Dive Computer Expert Reviews
Saving Your Precious Time And Finding The Best Dive Computer For You
Dive computer reviews are perfectly organized and consist of fully researched information and ratings of Aeris, Cressi, Mares, Oceanic, Sherwood, Suunto, Tusa, and UWATEC/ScubaPro brands. In Catalogue Section you may compare any models side-by-side and select dive computer according to your needs! Join thousands of happy customers!
By introducing new dive computer Oceanic VT4, which has number of features well beyond than we may expect from dive instrument of this class, Oceanic continues to keep us happy!
Successor of VT3 has fully redesigned diver's interface and data display, Dual Algorithm to make it whether more liberal or dive conservative, it has integrated digital compass, it supports for 4 Nitrox mixes with FO2 from 21% to 100%, and possibility to upgrade firmware by the end user. All of this improvements made this computer more versatile and flexible for adjustment to our diving needs!
Copy this Oceanic VT4 Features & Alarms Card for your Reference and Share with your friends and buddies!
Please Note: Oceanic VT 4.1 units shipped after November 1, 2011 no longer feature Buddy Pressure Check.
FREEdiving mode has different set of alarms:
Few main differences between VT3 and VT4 are worth to mention. Below is the list of features that differentiates VT4 from VT3:
Oceanic VT4 continues range of the dive instruments for serious divers who gladly accept challenges and not afraid to try new things underwater. I know that we will have much bigger picture of capabilities of this dive computer when divers around the globe become more familiar with it, because it is still very new to scuba market.
Oceanic VT4 received fresh new look, new data display, bigger front buttons, which are easier to press, especially if diver wears thick gloves.
As many other dive computers, this one has main and alternative displays for all dive modes and operations on surface, because there is too much data to be displayed.
Also VT4 has 2 bar graphs - TLBG and VARI, instead of 3 in VT3. Oceanic VT3 has separate bar graphs to show nitrogen loading and oxygen accumulation, and 3rd bar graph to control ascent speed. VT4 doesn't have bar graph for O2 level, it shows oxygen accumulation in alphanumeric way.
As display layout reorganized a bit - digits seem to be larger and easier to read under certain angles - that's another "plus" for Oceanic VT4.
User's interface has very handy "Step UP" and "Step Back" features.
Below is the summary of what we may set at this stage by accessing SET GROUPS through NORM MENU and SET MENU:
Also we are able to use Shortcut menu to set specific functions accessible just by pressing M-button, display menu - what would be the default screen during diving, and dive preview display.
Compass function is accessible from Surface or Dive Main displays by pressing S-button and I might select dive mode (NORM, GAUGE, FREE) from Main Surf Menu.
To plan No-Decompression dives, Oceanic VT4 is equipped with Dive Planner that works for depth ranges 9 - 57 meters, and its calculations depend on selected Algorithm, Personal Conservative Factor, nitrogen and oxygen exposure from previous dives.
After I set Oceanic VT4 and planned my dive - it is time to explore its behaviours underwater! I tested it for diving with Nitrox in 2 tanks to check out how easy or not so, gas switching function worked.
Oceanic VT4: Diving With Air & Nitrox
Copy this Oceanic VT4 NO-DECO Card for your Reference and Share with your friends and buddies!
Upon reaching certain conditions - Oceanic VT4 will display Safety Stop prompt with Safety Stop Depth and Countdown Timer, as I set this option to ON. In my case it happend on depth of 3 meters and I did it for 3 minutes.
Also I set to ON Deep Stop function, so approximately on 15-16 meters deep, I could access the DS preview screen with DS and time. When you have data like this always present - you feel that Oceanic VT4 is really your honest buddy!
As other dive computers, this one has Fast Ascent alarm, and it proved working well! Flashing bars, audio, and message TOO FAST brought me back to proper speed of ascent.
As it should be in all air-integrated dive computers, Oceanic VT4 has Turn Pressure, End Pressure, and Air Time Remaining (ATR) alarms that are responsible for keeping the diver well-informed about everything related to air in tanks! All we need to do - is enable these alarms in initial set up, except ATR, that is factory set.
