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robjoubert
09-13-2007, 23:13
Hi all,

just want to know what the forum's thoughts are on this question:

should a newbie use tables and gauges or a dive computer from the start of his / her / its diving career?

diverdad
09-14-2007, 13:59
well it is highly recommended to learn how to use the tables and gauges. because that is what i used in my OW course but as soon as i bought my own equipment it was computer all the way.

tremtech
09-14-2007, 14:20
You will find that even though the computers are easier, you still may need to work your dive plan from your tables. Example : Your on a dive boat and on your first dive, your computer dies while at your 15 foot safety stop , you still have 2 planed dives left, the boat doesn't go to shore just for you and there is no refunds . It would benefit you to be competent enough to hit the tables and finish your dives. If not, watching bubbles can be fun. Here is a free table tutor program that will help you become proficient with your tables. http://home.flash.net/~table/table/index.htm

scubasamurai
09-14-2007, 14:31
neat little refressher program as well. learn the tables and back your self up with a computer, especially if you plan on going deep. it will help with deco and bottom times

Capt Hook
09-14-2007, 15:12
As previously stated, knowing how to use the tables could save a dive trip if your computer "takes a dive", but a computer can make doing multiple dives easier, especially for a new diver.

chinacat46
09-14-2007, 15:41
Also when you buy a computer make sure it's Nitrox capable. You might not be nitrox certified now but chances are you will be in the future. This will save you having to buy a new computer.

gtjason2000
09-14-2007, 15:52
I still use the table to log my dives even though it isn't 100% accurate due to the multilevels. Only a couple times have I been off the single level tables. Now if the question was use a computer or wheel I would say forget the wheel.

subsur
09-14-2007, 15:54
i agree with people's comments posted above. you should definitely learn how to use table. there is no harm in doing so and you might actually use tables in the future depending on dive situation and in case your dive computer fails. afterwards (after OW class) you can buy and use dive computer.

JCAT
09-14-2007, 17:46
I did OW Basic with SDI/TDI and tables were not taught or even looked at. When I crossed over to PADI, I learned tables for advanced and Nitrox.

Now, I use both and wear a computer, watch, and dive with all of my tables in left pocket. Knowledge is a good thing!

my 2psi

ScubaToys Larry
09-14-2007, 18:18
You will find that even though the computers are easier, you still may need to work your dive plan from your tables. Example : Your on a dive boat and on your first dive, your computer dies while at your 15 foot safety stop , you still have 2 planed dives left, the boat doesn't go to shore just for you and there is no refunds . It would benefit you to be competent enough to hit the tables and finish your dives. If not, watching bubbles can be fun. Here is a free table tutor program that will help you become proficient with your tables. http://home.flash.net/~table/table/index.htm (http://home.flash.net/%7Etable/table/index.htm)

Obviously, since I wrote that software - I'm a big fan of education and learning tables... but now the truth... I don't even have a set in my bag. In the above example, if your computer dies on your safety stop - you have no way of knowing what letter group you are in, so there is no way you could go back to tables at that point.

I carry 2 computers - but I own a dive shop. And, I've never had one go out on me... since the days when I had an old cochran... But it can happen - so I carry an extra.

If I didn't have a back up and one died during the day - I'd not go back in for that day unless I was doing very shallow diving 30 - 40 foot... then I'd just rent one for the next day. But that's my procedures...

somewhereinla
09-14-2007, 18:22
I have both, a computer and gauges as backup.

wxboy911
09-14-2007, 18:35
Best thing to do is to learn the tables and do some diving. After a few dives start looking at a computer...I would look at the Nitrox ready ones just in case you decide to go that way in the future. I use the computer and gauges together so there is always a back up.

