Your Air Gauge
Your SPG tells you how much air remains in your tank so that you can end your dive well before you get too low. The SPG may be an independent gauge, or it may combine into a console with one or more additional instruments you use while diving. It may also be integrated into your dive computer. Independent SPGs are analog gauges, whereas those integrated into computers are digital.
Also known as : SPG, submersible pressure gauge, instrument console, air gauge console, computer, air-integrated computer, pressure gauge
Easy to read – Whether an analog gauge or integrated into a digital computer, you use your SPG constantly during the dive. It should be easy to read and understand.
Secure attachment – Letting your SPG dangle instead of securing it damages the coral reef environment, causes drag and may damage the gauge.
SPGs have many options, especially when considering it along with other instruments that make up a console.
Console – Your SPG can be part of a console, which typically includes your dive computer and your compass. Some divers wear their computer on their wrists and have a simple depth gauge in their consoles.
Computer integration – Your SPG may be actually be part of your dive computer, so that the computer combines your air remaining information with other information you need to know.
Hoseless – Some dive computers use hoseless SPG technology. A transmitter on your regulator first stage replaces the SPG hose and instead sends pressure information wirelessly to your dive computer on your wrist.
How to choose your SPG
You’ll probably select your SPG when investing in your regulator. Because there are a lot of options, you’ll certainly want guidance from a professional at your PADI Dive Shop or Resort. Here are some of the considerations your dive shop or resort can help you with :
- Distributed information versus compactness – Some divers prefer a separate computer and SPG so they don’t have “all their eggs in one basket.” Others prioritize compactness and combine as much as possible.
- Interface preference – Some divers opt for separate gauges because they find it easier to get information from two separate displays. Others like a common display.
- Maximum streamlining – Consoles are not as streamlined as a basic SPG and a computer on your arm, or hoseless SPG with an arm-worn computer. Other divers don’t want anything on their wrists and find consoles adequately streamlined.
- Do you need a watch? Many of the latest dive computers are also some of the latest dive watches and include a hoseless SPG. If you’re in the market for a watch, you may get your computer, SPG and watch all at once.
- Look at it regularly – SPGs were a big boost to diver safety when they came out in the 1960s for obvious reasons. But, even the most sophisticated SPG does nothing for you if you don’t look at it. No kidding? Sure, but failure to check their air is one of the most common reasons for divers needing a buddy to assist them to the surface.