MalaysianUnderwater.com (MUW) • View topic - Suunto D9 Review

Suunto D9 Review

Suunto D9 Review

Post Number:#1  Postby syamdive » Thu Sep 06, 2007 6:10 pm

hi all

Just want to share my experience in using the D9 so that people considering getting one would have a better idea of the dive comp. I've had it for about 30+ dives, prior to that I was using the Suunto Stinger. I'm writing based on my experience in using it - this is not a full review by an instructor that have used hundreds of different dive comp for 30 years. I'm just telling you what I know :)

Wireless Tank Data Reception & Wireless Transmitter
The transmitter is screwed into a high pressure port on the first stage and transmits the current air pressure data to the dive comp. I normally screw it on at the beginning of a trip and don't take it off until the trip ends. If you're at a really busy resort maybe its a good idea to take it off and keep it in your room just in case.

Before using the transmitter you have to pair your dive comp with it (like Bluetooth). To do that just switch the D9 to Dive mode and bring it close to the transmitter, make sure you turn the air on first. After a few seconds you'll see the lightning symbol on the D9, meaning that its receiving data. You'll see the current air pressure of the tank on the screen, you can test it by purging some air from the regulator and see the air pressure number falling.

Important tip: you must pair before diving, once underwater you can't initiate the pairing process, so you can't see your air pressure. This is why I recommend not to remove the air gauge from your reg setup. You need the air gauge as backup just in case the transmitter ran out of battery or you forgot to pair before diving in.

Having the air pressure data on the dive comp is very handy, you'll see it every time you check your NDL time. It definitely makes me more aware of how much air i have left comparing to checking the air gauge periodically. The display also shows estimated air time remaining (how much time you have left before you run out of air) based on your current air consumption and remaining air pressure (computes down to 35 bar). It beeps when you reach 50 bar and will beep continuously after reaching 35 bar (can be changed).

When reviewing the dive profile later you can see the air pressure data decreasing showing how much air you've used. If you transfer the data to the PC, the Suunto Dive Manager software shows the graph of your air consumption.

To me, the ability to have the air pressure data in your dive comp represents a significant leap in diving technology - one that has a real purpose in improving your dive safety.

Compass
The D9 has a digital compass, to me its not a big deal. You can buy a clip-on compass - it does exactly the same thing. One drawback I realize is that you need both hands free to use the compass since you have to press and hold a button to activate it (it stays on for a few minutes or you can deactivate it).

No Decompression Limit
The D9 uses the Suunto Deep Stop RGBM Model in calculating the NDL time - apparently its more conservative than some other models. It allows you to perform a Deep Safety Stop for 1 or 2 minute at 10m - which you can turn off. If you're doing a decompression dive, the mandatory minimum ascent time is shown on the display - beware - the time shows DOESN'T include the 3 minute safety stop (unlike Stinger & Mosquito) so when the number goes down to zero you still have 3 min safety stop to do.

Skin Diving
One thing I notice is that the D9 is very unforgiving when you skin dive with it. If you skin dive beyond 6m it will beep continuously when you reach the surface because it thinks that you've dived and gone up without a safety stop. I once had to take off the dive comp and leave it at 4m for a few minutes before it stops beeping.  To avoid this hassle you should turn the Dive Air mode to Dive Off before doing any skin diving. Don't switch to Dive Gauge mode because it won't allow you to switch back to Dive Air mode until you completely desaturates, that's more than 24hrs. By the way I'm not recommending skin diving after diving :)


That's all for now, ask me if you want to know any thing else. The D9 with transmitter is selling for just under RM4k. I recommend getting it from MACHA (Adrin +60193145820) or Rainbow Runner (+60321414587).
syamdive
SCUBA PROFESSIONAL
SCUBA PROFESSIONAL
 
Topic author
Posts: 97
Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 5:13 pm
Location: kl
Gender: None specified

Re: Suunto D9 Review

Post Number:#2  Postby dockimi » Thu Sep 06, 2007 7:52 pm

I'm using the same model but without the transmitter. Generally I'm happy with the comp except the backlight is too dim and the alarm is too soft. Thinking of buying the transmitter as an add on. I've been asking around and many have advised against it. Did you experienced any transmission problems?
dockimi
Diver
Diver
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2007 11:37 am
Location: Shah Alam
Gender: None specified

Re: Suunto D9 Review

Post Number:#3  Postby syamdive » Fri Sep 07, 2007 1:20 am

So far no problem with receiving transmission during the dive. Once on the boat my tank was  next to another diver with a D9 & transmitter, the display for the air pressure shows FAIL due to the fact we're using the same code number. You can reset the code number to avoid confusion by the D9 but its easier just not to sit next to someone with a D9. The transmission conflict is temporary and the range for the transmission  is very short (less than 1.5m) so its not going to be an issue even if you dive with somebody who has the same code number as you.

