Review: Aeris A300 CS OLED (Oceanic VTX)

I have owned the Aeris A300 CS (Oceanic VTX) for nearly 2 years.  Now that I have finally gotten around to putting this blog up I felt it was time to do a review.  I went with the Aeris A300 CS (Oceanic VTX) for a number of reason.  It was small, had a color screen, could pair with multiple transmitters, and it had a very sleek look.  Before I get into my thoughts on the unit below are its features:

  • Air integrated
  • OLED Color Screen
  • Digital Compass
  • Bluetooth integration
  • Dual algorithm
  • Nitrox compatible
  • 3 button navigation
  • Automatic altitude compensation
  • and more…..

I have logged roughly 50+ dives on the computer since I have owned it.  It seems that I need to replace the battery about every 9 months (1 transmitter) in both the watch and the transmitter, which in my opinion is not bad at all.  Reading the manual is a must.  When I first got my computer I didn’t fully read the manual and was trying to change my gas mix after a recent dive and couldn’t find the menu.  It wasn’t because I couldn’t remember how, it was because the computer has built in safety settings that disable different menus based on conditions.  For example some menu’s like the one I was looking for are disabled for 10 minutes after a dive.

The screen on the computer is beautiful.  I wear glasses on the surface, but not when I dive and I can easily read the screen.  You can adjust the brightness to save on battery, I keep mine at 50% and have no issues seeing it night or day.    The computer also has many alarm settings which for me is super helpful. One alarm I use is to notify me if I’m going to deep while diving Nitrox.  I also really like the contour of the watch.  It allows me to wear it with the face on the inside of my wrist so I don’t have to turn my wrist in to see the face of it.  Not a feature many other computers have..

Being a techie one of my favorite features is it’s ability to sync to a computer or phone via USB or Bluetooth. I use DiverLog and find it to work well and it offers features to backing up my computer settings as well as updating the firmware.  Diverlog also offers the ability to sync with your mobile device as well as Divecloud.  Overall I’m happy with Diverlog, much more so than the Aeris branded solution for Windows.

If you want to use bluetooth to sync your the dive computer to your phone I’ll give you a little tip to help you along.  Unlike just about any other Bluetooth device don’t go into Bluetooth settings and try to pair the watch to your phone.  You must use the Diverlog app to initiate communications from within it.  I find it easier to change my dive settings sand set a dive plan from my phone and then sync it into the dive computer.

I don’t know if their are any real feature differences between the Aeris A300 CS and the Oceanic VTX, but as far as I can tell if there are any they are minimal.  Both computers support dual algorithms so if you have a preference or you are diving with others and want to match the algorithm they are using you can easily do so.  Both support Z+ and DSAT.

In the end I would recommend the either the Aeris A300 CS or Oceanic VTX to anyone looking for a great all around reliable and easy to use dive computer that can be used for basic single canister recreational diving or multiple canister technical diving.

Manuals:

Aeris A300 CS Manual
Oceanic VTX Manual

Aeris A300 CS Specs:

FEATURES & FUNCTIONS

A300 CS

Model

Hoseless Air Integrated Wrist, 3-Axis Digital Compass, 4 Gas Transmitters, Bluetooth Compatible

Modes of Operation

NORM (AIR / NITROX), GAUGE, FREE, and COMPASS

Push Buttons 3 (Mode/Back, Advance, Select)
Mounting Options Wrist
Activation WATER OR PUSH BUTTON
Algorithm Basis DUAL ALGORITHM®
CHOICE BETWEEN PELAGIC DSAT* (SPENCER/POWELL DATA BASIS) OR PELAGIC Z+ (BUHLMAN ZHL-16C DATA BASIS)
Altitude Algorithm Basis NOAA
O2 Limit Basis NOAA
Tissue Compartments 12 (5 to 480 minutes)
Automatic Altitude Adjustment 2,000 – 14,000 ft
Personal Conservative Factor Adjustment

