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- Buy: Duslate MINI | ATA/BAR Divers
A Better Dive Slate. Meet the Duslate® MINI e-Slate. Sold here by authorized distributor. Ships from USA. The Duslate® MINI electronic writing board is an updated solution to traditional—and oftentimes ineffective—underwater writing slates. To play, press and hold the enter key. To stop, release the enter key. Page Contents · DUSLATE MINI PACKS · DETAILS - Interna tional Shipping - PADI Pro Diver Offer (Fr ee Soft Cover!) - Where is My Stylus? - Connecting Dusla te MINI to Bolt Sn ap - Connecting Stylus Lanyard · ACCESSORIES · CONTACT US FORM Limited Stock! Bottom Line Designed for quick communications between divers, the Duslate MINI is a sleek electronic replacement for traditional diver writing devices that can be bulky, difficult to read, and nearly impossible to erase underwater. Limited stock on hand! Shipping Update Orders placed after Wednesday, September 20, 2023 ship on Friday, September 29, 2023. All orders shipped via USPS Ground Advantage™. Pick from 6 Packs Duslate MINI Deluxe Pack The Duslate MINI Deluxe Pack ships with: (1) Duslate MINI Underwater e-Slate (1) Stylus (1) Stylus Coil (1) Orange Neoprene Protective Sleeve, and (1) Double-Sided Orange Plastic Case Ships from United States for $ 7 via USPS Ground Advantage ™ $141.98 + $7 shipping Duslate MINI Hard Pack ORANGE The Duslate MINI Hard Pack ORANGE ships with: (1) Duslate MINI Underwater e-Slate (1) Stylus (1) Stylus Coil, and (1) Double-Sided Orange Plastic Case Ships from United States for $7 via USPS Ground Advantage ™ $128.99 + $7 shipping Duslate MINI Soft Pack ORANGE The Duslate MINI Soft Pack ORANGE ships with: (1) Duslate MINI Underwater e-Slate (1) Stylus (1) Stylus Coil, and (1) Neoprene Orange Protective Case Ships from United States for $7 via USPS Ground Advantage ™ $117.99 + $7 shipping Duslate MINI Soft Pack BLUE The Duslate MINI Soft Pack BLUE ships with: (1) Duslate MINI Underwater e-Slate (1) Stylus (1) Stylus Coil, and (1) Neoprene Blue Protective Case Ships from United States for $7 via USPS Ground Advantage ™ $117.99 + $7 shipping Duslate MINI Soft Pack BLACK The Duslate MINI Soft Pack BLUE ships with: (1) Duslate MINI Underwater e-Slate (1) Stylus (1) Stylus Coil, and (1) Neoprene Blue Protective Case Ships from United States for $7 via USPS Ground Advantage ™ $117.99 + $7 shipping Duslate MINI Standard Pack The Duslate MINI Standard Pack ships with: (1) Duslate MINI Underwater e-Slate (1) Stylus, and (1) Stylus Coil, and Ships from United States for $7 via USPS Ground Advantage ™ $105.00 + $7 shipping Details Meet the Duslate MINI—the world's first electronic writing board for diving . To use the D uslate MINI , just start writing on the screen. Anything pointy—like a fingernail—will work, but it is best to use the included stylus. To delete the screen, tap the round erase button (located just below the screen) with this stylus. Only a tap with the D uslate MINI stylus will erase the slate to ensure your screen is not accidentally deleted. The D uslate MINI is gr eat for quick and simple communications underwater. It is so simple to use that during Open Water training dives, our students communicate without any previous instruction. The black screen generates green writing, which is actually more visible underwater than it is out of water. Check out YouTube videos of the D uslate MINI in action. The D uslate MINI is not intended to replace semi-permanent notepads used to record such things as a backup technical dive plan. The D uslate MINI runs on a standard 3-volt CR1632 Lithium coin battery (~$4 for Duracell CR1632 on Amazon.com ), is rated to 197 feet (60 meters), and has a two-year warranty from date of sale. For additional products details, see information boxes below. The optional two-sided plastic case is designed specifically for the D uslate MINI . This case offers efficient protection of the display and device from accidental damage while in or out of water. Made of 3D photopolymer. Weight: 3.5 oz (100 g). The optional neoprene protective case protects your D uslate MINI while out of water. Whether you are a dive instructor, Divemaster, dive guide or traditional dive buddy, we think the D uslate MINI will make a great addition to your dive kit! ATA/BAR Divers is an authorized U.S. distributor* of the Dusol D uslate MINI . Flat rate shipping ($7) for USPS Ground Advantage ™ to all 50 states and U.S. territories that regularly receive USPS® mail. INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING For divers outside of the United States and its territories, p lease contact us directly—using the form below or by e mail —for an international shipping quote. For ship ping quote ac curacy, pl ease include your full shipping address including postal code in your message to us. PADI PROFESSIONAL DIVERS Are you a teaching status PADI Professional Member (i.e., certified Divemaster or higher)? So are we! Send us your name and PADI P ro me mber nu mber by em ail at the time of your order and we will include a FREE Duslate MINI Soft Case (our choice of soft case color), valued at $12.99, with your Duslate MINI order! Your current professional status (i.e., "Authorized to Teach") will be verified using PADI Pro Che k ™. This is a one-time offer and can be used once per PADI Pro member number. No other discounts apply. WHERE IS MY STYLUS? Some customers have problems locating their Duslate MINI writing stylus when they receive their shipment. The writing stylus is stored at the top-right corner of the slate as you look at the screen. To remove the stylus, simply drag a fingernail along the right side of the Duslate MINI . Before taking your Duslate MINI into the water, make sure to attach the stylus to the slate by using the included stylus coil . The slate will not erase without using the included writing stylus. See "Connecting Stylus Lanyard," below. CONNECTING DUSLATE MINI TO BOLT SNAP When your Duslate MINI arrives, you will probably want to figure out a way to connect it to your gear. Here is how we do it at ATA/BAR DIVERS: Using a single-ender, swivel-eye bolt snap, we connect the bolt snap to the Duslate MINI mounting hole (bottom-right corner) using either a stainless steel split ring (aka "key ring"), thin paracord, or a small stainless steel bow shackle. The image shows us using a DGX 3" bolt snap and a 4mm bow shackle purchased from Amazon . Whatever your connection choice , your Duslate MINI can be securely attached to a BCD D-ring and ready for easy access. CONNECTING STYLUS LANYARD In your new Duslate MINI product box you will find a small bag containing the included stylus lanyard. The lanyard prevents stylus loss by connecting the Duslate MINI to the lanyard. (Remember: The lanyard is the only way to erase the screen, so keeping the lanyard safe is critical!) First, feed a lanyard loop-end through the lanyard hole on the blunt end of the stylus. Next, feed the free loop-end of the lanyard through the Duslate MINI lanyard hole (top-right corner of the e-slate). Finally, loop the stylus and its connected lanyard through the loop-end sticking out of the e-slate's lanyard hole. Your stylus is now securely connected to your slate. Accessories Available for purchase individually online (by clicking on the item below—clicking may not work on some mobile devices) or collectively by email request, ATA/BAR Divers stocks the following D uslate MINI accessories. If you want to purchase any of these accessories together or with one or more of the D uslate MINI Packs (above), please use the contact form below and describe what items you would like to purchase. We will send you a invoice via PayPal as soon as possible. Purchasing multiple items by requesting an invoice from us (payable using PayPal) will significantly reduce shipping costs. Orange Plastic Case $23.99 + $5 Shipping Orange Neoprene Sleeve $12.99 + $5 Shipping Blue Neoprene Sleeve $12.99 + $5 Shipping Black Neoprene Sleeve $12.99 + $5 Shipping Replacement Stylus $6.99 + $5 Shipping Replacement Stylus Coil $5.99 + $5 Shipping Product Info Description Electronic Writing Board for Diving Product Model: DM2019X Manufacturer: Dusol Country of Origin: Russia Website: http://www.duslate.com Size & Weight Approximate Measurements Overall Size: 5-3/8" x 4" Screen Size: 2-3/4" x 3-3/4" Thickness: 0.3" overall 0.5" at battery compartment Weight: 3.4 oz (96 g) Components Includes DUSLATE MINI, stylus, stylus coil, case, battery & product info Battery type: 3V CR1632 Lithium Maximum Depth: 197 feet (60 m) Warranty: 2 year from date of sale Contact Us About the DUSLATE MINI Submit We will be in contact shortly about the DUSLATE MINI *To confirm authorized U.S. distributorship of the Duslate MINI by ATA/BAR Divers, see the Dusol LLC authorized dealer page at https://duslate.com/dealers/ .
