Searching for a dive computer in the Philippines

November 18, 2008 - Filed under Scuba Diving

Since I learned to scuba dive it’s become apparent that I need a dive computer. They’re just too useful. Keeping track of your dive time, adjusting your O2 levels for Nitrox dives, watching your no-decompression time. All these things can be estimated the old fashioned way by using the US Navy dive tables, but it’s just too much effort when you can use a dive computer instead.

Kelly bought herself a Suunto Mosquito dive computer before we left, anticipating the amount of diving she’d be doing. They’ve recently been discontinued, so she got a great deal on it (around $350CDN, usually $500). It’s a nice watch sized dive computer that she can wear anywhere, with all of the common dive planning and analysis features.

Since learning to scuba dive, I’ve been using a Suunto Gecko which is a large display, entry level dive computer that I’m renting from the dive shop. It’s basic, but has both air and Nitrox modes and logs all the depth and time information about my dives for my log book.

As I log more dives, I’ve been looking into getting my own dive computer. I like the Suunto brand, and their dive profiles are conservative, which suits Kelly and I. I want a watch sized computer because the large display units are bulky and I’ve got enough gear to haul as is. Plus, I’m dive fashion conscious. ;) The new Suunto D4 is a nice entry level dive computer, if a bit plasticky. I’m also looking at getting a Suunto Stinger which is the most popular of the Suunto dive watch line. It’s a full decompression dive watch with automatic safety stop countdown, plus it has air, Nitrox, and freedive modes. I can also plug it into my laptop and download all my dive data to review.

Pricing and availability have been a bit of an concern here in the Philippines. The import taxes and limited supply have driven the price up substantially from North American prices. Usually a Stinger will go for around $6-700USD. The cheapest I’ve found it in the Philippines has been a shop in Cebu on sale for $850, with most dive shops asking more than $1000 regularly. I’ve looked on Ebay and found a few international auctions, but have concerns about mailing such an expensive piece of equipment through the general mail service which I’ve been told can be quite corrupt. Also it seems that courier service to the Philippines is somewhat limited. The closest DHL office to us is in Cebu. So, I might just have to suck it up and head to Cebu myself to search a few dive shops personally. We’re thinking of heading to Moalboal (3 hours West of Cebu) in December to check out the diving, so I may as well bite the bullet and dive in.

Posted by: Shim

7 Comments so far

  1. Bert November 19, 2008 6:24 pm

    Hi Mike…

    Expensive prices for dive equipment, concerns about shipping, finding a new place to live…if I could have your problems, I would throw mine away! I read your blog every now and then. What a great way to stay connected. Hope both of you are enjoying your adventure.


  2. Shim November 19, 2008 9:59 pm

    Haha. Thanks Auntie Bert. Good to know someone is reading. We’re having a blast.

  3. Chris Winter November 28, 2008 6:52 am

    Hy Shim
    since you are a pc-nurd buy a suunto viper 2… not to expansive, compass integrated, nitox, dive planer, pc interface, back light… really go value for your money. But interface cable you have to buy separate :( Other option Aladin Tec 2G… no compass but to gases to switch while diving, nitrox up to 50%, deco dive planer, back light. and blue tooth interface… best buy!

  4. Shim November 28, 2008 7:34 am

    Hey Chris, thanks for the Aladin Tec 2G recommendation. I hadn’t heard of that one yet, and bluetooth is a big plus! The Vyper 2 is about on par with the Stinger, but it has the digital compass, which is nice. It is rather bulky, like the gecko… but who am I kidding, what do I need a watch for other than diving? ;)

    Kelly showed me your Flickr ice dive pictures from the lake in Switzerland. Brrrr! Too cold for us warm bodies… ;)

  5. Chris November 29, 2008 9:11 pm

    Hi Shim
    all suunto need that stupid cable even D6 and D9…
    D6, D9 have also compass… but small electronic dive watch highly sensitive and bloody expansive… Btw what for a watch u have a lady… telling you went is time for things :) no serious uwatec aladin tec 2G is great i would buy one if i would need one now… just no air integration! Haveing that option in a dive computer is expansive to buy as well to service… and you don’t get around a pressure gouge anyway due to the possibility of batterie crash by the watch or sensor…
    Like to Scubapro Asia
    hey and pls check my web page and give me your comment…

  6. Chris November 29, 2008 9:11 pm
    link to my page

  7. Underh2ocameras March 24, 2009 6:32 pm

    Thanks for the info on dive computers. I would
    like to offer them on my website through Ebay
    links and possibly other vendors.


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