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"conservative" vs "liberal" computers

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by manni-yunk, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    The main question seems to be liberal algorithem vs conservative algorithm. Pelagic Pressure Systems (Oceanic, Aeris Sherwood...) are amongst the most liberal of algorithms. Uwatec tends to be middle of the field, Suunto is generally reagarded as the most conservative.

    Good luck in your computer shopping and good diving, Craig
  2. Sas

    Sas Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    +1 on the Aladin Tec2g - user replaceable batteries, mid range conservatism (I dived with a Suunto for a holiday once along side my Uwatec and found it was reaaally conservative in comparison to my Tec2g - there is such thing as too conservative...), gauge mode, backlight, wrist style, two gases, can download profile to computer, nitrox to 100%, and it is really quite cheap (300USD). I'm really happy with it, don't have any complaints and it will do me for a long while.
  3. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    ScubaBoard is a huge site--overwhelming to a new user.

    If you scroll down you will find a whole section on equipment, and a section within that on computers. You will find that the questions you are asking have been asked many times there. You can browse those old threads, do a search, learn a bunch, and then refine your questions to make new posts there.
  4. lmorin

    lmorin Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: New Hampshire
    I think this statement bears some consideration. For example, we dove in Cozumel this summer with 6 other folks. Two of them had Suunto computers. They went into deco (according to their computers) on half the dives. None of the other divers did, although we came close on several dives. Sure, "conservative" means, in some fashion or another, "less likely to get bent." On the other hand, getting DCS is such a low probability event anyway (assuming the computer is followed, regardless of which computer it is), that having a "more conservative" computer doesn't necessarily make a lot of sense. All computer algorithms are designed to keep you safe.
  5. Rhone Man

    Rhone Man Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: British Virgin Islands
    This table might be of use (but be careful, it relates to single dives only, and doesn't show relative conservatism for repetitive diving):

  6. StuartT

    StuartT Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Abbotsford, B.C. Canada
    Aeris elite t3 wrist mount hoseless with wireless transmitter. User changeable batteries. Easy to read. Easy to set up. 3 modes, up to 3 gases, backlit for dark or night diving. Quite conservative. For example when diving nitrox it warns you at 1.2 pp when set for 1.4. Counts down your safety stop for you when you ascend to 20 feet. Easy to set up for the type of diving you do. Download all your dives to a computer to see your dive profiles, sac rate etc. Repetative dive planning plus lots more.
  7. lpshanet

    lpshanet Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: New York, NY and Los Angeles, CA
    It seems like the OP may have gotten quite a few complex answers to a fairly simple original question. While there is tons of good, factual info in the replies above, here is a simpler assessment. There is some disagreement about the relative conservatism of various brands, but almost all divers seem to agree that Suunto computers and their algorithm are among the more conservative ones on the market. They're also excellent computers and part of most recreational computer conversations.

    For that reason, if you want to simplify your search for a conservative computer, you might start out by at least looking at the Suunto line and what each model offers. A good place to start is the Gekko mentioned above, and then scan upwards to see what's added by each higher model and whether you want those features. For reference, the Suunto computers share an algorithm, so they all tend to be inherently conservative to similar degree. So the higher you go in the line, the more features you will add, but they will all be relatively conservative. See the chart posted above for some brand comparison of algorithms and on how the relative conservatism is expressed in terms of dive tables.

    Once you're familiar with Suunto's line, you can branch out and compare others with that as a reference point. If you have the opportunity, you might also want to try a Suunto via shop rental to see if you're comfortable with it before buying. Good luck to you!
  8. BKP

    BKP Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Atlanta
    Suunto makes a good line, however, if your concern is liberal vs conservative, why not go middle of the road, such as Uwatec (and if you've got the $$ take a look at the Galileo Sol or Luna).

    Reason you might want a middle of the road 'puter is your buddy. If you're diving a conservative Suunto, and your buddy is diving a liberal Pelagic, you're going to end up with vastly different loading, and deco commits, as well as SI requirements, (assuming you start doing longer / deeper dives). A middle of the road computer will make your buddy's algorithm less of an issue regardless of what they're diving.
  9. Sas

    Sas Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    You don't get much with a Galileo given the price... I would consider that computer really overpriced compared to other brands. No trimix upgrade available, and also you have to pay extra for three gas mixes. You can get something like a Liquivision X1 for same price that has way more features...
  10. Doc Harry

    Doc Harry Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Appalachia
    If you REALLY want an answer to your question.... It's not simple. It's not based on "conservative" or "liberal" labels.

    1. Read about decompression theory and modeling. A good place is http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/book-media-reviews/312616-deco-divers-mark-powell.html.

    2. Decide which deco algorithm you want to follow. There are many from which to chose. And your life depends on it.

    3. Chose a computer that uses that algorithm.

    Even though you may not be doing any decompression diving per se, all computers use deco algorithms to compute your no-stop limits and nitrogen loading bar graph. Not all newer divers are interested in "diving" into the details of deco theory. But if you REALLY want to understand computers, then you need to understand deco theory.

    Maybe something for you think about for the future.

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