- Scuba Tips & Reviews | ATA/BAR Divers | California
Duslate MINI LIMITED SUPPLY! the world's first underwater electronic dive slate GO
- ATA/BAR Divers | Home
Garabaldi Damselfish Anacapa Island, Channel Islands National Park, California Goliath Grouper Boynton Beach, Florida Coral Wall Guanaja, Honduras Garabaldi Damselfish Anacapa Island, Channel Islands National Park, California 1/12 Whether you are a veteran or student diver, here are some tips, tricks, and reviews of scuba-related "stuff." Tips & Reviews Wakatobi 2018 Join ATA/BAR DIVERS as we travel to Indonesia in April 2018 and experience Wakatobi , a world-class dive resort with incomparable service, food and sights. Destinations We enjoy traveling to dive, but not all dive destinations or operators are equal. Read about some of our favorite places to dive here. Videos Enjoy watching a few of our favorite YouTube videos that showcase some of our most favorite diving destinations. ATA/BAR DIVERS are American multilingual PADI Pros. We offer instruction and support in English, Korean, Vietnamese, and Hungarian at affiliated dive centers. Training
- About | ATA/BAR Divers
- Breath Like a Diver | ATA/BAR Divers
Breathe Like a Diver Practice Wet Breathing Without a Pool Bottom Line Breathing like a diver is an unnatural process and can be challenging for new divers. If you have limited experience wearing a mask, breathing with a snorkel, or can’t stand the thought of water going up your nose, or if water in the back of your throat makes you cough, choke or panic, these drills can help you master the skills associated with breathing like a diver. By design, humans are primarily nose breathers—and for good reason: Noses connect to sinus cavities, and it is in the sinuses where filtering, warming and humidification of inhaled air occurs. Our lungs would not do well if they were regularly abused by cold, dirty, and dry air. That is why prolonged breathing through the mouth is abnormal at best and potentially harmful at worst. But then there is scuba diving… Unless you are a full-face mask diver, mouth breathing through a regulator is how scuba divers survive. If you are a new diver, you might find mouth breathing awkward, but adding a little bit of water to the mix can turn an uncomfortable experience into an overwhelming one, resulting in uncontrolled coughing, choking, and a panicked ascent to the surface. “Wet breathing” is a way of life for scuba divers because there is no way to avoid water in masks, snorkels and regulators. Practicing “breathing around” this water is the only way to reduce the physical stress associated with water in the airway (throat, nose and sinuses). With experience, you’ll quickly realize that a little water up the nose or in the back of the throat is not that big of a deal. Beyond inhaling slowly to breathe around water, how you cope with wet breathing (e.g. blocking the back of your throat with your tongue to avoid a choking response to water in the airway) is a personal choice that will develop through trial and error. If you think wet breathing might be a problem for you, practice will certainly help. These drills do not require a pool or any specialized equipment beyond a mask, a snorkel, and a little bit of water: INHALE-EXHALE EXERCISES: NO MASK OR SNORKEL Inhale through your nose and exhale from your mouth until comfortable. Inhale through your mouth and exhale from your nose until comfortable. Switch between breathing techniques with each breath. Breathe in from the nose and out from the mouth; next breath, in from the mouth and out the nose. Repeat 10 times (20 breaths). MASK-ON BREATHING Breathe through your mouth while wearing a mask. You can do this while doing pretty much anything (like watching TV) for 30-50 minutes—the average length of a scuba dive. MASK & SNORKEL BREATHING Same as the Drill #2 except add a snorkel to breathe through. Because snorkels represent additional “dead air space,” you must learn to breathe past the snorkel to get fresh air into your lungs. This requires deeper breaths as the snorkel will essentially store some of your last exhaled breath, and this air contains carbon dioxide that you must breathe “past” by inhaling deeper, but not faster. Practice as long as you feel comfortable then work to increase your tolerance for snorkel/mask wearing times. You goal should be 50-60 minutes. Advanced Skill Challenge Do some light exercise (similar to swimming) while wearing the mask and a snorkel. Mow the lawn (and get some odd stares from neighbors), vacuum, mop, get on the treadmill, etc. BREATHING WITH NOSE IN WATER Fill your mask halfway with water. Put it on with your face pointing downward. Slowly raise your head to the normal position which will cover your nose with water. Gently press the mask skirt against your face to reduce water leakage. Breathe normally through your mouth. Practice as long as you feel comfortable then work to increase your tolerance up to about 3 minutes. Be cautious of water leaks during this exercise. Have a towel nearby. Advanced Skill Challenge Tilt your head back to further test your ability at airway control. SNORKEL BREATHING WITH NOSE IN WATER Same as Drill #4 except add a snorkel to breathe through. Advanced Skill Challenge Tilt your head back to further test your ability at airway control. As instructors, we have given students “homework assignments” than included watching an hour of TV