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Dive Computer Dilemma April 11, 2009

Posted by Chris Sullivan in Equipment.
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My Local Dive Shop is offering a deal on the VRx dive computer that’s pretty compelling, and it might even be available for the deep diving on the Oriskany next week. Trouble is, I was all set to buy a Shearwater Pursuit SPOT but he needs to order two from the manufacturer and now this VRx is making that even harder.

Two of my fellow technical divers are all set to get the VRx and sent me an email asking me if I was getting one. Here’s my reply, although I haven’t completely rejected it and I plan to talk it over with my LDS before doing that.

Rich,

It’s not my first choice of computers. The price is really good though, although the extra cost PIN-enabled upgrades might be a little scary.

The things I don’t like much are:
1. User interface is complex for your average half-narced diver.
2. Display isn’t all that easy to read for my presbyopic vision
3. Apparently the only service you can get for it is in the UK, which can take a long time.
4. Along the same lines, it’s not made in Canada – yay Canada!
5. The deco algorithm is an invention of the manufacturer, not a third party.
6. The stupid little LED “torch” is a just tooooo embarrassing.
7. Weird short/long/both pushbuttons

The Pursuit is made in Canada, has a Buhlmann algorithm with gradient factors, a clean and simple though admittedly needy-of-some-additional-features user interface.

The other computer I like is the Liquivision X1, although it’s the priciest of the bunch, and it’s made in Canada too. The soldered-in rechargable battery is a pain though it’s supposed to last 4 years, and at least it can be serviced in Canada. The oLED display is beautiful and clear.

If the Pursuit and X1 didn’t exist, then I’d be tossing up the VRx and Cochran, and maybe the OSTC too.

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