Pinpointers with discrimination -- any good ones?

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Pinpointers with discrimination -- any good ones?

Post by jamboree » Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:36 pm

I'd like to buy a pinpointer that has any kind of "discrimination mode" to distinguish iron from non-iron objects. The only one on the market that I've ben able to discover is the "Minelab Pro-Find 35," which does have this feature -- but after watching several YouTube reviews of it being field-tested I have come to the conclusion that it may have too many issues and problems to be useful.

In particular, the issues were: The Pro-FInd 35 sometimes gives "false signals" even when no metal is nearby; large iron objects overwhelm its ability to discriminate and they beep as if they were not iron; its "ferrous" beep-beep tone indicating a very close iron object sounds too similar to the "interrupted" tone of a slightly further away non-ferrous object; and most troublingly, corroded copper or bronze sometimes signal as being ferrous. These problems don't happen consistently or even frequently, but I've now seen too many reviews that documented them for me to feel confident getting a Pro-Find 35.

So, are there any other brand-new (or announced upcoming) pinpointer models from any company which can do discrimination? Or is the Pro-Find 35 the only one in existence? Thanks.



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Re: Pinpointers with discrimination -- any good ones?

Post by ninja nige » Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:48 pm

hi.
may be a silly question but why?
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Re: Pinpointers with discrimination -- any good ones?

Post by jcmaloney » Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:49 pm

Can I just ask why?

Your machine is the key to discrimination, learn to pinpoint with that first. A handheld pinpointer is a "last resort" tool if you miss a non-ferrous target in a hole. ::g
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Re: Pinpointers with discrimination -- any good ones?

Post by liamnolan » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:07 pm

As explained, the area you will be checking out is VERY small and the target should be easily visible, Liam :;@
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Re: Pinpointers with discrimination -- any good ones?

Post by Fusion » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:14 pm

I'm not going to ask the obvious "Why?" question, but I'm curious as to whether you're intending using it as a detector, rather than as a pinpointer, eg. for dive/underwater use ? I too would like a small hand-held discriminating detector in my arsenal, and am in the long process of home-building one. But I didn't plan on using it for pinpointing.
On the subject of homebuilds, I understand that 'Teemo' has designed an innovative PI/VLF detector/pointer that has some basic discrimination:
http://digiwood.ee/8-electronic-project ... or-circuit
There's a long thread about it on the Geotech1 dot com technical Forum. It's mentioned/linked to on Teemo's webpage, at the bottom.

Regarding the 'failings' of the Minelab pointer, they are mostly failings of detectors in general, large iron, loop-shaped iron, etc can fool the best machines.

If you're specifically after a small probe for a regular detector, you need to look into "Sunray probes", which are available for a few popular detectors. They can function as main search-coils, without the main coil being present, so may be of interest to you.
Last edited by Fusion on Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pinpointers with discrimination -- any good ones?

Post by fred » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:41 pm

I use the Minelab Profind 35 and it's the best probe that I've used to date by a country mile. The discrimination works exactly as it is described in the instructions and any falsing can be sorted out simply by lowering the sensitivity a notch.

The only issue that I have had is that the sound has become a bit muffled over time. It's still being generated by the electronics but the case isn't letting the sound escape properly and it doesn't seem to be a simple cleaning out mud issue. Doesn't really matter though as it's still plenty loud enough for me. :D
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Re: Pinpointers with discrimination -- any good ones?

Post by Koala » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:15 pm

its rare. But I have detected on fields that are so full of coke and slag that just moving a pinpointer towards the ground is enough to make it sound.


A pulse induction pinpointer isn't effect by the coke.

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Re: Pinpointers with discrimination -- any good ones?

Post by fred » Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:09 am

Koala wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:15 pm
its rare. But I have detected on fields that are so full of coke and slag that just moving a pinpointer towards the ground is enough to make it sound.


A pulse induction pinpointer isn't effect by the coke.

If so you balance the pinpointer by turning it on while it is held against the mineralised ground. It should then ignore the ground mineralisation but still find metal targets. :D

On some beaches there are hotrocks, either natural or imported. I ground balance my detector over the biggest piece of hotrock I can find and then the detector doesn't pick most of them up anymore. Even those it does give an unmissable response. :D
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Re: Pinpointers with discrimination -- any good ones?

Post by Bradrick » Sat Nov 09, 2019 1:47 pm

fred wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:41 pm
I use the Minelab Profind 35 and it's the best probe that I've used to date by a country mile. The discrimination works exactly as it is described in the instructions and any falsing can be sorted out simply by lowering the sensitivity a notch.

