Freediving with the Suunto Stinger

Hello, I’m on my way to San Fran. so I thought I’d kill some time and write up my report on the Suunto Stinger.

Many of you have asked me about the Suunto Stinger and what exactly the freedive mode offers. Well, I just received the watch yesterday and I have already read the whole manual and played with the watch/computer a little. I’m going to test it in the water to see how everything works.

Before I start, let me clarify that I am not affiliated with Suunto. I had been a user of Citizen HA for over 4 years, and I decided to make the change and bought the Stinger since it offers more features ;).

The Suunto Stinger is one of latest diving wristtop computers out on the market. It features full decompression computers for air and EAN (Nitrox) plus a Freedive/Gauge mode that is designed to a freediver’s specs. The gauge mode kicks in after diving in freedive mode for over 5 min in a single dive, this is used for technical diving that the decompression computers would not allow. You can read more about the scuba functions and this computer in general at the following links.

http://www.sea-quest.com/

http://www.suunto.com/us/en

Here’s a description of what this computer/watch can do for us freedivers.

First of all, it is advisable to disable the Air and EAN modes if you’re a freediver. This makes the watch switch into freedive mode automatically as you start diving. Enabling and disabling any mode can be done easily.

There are no fast ascent alarm when in freedive mode, something most Citizen HA users are used to. But here’s the good part. There are two types of alarms that are user settable that us freedivers can get lots of benefit from.

  1. Maximum Depth Alarm: This alarm is user settable and can be set from 3m to 150m [10ft to 450ft]. If set to 0, the alarm is disabled. BTW this alarm is both audible and visual, it beeps for 24 seconds and the backlight turns on. If any button is pressed, the alarm stops.
  2. Maximum Dive Time alarm: This alarm is also user settable and can be set in the following two ways.
  3. – From 1 second to 5 minutes (allows seconds), used for freedive mode
  4. – From 5 minutes to 999 minutes (no seconds), used for Air/EAN/Gauge modes. This alarm is also audible and visual.

The watch also has user defined interface. It simply allows you to decide what kind of measurements you want to see when you’re diving or when using the timekeeping mode. This includes time/seconds/date/dual-time etc.. And for diving, it allows you to change some displays such as using metric or imperial units, time, max depth, temperature, dive number etc…

All your dives are logged in memory and can be downloaded to your PC using the software and serial communications adapter and cable that come with the watch. The sampling in freedive mode can be chosen from 2,4,10,20,30 or 60 seconds. 2sec sampling is recommended when freediving to get a better graph ;). There is also a bookmark function where you can mark a point during your dive that will show on the watch’s display during the dive and on the downloaded graph as well. I don’t see much use of this for freedivers.

The watch has many more features that I can not list in an email. I think I covered the most important things that us freedivers care about though.

Below are some specifications (important to freedivers) about the watch:

Dimensions and weight:

-Diameter: 46mm [1.81 in]

-Thickness: 15mm [0.59 in]

-Weight: 110g [3.9 oz] Stainless with Elastomere strap

-Weight: 186g [6.6 oz] with stainless steel bracelet

-Weight Ti: 87g [3.07 oz] Ti with Elastomere strap <— My watch

-Weight Ti: 132g [4.66 oz] Ti with Ti bracelet

Depth Gauge:

-Temperature compensated pressure sensor

-Salt water calibrated, in fresh water the readings are about 3% smaller (calibrated complying with prEN 13319)

-Max depth operation (scuba):80m[262ft] complying with prEN 13319

-Accuracy:+or- 1% of full scale or better from 0-80m at 20C [68F]

-Depth display range: 0-150m [492 ft]

-Resolution: 0.1 m from 0-100m, 1m from 100-150m

-Temperature resolution: 1C [1.5F], -20C to 50C [-40F to 122F]

-Dive Time: 0-999min, 0-200min with sampling less than 10sec

You can read more about this watch at the link below. You can also download a flash demo that will give you some idea about the display in freedive mode.

http://www.suunto.com/us/en

I hope this helps people who were interested in knowing more about the watch. I will dive with it this Sunday and put it to the test.