As a technical diver you need to have a back up of everything. So we are going to talk about dive computers today. As this equipment is a very important part of your kit, you need to have have at least 2 of them. The problem with dive computers is that even different models from the same brand can come up with very different decompression information. Especially as you start to head deeper and spend longer underwater. Another problem with them for technical diving, is that they assume that you spend the entire dive using the same gas. However as Tec divers we can switch onto different gasses to either speed up (accelerate) our decompression stops or to make them more conservative.
There are a few dive computers that allow you to switch gas as you make your way up to the surface. However, these computers all use different models and can have great differences from one model to the next. One feature many computers have, is called ‘Gauge Mode’. This mode allows you to turn of all nitrogen tracking information so all you have is depth and time. (it also gets rid of a very annoying beep beep beep that happens when you get near or hit a limit).
Most dive computers are only rated to about 100m. This may seem deep but once you get the bug you will want to go deeper and deeper! So what can we do? Enter UWTEC with their depth gauge timers. These devices are wrist mounted, accurate electronic depth gauges which have a clock/timer included. These gauges are rated to a depth of 330m (which just happens to be as deep as anyone has gone using SCUBA). But as they are NOT a dive computer (no nitrogen tracking) they are comparatively cheap. In fact you can pick 2 of them up for less than the price of a watch style dive computer. Even for recreational diving, once you get to know the tables well enough then there is no reason why you can’t use these devices solely.
4 thoughts on “Dive Computers”
I love an idea of having 2 dive computers – one as main and the other as a backup, especially for technical diving.
Oceanic brand has good selection for that – Atom 3.1 or VT4 – as mains and BUD as a backup. Atom and VT allow diving with 3 mixes.
Suunto HelO2 and D9tx allow setting up to 8 gas mixes and you may use ZOOP or GEKKO for backups, but obviously these latter dive computers track only 1 gas mix.
UWATEC/ScubaPro brand has very sophisticated computers for diving – Galileo SOL, for example.
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