with mask and snorkel in place. These no-water, non-threatening practice sessions can go a long way in bringing confidence to students who lack any appreciable experience with mask or snorkel use. Encourage students to text you a pic while practicing! IF A POOL OR OTHER BODY OF WATER IS AVAILABLE , additional practice sessions are available and easy to do. Your imagination is the only limiting factor to possible drills to reduce fear of water in the airway: Partially or fully flood mask and breathe through mouth Partially or fully flood mask and breathe through regulator Swim in various body positions/angles to determine tolerance for water in airway Submerge face without mask and breathe through snorkel Nose-pinching is allowed in the beginning but students should be able to do this skill without having to block nostrils
- Swimmer's Ear for Divers | ATA/BAR Divers
Swimmer's Ear: A Diver's Home Remedy for Your Consideration Bottom Line : Every once in a while we run across a solution worth sharing. So is the case with this home remedy for Swimmer’s Ear: A solution of 50% hydrogen peroxide, 25% isopropyl alcohol, and 25% white vinegar. Disclaimer If you happened upon this page, you are likely in search of a home remedy for what is commonly called "Swimmer’s Ear." This article is not about pressure-related ear issues or equalization problems; nor is it necessarily about preventing Swimmer’s Ear; it is about how we successfully dealt with a Swimmer’s Ear infection while diving abroad without medical support. We are not medical professionals. The solution that worked for us may be in complete contrast with what your personal physician might recommend. As always, consult your physician if available... but there were no doctors available for us, hence this story! The Longer Story About a week into a two-week diving trip abroad, one of our ATA/BAR DIVERS’ members started suffering from outer ear canal pain, which was intense at times. The pain radiated below and behind the ear and the canal never seemed to fully dry. The diver was convinced the problem was not associated with the eardrum, the middle ear, or the Eustachian Tube, as equalizing during dives was not compromised. Professional medical treatment was not an option. First: The diver made sure there was no ear wax blocking the ear canal by using an over-the-counter ear wax removal kit (liquid solution and a bulb aspirator) and flushing the ear. Second: The diver tried a popular over-the-counter product made for drying out the ear canal. Made from 95% isopropyl alcohol and 5% glycerin, these drops only caused an intense burning sensation that could not be tolerated. (In hindsight, a product like this is not intended for use during an active ear infection.) Third: The diver filled the ear canal with hydrogen peroxide several times over two days. While the foam created by this treatment was quite the spectacle, the peroxide did not alleviate symptoms. Finally: A wise man of the sea offered his “proven remedy” for prevention and intervention of external ear infections: A solution of 50% hydrogen peroxide, 25% isopropyl alcohol, and 25% white vinegar. Within two days, all symptoms of Swimmer's Ear vanished! Post Analysis Before moving forward with a home remedy for Swimmer’s Ear, make sure your condition is not something worse, like barotrauma . Swimmer’s Ear (otitis externa) symptoms are well defined on this Google page . Being an over-user of Q-tips within the external ear canal doesn’t help matters. Ear wax is there for a purpose; cleaning the ears in this manner can lead to abrasions and makes the ear more susceptible to infection. See the Time Magazine article: Should I Use Q-tips to Clean My Ears? Preventative measures to reduce the likelihood of contracting Swimmer’s Ear can include a variety of home remedy solutions. Our Wise Man of the Sea recommends his solution of 50% hydrogen peroxide, 25% isopropyl alcohol, and 25% white vinegar. We will be packing this solution on every dive trip and will be using it to prevent ear infections rather than having to deal with an active infection! Links Stop the Drops by Divers Alert Network (DAN) ASK A TOP DOC: How Can I Prevent Swimmers Ear? by Philadelphia Magazine Swimmer’s Ear by the Mayo Clinic Can You Prevent Otitis Externa, or Swimmers Ear? by DAN More on Swimmers Ear by DAN Keeping It Clean: Reasons for Good Aural Hygiene by DAN Ears & Diving by DAN The Complete Guide to the Ear by DAN Anatomy of the Ear: Video by Blausen Diver's Ears: Equalizing Help Equalization Are you challenged with equalizing your ears? You are not alone! There are several online information sources you might find helpful: The Diver’s Complete Guide to the Ear by the Divers Alert Network. Among other things, the guide discusses different techniques for equalizing ears. If these written instructions leave you a bit confused, check out... The Healthy-U – Diver’s Ear: Under Pressure by Edmond Kay, M.D., University of Washington School of Medicine. A veteran diver himself, Dr. Kay demonstrates equalization techniques and examines several divers’ ears. The helpful and interesting six-part YouTube series is about an hour long. To go directly to the discussion on equalization, click here . If you are looking for a shorter time commitment... Dr. Frans Cronjé with DAN Southern Africa posted this 14-minute YouTube video which offers some interesting tips and illustrations.
