Category: Watch

January 30, 2016

Suunto D4i Dive Computer and Wireless Tank Pressure Transmitter

Suunto D4i BlackIn August 2014 I obtained my PADI Open Water Diver Qualification. Since I’d already booked my Advanced Course and had plans to go further with my diving I decided to get my first Dive Computer. Having done a bit of research online I decided to go with the Suunto D4i Dive Computer which has proved to be a great entry level diving watch.

One of the reasons for going with this watch is I quite like the Suunto Brand and ecosystem. I previously wrote about the Suunto X6 which I purchased for my Kilimanjaro climbing expedition. A number of divers I spoke to also felt that Suunto was also better recognised and supported globally compared to other brands.

Key Features of this watch are: -

  • Full continuous decompression algorithm - Suunto RGBM
  • Four modes: air, nitrox, free and off
  • Innovative apnea timer, and a timer in air/nitrox modes
  • Updateable firmware
  • Optional wireless air integration – current cylinder pressure, remaining air time
  • Built-in dive planner
  • Detailed graphical logs and dive data on your PC/Mac using Suunto DM5 software

As mentioned the ecosystem surrounding this watch is great, in addition to the User Guide there’s an online learning tool and an iPhone app. Simply Scuba also has quite a good review: -


Suunto-Wireless-tank-pressure-transmitterA welcome accessory to the watch is the Suunto Wireless Tank Pressure Transmitter which enables you to monitor tank pressure and air consumption data wirelessly from your dive computer. According to the Suunto site: -

The Suunto Wireless tank pressure transmitter gives you current tank pressure and remaining air time with just a glance at your wrist. Before your dive, simply pair the transmitter with your dive computer and you’re good to go. The transmitter’s handy green LED light lets you know that it’s on.

Key Features:

  • Compatible with all Suunto air-integrated dive computers, including DX, D9tx, D6i, D4i, D9, Vyper Air, and HelO2
  • Monitor tank pressure and air consumption data wirelessly from dive computer
  • Green LED light indicates active data sending
  • Battery life approx. 2 years (100 dives/year)
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March 3, 2007

Polar S410 Heart Rate Monitor (HRM)

I’ve owned a Polar S410 for a couple of years but never blogged about it - it’s getting a bit old and I understand its now been replaced by the RS400. Since I’ve recently started a new exercise programme I’ve been using it to record my exercise timings and related heart rate information. Once I’ve built up some interesting statistical data I’ll probably blog on the polar precision performance (PPP) software used to download, store and analyse the exercise data.

According to the HeartRateMonitor site:  

Polar S410 Heart Rate Monitor

The Polar S410 heart rate monitor is a great performer. Polar has built upon the old Polar S210 with the addition of computer communication via SonicLink to transfer the training data from the monitor to PC and UpLink to load the settings from PC to monitor. This gives the user the added advantage that data can be analysed with the software (supplied). The Polar S410 HRM utilises one complete exercise storage file and five header files with 99 data points in the memory. The user may also note lap information.
The user enjoys easy storage and analysis of the exercises over a long period so progress is easy to check. Advanced technology also ensures there is enough memory for storing all your exercising information. The Polar S410 may also be attached to a bike.


  • Water resistant to 50m
  • Backlight
  • Calendar
  • Stopwatch
  • Time of day / alarm

    FITNESS FEATURES of Polar S410

  • OwnIndex(s)™ - provides automatic intensity guidance with blinking and sounding alarm
  • OwnCal(s)™ - automatically determines your calorie usage
  • Predicted maximum heart rate
  • Percentage of maximum heart rate
  • 3 Hi/Low Target Zones with audible/visual alarm
  • Recovery function, Heart Rate or Time based
  • Lap times with heart rate
  • Max / average heart rate of each lap
  • Interval training function, 30 x Time based or Heart rate based intervals. For example; 5 x Interval of 3 minutes between 150 -160 bpm with a heart rate recovery down to 120 bpm. You can also add a preset warm up and cool down session either side of the interval segment.


