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Recreational Dive Planning software?

Discussion in 'Dive Software' started by stuartv, Feb 12, 2015.

  1. stuartv

    stuartv Seeking the Light

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Manassas, VA
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    Is there somewhere that I can find dive planning software for Recreation Dive use?

    I downloaded and installed VPlanner for Android and tried it out. It does not seem (at all) to be suitable for Rec Dive usage (by Rec Divers). And its algorithm (I took the default of VPM-B) doesn't line up very well with Rec diving tables. The NOAA EAN32 table allows 25 minutes at 120'. I put a 1 leg dive into VPlanner - 25 minutes at 120' - and it had me doing all kinds of deco on the ascent. Even putting in 23 minutes had me doing a couple of deco stops. And it also said I would consume 95 cu ft of gas (taking the default of .8 cu ft/min RMV). Having to keep editing the dive leg for shorter times and then recalculate to hone in on a target usage of, say, 67 cu ft is not the most user-friendly way to do things.

    What I want is software that will let me input the following things:

    - tank specs (e.g. single AL80)
    - starting tank pressure
    - desired ending tank pressure
    - desired max depth (maybe even enter multi-level dive specs)
    - anticipated SAC (or RMV)
    - Gas mixture (Air or FO2)
    - Max ppO2 (if not using Air)
    - Algorithm (at least choose between Oceanic's DSAT or Z+ - ideally something to match any/all Rec PDCs)

    And then I want it to tell me how long I can stay at my desired max depth, and whether I'll be limited by my gas or NDL.

    And THEN I want to be able to enter the same things for repetitive dives (so, adding SI info, also) and have it tell me the same things for the subsequent dives.

    Ideally, the UI would let me tweak the various parameters to play What If, so I can plan out a whole day's diving. E.g.: Okay, if I change Dive 1 to only go 115', instead of 120', what does that do to my bottom time on dive's 3 and 4? Or, okay, what if I extend me SI after Dive 2 by another 30 minutes?

    I can do most of this using the NOAA dive tables. But, it's a bit tedious, if you're trying to plan out 4 dives in a day, and the tables don't tell you how you'll be limited by your gas supply, which makes the whole thing VERY tedious.

    I'm going to Hawaii in a few weeks. There is the likelihood that I will have the opportunity to do 4 dives per day with at least the first dive being as deep as 120'. I would LIKE to be able to plan an example day - maybe I should call it a Worst Case day - and verify that I could reasonably expect to do a 120' dive (to NDL or gas supply limit) and another shallower dive in the morning and then still be able to, possibly, do another deep (talking Rec here, not Tech) dive in the afternoon, and then still do a 4th dive in the afternoon as well. And do it all without being limited by NDL. I suspect I will be limited by my gas supply and my RMV, but I'd like to plan that out in advance. It would suck to plan 4 dives for a day, finish the 3rd dive and find that my computer is now telling me my N2 or O2 loading is such that it's pointless for me to even get in the water for dive 4.

    So, does anyone know of any software that will do what I want? It can be Windows, Android, or Mac. I can accommodate anything except an iPad/iPhone. :blinking:

    Thanks!
     
  2. decompression

    decompression Instructor...seriously...

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Victoria, BC, Canada
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    Have you considered diving mindeco?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  3. tbone1004

    tbone1004 Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
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    first off, you'll never find software that will accommodate the wacky algorithms prevalent in most computers, just isn't going to happen, too many proprietary algorithms that you aren't going to get from the manufacturers so it just isn't going to happen. On that front, you have to understand that the tables are all cut differently based on different algorithms which is why they all look so different, some are set for longer duration on one dive, Navy/NAUI/NOAA *they're the same tables btw*, some are better for repetitive dives, PADI etc. The USN cut their tables to allow max bottom time at depth because they would typically do one deep dive per day, same with NOAA divers, NAUI just cut the NDL one block short and that's how they got theirs. PADI wanted to give you the most bottom time for repetitive dives, so their tables are cut a bit differently.

    Most technical divers don't run wacky ass algorithms, they stick to either Buhlmann GF's or VPM-B, none of this other weird proprietary nonsense. Suunto does have their own recreational dive planner out that you can use with their computers, mainly because you have to since you can't plan with the damn things, I think it's called DM5. If you are running one of the above main algorithms, you can 100% do everything you are wanting to do with them in known deco software, some just might require you playing with the dive times to get them to give you 0 minutes deco.

    Most software is designed to cut decompression tables since most of the time you're going to be limited by gas not by deco in single tanks. You mention travelling so if you're on AL80's, using rock bottom approximations, you're going to be nowhere near your NDL's on the first dive and you just plan a long enough SIT. The biggest issue though is you aren't going to be able to nail your SIT close enough to be able to plan repetitive diving, you might get within an hour, but it isn't going to be accurate enough.

    For example, planning a dive to 120FSW, with assumed SAC of 0.8, you have 12 minutes on the bottom to come back with 500psi left in the bottle, 2 minutes to descent, 4 minutes to ascent, total of 14minutes against your NDL if you're on tables. Best thing is to either trust your dive computer and fly by that for your NDL's, or have long surface intervals. You have two options here, run by the tables and cut your dives short and assume everything is square profile, go by your EAD calculations and stick with rounding, it is by far the most conservative way to do this, or trust the algorithms on your computer and don't get greedy. The best solution is to get AN/DP certified because it makes all of this NDL nonsense go away.
     