Zenagirl
09-14-2007, 18:46
I bought a computer right out of OW when I bought my gear, and I have no regrets. I've considered buying a backup wrist computer in case my AI computer malfunctions, but since I don't own a dive shop, I've decided that if my computer dies, I'm done diving for the day. I do watch ST's prices and specials so perhaps that wrist computer isn't that far away. ;)

picxie
09-15-2007, 03:57
When I bought all my gear I purchased gauges instead of a computer. It saved heaps on initial setup costs, and I was wary that I might not get enough use out of it to warrant that sort of purchase. Nothing wrong with using gauges and tables, even if you are the odd one out on trips. Once I knew I was getting enough use out of my gear, I looked into buying a computer and have now purchased one from ST. Nothing too flash, but something that will let me use Nitrox in future if I choose to go down that path. Because the computer I purchased was a wrist one, the gauges are still being used and weren't a waste of money.

Phestr
09-15-2007, 08:26
My experience is exactly (so much so as to be kinda creepy) the same as picxie's. I still dive with full gauges, but I work off my non-AI, Nitrox capable wrist computer (Oceanic GEO). because I dove the tables for so long, I know what the computer is doing, and have no problem going back to them if I forget my computer (only happened once,but there it is).

CompuDude
09-16-2007, 14:08
Tables first for the first 10 dives or so (just a ballpark figure) until you're completely comfortable. Then go for a computer (with Nitrox capabilities) and don't look back. :)

Defman
09-17-2007, 09:36
Obviously, since I wrote that software - I'm a big fan of education and learning tables... but now the truth... I don't even have a set in my bag. In the above example, if your computer dies on your safety stop - you have no way of knowing what letter group you are in, so there is no way you could go back to tables at that point.

I carry 2 computers - but I own a dive shop. And, I've never had one go out on me... since the days when I had an old cochran... But it can happen - so I carry an extra.

If I didn't have a back up and one died during the day - I'd not go back in for that day unless I was doing very shallow diving 30 - 40 foot... then I'd just rent one for the next day. But that's my procedures...


After I finished my OW class, the owner of a dive shop in Carrollton, TX (located a little further south at the time) I used asked me a very important question:
Him: What's the most important thing about dive tables?
Me: Ummm... Don't blow them.
Him: No, buy a computer!

Not that my opinion carries a whole lot of weight, but I agree with Larry... If your computer craps out, stop diving for the day and rent one for the next day(s)

underwaterdan
09-17-2007, 09:50
Tables first for the first 10 dives or so (just a ballpark figure) until you're completely comfortable. Then go for a computer (with Nitrox capabilities) and don't look back. :)

I can't agree more. It is like anything else in school, you need to understand how the tables work, and how to use them. Once you know how they work and how to use them switch over to the computer and you should be ok. If the comp dies during a dive, take your safety stop, surface, and don't go back in until the next day and rent or fix your computer. Like Larry said, there is no real way to know your pressure group anyway, and it would just be a guess... I wouldn't advise however to use the computer and never take the time to understand the tables... Just my 2psi

loudgonzo
09-17-2007, 09:51
Obviously, since I wrote that software - I'm a big fan of education and learning tables... but now the truth... I don't even have a set in my bag. In the above example, if your computer dies on your safety stop - you have no way of knowing what letter group you are in, so there is no way you could go back to tables at that point.

I carry 2 computers - but I own a dive shop. And, I've never had one go out on me... since the days when I had an old cochran... But it can happen - so I carry an extra.

If I didn't have a back up and one died during the day - I'd not go back in for that day unless I was doing very shallow diving 30 - 40 foot... then I'd just rent one for the next day. But that's my procedures...


After I finished my OW class, the owner of a dive shop in Carrollton, TX (located a little further south at the time) I used asked me a very important question:
Him: What's the most important thing about dive tables?
Me: Ummm... Don't blow them.
Him: No, buy a computer!

Not that my opinion carries a whole lot of weight, but I agree with Larry... If your computer craps out, stop diving for the day and rent one for the next day(s)

If it's the first dive, couldn't you get the depth and time from your buddy, and then assume a square profile to get your PG?

underwaterdan
09-17-2007, 09:55
If it's the first dive, couldn't you get the depth and time from your buddy, and then assume a square profile to get your PG?