The only issue that I have had is that the sound has become a bit muffled over time. It's still being generated by the electronics but the case isn't letting the sound escape properly and it doesn't seem to be a simple cleaning out mud issue. Doesn't really matter though as it's still plenty loud enough for me. :D
You've sold me on this Fred. I've been meaning to get a backup for the carrot (which has served me well) ever since it did fail once (easily resolved) on a field full of air-gun pellets. Don't want to be in that position again and the missus is badgering me for Santa's stocking. ::g
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Re: Pinpointers with discrimination -- any good ones?

Post by Fusion » Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:53 pm

There's also this hobbyist 'kit', though how effective it is, I don't know:
https://newhobby.eu/en/metal-detectors/ ... ation.html

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Re: Pinpointers with discrimination -- any good ones?

Post by oldartefact » Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:18 pm

jamboree wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:36 pm
I'd like to buy a pinpointer that has any kind of "discrimination mode" to distinguish iron from non-iron objects. The only one on the market that I've ben able to discover is the "Minelab Pro-Find 35," which does have this feature -- but after watching several YouTube reviews of it being field-tested I have come to the conclusion that it may have too many issues and problems to be useful.

In particular, the issues were: The Pro-FInd 35 sometimes gives "false signals" even when no metal is nearby; large iron objects overwhelm its ability to discriminate and they beep as if they were not iron; its "ferrous" beep-beep tone indicating a very close iron object sounds too similar to the "interrupted" tone of a slightly further away non-ferrous object; and most troublingly, corroded copper or bronze sometimes signal as being ferrous. These problems don't happen consistently or even frequently, but I've now seen too many reviews that documented them for me to feel confident getting a Pro-Find 35.

So, are there any other brand-new (or announced upcoming) pinpointer models from any company which can do discrimination? Or is the Pro-Find 35 the only one in existence? Thanks.
it only makes sense if the pointer discrimination mode is lined up to your detector discrimination mode ... failing this your detecting outings will be forever be in "Dads Army" detecting mode!!!!!
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Re: Pinpointers with discrimination -- any good ones?

Post by fred » Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:40 pm

Bradrick wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 1:47 pm
fred wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:41 pm
I use the Minelab Profind 35 and it's the best probe that I've used to date by a country mile. The discrimination works exactly as it is described in the instructions and any falsing can be sorted out simply by lowering the sensitivity a notch.

The only issue that I have had is that the sound has become a bit muffled over time. It's still being generated by the electronics but the case isn't letting the sound escape properly and it doesn't seem to be a simple cleaning out mud issue. Doesn't really matter though as it's still plenty loud enough for me. :D
You've sold me on this Fred. I've been meaning to get a backup for the carrot (which has served me well) ever since it did fail once (easily resolved) on a field full of air-gun pellets. Don't want to be in that position again and the missus is badgering me for Santa's stocking. ::g

I wasn't trying to sell it but I destroy pinpointers in months and I haven't managed to destroy this one (yet). :D

You can read my report on it in the pinpointers section. :D

The Carrot is also a good pinpointer. They appear to have more or less sorted out the problems that the earlier black versions frequently seemed to have after a short while in use. ::g
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Re: Pinpointers with discrimination -- any good ones?

Post by Buriedbytime&dust » Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:47 pm

fred wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:40 pm
I wasn't trying to sell it but I destroy pinpointers in months and I haven't managed to destroy this one (yet). :D

Blimey, Fred. Do you hammer nails in with them, or what? :-O

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Re: Pinpointers with discrimination -- any good ones?

Post by Digger Drew » Sun Nov 10, 2019 2:35 am

Wouldn't mind one my self site I am doing at moment is frustrating between 3 and 6 bits of iron in each decent hole
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Re: Pinpointers with discrimination -- any good ones?

Post by fred » Sun Nov 10, 2019 8:07 am

Digger Drew wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 2:35 am
Wouldn't mind one my self site I am doing at moment is frustrating between 3 and 6 bits of iron in each decent hole

The Minelab pinpointers are not capable of dealing with that level of junk very well and, like detectors, some thought is still required when using them. The difference between non ferrous and iron signals is mostly pretty marginal and is best heard on single largeish signals which, in most cases you need to dig anyway.

The Profinds are best regarded as just a particularly robust waterproof pinpointer, which can sometimes provide a little extra information.

The most obvious example for me was when I was digging really deep after a target. I assumed it was the Minelab detector doing its normal offcentre thing with deep iron. However the pinpointer signal at the bottom of the hole was noticeably not iron so I kept digging. It turned out to be a Roman silver ingot. :D
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Re: Pinpointers with discrimination -- any good ones?