- Equipment Reviews | ATA/BAR Divers
Scuba Equipment Reviews We love to dive, and our goal is to share information about scuba diving equipment. The opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the founding members of ATA/BAR Divers and do not reflect the opinion of dive operators we may be affiliated with. Our orientation is a positive one that promotes the good things in diving; we do not dwell on the bad. But occasionally, our experience may be less-than-acceptable with a product or service—and we will share that with our readers. Experiences can be different depending on the divers involved. We offer you our opinions on our experiences; we do not offer a forum to voice differing opinions on our postings. We welcome you to post differing opinions at other sites. Product Review: TAC Non-Military Fin Do these fins even work? That was our first impression of the TAC fins when they showed up at the door. It is smaller and lighter than any fin you've experienced. Product Review: Defiant XT Fin The Defiant XT provides a booted foot with a solid platform to work with. With its comfortable but firm foot pocket grasp, my foot and the Defiant become one. Product Review: The $5 Flashlight Sold by dozens of eBay retailers and frequently labeled "Shallow Light," how does this $5 US flashlight hold up under real diving conditions? We tested it out. Review: DGX Rio Gauge Reader Mask If you are grappling with the close-up vision limitations of being a mature diver, there is an inexpensive and effective solution for your older eyes underwater. Cheap & Easy Image Editing Try GIMP! A free and easy software fix for your underwater digital images is just a download away. Review: Olympus TG-4 Camera Looking for a low-cost digital video and still camera with exceptional features to chronicle your underwater experiences? Your search might be over with the TG-4. Product Review: Scurfa Watches The Scurfa Diver One is a reasonably priced, solid, classic dive watch that will turn heads on your next boat trip. Product Review: Dryrobe ® Dryrobe® : A solution to changing out of cold, wet gear when few privacy options are available. Product Review: $4 Wet Notes Pad Check out this inexpensive solution to taking important notes underwater. Avoid paying $30 or more for products designed and customized for divers. Review & For Sale: DUSLATE mini Designed for quick communications between divers, the Dusol DUSLATE mini is the world's first electronic writing board ("e-slate") for diving.
- Review: The $5 Flashlight | ATA/BAR Divers
The $5 Underwater Flashlight: Too Good to be True? Bottom Line : Sold by dozens of eBay retailers and frequently labeled "Shallow Light," how does this $5 US flashlight hold up under real diving conditions? We tested it out against our beloved UK Aqualite-S 20°. Good to 90 feet, you'll find the illumination produced by Shallow Light to be marginal; its finicky switch sometimes misbehaves. If you're a diver operating without a flashlight, this can be a first step in illuminating your underwater world during casual dives when lighting is optional. Scuba can be an expensive sport, but that doesn’t mean divers are opposed to finding a good deal, but sometimes deals seem too good to be true. If you have ever check out scuba gear on eBay, you might have run across a slew of “underwater dive lights” selling for $5 or less, shipping included. We had to check it out. (Click here for a direct link to this eBay search criteria.) For this test, we purchased two identical flashlights for under $5 each. On a trip to the Big Island of Hawaii, the light accompanied us on a dozen dives to a maximum depth of 90 feet (27 meters). With a light stamped “Shallow Light,” expectations were not high about it surviving nearly three atmospheres of pressure, but the light did not leak. During the dives, we did a side-by-side comparison in dark crevices and caverns against our beloved and often-used dive light, the $170 US Underwater Kinetics Aqualite-S 20° with a rated output of 500 lumen on high setting. Compare the light output from both flashlights for yourself in the attached video and image. Durability may be an issue with the so-called “Shallow Light." Something happened with the switch on one of our flashlights and it no longer works, but the LED assembly works fine in the other flashlight we purchased. If you are a diver who has yet to purchase a dive light, the “Shallow Light” is a so-so, low-cost option to illuminating the nooks and crannies of our underwater world. Off-brand dive torches are nothing more than a novelty item. Only use a $5 dive light when illuminating the way is for fun, never when lighting is required for your safety.
