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THE SCUBA SHOP
La Palapa Marina

#16 Airport Boulevard
Simpson Bay, St. Maarten
T: +1-721-545 3213
info@thescubashop.net
 

Dive Safaris Simpson Bay

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Buying Tips

Buying Tips for Instruments and Dive Computers

When underwater it is important to know your tank air pressure and your depth. This can be done with simple analogue gauges in a rubber console attached with a high pressure hose to your Regulator first stage. You can upgrade your console to replace the depth gauge with a simple Dive Computer, or replace the entire console with an Air-integrated Dive Computer. You can go one step further and replace the high pressure hose with a wireless transmitter that transmits your tank air pressure to a dive computer on your wrist. Or keep your analogue gauges as a back-up, and wear a wrist computer.

Dive Computers improve safety, can lengthen bottom time on multiple dives and allow reverse profile diving (a huge advantage when exploring a dive site for the first time).

At The Scuba Shop we stock both Metric and Imperial Analogue Gauges and Dive Computers.

Dive Computer Considerations:

·         Battery Replacement – there is nothing worse than having a fancy dive computer in a remote dive location with no means to change the battery. If you are not one to pre-service your computer before your dive vacation, it is advisable to choose a dive computer with a “user replaceable battery” and carry a spare battery so that you can keep diving while on vacation.

·         Wrist, Watch or Console Model – Would you like to have your dive computer around your wrist every day, double functioning as a watch, or would you rather just put it on when going out for a dive? Wrist model computers often offer the option for a Free Diving mode. Maybe you prefer to keep your wrists free of gear and rather have the computer integrated in your console, which lessens the chance of losing or misplacing the dive computer – or as in my case leaving it on the dive boat and only realizing at 50ft!!!

·         Air Integration – The benefit of an air integrated computer is that it will tell you how many minutes of air you have left, taking your breathing rate and tank pressure into consideration. The choice is between a computer in console style which is connected by a hose to your regulator or a wireless model around your wrist which communicates through a transmitter on your first stage. With a wireless computer you can streamline your gear profile by removing your console hose – great if you like wreck and cave diving.

·         Memory and PC Interface – Not all dive computers have the same amount of internal memory. When buying a dive computer check how many hours it's internal memory can save and what it's sampling interval is and whether the computer comes with the tools to upload your dives to a normal PC or whether this is an option and needs to be paid for separately.

·         Gadgets – More and more computer brands have models with a digital compass built in.

·         Multi-Gas – For technical divers there are computers that you can switch between two gas mixtures while underwater.

·         LCD Screen – There is also a dive computer with an LCD colour screen so you can compare the uploaded fish identification file to the fish around you while diving – or use it to carry a photo of your dogJ.

·         Heart Rate Monitor – Another recent development is the Heart Rate Monitor which allows the dive computer to factor the intensity of the exercise into the decompression calculation. This feature is very handy for Free Divers since you can set an alarm on a low heart rate.

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