High PO2 and High O2 alarms are properly addressed too, and in certain conditions of diving - we surely have their warnings as well.
During Normal dives (Air or Nitrox) and Gauge mode we have access to Switch gases function. And it works great, if you set up your Transmitters links properly and there are no missing signals. Dive computer allows the diver to use all available transmitters in Gauge mode, that I found very convenient feature!
Compass mode is accessible on surface and Dive main display. And when I got used to it - it appeared very handy, with only downside - that arrow is too tiny. Sometimes it was hard to see underwater under the certain angles or on surface on sunny day.
Just for the sake of test I exceeded No-Decompression Limits (NDLs) and Oceanic VT4 surely activated Decompression mode, warning me with audio and the corresponding displays.
Below you may see summary of dive information on main and alternative displays during Decompression mode:
After having that, we need to ascend safely to the required depth, shown on the display, or a bit deeper, and stay at that depth required time that is shown as well. When we complete required Decompression time, next shallower Deco Stop Depth may be displayed (if needed) and we have to ascend to that level to continue decompression process, and so on.
There are few Deco Violations that we may make unwillingly:
VT4 has sufficient information to guide the diver through these violations to be safe and happy!
Oceanic VT4: Diving In GAUGE Mode
If you use Oceanic VT4 as a Gauge - it would work as a depth gauge and timer only and wouldn’t perform calculations for nitrogen and oxygen exposure and following functions like Switching gases and Buddy Pressure Check are still available in Gauge Mode. In this mode VT4 works with all Transmitters.
In Gauge mode you will get main and alternative displays with the following information:
Oceanic VT4: FREEdiving
Another dive mode of Oceanic VT4 is FREEdiving. When we select this mode, dive computer will operate as a depth gauge and perform nitrox loading calculations based on the fixed FO2 of Air and the amount of nitrogen remaining between freedive and diving with Air or Nitrox previously (if any).
Freedive mode has set of specific alarms, which you set while on surface. They include:
Countdown timer (CDT) can be accesst from FREEdive menu.
During freedive you will get the main and alternative displays, freedive alarms displays, and if you entered into the Decompression mode during freedive – you will be given another display as well.
You may see following information on main and alternative displays:
Also you may get easy access to Countdown Timer display and possibility to set it ON and OFF.
As I mentioned above, you may get into Decompression mode during freedive. This happens if nitrogen level increases to the Deco level (5 segments). At this moment TLBG will start flashing, audio alarm comes on, and message VIOLATION DECO will appear with UP arrows. And on the surface Oceanic VT4 locks for the next 24 hours in Violation Gauge Mode.
After transition period (10 minutes after NORM and GAUGE modes, and 1 minute from FREEdiving mode) I could get an access to:
It is worth to say here that battery removal doesn’t affect either Logbook data or History data, and has no effect on nitrogen and oxygen calculations for repetitive dives, because Oceanic VT4 has data retention feature.
Oceanic VT4: What Divers Say
You may consider Oceanic VT4 if you want to go far beyond just tropic recreational diving and try technical and FREEdiving. Oceanic is the brand we can always rely on!
This Oceanic dive computer has many convenient improvements towards easiness of use, as we discovered while doing test dives with it.
To its strong sides we may consider 4 Nitrox mixes support, 4 dive modes, improved user interface, and Dual Algorithm that realy made this computer more flexible and adjustable to many dive conditions and dive profiles of other similar dive computers as we saw and compared with Oceanic OC1 and Aeris A300 Ai. Also wireless was perfect all the time! I had to try hard enough in order to lose it!
To its downsides I may consider its integrated digital compass - it finally worked and we got used to one another! Looks like it is common problem for integrated digital compasses - to make them work properly we need to work overtime with them!
As you may see from the number of advanced features that Oceanic VT4 has, this dive computer belongs to high tech-end of the dive instruments that we have on our market today. But at the same time it is quite user friendly, if the new owner devote some time to learn it in and out. This dive computer is well suitable not only for experienced divers, but for newbies as well, as it has all functions to satisfy any needs that we may have to expand our diving experience!