Frequently Asked Questions
How does the amigo Work?
Your amigo comprises a miniaturized low-powered ultrasonic transceiver. In transmit mode it sends ultrasonic pulses that radiate away from the unit, much like the surface ripples that spread from a stone dropped into a still pond. In receive mode your amigo provides directionally sensitive detection of received ultrasonic pulses, selectively amplifies these, and extracts valid transmission signals from background noise using real time Digital Signal Processing, (DSP). Valid signal information is further processed to provide linear range and directional information on the LED display.
In receive mode signal response is effectively instantaneous. The LED display and background noise noise measurements are updated continuously.
As well as completing DSP and display processing, the microprocessor in your amigo is busy providing battery management, channel control, updating the background noise measurements, recording key operating parameters, managing operating timing cycles to enhance your safety, detecting whether the device is submerged, and providing functionality to the user-operated mode switch.
Your amigo contains contains proprietary software and hardware which is subject to copyright and patent protection.
Which Channel Should I Use?
Your amigo has two user selectable channels - the default Red Channel and the alternative Green Channel.
Both channels provide marine noise immunity, identical ranging and directionality. However the Red Channel (default) has a slightly higher transmission power density than the Green Channel due to the modulation scheme inherent in the design. This should be your preferred channel on most dives.
How Long will the Battery Last ?
The battery life of your amigo has been measured at more than 50 hours of actual dive time from a single charge. The internal battery is rated for at least 300 charge/discharge cycles. Battery recharging takes about two hours using the USB adaptor provided. Universal AC and DC chargers are available as optional accessories.
When your amigo is turned off is consumes virtually no power and has a shelf life of at least 12 months from a fully charged condition subject to ambient storage temperature. This is due to the self-discharge characteristics of the battery technology. It is recommended that you recharge your amigo before and after an extended period of storage.
When you turn your amigo on it displays the active channel and battery condition to ensure that there is sufficient charge to complete your planned dive. It also provides a recharging warning about ten hours before battery depletion. Your amigo will signal when the battery is depleted and automatically turn off to prevent failure during a dive and protect the battery from excessive discharge.
Your amigo has been specifically designed to optimize power use. It incorporates integrated battery management to prevent: overcharging, over-temperature, high currents in the unlikely event of a short circuit, and deep-discharge. It automatically provides controlled charging conditions to recover from deep discharge after extended storage.
What is the Range of the amigo?
Factors such as transmitter/receiver alignment; solid objects including walls, pinnacles, wrecks and confined environments; thermoclines; marine noise; and the relative position and state of the surface and the sea floor can contribute to changes (both increases and decreases) in effective range.
Field measurements have demonstrated a range of approximately 100 m (330’) for worst-case transmitter/receiver alignment in open water with no contributing reflecting surfaces. Your amigo has been proven to be effective and pinpoint accurate beyond 200 m (660’) in real dive situations.
While your amigo does work at extended ranges you should question if you are truly buddy diving in these circumstances. Even 10 m (33’) can be an awfully long way when you need an alternative air source right now. Hold your breath and think about how far you might want to swim before you can breathe again.
In situations where no signal is received it is recommended that the receiving diver should slowly ascend a few metres (about 10’), move clear of any obstacles, and complete a further 360 search. Ascending puts the receiving diver closer to the surface in accordance with recommended recreational dive procedures and will generally improve signal transmission paths.
Your amigo can be used in air. This is the best way to familiarize yourself with its operation and observe the effects of reflecting surfaces and obstructions before you get wet! Effective ranging in air extends to about 20 m (66’).
How do I Attach the amigo?
The amigo is designed to attach unobtrusively from one of the chest D rings on your Buoyancy Control Device (BCD). The amigo is approximately neutrally buoyant in sea water and will point slightly downward towards a horizontally swimming divers fins. In this position the amigo is unlikely to damage delicate marine organisms or be damaged by contact with hard objects. Further, it will not adversely effect a diver’s streamline profile and will be optimally aligned for signal transmission for a buddy swimming away from you. For most dives you simply turn your amigo on, check the battery charge and channel, attach it to your BCD and complete your planned dive.
It is recommended that you do not stow your amigo in your catch bag, BCD pocket, or weight belt. This will attenuate transmission signals, and if you need to ditch your weights or catch bag you might end up separated from your amigo when you need it most.
When I Press the Mode Switch it Doesn’t Appear to Move. Why?
The amigo’s Mode Button is a piezoelectric momentary push button switch designed specifically for this application. It has several advantages over conventional mechanical push buttons including no sensitivity to gradual changes in pressure, no moving parts or maintenance and a hermetic seal. The only disadvantage is that it provides limited tactile feedback because it does not move when pressed. However regular mechanical push buttons provide only limited tactile feedback at depth, in cold conditions, or for users wearing gloves.
To operate the Mode Button press it firmly and release it just as you would when typing or entering a text message. The LED display is designed to provide visual feedback of Mode Button operation so watch the display when changing modes.
The Mode Button is ergonomically located under your thumb (right-handed users) or forefinger (left-handed users). With just a little practice it can be reliably operated with one hand while wearing 4 mm thick Titanium lined Kevlar reinforced neoprene dive gloves.
The amigo is RoHS Compliant to Protect our Marine Environment. What is RoHS?
RoHS stands for the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (2002/95/EC) and is a restriction on the use of six toxic substances in electrical and electronic equipment including the heavy metals Lead, Cadmium, Mercury and Chromium. The Directive is motivated to reduce the proliferation of toxic waste in consumer electronics. Aquacoustics Limited is committed to using environmentally sustainable processes and components. Your amigo is RoHS compliant.
Almost all electronic equipment is not completely biodegradable. At the end of its service life your amigo should be disposed of using environmentally sound practice and in accordance with any local regulatory requirements.
When and Where can I purchase an amigo?
The amigo is expected to be available for sale in 2020.
In order to keep prices down the amigo will be sold directly through the Internet to certified divers and through our retail partners. Please note that the amigo will not available for export to some countries due to trade sanctions imposed by certain jurisdictions and the United Nations Security Council.