Post by Bradrick » Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:19 pm

fred wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:40 pm
Bradrick wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 1:47 pm
fred wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:41 pm
I use the Minelab Profind 35 and it's the best probe that I've used to date by a country mile. The discrimination works exactly as it is described in the instructions and any falsing can be sorted out simply by lowering the sensitivity a notch.

The only issue that I have had is that the sound has become a bit muffled over time. It's still being generated by the electronics but the case isn't letting the sound escape properly and it doesn't seem to be a simple cleaning out mud issue. Doesn't really matter though as it's still plenty loud enough for me. :D
You've sold me on this Fred. I've been meaning to get a backup for the carrot (which has served me well) ever since it did fail once (easily resolved) on a field full of air-gun pellets. Don't want to be in that position again and the missus is badgering me for Santa's stocking. ::g

I wasn't trying to sell it but I destroy pinpointers in months and I haven't managed to destroy this one (yet). :D

You can read my report on it in the pinpointers section. :D

The Carrot is also a good pinpointer. They appear to have more or less sorted out the problems that the earlier black versions frequently seemed to have after a short while in use. ::g
No blame intended at all Fred. I'm very satisfied with the carrot (as you say, much improved over the black jobbie), but I was in the market for a backup/replacement and the 35 has many good reviews (does the basics, robust and a few 'extras')... your post just confirmed it.

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Re: Pinpointers with discrimination -- any good ones?

Post by jamboree » Tue Nov 12, 2019 7:59 pm

Thanks for all the answers everyone. Sorry I neglected to answer promptly!

To follow-up a few questions:

The reason I want a discriminating pinpointer is to use it all by itself -- not in conjunction with a full-size metal detector -- for beachcombing in a specific area where it would come in very useful. There is a beach (not in the UK) I visit that is known to have old coins and jewelry below the sand, and with careful practice it's possible to calculate the best areas to search after each tide, when certain portions of the sand get washed away exposing lower levels. But there are two big problems: One, the beach is also thoroughly infested with countless nails and small iron bits from old shipbuilding and other construction activities; and two, the local authorities do NOT allow metal detecting on the beach. However, I inquired and discovered that although they don't allow full-size metal detectors, they actually wouldn't mind anyone using just a small pinpointer -- it's just that no one had ever asked such a question before.

Normally, the only way to search for old coins and jewelry on this beach is just to sift manually by hand or with a small trowel, without any metal detector or pinpointer at all. I've had a little success with this, but as you might imagine it's very laborious and mostly fruitless. But once I got permission to use a pinpointer, I took my regular (non-discriminating) pinpointer out there, and while it did indeed make finding metal objects in the sand much easier, 99% of them are worthless iron nails and so forth. So using a regular pinpointer in this circumstance doesn't really help very much.

I realized that if I had a discriminating pinpointer, all my problems would be solved -- I'd be able to use it on this particular beach AND be able to segregate out all the unwanted iron bits.

So, that's the reason why I asked the question.

As for the Sunray probes: they only work in conjunction with a full-size detector, which I can't use in this circumstance, so they wouldn't help me.

The other two suggestions - "Teemo's" homebrew electronic circuit and the "New Hobby" homemade circuit board -- are interesting, but they aren't "finished" consumer products -- just designs for metal detectors that would require the end-user (me) to actually put it in a case and construct my own pinpointer from scratch, a process way beyond my technical skill and expertise.

Other than those three kind suggestions, no one mention that there are any other consumer pinpointers with discrimination other than the Minelab Pro-Find 35, which I am now convinced is the only one on the market.

I still haven't decided if it's worth me buying one, due to the issues mentioned above in my original post. What I REALLY want is a discriminating pinpointer that simply tunes out all iron, and makes no signal whatever for ferrous objects in discrimination mode -- as is possible with many full-size metal detectors. I want to be able to scan the pinpointer over the sand and ONLY hear a beep when it hits on a non-ferrous target, while remaining silent and ignoring ferrous targets (as I could do with my full-size detector). But the Pro-Find 35 doesn't do that -- it beeps on ferrous and non-ferrous alike, and only when the target is very close to the tip of the pinpointer can the two different types of signals be distinguished. In this specific beachcombing scenario, I could easily visualize how that wouldn't serve my purposes very well, as there are nails simply everywhere, which would cause a cacophony of confusing and overlapping signals.

I may ultimately splurge and buy a Pro-Find 35 just as an experiment, but I'm not too optimistic that it would end up being useful in this circumstance.

Thanks for all the help and info everyone!

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Re: Pinpointers with discrimination -- any good ones?