- Destinations | ATA/BAR Divers
Reviews: Dive Destinations We love to dive and our goal is to share information about dive destinations and operators. The opinions expressed on this website are solely those of us at ATA/BAR DIVERS and do not reflect the opinion of dive operators we may be affiliated with. G&G's Cleawater Paradise Resort Guanaja, Bay Islands, Honduras clearwaterparadise.com Bottom Line G & G’s Clearwater Paradise Resort is a full-service dive operation that offers exceptional dining, comfortable accommodations, and unique underwater topographies for experienced divers on the island of Guanaja, Honduras. The Longer Story Good friends own a boat and take you diving with them. Great friends live on an island, cook gourmet meals, own a boat and a secluded home with eight guest rooms, and take you diving with them. You need to meet these great friends you didn’t know you had on the island of Guanaja. [...more...] CoCo View Resort Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras cocoviewresort.com Bottom Line CoCo View Resort is a well-oiled, all-inclusive dive center where nothing is left to chance. The grounds: beautifully manicured. Rooms: spacious and comfortable. Buffets: ample, tasty food at every meal. Shore dives, dive spots, boats, and staff are all exceptional. This place has a loyal following, and for good reason. The Longer Story During the Fall of 2016, a group of eight California divers made their first trip to the revered CoCo View Resort on Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras. A shuttle van transported us about 20 minutes from the Roatan Airport to a small... [...more...] Beyond Diving Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico beyonddivingscuba.com Bottom Line Every accomplished diver should put cenotes diving on their underwater destination bucket list, and Beyond Diving Dive Center offers exceptional service and support to make your diving-centric stay on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula an enjoyable one. The Longer Story In April 2015, a foursome of ATA/BAR DIVERS couldn’t resist a last-minute trip Playa del Carmen, Mexico. We stayed at the St. Martin Boutique Hotel and transport from the Cancun Airport was handled by Cancun Transfers USA . That was the easy part... [...more...] Horizon Divers Key Largo, Florida horizondivers.com Bottom Line Located on US-1 (Overseas Highway) in Key Largo, Horizon Divers is a PADI 5-star IDC offering top-notch training from Open Water Diver to technical diving specialties like PADI Tec 40-50, trimix, rebreather, and advanced wreck. Horizon Divers is a rare find for tec divers in the Keys as its regular boat trips to wrecks offer single location, 2-hour+ gates that allow for plenty of bottom and deco time. Whether you are a recreational diver searching for the next great challenge or a diving professional looking to deepen your skills and course offerings, Horizon Divers has curricula to meet your specific needs. Certified training agency affiliations include SDI, TDI, IANTD, and PADI. Horizon has three boats and offers multi-trip discounts, trimix gas refills, and supports the needs of CCR divers.
- Computerless Diving: Should it be done? | ATA/BAR Divers
Computer vs. Computerless Diving Bottom Line : If you don’t use a dive computer, you must calculate your dives the good old fashioned way[1 ] to avoid the danger of decompression sickness (DCS). Besides crunching numbers, dive computers offer many other benefits during and after a dive. Figure 4. SPG indicates 46 feet as the maximum depth of previous dive. At the end of Open Water training, your instructor might have suggested a dive computer as one of your first scuba equipment purchases. If you’ve already purchased one, that’s great! But if you don’t own one yet for whatever reason (like cost or anticipated diving frequency), this—admittedly confusing—article might help explain the value of diving with a computer and why you might want to reconsider your equipment purchasing priorities. Before we go too deep , a quick review as to why we calculate dives in the first place: As recreational divers, we are trained to make only NO STOP DIVES, meaning we can ascend directly to the surface any time during a dive without suffering an unusually high risk of decompression sickness.[2 ] Conducting no stop diving is no accident—it requires planning and vigilance to ensure depths, dive times, and surface intervals (SI) are within recognized limits. If you don’t dive with a computer, you must equip yourself with other tools to help ensure you do not violate your no stop limits, also known as NO DECOMPRESSION LIMITS (NDLs). These tools include: A means to record information on each dive (such as a pencil and underwater slate) A dive timer (a dive watch with a rotating bezel or a submersible timepiece with stopwatch function, Figure 3), and A depth gauge; one with a maximum depth needle to indicate your dive’s deepest depth can be helpful.