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Thread: Is it heresey to dive without a computer?

  1. #1
    Guppy
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    Is it heresey to dive without a computer?

    Ok, so my friend and I are getting into diving, but we aren't rich doctors and lawyers (got that from another post), and we're trying to get good gear that won't kill our bank accounts.

    So we put our heads together and figured that we could put together a decent regulator package with analogue gauges, and save quite a bit of dough.

    The idea would be to buy such a regulator setup now, then maybe a BCD in a few months (perhaps with Christmas gift cards), and sort of add gear as we go, renting what we didn't have in the mean time. If we feel cash heavy in the future, a nice non-AI wristmount computer could be in the cards.

    But even the training manuals for the dive course sort of blow off the idea of diving without a computer as a ridiculous idea. Seems to me that a good SPG and depth gauge along with monitoing and planning is the way it's been done for decades, and should still work well. And, as an added bonus, we sharpen those planning and monitoring skills as beginning divers, and don't immediately start depending on the computer to tell us what to do.

    What do you think? Heresey, stupidity, overly cheap, or not?

  2. #2
    Guppy
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    Yes, you can dive without a computer. The big difference is going to be in your bottom times. When you dive by the charts, your whole dive is counted as your max depth. It is very rigid and one dimensional. With a computer, it constantly recalculates your status. I don't know any divers who immediately go to X feet and stays exactly at that depth and then back to the surface. You usually got up and down, investigating different things.

    Now, if you and your buddy only dive together, you might not notice anything. If you dive with someone who does have a computer, they will have to come up because of you... and they will not wish to dive with you often in the future.

  3. #3
    Grouper
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    Computers are a tool, not a replacement for tables. You still need to know how to work your tables and plan and what not.

    What you are doing makes sense. Dive gear IS expensive, and a lot of people either cant afford to buy the best up front, or can and arent really enthrawled with that idea.

    I am still slowly acquiring my gear to this day, 7 years after certification. I'm a young college student slowly makin it happen. A good idea is get a good job at a dive shop, theres lots of benefits of it, as a part time thing. For example, i know aqualung does a 6 and 6 deal where, you sell 6 regulators or ocmputers and 6 bc's , you get somethin for free (worth the average oft he items at cost). so, i ended up with a cobra and atx100 for total spent of aobut $125. i moved from the area and figured i wouldnt be diving much so instead of lettin my gear sit around dry i sold it to friends (made a good bit of cash) but now i regret it ;P

    plus u get a discount (maybe im not supposed to tell people about the incentives program, whatev)

    anyway, do it at your own pace. computers do make diving much more enjoyable for me, especially if its air integrated. but now im down to a lil computer for bottom time depth and temp and thats it, so back to old school
    Ours is not to wonder why; ours is but to do or die.

  4. #4
    Barracuda
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    If so, I'm a heritic...

    As Cshel stated a computer will give you much more botom time what what is called a multilevel dive. (not staying at max depth the entire time). The computer will recalculate you depth and NDL throughout the dive and give you credit for not being at you max depth as you hover around at shallower depths.

    With tables you are going to calculate you dive at max depth plus total bottom time. So if you were say divin off of a boat. You decend down to you max depth and stay there until your ascent then a computer would be of no real advantage to bottom time.

    So there are definate advantages to having a computer. That does not mean you have to have a computer to dive. IF you and your buddy are both using tables then that is great. You can dive and that is what is important. If you are using tables and your buddy is using a computer, he may get a little frusterated with you on repetive dives. Since you are goverened by the most consertvative limits you would have alot less bottom time on multiple multi level dives and his dives would be cut much shorter.

    I am planning on getting a computer when I can afford it. For now I am happy to just be diving. Don't feel like you have to purchase a computer just to dive.

  5. #5
    Grouper
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    My first piece of gear was a used cheap comp - -- very glad I went that route. But no, they're not essential, just really useful.

  6. #6
    Grouper
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    ST has a good package for $399. Add your 10% on top of that and that would be the way to go. You might not have all the bells and whistles, but you will be diving! You can always upgrade later as finances allow. Anytime you upgrade, you will then have a piece of backup gear.
    In the famous words of Captain Ron, "If anything's gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there"

  7. #7
    Barracuda
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    Honestly, I would recommend getting a BC first. The reason being, not all dive shops will have a good quality bc that will fit you correctly and comfortably. Also, each bc is different and its good to know your gear.

    On the other hand, in general most rental regs will be about the same - as long as you rent from a trustworthy shop there wont be much any difference and obviously there isnt really a "wrong fit"

    In terms of computer - they arent really necessary. I dove 4 years and hundreds of dives without a computer. Yes, they are a good tool to have - but no - definitely not necessary.

  8. #8
    Grouper
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    If you dive square profiles, and your buddy dives tables too.....getting a computer later may be the right answer for you. Certainly nothing 'wrong' with going that way.

    For multilevel diving (shore diving many times), a computer really maximizes your time underwater.

    Compudude in another post had a some good comments on a similar subject, which I will attempt to paraphrase:

    Basically diving is very time consuming above water, all for precious few minutes below water. Computers maximize those precious few minutes.

    That said, consider the type of diving you intend to do. Maybe getting the DC first is the right move for you (it was for me). Maybe getting a reg or a BC first is the right choice for you.

  9. #9
    Grouper Founding Member picxie's Avatar
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    A computer was my very last purchase. I learnt to dive years ago but only really got into it again about 12 months ago. Decided to get my own gear but have been diving for a year without a computer. Have only just recently purchased one (wrist) and did my first diving with it last week. It is handy, but not essential. I still log my dives and use the tables. So yes, if you are trying to save some money then a computer can be left till last

  10. #10
    THE Supreme Master Spammer Founding Member
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    If money is an issue, a computer is the last thing you "have to " purchase for the reasons others have said. God has already given you a pretty good one.

    And when you do purchase a computer, you should continue to plan your dives.
    Tim "The Star and Crescent shall not be worn by every man, but only by him who is worthy to wear it. He must be a gentleman... a man of honor and courage... a man of zeal, yet humble... an intelligent man...a man of truth... one who tempers action with wisdom and, above all else, one who walks in the light of God."

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