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Thread: too many alarms.....?

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    RBW Member Icarusflies is an unknown quantity at this point Icarusflies's Avatar
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    too many alarms.....?

    Hello All;

    I am in the decision process for my first CCR so I am reading as many manuals as possible and asking maybe too many questions and here comes the next one....

    After speaking with several CCR divers about their units I have noted that some of them like to have a unit that gives warnings like for example the low PO2 buzzer in the Optima and others like as little alarms as possible, I am thinking about the Meg.

    My personal and inexperienced opinion is that alarms are not bad thing as long as you don't count on them. One day you might get distracted by a problem and then the alarm could save you.

    I would like to have your opinion about this subject.

    Thanks;

    Steve

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    Shearwater Copis Diver Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy's Avatar
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    Re: too many alarms.....?

    Quote Originally Posted by Icarusflies  View Original Post

    ....
    My personal and inexperienced opinion is that alarms are not bad thing as long as you don't count on them. One day you might get distracted by a problem and then the alarm could save you.
    ....
    Thanks;

    Steve
    From what I can tell, it's all about the right mindset and what configuration reinforces it. I don't see alarms as either good nor bad per say, just like wet switches vs no wet switches. My personal opinion at this point is that it depends on the overall configuration and perhaps on the individual. I'm tempted to say there is one right way but i've changed my mind enough times to know better.

    My latest attempt at certainty (which is subject to change without notice;)):

    For an alarm to be valuable, the diver and the alarm have to be effective enough to overcome the added risks that seem to come with a greater sense of reliability. The added attention gaps in monitoring are virtually inevitable when you think your risk has diminished. the diver has to adequately resist the temptation to let down their guard. Further, there may be degrees of this that are involuntary, in other words no matter what the training or mental efforts are, some people, maybe all, may not be able to fully resist this temptation, at least not all the time. the question then is: what are the risks that the alarm will go unnoticed all together after lulling a person into relying on it, or that a gap in monitoring will coincide with a malfunction in the "alarm/monitoring system" resulting in no alarm? either could be deadly.

    I'm tempted to conclude that you are at greater risk from spacing out when the risk is intermittent than from spacing out when you know the risk of life threatening consequences is constant. One is unpredictable, the other is less so.

    I'd venture to say that your monitoring interval is proportional to the perception of consequences and that that has the overarching influence on life sustaining outcome. No matter how full proof your system is, never "trust" it and no matter how experienced you get, never get too confident.

    this has lead me, in part, to go from the Evolution with state of the art monitoring and alarms, to a mCCR Shearwater Copis, with no alarms but with the sentient monitoring system between my ears fully engaged. I don't think artificial intelligence is as reliable as real intelligence, at least not yet. Am I right? Who knows, and since a relatively few people have died on all rebreathers I might go a lifetime without being one of the unlucky, even if there is a flaw in my configuration or habits. But I have been so baffled by the near 0% (1) fatality rate on mCCR's vs the 150 or so on eCCR's that I've started focussing my attention mostly on good mindset and the kit configuration that I believe best reinforces it, not the perfect set of electronics.

    In any case, I feel less confident of my current rig, yet ultimately less at risk of a error or malfunction going unnoticed.

  3. #3
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    Re: too many alarms.....?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gill Envy  View Original Post

    I'm tempted to conclude that you are at greater risk from spacing out when the risk is intermittent than from spacing out when you know the risk of life threatening consequences is constant. One is unpredictable, the other is less so.
    That is a good comment AFAIC.

    Quote Originally Posted by Icarusflies  View Original Post
    After speaking with several CCR divers about their units I have noted that some of them like to have a unit that gives warnings like for example the low PO2 buzzer in the Optima and others like as little alarms as possible, I am thinking about the Meg.

    If it were an option, I would like to have an alarm on my Meg, but only go off in very unusual circumstances (PO2 <.2). Alarms going off all the time tend to get ignored (like flashing red HUD lights that are seen with difficulty in high ambient light near the surface), and noisy ones become a nuisance.

    It depends on the design of the alarm.

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    Re: too many alarms.....?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gill Envy  View Original Post
    From what I can tell, it's all about the right mindset and what configuration reinforces it. I don't see alarms as either good nor bad per say, just like wet switches vs no wet switches. My personal opinion at this point is that it depends on the overall configuration and perhaps on the individual. I'm tempted to say there is one right way but i've changed my mind enough times to know better.

    My latest attempt at certainty (which is subject to change without notice;)):

    For an alarm to be valuable, the diver and the alarm have to be effective enough to overcome the added risks that seem to come with a greater sense of reliability. The added attention gaps in monitoring are virtually inevitable when you think your risk has diminished. the diver has to adequately resist the temptation to let down their guard. Further, there may be degrees of this that are involuntary, in other words no matter what the training or mental efforts are, some people, maybe all, may not be able to fully resist this temptation, at least not all the time. the question then is: what are the risks that the alarm will go unnoticed all together after lulling a person into relying on it, or that a gap in monitoring will coincide with a malfunction in the "alarm/monitoring system" resulting in no alarm? either could be deadly.