On/Off

Altitude Algorithm Basis NOAA
O2 Limit Basis NOAA
Decompression Capability 10 – 60 ft (3-18 m)
Automatic Safety Stop Prompt YES – ADJUSTABLE DEPTH AND TIME WITH MANUAL (RUN-TIMER) OPTION
Cylinder Pressure and Air Time Remaining PATENTED AIR TIME REMAINING ALGORITHM
Audible Alarm YES – MAY BE DEACTIVATED AND/OR CUSTOMIZED BY USER
Alarm Acknowledgment (U/W Deactivation) YES
Ascent Rate Range 11-30 fpm / 21-60 fpm
Ascent Rate Maximum 30 fpm (<60 ft)
60 fpm (>60 ft)
Display

Active Matrix OLED 

Display Intensity Options

USER ADJUSTABLE INTENSITY 10% – 100%
AUTO-DIM SENSOR OPTION

User Replaceable Batteries

Wrist Unit: (1) 3v CR2
Transmitter: (1) 3v CR2

Battery Life* 30 DIVE HOURS
Battery Retention (retains calculations
and settings between battery changes)
YES
Navigation MENU WITH “STEP BACK”
Low Battery Indicator (Graphic) YES, includes access to status screens to check A300 CS and each Transmitter
Calendar / Clock YES
Operating Depth (Max) 330 ft
Operating Depth (Gauge & FREE Mode) 399 ft
Time to Fly Countdown

DUAL 12-HOUR COUNTDOWN & CALCULATED DESATURATION

Dive Mode Displays MAIN WITH 1 ALTERNATE
Dive Mode FO2 Switch (M) MODE BUTTON – UP TO 4 MIXES
High O2 Alarm / Warning 300 SOTU / DOTU
High PO2 Alarm / Warning 1.4 DEFAULT OR USER SETTING (1.0 – 1.6 in .5 increments)
On-Unit Log Capacity 24 DIVES
History Mode TOTAL NUMBER OF DIVES, ELAPSED DIVE TIME AND MAXIMUM DEPTH
Desktop Interface
(with Included direct connect USB cable
or optional bluetooth dongle)

ACI FOR WINDOWS (Available May 1, 2014)
DIVERLOG FOR MAC OSX (Available May 15, 2014)
DOWNLOAD DATA, UPLOAD SETTINGS AND FIRMWARE UPDATE

iOS Interface

DIVERLOG FOR MOBILE iOS  (Available June 1, 2014)
DOWNLOAD DATA, UPLOAD SETTINGS, SYNCH WITH DIVERLOG FOR MAC OSX AND DIVECLOUD 

Download Memory Capacity 2 MB**
Pre-Dive Planning Sequence PUSH BUTTON 30-190 ft
On-Unit Simulator and Dive Planner NO
Message Box ALPHA NUMERIC GRAPHICS – MODES, ALARMS AND SETTINGS
Temperature Display YES
User Reset / Power Off NO
Air Time Remaining  IN MINIUTES
Nitrogen Tissue Loading Bar Graph YES
Oxygen Loading  NUMERIC %
Variable Ascent Rate Bar Graph ALPHA DISPLAY
No Decompression Time Remaining Display YES
Air Time Remaining Display YES
O2 Time Remaining Display YES
Set Mode with Rapid Advance YES
Set “Turn Around” Pressure Alarm YES
Set “Ending” Pressure Alarm YES
Set FO2 Value (%) Gas 1 AIR, 21-50%
Set FO2 Value (%) Gas 2 OFF, 21-100%
Set FO2 Value (%) Gas 3 OFF, 21-100%
Set Audible Alarm On/Off YES
Set Max Depth Alarm YES
Set Elapsed Dive Time Alarm YES
Set Maximum Nitrogen Tissue Loading Bar Graph Alarm YES
Set Personal Conservative Factor YES
Set Dive Time Remaining Alarm YES
Set Units Of Measurement YES
Set Time Format (12/24 Hour) YES
Set Time of Day YES
Set Date YES
Set Maximum PO2 Alarm YES
Set FO2 79/50% Default YES

Set Display Intensity

USER ADJUSTABLE 10% – 100%
AUTO-DIM SENSOR OPTION

Set Sampling Rate (Profile Download Interval) 1 (Free Dive Mode Only)/ 2/15/30/60 SECONDS
Set Safety Stop Depth and Time YES
Set Digital Gauge Mode On/Off YES
Set Water Activation On/Off YES
Warranty 2 YEAR
30-Day Satisfaction Guarantee YES
Made in USA YES

 

 

 

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