  4. tursiops

    tursiops Marine Scientist and Master Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: U.S. East Coast
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    In a word, no. And you are better off with Multi-Deco than with V-Planner, because you can set it for Buhlmann 60/95, which is probably as close to PZ+ as you'll find to get similar NDLs. And you really need to do those safety stops if you are using the PZ+ algorithm to match Buhlmann. Note that most folks using Buhlmann probably use more like 30/85 or 30/70, which means deeper stops and longer near-surface stops.
    I don't believe you will find anything that matches DSAT.

    If you just want to easily play with DSAT alternatives, the eRDP-ML may be your best tool, available as a hard calculator, or a desktop or mobile app.

    And you really need to avoid 32% at 120 feet.
     
  5. decompression

    decompression Instructor...seriously...

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Victoria, BC, Canada
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    I'll side with T bone on this, to do the profiles you want you're going to incur deco, wether in air or nitrox. I've run A few on Baltic for iPhone and it's tuff to get those dives without deco. Not sure if Baltic is available for android but try it as it comes close to what you want. You could try ideco and pasto deco as well.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  6. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
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    You're way over planning this. Go dive, use your computer dive planner to check NDL using your surface interval. Its not rocket science. I would imagine there will be a longer SI between your AM and PM couple of dives. Many of us do 4-5 rec dives/day routinely. You need some dive experience and less time online
     
  7. Lorenzoid

    Lorenzoid idling in neutral buoyancy ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
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    Other than playing around with this for entertainment or perhaps to look at the Worst Case Day scenario you mentioned, I don't see a point. On a recreational dive boat trip, you're going to do what the DM "suggests" you do. They could decide at the last minute to change the plan or to visit an entirely different site than the one they originally told you. The only recreational planning I do is what the Dive Planning mode on my computer lets me do, and as you know, that's typically limited to planning the next dive based on the current surface interval time. But that's generally all I need. That said, it would be fun to play around with dive planning s/w. I wasn't aware that Suunto had the recreational dive planning s/w that matches their computers that tbone pointed out.
     
  8. victorzamora

    victorzamora Solo Diver

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    Holy crap. I'm agreeing with people I RARELY agree with.

    ---------- Post added February 12th, 2015 at 03:23 PM ----------

    One thing I'll add is this: I'd be more concerned with knowing about mingas/Rock bottom calculations than deco. Fly your computer, do good safety spots, and thumb the dive upon breaching mingas
     
    scubadada likes this.
  9. stuartv

    stuartv Seeking the Light

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Manassas, VA
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    What is that? Software? A diving protocol? Got a link?

    I knew that Suunto used a proprietary algorithm. I thought the Pelagic DSAT and Pelagic Z+ that Oceanic advertises were "known" algorithms. I think the problem with me, or any other Rec-only diver, is that using Buhlmann GFs or VPM-B is not exactly straightforward if you are strictly limiting yourself to No Deco Stop dives.

    Regarding the planning you described, part of my point is, I don't know of any easy way to use my RMV and my desired dive profile to determine how long I could stay down and still get out with X (e.g. 500psi) of air. Well, other than using something like VPlanner to model it and see how much gas it says I used, then adjust BT until I get what I'm looking for (tedious). Or, actually do the math myself to calculate it, which would probably require me to dust off my Calculus book (very tedious).

    Is there a way to use VPlanner to back into the BT (using depth, in and out tank pressures, etc.), instead of giving it the depth and BT and having it tell me the gas consumption? I only tried the Android app version, so maybe the full-blown PC version does that? Even if it did it using GFs with some common Rec-use settings, that would be very helpful.

    I mean, how did you so quickly come up with that 12 minute number to get out with 500 psi? Did you use some software or do you just know that one?

    When I actually do the dives, I will pretty much fly by the computer. But, as I said before, I don't want to start a day with a 4-dive plan and then finish the 3rd dive just to find out my "plan" was totally a fantasy and there's no way I can do my 4th dive.

    I do think I will take TDI Nitrox and Deco. But, I have a lot of dives to log before I am even eligible to enroll in TDI Nitrox. And I'd like to be able to do decent NDL dive planning in the meantime. :)

    I will google for info on Multi-Deco. Thanks for the info.

    Your statement about EAN32 at 120 is because it would be a ppO2 of approximately 1.5? EAN30 would give me ppO2 of 1.4 at 121', I think. Would you advise me to stay away from that as well? I guess I'm asking if you think EAN32 at 120 is way over the line or if it's just a bit over and EAN30 would be acceptable.

    And please bear in mind, my OP was more or less hypothetical planning. I didn't intend for those exact numbers to be taken as part of an actual plan and need vetting at this point.
     
  10. victorzamora

    victorzamora Solo Diver

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    EAN30 for 120ft is acceptable. Keep your ppO2 below 1.4, period. "Slightly over" is still overt.
     

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