Dive Computers 101

Thursday September 11, 2014 Lakeshore Scuba and Great Lakes Dive Locker hosted a dive safety event called Dive Computers 101. This was an introduction to dive computers for both the novice diver who is seeking more experience and experienced divers who are switching from tables to computers. The students gathered at Lakeshore Scuba for the one evening class with dive computers in hand. Suunto Dive Computers were strongly represented, but the Oceanic contingent made a strong showing as well.
The class’ first segment focused upon the rules for diving with a dive computer. This summarized the common rules presented during the PADI Open Water Diver course, but expanded into practical rules and practices from years of computer diving. An example given during class included: Always strap your wrist mounted computer to your BCD while donning or doffing your wet suit. That way if you forget to put the computer back on before the next dive you will still have it with you under water.
After covering some of the rules for computer diving, the class moved on to pros and cons of computers vs. tables. This was enlightening to several of the students. They couldn’t imagine any benefit to the tables, and assumed that people only dove tables if they didn’t have a dive computer.
The next segment of the class was a simulated 100′ wall dive using tables and using a computer. The simulation began by comparing the NDL for the tables and the computer. Everyone was surprised to seen that the computer actually had a lower NDL than the tables. The surprise came when the computer diver of followed the wall up to 70 feet 12 minutes into the dive. The computer dive now had a lot more bottom time available to hot or her. This pattern repeated as the computer diver continued to move up the wall.
The final segment was dedicated to specific operation of the students dive computers. They were shown how to setup and configure their computer as well as how to extract dives from the logbook functions. As the instructor stepped the students through the use of their questions, there was a period for telling tales and asking/answering questions.
The Dive Computers 101 class is an excellent springboard into three other classes offered at Great Lakes Dive Locker and Lakeshore Scuba. We offer Multi-Level Diver, Suunto Computer Assisted Diver, and Deep Diver. All three of those classes are dependent upon a student understanding the symbols and numbers on their dive computers. Stop by one of the shops and ask about those specialities as you plan your path to PADI Master Scuba Diver.
Reaction to the class was positive and considerations are being heard for making this a quarterly class. Prevention is a powerful tool in dive safety. Educated and well trained divers form the cornerstone for prevention. Great Lakes Dive Locker and Lakeshore Scuba demonstrate their commitment to dive safety with this and similar seminars throughout the year.