Choosing Your DiveTracker
In general, both SPORT and SCOUT can be applied to similar tasks. Each model offers a set of features that may make it in particular suited for specific diving operations. The following advice is based on both customer feedback and our own experience of diving with the systems.
Diving in Clear (Good Visibility) Waters
DiveTracker SCOUT will guide you when you are out of sight of the boat or exit point. Consider leaving the small receiver always attached to your B/C, so it is available when you need it.
Limited Visibility Diving
At short range, the SPORT provides you with a confident direction to a distance of about 6 feet / 2 meters. The SCOUT may show the same maximum signal strength in all directions if you are closer than about 20 feet / 6 meters. For this reason, SPORT is preferred for low visibility diving and in particular if you need to locate a specific point such as the anchor line.
Teaching Dive Students, or Use as Rent Equipment
The intuitive LED bar graph, and more narrow/defined beam angle of the SPORT receiver makes it easier to operate for students and first-time users. We have a number of dive facilities who purchase the DiveTracker to rent out to customers. If interested in purchasing for rental equipment, please fill out a product inquiry form.
Best Battery Availability
SPORT wins here. You can get the six ‘AA’ batteries for the transmitter and the 9V battery for the receiver just about anywhere. The SPORT transmitter can have a continuous use up to 2 weeks, while SPORT receiver has a continuous use of 8 hours. The SCOUT transmitter uses a 9V battery, but the receiver uses a SAFT 14250 3.6V 1/2 ‘AA’ cell and is harder to locate. Fortunately, the Scout receiver battery does last for about 100 hours of diving.
Operating Over Very Large Distances
The more defined beam pattern of the SPORT receiver (30 degrees for SPORT vs. 90 degrees for the SCOUT), the stronger transmit signal and an extra high gain setting through an internal switch give the SPORT a much greater range potential than the SCOUT (1000ft / 300m max. for SCOUT; 4000ft / 1300m max. for SPORT). However, be careful. In many cases, the maximum range is limited by environmental factors such as ray bending, path blockages and background noise. For general diving, we find the range of both SCOUT and SPORT to be sufficient.
For Frequent Divers
You might prefer to use the SCOUT because it’s smaller. Yet, if much of your diving is in low visibility, than the SPORT will provide a more confident directions at close range.
Marking Underwater Equipment for Recovery
The SPORT transmitter has a battery life of about two weeks in the slowest ping setting. This compares to about two days for the SCOUT transmitter.
Diving in Harbors, Ponds, and Other Confined Locations
Echoes and generally strong signals can be a problem here. The ‘low gain’ setting of the SPORT receiver helps you reject many of the echoes and improve performance in confined dive sites.
Operating in a Swimming Pool
These systems are designed for open waters, and therefore will not be effective in a swimming pool. Since this system is based of acoustics, the signals and echoes will be just too strong. A large, Olympic size pool might be the exception. We recommend the SPORT here, always operated in its ‘low gain’ setting. If interested in operating the DiveTracker in a swimming pool, please fill out a product inquiry.
Least Probability of Flooding
The SCOUT has the advantage here, flooding is unheard of. This is because the housing is so small, and it’s O-ring is relatively thick in comparison to the housing diameter. This makes the SCOUT a very forgiving mechanical design. With SPORT, we do get the occasional flooded unit for repair. The O-ring is the same thickness as in SCOUT, but the housing does have a greater diameter. That means you need to pay greater attention to make sure you don’t have any O-ring contamination. Still, for both units incidents of flooding are low.
People Who Start With a SCOUT Eventually Buy a SPORT
Yet, we also sometimes get the other direction where a SPORT owner will buy a SCOUT. Divers who upgrade to SPORT normally seek better performance such as at low range or in confined diving environments. Some also find the SCOUT LED too hard to read in bright conditions. The few cases we had of divers buying a SCOUT after they already own a SPORT tend to be frequent users who are looking for a receiver size reduction. A number of customers prefer to use the power and convenience of the SPORT transmitter along with the SCOUT receiver for the benefit of its size.