• Pros: Easy to use. Flexible mounting options. Air or Nitrox capabilities. Ability to build in extra safety with Personal Correction Factor. Backlight on Demand. Ability to turn off audible alarms. User Changeable Battery. Optional PC Interface.
• Cons: No mineral glass display. Manually activated.
• Recommended Uses: All-in-all, the Mares Puck wrist dive computer is a great entry level computer, or an affordable choice as a backup dive computer for more experienced, recreational divers. The Mares Puck is largely a conservative dive computer and may not be suited to divers who like to adopt more liberal dive profiles.
The Mares Puck is an excellent choice if you are a diver who wants all the crucial features combined with straightforward and intuitive operation. Most Mares dive computers use the RGBM (Reduced Gradient Bubbles Model) algorithm, which is the most evolved technology for reducing micro-bubbles without sacrificing precious dive time, and the Mares Puck is no exception.
The strap is designed so you can comfortably wear it on your wrist, even over a drysuit. It also has the option of being mounted into a console if you prefer.
Usability and features
The Mares Puck wrist dive computer has a robust look and feel and is so easy to operate. The single button is large, and if you dive in cold conditions or you’re chasing a cray, let’s face it, you need to wear gloves. Dive gloves hinder often the simplest of tasks, but the single, large button operation alleviates some of the frustration usually associated with using your dive computer while wearing gloves.
The 9 operating modes follow the same logic – a single, quick press of the button to scroll through the options and a longer press to select one. It has a larger digital display for easy reading, even on an angle and the screen isn’t too cluttered with the less critical information. Other non-critical information – coldest logged temperature, dive time, no fly time and required surface time are displayed in SURFACE mode. Additionally, SURFACE mode displays icons for any mistakes made during the dive such as omitted stops or uncontrolled ascents.
Backlighting for the Mares Puck is on-demand, which has the obvious advantage of increasing the battery life. Realistically, you only need permanent backlighting if you’re diving at night, in caves or in low light. By default the backlighting stays on for 4 seconds. Pressing the button again, however, will prolong the illumination of the display.
The Mares Puck dive computer displays 3 power levels for the battery; OK, LO 1 and LO 2, so there’s ample warning of when it’s time to change the battery. The battery is user changeable which is a distinct advantage as the alternative is taking the computer to your nearest dealer for battery replacement. The Ascent speed on the Puck is displayed both graphically and numerically, has an audible alarm if you are ascending too fast, as well as a flashing SLOW warning. The Mares Puck gives you the option of turning the audible alarms off, although the alarm for DEEPSTOPS is always active.
There are three dive types which the Mares Puck dive computer manages – AIR, EAN or BOTTOM TIME and within each dive type the display is grouped into 4 stages – PREDIVE, DIVE, SURFACING and SURFACE MODE. You first set the general dive parameters such as Measurement unit (Imperial or Metric), Salt or Freshwater, then set the actual dive parameters including Uncontrolled Ascent and Audible Alarms. If you choose to enable them, you can also choose the following parameters for each of the dive modes: Altitude program and Personal Correction Factor. The personal correction factor is more conservative again, and allows you to build in extra safety – excellent if you’re a new or not so confident diver.
If you have started your dive in PREDIVE mode, (which incidentally is the recommended process) once you descend below 1.2 metres the Marea Puck dive computer automatically switches to DIVE mode and starts recording the data for your dive. A word of warning here however; if you don’t press the button for 10 minutes, the Puck will turn itself off, so always check the computer is on early in your dive! It’s important to note here also that this computer is manually activated, not water activated. Divers should always get into the habit of checking whether the dive computer is on before entering the water. Staying in DIVE mode for more than 20 seconds will record your dive details in the log book memory, with a profile sampling rate of 20 seconds.
The Mares Puck dive computer can record around 38 hrs of dive data and has an optional USB port so you can connect and download this information to your computer.