Review | Nokta Makro PulseDive 2-in-1
If you’ve been watching new YouTube genre ‘river treasure’ like YouTuber Jake from “DALLMYD” you may have noticed an interesting niche in the metal detecting world that has been subtly yet quickly rising up to mainstream... the ‘scuba detectors’ as many refer to them which are essentially mini hand-held waterproof/underwater metal detectors which have become quite popular in recent years as more people realize the amount of treasure to be found in the water!
The Nokta Makro PulseDive scuba detector set is a unique metal detector capable of transforming between a waterproof pinpointer and a mini handheld waterproof metal detector making it substantially different and easily justifiable compared to its pure ‘scuba detector’ brethren due to the PulseDive’s 2-in-1 nature.
Who can benefit from this detector?
- Beachgoers / Snorkelers for practically any body of water
- Travelers and Holiday Makers (especially because of the compact size)
- Kids in rock pools, creeks, and lakes
- Anyone after a heavy-duty pinpointer
- SCUBA Divers
- Waterproof rating to 60m!
- 2-in-1 Pinpointer & Scuba Detector
- Audio / Vibration / LED Alerts
- Built-in Wireless Module (for use with the Nokta Makro Wireless headphones)
- USB Rechargeable - Super EASY to use
The PulseDive uses 3 buttons for the setup, for the most part, you’ll only be using the power button to turn the machine on/off and to re-tune the machine if the ground you are detecting over is particularly mineralised however PulseDive has 5 levels of sensitivity, a low power LED flashlight, frequency-shift option to help operation near other detectors or sources of interference and a dive mode for deep diving which locks the buttons and avoids the immense pressure of the water from pressing them and changing the settings!
The PulseDive can be used in vibrate/beep, vibrate or just beep to alert you of targets and you can switch between these modes with a single press of the “F” button.
The Pulse Dive has a built-in wireless module which is compatible with Nokta/Makro wireless headphones! This means you can have the pinpointer audio come through your detecting headphones alongside your main detectors' audio! (a rare and coveted feature)
“SCUBA DETECTOR” FORMATION:
The PulseDive easily transitions from the pinpointer setup to the Scuba detector setup in literally seconds and to make things more interesting, it is the only product on the market that can do this at all!
In its ‘Scuba detector’ formation the PulseDive is extremely easy and effective to use, it takes advantage of a loud internal speaker (easily heard underwater), vibration and flashing LEDs to alert the user that a target has been detected. The detection depth in this formation is actually surprisingly good especially when you consider the cost of the alternative dedicated waterproof metal detectors! ($$$)
In a fully submerged saltwater environment, the PulseDive will pull off 10cm on an Aussie 10c coin and 14cm on an Aussie 20c coin running the maximum sensitivity setting,
Actual in the water use??
Firstly, it’s immediately apparent that the PulseDive is well constructed and designed for serious water use which (believe it or not) is very rare to see in a detector so I feel confident it will take the physical abuse that water detecting demands.
The buttons are easy to reach and the volume of the unit underwater is incredible considering I can hardly hear some of my full-size detectors with headphones on, but just in case you don’t hear the audio there is always the vibration which you can feel underwater.
The detector comes with a coil cover for the 5.5” (140mm) search coil and a protective casing for the pinpointer attachment, these practically eliminate wear on the search heads and can be replaced if you do wear them down.
Since the PulseDive is a non-motion based detector, it does not have to be constantly moving to detect a target, this makes it very easy to locate and uncover targets as you can just hover it over the metal object and it will continue to alert you of its presence.
How Does The PulseDive compare to a Full-Size Water Detector?
Before these handheld ‘Scuba-detectors’ were available there were only a handful of dedicated water detectors and of those, there are even fewer currently available rated to 60m.
Now I know 60m sounds like a long way (and it is!) but a water rating to 60m I believe is essential if you want reliability and ruggedness in the water at any depth!
The PulseDive just so happens to have such a rating but what is more incredible is the price attached to the detector…$289AUD!
To put things into perspective, the current benchmark for dedicated water detectors is the Minelab Excalibur but at $2,000AUD it’s a massive chunk of money especially if you are interested in testing out the underwater detecting scene.
Although the performance of these detectors is not entirely comparable with the Excalibur out-depthing the PulseDive (in most situations) and the Excalibur also being able to distinguish iron from non-iron targets which is to be expected for almost 10x the cost but that’s not to say that the little PulseDive doesn’t have some advantages too, like having a small search coil which can get between weeds and rocks, another advantage of the small coil is being able to easily locate targets in low or no visibility water which I can vouch for (having recently recovered a lady's wedding ring in a duck pond)!
Once again the size of the PulseDive is one of its biggest advantages, the lack of headphones or any accessories hanging from the unit means it is very subtle when carrying it to the beach if you don’t want a lot of attention. In the surf, the lack of headphones or a long stem makes this detector very easy to use as generally headphones come off in the waves… very frustrating!
The PulseDive’s size means it can be easily taken in your carry on luggage to those paradise holiday destinations due to its small dimensions and battery size making it fine on planes.
Unfortunately there is no perfect detector and I can pick flaws in all of the ones I have owned, (some more than others) however, the first and most important aspect of a detector in my opinion is the reliability, a failed detector can ruin an outing or even a holiday so reliability is number one on my list!
So far I’ve put about 20 hours underwater on the PulseDive which isn’t heaps but it gives a good indication of how things are going. In that 20 hours, I haven’t had a hiccup, no water in anything, no glitches electronically and no issues structurally and from what I have read online there are very few reported issues which is awesome so it ticks the reliability box for now!
Performance-wise there is only one complaint regarding the alert to closer objects, I strongly feel that the audio (beeps) should become solid when the target is touching the search head because in the PulseDive’s current state the beeps become fast whilst the target is still an inch or so from the coil but do not get any faster when the target touches the coil, this “flaw” is mainly noticeable when using the pinpoint search head whilst trying to accurately pinpoint an item however it is not a deal-breaker because technique and practice can negate this and it is hardly noticeable when using the coil head.
Outstanding overall reliability, ruggedness, performance, and ease of use make the Pulse Dive a top pick for literally anyone who does detect in the water and for those looking for an affordable waterproof metal detector. This metal detector is ideal and in some situations, even preferred because of how convenient and easy it is to use!
You can find the PulseDive (available for Australian residents) here: https://www.detect-ed.com/collections/metal-detectors
Check out the epic new coil for the PulseDive detector in this review