3 Dive Computers For Beginners
There's a vast choice of dive computers on the market with options for both inexperienced and seasoned divers. Neil Hope looks at three options for beginners...
As well as the basic instrumentation gauges required to monitor your time, depth and air consumption it's likely that you'll be looking to purchase a dive computer and if not from the onset, then within the very near future. There are many computers on the market, from entry-level air and nitrox to mixed gas and closed circuit versions. They can be gas-integrated in order to calculate your estimated duration at the present rate of consumption or standalone versions mounted in a console, attached to your wrist or clipped to your BCD. There are two schools of thought on this one - go for the most basic model and upgrade if and when needed, or alternatively buy the most advanced and feature-rich computer you can afford, one that will grow with you as you gain in experience and carry out more challenging profiles.
A great choice for beginners, Suunto's wrist or console-mounted Zoop has full decompression capabilities and is nitrox compatible for mixtures of 21% to 50% oxygen. The large, bright phosphorescent display is easy to read and simple push buttons make menu navigation simple. Information can be downloaded to PC via an optional cable.
Price: £170 | www.suunto.com
The entry-level VEO 1 is a single-button, water-activated dive computer, compatible with air and nitrox up to 50%. Wrist-mounted, it also features Oceanic's dual algorithm technology allowing the device to closely match any other manufacturer's computer allowing yourself and your buddy to dive in perfect synchronicity.
Price: £135 | www.oceanicuk.com
A wristwatch sized computer, the Smart offers everything the novice diver needs with some additional features that can be utilised as your diving experience grows. With nitrox settings from 21% - 99% and a two gas mix function the Smart also has the ability to accept software upgrades.
Price: £243 | www.mares.com