How Do Divers Use a Basic Dive Computer?

August 22, 2022 3 min read

What are the advantages of diving with a basic dive computer? There are several features to consider, including No-stop limit, Ascent rate, Air time remaining (ATR), Data storage, and air consumption. However, you need to keep in mind that diving with a dive computer is not for everyone. There are many skills required, and not everyone is cut out for it. However, if you follow these simple tips, you can make the most of your dive computer.

No-Stop Limit

Basic dive computers come with audible alarms, which are useful for notifying a diver when they've reached a certain depth or have reached the no-stop limit. Dive computers use different algorithms to calculate safe diving times and determine decompression requirements based on a divers' current depth, time, and rate of ascent. They also collect information about the diver's buoyancy, time at sea, and the number of repetitive exposures.

Divers should pay particular attention to their no-stop limit. The no-stop limit is a crucial factor in ensuring proper air consumption and avoiding decompression sickness. The no-stop limit is not a strict number, and individual physiologies and susceptibility to decompression sickness vary widely. A basic dive computer may not be enough to calculate the actual amount of air consumed in each of these situations, so it's important to check it before diving.

Data Storage

Whether you dive for recreational purposes or for professional training, the data stored on a basic dive computer can make or break your trip. Basic dive computers come with default factory settings that are generally acceptable but can be changed by the user. Depending on your preferences, you may wish to change the default settings for the sake of safety. Read the user manual carefully to determine which user settings are appropriate for your needs. It's your responsibility to understand the settings on your dive computer, and a mistake will cause you to err.

A dive computer should also come with several functions that can help you dive safely. It can display the water temperature, air consumption, and even the NDLs. Using this information, the diver can know how long it will take before he or she surfaced. It can also display information on the ascent rate, which may sound an alarm if the diver is ascending too quickly. It will also display a safety stop depth range and countdown when it comes to diving.

Air Time Remaining (ATR)

An Air Time Remaining (ATR) feature on a dive computer calculates your remaining air time and indicates your current depth. It also measures your breathing rate, ascent and decompression status. It calculates the time remaining until your tank runs out and displays it in minutes. An OCi Dive Computer displays your Air Time Remaining and cylinder pressure continuously. You can adjust these features according to your needs.

There are two basic types of dive computers. Air-integrated and non-air-integrated computers are both popular and cost-effective. They give you critical information about your no-decompression limit, including air consumption rate and air time remaining. Despite their limitations, non-air-integrated dive computers still show air consumption rate, depth, ascent rate, and air time remaining. Many dive computers also display tank air pressure. Wrist computers can show tank air pressure.

Gas Switching

One of the most important things to understand about dive computers is how they calculate tissue loading. The dive computer assumes that the diver is breathing air at a certain depth and is therefore calculating TTS and Stop Time based on that gas. However, the actual gas composition can vary and the diver may not always use the same gas during a dive. If this is the case, the diver may experience longer stop times and slower off-gassing than expected.

Most modern dive computers will monitor depth, time and N2 loading. They may be console-mounted, wrist-mounted, or have a digital compass. Moreover, the displays and functions vary greatly, and they are available in a variety of styles, shapes, and sizes. Some have air integration, while others cross the line between tech-rec and recreational diving. In general, however, most dive computers are not suitable for advanced technical diving.



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