As I said before, its better to keep the air gauge as backup.

Its true that the backlight could be brighter & the alarm could be louder. Another minor issue is the menu functions on the D9 is a bit confusing (same with all Suunto dive comp for that matter) with the same button doing different things if you press and hold. You'll get used to it after a while.
syamdive
SCUBA PROFESSIONAL
SCUBA PROFESSIONAL
 
Topic author
Posts: 97
Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 5:13 pm
Location: kl
Gender: None specified

Re: Suunto D9 Review

Post Number:#4  Postby sheik » Fri Sep 07, 2007 7:50 am

I found out that the transmission indicates "FAIL" when your the tank valve is turned on, and the D9 is away from its tx (transmitter). This happens when someone turns on your tank valve when you are away from your tx.

Best result is to put D9 as close as possible to its tx, turn on the tank valve (make sure there's no existing pressure on the HP).

If this one still not happening, go to Dive setting, clear the HP code. Works like a charm.

2. there was one occasion i played around with D9: after i did back roll, and the surface, i did not turn on the tank valve (tank was on my back as in i was ready to descend). after turning on the tank valve, D9 took awhile to connect to its tx, and didn't detect it.

What i did (remedy): turned off the tank valve. purged the remaining air (so no air pressure on the tx). turn tank valve back on, go to dive mode, BRING the D9 closer to the TX. and viola!

3. i have had my buddy, EZ also using D9 and a tx together in a trip. both tx were working fine provided when you turn on your tank valves and bring the D9 close as in next to its tx.


Another thing, if my air is at below 30 Bar, D9 gets "worried about you" and indicating the time remaining for air left is 0!  B-)
Last edited by sheik on Fri Sep 07, 2007 8:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
Diving: A Serious Play
User avatar
sheik
Administrator
Administrator
 
Posts: 2865
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2006 10:51 pm
Location: at ease
Gender: None specified

Re: Suunto D9 Review

Post Number:#5  Postby Jim » Fri Sep 07, 2007 10:22 am

syamdive wrote:hi all

No Decompression Limit
The D9 uses the Suunto Deep Stop RGBM Model in calculating the NDL time - apparently its more conservative than some other models. It allows you to perform a Deep Safety Stop for 1 or 2 minute at 10m - which you can turn off. If you're doing a decompression dive, the mandatory minimum ascent time is shown on the display - beware - the time shows DOESN'T include the 3 minute safety stop (unlike Stinger & Mosquito) so when the number goes down to zero you still have 3 min safety stop to do.



err... err... how come yr D9 only shows Deep Stop at 10m only? For mine, Vytec DS, it depends on the max depth during the dive. Oso depends on my bottom time, if not mistaken.... I do like the Deep Stop countdown though...
Last edited by Jim on Fri Sep 07, 2007 10:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Jim
Master Scuba Diver
Master Scuba Diver
 
Posts: 783
Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2006 1:04 pm
Location: KL
Gender: None specified

Re: Suunto D9 Review

Post Number:#6  Postby syamdive » Fri Sep 07, 2007 2:49 pm

Sorry, the Deep Safety Stop is actually iterative - first stop about halfway between max depth & ceiling depth e.g. if max depth 23m, ceiling 3m then the first stop is at about 13m for 1 or 2 minutes (depending on your setting). After that the next safety stop is halfway to the ceiling and so forth. If you do the Deep Stop then the comp will not ask you to do the Recommended Safety Stop (unless its Mandatory).

I find the Deep Safety Stop not suitable for video & photography work if your ascending slowly along the reef since you want to freely move in the area shooting subjects. Its OK if you're ascending in midwater (i.e. straight up) for example coming up from non-fringing reef or wreck, since you're not shooting anything on the way up.

Hi sheik, great to have other D9+transmitter user opinion. The D9 do worry (i.e. beep continuously) if your air reach 35bar - you can lower the number in Air Dive Settings. The time remaining for air calculation takes into account a reserve of 35bar (a higher number if you have a higher consumption rate). At any rate we should already be around 6m (safety stop zone) once the air reach around 30 bar :)
syamdive
SCUBA PROFESSIONAL
SCUBA PROFESSIONAL
 
Topic author
Posts: 97
Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 5:13 pm
Location: kl
Gender: None specified

Re: Suunto D9 Review

Post Number:#7  Postby Scorpenesub » Mon Sep 10, 2007 3:22 pm

Hi guys,

Thanks for sharing your experiences with the D9. I use a Smart Z Uwatec but its a good read for comparison. Smart Z functions are similar to D9 with Deep Stops to clear microbubbles.
Stealth is success
User avatar
Scorpenesub
Scuba Guru
Scuba Guru
 
Posts: 1192
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 9:03 pm
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Gender: None specified

Re: Suunto D9 Review

Post Number:#8  Postby syamdive » Mon Sep 10, 2007 5:31 pm

hi scorpenesub

I always wanted to know what other computers are like. Why don't you write a short review on your experience in using the Smart Z Uwatec? It would be a good comparison for divers looking to buy a DC.

