Dive Computer Expert Reviews
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New dive computer from SCUBAPRO - Chromis ready for any test - both under and above water! Ultra lightweight, extremely durable, easy to read and intuitive, this computer sets a new standard for devices of this type. With Chromis you will have on your wrist not only multifunctional dive computer, but instrument for freediving, fully functional digital wrist watch and system with a patented stroke counter.
ScubaPro Chromis is equipped with perfectly read matrix display with strong backlight and sharp digits. All dive data, like Elapsed Dive Time, depth, N0-DECO Time Remaining, all other information is clearly displayed and seen under the any conditions. Dive computer has audible and visual alarms of time and depth, which warn the diver in the need to resurface. Chromis designed with the separate mode with innovative features for FREEdiving, which is ideal for those who are seriously interested in apnea diving.
Another interesting mode is dedicated SWIM mode. When ScubaPro Chromis dive computer set up for this mode - it keeps track of strokes from the wrist or fin kicks from the ankle while calculating distance. This mode works only on surface, and dive computer will switch to active dive mode when senses depth of 3 meters.
Copy this ScubaPro Chromis Features & Alarms Card for your Reference and Share with your friends and buddies!
ScubaPro Chromis is controlled by four buttons, touch-friendly, even with thick gloves. Dive computer's display layout looks similar to ScubaPro Meridian. It doesn't have real bar graphs, except probably small SLOW symbol that visually represents your ascent speed. It's located on the top left area of the screen.
Display is devided on 3 levels. On toppest level there are icons and notations, like PDI Stop symbol, NO-Fly icon, depth, toxicity level, etc. 2 other levels show current and max depths, Elapsed Dive Time, No-DECO Time, DECO STOP Timer and depth, set points of the parameters, current time, weekday, log data, etc.
Chromis has icons for each mode. This set of icons is located on the right side of the display. They are:
Each active mode is represented by the dot next to specific mode icon. By pressing UP/DOWN-buttons diver may move around them, select the mode and use its sub-functions.
Digits are very sharp with high contrast - perfectly viewable at any angle and under any light conditions. Display itself is very intuitive and has all necessary information for the diver to stay fully alert in any situation. Still, in my opinion - would be nice to have nitrogen/oxygen loading bar graph, even thin one, and not just representation those parameters in numbers.
Initial using of ScubaPro Chromis dive computer expects us setting wrist watch functions before setting any dive mode and its parameters:
ScubaPro Chromis has extensive set of parameters to support our recreational style of diving. And to access all dive settings Chromis must be in dive surface mode display. When you select dive surface mode - following functions are available for tuning:
At this stage I could adjust altitude by selecting ALTI mode. And you need to know that manual adjusting the altitude elevation doesn't make any effect on the Altitude Class calculated by Chromis, because those classes are directly derived from current barometric pressure.
To plan No-Decompression dives, ScubaPro Chromis is equipped with Dive Planner, and its calculations depend on nitrogen and oxygen exposure from previous dives, selected water type and MB level, altitude level, water temperature, and observance of the prescribed ascent rates. Dive Planner allows only depths according to maximum PO2.
Also diver may activate Stopwatch that may be useful for some tasks.
ScubaPro Chromis: Diving In SCUBA (Air/Nitrox) Mode
After selecting SCUBA dive mode and all necessary parameters for diving with Air or Nitrox (FO2 = 21-100%) I was ready to test ScubaPro Chromis dive computer underwater. If I set MB level other than L0 - dive computer's algorithm will consider this as a more conservative level and I would have shorter No-Stop dive times or longer and deeper DECO stops. In this case diver is advised to follow computer's DECO schedule.
During a dive, depending on dive time, MB setting, depth, and some other factors, Chromis gave me prompt to perform additional MB level stop (for microbubbles suppression). This function assures a diver, that after resurfacing, he/she will have the lowest level of microbubbles in his/her body. All it is done for our extra-safety and it is a great benefit to have something like that not only for divers who dive in challenging conditions, but for the rest of us as well!
Copy this ScubaPro Chromis NO-DECO Display Card for your Reference and Share with your friends and buddies!
I set Max Depth and Dive Time alarms and they worked perfectly: when I was on 30 meters deep - I had a beep on me, and after 40 minutes of diving I had dive time alarm with display was showing me predefined set points.
During a dive a could easily making bookmarks - there is the same function in Suunto dive computers. By pressing and holdong "LIGHT"-button I made a few bookmarks and checked them later on LogTRAK software.
As my max depth was more than 10 meters - upon ascending I had Safety Stop Timer turned on automatically at the depth of about 5 meters. Dive computer showed current depth and 3-minutes Safety Stop Timer.
And undoubtedly ScubaPro Chromis tracks all our oxygen toxicity level and current MOD/PO2 level. Dive computer has 2 levels of oxygen toxicity alarms: 75% and 100%. Upon reaching those levels - it beeps on you pretty loudly and displays warning symbols on the screen.
MOD (maximum operational depth) alarm would go on if I went deeper than calculated MOD for certain FO2 set point. It is not recommended to exceed MOD because consequences for diver's health may be catastrophic! In the case of exceeding MOD, dive computer emits loud audio alarm with MOD blinking on the top row of the display.
