THE ORIGINAL Scubapro Galileo Sol was the first dive-computer to integrate gas- consumption and workload, as measured by your heart-rate, into the decompression plan it provided. Now Scubapro has further developed the concept, and included a range of technical and practical improvements into the new G2.
On the technical front, the G2 uses the Buhlmann ZHL-16 ADT MB PMG algorithm, which models more tissue compartments than the ZHL-8 of the Sol, permits you to programme in more gases for use in your dive, supports rebreather and sidemount diving, has a rechargeable battery that doesn’t need you to open up the case to charge, and has a full-colour screen.
Surface display of a single-tank air dive.
The G2 offers divers a single instrument that Scubapro says will develop with you, from recreational diving with a single cylinder of air to closed-circuit rebreather using trimix and multiple bail-out cylinders, without needing to buy extra software keys or dealer-enabled upgrades.
If that isn’t enough, the unit continues to feature gas-integration, gas-usage and heart-rate monitoring, temperature-monitoring and a digital compass among a list of features so long that it’s hard to know where to start a sensible review.
And yet Scubapro claims that the unit is so simple and intuitive to set up and use that you don’t need an instruction book, so it doesn’t supply one. There’s a get-you-started quick guide, but you’ll need to download the full instruction book from the Internet if you want it.
Without so much as a glance at the Quick Start guide, I unzipped the neatly fitted case and got stuck in.
Scubapro had sent me the G2 with heart-rate monitor and a single pressure transmitter to attach to a first stage, plus the USB charger cable that also permits you to download dives.
This is the top kit in the G2 line. If you prefer, you can buy the computer on its own, computer plus transmitter, or the full set.
I lifted out the computer, removed the protective blue film from the display and pressed the three buttons above the screen one after the other. The right-hand button turned the unit on and I was asked to set up the language to display (English), the units to use (metric), and the time zone, which turned out to be different from setting the date and time. I found myself looking at a screen packed with information.
The surface display shows a variety of useful data and is easy to read. At the top of the screen the three buttons are labelled Menu, Log and Light (the right button might be labelled Dim if the light is already on, but you get the idea). I found that pressing each button does exactly what you’d expect it to do. There was no point pressing the Log button as the log was empty, but I gave it a go anyway.
The real action was in Menu, which is where you go to make changes and set up the computer, and the G2 stays user-friendly despite the range of things you can fiddle with. Sorry, I meant customise to match your preferences.
In fact, despite being so far below the technological event horizon that it’s still 1983 in my head, I managed to change, personalise, customise and generally set up the computer to monitor single-tank, multiple-tank, trimix and CCR dives in about 20 minutes from opening the case. If I can do it, so can you.
Say you want to dive on nitrox 32. Press the left of the three buttons to open the settings menu, use the left and middle buttons to scroll up or down until you get to “O2 Setting”, and press the right button to enter the sub-menu.
Dive-planner screen for trimix CCR.
Use the left or middle buttons to adjust the oxygen fraction to 32%, and confirm the setting with a short press of the right button. A long press returns you to the surface screen, which will confirm the 32% setting and show you your maximum depth for that gas. The G2 assumes a maximum PO2 of 1.4 bar out of the box, but you can customise that if you feel the need.
It’s nearly as quick to do as it is to read, and though you will find yourself making a long press when you need a short one, and the other way round, you’ll work it out in no time.
Those buttons you’ve been pressing are very well thought-out. They’re big and far enough apart to press easily even with gloves on, and they need enough pressure over a reasonable length of travel to make them hard to press by accident, which is just what you need.
It sounds like a small thing, but it isn’t in real life when you’re depending on the instrument for your safe return to the surface, and it shows that the designers know what they’re about.