I'll start off with some pics.

Smart Z Uwatec

Image

Suunto D9

Image

thanks
syamdive
SCUBA PROFESSIONAL
SCUBA PROFESSIONAL
 
Topic author
Posts: 97
Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 5:13 pm
Location: kl
Gender: None specified

Re: Suunto D9 Review

Post Number:#9  Postby Scorpenesub » Mon Sep 10, 2007 7:11 pm

Uwatec Smart Z
Image

Uwatec Smart Z with transmitter review moved to new thread. Click here: http://malaysianunderwater.com/smff/ind ... n.html#new

Thanks
Last edited by Scorpenesub on Mon Sep 10, 2007 7:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Stealth is success
User avatar
Scorpenesub
Scuba Guru
Scuba Guru
 
Posts: 1192
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 9:03 pm
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Gender: None specified

Re: Suunto D9 Review

Post Number:#10  Postby syamdive » Mon Sep 10, 2007 7:54 pm

Thanks for sharing.

What do you think about removing the SPG from the reg setup? I've had a discussion with an instructor in Bali that uses D9+transmitter, he argues that you can get rid of the SPG and totally rely on the DC air readings. His argument is that if you trust the DC for computation of your NDL why shouldn't you do the same for air readings. I don't have any answer to that.

3 cool features that I think the Smart Z has over the D9

1. Indication of maximum altitude you can go up up after multiple dives
2. Stress warning if over exertion
3. Infra-red communication and settings done by PC. D9 uses a USB cable (supplied) and only for data downloading. You can't change the settings on the DC using the PC with D9.

Questions
1. What is the usual max altitude given by the Smart Z after a weekend of 5-7 dives? I often go diving on the East Coast islands for a weekend of 5-7 dives and I normally drive back to KL in the afternoon after diving in the morning there. I wonder whether Karak Highway (near Genting) is higher than the max altitude.  Now I'm worried...

2. What's the price for a Smart Z and where can you get it in Malaysia?


Thanks again for sharing.

 
syamdive
SCUBA PROFESSIONAL
SCUBA PROFESSIONAL
 
Topic author
Posts: 97
Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 5:13 pm
Location: kl
Gender: None specified

Re: Suunto D9 Review

Post Number:#11  Postby Scorpenesub » Mon Sep 10, 2007 8:40 pm

Hi syamdive,

I honestly suggest you keep your SPG because it is good to have back-up in the event transmitter failure. It hasn't yet happen to me, touch wood, but I certainly don't want to abort dive if it happens. Which is why you must keep your SPG.

syamdive wrote:Questions
1. What is the usual max altitude given by the Smart Z after a weekend of 5-7 dives? I often go diving on the East Coast islands for a weekend of 5-7 dives and I normally drive back to KL in the afternoon after diving in the morning there. I wonder whether Karak Highway (near Genting) is higher than the max altitude.  Now I'm worried...
2. What's the price for a Smart Z and where can you get it in Malaysia?
Thanks again for sharing.


To answer your questions:

1. My best guess would be the Smart Z after a weekend of 5-7 dives of say not more than 30m, would probably be about level 2 or 2,650m (8,694 feet) for about 8 hours. So you will still be fine. However, the calculations will be different if say you do 7 dives of over 30m, in which case, the prohibited altitude may come down to 1,650m or 5,413ft, which is still fine, because the main range in Malaysia is only aboy 4,500 feet. Say even if you hit the lowest prohibition altitude of 850m which is 2,790 feet, it is not for the full quarantine duration. Say after four hours after the last dive, the prohibition altitude will rise to a higher level, and progressively so until the last level is signed out after about 18 hours countdown.

Please note this altitude prohibition is calculated concurrently with No Fly.

Smart Z's recommended retail price is RM3,300 while the Smart Tec is about RM3,800. You can get discounts if you tell Sealantis (1 Utama), you are from MUW. Check with Scubatex whether he can get it for you cheaper.... :) Also available at Rainbow Runner (Ampang) and Planet Scuba (Bangsar).
Last edited by Scorpenesub on Mon Sep 10, 2007 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Stealth is success
User avatar
Scorpenesub
Scuba Guru
Scuba Guru
 
Posts: 1192
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 9:03 pm
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Gender: None specified


Return to Dive Computers/Bottom Timer/Gauges

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron