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Erik Oostra

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Erik Oostra last won the day on September 30 2022

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location:
    Magnetic Island, North Queensland
  • Interests:
    Beach and scuba detecting and prospecting around old gold diggings..
  • Gear In Use:
    GPX 5000, Equinox 800, Deus II, Chinese Gold Bug, PulseDive

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  1. Here's the manual.. https://www.orient-tec.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Gold-Stinger-X5_User-Manual_English.pdf Here's a fascinating insight into the workings of this detector:
  2. They're pretty much back to normal now.. I had a looksee at a spot that keeps spitting out old silver coins and bits of gold jewellery after high tides or storms undermine the embankment along the foreshore.. The sea claimed a few more trees and a huge amount of sand was spread along the beach.. Also the creek that flows into the bay has changed course, it now snakes its way along instead of a straight channel to the sea.. The changes never fail to amaze me.. This morning I hunted amongst the exposed tree roots and the strips of sand washed out off the embankment.. I ended up with 2 three-pence, 1 six-pence and an old copper ring.. That gold sovereign remains bloody elusive.. I'll find it yet.. 😁
  3. The first bay is the most popular of the three, it has huge granite boulders surrounding it from which people jump at high tide.. The boulders also provide shade so people wallow amongst them during the heat of the day.. I reckon this is why there's always more jewellery at these spots compared to what gets dropped along the beach.. The lower coin tally could be explained by me hunting the beach and foreshore of this bay at least twice a week, maybe the coins don't get a chance to make their way further into the bay.. At the other two bays I normally hunt inside the shark nets but without dive gear I can only get halfway into them.. Because of primeval fears most people stay inside the nets, this makes them and the beach in front the best places to hunt.. But over the last few nights I've been hunting way beyond them.. I found more coins there but fewer rings, although one of them was gold.. I think more coins could be explained by them being dropped by braver swimmers outside the nets.. Maybe there's not many rings left inside the nets because I hoover most of them up from the beach before the sea gets a hold of them or the council dumps more sand on them.. But obviously I missed those.. I realise it's not just about where people swim - currents, tides, storms or structures like seawalls also influence where their jewellery ends up.. But one of the joys of people watching is that you can picture them dropping stuff and then coming back to see if you were right.. Mostly not, but who knows? For me, it's all part of reading the land before I venture forth..
  4. These are this morning's finds from hunting the lowest of low tides.. From tomorrow I'll also hit less popular bays whilst the tides are still low.. At least I'll be able to hunt again when I normally wake up at 4:00 am.. The low lows also mean high highs, and during the next couple of days I'll also have a looksee at places where foreshores and beaches have washed away.. Especially those spots where I find old silver coins, they're always good after big tides and storms.. This morning I stuck to an stretch way beyond the shark nets where I normally can't get to without dive gear.. This bay slopes a bit steeper than last night's so the incoming tide wasn't chasing me so hard.. I was a bit disappointed as I had my hopes set far too high.. I've always wanted to have a leisurely hunt in this spot without scuba detectors and I've long dreamt about all the jewellery that's made its way down there over the years.. But I keep forgetting about the bloody council with their beach rejuvenation program.. This involves huge dredges and dump trucks a couple of weeks a year to keep the beach in front of the pub from disappearing.. This part of the bay is a lucrative tourist trap and the council will do anything to keep it going.. Including dumping tonnes of sand over potentially rich hunting grounds.. I hardly had any signals and good targets were all shallow and fairly newish (except for the square nail), not like the gold ring from another bay which looks like it had settled deep in its spot years ago.. Anyway, here's todays finds.. All junk.. Except maybe for the tungsten carbine ring.. I've got three boxes for all my rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces etc., One for gold, one for silver and one for junk, and I can never decide if tungsten rings are junk or not.. I'm not going to keep a separate box for them (although they pop up quite a lot), but I know some people will pay big bucks for them.. I've recovered one which was a dude's wedding ring.. I'm pretty sure that's what the others were as well.. I'm not saying I love them (but they do feel so smooth and heavy), I'm just having a hard time deciding if tungsten rings are worth flogging off to jewellery dealers? So far I've been giving them away to anyone who likes them..
  5. No kidding, at times I was digging like a maniac trying to keep ahead.. I'm not too worried about having a knee-deep wade on a low tide hunt but in this case I travelled as light as possible with just Foxy Noxy and a small shovel.. Scoops, headphones, WM08s and even headlamps are just one more thing that can fail during the night.. I always leave a spare headlamp under a palm tree on the beach, which I nearly always forget about and have to come back for during the day.. So far no one has nicked it yet.. 😄
  6. Too right Flakmagnet.. Here's what someone in the know has to say: https://theconversation.com/from-floods-to-fire-a-climate-scientist-on-the-chances-el-nino-will-hit-australia-this-year-197408
  7. This morning around 2:00am was the lowest low of this spring tide.. I'm hunting the three most popular bays so I went to a different bay this morning.. Depending on the width of the bay, it takes around four hours to get to where the normal low tide mark would be.. I chase the tide out for half an hour to give me a chance to dig targets along a line, I leave the holes open as the sand mounts become my markers in the dark.. The holes get filled in again by the incoming tide.. I stay just ahead of it to keep the targets from getting washed out of the hole.. There wasn't much of interest in this mornings haul except for my first gold ring for the year, at least I hope there will be more as it's been a bit of a drought lately.. Unless someone asks about it I won't put it on my Facebook ring recovery page.. It looks like it's been there for a long time and no one has asked me to find a ring that fits its description.. It'll probably end up in the melting pot with other unclaimed rings.. I'm trying to trace the owner of the medical dog tags, he's a young bloke who suffers from epilepsy.. I'm hoping he's sorted out some new ones or doesn't have a fit in the meantime..
  8. Made me giggle out loud, lucky there's no one around at that time of day.. I found the pin about half an hour before the bullet.. Thanks for info regarding the blank shell, it confirms what I thought..
  9. Over the next few mornings I'll be hunting an unusually high and low spring tide with a difference of 0.20 metres to 4.10 metres.. This enables me to hunt with the Equinox's large coils over ground where I normally scuba detect with the Deus II and PulseDive.. These targets were out of reach for both of them but to be fair the PulseDive struggles with huge depths anyway and the Deus II is run on the Dive program and uses a smaller coil.. The spring tide means waking up at 1:30am, 2:00am and 2:30am but at least as it goes on I get to sleep a bit longer each morning.. So far there's been little of interest (a few junk rings) but what made this morning special was a big bullet (100mm long and 20mm wide).. I often find .303 and .308 shells but I haven't come across any ammo this size on the island.. I don't know what to make of it.. Although the island had a WWII air defence bunker and Allied soldiers were stationed here, the bullet looks far too new to be from that era.. There are air force and army bases across from the island on the mainland and a few years ago they had a mock up battle/beach attack happening at the bay I found the bullet.. Could it be a blank? If it was from this training 'battle' then the army wouldn't be using live rounds, especially with a bunch of islanders on the beach watching the show.. Any help from our military experts would be very welcome.. The 'Bang' pin and weird bottle opener were found hunting along the beach on my way down to the low tide mark..
  10. Thanks for this research Jeff, your knowledge is always appreciated.. I realize you prospect in different country but how does the Equinox stack up compared to the GM 24K in your opinion? I remember you've also have a lot of experience with it.. My mate up in the high-country claims the 24K punches a bit deeper and is more stable than the Equinox 800.. Again, country wise we're comparing apples to bananas but did you notice any performance advantage of one over the other in the wild?
  11. I'm also thinking about the 700 for beach hunting, it'll give me the features I like on the 900 without spending the big bucks.. As far as losing the 'gold' program goes, a mate wants to sell me his Goldmaster 24K.. He's had a lot of luck with it in North Queensland's high country, especially along creeks and in river catchments.. This is the same country my son likes to pan and sluice.. I'm planning a few more trips up there so a GM24K could be a worthwhile substitute for an Equinox 900 (unless it turns out to be exceptional on small gold)..
  12. On my beaches both the Equinox and Deus 2 have the same stability on iffy targets.. Both struggle with identifying smaller deeper targets and jump about without settling on a TID until you've got the target out of the hole.. I think it has more to do with working out a detector's nuances over time than any inherent stability problems of a particular model versus another.. There's so many variables that come into play in the 'wild' that only experience can make sense of what the detector is really telling you.. I've dug targets where the TID and tones were telling me it was another bottle top, but there there was something about the detector's reaction which told me it was a gold ring.. I suppose spending time with an Equinox 900 would achieve the same results, it's just that I've also got a Deus 2 demanding quality time.. It's already jealous of my bromance with the Equinox..
  13. I’ve been searching my soul and endured sleepless nights trying to decide whether to buy an Equinox 900.. My gut is telling me not to, it’s still feeling queasy after it jumped the gun on the Deus II.. I realize that buying an Equinox 900 will involve another learning curve but that is not what’s putting me off.. I’m just wondering how useful the thing will be.. I have all the detectors and coils I could ever possibly need.. The Deus II and PulseDive cover my every scuba detecting desire, and an Equinox 900 will not be any more useful (even with its 5-meter waterproof rating it's got nothing on the PulseDive’s 60-meters).. In my mind if its ‘Beach 2’ setting is anything like its Equinox cousins, then the Deus II with its dedicated “Dive’ and ‘Salt’ settings has nothing to worry about.. On my beaches I rarely stress about target separation, they’re usually already separated by a few giant leaps.. I’m yet to find a bottle top next to a gold ring.. If this ever becomes a problem, I’m pretty sure a new Equinox 900 wouldn’t be any more useful than my old Equinox 800 at separating iffy targets.. Even if it was, I can’t justify spending $1700 on negligible differences between Equinox models.. Same goes for its 119 TID.. Is it of any use? Will it clearly identify a bottle top, a 20 cent coin and a pull tab, which all ring in around 16 on the Equinox 800 and 600.. Do each of these now ring in at separate TIDs? Or is it still the guessing game it’s always been? Where after a while you realize that a 20 cent coin is more likely to ring in where it’s supposed to, and the others tend to jump about a bit more.. If that’s the case then an Equinox 900 won’t be of any use, here it doesn’t fill the gap between the Manticore with its 2D TID.. Likewise, is the Equinox of any use for finding deep targets? Does it have that extra bit of oomph under the hood that’ll make it punch much deeper than its rivals? Maybe an extra 50% more spark? So far there’s been no indication that it outshines all that came before on deep targets.. If finding them was the job for the day, then my other detectors would be just as useful.. For all my whining, I can see some useful things about the Equinox 900.. Firstly, the vibrating handle idea that Minelab nicked from Nokta is a winner.. This will be handy for wading and surf as well as windy beaches.. But it’s a dumb move by Minelab to ditch the WM08 on their new Equinoxes, no amount of shaking will make up for it.. Still, the red display and lit up keypad together with the flashlight will be useful for hunting low tide at night.. The all carbon-fibre collapsible shaft might make it a bit more useable as a scuba detector than its Equinox stable mates.. As always, it’s turning out to be a battle between ‘usefulness’ and ‘needfulness’.. Where the question of how useful the thing will be gives way to a need to own the latest model, even if it has no real edge in performance.. Thank you for any guidance you can offer..
  14. I've found that for wading the Equinox is a better detector out of those two.. For deeper water I like the Nox's wired coils and stiff shaft.. I'm tall and have the shaft on the D2 extended as far as it'll go, this makes the whole show mighty wobbly when dragging it through water.. And it's not just that stupid wire, it's also how it's attached to the coil.. I don't think the XP engineers ever tested the D2 in water deeper than their ankles, because they would've realised how easily the antenna wire assembly comes apart when dragging it through sand (also at the other end where it pulls off the control box in the surf).. Underwater it's a different tale.. I've gotten used to the D2 as a scuba detector, mainly because as such it has a short shaft and wobbliness is no longer a concern.. Although underwater it sprouts even more wires as you'll also need the bone-phones with their long ultra tangly cord.. Have fun.. 🤪
  15. Steve, your post really struck a cord.. Despite my sometimes loud whining and whinging, I must admit that my D2 has also outperformed the Equinox.. I'm thinking about some deep silver coins and tiny gold earrings that the Equinox completely misread or couldn't see at all.. But what did I do with this awesome new-found knowledge? You guessed it, when hunting for deep silver or small gold I still grab the Equinox each time.. I guess this is partly because the Equinox is a reliable old workhorse and partly because it has larger coils for beach hunting.. But this will all change in 2023.. Your post has given me a nudge to give the D2 a better go before I get all absorbed by Minelab's new toys, and had a chance to find out just how good the D2 really is..
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