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Thread: Just a few questions about gear configurations

  1. #1

    Just a few questions about gear configurations

    Hello Divers,
    I am new to diving. I will be starting my certification class this weekend. 6/8/12. Needless to say I am extremely excited. My questions are about eqipment options, I was just wanting to get an idea of what other divers were using. I recently purchased some equipment online. I got a zeagle ranger BC, with a dacor reg, and a old orca dive computer. I just got all the gear serviced, and it works fine, (suprising considering the price I paid) Coming off my first stage Reg, I have my 2nd stage regulator, low pressure inflator/deflator, and the orca computer. No gauges. I am a little uneasy about going down with just a computer. Is it a standard practice to have a computer, and gauges, or do most divers just rely on one or the other. It would seem like common sense to have a back up of some form, but just wanted to get a feel for what others thought. This would probably be a good question for my instructor this weekend also, I was just bored and new to this site, and wanted to post thread to say HI!! Any comment appreciated

  2. #2
    Shark Zeagle Eagle's Avatar
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    I use two computers. I wouldn't dive without some sort of backup.
    --Zeagle Eagle

  3. #3
    Megalodon
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    I'm also in favor of a back up and won't dive without one. Either 2 computers, a computer and bottom timer (UWATEC) or computer and watch.

    I once saved a man in Wichita just to watch him dive...(inventor)

  4. #4
    Barracuda
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    It's nice to have a second computer but I dove for a long time with just cheap dive watch as a backup. You have to remember that if the computer dies you end the dive and you out of the water for at least 24 to 48 hours. I think you will find that the majority of rec divers only have one computer.
    - Dennis ><()))">

  5. #5
    The following equipment will be considered a minimum requirement for your diving course.


    • Fins, mask and snorkel
    • Compressed gas cylinder and valve
    • Buoyancy control device (BCD) with tank mount or separate backpack, and low pressure inflator
    • Primary regulator and alternate air source
    • Breathing gas monitoring device (e.g. submersible pressure gauge)
    • Depth monitoring device
    • Quick release weight system and weights
    • Adequate exposure protection appropriate for local dive conditions.
    • Divecomputer or RDP (eRDPML or Table)


    Some of this it makes more sense to rent but some you might want to own. For me I bought mask, fins, snorkel and RDP Table. Everything else I rented. Over the first five years of diving I bought most of my equipment. I didn't buy tanks (compressed gas cylinders and valves) until I went pro 3 years ago.

    From your description of your equipment it sounds like you have equipment which is decades old. It comes from a time before modern training courses. The training needed for the equipment you have hasn't been taught for quite some time. You will be expected to get modern equipment.

    If you are curious, the original scuba tanks use a J-valve. The J-valve has two positions. If you pull the lever up it will stop giving you air when there is still some air left in the tank; a reserve of air. Because the old regulators did not have a gauge, you would go for a dive and watch for running out of air. The moment you feel yourself running out of air you pull down on the lever and you switch to reserve air. At that point you end your dive before you run out of reserve air. Sometimes you might missing our are running out of air then have to scramble to turn on the reserve. Maybe the reserve switch will jam. Maybe you are so deep that the reserve isn't large enough and you run out before you get to the surface.

    Today we use a K-valve. It has no reserve and it assumes you have a pressure gauge. Rather than trusting in a reserve we now keep an eye on the pressure gauge. When we see we are running low on air we end the dive. All the tanks you will rent or buy today will have a K-valve. You will need a pressure gauge. It requires more equipment but when the equipment is working, it is far safer than the old J-valve system.

    Additionally, the old dive computers aren't quite as refined as modern dive computers. At their time the Orca dive computer was a great dive computer but today it isn't reliable enough for most people to trust it. If you had been diving for 25 years and bought the Orca new, you have the skill to compensate for the Orca computer. So MAYBE I can see you still using it. As a new diver you really need to stick to dive tables (very conservative) or use a modern dive computer. Think of it this way, would use a 25 year old desktop computer running Windows 3.11? If no, why would you trust your life to a 25 year old dive computer?
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  6. #6
    Guppy
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    You haven't been to class yet and you have learned a very important lesson. Scuba gear is a fluid ( pun intended ) thing. Old or new, there is always something different out there that you somehow need. It is an obsession for many people. Hopefully you will be given information in your class that answers some of your gear questions.
    This forum can answer many questions, and will provide widely varying answers. Good luck in class. Oh I use 2 computers and a watch/depth gauge on distant trips. Locally only one computer and a watch/depth gauge. You can rent computers like any other gear. Unlike some other gear there can be a lot of difference in their usage.
    If it doesn't fit, force it. If it breaks it needed to be replaced anyway.

  7. #7
    Shark Zeagle Eagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CWSWine View Post
    It's nice to have a second computer but I dove for a long time with just cheap dive watch as a backup. You have to remember that if the computer dies you end the dive and you out of the water for at least 24 to 48 hours. I think you will find that the majority of rec divers only have one computer.
    I dove for awhile with nothing, no gauge, no reserve. When you ran out of air you came up. Then we got tanks with a spare/reserve. We thought we had died and gone to heaven. When you ran out of air you pulled the lever to access your reserve and came up.
    I am fortunate enough to be able to have 3 computers with me on most dives. My Atomic Cobalt on my belly, my nemo on my wrist and an Oceanic puck of some sort tucked away in a BC. I agree this is not normal. Most only dive with 1 computer or 1 set of gauges.
    --Zeagle Eagle

  8. #8
    Shark Zeagle Eagle's Avatar
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    I think almost all of us will agree. Don't buy any equipment until you are certified and have a few dives under your belt. You will know a little more about what you want. Rent.
    --Zeagle Eagle

  9. #9
    wow. Thanks everyone for the feedback, it has all been helpfull. looks like I am in the market for a new computer. From what I am gathering on here I think the way for me to go is update my computer, and get a backup gauge console with depth gauge/SPG. I think that should cover me. As for waiting to buy the equipment... that was the plan, but I have dove with that brand BC before on a discover SCUBA trip, and liked it. It has the features I was looking for,( integrated weight system, back flotation, attachment points for additional accesories, etc...) and I could not pass up the deal I got. I purchased the BC, Regs, Computer.. even though it is old, a tank, and some miscellaneous gear for $300... I am new to this dive stuff,,,, but that seemed like a heck of a deal, even if I have to replace the computer with a newer one. Let me know if I got hossed though. Thanks again to everyone for the info. Dive Hard.... Dive Often

  10. #10
    $300 is a bad price. The BC is a good BC. If it is in good shape it is almost worth the $300. It isn't a definitely homerun. Someone with more knowledge would have to look at it to say if it was an okay purchase or a great find. It sounds like you didn't get hosed.

    There are things like a tank might be good or it might be hard to find a fill for it. If it is a good tank, even if it needs to be cleaned and tumbled, nice. If it is a tank which was condemned then it is worth scrap metal and not much else.

    Anything which doesn't cut it for your training you can rent the right equipment. After you start understanding what is good and what you like you can start buying stuff.
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