July 26th, 2007

NiTek X

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The NiTek X is not vaporware. As with any R&D project we have delays. Phase One design and programming went very smooth and initially we were right on schedule. However, in Phase Two we’ve had challenges with vendors changing parts or delivering parts out of spec, which delayed us getting an alpha unit to test dive. What is interesting about the NiTek X is that this project is our original design, created to our specifications. Obviously, an original R&D project is a huge undertaking as there are no templates to follow.

We now have the alpha unit in hand to dive and will be doing daily dive tests before proceeding to Phase Three, which is production of ten beta units for field testing. I will keep you posted on the timeline of the ten beta units. It should be very soon.

In the meantime, check back here for regular reports on our alpha test.

Lamar

7 Responses to “NiTek X”

  • I received the first Alpha test unit and within minutes had determined our programmers had nailed it. It worked just like our previous NiTek models. I couldn’t wait to get it in the water; so I dropped it in out test chamber and took it diving to 60 feet. The new X functioned flawlessly on this test chamber ride; so I was off to the Devil’s Ear System at Ginnie Springs, FL for a real dive. Darn! I have to go diving again.

    I did a 50 minute dive, averaging 70 feet; with a max depth of 102 feet. I chose the first conservancy factor which emulates the Buhlmann algorithm to see how it compared to my Nitek He. At depth the He reported 2 minutes at 10 feet; the X ran down to 8 minutes NDL remaining. As I ascended the X’s NDL increased; at 30 feet the He was clear.

    This was a great and very successful first test dive; all alarms worked as they should have, the display was easy to read, and the Guinea Pig survived!

    Jerry Murphy
    Product Manager
    Dive Rite

    jerry, July 27th, 2007 at 2:44 pm

  • Set up is intuitive, no manual and it programmed very similar to the HE. I dove it in closed circuit (CC) mode with the O2ptima set point of 1.2. Set to conservancy setting 2 for deep and shallow stops. The display was easy to read, but the backlight is not functional yet so I had to pay a little more attention to it then I normally would. I was monitoring the Hammerhead which is set to deco setting 3 and my Plus set to 32%. We did a 55 minute swim max depth of 99’ with constant comparisons.
    Hammerhead in deco 15 minutes into the dive and a 30’ stop, the X in deco 35 minutes into the dive with a 10’ stop then later a 20’ and the Plus went into deco 38 minutes with a 10’ stop into the dive. Actual deco on all three units was very close (gas switch to 92% on the Plus for deco).
    Overall deco was only 3 minutes

    First impressions
    The menu is easy with no manual
    Screen size is easy to read
    The no deco/ deco line could be increased in font size (It’s tough getting old)
    Second screen feature not enabled on the alpha unit so I lost max depth information once in deco mode.
    Nice layout and good decompression modeling.

    Lamar

    lamar, July 27th, 2007 at 2:47 pm

  • Took the NiTek X to Diepolder III on July 26. The NiTek X was set at Cons 2, which is a gradient factor of 30/75 for shallow and deep stops. I planned my dive using V-Planner (VPM) at 240′ for 25. My actual average depth was more like 220-230. My max depth was 275′. I reached my first stop at 26-27 minutes. The first stop V-Planner gave me was at 170′. The first stop the NiTek X gave me was 110′. From 80′ to 30′, V-Planner tables and the NiTek X were fairly close. From 30′ and up, V-Planner gave much shorter deco stop times versus the NiTek X. I could have gotten out of the water with 20 minutes of deco still showing on the NiTek X, but I did some sympathy deco with my buddy, so I actually got out of the water with about 13 minutes of deco left on the computer.

    The functionality of the computer is great. It is easy to read, easy to program and switching gases is simple. It is not heavy; I didn’t notice it on my arm and it looks slick.

    Scott

    Scott Byars, August 2nd, 2007 at 8:17 am

  • Below are the GF settings for the different CON settings.

