10 Benefits of Using A Dive Computer

Robert Arak in Scubatude Blog
on Jul 03, 2019 |


For most, understanding how to plan repetitive dives using a dive table was the most difficult part of learning to scuba dive. Eliminating the need and use of dive tables is usually reason enough to use a dive computer, but there are other, more important benefits as well:
  • Ease of use
    Versus working out your dive profile using tables, recording it on a slate and monitoring your plan underwater using your depth gauge and watch; using a dive computer is easy. It tracks your surface interval and adjusts your no-decompression limit for repetitive dives accordingly. All you need to do put it on your wrist, or attach it to your regulators, and you are ready to go!
  • Mistake-proof
    While they are not completely idiot proof, they do eliminate mistakes that can be made reading dive tables, working out pressure groups and carrying forward theoretical nitrogen loads for repetitive dives.
  • More Time
    Because dive computers track your profile (depth and time) accurately, they will give you more time underwater than a dive planned using a table. A table can only plan a square profile dive and assumes you spend all of your dive at the deepest depth. The table can’t offer any credit for ascending to a shallower depth. It is possible to plan a multilevel profile using table based calculators. This method will give you more bottom time but there are limitations, and it would still not be as generous, or accurate as a dive computer.
  • Flexible
    Diving using a computer offers the flexibility of altering your plan on the fly. Within reason, dropping down an extra couple of feet to photograph a pygmy seahorse, or extending your time at shallower depths is not an issue.
  • Ascents and Stops
    Dive computers make tracking your ascent speed, and safety stop much easier than a depth gauge and watch.
  • Warnings
    Computers can be set so that they will audibly alert you at a given depth or time, as well as warn you if your ascent rate is too fast or you are approaching your NDL.
  • Logging and tracking
    Many computers allow you to download your dive to your PC where you can scrutinize it and create a dive log. This digital version enables you to add photos and notes, and share to social media. Most computer divers do not use a paper log anymore.
  • Air Integration
    You can integrate your air pressure into you dive computer readings. Computers built into consoles will provide the diver with an accurate remaining time based on their air consumption and current depth. Wrist mounted computer can give the same information, attaching a transmitter your regulator’s first stage.
  • Other gases
    Nitroxis almost required standard on scuba diving vacations. Rather than using yet another set of tables, most computers allow you to set the level of oxygen that you are using and will calculate your no decompression limit accordingly.
  • Save Money
    Increasingly dive operators, vacation destinations, and dive boats are making computer use mandatory. If you don’t have one, then you will need to rent one. Just a few days of renting would be a bout the same cost as an entry level dive computer.