Experienced divers find that a modern dive computer is a great tool. Instead of the old Navy tables for making the careful calculations that go into a safe dive, today’s computers can monitor and calculate your dive’s parameters—making the experience more reliable, more comfortable and more fun.
The Oceanic VTX dive computer offers a new design that is stylish and convenient. The unit includes innovative features along with the precision of a quality instrument. In this article, we’ll take a look at this popular model and how it might—or might not—work for you.
Things to consider before buying a technical dive computer
The Oceanic VTX is a technical diver’s tool that meets the needs of the recreational user. This is an important step forward for scuba diving because the profile of a recreational dive is difficult to calculate—instead of descending to perform a task and then resurfacing, a recreational diver tends to alternate depths frequently, going up and down several times during an excursion. A dive computer automates the necessary calculations for you.
If you like the idea of a single display with your dive information, the wrist-mounted VTX deserves your attention. Not only will the unit keep your gear streamlined and conveniently accessible, but it’s also contained in a stylish modern design.
A quality dive computer can be expensive, and a beginning diver will want to gain experience before making the outlay. New divers usually start out with rental equipment and necessary tools. The Oceanic VTX is best used by more advanced divers who already have a base of knowledge and experience, who are looking for a stable and reliable tool to augment their dive.
Reliability & Warranty
Safety is the first requirement for diving equipment: dive computers are a form of integrated circuit, so they are generally quite reliable. You still want to check the reputation and experience of the manufacturer, as well as technical reviews and user feedback.
Settings & Display
Dive computers can monitor a number of dive parameters, such as depth, pressure and dive time, so make sure your chosen model offers the stats you want. Check out the display clarity and convenience, as well as the menu system and how easily you can adjust settings. You don’t want to waste time fiddling with your equipment during a dive.
The array of features in a dive computer increases power consumption. Since portable power is necessary for the unit, battery life is an issue. Plan your power replacement strategy to avoid complication.
Some units have rechargeable options and power-saving settings to extend battery life, which can make a difference if you plan long trips. Be aware that some batteries are hard to change or even require a dealer’s installation to preserve its warranty. Avoid batteries that drain quickly but are problematic to switch out.
Many technological advances offer convenience and performance during your dives, but few are standard: make sure to get the features you most want. You may prefer wireless gauges to hose attachments, or need logging capacity and Bluetooth integration—there are many add-ons possible but expect to pay for the latest bells and whistles.