This past weekend I was fortunate in many ways, besides the stellar conditions 40-50ft visibility during our weeknight Open Water class dives, and a very fun group of energetic, excited students, I was able to finally test out the new air integrated VTX dive computer. This beautiful computer possesses a full color OLED screen, wireless air transmitter for full integration, easy button push navigation, digital compass, and of course the Oceanic Dual Algorithm technology. This for me is a recent upgrade for my backup computer a Subgear XP10 wrist computer; I also use an Oceanic VEO 3 as my primary console computer. I have grown very fond of my VEO 3 and chose to upgrade my wrist computer to a more advanced computer that was more liberal to fit my diving style and also allow me to monitor my air consumption without having to locate my pressure gauge every time.
The Review of the Oceanic VTX: This is a beautiful computer very easy to read color display makes it into a simple task locating, depth, air pressure, dive time, gas time remaining, no decompression limits, and safety stop countdown timer. The menu system makes it easy to navigate between, dive history, normal gauge, compass, and free dive gauge, using forward, back and select buttons. Logging intervals, for recording dive information can be adjusted, I chose the longest interval of every 60 seconds in order to conserve battery life, but could have increased it to every 5 seconds. This is a very cool feature because all VTX computers come with a USB cable to upload all of your dive information to your computer, and using the diver log app you can upload your dives on your computer, view the dive profile and add names to sites to keep track of all of your dives. There is also a paid version of this app that can be accessed on a smart phone or tablet that will allow the user to upload information via Bluetooth, and even change settings on the computer through the smart device. The VTX clearly has all of the bells and whistles that any modern diver may want especially having the ability to communicate with our smart devices. I found that it worked in every way that I had expected it to and is a wonderful addition to my arsenal of equipment. My only issue with the computer is not in the technology but a very trivial possibly overlooked aspect which is the length of the strap. While wearing my dry suit I am only able to reach 1 or 2 of the notches. I am sure that with a wetsuit or a bare arm this computer is contoured to fit very comfortably but in my case I worry a little that 2 notches may not be enough to keep my shiny new toy securely attached to my arm. Overall this is a fantastic piece of diving equipment that for anyone who is able to stomach the $1299.99 price tag is worth having.
For anyone who is interested in checking out the new VTX we will be receiving our first order very shortly, and if you already have a computer and are thinking of upgrading Oceanic has a program for you. With the trade in of any piece of old equipment for upgrade Oceanic will give a 20% discount on the upgraded item. So out with the old and in with the new colorful, Bluetooth ready, air integrated computer.
And don’t forget that we have many opportunities to test out this new gear; on our First Friday dives, Rescue diver class starting March 23rd, Cozumel trip for those who need a little warm water for a change, and of course our Southern Channel Islands trips over Memorial day and Labor day.