Dive computer classification


It is really hard to do a clasiffication of dive computers. What would be the criteria to clasifficate them? Air integration? Decompression algorythm? Component parts? PC downloadable? Any of those clasiffications would be ok so I am going to choose one of them


Air integrated computers

These computers measure tank pressure and must be attached directly to a high pressure hose connected to the regulator. Therefore these computers often completely replace the analog gauge console. These monitor the rate at which air is consumed. These computers then estimate how much breathing time a diver has. The computer then will tell the diver how much dive time remains using the more conservative time of breathing time left or no-decompression time left. This can enhance safety in that while a certain dive profile may say that there is lots of dive time left, air time may be the limit to the divers bottom time. Some air-integrated computers are hoseless in that a pressure sensor with a data transmitter is hooked directly into the high pressure port of the regulator. Tank pressure measurements are then transmitted directly to the wrist mounted computer. Thus the computer can still display tank pressure and air time remaining without being connected directly to a high pressure hose. These units are very useful when it comes to attaching redundant gauges to a regulator. Normally two pressure gauges would require two high pressure hoses. However using a hoseless air integrated computer reduces the number of hoses coming out of a regulator and makes the diver more streamlined (less things hanging off of the regulator). Three small problems exist with this type of pressure sensing system. First, the transmitter can be interfered with by the electrical disturbance of powerful strobes. Divers taking a lot of pictures using strobes may experience a winking out of the air pressure data. The second problem is that the transmitter is rather bulky and depending on the layout of the ports on your regulator, you may not be able to install the transmitter and other low pressure hoses at the same time The third problem is that if something were to impact the rigid transmitter (e.g. hitting a door overhang when penetrating a wreck), it could theoretically shear off resulting in a high pressure leak from your regulator.

Non air integrated computers

These computers do not measure tank pressure and so will only display no-decompression time limits. Because they do not need to be linked to a high pressure hose on your regulator, these computers may be in the form of modules that can be popped into most gauge consoles or they may be in the form of wrist or BCD mounted units. These computers are very convenient especially if wrist mounted since they can be carried with traveling divers and used with any kind of equipment without requiring installation into a console or a regulator. These computers can also be brought into a dive boat after a dive for the purpose of logging the dive without the need for separating the regulator from the rest of the gear and bringing the whole set up inside




Updated July 1, 2002 4:12 PM by Vlad Pambucol