Choosing a Dive Computer

Feb 9, 2021 | 0 comments

Since 1774, when the first diving accident was recorded, until today, we have learned a lot about the limits we must set when underwater.

The main cause of accidents was decompression sickness and while initially there were no clear medical explanations regarding what happens with the air we breathe under water, with the advancement of science the reasons behind the “sickness” were understood and diving tables were created.

Their purpose is to help divers plan their dive by giving them information about bottom time depending on depth. Seven different algorithms have been created that produce more or less the same bottom time. The dive computers we use today are the evolution of those tables and use one of these algorithms.



The dive computer shows us the basic information we need. The depth we are at, the time we are below sea level, the water temperature, the time we can remain at that depth, whether we have exceeded our time and have to make a stop, while finally it shows us maximum depth and the number of stops we should make. Dive computers offer a variety of additional functions. We will try to summarize the basics below.



Most computers are Nitrox compatible. This is a function you should take into consideration when buying. Regardless of your level, breathing more oxygen-rich air is something you will probably need on a diving trip with repetitive dives.



Many dive computers provide the possibility to export an electronic file of your dive to view it on the manufacturer software. This is a very useful function, as you can see the diagram of your dive and keep an electronic dive log. The file is transferred via USB or via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi in more advanced models.



Another more complex function of dive computers used for technical diving is the ability to log gas changes from a list of gas mixtures uploaded to the computer before diving.



Air integrated dive computers measure and display tank pressure. Although this feature may seem unnecessary during the dive as you will never leave your manometer out of sight, it can provide you with useful information about your air consumption when transferring dive data to your computer or mobile phone.



Older models may require a visit to an authorized service center in order to replace their battery, while others allow their users to replace batteries themselves.



While the concept behind designing dive computers is an easy-to-read display of the information you need during a dive, there are dive computers that look more like tasteful watches.

Regardless of the functions and the safety that diving computers provide, we must never exceed the limits of our training and experience and we should always dive according to our plan.


See our detailed guide regarding each different piece of equipment!


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