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4 Essential Steps To Consider Before Picking Up Your New Dive Computer

Updated on June 9, 2012

Learn How To Choose Dive Computer Without Hassle!

Few things to think over and plan before investing in dive computer and make your future diving experiences painless!

Majority of divers turned to using of dive computer instead of Dive Tables and Multilevel dive wheels, as computer automatically calculates No-Decompression Limits and warns user about all critical aspects of diving. When it comes to time for an upgrade or buying our first dive computer, we start thinking about our available investment funds, desirable specifications and functions, our future diving career, area of application of dive computer, etc.

Let's discuss these important points in deeper details to get clear picture.

Few Advices From Brett From LeisurePro

How To Choose Dive Computer From LeisurePro


Think Over Your Future Path As A Scuba Diver

Probably, you can imagine of who you want to become - Certified Advanced Diver, Dive Master, or just get the basic Open Water Certification; how often you will dive and where, and what will be an area of an application of new scuba computer.

For example, if you dive recreational and in tropics only and just a few times a year - surely you won't need expensive diving computer with advanced functions and hoseless air integration. In this case - you may consider investing in simple instrument and add SPG to make handy console. On the contrary - if you dive very often and think about trying freediving or going technical, by using trimix.

If you're planning to progress in scuba diving mastership, and dive with technical gas mixes or engage in free diving activities - you need to invest in more expensive computer that has multi-gas capabilities, wireless air integration, digital compass, free dive mode etc.

You may consider even how your computer will calculate No-Decompression Limits. Conservative algorithms limit the amount of time you can spend at depth without putting the computer into deco mode, but increase your safety margin. Liberal algorithms allow much more bottom time before going into deco mode, but by doing so can increase your risk of decompression sickness. The algorithm is a dive computer's program, a mathematical formula that uses real-time measures of depth, gas mix, time at depth and, in some cases, other data to calculate how long diver can safely stay underwater.

When you answer all questions about your diving career and future plans - you can make a list of desirable parameters and functions for your dive computer.

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Which Specifications And Mounting Options Are Desirable In Your Dive Computer?

After you know your future diving path - it is time to make a list of desirable features and functions. These days scuba computers are packed with many features, and as a small example, you may see some of them below:

  • few dive modes;
  • some of them have Dual Algorithm for liberal and conservative diving;
  • possibility of programming for 3 or more different gas mixes;
  • wireless air - integration;
  • 'buddy' pressure check function;
  • adjustable settings for Personal Conservative Factor;
  • adjustable Altitude;
  • adjustable Deep and Safe stops time and depth;
  • colour display;
  • PC interface;
  • dive simulator;
  • integrated digital compass;
  • possibility to upload from PC colour or grey - scale pictures and maps into the dive computer;
  • user replaceable batteries;
  • data retention, etc.

Scuba computers are available in 4 mounting options:

  • computer consoles;
  • dive watch computers;
  • wrist units;
  • computers embedded in scuba diving masks

And it is a matter of personal preference and convenience of use. In computer consoles you have whether hose air-integrated dive computer or no air-integrated computer and Submersible Pressure Gauge (SPG). Very often divers add a compass to make console more versatile.

Dive watch computers may be hoseless (wireless) air-integrated or no air-integrated and we wear them on wrist. Some of them can be used in computer consoles as well.

Wrist units are bigger than dive watch computers. They, obviously, have larger display with bigger digits and this option should be considered by those people who have visual impairment.

Dive computers, which are embedded into scuba diving masks are new design from world's well-known brands - Aeris and Oceanic. Scuba masks have display on the lower right side and optical system designed in such a way that you may see all dive data and it doesn't interrupt underwater view.

Each extra feature and function may easy add up to higher price of the whole package. So, we need to watch for that as well! Otherwise, we may end with pretty hefty amount of money to pay for the new dive instrument!


How Big Or Small Is Your Budget?

Now we came up to, probably, the most important question that requires honest answer! After you made a list of your diving career path, mounting option that is best suits you, list of features of the dive computer - you have come up with few certain models. It's time to count our money!

At this moment you may see that your selected computer costs more than you may afford to pay this time - calm down and think again! Our market is full of different dive computers that can do almost the same job as more advanced and sophisticated computers! The most affordable dive computers these days are Cressi Leonardo and Mares Puck, Cressi Archimede 2 and Oceanic VEO 3.0, Sherwood Insight, Suunto ZOOP, and UWATEC Aladin Tec 2G, etc.

These instruments cover broad range of activities and some of them support 2 Nitrox mixes and satisfy needs of beginners in scubadiving and recreational divers.

But if your leather wallet is thick enough and you are about to progress fast in diving career and see yourself diving with technical mixes or freediving - you should invest in more advanced dive computer. Examples of these instruments may be: Aeris A300 Ai and CompuMask HUD, Mares Icon HD and Oceanic OC1, Suunto HelO2 and D9tx, which support up to 8 gas mixes, UWATEC Galileo SOL and new ScubaPro Meridian.

Some of those dive computers have wireless air-integration, multi-gas options, possibility of heart rate monitoring, uploading pictures, integrated digital compass and much more and they are designed for serious divers.

You may think even about how certain computer will emphasize your colourful personality or buying it from eBay to save some money for your next scuba dive gear.


How Well Your New Dive Computer Will Emphasize Your Personality?

This step is all about how your new scuba dive computer will give the best fit to your personality and emphasize it! It is pure individual matter. If you do not care about it – skip this step!

I spoke to quite a few people around and I found out that many people wanted to wear a dive computer that would emphasize somehow their personality! They wanted to have a dive computer, which was “made especially for her/him”! Some of guys even made up some funny names for their scuba dive computers!

I will leave this option open for you! If you like pink Suunto D4 more than yellow Oceanic GEO – go for it!

At least you will not regret about your choice later and make your diving experience even more enjoyable by having your little electronic underwater friend with you!

Save Great Bucks On eBay!

Bidding and buying dive computers from eBay we may save great money for other stuff!

Resources For You!

You will find more useful stuff, like variety of the dive computers reviews and ratings made by real divers when visit Dive Computer Wizard!

LOL: Envy CuttleFish Is Going For Dive Computer

Even cuttlefish is about to get the dive computer! What to say about other divers then.... :)

Like this lens? Share your feedback or just give thumbs up! Your blurbs are welcome! :)

Share Your Great Stories About Your Underwater Adventures :)

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