What is The Best Dive Computer For You?
Dive computer, computer watch, depth meter or freediving computer?
Computer are now part of the basic dive equipment. The idea of designing a dive computer to tell divers their situation in term of nitrogen saturation is not recent. It follows history and its evolution thanks to the pioneers such as Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Georges Beuchat, André Laban, Octave Léandri and many others.
In the 1950s, prototypes of unreliable decompressimeters existed but were soon abandoned. The rebirth of these devices will come in the 80s and will continue to improve until today. Parallel to the development of these first devices, the major diving federations have updated their decompression table to train divers for the use of a depth gauge. The coupled use of these two tools allows us to know our nitrogen saturation point.
Why should I buy a diving watch
The more you gain experience, the greater the need to own a dive computer. For some, from level 1 diving or Open Water Diver, the desire to know its depth and other dive settings will be great. However, be aware that this does not interfere too much with the acquisition and mastery of your abilities during your learning. The purchase of a computer can be highly recommended for those who dive independently, Nitrox or other mixtures, for night dives or for divers with a defective view. Furthermore, for advanced open water diver, a good computer can be pretty useful.
The main functions of a dive computer
Today’s technology has made it somewhat obsolete to use a depth gauge coupled to decompression tables. The modern dive computer incorporates an algorithm continuously modeling your dive profile unlike tables the dive computers assume an absolut perfect profile. These data recorded every 2 or 3 seconds are intersected and adjusted according to the depths reached.
The dive computer, thus bring to divers the guarantee to have, on their screen , an accurate and truly optimal information on their desaturation parameters. Manufacturers of scuba diving equipment use different algorithm models Haldane / Spencer, Bubble Gradient, Buhlmann, RGBM …, more or less penalizing. Whether you are a beginner, an intermediate, an experienced diver or a professional diver, the computer greatly enhances safety in scuba diving and performs other useful functions.
In water, it can give useful information on dive conditions water temperature, dive time, maximum depth, calculate the desaturation parameters in real time, display the safety and decompression stops, warn your ascent rate and alert you in case of a uncontrolled ascent. Outside the water, it allows to display the time spent on the surface thus making it possible to calculate the surface intervals and to visualize, at a glance, the time required in order to take the plane safely after a dive.
The other technical characteristics according to the models
- Suitable for diving in the air and very often with Nitrox super-oxygenated gas
- Replaceable battery or battery.
- Simple depth gauge.
- color and backlit display
- Change algorithm to harden decompression and to make deep steps
- Management of the air remaining in the bottle with or without wire.
- Compass that records the headings to follow.
- Mix the gases of your bottles to reduce the bearings or make deep dives.
- Activation of audible and / or visual alarms as required dive time, maximum depth, air reserve …
- Logbook function and its PC cable.
On which criteria should I buy my diving computer ?
CHEAP DIVING COMPUTER
There are many models of diving computers for beginners and / or intermediate divers.
Price range: between 100 € and 200 €.
The most famous:
- Suunto Zoop
- Mares Puck
- Cressi Leonardo
- Scubapro Aladin
- Aqualung i300
Certainly the most common type of diving computer with countless models. The functionalities and algorithms differ according to the manufacturers even if they all try to bring a maximum security to the underwater divers.
Price range: between 200 € and 500 €.
The most famous:
- Mares Nemo Wide 2 or Matrix
- Suunto Vyper
- Aqualung i200
- Oceanic Veo
HIGH END AND LUXURY DIVING COMPUTER
By going up to the top of the range, the list of possibilities lengthens, sometimes too much for the average diver. These models will appeal mainly to technical divers.
Price range: + € 500.
The most famous:
- Oceanic VTX
- Scubapro Mantis 2.0
- Suunto D6
- Aqualung i450T or i750TC
Be a good dive buddy
It is actually reassuring to be with buddy that has its own computer. This is an additional safety feature if you follow your dive profile. If you are used to always dive with the same person, make sure to always have a computer with the same algorithm in order to avoid any unnecessary safety stop, or to not skip a necessary one.
New Diving Computer: the CYANO
If you are a diver you already know all the flagship models of the major diving brands. And me be you are looking for something different for once! New players appear each year on the market with the ambition to offer innovative, elegant and above all powerful models. That’s what WATOOM is trying to do via a Kickstarter by launching the CYANO, both a dive computer and a watch.
With a refined aesthetic, modern and customizable, this computer is a really good news for the one looking for a really elegant dive computer that could remind us the Apple Watch. Beyond the design, the dive computer CYANO has all the essential functions to take us safely diving: solid alloy, waterproof 100 meters, decompression model Bühlmann ZH-L16C, clear and bright interface, 2 dive modes according to the profile desired or the ability to parameterize his dive by defining his physical condition.
Outside the water, the CYANO turns out to be a nice watch, infinitely customizable with an alarm function. We are impatient to test it and give you our review about this product. If you want to invest on a new dive computer, may be you could help them and buy a CYANO on their Kickstarter Campaign, you will save money and help a new brand to become a reference.
CYANO diving computer comes equipped with two different modes, Diving Mode and Watch Mode. The diving mode lets you keep an eye on diving logs, water depth, water temperature, no-decompression limit etc. Your safe diving is our best concern.
There is all 2 different diving modes display :
The first one is created for recreational diving that do not plan to do decompression dives. CYANO recommend this mode for divers that won’t go deeper than 40 meters / 130 feet. If you go deeper, the depth alarm will start to ring and alert you. During your ascent, you can see on the screen your ascent speed and if you ascend too fast, the computer will alert you as well.
The second mode will be for people planning to do a decompression dive. During your decompression stop or safety stop, CYANO will let you know at what depth you should stop during your ascent with a UP and DOWN alarm signs. The diving mode 2 is simpler with bigger letters, so it is easier to read while diving.
If you don’t want decompression diving, don’t worry. “Deco 2 mins before notification” shows you when you should start decompression with 2 mins timer.
Important to know, CYANO propose also as a feature an integrated compass to show you your direction the compass mode also shows Non Decompression Limit and last but not least your dive will be recorded in a diving log that you can check after your dives.
Divers, tell us in the reviews what computer do you use during diving ?