Review: 2017 Suunto D4F Dedicated Freediving Apnea Computer
Dedicated Freediving Dive Computer – Suunto D4F
The Suunto D4i and D4i Novo has long been a very popular choice for Free Divers and spear fishermen. At the end of February 2017, Suunto released the Suunto D4F, a dedicated dive computer for free divers, spear fishermen and snorkelers.
The Suunto D4F Freedive Apnea dive computer has all the functions free divers, spear fishermen and snorkelers need, without any of the scuba functions making its price very competitive.
Suunto’s recommended retail price is about half the cost of the Suunto D4i Novo. There are additional savings on top of this when you buy online.
What are the differences between the Suunto D4F and the D4i?
The Suunto D4F and D4i and D4i Novo are all watch-sized dive computers. The D4F is lighter than the D4i and Novo, and comes with an elastomer strap.
Suunto’s D4F is a dedicated Free diving dive computer. This will only display settings appropriate for free diving. The D4F doesn’t show or have the capability of displaying any decompression information. This has been reflected in its price.
The case of the D4F is a composite material keeping it light-weight. It has a stainless steel bezel and mineral crystal glass display.
Similar to the Suunto D4i, the D4F doesn’t come with the USB Cable. The USB cable is needed if you want to upload your dives to Suunto’s DM5 or upgrade the firmware. This remains an accessory at an additional cost.
Why do Free Divers and Spear Fishermen need a Dive Computer?
The need to understand how to dive deeper and safer has become increasingly important to those in the free diving and spear fishing community.
Just like scuba divers, the repetitive descent and ascent from different depths during free diving will cause nitrogen to load into your system. Sometimes rapid ascents can also contribute to decompression sickness.
A dive computer combined with basic free diving techniques will take a lot of the guesswork out of diving. This will lead to more relaxed and safer dives.
Suunto Specialized D4F Free Diving Functions
The Suunto D4F displays your current and maximum depth. It also calculates dive times and surface intervals for you.
- Free Diving mode
- Innovative apnea timer
- Stop watch – perfect for training
- Depth Alarm
- Water resistance up to 328 feet (100 meters)
- Matrix display making it easy to read at a glance
- Electro-luminescent Backlight
- Updateable firmware
- Detailed logs and dive data with your PC or Mac using Suunto DM5 software (the USB cable is sold separately)
The duration of the Backlight can be set to 5, 10, 20, 30, or 60 seconds. The backlight can also be turned off completely.
Suunto D4F Apnea Timer and Dive Computer Functions
The Free Diving functions all available in Free mode of the Suunto D4i and D4i Novo are also available on the Suunto D4F.
The D4F displays the current depth, surface time, maximum time and dive time settings.
The maximum operating depth is to 328 feet (100 meters). The dive computer records a maximum of 99:59 diving hours and 999 dives.
The Apnea Timer can be used for internal training when free diving. The Apnea Timer will help to improve your breathing technique. After each dive you can look and analyze dive information from the logbook.
The Apnea Timer allows you to adjust the ventilation time, increment time and number of intervals. It supports up to 20 intervals. This is dependent on the ventilation and the increment times. The last ventilation cycle can’t be shorter than 0:05 seconds or longer than 20:00 minutes.
The true depth is recorded by sampling the current depth 3 times a second. The sample rate can be adjusted to record once every second. A visual alarm will activate when the defined depth is reached.
The duration of Surface time until the next dive will also be shown. There is a Surface Countdown Timer to help you prepare for your next dive. The countdown starts as soon as you reach 4 feet (1.2 meters).
You can set the Depth alarm to warn you if you go deeper than expected. This is ideal for blue water hunting and equalizing at depth. Equalizing at depth is used in depth training and Free Diving competitions.
What doesn’t the D4F have?
Being a dedicated Freedive computer so it doesn’t show or have the capability of displaying any decompression information. This is great for keeping the costs low and listening to what the market needs.
Freediving with Dolphins Video
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