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Recent Opinions On Air Integrated Computers For Technical Diving

Discussion in 'Technical Diving Specialties' started by RayfromTX, Jul 22, 2019.

Where does air integration fit in your diving?

  1. I have no use for air integration

    39 vote(s)
  2. I would use air integration but it is too expensive

    13 vote(s)
  3. I use air integration for rec diving but SPGs for technical diving

    5 vote(s)
  4. I use air integration for technical diving with an SPG as a backup

    48 vote(s)
  5. I am interested in air integration but I am too comfortable to switch from my SPGs

    8 vote(s)
  6. I use air integration for all my diving

    41 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. RayfromTX

    RayfromTX Student Of Gas Mixology Staff Member ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Hill Country of Central TX
    In 2012 this thread Tech Diving and Air Integration was posted about opinions of air integrated computers for technical diving along with a poll. Since then, things have obviously changed but how much of a shift we have made is a question that interests me. I am starting my technical training and I have used air integrated since I started diving. Where does air integrated fit in your diving.
    2airishuman likes this.
  2. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    I have been on Great Lakes boats for rec dives this year with a number of tech divers doing rec dives in their doubles. Nearly everyone of them is diving AI. Other folks I haven’t been diving with do AI as well.

    I love my AI. And I will continue to use it as I continue into tech. I do have an SPG on left post. AI is just danged convenient.

    I get the impression that some use it but won’t admit online that they do so.
    kelemvor likes this.
  3. doctormike

    doctormike ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: New York City
    Excellent question!

    I'm assuming you mean wireless air integration, or WAI, not those consoles that have a dive computer on the end of an HP hose. Side note, we once had a very boring discussion here about how WAI really should be called "hoseless" AI, since there are no wires involved. But I digress.

    I used WAI a few years ago, and I found it to be not that reliable. Perhaps it is better these days. I don't feel the need for it, I see it as an expensive potential failure point. Yes, I know that SPGs can also fail.

    As far as your question goes, here are my thoughts for three types of diving.

    Recreational diving: rec divers really appreciate WAI, because it lets them frequently and easily monitor their tank pressure. And in most cases, tank pressure is what determines the dive profile (unless a diver has a good enough SAC rate to let NDLs determine the profile). So they check it frequently.

    Open circuit tech divers: I don't know what the kids are doing these days, but in my day, tech diving was all about planning and situational awareness. So while you still would check tank pressure on occasion, a tech diver has a MUCH better awareness of his or her typical consumption rate, and less overall anxiety about the dive. So they are probably only checking their tank pressure occasionally (maybe every 5-10 minutes). There is always a tradeoff in these choices, and by putting a tank pressure reading on your dive computer display, you are displacing some other piece of data - either by making the numbers smaller to fit more into a limited space, or shifting it to a secondary screen. Since you don't need to constantly monitor tank pressure, why not just have it on a plain old SPG that you can glance at occasionally?. That single HP hose coming down your left side and clipping to your left hip is about as unobtrusive as scuba gear can get. Maybe sidemount tech divers like them? I would be a little concerned about being sure which display was linked to which tank, but then again, sidemount is a mystery to me on many levels.

    CCR: With a rebreather, you are even less concerned about your tank pressure than an OC tech diver. There is a current thread about whether you even need an SPG on your rebreather tanks. Once you get experienced (and assuming that you aren't doing a huge amount of up and down sawtooth profile), you hardly use any dil at all - a 3 L tank can last for many dives. Your O2 consumption is pretty predictable and independent of depth, and you often start with far more than you will use in a dive. Yes, it's possible to run out of O2, but that would imply pretty poor planning, and if that happened, you are carrying bailout. It also wouldn't be like running out of OC gas and suddenly getting a dry reg. If you lose O2, your PO2 will drift down and when you realize that you can't keep it up, you would bailout or do SCR mode. I hardly ever look at my SPGs during a dive, maybe for a boom drill or a real boom. But even then, you have options that you wouldn't have if your single tank LP hose blew out.

    What CCR divers DO look at constantly is PO2, which is why Shearwater invented the NERD. And apparently they tried to market it to OC divers, which makes no sense at all. OK, maybe a recreational OC diver is nervous and compulsive enough to want the tank pressure on their wrist so that they can check it easily. But there is NO need for them to be constantly staring at it during the dive.

    My 2 psi.
  4. Mike1967

    Mike1967 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Victoria, Australia
    AI only for single BM and twin SM.

    The pressure that's displayed on the left of the screen (Perdix) is the left tank, ditto for the right.
    ScubaWithTurk likes this.
  5. hroark2112

    hroark2112 Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Raleigh, NC
    I have an AI NERD on my O2ptima, but only because it was a factory replacement for a NERD 1.

    Watching the oxygen pressure drop is just so exciting.
  6. doctormike

    doctormike ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: New York City
    I remember reading about a case where a craniotomy was done on the wrong side of the skull because of some sort of inversion error on the CT scan display. :)
    John C. Ratliff likes this.
  7. SammyW

    SammyW Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Derbyshire, UK
    my SPG on left post is mainly there for pre/post dive checks.
    During the actual dive i only check my computer which is wirelessly linked to the TX on my right post.

    i know its another failure point by having both but realistically this isn't an issue for me. Having the AI means i am much more aware of tracking my gas use as any particular portion of the dive than if i solely dived SPG.

    Up until recently i had actually ditched the SPG to clean my left side up to carry stages but when my AI TX died suddenly and it meant i had to abort a dive i was looking forwards to i felt it better for me to trade the extra failure point(s) for increased redundancy. Also this meant having to go and buy a hose+spg while on holiday. Lessons learned: Take spares!
    KWS and rhwestfall like this.
  8. DeepSeaExplorer

    DeepSeaExplorer Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Cave Country
    I have used AI on a hose and with a transducer, but only for recreational dives. I actually prefer the AI on the hose. I get all the information without the transducer.

    I really don’t like the transducer right next to the tank valve. It's just a matter of time before it gets snapped off. I was putting mine on a 6 inch hose to keep someone from picking up the tank by it.

    No way would I use it for a technical dive, especially a cave dive where the transducer could get busted off.
    John C. Ratliff likes this.
  9. PT4476

    PT4476 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Toronto
    You're about to start you techincal training, what does your instructor say about AI? I doubt many OC tech instructors would advocate training with AI.
    Andrew Dawson likes this.
  10. In2theabyss

    In2theabyss ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Melbourne Bch FL
    I use my Perdix AI on all dives, Rec or Tec love it and will never go back. BUT I also have a small SPG on all my setups. I trust it, but just not quite enough with my life

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