Yes but it would just be a guess, and that would assume you and your buddy had the same exact dive pattern. I wouldn't go pushing the limits on your dive plans using that method. Honestly if it were me, I would probably take that educated guess and do a shallow dive - 20 - 30 feet max or so... and that would be if it were my first day/dive.

BobbyWombat
09-17-2007, 12:15
If it's the first dive, couldn't you get the depth and time from your buddy, and then assume a square profile to get your PG?

That is what I would do, assuming you have kept track of your maximum depth and time underwater separately from your computer. That is why I dive with a depth guage w/max depth and a timer on my watch.....cheaper than carrying a second computer, with all due respects to Larry.

In this situation, I'd switch to the table, err on the conservative side for my depth and time, and if I wasn't already off the table or right on the ragged edge, I'd put in some more dives in after a good surface interval.

-BW

loudgonzo
09-17-2007, 13:45
Yes but it would just be a guess, and that would assume you and your buddy had the same exact dive pattern. I wouldn't go pushing the limits on your dive plans using that method. Honestly if it were me, I would probably take that educated guess and do a shallow dive - 20 - 30 feet max or so... and that would be if it were my first day/dive.[/quote]


Max depth shouldn't be a guess, as long as you and your buddy stayed pretty close, the tables round off 10 ft, so to be safe, add 10 ft to your max depth. Same with time, again, it shouldn't be a guess as long as you both descended together, add 5 minutes to be safe, for example.

pnevai
09-18-2007, 18:30
I willl divert here for larry's reccomendation, Here are the reasons. First as dive computers are by no means cheap spending upwards of $500 and way more for two is well just out of reach for most people. I still use my console with the SPG, Dpth gauge and Compass. My computer is on a hose mount just south of the Console. This way I can scan all in one glance. I also wear a dive watch. Before every dive I reset the max depth indicator on the depth gauge and set the bezel on the watch.

I go diving, should the comp fail during the dive, I llok at the time elapsed on the watch, I then check the MAX depth indicator on the depth gauge. From there I can pull the tables out of the BC pocket and see exactly where my dive profile would be according to the tables as I have my max depth and elapsed time. I can continue the dive according to the tables or terminate it. Now where this can be very important is on a deeper dive that is on the edge of a deco commitment. Without a set of tables handy or a backup depth and time keeping device, you could terminate the dive and head directly to the surface when you should, hang longer than the 10 minute or so safety stop, risking taking a DCS hit.

Dive table are cheap, You console will get you into diving no matter computer or not. Cheap low but reliable tech.

Have only a PC and if it fails you sol, Have only a pencil and you can still write your memouirs.

plot
09-18-2007, 18:37
computer, newbies got enough to worry about... and since they suck at the tables at that point in time, messing them up or bad math might put them into some serious trouble.

pnevai
09-18-2007, 18:56
Woa, did newbies get a whole lot dumber from when I was a newbie?????

Granted They did not have dive comps when I certified but I manged to learn them just fine. Learning the tables and how to use them correctly accomplishes many things. The most important of which is relating hands on the relationship of depth, pressure, and nitrogen uptake. Learning the tables forces you to be aware of these very important rules.

plot
09-18-2007, 19:00
Woa, did newbies get a whole lot dumber from when I was a newbie?????

Granted They did not have dive comps when I certified but I manged to learn them just fine. Learning the tables and how to use them correctly accomplishes many things. The most important of which is relating hands on the relationship of depth, pressure, and nitrogen uptake. Learning the tables forces you to be aware of these very important rules.

yea, but i'd feel better making them do the predive planning with the tables and then have them actually dive the computer.

wdstauter
09-19-2007, 10:27
It's like balancing a checkbook. You learn how to add and subtract, then use the calculator. If it konks out, you can still use finges and toes. Same with tables and computer, I think.

diver james
09-19-2007, 11:17
Being new to the diving world, I bought a computer right off the bat so I wouldn't have to learn the tables. But to my demise, I still have to learn the tables and I am glad that my instructor is making me just for all the reasons above. (plus I am still learning how to use my computer) It looked very intimidating but it's not once you get going.

loudgonzo
09-22-2007, 10:27
Being new to the diving world, I bought a computer right off the bat so I wouldn't have to learn the tables. But to my demise, I still have to learn the tables and I am glad that my instructor is making me just for all the reasons above. (plus I am still learning how to use my computer) It looked very intimidating but it's not once you get going.

