The SUUNTO Zoop Novo is generally considered an entry level or beginners dive computer. It’s an unfair description considering all that this little gem can do, although it does come at a price that makes it an easy choice for anyone starting out in diving or purchasing their first set of equipment.
Aside from the price, this computer is a good choice for beginners as it has a very intuitive user interface making it easy to use. It also gives a beginner a lot of room to grow by including many features that will allow you to progress to more advanced diving situations without the need of upgrading your computer.
There’s many experienced, and advanced divers that can benefit from it’s ease of use and easy to interpret displays as well. The SUUNTO Zoop Novo is definitely worth considering for anyone that doesn’t want unnecessary bells and whistles but wants a reliable computer that can accompany them in almost all diving environments.
What the SUUNTO Zoop Novo is not
I often find it easier to differentiate between dive computers by first looking at the features a particular model does not have. This way you can rule it out quickly if it’s not what you’re looking for and research something that you will find more suitable.
Air integration: The Zoop Novo does not have an option for air integration whether it’s wrist mounted or in a console. You will need to carry a separate SPG (pressure gauge) to monitor your air supply. The Zoop can be purchased in a SUUNTO inline console that includes the pressure gauge or if wrist mounted, a stand alone gauge can be used. If you’re look for an air integrated computer, have a look at the SUUNTO D6i Novo as a better option to the Zoop Novo.
Mixed Gases: The Zoop Novo is a Nitrox capable computer and allows you to dive and plan dives using enriched air from 22% – 50% oxygen. It does not account for helium in the breathing mix nor does it allow you to switch gases during a dive if you are using a decompression gas for instance.
Everyday Wrist Watch: While SUUNTO are renowned for making elegant and stylish dive computers that can be worn as an everyday wrist watch, the Zoop is not one of these. If you want a computer you can wear every day you should consider the SUUNTO D4i Novo as an alternative.
Standout Features of the SUUNTO Zoop Novo.
Select Your Diving Mode
The Suunto Zoop Novo incorporates 5 different diving modes to suit the type of diving you will be doing.
Air Mode – This is the standard mode for diving on air and is the default setting.
Nitrox Mode – Nitrox mode allows the computer to incorporate into it’s algorithm the enriched air mixture you’re breathing. You must enter your oxygen percentage (up to 50%) and the oxygen partial pressure before diving so that the computer can calculate your MOD (maximum operating depth). You need to adjust the nitrox setting for every dive until you change it back to air (21% oxygen PO2 1.4).
Gauge Mode – In this mode the dive computer can be use as a bottom timer only. In gauge mode the computer does not calculate any decompression information and displays depth and time only.
Free Dive Mode – Used when freediving.
Off Mode – takes the computer out of dive mode completely. In this mode the dive mode will not be activated in the water.
Setting Up The Zoop Novo For Nitrox
The video below from SUUNTO shows how easy it is to set up the Zoop Novo for Nitrox diving and gives a good indication of the menu functions and ease of use as well.
Other Zoop features
Personal and Altitude adjustments
The Zoop Novo has the ability to adjust the computers algorithm to allow for a more conservative dive profile. This is ideal if you have any physical or environment situations that may make you more susceptible to decompression sickness (DCS). The types of physical conditions you may want to adjust for include dehydration, fatigue, heavy physical exertion pre or post dive, obesity or a lack of fitness. Environmental conditions can include cold water and altitude.
Both personal and altitude adjustments have three setting levels, each level more conservative (or higher altitude) than the last.
Safety Stops and Deep Stop Indicators
The Zoop will display stop information for any dive over 10m (30ft). The stop can be either a recommended or a mandatory safety stop and will indicate which on the screen. The normal recommended safety stop is 3 minutes between 3m and 6m (9ft and 18ft) and should be done every time that it’s safe to do so. A mandatory safety stop may be added if you ascend from your dive too quickly for a period of 5 seconds or more.
Deep stops can be deactivated from the settings but they make good diving practice. If active, a deep stop will be displayed on the screen for any dive beyond 20m (60ft) and the time and stop depth will depend on the actual dive profile.
Dive History and Log Book
All your previous dives are recorded in the Zoop’s memory. At a glance you can see your total dive hours and your maximum depth or you can scroll through the dive profiles for each dive that is stored. The capacity of the log book is approximately 140 hours but it depends on the sampling rate of the computer. The sampling rate can be changed in the settings and indicates how often the computer records a data point, the default is 20 seconds.