Wrist Mount Computer, Transmitter, Heart Monitor
Easy to code, easy to read, easy to navigate.
Simple to set the transmitter, and found even if you’re a bit longer getting into the water and don’t get a chance to purge lines to change air pressure and the default surface mode time (3mins) has passed and the computer turns off, once you get in the water the computer pops on and picks up your air pressure a few seconds later. Large screen with legible display big enough for your buddy beside you to read without eye strain. When in surface mode, travelling through the various menu options is intuitive, with the only procedure of “exit” from a general screen option needing to be looked up in the manuel. The logbook feature is my favourite, with your dive profiles in graph form being displayed right on the computer (no PC upload needed!). The graph profiles also have concurrent temperature readings, as well as your heart rate.
If on an angle, the digital screen started to become illegible/blur together, so looking almost directly ontop of the screen is needed. Has a setting “remaining bottom time” RBT, seperate from your remaining No-deco time, that takes into account how much time you have remaining, using your current SAC rate, at that depth before you reach your pre-set reserve gas. It has an audible alarm at 3mins RBT, 2mins RBT, 1min RBT,0mins and pretty much all the time after. It also set an alarm off when your heart rate (if it was even being picked up) was increasing, indicating a higher work load. That would be fine if the fact that your computer sounding an alarm while your 70+feet under water didn’t set your heart a-pumping even faster, keeping the cycle going. The heart rate monitor itself seemed a bit more effort than it was worth. Being female, it must be donned in private, then getting confirmation from the Sol that it’s receiving a BPM transmission is difficult. Then when looking at the readings received afterwards in the logbook, the information seemed all over the place. These difficulties could be due to insufficent contact between monitor and skin (moisture is needed, and unless your in a wetsuit, your drysuit leaked, you’re particularly sweaty or really wet down the sensors before hand and hope you don’t dry it out before you dive, keeping it moist is hard), distance between monitor and computer is more sensitive, or my heart really was all over the place and the computer was reading it just fine.
[singlepic=204,320,240,watermark,right]Overall, I’m happy with the inwater and surface functions of the Sol that we’ve used so far. I’d be interested in doing more with it for nitrox, possible tech diving, as well as it’s PC interface. A transmitter is a nice change, and especially one that isn’t particularly fussy over my time to get into the water (particularly good if you’re an instructor with students, a gear intensive person, a distance from your dive site, or a bit more detail oriented than time oriented when getting geared up). But I’m not quite sold on the heart rate monitor, though I like the idea of the information it can give you. The problems that I had with it could possibly be solved with more familiarity with it, further reading of the manual, and some persistance, but so far I’m not convinced. Plus it pinched a bit:P