Tables are very easy to learn and use, and every diver should know how to use tables regardless if they have a computer or not.

Charles R
09-22-2007, 10:36
Both, you should know how to plan a dive with tables in case your computer goes belly up but this is 2007 and hey computers work!

loudgonzo
09-22-2007, 15:12
but this is 2007 and hey computers work!

just don't go diving using the microsoft algorythm ....:smilie39:

quasimoto
09-22-2007, 17:09
I started out with tables and got comfortable with them and then bought a computer. I still log my dive and figure it in the log. This is also helpful when doing multi days of diving just in case your computer dies.

ScubaBoy
09-25-2007, 23:11
The tables do work, and you should know how to use them so you will understand what your computer is trying to do. That said, what I hear most is that a computer allows you to enjoy your dive since it will compensate for unplanned adventures above and below your planned depth.

subsur
09-25-2007, 23:26
there is nothing wrong with getting a dive computer from the get go BUT you should learn the tables. one does not exclude the necessity of the other. you never know what might happen in the future (computer failure or you get into tech diving with people who don't use computers just bottom timers). it's a useful skill to have even if you don't use it often.

Ferrett
12-01-2007, 00:00
the dive tables are a lot more conservitive than computers
computers maximize dive times

scubamikey
01-10-2008, 10:42
should you always carry your dive tables in your bc pocket if you use guages only or is it save to just leave them on the boat to look at after your first dive ? Im just trying to figure out all the stuff you need to pack in your dive pockets besides the usually stuff to eliminate carrying too much .

CompuDude
01-10-2008, 13:54
should you always carry your dive tables in your bc pocket if you use guages only or is it save to just leave them on the boat to look at after your first dive ? Im just trying to figure out all the stuff you need to pack in your dive pockets besides the usually stuff to eliminate carrying too much .

I sometimes find it useful to glance over them while planning my next dive, and looking at a few time limits at various depths, in case something was to happen to my computer. I don't usually bring the tables down with me, however. I used to, but I know them well enough now I don't really need to.

Duckydiver
01-10-2008, 21:45
If you can afford a Dive Comp, get one. But keep your table skilles. As for keeping them with you during a dive. I've heard of it be have never seen it done.

fisheater
01-10-2008, 22:35
should you always carry your dive tables in your bc pocket if you use guages only or is it save to just leave them on the boat to look at after your first dive ? Im just trying to figure out all the stuff you need to pack in your dive pockets besides the usually stuff to eliminate carrying too much .

To me, it makes the most sense to keep your tables with your top-side gear. If your computer fails during a dive, you're not going to sit there and compute your table status. For one, you won't know your depth or time. For two, you won't like remember the bottom times, depths and intervening surface intervals of your earlier-in-the-day dives. Lastly, if it's an air-integrated computer, you won't know your pressure.

Best you ascend upon computer failure and only start diving again that day if you have logged your earlier dives and can work them through your tables.

cutter77
01-23-2008, 23:29
Tables are very easy to learn and use, and every diver should know how to use tables regardless if they have a computer or not."
______________________
Good advice....tables are taught for a reason.

Gombessa
01-23-2008, 23:34
Seriously, it depends on how you dive and what you want to do. I like to think that I'll do tech one day, and I perversely enjoy doing some things the hard way (hate automatic transmissions, for instance), so I learned the tables and use a bottom timer + depth gauge.

Does a recreational diver mindful of keeping recreational limits in a recreational profile have to fear the inadequacies of an imperfect computer algorithm? In all honesty, most likely not. Chances are, your dives won't put you at risk, you won't get bent, and if you find yourself breaking NDL and follow the deco on your computer, you'll be fine.

Make your choices based on how you want to dive.