Post by Pete E » Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:17 pm

Might be more than you want to spend, but what about a stripped down xp Deus? I am thinking of using the 9” coil “handheld” rather than on its original shaft...wonder if that could be passed off as a “pin pointer” ?
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Re: Pinpointers with discrimination -- any good ones?

Post by jamboree » Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:43 pm

That's an interesting idea!

Is the connection between the Deus' main display unit and its coil a wireless connection? Could a person clip the main "brain" of the Deus to one's belt, and hold the coil by hand, with no wire in between them, not using the "shaft" part at all?

If so, what is the absolute smallest coil that Deus makes or that would be compatible with a Deus?

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Re: Pinpointers with discrimination -- any good ones?

Post by jamboree » Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:50 pm

Anybody have any experience with the XP Deus MI-6 pinpointer?

It says on their Web site that if one connects the MI-6 wirelessly to a main XP Deus unit, one can "unlock many additional pinpointer features":

https://www.xpmetaldetectorsamericas.co ... pinpointer

I wonder if those "unlocked features" include discrimination??

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Re: Pinpointers with discrimination -- any good ones?

Post by Oxgirl36 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:50 pm

jamboree wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:43 pm
That's an interesting idea!

Is the connection between the Deus' main display unit and its coil a wireless connection? Could a person clip the main "brain" of the Deus to one's belt, and hold the coil by hand, with no wire in between them, not using the "shaft" part at all?

If so, what is the absolute smallest coil that Deus makes or that would be compatible with a Deus?
Yes everything is wireless. The main brain is in the coil so you don’t need to use the controller if you want. You could just use the coil and nothing else but the headphones.

Only Deus coils can be used with the Deus (as they are the brain). The smallest coils they do are the HF ones - the elliptical being slightly smaller than the 9”. They don’t do a micro coil. So not really very good as a true pin-pointer.
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Re: Pinpointers with discrimination -- any good ones?

Post by Oxgirl36 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:51 pm

jamboree wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:50 pm
Anybody have any experience with the XP Deus MI-6 pinpointer?

It says on their Web site that if one connects the MI-6 wirelessly to a main XP Deus unit, one can "unlock many additional pinpointer features":

https://www.xpmetaldetectorsamericas.co ... pinpointer

I wonder if those "unlocked features" include discrimination??
No, there is no discrimination feature.
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Re: Pinpointers with discrimination -- any good ones?

Post by jamboree » Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:53 pm

Oxgirl36 wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:50 pm
jamboree wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:43 pm
Yes everything is wireless. The main brain is in the coil so you don’t need to use the controller if you want. You could just use the coil and nothing else but the headphones.

Only Deus coils can be used with the Deus (as they are the brain). The smallest coils they do are the HF ones - the elliptical being slightly smaller than the 9”. They don’t do a micro coil. So not really very good as a true pin-pointer.
Hmmm, I'll have to ponder that concept. It would be a very very expensive pinpointer! But it just might work. I'll have to really look into the size of those coils.

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Re: Pinpointers with discrimination -- any good ones?

Post by jamboree » Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:54 pm

Oxgirl36 wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:51 pm
jamboree wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:50 pm
Anybody have any experience with the XP Deus MI-6 pinpointer?

It says on their Web site that if one connects the MI-6 wirelessly to a main XP Deus unit, one can "unlock many additional pinpointer features":

https://www.xpmetaldetectorsamericas.co ... pinpointer

I wonder if those "unlocked features" include discrimination??
No, there is no discrimination feature.
Oh well! It was worth a try.

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Re: Pinpointers with discrimination -- any good ones?

Post by Oxgirl36 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:55 pm

Jamboree what are you looking for that needs a discriminator pin-pointer? In most situations discrimination really doesn’t matter as you’ll have done some discrimination before you ever pick up your spade.
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Re: Pinpointers with discrimination -- any good ones?

Post by Fusion » Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:47 am

Thanks for explaining more thoroughly, so I was on the right track, and my 'winter project' discriminating pinpointer is close to what you're looking for. Sadly, it doesn't exist commercially.

If the area you're searching is truly nail-infested, then a small search-coil is best, waving around an 8" / 20cm coil is not going to produce results. A 5" coil could be used in the hand. What trick you need to perform, is wearing the rest of the machine on you, discretely.

Many machines have all the electronics inside a single 'box', which could be removed from the shaft, and worn, typically hip-mounted. Even the popular Garrett ACE150/250 machines could be adapted to work like this ( just undo 2 screws) , and they have the option of a 4.5" 'sniper' search-coil. You could improvise a small handle to actually grip the coil easily, anything plastic or wood will do, and double-sided sticky foam pads fixed to the coil body will suffice - using the clevis ears isn't necessary.

Then simply add discrete earbuds, and you could be in business.
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