[3 ] In Figure 4, the red-tip needle shows current depth as 0 (sea level) and the black “maximum depth needle” shows the previous dive depth as 45 feet. After each dive, the max depth needle can be rotated back to 0 with the twist of a fingernail in the center slot so the next dive’s max depth can be measured. Many new depth gauges do not have this secondary needle because of the overwhelming popularity of dive computers among recreational divers. COMPARING DIVE CALCULATORS We will walk through a two-dive day using a computer, the RECREATIONAL DIVE PLANNER ™ (RDP, Figure 1) and the ELECTRONIC MULTILEVEL RECREATIONAL DIVE PLANNER ™ TOUCH (eRPDml, Figure 2). Our goal is to use the same profile on each device. COMPUTER USE Using a dive computer is kind of like taking your mom with you on a dive. Computers watch and record your every move. If you get out of line, it will let you know, just like your mom did (or still does!). Not only do computers offer warnings during a dive, they keep an eye on you after the dive by timing your surface intervals and calculating “no fly times” by automatically calculating the elimination of theoretical levels of residual nitrogen from your body. With the RDP and eRPDml there is no underwater hand-holding—these devices are used before a dive to help plan depths and times, thereby reducing the likelihood of NDL violations. Figure 5 shows a typical dive summary using Suunto’s DM5 software and the Eon Steel dive computer (Figure 8). The green graph depicts the diver’s depths throughout the dive. The dive progresses in time from left to right. Here are the dive details as captured by the computer: Dive #1 maximum depth: 81 feet (average depth: 45 feet). Dive time: 62 minutes The dive ended because of air limitations, not because an NDL was reached. Safety Stop: 3 minutes was recommended. SI: 61 minutes. Dive #2 maximum depth: 42 feet (average depth: 28 feet) Dive time: 70 minutes Again, this dive ended because of air supply, not because of an NDL. RDP USE Just the thought of using dive tables might send shivers down your wetsuit, but let's try using the RDP on this same dive... But here is our first problem: Meandering dives with limited times at various depths cannot be accurately calculated with the RDP. [4 ] Because of this, we are forced to calculate the dive to the deepest depth reached (see Figure 6): Dive #1 must be calculated to 90 feet (we must round up from 81). NDL time: 25 minutes. Ending pressure group: Q. Safety Stop: 3-minute required.[3 ] SI: 61 minutes. New pressure group: F. Dive #2 maximum depth: 42 feet. NDL: 80 minutes. Residual Nitrogen Time (RNT): 24 minutes. Adjusted NDL: 56 minutes. Ending pressure group: X. Safety Stop: 3-minute required.[6 ] What’s the Difference? Because the RDP can only calculate “square dive profiles” (when a diver descends directly to a predetermined depth and safely ascends to the surface from that depth), the dive can only last for 25 minutes (the NDL for 90 feet), in comparison to the 62-minute computer dive. The second dive is limited to 56 minutes due to the adjusted NDL. In comparison, the second computer dive was 70 minutes. Diving to the NDLs of consecutive dives is anything but conservative and is not recommended. Pushing the limits can result in a case of DCS. Certified enriched air divers must calculate dives using the PADI EANx32 or EANx36 Recreational Dive Planner™. eRPDml USE Unlike the RDP, the eRPDml can calculate multilevel dives, but our dive was not really not one because the diver did not maintain distinct dive levels. Additionally, the eRPDml can only calculate three dive levels that fall within the parameters explained on p. 82 of the eRPDml Use and Study Guide.[2 ] Despite these limitations, let’s calculate Dive #1 with the eRPDml as follows (see Figure 7): 1. Multilevel dive profile: Level 1: 81 feet Actual Bottom Time (ABT): 5 minutes Ending Pressure Group: B NDL: 27 minutes Level 2: 60 feet ABT: 29 minutes Ending Pressue Group: Q Multilevel Limit (ML): 35 minutes Level 3: 40 feet ABT: 28 minutes Ending Pressure Group: V ML: 53 minutes 2. Safety Stop: 3-minute required [5 ] 3. SI: 66 minutes. New pressure group: G. 4. Dive #2 maximum depth: 42 feet ABT: 70 minutes Ending pressure group: Z Safety Stop: 3-minute safety required[3 ] What’s the Difference? Besides being horribly complicated, sucking all the fun out of diving, and not being an accurate representation of our dive, this multilevel eRPDml dive profile is pretty close to the computer dive, sans the required 66-minute SI to complete Dive #2. The second dive ends in the highest pressure group (Z). Pushing NDLs is never recommended. Oh, but did you want to dive with enriched air? Sorry! The eRPDml can’t help you, but most dive computers handle EANx without a problem. DIVE COMPUTERS: MORE THAN JUST AUTOMATED TABLES The RDP—and, in later years, the eRPDml—have successfully guided divers for decades, but not without some effort. The good news is that dive computers can do all this number-crunching for you and more! Some common dive computer capabilities include: ENRICHED AIR (nitrox) compatibility LOGBOOK of dive profiles that can be downloaded to a PC HISTORICAL information for all dives in the logbook SAFETY STOP signal and timer DEEP STOP signal and alarm RAPID ASCENT indicator and alarm PO2 indicator and alarm CNS TOXICITY status and alarm PENDING NO STOP DIVING VIOLATION indicator and alarm NO STOP DIVING VIOLATION indicator and alarm EMERGENCY DECOMPRESSION STOP indicator, alarm, depths and times of decompression stages MISSED EMERGENCY DECOMPRESSION STOP indicator and alarm TOTAL ASCENT TIME during a deco dive NO FLY timer Dive computers really earn their keep by guiding divers through safe ascents and abnormal situations, i.e. when NDLs are inadvertently violated. And just like mom, computers can put you in a time-out when you've been really, really bad: The computer will lock you out (i.e. render the computer useless) for 24-48 hours if you