Knowledge is power – the starting point for all diving are the skills acquired during your dive training. The more you dive the better you can maintain and improve those skills. Developing your diving skills also means understanding how to stay safe in the water. The more experience you get, the more you can enjoy your underwater adventures. In addition, having an understanding of what's going on inside your dive computer will help improve your confidence while diving.
When diving, there is always a possibility to get decompression sickness (DCS) but you can reduce the risk by following the safety instructions , taking care of your equipment correctly and having access to vital information: dive depth, dive time and remaining gas. A dive computer knows your dive history and calculates accordingly in real-time during the dive. Make sure that you know your computer and have it set up as you want before getting into the water. Use the personal setting of your Suunto dive computer to adjust the algorithm conservatism to fit your DCS susceptibility.
At the heart of every Suunto dive computer is an algorithm – the reduced gradient bubble model (RGBM) – that calculates decompression for a dive. Suunto’s modelling has for decades adopted the latest scientific know-how and theories to ensure that divers have the best possible algorithm in use. The advantage of the Suunto Fused RGBM algorithm developed together with Dr. Bruce Wienke is its ability to adapt to a wide variety of situations.
When we dive, inert gases – such as nitrogen, which our body doesn’t need – are dissolving into the bloodstream. At any given point, even when you’re on dry land, your veins and arteries have microbubbles filled with these gases. When small, they’re of no consequence. But when they expand, they begin to limit your body’s ability to expel nitrogen. The deeper you dive, the greater a risk factor the microbubbles potentially become. Microbubbles are factored into Suunto RGBM algorithms: dive computer will force you to decrease your ascent rate when microbubbles are starting to become an issue.
A pressure sensor is an essential component of a dive computer. It measures the water pressure and temperature to display your current depth. It’s important to remember that the pressure sensor is a sensitive electromechanical component that can get damaged. By following the manual instructions of how to use and take care of your dive computer properly, you can reduce the risk of a dive computer malfunction.
Cleaning the dive computer, especially the pressure sensor area, after the dive is important. Rinse carefully with fresh water and dry with a soft cloth. Never use compressed air or high pressure water hoses to clean the dive computer in any instance, as they can damage or destroy the pressure sensor. Also, do not stab the holes with a sharp item, as it may damage the sensitive silicon filling inside the sensor.
Examine regularly that your dive computer is in good physical condition. If you notice moisture inside the device and/or battery compartment, or if you suspect that your dive computer’s display is providing you with inconsistent data, inaccurate data or an error message before the dive (e.g. HWERR: 007, HWERR: 009), do not dive with it. Write down the product name, serial number and a description of the matter. Contact an authorized Suunto Service Center for inspection.
To increase your dive safety, make absolutely sure that you know your dive computer and have it set up as you want before getting into the water. Before leaving on a dive trip, it is highly recommended that you inspect your dive computer closely to make sure everything is functioning properly. Always ensure that you use backup instrumentation, including a depth gauge, submersible pressure gauge, timer or watch. At the dive site, you should perform your manual checks before entering the water.
Make sure to continuously follow your dive computer during the dive. To increase your dive safety, dive computers have different audible and visual alarms to let you know when important limits or presets are approached. In addition, safety stops are considered good diving practice. In the unlikely event that the dive computer malfunctions during a dive, follow the emergency procedures provided by your certified dive training agency to immediately and safely ascend.
After a dive, flying or traveling to higher altitude should be avoided during the no-fly time displayed on your dive computer. If your dive computer has notified about low battery, please remember to charge the battery or get it changed before your next dive. Wash and dry the dive computer after use and avoid subjecting the device to rapid air and water temperature changes.