Tuesday, 26 March 2013



Suuntos previous watch style dive computer was the Suunto D9tx this included a full technical diving algorithm to utilise trimix for open circuit divers.
Suunto have now replaced the D9tx with the Suunto DX (D10) and once again they are leading the way.  The Suunto DX is the world’s first watch style dive computer that can be used with closed circuit rebreathers. Will rebreathers like nitrox in the past revolutionise diving as we know it? Well for technical diving they already have. I’m often the only open circuit diver on board for technical dives.
Here is a link to my previous reviews about the Suunto HelO2 and the Suunto D9tx technical dive computers. This will give you background http://mikeclarkdiveblog.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/suunto-d9tx-dive-computer-review_29.html.
The Suunto DX has 2 major new features over its predecessor as well as slight design and menu upgrades. As with its predecessors anybody who has used a Suunto dive computer will find the controls very familiar.
The Suunto DX is the world’s first watch sized dive computer that has the capability of working with closed circuit rebreathers.  It is simple and easy to do as long as you have the new technology on your wrist.
The user can set 3 closed circuit (CC) gases and 8 open circuit gases (OC).  This is completed through the Closed Circuit Rebreather mode in the Menu and choosing the appropriate sub menu. High and low set points can also be adjusted here. The Suunto DX is not physically attached to the rebreather so it requires to be synchronised prior to diving. These are the PO2 pressures while at the surface and while at depth.  The Low Set Point is likely to be set at 0.7PO2 and the high Set point will be set around 1.3PO2. Once this is completed the switch points from low to high require to be set at around 20 metres. On the actual descent the DX will switch automatically to the high set point at 20 metres. Likewise on the ascent the low switch will be set around 4.5 metres. On the ascent the DX will automatically revert to the low set point to enable the correct decompression mix for shallow water. This is very easy to complete on the dive computer itself. Once diving this makes things far simpler as there is no need to manually switch mixes throughout a dive as you would on open circuit.  This is an impressive first for Suunto as no other manufacturer can offer this product type.
Most rebreather units do come with their own integrated control units. Whilst the DX can easily be used as a primary CCR computer it is likely that in reality it will be used as a backup for the rebreathers own dedicated units.

The Suunto Fused reduced gradient bubble model (RGBM) is the new decompression algorithm created by Dr. Bruce Wienke for the Suunto DX. Dr. Wienke has been working with Suunto for over a decade perfecting a RGBM to maximise bottom times and minimise ascent times.  Dr. Wienke had been working at the Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratory on the ‘full’ RGBM. This development was targeting the needs of deep divers and military personnel carrying out difficult dives. The new Suunto Fused™ RGBM combines the benefits of Suunto’s Technical RGBM (as used in the Suunto HelO2 and the D9tx) and the ‘full’ RGBM, bringing the benefits of both to recreational divers and technical divers. In shallow water the Suunto DX uses the Technical RGBM. Once the diver descends below 30 metres a linear transition will take place and the computer will switch from the Technical RGBM to the Full RGBM. The depth of the switch is not immediate but gradual and the switch is determined by what gas mixes are being used and whether there is helium in the mix. The transition will happen between 30 and 45 metres. This optimises the algorithm to best suit the dive type.
The DX also offers gauge mode and I am happy to say that it also retains a dedicated air diving menu. This enables you to dive on air without having to reset all of your programmed open circuit Nitrox or trimix gases.
All the menus are fast and easy to navigate and it’s very similar to the D9tx but there have been a number of small upgrades. Alarm times can be set for week day’s only so no rude awakening at the weekend unless you are diving.
Another minor change from the D9tx which may have a big impact is the colour of the watch. Gone is the Gun Metal of the D9tx. The sleek new DX is all black and secret opps.  Yes you will feel like James bond with the Suunto DX on your wrist.

A great link for all the technical product details can be found here http://ns.suunto.com/pdf/Suunto_Dive_Fused_RGBM_brochure_EN.pdf

East coast weather has really hindered my test of this new dive computer. This is really unfortunate as i do prefer to test kit in water. deadlines for magazines have required me to publish as is but hopefully a follow up will be possible should i have time before the unit is returned.

Mike Clark


Lomo Safety Equipment

Lomo Safety Equipment

Safety equipment is an important part of a diver’s kit. Over the years it has evolved from the biggest, heaviest dive knife to dedicated line cutters and snips. I have been testing 3 different products from LOMO Watersports who once again have produced some very nice equipment at a very reasonable price. So with heart-warming stories of large marine animals  seeking out divers for help to untangle them, here is a rundown of the gear you will need should you need to remove rope from a whale shark or fishing line from a dolphin and of course yourself or your buddy.

Lomo Compact BC Knife

Lomo’s Compact BC knife is great value for money. If comes in Hi Viz Yellow and has a blunt tip to avoid accidental drysuit punctures. Its serrated edge is ideal for cutting ropes but not so deep that it snags on what it’s trying to cut (A problem with many other designs of serrated edge) and its line cutter takes care of fishing lines. 
The holder comes with a belt clip, lanyard, and an attachable clip to secure to a BC hose if required. The lock holds the knife in position securely but also allows for easy removal with even a gloved hand.

Blade Length: 7CM
Overall Length in sheath: 17CM
Colour: Yellow: 
Accessories supplied: - Hose Clip and lanyard.
Material: 304 Marine Stainless Steel

Folding Rescue Knife

Lomo’s folding rescue knife is great value for money. It comes in Hi Viz Yellow or black and has a blunt tip to avoid accidental drysuit punctures. It's serrated edge is ideal for cutting ropes and it folds away neatly within its own handle.
The knife is made from rust resistant stainless steel.  The blade opens and locks in place. The lock has to be depressed to allow the blade to fold away.

Trauma Shears With Pouch

These great shears have amazing cutting abilities and are great for many situations. They are also great for in first aid kits. The shears come in a handy pouch which allows them to be clipped onto your equipment.
Stainless Steel, with a black handle.
Price: £7.00 (Including VAT at 20%)

Due to terrible weather and the deadline for publication of the magazine, I havent been able to put these safety devices through their paces yet in the sea. I did test the items on cutting some old cable (NOT LIVE)  I had and the trauma shears and the folding rescue knife made short work of it. The small BC knife found the cable too tough. It’s not a diver test  yet, so find out how I get on when I test the devices out in water on rope and fishing line.
Needless to say all these safety devices from LOMO are extremely good value for divers. And compare very well with named brands.
Well done LOMO.
A further update about these products will appear here.

Mike Clark

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Suunto D9tx review refresher

Hi there just before i get around to publishing my Suunto DX review. Here is a link to my previous reviews on the Suunto D9tx and the HelO2 dive computers. These computers both made recreational technical diving available to the masses. How will the Suunto DX improve upon these models. Keep your eyes glued to this blog and my in depth review will appear here within 2 weeks.
Mike Clark