Dive Computers & Gauges. What are they, why do I need them, and how do I choose?
have improved the sport of diving by increasing safety while making your dives easier, thereby creating a more enjoyable experience. Today’s dive computers have an array of features and benefits including tracking your bottom time, maximum depth, surface interval, no fly time, audible alarms, decompression information, and low battery indicator. As technology evolves, dive computers continue to improve and aid in making diving safer and easier.
Scuba Diving Computers
Today’s Scuba Diving Computers monitor your depth and bottom time (among other things), allowing the computer to calculate your no decompression (no-deco) limit constantly as you go about your dive. This gives you more bottom time and a more enjoyable dive as compared to using dive tables. These computers come in two main styles, Wrist and Console Dive Computers.
Wrist Dive Computers
- Some of these can be the same model as the console mount computer, just in the wrist mount style. With the wrist dive computer, if you want air integration, you can either buy a computer that comes with a transmitter pod or buy the transmitter pod that pairs with your wrist dive computer. Note that not all wrist dive computers are capable of air integration. This is something to keep in mind when you’re looking at the different models. When you choose air integration, your transmitter pod attaches to your regulator and transmits real time pressure data to your dive computer. This eliminates the need for a pressure gauge and, just like with the console air integrated computer, your dive data on your wrist computer is updated constantly. This allows your computer to calculate your remaining bottom time based on your breathing rate, remaining air, depth, and air consumption rate.
A wrist dive computer can be used on its own or you can keep your console computer as a backup. The same is true with Air Integration. If you choose to integrate, you can get rid of a hose and gauge or keep the console setup as a backup.
Dive Console Computers
- You have two types of console dive computers. Some dive computers sit in a console with a submersible pressure gauge (SPG) which attaches to your regulator with a hose. These types of console dive computers are non-air integrated which is why you need a pressure gauge. There are also console dive computers that are air integrated, which means you don’t need an SPG because your tank pressure is reflected on your dive computer screen. Another advantage to air integration is that your dive data is constantly updated not just with your pressure but also bottom time remaining. This is achieved by the computer monitoring your rate of breathing, remaining air, depth, and air consumption. This makes for a more enjoyable dive with more accurate data.
Additionally, since the console computer is attached to your regulator, the chances of leaving this style dive computer at home or on the dive boat are greatly reduced. Dive Console Computers are great as your primary or backup dive computer.
Gauges, Compasses, and Accessories
Today’s Gauges allow you to quickly and easily check and confirm the remaining air in your tank as well as keep an eye on your depth, making your dive safer and easier. Additionally, a good compass keeps you on course and allows you to navigate back to the boat while underwater. Accessories enhance your dive experience, allow you to customize your gear, and include maintenance items.
- Every diver needs to know how much air is in their tank at all times. Another key piece of information for every diver is your depth. Keeping an eye on both of these is essential to a successful dive. Make certain you have gauges that you understand and can easily read.
- Every diver needs a compass to make underwater navigation easy. These compasses are made specifically for underwater navigation and are available in console, wrist, and clip on models. No matter which you prefer, make certain you’re familiar with your compass and can easily read it.
- These are important pieces of equipment and include wireless Air Integration transmitters, USB cables, color kits, maintenance items, and other accessories you might want for your dive computer, compass, and other gauges.
If you’d like assistance with choosing a dive computer, or any other scuba diving equipment, our friendly dive professionals are here to help. Visit one of our dive shops
or call us toll free at 1-800-DIVE-USA.