I'm pretty new to diving and just building up my kit. A noisemaker seems very useful, but I've never been given one as part of a rental gear set. What do you think: should this be part of my standard gear any time I dive? Many thanks for the advice.
Honestly, George, as an advanced open water diver with nearly 150 dives, I would recommend that you not get one until you're more experienced.
For one thing, it's best that you not get distracted while you're still getting the feel of diving (for this reason I would recommend that, as a new diver, you not carry a camera, either). You need to be focused on your breathing, your gauges, and how you're interacting with the environment around you (ie, not running into coral heads or stirring up sediment).
A second reason I would suggest waiting is that you need to be sticking close to your buddy - and hopefully your buddy will be aware enough of you that you wouldn't need to use a noisemaker to get his/her attention (and vice versa). This will change a little when you're more experienced - I do, afterall, own one of these noisemakers, and use it to get my buddy/husband's attention every now and then, but we are both pretty advanced and don't stick as closely together as we did when I was new.
Also, if overused, these things can really disrupt a dive for other people, especially is the user is shaking the dang thing every two minutes or so. It can be super annoying. And some divemasters use these to get the attention of the dive group - yours would just confuse things.
So there is my two-cents worth. Best wishes.
I like having one both for safety reasons and to share what you're seeing. If your buddy is looking the other way you can get their attention both to share a barracuda sighting or if you were to have a problem. I just leave it clipped to my BCD. I hope this helps.
Some kind of noisemaker should be part of your kit so you can alert your buddy and the group that you're diving with that you see something special. I like the H2YO noisemaker because it makes a good sound and it's easy to grip. I bought 5 or 6 of these for our group and added a stainless steel snap shackle (Lowes, Home Depot, dive shop or boating supply) to clip to the BC. That way you don't have to keep it in your hand and it's available quickly. The metal heel on a dive knife can be used to hit your tank, but the knife might not be so easy to get to, and we only wear them when we're specifically diving wrecks. I keep a small knife and a line cutter all the time though in case you get stuck in fishing line, or you want to clear a tangle of line off of the reef but these won't make noise.
My husband and I LOVE ours! Other divers have seen (heard) us using them and asked where they might get a couple. I'd say just about every time we have been diving with a new group...someone mentions how handy they are. Myself...wouldn't want to dive without it! They are easy to grip ahold on with any thickness of gloves, the sound travels great underwater and they stand the test of time well also. The sound is unique...no confusion unlike banging on a tank. Get two...one for you and one for your buddy!
It's just a safety thing in case you need to get the attention of another diver for assistance or to point out something really cool that they might otherwise miss. I have the rattle and my husband has the clank. I find the rattle easier to hear, but it might just be me. This particular noisemaker is heavy and doesn't make noise unless you really shake it.
I think having a noisemaker is useful. It allows you to easily get your buddies attention or fellow diver, if needed., in case of emergency or any other reason. I live this particular noisemaker. Easy to use and easily audible. Hope this helps.
noisemakers are great and these make great stocking stuffers, but shakers like this cannot be heard if wearing a hood. If your buddies are wearing hoods you need to get an air powered noise maker to get their attention.
They are very useful and can be heard for quite a distance underwater. They need no servicing and should last for a long, long time. We've had ours for 2 years now and I have used it on every dive.
I rarely dive w/o mine. It's great to "lure" my dive buddy back in case he/she is wandering off a bit too far, or to alert others to some really cool/unusual sealife. My advice however, is don't over use it - especially if you are around other divers, as it can be annoying. The H2YO is very compact, & yet easy to find where I have it hooked to my BC.
I recommend it as a way of getting someones attention underwater (a buddy, the dive master or the whole group). I caution you though to use it sparingly because constant rattling tend to be annoying to other divers. Seeing something unusual (shark, ray, frog fish seahorse, etc.) would be a good time to use the shaker. All other times keep it tucked inside you BC so that it does not rattle as you navigate normally in your dive.
Hope this is helpful
Good bottom times to you.
Welcome to our underwater world! Me and my son use the noise maker between ourselves to help us communicate. However, I've never use it with other divers. With that said, while it's not a "necessary" item, if you've got the extra money to blow, it's worthwhile having.
I really like the H2YO noise maker, it has a very distinct sound and typically gets my buddies attention right away. The drawbacks are that in cold water (where I live) our hoods deaden the noise and my buddy does not always hear it. I have found it very useful in warm water situations.