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"conservative" vs "liberal" computers

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

  1. lpshanet

    lpshanet Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: New York, NY and Los Angeles, CA
    Inherently, I think many people totally agree with you. I do, too, in principle. However, in practice, for a less experienced diver (or computer user), it isn't that simple. New divers have a lot they are thinking about every time they get in the water, and while they can make the quick calculation to dive more conservatively than the computer is telling them to, it's one more thing to think about under water. Many of the safety features of a dive computer, such as alarms, etc., are made to go off when certain parameters are crossed or even when you're getting close. You lose the benefit of those passive warnings when you choose to dive a less conservative computer and just stay away from its limits. It's very easy to get caught up in what we're looking at or doing under water...that's why many of us dive, after all. Realistically, instead of looking at your NDL, you might be looking at some amazing soft coral. So even if you wanted to come up with 6 minutes of NDL remaining on a less conservative computer, you could easily miss that mark. Meanwhile, the inherent safety measures of the more conservative computer would have warned you and sent you back up. It's true that you may lose out on significant dive time, but for a relatively inexperienced user who is worried about it, that's a small price to pay for increasing the margin of safety and spending the time looking at the underwater environment instead of spending the bottom time staring at the computer display nervously.

    As skill and experience increase, it's perfectly reasonable to adjust your needs/wants based on your comfort level. But I don't think we should necessarily criticize those who want to dive a conservative computer, at least to start with. Any decrease in the likelihood of getting bent can make a diver relax and enjoy the dive more.
  2. ianr33

    ianr33 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Wah Wah Land
    That brings up another point. I freakin HATE audible alarms on computers :D

    More seriously,how many new divers would have the slightest idea why their shiny new toy is beeping at them? (Too deep? Ascending too quickly? Approaching NDL? Approaching psi pressure warning setting? High pO2? Deep stop needed? Heartrate outside of default parameters? Low battery indicator?Buddy low on air,near NDL etc etc. )
    If you dont know why its beeping a you how do you know how to respond?

    Anyone that can not keep track of their NDL has no business diving deep enough where they might exceed it.

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