Another useful alarm is so called "NO-StopTime = 2 minutes". It goes on if you are very close to DECO mode, according to selected MB levels. When I got those conditions - Chromis kept beeping on me and displaying No-Stop Time on the lower part of the screen. In this case I had to start ascending.
As other dive computers, Chromis is equipped with Ascent Rate alarm. If my ascent was faster than it should be at certain depth - computer emits an audible alarm with symbol SLOW and ascent value on the top part of the display.
If I exceed No-Decompression time and depth, ScubaPro Chromis activates Decompression mode and all dive data calculated regarding to DECO mode. Display layout looks as follows:
If during activated DECO mode, I missed DECO Stop Depth for more than 0.5 meters - dive computer activates alarm and I had to return to specified DECO Stop Depth. if I stayed above recommended DECO Stop Depth for 3 min - Chromis would activate SOS mode and stay locked for 24 hours. Only GAUGE dive mode will be available without calculating No-DECO limits.
ScubaPro Chromis: Diving In GAUGE Mode
Before setting ScubaPro Chromis to GAUGE mode I needed to wait until dive computer would finish desaturation process. In this mode dive computer it tracked only Elapsed Dive Time, depth and water temperature. And that's common to all dive computers - GAUGE mode algorithm doesn't calculate No-DECO Limits and nitrogen and oxygen loading.
During diving in GAUGE I could stop/reset/restart stopwatch.
Upon resurfacing dive computer displayed 48 hrs surface interval and 48 hrs No-Fly Time.
Typical main and alternative displays in GAUGE mode are very easy to read and they shows following dive data:
It is possible to RESET average depth by pressing and holding "+"-button.
ScubaPro Chromis: APNEA (FREEdive)
APNEA (FREEdive) is another dive mode of ScubaPro Chromis dive computer. And to serve this mode computer has quite extensive number of alarms to make the diver completely aware of what's happening:
Chromis checks the current depth for every 1/4 of a second and record your dive profile to the computer memory with the sampling rate of 1 second. Dive computer stores dive data only in capacity of 10 hours in APNEA mode. Obviously, like in GAUGE mode, it doesn't calculate No-DECO Limits. I could use this dive mode only after Chromis finished desaturation.
During a dive session computer shows following info on display:
ScubaPro Chromis: SWIM Mode
ScubaPro Chromis has certain benefit for those guys who enjoys swimming exercises! And it is dedicated SWIM mode. Select SWIM mode, kick cycle threshold and the distance per kick, and Chromis will calculate how fast you are in swimming!
After resurface we could be interested in checking dive logs and download dive profiles to PC or Mac (of course if you have a special cradle & LogTRAK installed on your computer). LogTRAK displays graphical representation of my dive profile, details about dive and location. Also there is a possibility to change units and some Chromis's settings, which can't be changed from its menu.
Reading dive logs possible after selection corresponding LOG mode on dive computer. Each dive mode has corresponding symbols on logs, for instance, freediving has an AP mark, SWIM has SE icon and GAUGE mode has GA icon.
Scuba log consists of main and subpages and includes:
After checking my dive log and become very pleased with it - I could go for planning the next dive or setting up ScubaPro Chromis for other different dive modes.
ScubaPro Chromis: What Divers Say
Starting from its look - ScubaPro Chromis is an instrument that everyone was drawn towards it! I had many compliments and questions from people around about this computer. Some of them were interested to get one for themselves, but some of divers were a bit disappointed about lack of air-integration and only 1 gas mix available. These last two things (no air integration and 1 mix) shouldn't be considered as negatives, as this dive computer was designed for its own niche in scubadiving!
My familiarity with Chromis became with studying user manual, which is logically structured and designed even for the novice diver to understand! It was easy to set up dive computer by following user documentation. User interface is comfortable and intuitive, display layout was easy to read with its sharp digits and contrast.
On top of 4 dive modes (Air, Nitrox, GAUGE, and FREEdive) ScubaPro Chromis has SWIM mode that works on surface and by activating it dive computer could count covered distance, number of strokes and timing. SWIM mode can be useful for exercising or swimming workout.
Diving with ScubaPro Chromis gave me only pleasurable experience - I had all info displayed in clear and well-read format. There are other 2 interesting functions available during a dive - setting a Bookmark and activating the Stop Timer. All these can be seen on your dive logs later.
Chromis has automatic Safety Stop function, which means if diver reaches 10 m depth and ascend to 5 meters - Safety Stop timer activates automatically. Other extra safety functions are MicroBubble (MB) levels (L0-L5) and Profile Dependent Intermediate (PDI) Stops. PDIS function activates when diver reaches certain depth - Chromis displayes PDIS symbol on the left top area of the display and recommended stop depth on the top right side. Everything works as a Swiss-watch! I felt like having a very reliable buddy sitting on my wrist!
ScubaPro Chromis dive computer was designed as a very sophisticated and smart device for recreational and novice divers who appreciates the style and safety first! I am pretty sure that if you are one of them - this instrument well deserves your attention. And with its perfect price-functions ratio - it can be the winner among similar recreational dive computers!