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The Mare mission 2 Analog console is a basic set of dive equipment. As part of a diving club it is one of the items the club owns that is regularly used by trainees. I have used it whilst abroad as a back up to my wristwatch dive computer and in the pool during training sessions.
The dive console contains the bare minimum of instruments for diving. It has an analog depth gauge for checking how deep you are, and a pressure gauge for monitoring the pressure and therefore how much breathing air you have remaining in your dive cylinder. There are no electronics to calculate dive time or breathing rate etc.
In addition to this you need to dive with a watch suitable for diving so that you can measure dive time. An add on to the console is available to do this, but is more expensive than a cheap diving watch.
The design of the console is compact and it leaves bulkiness to the minimum for protecting the instruments. Vanity is something that quickly dissapears in scuba diving once you realise what you look like on the surface, but I like the layout and design of the mares console.
The console is attached by a threaded screw connection to a high pressure port on the first stage of your regulator (the lump of metal that is screwed directly to the valve ontop of the cylinder). This provides a connection between the cylinder and pressure gauge. As it is attached behind your neck, the hose needs to be long enough to get the console in a good position for reading the information. The hose is 90cm long which is fine for me (5'8" medium build) to have the console where my left hand falls naturally.
The dials of the depth gauge and pressure gauge are analog i.e. they are read by looking at the needle that moves against the dial and reading off the value that it points to. The dials are approximatley 50mm in diameter and are easy to read assuming there is reasonable water visibility when using them. I have found them hard to read in very low visibility as there are no backlights, but I dive with a dive torch and can read offf the values by pointing the torch at the console.
The console is rated to be used to a maximum of 50m depth. For recreational diving this is the limit anyway so is ideal as you can suffer from oxygen toxicity below this level (when oxygen actually becomes poisonous due to the partial pressure...maybe a bit technical to explain fully). For professional diving you would need far more expensive equipment.
This is a safety critical piece of kit. If it fails it can be life threatening. Mares are a well respected diving manufacturer and their kit is used worldwide in dive schools. The gauges have been extremely reliable in my experience and the console fits together well, seems sturdy and relativley shock resistant.
The console is made from a high quality plastic which is hard to scratch or damage. Although my club's training ones have shown a bit of wear with heavy use and being bashed about on the surface suring setting up of equipment.
The console is certified to all the relevant standards for pressure gauges and diving apparatus.
As a bare bones basic bit of kit, this is a good quality console and ideal for beginner divers who do not wish to spend large amounts of money on a dive computer. For someone who is very into diving it is a good backup system if your computer goes wrong and is fairly compact so doesn't get in the way.
The Mares mission 2 console is available online for around £80 which is a very reasonable price to pay for something of good quality that your life could depend on. You can buy it in conficurations including a basic dive computer for about £200 or get other gauges to attach on the end.
A superb bit of kit for trainees and beginners or as a back up to a dive computer. 4 stars as it soes what is intended for well, but you would need a better model or dive computer for serious diving.
Mares Mission 2. Analog console with pressure and depth gauges, offering a simple yet versatile design to interchange your analog depth gauge with the new compact Puck capsule computer for optional future upgrade.