Appeared in DIVER February 2007

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COMPUTER  Mares Nemo Wide
IT WAS GROUCHO MARX WHO SAID: A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five.
The instruction booklet for the Nemo Wide tells you everything you can do with it, but not how to do it. I resorted to playing with its four buttons in a child-like way until I found out how to preset what I wanted.
The buttons are basically Enter and Escape, Forward and Back. Navigating into different levels of the menu was less than clear but I did it in the end. What is very clear and easy to read, however, is the LCD screen.
You may say that Groucho Marx was a grumpy old man, but then this computer is intended for people like that. At a time when computer manufacturers are making their instruments smaller and smaller, Mares has realised that some divers need bigger, more easily read displays. This is exactly what you get with the Nemo Wide - a wide-screen display.
It seems that design has come full circle. I expect to see soon a dive computer produced with the massive display of the original Decobrain of the 1980s.
I was able to pre-select the date and time and the nitrox mix before jumping into the water. The Nemo Wide displayed everything I wanted to know, like any other full-function diving computer.
On the first couple of dives of a week-long trip, the Nemo Wide seemed slightly less cautious than the Suunto D6 I had strapped alongside it, but after that it seemed to stay in step with the Suunto RGBM100 algorithm. Thats not surprising, as Bruce Wienke was responsible for both computers software.
The main difference was that I had the Suunto set for iterative deep stops (iterative referring to the possibility of multiple stops on one dive) which it displayed whether I ignored them or not.
The Nemo Wide requires you to press a button to see what deep stops might be predicted, but none was ever displayed on the leisure dives (maximum depth 39m) I did that week. Perhaps I didnt press the button when I was deep enough.
You have the option of a fast-ascent warning (why would you not want that), audible alarms, personal safety margins, local altitude setting, maximum ppO2 (1.2-1.6bar) and so on.
In very cold conditions not using the backlight might save battery power, so its activation is optional.

THE NEMO WIDE SAMPLES THE DIVE every 20 seconds, which is about average for most computers. The logbook mode allows you to go back over a dive and examine it at 20-second intervals, especially useful if you see the Fast Ascent arrow logged. You can detect exactly where and when and for how long you made that error, and whether or not you should treat it seriously.
Naturally, dives can be downloaded to PC, but a new feature is the ability to upload any software updates the other way, to be made available in future on the Mares website. In line with other full-size computers you can access and replace the CR2450 battery yourself.
I was very happy to use this computer, and would willingly use it alongside the D6. The display is so easy to read that the D6 would be relegated to a back-up role.
The only thing I would point out is that because it is so large, the smart matt black outer case does tend to get knocked during dives, and I fear it would soon look quite worn.
The strap supplied is certainly long enough to go round a bulky drysuit cuff. I heard a young woman diver comment that it would annoy her if she wore it with a wetsuit. You cant win them all! Those with slim wrists might need to cut the strap short, and it is pre-marked for this purpose.
The Nemo Wide costs 280.
  • Mares, www.mares.com


  • Divernet Divernet
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    + Easy to read
    + Acceptable mainstream algorithm that will be upgradeable


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    - Necessarily big