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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Modifying metal detectors

I see more and more beach and water hunters are now into modifying their metal detectors, adding inline connectors for search coils and headphones, pinpoint buttons etc.
Many beach or water hunters want to change their metal detectors into something different before they have had a chance to really learn how to use it or see the reason why they chose it in the first place. 
One of my favorite metal detectors, the Minelab Excalibur is often modded before understanding its best features. 

In my opinion, iron mask,  reliability and ease of use are the best features of the Minelab Excalibur at the beach. 
I like the Excalibur just the way it is, except for the S Shaft which I replace with a hip mount kit or balanced straight shaft.
That is as far as I go on modifications,  I prefer to mount the Excalibur a different way from the stock S Shaft. 
Here are a few of the best features and reasons why I like them, or at least prefer them over different options. 

Iron mask

When you buy one of the best waterproof discriminating metal detectors, it is usually because you like metal detecting for jewelry or coins at the beach, not corroding iron junk. You have got to love not digging all that annoying iron, especially on tourist beaches. 
If you have a limited amount of beach or water hunting time, it is nice to spend your time scooping good targets not farting around listening to or digging iron.  
My opinion, get to the good targets and allow the Excalibur to help you get to the good targets faster. 


The Excalibur is a work horse, if you keep it clean and store it well between uses.
It requires very little maintenance and it only has one part, the battery connection cap to screw on and screw off when you charge the battery. 
You could say that the battery cap is the only necessary weak link on the whole metal detector, but of course you need to charge the battery so it really is not fair to call it a weak link. 
If you add inline connectors to change search coils and headphones, you multiply the weak links three fold.  
I prefer to just look after keeping my battery cap nice and clean and remember to tighten it. 

Ease of use

A waterproof metal detector that can be shaft, hip or chest mounted, ease of use baby! 
This is my one and only go for the modification advice when it comes to the Excalibur.
The Excalibur is also a turn on and go metal detector, you cannot ask for any more than that from a waterproof metal detector. 
You can even set and forget your controls and use them all the time, if that is your cup of tea. 

Search coil and headphone selection

The Excalibur comes in two different models, the 10-inch version and the 8-inch version, large and a small search coil versions, whats not to like?  
The 10-inch search coil is perfect for covering ground, the 8-inch (7 1/4 really) search coil is perfect for target separation on trashy beaches. 
This is a good thing to think about when first choosing an Excalibur model. 
If you cannot find anything with the two different size Excalibur search coils, your highly unlikely to increase your finds by modifying the Excalibur so you can use other size search coils. 
Those clunky Koss headphones are tough and the headphone cable connection point on the control is sound. 
My headphones have been knocked off my head by waves, been bashed against rocks and hit the parking lot concrete far too many times to mention. 
If your are reading this Minelab, please ignore the last sentence when I do eventually send my Excalibur in for new headphones. 
I prefer my clunky and tough headphones over inline connected or screw cap connected custom headphones. 

In closing, never forget why you chose your metal detector before changing it into something else and perhaps taking away its best features. 

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