Hi folks, lets first discuss what Nitrox Scuba Diving is, and why or why not nitrox is important. Then we are going to get into the best Dive Computers on the market today the Oceanic Atom 2.0, and the Dive Rite Trio Technical Computer.
Everyone of us has breathed nitrox. Nitrox means a mix of nitrogen and oxygen and the word “nitrox” doesn’t tell the relationship of those elements. So air is nitrox too because it contains (basically) nitrogen (78%) and oxygen (21%)…And a little bit of trace elements like carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, smog, arsenic, cigarette smoke,etc…The base of word nitrox is the expression Nx/Ox, where N is the chemical sign of nitrogen and O is the chemical sign of oxygen. So as an example N(50)O(50) would be 50% oxygen. So basically nitrox can be any mix of nitrogen and oxygen containing 1 to 99 % of oxygen (and rest is nitrogen).
Back to our story…Also EANx40 label is used sometimes (the letter “x” is preserved in the label). Usually people mean EANx when they say “nitrox”, and so do I further here. Then we say that the mix is hypoxic, ie. it has less oxygen than 21%. Hyperoxic nitrox is EANx, and normoxic nitrox is basically air, 21% of oxygen and 79% of nitrogen.if you dive to 100 feet of seawater (fsw) you can calculate it at 80 fsw (100 – (100 x 20%) = 80 fsw!
At EAN32 (that is 32% oxygen) you get a 20% get out of jail free card. if you dive to 100 feet of seawater (fsw) you can calculate it at 80 fsw (100 – (100 x 20%) = 80 fsw! and using the rule of 120 ( 120 – depth = time) 120 – 80 = 40 minutes so bottom line, you can stay at 100 fsw for 40 minutes, instead of the 20 minutes that your dive tables tell you.
Now the computers:
Oceanic Atom 2.0
Equipped with all of the standard dive computer features, the Atom 2.0 measures temperature, depth, dive time, and no-decompression limits over multiple dives. It will work with air and nitrox and will operate in normal time mode when you’re not underwater. It can also be used in gauge and free-diving modes with adjustments for altitude. The Atom 2.0 is user changeable between Metric and Imperial.
Using up to three transmitters, the Atom 2.0 can monitor the tank pressure of three different tanks simultaneously, allowing it to act as three SPGs in one. The Atom 2.0 can also be operated in buddy mode which will allow the computer to scan for and display the air pressure of another transmitter within 4-6 feet of the computer. This is a great way to keep an eye on the remaining air of either your buddy or student.
The Atom 2.0 can handle up to three different gas mixes containing 21-100% oxygen and even allows you to switch gases during the dive. This feature makes it particularly attractive to deep and technical divers.
User Replaceable Battery
This is one big advantage that the Atom 2.0 has over its competitors. The computer is powered by a CR2430 battery that can be easily purchased at an everyday watch shop and replaced by the user. This is a big time and cost saver that helps the Atom 2.0 stand out from the pack.
The Atom 2.0 comes with a USB interface and OceanLog PC software to allow for dives to be easily logged on your computer. The dive data is easily formatted for easy reference, sorting, and printing. The software allows to you add additional data to your logs to keep track of dive sites, dive buddies, and notes. Unfortunately, the software is only available for PC.
This computer was voluntarily recalled in 2007:
Oceanic is recalling all ATOM 2.0 Dive Computers, Serial numbers 1 – 2079, Sold between: August 1, 2006 – February 7, 2007.
Oceanic has been informed by it’s supplier that they have received isolated reports that two Atom 2.0 dive computers locked into the Gas Switch-to screen and did not return to the Main Dive screen when the divers switched the units from Gas 1 to Gas 2 during dives when they were only using one transmitter and Pressure associated with Gas 2 was being provided by an Analog Gauge. You must discontinue all diving activities with this computer until a software upgrade has been accomplished by Oceanic, your local Authorized Oceanic Retailer or sending it back to us. So beware when purchasing this computer used. If you are going to make this purchase, seriously consider purchasing a new unit.
The Oceanic Atom 2.0 is a fantastic bundle of dive gauges in a neat sporty little wrist watch. The only place it falls short of being the complete package is not having a built in compass (the new Oceanic OC1 now DOES come with a built in digital compass).It makes up for this shortcoming; however, by featuring a user replaceable battery and every other fantastic feature a diver could hope for. Maybe not quite the perfect accessory to a three piece suit, but with great features and sporty styling it definitely works with just about any other outfit.
Dive Rite Trio Dive Computer
This is a true technical computer for the recreational and technical diver. The new NiTek Trio is a three-gas Nitrox computer that is easy-to-read and easy to use. Worn on the wrist or as part of an SPG console, the NiTek Trio turns on automatically upon descent is an ideal primary or back up dive computer. Underwater, divers can switch between mixes with the push of a button. Upon surfacing, the NiTek Trio will maintain the gas mixture entered until midnight, when it clears and must be reset the following day. Using a modified Buhlmann ZH-L16 algorithm, the NiTek Trio can calculate decompression stop times for required stops as deep as 90-feet.
It includes all the attributes of the popular NiTek DUO, plus the following new features:
- Dot matrix LCD displays dive profile in a graph format
- Diver can enter a custom message of up to eight (8) characters in two rows that will display at the top of the screen
- All three mixes are programmable from 21%-99% Nitrox
- A deep stop feature allows for safety stops at deeper depths
- Three user adjustable safety factor levels
- Digital compass integrated into the dot matrix display
This fine instrument is a product of Seiko Watches. You will see this product branded by Zeagle as the N2ition, TUSA as the Hunter, and a host of others. What i have found out, and this is no reflection on Dive Rite, of which we are a proud dealer, is that because the scuba market is so small, Seiko wields its powerful hand and limits the warranty on this unit… leaving Dive Rite and the others holding the bag should a unit go bad in two years. It is ridiculous to only warranty a $450 technical computer for a period of a year…stay tuned for details.
Dive Rite reports new software called Dive Logbook for the NiTek Trio and NiTek Duo computers. The scrolling marquis on the NiTek Trio can be changed via the software. Dive Logbook is not compatible with NiTek Logic, so any dives recorded in Logic will not incorporate into Logbook. The NiTek Plus will continue to use NiTek Logic software. Dive Logbook is available for download listed under the “Downloads” tab in the NiTek Trio page of our online catalog.
The NiTek Trio uses the Bulhman algorithm like the NiTek Duo and other Dive Rite computers. The deep stop feature is not new gradient factors in the computer, but rather a simple method of incorporating deep stops without adding time to the shallower stops.
When deep stops are turned on it will add deep stops to any dive with more than 5 minutes of decompression. Deep stops are calculated by splitting the difference between max depth and the first scheduled shallow stop. For instance if you make a 100′ dive for 60 minutes and have a 30′ stop the first deep stop will be at 60′ for 1 minute. It will continue to give you 1 minute stops every 10′ until you get to the scheduled 30′ stop. The Trio is not designed to be a technical computer, but an advanced recreational computer. It doesn’t do Trimix so deep stops will not be accurate for helium. The Trio will slow your ascent and let you do deep stops without suffering increased time at shallower stops.
Thanks for reading…These reviews are driven by your questions, comments, and concerns. I feel you as there are a LOT of products out there…How do you wade through the hype to find what you are looking for? Well we are here to help, with fair and balanced reporting of the pros and cons of dive product on the market today.