Oceanic’s Demo Day
Divers Get a Sneak Peek at the New BUD Dive Computer
We at ScubaGearReports.com never get tired of checking out new scuba diving gear, it’s what we do! But there’s no reason why we should have all the fun. Our Demo Day program is designed to put the newest and coolest dive gear into the hands of SGR readers so you can do some test diving of your own.
That’s exactly what went down this past 4th of July weekend, when a boatload of divers got a chance to dive Oceanic’s spanking new BUD dive computer. This freshly-minted data cruncher hasn’t even hit the dive stores yet.
On board the dive boat Spectre, we headed out of Ventura Harbor on course for Anacapa Island, part of the Channel Islands National Park. Summer had arrived in Southern California big time, and divers were amped to hit the water. SGR staffers were joined by 40 divers of all ages and all skill levels, including some students completing their courses. Some of the newcomers had never used a dive computer before, while many of the more experienced divers, including a number of instructors and dive masters, had years of dive computer experience with a variety of brands and models.
During the channel crossing scuba divers were briefed on how the BUD (short for Back Up Dive computer) works. Designed to literally tag along with you on your dive, the BUD can be used in a couple of ways. The most obvious is as a back-up computer in case your primary computer crashes or its battery dies, enabling you to finish your day of diving without interruption. But it can also be a “buddy” to your primary computer and used to compare your NDL status throughout the diving day.
The BUD is a basic computer and very easy to use, but it’s no lightweight when it comes to computing power. One of the features it offers that you won’t find on most DCs is the ability to program two different algorithms—this allows you to determine the type of calculations the DC will use to formulate your No Decompression Limits. One algorithm leans liberal, the other more conservative. It’s your choice. The BUD is also nitrox-capable to 50 percent, it offers nice bar graphs for tissue loading and ascent rate, and it comes with an automatic Safety Stop feature.
Almost every diver who went down with a BUD clipped to a D-ring surfaced saying the DC was easy to read and easy to use. Some used the BUD to compare the NDL calculations of their own dive computers, and many commented on the automatic Safety Stop feature.
At the end of the dive day, SGR staffers dropped the names of all participating divers into a bag, shook it up, and then pulled the name of one diver who would get to take a new BUD home. The lucky winner was Corinna Woodcock, a makeup artist from Santa Clarita, CA. Corinna and her husband Woody have been active divers for the past five years.
It was great day of diving with some cool gear. At high noon the Spectre’s Captain Ted laid out his famous barbeque lunch, and on the ride home divers got to top off the day with Shannon’s hot fudge brownie sundaes. Can it get any better? Don’t know, but we’re willing to give it a try on SGR’s next Demo Days adventure!