Diver needs to know exactly many important parameters such as current depth, air pressure, dive time, the direction and so on. To obtain this information, divers use special devices - dive computer consoles that have pressure and depth gauges, and compasses.
Mares Mission 3 Gauge Console
Aeris A300 XT dive computer consoles
Dive computer consoles is not just an accessories, but a necessary set of instruments, and each of them - our faithful assistant underwater.
Number of devices on the console may be different, but in the classic version on it may consist of three instruments: a compass, pressure gauge and depth gauge.
Analog dive computer consoles consist of mainly following instruments:
- Pressure Gauge is a device that monitors air pressure in the your tank. It connects to the high pressure port of the first stage regulator through the high pressure hose. Scale of the gauge is calibrated from 0 to 200 or 300 atm. Sector of the reserve air may be calibrated from 0 to 50 atm. Choose a pressure gauge with dials clearly visible even in totally muddy water.
For safekeeping it is better to buy this device in a rubbered sheath, which protects against damage from impact or crushing.
- Depth Gauge
To show the current depth, capillary depth gauges were used some time ago - the depth displayed as an air bubble, which is compressed by water pressure. However, such a tool had a display error and was inconvenient to operate. Nowadays - the membrane type depth gauge is considered to be the best option. It has a special membrane which bends under change in external pressure and thereby move an arrow.
For smoother operation and long years of service, depth gauges are made with two membranes, and space between them is filled with oil or silicon liquid.
For correct underwater orientation we need to have an underwater compass - either on dive computer consoles or mounted on the wrist. Symbols on the scales must be oversized to have no trouble seeing in the water when it's dark or muddy.
When choosing a compass you should be aware of the irregularities of the Earth magnetic fields, so that the elements of magnetism can be unstable. For the convenience of determining the reverse course there should be movable ring with large scale positioned around the dial.
- Thermometer is not a mandatory element of equipment, but may give you additional information about water temperature, depending on which you can select correctly the type of dive suit that is most suitable for this dive site.
Some manufacturers offer dive computer consoles, equipped not with analog, but digital instruments. We may recall Suunto Cobra, Aeris A300 XT, or Oceanic Pro Plus here. Such dive computer consoles consist of air-integrated/non air-integrated dive computer itself and may be equipped with extra compass and pressure gauge (in case if dive computer is not hose air-integrated)
Divers who use a dive computer mounted on the wrist will definitely enjoy console as a backup device.
Dive computer console that is hanging freely is considered a sign of bad taste. Be sure to attach the console to your BCD using retractor.
Dive computer consoles should be flushed with fresh water and stored in a place protected from direct sunlight in padded protective case after diving.
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