    CON 0 GF= 100/100
    CON 1 GF= 40/100
    CON 2 GF= 30/75

    30/75 is the default GF Eric Baker suggests, but it is quite conservative and therefore safe(r).

    So the statements we made for the design cases were…CON0 is straight Buhlmann. CON1 is that with some deep stops. CON2 is deep stops and an extra at the shallow stops. We are all that from these numbers. Depending on the use cases and the customers we may want to change those numbers perhaps. With the unlocked function you can set any GF value anyhow.

    The Diepolder dive
    =======================
    CON2 setting. This is GF 30/75. Equivalent dive tables for this are shown below :

    0->73M 3m10s
    17m50s @ 73M
    Ascent…
    5 > 39M
    1 @ 36
    2 @ 33
    3 @ 30
    2 @ 27
    5 @ 24
    2 @ 21
    4 @ 18
    4 @ 15
    6 @ 12
    10 @ 9
    12 @ 6
    23 @ 3
    Total : 1h 40m = 100 minutes

    So what we see here is that as per his tables on VPM-b he has another extra 13 minutes of run time over his planned 87 minute table. We also know that he did get to 270ft and not 240ft as per his ‘average depth’ and this will make a difference. My guess would be 4 to 8 mins of extra. He said 18 minutes remaining after some sympathy deco – so 5 mins extra. This makes sense all around. The deco looks correct for that GF setting.

    The question here is not whether the computer is doing deco as requested, but what the guy expected (because below you will see the deco is about right). I think publishing what the GFs are for each setting might clear this up. Given the software is ‘unlocked’ you can set custom GFs. A better GF for this kind of dive depth and time might be GF= 15/95 or 15/100 if you are in a hurry – I ran 15/100 below:

    Ascent…
    3 > 48M
    1 @ 45
    1 @ 42
    1 @ 39
    1 @ 36
    1 @ 33
    2 @ 30
    2 @ 27
    3 @ 24
    2 @ 21
    2 @ 18
    4 @ 15
    5 @ 12
    7 @ 9
    8 @ 6
    17 @ 3

    Total: 1h21m = 81 minutes.

    My guess is that for this dive 15/95 will get you almost the same profile as the VPM-b. This is no shock, as I always say you can always get a very similar profile to VPM-b using a corresponding GF setting in Buhlmann for any one dive.

    So I think the computer is behaving well. There is the product marketing question for you guys – is the “CON GF list right”? I would personally be happy with that list of GFs, but I would also get the unlock for custom GFs anyhow.

    Phil

    Phil Straw, August 2nd, 2007 at 8:20 am

  • Dove Devil’s system at Ginnie Springs Monday night. Total run time of 110 minutes. Max depth 105′. NiTek X showed 17 minutes of deco at the keyhole at 60′. By the time we ascended slowly and did some stops at 50′, 40′ and 30′, the NiTek showed 5 minutes of deco at 20′. The NiTek X was set at CONS1 GF 40/100.

    Scott

    Scott Byars, August 2nd, 2007 at 8:41 am

  • Thu., Aug 2nd

    Took the NiTek X along on a dive at Eagle’s Nest. Did 230′ for 30 minutes, Lockwood Tunnel, using 15/55, 30/30 and 100%. Picked up first deco mix at 140′, noticed the NiTek X was giving me my first stop at 110′ with 99 minutes of deco. NiTek X was set at CONS1 GF 40/100.

    When I hit 80′, the NiTek X re-set due to low battery. This is symptomatic of the alpha unit that does not have a power save feature installed. My error, since I was diving tables and only carrying the computer as a test, I did not think to change the battery. Otherwise, the unit appears to be doing well at depth.

    Scott

    Scott Byars, August 8th, 2007 at 6:44 pm

  • Testing on the NiTek X alpha model has gone well and we have sent it back to the programmers for some firmware updates. We are moving forward with production of beta units and have asked that the betas be fully functional units using production components. This will ensure that there are no surprises as we move into full scale production. I should have an ETA on the beta units soon.

    Lamar

    lamar, August 15th, 2007 at 2:07 pm