Immersing DiveBud to extreme depths

Before offering our freediving computer to professional freedivers we wanted to make sure that it can withstand any challenging depths that freedivers would expose it to.

Device test-ability could be a major limiting factor for a small company like ours, so we considered our options very carefully. We have designed DiveBud to withstand a very high pressure. However, any theoretical aspects have to be verified empirically with laboratory tests. To ensure quality and safety of our users and so we decided to moved forward with the tests.

pressure gauge
2 MPa reading on pressure gauge (equivalent to -200 meters depth)

We started by building a small high pressure chambers with plumbing PVC parts and tested the initial prototypes in it. Even those simple designs enabled us to test many different aspects of a freediving computer. Things like sampling control, time control, logging, sound alarm frequency, sound intensity and many others were tested in that simple small chamber. In fact, most of the early stage tests have been done using that simple apparatus. It allowed us to descend our freediving computer to depths up to 20-30 meters. We used manually operated low pressure pumps to control the pressure inside the chamber.

Then we moved towards a more reliable and industry trusted solution. The new small industrial high pressure chamber could withstand up to 8 atmospheres of pressure. This allowed us to continue exposing DiveBud to depth up to 70 meters.

Industrial grade pressure chamber

This chamber was still under manual operation and we used an automobile foot pump to achieve maximum pressure in the testing chamber. Very soon we realised that the pump itself is a limitation as it couldn’t produce pressure higher than 8 atmospheres.

It was time to test our freediving computer at extreme pressures, so we ordered a 30MPa automatic pump. Assembly of the new pressure chamber was the most interesting part of the job. The chamber was smaller compared to the previous cambers. However, it could withstand an enormous pressure.

We conducted a series of tests and exposed DiveBud to pressures of 100, 150, 160 and ultimately all the way up to 210 meters:

DiveBud dive log recording a dive to 164 meters
DiveBud dive log recording a dive to 208 meters

Also, we conducted a separate test to see how much pressure can the sensor seal hold. I held pressure equivalent to 300 meters depth in salt water.

Now we are absolutely sure that DiveBud is ready for the world’s deepest dives.

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