The Shearwater Predator Technical Dive Computer
The only gear I put on my website is the stuff I really love, and I really love this computer. It gives me all the information I need, in a way that I can actually use it. I have pretty much dived, or seen someone else dive, every dive computer that has come down the pike since my SOS Meter. Most of them were okay, at least for the technology of the day, but some of them just did not work, which sucked. IMHO the Shearwater Predator is the the best dive computer I have ever dived.
The Predator is intuitive and easy to use, right out of the box. There are two buttons that are easy to work, and you get prompts. If there is a manual, I have not read it, but I am still able to make it work for me, easily. The display is brilliant, and I mean that both ways. I can glance at the screen and see the data, inside the wreck or outside, without having to light it up with my flashlight. Even a blind guy could see these numbers!
The whole reason I would want to have a dive computer in the first place is to provide me with the data I need to manage my dive. It is my job to interpret the information, so I want the information I want, right? With the Predator, I can get all fidgety with the Gradient Factors, or I can get info on the status of the battery, or I can change gas on the fly, or whatever? It makes all the data I could want, available.
I have known Bruce Partridge since before either of us had the courage to try to dive the AURA CCR 2000, and he is not just a talented engineer, but a good guy, who runs a great company that listens to their customers. A few years ago, I went to Bruce and Lynn and told them I like to know my Ceiling Depth, instead of just my Stop Depth, on decompression dives. On some dives, the anchor line can get a little busy, and knowing the Ceiling, can help me better manage a crowed anchor line in rough weather. The next version of the software gave divers the option for Ceiling information. The Predator is upgradable, which means we are not going to miss out on the next big software improvement, like Gangnam Style Stops!!
So far, I have dived this computer on OC, CC, Air, Nitrox, Trimix, and even Heliox to well in excess of 500 feet of water. The fact that I would use it to go that deep should tell you how much I believe in this device. Now, I know not every diver needs a computer that will take them to 500 feet, and for run of the mill recreational dives, divers can get by with far, far less. But if you are not sure how technical or advanced you want to get with your diving, you will never outgrow this computer.
Shearwater also makes the Petrel, which is a little smaller, cheaper, and it uses AA alkaline batteries, instead of the lithium batteries for the larger Predator. Some people prefer the Petrel, and I understand why. They essentially provide the same exact data, but in a slightly different package. Regardless, the Shearwater computers are the best IMHO.