violate certain safe diving rules. BUYING VERSUS RENTING Nearly all reputable dive centers have dive computers available for rent, but will you have adequate knowledge on how a rental computer works? Computers can be confusing without adequate preparation. You don’t have to break the bank to outfit yourself with one. About $200 will get you started with a nice, wrist-mount “puck style” computer—and that’s a lot cheaper (and much safer) than a $10,000/day trip to the recompression chamber! Many dive centers use the Suunto Zoop (Figure 9) in training. It is a solid selection and comes in wrist mount (shown) or multi-gauge console configurations. STILL CONFUSED? Calculating dive tables and using a dive computer can be equally difficult, especially if you don’t dive regularly. There is really no simple way around it. A dive computer can certainly simplify things, but they require a solid understanding on how to operate and what the computer is trying to tell you with its different displays and beeps. Haven’t purchased a dive computer but want to learn more? Or maybe you have purchased a dive computer, have thoroughly reviewed the user’s manual and still aren’t sure about all its functions. Either way, there is still hope for you! ADDITIONAL TRAINING A company called DiveNav, Inc. hosts a website called DiveComputerTraining.com ®. You might want to check out these free and inexpensive courses (Figure 10) that work on multiple platforms (PC, smartphone and tablet): How to Choose a Dive Computer (FREE) Introduction to Dive Computers ($3.99) Once you’re done with learning the basics, search the site for a course on your specific dive computer . We have found the instruction to be beneficial, especially when illustrating unusual situations that can’t be easily replicated on your own, such as violating an NDL. Classes cost $0.99 to $14.99. If you haven’t done so already, when will you be purchasing your first dive computer? Let’s go diving! Footnotes  Calculating dive profiles by using the Recreational Dive Planner™ (RDP, Figure 1), the RDP’s electronic counterpart, the Multilevel Recreational Dive Planner (eRDPml™, Figure 2), or an equivalent device.  PADI Open Water Diver Manual [English], version 3.0, p. 197.  PADI eRPDml™ Instructions for Use and Study Guide (2008), retrieved online at http://elearning.padi.com/company0/tools/eRDPML_InsforUse.pdf  PADI Recreational Dive Planner Instructions for Use (2004, Dive Table Definitions, p. 32), retrieved online at http://elearning.padi.com/company0/tools/RDP%20InsforUseImp.pdf  PADI Recreational Dive Planner Instructions for Use (2004, Rule 12, p. 7).  PADI Recreational Dive Planner Instructions for Use (2004, Rule 12, p. 7).  Rule 2 of General Rules for using the eRPDml can be found on the inside cover. This page is provided for informational purposes only. It is solely the opinion of ATA/BAR DIVERS and is provided without compensation, affiliation or consideration of any kind. Figure 1. Recreational Dive Planner. Figure 2. The eRPDml Touch. Figure 3. Dive timers include watches with a rotating bezel or a stopwatch function. Figure 5. Dive #1 profile: 62 minutes. (Dive #2 profile not shown.) Figure 6. Recreational Dive Planner (RDP) dive profile. Figure 7. Multilevel dive profile for Dive #1 calculated using the eRPDml. Figure 8. Suunto Eon Steel. Figure 9. Suunto Zoop. Figure 10. Dive Computer Training's online Zoop class. Footnotes
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- Review: Scurfa Watches | ATA/BAR Divers
Scurfa Watches: Made for Deep Divers with Shallow Pockets Bottom Line : Every once in a while we run across a product that we want to tell everyone about. So is the case with Scurfa Watches and its Diver One watch: Traditional, sturdy, beefy, dense, easy to read, and well priced. We were recently in the market for a dive watch—something traditional, sturdy, beefy, dense, easy to read, and not too expensive. Consumer market research began and we happened upon some outstanding reviews of Scurfa Watches . Yes, Scurfa . We were particularly intrigued by the watch’s reasonable price and the company’s story . We whittled down the competition to two timepieces: (1) The incomparable Citizen Promaster Diver , and (2) The Scurfa Diver One . We decided to go with the relative newbie to the watch market and we couldn’t be happier. Among its many outstanding features, the Diver One is rated to 1,000 feet and has a domed sapphire crystal that makes reading time underwater a breeze. The second-hand is prominent—particularly helpful for dive instructors when conducting timed scuba training exercises. It’s solid, attractive, and classic design gets lots of compliments on dive boats. (It even looks good on a female diver’s wrist.) The watch’s rubber band is sufficiently large enough to work with a 7mm wetsuit. The Scurfa line of dive watches continues to expand with its latest offering, the striking Bell Diver 1 , with a rated depth of 1,640 feet. It’s price point is higher than the Diver One, but its unique look deserves your look. If you are in the market for a classic dive watch but have pockets that aren’t as deep as you dive, we suggest you give Scurfa some serious consideration. This product review is solely the opinion of ATA/BAR DIVERS as a product consumer and is provided without compensation, affiliation or consideration of any kind. Figure 1. The Scurfa Diver One. Figure 2. Caseback of the Scurfa Diver One. Figure 3. Profile of the Scurfa Diver One.