June 17th, 2009
We received two NiTek X units in service due to display errors. The DESAT information would not come back once the X was awakened after going into sleep mode. I tested it and found this to be true, but random. I then learned the following from the programmers.
DESAT, or desaturation time is the amount of time that must pass before the residual nitrogen and helium levels drop to a point where subsequent dives are treated as a single (non-repetitive) dive. This is not the same as “time to fly”. On the NiTek X DESAT times are displayed when the PGT bar graph (on the right of the computer screen) is showing one or more bars.
This explanation gives more merit to tracking tissue saturation than a 12 to 48 hour countdown most dive computers do including the earlier NiTek 3 and NiTek HE. When diving the NiTek X I see a noticeable reduction in decompression time compared to the NiTek Plus. A 60 minute dive at 100-feet using 32% Nitrox gives me 15 minutes of decompression on the NiTek Plus and then 8 minutes after switching to oxygen at 10-feet. The NiTek X only gives me 1 minute of decompression on Con 1 setting. The more information a dive computer uses to calculate decompression the better the results. The X uses 16 tissue compartments while the NiTek Plus uses only 9 compartments. You can customize the X for deep diving with variable gradient factors to make the decompression fit the environment.
We’ll look at adding a standard countdown in the next software upgrade.