Another useful feature is that if there were to be any water ingress into the battery compartment, it is sealed and won’t damage the computer’s internal electronics.
The Darwin and M1 is another pair of computers from the same manufacturer. Although their displays have a slightly different layout, they essentially give the same information. They are relatively easy to set up, despite the less-than-clear instruction manual. The two buttons are quite hard to press and require holding down for quite a while in order to change functions, but once you’ve got the knack thay are relatively easy to use. Both computers are quite chunky when compared with the others tested here and this is primarily down to the power pack. Mares and Dacor have gone for two AAA batteries. While these larger cells do add to the overall size of the unit, their advantage is they are readily available in most newsagents. Another useful feature is that if there were to be any water ingress into the battery compartment, it is sealed and won’t damage the computer’s internal electronics. Despite the large-ish size, the screen is a bit on the small side. Underwater, both computers were quite generous with the amount of bottom time left when compared with the others tested. However, on a repetitive dive they were generally more conservative. I can only deduce that the RGBM Mares-Wienke decompression and the modified Haldanean algorithms adapt accordingly for repetitive dives. Since, for all practical purposes, these two computers are identical, we were perplexed by the price differential of nearly £12 – my advice has to be go for the Darwin, if this model fits the bill.
AT A GLANCE
Air/nitrox to 50%
Logbook memory: 50 dives
Battery power indicator
PC optical interface
No-stop time at 30m on air 16 minutes
Diving where specialist batteries aren’t available
Contact: Hydrotech 01455 274841