The simple Plan mode indicates that this machine is not really intended for full-on deco diving. It scrolls through no-decompression limits only for given depths – you can’t run a full simulation or play out “what if” scenarios.
We dive to be wilfully distracted, and it’s easy enough to accidentally exceed your no-stop time. I wanted to see how straightforward the decompression displays are to follow if that happened.
So I took the COSMIQ+ down to 22m to test its decompression read-outs for real. On this dive, not a repetitive one, the NDL between it and my own computer, which uses a more common RGBM algorithm, kept varying.
First one, then the other, was the more conservative, but the difference was never more than two or three minutes.
The COSMIQ+ is supposed to sound a series of alarms to warn you when you get within three minutes of entering stage deco. It then sounds a long sequence of beeps when you cross the NDL line and must decompress.
I was watching the countdown to decompression closely, but never heard the alarm; nor could I hear it as I entered deco, even with the computer held close to my ear, perhaps because I was wearing a hood.
I also couldn’t hear the beeps when I exceeded the ascent rate, though the graphic warning was very clear.
In truth, I can’t usually hear the audible alarms on my own computer either, especially if breathing hard in a current, and my view is that they should never be relied on. You need to be disciplined and watch your screens.
Once you go into deco, the COSMIQ+ panics! It flashes “ceiling” repeatedly at you which, even though I‘m used to deco diving and this was planned, still unnerved me.
Eventually it settled down. In fairness, the deco display can’t be overlooked, which is a very good thing. The computer displays your ceiling depth clearly, 5m in this case, but it did confuse me with the display adjacent to the word “deco”.
I took this number, which started low and kept increasing, as total ascent time. It was way out of sync with my own computer’s TAT.
Confused, I later went back to the manual. It is actually a timer that lets you know how long ago you went into decompression. I took an active dislike to having this useless and distracting information included on the screen when I was managing my decompression, especially given its ambiguity.
I was getting conflicting information, because my time at my stop was correctly shown – the fault was my unfamiliarity with the COSMIQ+. My stop time was only about two minutes longer than my own computer demanded.
The COSMIQ+ also displays your stop time in two places on the screen. The smaller display shows it in minutes, the larger display in seconds. I was ambivalent about this – I think I’d have preferred a single, large display just showing minutes.
The lack of a total ascent time confirms that the COSMIQ+ should be intentionally used only for the lightest of stop diving. It will guide you safely through the kind of unplanned deco that occurs through inattention or an unexpected and short delay in ascending.
A minor transgression into deco will require you to stop only at one depth, so you can more or less treat the stop time, which is displayed, as your TAT.
It’s only for deco dives with stops at two or more depths that the COSMIQ+ leaves you in the dark as to how long it will take you to surface. Again, it’s important to see the lack of deco facilities in the context of who the COSMIQ+ is meant for.
The COSMIQ+ allows you to adjust the algorithm for greater conservatism, which permits less gas-loading than the normal setting and is sometimes recommended if you’re old or unfit. It offers three choices, but I couldn’t find anything in the manual that explained the differences.
Using the app does let you pre-program your unit to warn if you exceed a given depth or time.
A lock-out feature prevents you diving again for a period of time if the computer feels that you’ve dived “aggressively”. This is not the same as a computer violation, where a machine will lock you out because you omitted decompression or dived outside its parameters – this is the COSMIQ+ playing safe.
This enforced curfew is not necessarily a decision you might want to let your computer make for you. You can disable this function only by choosing the progressive algorithm.
Along with Scuba mode, a Bottom-Timer option provides time and depth information and is suited to diving on tables.
You cannot switch between this and Computer mode for 24 hours, however, because the COSMIQ+ would not know your previous dive history for safely calculating gas-loading. There is also a Freediving mode.
You can set a series of alarms to indicate as you pass through as many as three different depths, as well as beeps to go off at preset times while under water or alert you to how long you’ve spent on the surface between descents.
These functions are programmed using the push-buttons. There’s a warning not to combine scuba and freediving, but the COSMIQ+ won’t lock you out if you do.
Deepblu makes more on its website about its social-media platform than it does about its computer, with articles about diving, information on dive-sites around the world and lists of resorts, some of which offer community incentives. You’re encouraged to become part of the Deepblu community, and post pictures along with dive-profile information onto the site.
If your underwater camera is synced, pictures will be added to your dive timeline at the precise time they were taken, providing a visual logbook for others to admire. You can tag your friends.
This is one reason I think the COSMIQ+ will appeal to younger divers. I’m not much into logging dives, but for a basic logbook record, or to satisfy a dive-marshal, you can recall the past 25 dives and see time, maximum and average depth.