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Uwatec Smart Z with transmitter review

Uwatec Smart Z with transmitter review

Post Number:#1  Postby Scorpenesub » Mon Sep 10, 2007 7:39 pm

Uwatec Smart Z with transmitter review

Uwatec Smart Z

I like the Uwatec Smart Z because of its large screen. This DC is a scaled down version of its more advanced cousin, the Uwatec Smart Tec. The only difference is the Smart Z pairs with one transmitter while the Smart Tec can pair with up to three transmitter. For that small difference, there is a premium in terms of price for the Smart Tec.

What is perhaps seen as good by some is that this range of Uwatec DCs do not have movable parts. All buttons are electrolyte operated, meaning it has to come into contact with water to activate the controls. Thus you will see many Smart Z and Tec owners licking their fingers and thumbs to wet the fingers and then touch the contact points to activate the DC as well as to navigate the menu.

Programming is easy, although the thick owners manual can be seen as intimidating. On activation, the DC masures air temperature, and take a default O2 setting at 21% which can be adjusted based on 1% increments up to 100%. The partial pressure of oxygen (ppO2) also can be adjusted between 1.0 to 1.95 bar, with the default at 1.4 bar. When the setting for the gas mixture is set, the Smart Z will display the pp02 max limit setting and the corresponding maximum operating depth (MOD).

Before using the DC, the Smart Z has to be paired once. Thereafter, the transmitter will activate from sleep mode once it is detect tank pressure everytime you mate the first stage with the tank and turn on the air. It takes about 10 seconds for the DC to pick up the data sent by the transmitter, and the tank pressure can be read in bars or psi.

For each dive, the screen will show current depth, maximum depth reached, tank pressure, water temperature, duration of dive time, remaining bottom time and remaining time at a given depth during which ascend is allowed without decompression stops.

What I like most about the Smart Z is that it has a safety/level stop option that allows the diver to decide whether he wants just the usual safety stop at 5m for 3 minutes, or five other level stops based on the microbubbles levels determined by Uwatec's ZH-L8 ADT decompression model. What this means is that you can choose between having minimum safety/level stops or maximum safety/level stops. At L5 microbubble level, the DC gives you four level stops and one safety stop. This means at L5, the DC will programme you for four level and one safety stop for a particular dive, which may start at 15m, 12m, 9m, 6m and 3m. The length of time for each safety/level stop depends on your diving depth and bottom time.

If lower safety stop are ignored, penalty is added for the remaining safety stops. What the multi-level stops does it that it enables the diver to dissipate the microbubbles in the blood so that properly observed, the diver will not have any problems after the dive. Another safety feature is that after multiple dives in the day, the DC calculates the altitude at which you may safely ascend, so if you have plans to visit Camerons Highland or Genting, the DC may ground you at sea level or not higher than 2,000m (6,560 feet) for perhaps 18 hours after say a weekend of 7 dives.

During dives, the DC monitors your workload via your breathing and if stress is detected, a warning signal is emitted to instruct a diver to ease up. The DC is quite sensitive to rates of ascend and decend. What may seemingly look like a slow decend or ascend is actually faster than the human senses can tell and this is picked up by the Uwatec DC which will beep warnings or quick ascend or descend according to percentages. The good part is that early detection of ascend momentum enables a diver to check against runaway ascend momentum.

Perhaps, what is the best of these Uwatec DCs is that downloading data is via infrared already built into the DC. All you need is to install the given software into your PC or notebook to download the data, and you can start analysing your dive profiles as well as reprogramme some functions of the DC according to the personal specs you want to set.

The Uwatec does not have a watch function and it also does not have a compass like the D9. That to some may be a drawback, but it works fine with me because I already have a compass with my SPG. No watch? That's fine too because I certainly won't wear a D9 to dinner.
Last edited by Scorpenesub on Mon Sep 10, 2007 9:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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