Computer Dive Rite NiTek HE
Other magazines routinely test at the desk. We normally make a point of going diving and telling you what happens.
     Forgive me if I take the easier route this time, but as the Dive Rite NiTek3 three-mix nitrox computer was one of the few items of diving equipment that I actually bought myself in the past 10 years, I feel I got to know that computer pretty well.
     The Dive Rite NiTek HE seven-mix nitrox and trimix computer is an obvious development of that model.
     Dive Rite is a company based in Florida run by a group of what were originally cave-divers, led by Lamar Hires. All the gear they designed and sold was based on in-water experience. They know that divers screw up under water more often than they care to admit. So they make equipment suitable for use by the simple-minded, which includes all of us at some time.
     I recently met a British diver in Hurghada, a doctor no less, who was missing a days diving because he had screwed up with his state-of-the-art multi-mix multi-gas computer. He had simply set it up with a complex programme of gas switches to include a descent to 30m using one of the nitrox mixes he was carrying. But then, as he put it, Ã’he couldnt be arsedÓ, and went down on his air supply instead.
     Lamar knows that we do these silly things. He keeps it simple. You can pre-choose up to seven different mixes of air, nitrox or trimix before you dive. Simply toggle between the mixes using the two buttons (A and B) to bring up the one you want as you put the relevant regulator in your mouth.
     You do need to check that the mixes are what you want immediately before diving, but once under the water, changing mixes is childs play. You cannot lock in any mix that would subject you to a ppO2 in excess of 1.6 bar at the depth you are at.
     If my doctor-friend in Hurghada had been equipped with this computer, he could have simply toggled to the 21% nitrox setting at the moment he made that fateful decision. He would then not have wasted the next precious diving day, sitting in the bar of the hotel talking to someone waiting for a flight out.
     I have used the sibling NiTek3 extensively. The manual supplied gives precious little technical information but I trust its algorithm, which appears to be Buhlmann L-16. It has never let me down. Both the NiTek3 and the NiTek HE are made for Dive Rite by Seiko in Japan. I can recommend either.
     The display is not that large, but there is a graphic for an oxygen limit index, and another for the pressure of inert gas in the tissues. The only real difference in use between the NiTek3 and the HE is that with the latter you can set O2 and helium percentages. It naturally assumes that the rest is nitrogen.
     It displays mandatory deco stops and warns of a too-fast ascent in the usual way. There is a log mode and a profile mode which lets you relive the dive, and you can upload onto a PC using the optional interface and NiTek Logic software.
     There are no games. Its simple. The only thing it cannot do is be configured to integrate with a closed-circuit rebreather. If you think you should keep things simple, yet use multi-gas mixes, the NiTek HE looks very appealing.
The Dive Rite NiTek HE costs £899.
  • Sea & Sea 01803 663012, www.sea-sea.com

  • Divernet
    + Keeps things simple when they could be complex

    - At this price, it is not a capricious purchase