable, then I happened upon one on eBay. I decided that I would take a chance and buy it. But as I am in the Bahamas and the shop is in the UK I sent it to Brad because he was planning to come and visit. The cable was bought from customidea.com, but it is cheaper from their eBay shop.
I downloaded the software from Suunto and installed all necessary drivers etc, the DM4 software is meant to work seamlessly with your dive computer, but the Mono framework just would cause the software to crash every time it opened. I have a PC as well as my mac, so I downloaded DM3 and tried it on my PC. The cable worked and I could view my dives. However, I use my mac more and I wanted it on there. I read on the customidea website that their cable was also compatible with MacDive. I downloaded the trial version and it worked fantastically well. The trial version only allows you to import your last 5 dives but seeing as it gave me exactly what I wanted I went ahead and bought the full version of the software. So far I have to say that I am quit pleased with how it works. I may write a more detailed review later but I will definitely be using it to back up my dive computer.
I am disappointed with the Suunto DM4 software, I had hoped that a company that makes such fantastic dive computers could make a decent desktop profile viewer. Not being able to even open the software is a big issue. I guess it’s not meant to be. Regardless, I still love my dive computer and I like Suuntos. I am even thinking about getting the Suunto D9tx as it comes with a free radio transmitter and it would be nice to factor in my air consumption into my diving profiles.