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What is the the best (affordable) Dive Computer

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by jw2013, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. jw2013

    jw2013 Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
    Location: England
    I am going to learn tables. I think I'll hang off buying the Dive Computer. I'm shocked to hear PADI don't teach tables. What if something goes wrong with your Dive Computer and need a fall back for safe diving? It seems madness (to me) not to know the basics as at least a safety precaution.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  2. Vegan Shark

    Vegan Shark Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Okinawa
    Eric, I understand not wanting to fully trust a computer, but don't you think only general knowledge of the tables is needed to dive comfortably with one recreationally and recognize if there is a malfunction? Example: You're diving on air at 100 FSW and your computer tells you that you have 3 hours of NDL time remaining, which you quickly recognize is crazy talk.

    Some people carry back-up computers. If your computer fails and you're with a buddy, could just use his (PADI teaches to never use someone else's, but if you're not pushing NDL and you're following the same profile it doesn't seem like an issue to me). If you're solo, well, I guess you just call off the dives unless you're familiar enough with the sites that you can do it safely.

    I think everyone should have general awareness of NDL. I.E. You can stay X minutes at 20 ft, vs 60 ft, vs 100 ft, but using tables to actually plan a full day of diving seems outdated now. I learned tables in SSI, but wish I had just learned computers PADI style.
  3. CVillacis

    CVillacis Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Kentucky
    Certified with PADI this year. Went ahead and splurged and got an Atmos ai and I love it. Didn't want to have to buy another one later and didn't learn to use tables well. Class was computer mostly. One my daughter borrowed stopped working right - so decided I wanted my own so I could know how it had been treated prior. Didn't like having something on my wrist - pain if using gloves. Happy with choice.
  4. grf88

    grf88 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Markham, Ontario
    Bottom timers and tables work great for square profile dives but those would represent less than 10% of the dives that I do. Certainly you can cut tables for a multilevel dive but that presupposes that you know at what depth you are going to be at each stage of the dive. The cost of dive computers has come down a lot over the years and to me it makes a great deal of sense to use one to maximize your dive time. When you think of the effort and expense that we go to for a dive you want to be able to get the best safe bottom time available for each dive.
    drrich2 likes this.
  5. drrich2

    drrich2 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
    A person determined to only use tables might want to consider the following scenario, and consult those tables to see whether there's apt to be an issue.

    You go on a dive charter boat excursion in the Caribbean; maybe you're on a cruise, maybe not, either way, it's a 2 tank trip, with 80 cf AL tanks, maybe an hour surface interval. First dive may hit 75 feet max. depth early on but a shallower average depth (maybe 40 feet); 2'nd dive will be shallower, maybe 50 feet max., again with a shallower average depth (maybe 35 feet). The dive op. wants everyone to avoid NDLs, but wants to show everyone a good time.

    Your tables will assume square profile diving and give you much shorter dive times than the other divers' computers. Part way through dive #2, the tables claim you need to go up.

    Everybody else's computer says there's plenty of NDL time left.

    Soooooo, what'cha gonna do? Let the dive guide know, and ascend alone? (On a drift dive, the boat may be following). Do you expect the rest to end their dives early to accommodate you? People pay a lot of money for relatively little bottom; if your buddy feels obliged to come up with you (many would not), you could be costing him bottom time. Even 10 minutes is a significant portion.

    I've seen some rather spirited condemnation on the forum towards the not uncommon practice of sending divers up solo, such as when low on gas (e.g.: 500 PSI). I'd think using a NDL calculation device that's way more limiting than the rest of the group could cause a similar scenario.

    Mike Boswell likes this.
  6. Bob DBF

    Bob DBF Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: NorCal
    The Wheel.

    I may be old, but I'm not dead yet.
  7. Eric Sedletzky

    Eric Sedletzky Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Santa Rosa, CA
    A lot of these table vs computer debates don't take into consideration the locations and depth scenarios either.
    In the tropic on a liveaboard is one thing where you'll be diving your brains out to the max every day and want to ride the thin line of max exposure every dive. Computers are great for this, they calculate every second of depth and time and can milk out every last minute of NDL if you want them to.
    You could do this on tables to but you have to take them a step further and do some depth averaging and then do some deep stops etc. The DIR people do this and have not had any problems as far as I know, they have a pretty stellar track record of safety.
    I you're using them as a basic square profile then no they won't work and you'll get benched early while everyone else is still diving.
    On the other hand if I'm doing beach dives in my own back yard then I don't need a computer. I'm usually only getting two dives in, maybe three if I feel good, the shore and bottom typography provides an integrated depth dive from shallow to deep then gradually back to shallow. And the time and depth using a single tank is not enough to get into trouble, if fact most of the time doesn't even come close to NDL. So in this circumstance a computer is just something that can get lost or damaged and is not needed.
    Bentley Hamm likes this.
  8. scottishscuba

    scottishscuba Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Scotland
    I have a Mares Puck Pro. Its great! single button scroll thought all the menus. it does nitrox and you can add two gas mixes to a single dive. Fab bit of kit.
  9. krukster86

    krukster86 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Chicago, IL
    My first dive computer was my first "SCUBA purchase" after the mask/fins/snorkel splurge. I did my first 38 dives with the Oceanic Veo 100 that I got for $150. It is a cheap, simple computer for diving with Air. It did everything I wanted it to: no-deco time, time remaining at depth, nitrogen accumulation graph, safety stop timer, ascent rate warnings and thorough logbook mode. The only gripe was the 1 button function. If you miss something, you have to keep clicking 10x to get back to where you were. Since getting nitrox certified, I had to splurge on a nitrox computer (ScubaPro Aladin 2G). I still keep the Veo 100 as my backup, and I miss its simplicity!
  10. fjpatrum

    fjpatrum Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: DC area
    My most recent dives were in the CA channel islands. I thought I had spare batteries for my computer in my kit bag but they weren't there and I ended up diving with no computer. I used my buddy's computer for depth and a watch for time. We estimated max time based upon a square profile and dove accordingly. I am still mostly a gas hog so it wasn't that hard. The tables aren't that difficult to use and you can download them from the internet if you don't learn them in a class room. The instructions for how to use them are printed right on the tables themselves.

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