You can choose the original Pelagic DSAT algorithm, which is based loosely around the same data as the PADI Recreational Dive Planner, or the Pelagic Z+, based on the Buhlmann ZHL-16C algorithm that is employed in its many derivations by almost every other diving-computer manufacturer.
If you know anything about the PADI Recreational Dive Planner, you will know that it was designed for no-stop diving to depths no greater than 30m.
If you read the instruction manual of your Oceanic computer, it tells you this. The trouble is, does everyone read manuals
My friendly diving dentist doesn’t. He may use a technical diver’s VR3 for his home-waters diving, but when I met him by chance in Truk Lagoon, he was using an Oceanic computer straight out of the box, and getting in what some might call some very risky dives.
For example, I went with him on a guided tour of the bowels of the engine-room of the Kansho Maru. We went together to exactly the same depth for exactly the same time.
When we finally exited out of the bridge area, having made our way up, I went back to the mast and onto the deco bar of our liveaboard. All four assorted computers that I was wearing were indicating 10 minutes or more in mandatory deco stops.

THE DENTIST, MEANWHILE, decided to continue on around the superstructure of the wreck, and wasn’t seen to leave it, more than 20m below me, until I had completed those stops plus the three-minute safety stop at 5m.
He came directly back to the boat and climbed aboard seconds behind me. He was using his computer set with the Pelagic DSAT algorithm.
I would have preferred what I would have thought was the more suitable Pelagic Z+ algorithm had I been using his computer – but I wasn’t, and he seemed none the wiser.
I used to berate Oceanic for producing computers that had only this DSAT algorithm. Some say that it was because of vociferous busybodies like me that Oceanic went with the dual-algorithm concept in the end.
Of course, that’s to no effect if people don’t set the computer up correctly. I blame dealers, who should always ask their customers what sort of diving they will be doing and adjust their devices accordingly at the time of purchase.
That some dealers don’t probably indicates that they are as unaware of the importance of an algorithm as many of their customers.
Those of us happy to go into mandatory deco-stops should be aware that computers like the Oceanic on DSAT setting can exhibit a sort of Jekyll & Hyde character, in that they give loads of no-stop time until they suddenly don’t.
My dentist friend scared me to death, but he seems to have suffered no ill-effects from his adventures. However, the first thing I did when the Veo 3 fell into my possession was to set the Pelagic Z+ option.
Because, correctly set up, the Oceanic Veo 3 won’t incur the risks described above.
And it looks very nice indeed, with its shiny finish, buttons that operate with a definite click and a strap long enough to go round a drysuit wrist, or that can easily be cut shorter rather than left flapping.

Setting Up
Three buttons are used in setting up this computer, two at the front plus one at the side. The front ones enable you to navigate backwards and forwards through the menus, while the side one selects what you’ve chosen.
Setting up the functions is divided into different groups, including those you might change from dive to dive, those that you might change from time to time and those that, once set for you, you’ll never change.
Set M includes entering your own ID so that you never confuse your computer with someone else’s on a busy dive deck, and you can choose between normal air or nitrox operation, Gauge mode with run timer, or Free mode, which tracks calculations to allow switching between Normal and Free.
Set A includes the ability to adjust the maximum PO2 alarm between 1.2 and 1.6, the dive-time alarm and the maximum depth alarm, or even to turn the audible alarms off.
Set F includes the nitrox mix from 21 to 100% for up to two gases during one dive with no restriction. Gas 1 may be up to 100%, and may be lesser or greater than Gas 2.
You can even get it to set to a default 50% nitrox setting should you so wish.
Set U includes the ability to turn the wet sensor switch off; to set imperial or metric measurements, the deep-stop function, or the safety stop for 3 or 5 minutes; and to choose a safety-stop depth between 3 and 6m.
Here you’ll also find the choice of algorithm (DSAT or Z+) and the single conservative factor setting option.
You’ll also be able to decide for how long the screen should glow (5 or 10 seconds or not at all) and the sampling rate of every 2 seconds (for breath-hold diving) or every 15, 30 or 60 seconds for scuba.
There is also Set T, for altering the time and date.

In The Water
During my first dive with the Oceanic Veo 3, set with the single conservative factor provided, it proved to be far more conservative than the Suunto D6i, set on the standard Suunto RGBM100 algorithm with no additional safety factors added, which I happened to have on my wrist alongside it. However, it gave me an early opportunity to see what happened when it ran out of no-stop time.
A red light flashes a few times when the no-stop times reaches zero, and then it shows stop depth and stop time together with the total ascent time. Stop times of fewer than three minutes are displayed in minutes and seconds.
Once I had switched off the conservative-setting option, during the surface interval, it came remarkably into line with what the Suunto computer was telling me.
If you choose the option of deep stops, it provides a two-minute countdown at half your maximum depth, for dives greater than 25m.
The display is big and unmistakable, but there is quite a gap under the scratch-guard of the screen, which tended to trap air bubbles and make photography of a clean display difficult.
This said, it makes a very good alternative to most popular European-made diving computers, provided it is set up appropriately.

After Diving
There is single-button access to the last-dive display, with maximum depth and bottom time. You can change the battery yourself, and the computer maintains calculations indefinitely while you’re doing it.
The display backlighting senses ambient light, enabling the backlight only in low light conditions to conserve battery life.
The Veo 3 has a 24-dive on-unit logbook, and this memory mode includes the total number
of dives, maximum depth, total dive hours and lowest temperature.
There is an optional PC interface with OceanLog download and settings uploading facility, and an auto-update that will download and install the latest firmware – which means operational improvements or even new features.

COMPARABLE TWO-GAS COMPUTERS TO CONSIDER:
Suunto Vyper Air, £429
Scubapro Aladin 2G, £251

SPECS
PRICE £285 in wrist-mount
ALGORITHM Pelagic DSAT or Pelagic Z+ (user-selectable)
NITROX 2 mixes per dive, 21-100%
GAS INTEGRATED No
FAST ASCENT WARNING Yes
PC INTERFACE Optional
BATTERY User-changeable
DEEP STOPS Yes
CONTACT www.oceanicuk.com
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