Thursday 12 May 2011: A few pixels short of a picnic!
Meet my VR3 dive computer. We've been together since 2008 when I did my Trimix course. We got together on the rebound (previous diver gave himself a scare and stopped diving). Not that it was a half-hearted affair, it was quite a commitment, financially at least.
So we did lots of new and interesting dives together, some dark and scary, some just delightful, in fact we were happy together.
But sometime in 2010 the lustre wore off, and the affection started to fade. The VR3 thinks it's my fault & think it's his. What it comes down to is I can't see the screen properly underwater. The contrast isn't very good on his old mono screen, and my eyesight isn't perfect despite the magnifying effect of the water.
It's a common problem, many VR3 owners complain about it, the richer ones got nice new shiny computers with colour HD screens. Me, I stuck it out and grew less and less fond of the flipping thing. And more and more fond of my Suunto Vytec - not a trimix computer but easy to read underwater.
Then to add insult to injury a line of pixels gave out, you can see it here, cutting out the bottom of the NX 23. Not so bad on this screen but when you're diving it cuts across the line which tells you where your next decompression stop is - useful to know. On the other hand usually when you need to stop it shows you a picture of a diver, if you continue it shows you a big hand, in the "stop" or halt position, and if you ignore that it shows you a big down arrow. So even without the pixels it's still useable.
Last week up at Scapa we were doing repeated deep dives. I did my first two on trimix so set the Suunto to "Gauge" mode - big mistake! Once it's in gauge it needs 24 hours of no diving to reset itself, consequently it was in gauge all week. Leaving me to get reacquainted with my VR3
Well we got along very well, and I'm delighted to say I've learned to love the little rascal again. So now I've decided to treat him to a new screen, maybe even a colour one, depending on the cost!