WHAT DIVING COMPUTER IS BEST FOR ME
Similar to most sport-oriented computers, a dive computer is a device to provide real-time feedback of many variables to ensure optimum and most of all safe diving experience. One of its main functions is to perform continuous calculations of depth and time, produce alerts for possible excessive ascent rates, and NDL (no-decompression limit). Advanced dive computers may have additional features for examples digital compass and dive planner software. It also eliminates the need to carry separate depth gauge and dive watch. If you only want to try Discover Scuba Diving experience or dive only a couple of times a year during vacation may not need to own one, but anything more than that will require a reliable instrument of your own.
What Makes a Good Dive Computer?
There is no one-answer-fits-all, because everybody has different diving needs and skills. However, there are some important features that you will find useful and make your diving experience much better even if you don’t plan to take professional certification. You probably don’t need top-of-the range dive computer, but here are some features you will want and use.
As mentioned earlier, a dive computer does all the important dive-related calculations for you, including those potentially life-saving ones. Decompression calculation is definitely a must-have. In fact this is the basic function of any dive computer. It does the calculation by taking depths and duration into account, allowing you to see how many decompression stops to do and at what depths before final ascent. More advanced dive computers can automatically adjust these calculations in case you miss a stop.
We consider this a necessity for both occasional and regular divers especially when diving during your holiday where you will have to take a flight to get back home. No-fly time feature can help you have enjoyable flight at the end of your vacation. The idea behind this is that after each dive you have residual nitrogen in your body that doesn’t release immediately. If you take no time to rest and ascend in flight immediately, the remaining nitrogen can expand due to low pressure. No-fly time feature of your dive computer will estimate when you are safe to fly next.
Compass is necessary to let you know where you are going and how to get back to the boat. Although you can always use the more conventional compass, some dive computers have digital tilt-compensated compass built in. It is a reliable modern compass and you don’t have to carry separate stand-alone navigational instrument.
Most recreational dive computers feature modules for nitrox / air / trimix calculations. Nitrox is a mixture of nitrogen and oxygen that allows you to stay underwater much longer because your breathing apparatus supplies more air for you to breathe. Trimix is a mixture consisting of nitrogen, oxygen, and helium. It is used mostly for commercial diving or advanced recreational diving. Dive computer with such compensations can measure the remaining diving time accurately respective to the type of gas you use.
Dive computers in general are not the cheapest piece of equipment to get. However if you plan on diving regularly, for your own safety and comfort you should definitely invest in buying your own. If you are not sure what computer to choose or don’t have enough time to purchase it prior to starting your vacation in Bali, just stop by at our dive center in Padangbai, we can offer you a piece of advice and we also have a selection of dive dive computers for sale at our dive shop.