  • Total Exerise Time
  • Time in target zone (above/below/in) 
  • Average heart rate of total training
  • Max heart rate of total training
  • Recovery heart rate/time after exercise
  • Up to 99 split lap memory
  • Lap number indicator
  • Lap/intermediate times with heart rate
  • Maximum and average heart rate of laps
  • Number of intervals with average HR of intervals
  • Exercise set (5 settings) 
  • Date and strating time of exercise session
  • 1 complete file (120 HR samples) and 5 summary files
  • PLUS PC download / upload facility via Sonic link (transfer data via soundcard and microphone, no need for a special interface) 
  • Software requirements. Win 95 or 98 or above. 20MB of free space. Sound Card and Microphone. CD Rom
  • Comes complete with new, more comfortable, Polar WearLink chest transmitter with self change batteries.

    Garmin Forerunner 305 The Polar S410 is certainly a great watch and has lasted me a long time. However, it doesn’t have a GPS so I’m now looking for a heart rate monitor that also has this capability. So far, it looks like the Garmin Forerunner 305 is a good bet but by the time I get around to buying a watch of this nature there may be a few more competing models on the market.

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    December 16, 2005

    Suunto X6 - a watch with altimeter, barometer, compass and clinometer

    The Outdoors store in Maidstone was recently having a closing down sale since they are re-opening as Blacks. I managed to pick up a new Suunto X6 watch for GBP160.00 when the RRP (recommended retail price) is GBP300.00, a deal I couldn’t pass up. I’d been toying with the idea of buying a watch with a temperature monitor and altimeter to make use of on Kilimanjaro so this was my opportunity.

    According to the Suunto web site:

    Suunto X6 is a perfect tool for any cross sport such as mountaineering, hiking or cross-country skiing. Measuring and analyzing the surrounding environment minimizes the risks involved in traveling in unknown terrain. Information on your performance, on the other hand, provides you with knowledge necessary to improve your training.

    Suunto X6 - a watch with altimeter, barometer, compass and clinometer

    In addition to having information available to you at all times, your Suunto X6 records and stores data for later analysis. You can view, compare, and analyze your performance with a specially designed PC software.

    The technical features of the wristop computer, combined with the PC software developed for more graphical representation of your performance, and the SuuntoSports Internet Community, where you can share information with other like-minded cross sports enthusiasts from around the world, make Suunto X6 the device of choice for every true adventurer and outdoor sport enthusiast.

    Product Features

    • Altimeter: Altitude, vertical speed, altitude alarm, asc/dsc alarm, logbook with waypoint recording, altitude difference, online cumulative ascent, alti/baro lock
    • Barometer: Sea level pressure, absolute pressure, weather trend graph, temperature, 48-hour memory, weather alarm, alti/baro lock
    • Compass: Bearing, graphic compass rose, bearing tracking, declination setting
    • Clinometer: Slope angle in degrees or %
    • Watch: Calendar, 3 alarms with date option, dual time
    • Chronometer: Simultaneous display of total time and current lap time, altitude profile memory, memory capacity 32kB (33h with 10s and 200h with 60s interval, shared with split/lap times memory)
    • Menu-based user interface familiar from mobile phones
    • User-replaceable battery
    • Water resistant to 100 m (330 ft)
    • PC interface software + cable
    • Full access to

    The Suunto Activity Manager Software that you install on your PC provides a variety of interesting graphs and statistics. The screen shot shown below shows altitude variations for a Kilimanjaro training walk we did at Toy’s Hill as recorded by the watches clinometer.

    Suunto Activity Manager Altitude Graph

    If you want to go one step further in terms of analysis the Suunto X6 HR, which comes with a heart rate monitor, will measure your heart rate and can produce a comparison against the variations in altitude/height, a good way to see how the hills get your heart rate going! The Suunto X9 which one of my climbing buddies bought is also really cool, it comes with a GPS but no heart rate monitor.  I already have another watch to monitor my heart rate so I guess I could end up wearing two watches on Kilimanjaro!!

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