The diving computers have become an essential part of the diving equipment.
It is an authentic life insurance for the diver. Thanks to the computer, we can keep in mind the main parameters of the dive at all times, and warn us when it detects that any data is not within the safety parameters.
It will always be there, giving us a warning if we are going to enter decompression or if we ascend too fast. It will notify us of the levels and times for safety stops, and even, depending on the model, the air that is left available in the bottle.
Advantages of having our own dive computer
We are going to dismantle some of the myths of beginner divers who do not see the need to acquire their own dive computer.
I'll rent it, like the rest of the equipment
You can think that it is not within your priorities to acquire a diving computer, and that it is preferable to acquire another type of material, and choose to rent the computer.
From our point of view, this is an error.
First of all, it is rare for a diving center to have available dive computers for rent to its clients.
You have to think that dive computers control not only what goes on in the water, but also everything that happens between dives; Obviously, the times of no decompression for successive dives vary depending on what we have done previously, so we should be continuously resetting the computers.
For the same reason, if we want to do more than one dive in the day, or we want to dive several days in a row, the readings we can get if we change computers will be wrong, with the consequent loss of security measures.
Well, a friend lends it to me
One of the keys to having our own dive computer is that it can handle our personal information.
Before using any computer, you have to make a minimum configuration. We record age, sex, height, and in the most modern models, physical condition.
In this way, the system will perform the calculations based on your particular conditions, giving fully customized readings.
If you are tempted to use a friend's, know that you can get wrong information during the dive, or at least, not as accurate.
Diving computers are very expensive
As we will see later, there are different types of models to cover different types of specialties and needs. Nowadays it is not necessary to make a large investment, being able to find computers with high performance and price content.
Also you have to think that the dive computer is not a piece of wear. If you take good care of yourself and your needs do not change too much, you can have equipment for life.
It is not something like the diving suit or any other piece of equipment, that you will need to change from time to time depending on the use.
All in all, making an investment in a good dive computer is a good idea; We can only decide the type of computer we want to be part of our dives.
Types of diving computers
There is a very wide variety in the market. Brands such as Suunto, Mares, Cressi, and Oceanic, have a wide range of all the types that we are going to describe.
We advise you to review the following details:
- The display must be large enough to see the parameters below the water; distrusts very "wearable" models the size of a smartwatch; In the long run, you will appreciate a larger screen.
- Make sure also of the ease of use, since we do not want to go crazy with the buttons during the dive.
- If you plan to do dives with different types of gases, do not forget to check that the system they have installed supports it.
- Although most brands have it, check that they have a software to connect it to your desktop computer; It will make it easier to keep the data, as well as the configuration.
- If you are going to be encouraged to try apnea, check that the selected model has this mode; the parameters, speeds, etc., have nothing to do with diving with a bottle, and not all models support it.
From here, you can find different types of computer:
Independent diving computer
They are the simplest of all the models. Normally wrist, they are more or less the size of a sports watch.
Computer integrated with the tank
Its great advantage is that it offers, in real time, information about the available air that remains in the bottle, and the expected duration time.
For this, a transmitter is installed in the first stage of the regulator, which will send information to our wrist computer.
Another option is that it is directly integrated in the manometer.
Computer integrated with the diving mask
Also known as Data Mask. It is basically a mask that is integrated into the computer, so that the data display is directly visualized when it is integrated into the mask structure itself.
They are usually purchased with a tank transmitter, to obtain the available air readings.
The Oceanic brand had a relatively popular model, for arround 1.000€.