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Do you use a conservative setting on your dive computer?

Discussion in 'Computers, Gauges, Watches & Analyzers' started by scubadiver888, Sep 26, 2014.

Do you set your dive computer to be more conservative?

Poll closed Dec 25, 2014.
  1. Yes, I always use the more conservative setting

    5 vote(s)
  2. No, I always use the least conservative setting

    30 vote(s)
  3. Sometimes, I change the setting from time to time

    9 vote(s)
  4. My dive computer does not have an ability to change how conservative it is

    4 vote(s)
  5. I don't know if my computer has a way to change how conservative it is

    0 vote(s)
  1. scubadiver888

    scubadiver888 Divemaster

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: North America
    Many dive computers have the ability to be more conservative. You can set the computer to give you a shorter time to NDL. So do you use this or just leave the dive computer on the least conservative setting?
  2. ajduplessis

    ajduplessis Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: dry land :-(
    Conditions, workload and other factors change even during a dive. I therefore like a DC where you can change the shape based on these changes with applied common sense. Generally during rec (ndl) dives I keep the settings as-is.

    The Suunto "haters" will shortly add their bit.
  3. Dr. Lecter

    Dr. Lecter Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: NYC/Honolulu
    Having given up VPM in favor of gradient factors, I'm not sure how to answer. Is 70/70 more or less conservative than 20/90, and how much helium do I have to add to the equation before your answer changes? One thing I do like is that on my SWs, I can change the surfacing limit anytime I want during the dive. If I suspect I might need more of a cushion, I can punch in a lower surfacing GF and see what that does to my ascent profile and gas requirements; conversely, if I want to generate a 99/99 GTFO of Dodge profile because something has gone seriously wrong, that's available too.

    I have stopped caring about NDLs. Whether the computer says I have 45 minutes of NDL or 30 minutes of NDL and 15 minutes of deco obligation for a given BT/gas is computer semantics...my gas loading isn't changing because the screen says I do or don't have NDL time left. If it's marginal, the more conservative approach would be to plan for and do the stops (IMO).
    victorzamora likes this.
  4. Kharon

    Kharon Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Upstate NY
    My dive computer (Mares Icon 4.0) is already pretty conservative so I voted no. I'm only 67 and when I get old I will probably bump the conservative setting up.
    ajduplessis and chillyinCanada like this.
  5. tbone1004

    tbone1004 Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
    I'm with Lecter, being able to control the GF's on the Petrel is huge, especially since all dives are different. A nice easy relaxing cave dive is a lot different on the body than cold wreck diving in currents, so I change my GF's accordingly.
    victorzamora likes this.
  6. lowviz

    lowviz Solo Diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Northern Delaware or the New Jersey Turnpike
    Almost always bump up 10% and do whatever light deco my plan calls for. Don't like to exceed 15min, starts getting 'technical' and more junk to carry.
  7. Scott

    Scott Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
    Since I have fairly conservative computers I use the most liberal settings.
    I'll revisit those shortly as I'm changing computers that allow the use of GF's.
    Steve_C likes this.
  8. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    I wear two dive computers. One is more conservative than the other. I try to dive it most of the time but knowing what the other tells me gives me some "safe" wiggle room
    Steve_C likes this.
  9. victorzamora

    victorzamora Solo Diver

    My primary computer is a Petrel as Dr. Lecter and Tbone mentioned above, so it's hard to answer from that perspective.

    When I was diving my Hollis DG03 (more "normal" conservatism settings) I always dove with least conservative status. If I was doing a NDL dive, I'd always thumb it a few minutes before my NDLs. Moreso if I was in bad shape/conditions, less so if I knew I was comfortable, warm, and well hydrated. If diving in deco, I'd normally make sure to ascend extra slowly and give my 20ft and 10ft stops a couple of extra minutes. Normally, I'd clear deco (light deco) before even switching to O2 but I'd give myself a few minutes on O2 at 20ft and 10ft just to be sure.
  10. Steve_C

    Steve_C Contributor Rest in Peace

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh, NC USA
    +1 for what Dr Bill said.

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