Is a Computer essential kit?

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Boofymac

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G'day, just wanting a broader range of opinions rather than those who will profit from selling me a computer.
I will be weekend shore diving to a maximum 15 - 18 metres depth. It is anticipated a maximum of 4 dives over 2 days, 1 in the morning and 1 in the afternoon.
I live close to the coast so a generous surface time over lunch would be the norm.
I suppose the question is, do i need a computer to manage the dives or can i track bottom time and use the tables supplied during my open water course.
 

Can't Talk ... Diving

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No you can do the dives with tables, depth guage and a depth rated watch. A computer will give you longer bottom times by crediting time spent shallower than max depth, but not necessary.
 

tbone1004

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it depends?
The computer is nice because it combines your depth and time tracking and makes things quite a bit easier and depending on the computer you are looking at vs. an analog depth gauge and a dive watch if you don't already own one, you may find the price delta to be small enough to just go for a computer, but you may not.

I will often just do dives with a watch if I know the depths and they're consistent, i.e. quarry, cave, etc. where the depth isn't really relevant, but finding good depth gauges is a PITA as well.
 

Centrals

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G'day, just wanting a broader range of opinions rather than those who will profit from selling me a computer.
I will be weekend shore diving to a maximum 15 - 18 metres depth. It is anticipated a maximum of 4 dives over 2 days, 1 in the morning and 1 in the afternoon.
I live close to the coast so a generous surface time over lunch would be the norm.
I suppose the question is, do i need a computer to manage the dives or can i track bottom time and use the tables supplied during my open water course.
Table is good enough. I was taught that way.
However a cheap computer can provide you with very useful information eg: ambient dive depth, eclipsed dive time, max depth dived and ndl. It is not really necessary but nice to have.
 
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Boofymac

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I believe the limiting factor for me will be air time as the depth is a maximum and actual depth is much shallower.
Just trying to educate and arm myself against dive buddy peer pressure
 

OTF

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Not necessary, especially for very shallow shore diving. But do use tables and plan your dives.

Computers are still nice to have since they log data and provide useful info like temp, ascent rate, etc. and they become a HUGE help on anything deeper and longer than basic 30 foot shore dives.
 

boulderjohn

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In theory, a computer will give you more time if you spend most of your time shallower than the maximum depth, but at the depths you are talking about, it probably won't make much difference. Using the PADI tables, your maximum bottom time for a first dive to 18 meters would be 55 minutes, and if you stayed out of the water for 3 hours, a second dive to the same depth would be 49 minutes. If you are not going to exceed those times, you barely need the tables.
 

jlcnuke

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Necessary? Definitely not.
Needed to dive "safely"? No, you can use a timing device and depth gauge instead to dive safely using tables.
A really nice thing to have for diving now and in the future when you may find yourself with varying dive profiles and wanting to maximize your time in the water? Absolutely.

Keep in mind, however, that many rental gear sets do not include a depth gauge, so if renting gear you may be required to also rent a computer or supply your own standalone timer and depth gauge. As cheap as computers are these days, I generally recommend every diver have their own and serious divers and divers planning on doing multiple dives per day for multiple days (i.e. vacation diving somewhere) have a primary and a backup computer.
 

broncobowsher

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As stated, not needed. But you may find yourself bumping against the limits on tables where a computer you are not pushing it.

I started with timers and tables. When I was doing some dives with people with computers it was eye opening. After a couple dives I was done, maxed out the tables. But those with computers, calculating actual depth and time as it really happened and not just peaks and doing a worst case square profile, gave those people the green light for more diving.

Probably not going to hit the limits with 2 dives a day. But if you get to the 4 dives in a day you will clearly see the benefit.
 
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