I finally managed to get into the water for the first time this year. I headed down to White Star Quarry for their unofficial opening on March 30th. There were several things I was hoping to accomplish on this dive and I got part of the way there.
Goals for the day:
Get in the water
Try out a Whites Fusion Dry Suit
Test my SCBT for the first time in the water
Work out trim weight for diving with 30 cft pony.
Meet new people
I had called a few people that I have dove with before and they were not interested because of the cold water. So I drove down knowing that I would be able to dive with someone. Before the weekend I really didn’t have time to prep so I was a little rushed and managed to leave one of my integrated weight pockets for my BCD. I pack enough extra weight that I just moved more to my belt and solved that issue. It did however prevent me from testing my pony weight and trim as I spent more time playing with my buoyancy than I had planned. There was some thin ice when I arrived around 9:30am but that was long gone by the time we got in the water. I ended up diving with an instructor that was there alone with the same thought that there would be someone to dive with.
I have used dry suits before but this was my first time with a Fusion and I’m totally impressed. All other things being equal I found trim orders of magnitude easier. That is about the only major difference I found between that and the DUI Tri-Laminate that I had used in the past. Between this and the price this is without a doubt the route I’m going for purchase. (Now accepting donations for my dry suit fund).
That covered my first two goals.
The SCBT did not go well. It seemed to be running fine for the first part of the dive, then it just shut off. The iPhone was totally powered off. When I powered it on I made it to the lock screen and it shut down again. There was no indication of water (This was later confirmed by looking at the moisture indicators in the phone). The log in the app was 0 time. The most likely cause was the temperature change. The air temperature was around 50°F and the bottom temp was 37°F. It looks like the temperature change may have caused a current drop in the battery output shutting down the phone. I did not both trying to test it again for the second dive.
I met a few new people that I hope I’ll have many chances to dive with in the future.
So I managed to extract my Scuba Capsule Beta Unit from FedEx. I do have to say I really, really don’t like dealing with them. That being said I drove to FedEx to get it Monday evening.
Nice BETA label on the box and hand written number and color on the box. I’m not sure why I liked this so much but it really makes me fee like I’m in on the ground floor of helping to get the best app possible.
In side was the unit inside a nice case.
Tested the unit real quick and provided a few bug reports.
In general the UI needs some tweaking as to sensitivity and I have found a crash bug.
I won’t have a chance to get this underwater for a while and with the UI in its state I would probably use it just on the main screen. The developers are making bug fixes on a daily basis so I would expect this to make major improvements very quickly.
FedEx was just a little too slow.
So I won’t be able to test in the water for at least 2 weeks…
SCUBA Capsule finally shipped! This is great news. And its already at my local FedEx. But because it is in a container that isn’t being delivered until Monday there is no way to get it until then.
Not a huge deal if it were not for the fact that I have National Guard next weekend and no free time during the week. Time to try and find someplace to test the weekend of the 16th. Which isn’t easy this time of year in Michigan.
I’ve been testing the software for the SCUBA Capsule for 2 days now. This testing in JUST the application as the hardware is not yet shipping.
Here are the key points that I’ve noticed so far:
Only a few crash bugs, all it all reasonably stable. [Edit: most crash bugs already fixed]
Feel to the UI is consistent and fluid.
Several inputs are not labeled properly yet (polish) [Edit: All of these have been fixed]
Several of the inputs do not function as properly [Edit: All of these have been fixed]
Lacks proper support for nitrox or trimix having only selectable blends rather than the ability to input it. This makes it [not ideal unusable] for anything but air as it stands.
If they get the inputs fixed, add proper blended gas support, and fix the few crash bugs this looks to be a very solid start. Most of the issues seem to be minor UI related things and should be fairly easy to fix.
I can’t wait until I get my hands on the hardware. I might try to find a computer to borrow that uses the same deco model for comparison.
Also have a concern that putting the iPhone in when warm and then doing a cold dive could cause condensation issues.
[Edit (2/3/13): Updated feedback on some of the bullet points]
This is my current plan for the REC version of the SCUBA Capsule. This is influenced buy my current dive computer a Suunto D4, the fact that I’m in Michigan, and that I should be getting my hands on this Fall and its already a bit chilly considering I do not yet own a dry suit. In general I will just be looking to compare the information between both computers on a dive. I will be using the same table when I test the PRO version later. I’m only listing things that might be tricky to test or that I really want to check out.
This is one of the main reasons I started this blog. This is the Scuba Capsule that is being developed by Utmost Tech http://scubacapsule.com/.
I have been keeping an eye on this project for a while now and finally decided to commit and joined the beta testing for $500. No ETA on shipping yet but I can’t wait. The only major drawback is that it gets a bit chilly to dive in Michigan over the winter. I guess that means its time to do some river and ice diving. I will be making some posts about my thoughts of the listed features and how I plan on testing them.