    I'm tempted to conclude that you are at greater risk from spacing out when the risk is intermittent than from spacing out when you know the risk of life threatening consequences is constant. One is unpredictable, the other is less so.

    I'd venture to say that your monitoring interval is proportional to the perception of consequences and that that has the overarching influence on life sustaining outcome. No matter how full proof your system is, never "trust" it and no matter how experienced you get, never get too confident.

    this has lead me, in part, to go from the Evolution with state of the art monitoring and alarms, to a mCCR Shearwater Copis, with no alarms but with the sentient monitoring system between my ears fully engaged. I don't think artificial intelligence is as reliable as real intelligence, at least not yet. Am I right? Who knows, and since a relatively few people have died on all rebreathers I might go a lifetime without being one of the unlucky, even if there is a flaw in my configuration or habits. But I have been so baffled by the near 0% (1) fatality rate on mCCR's vs the 150 or so on eCCR's that I've started focussing my attention mostly on good mindset and the kit configuration that I believe best reinforces it, not the perfect set of electronics.

    In any case, I feel less confident of my current rig, yet ultimately less at risk of a error or malfunction going unnoticed.

    what's wrong with having a sentient monitoring system between you're ears and some alarms ..
    my beeper must be f00ked on my box as it never has gone off underwater
    seems it only works when a wack in a load of o2 at 9m ,

    please not a 9 page sa when you answer ,,

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    Re: too many alarms.....?

    The only thing I trust less than my rebreather is me.
    Alarms are good as I might just need a wake-up call.

  6. #6
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    Re: too many alarms.....?

    Alarms are just an additional tool in the safety arsenal.

    I can't see much downside to them, but they should always be backed up by checking your handsets on a regular basis to make sure they are giving you correct information.

    With the DIVA (Vibrating HUD) on the O2ptima it can either give you your actual PO2 as determined by the secondary handset, or give you warnings based on a % deviation from your setpoint, both high and low, again based on the secondary readings. If those readings get to an extreme situation, either high or low, the DIVA vibrates, which is almost impossible to ignore. It also vibrates if your stack timer (EAC time used in water, as set by the user) counts down to zero.

    All of the above is fantastic, as long as the secondary is functioning properly. The reason you always back that up by checking both handsets is if the handsets don't agree, you have a problem.

    With this particular unit, if all is well, there is a green flash every eight seconds. My Diva failed on a dive once and it took a while for my brain to process that there was no flash at all after seeing it in normal mode for most of the dive. I was used to seeing green, amber and red, but not nothing. It took a minute or two to realize it was off.

    Again, HUD/DIVA's are there as an additional system, but not as the only one to be used.

    Richie

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    RBW Member Icarusflies is an unknown quantity at this point Icarusflies's Avatar
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    Re: too many alarms.....?

    Thank you for the feed backs.

    I can see how some divers might relax their attention level if they feel backed up by electronics however if a diver can maintain a lever of awareness even with alarms as a "brain back up" then I think is just the way to go.

    Does the addition of alarms in the electronics makes the handsets more prone to malfunction?

    Steve

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    Re: too many alarms.....?

    Somehow, I feel safer knowing that it's all up to me- My brain is just lazy enough to get complacent if it thinks that someone, or something else is keeping an eye on some situation, that it tends to wander off......

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    Re: too many alarms.....?

    Quote Originally Posted by Icarusflies  View Original Post
    Thank you for the feed backs.

    I can see how some divers might relax their attention level if they feel backed up by electronics however if a diver can maintain a lever of awareness even with alarms as a "brain back up" then I think is just the way to go.

    Does the addition of alarms in the electronics makes the handsets more prone to malfunction?

    Steve
    I wouldn't say I'm relaxed from having 'e' in my CCR. It's just that sometimes you get task loaded, or in a different place, different people, different environment and their is such a brain overload that you mis-prioritize (especially when less experienced).

    I can't say much about prone to malfunction, but I would think so. I know for certain that alarms that go off for numerous reasons, become a nuisance, and the owners of these learn to ignore them as I do when I am with them.

  10. #10
    RBW Member Icarusflies is an unknown quantity at this point Icarusflies's Avatar
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    Re: too many alarms.....?

    I can see how alarm blindness is an issue but I was wondering if you guys know of an incident that was caused by a pure electronics malfunction (alarm not working properly or other) and I don't mean a malfunction caused by the diver but related to the electronics like not changing batteries.

    Steve

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