Minelab Explorer SE Pro

Please post your personal metal detecting review here for the Minlabe brand of metal detectors.
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Dave8472
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Minelab Explorer SE Pro

Post by Dave8472 » Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:43 pm

Hi all, before you read my review, a few words, I have been detecting for 3 months now with my first machine, so this user review is written from a sort of novice to a bit of experience point of view, I am not going to fill the review with pages of specifications or lengthy comments on each setting, this is a more “What I have found in the field” type of review, with how the machine reacts to real detecting, hope you find this of some help if using one for the first time, or are considering buying a one, I will add and correct over time this review as I learn more. If anyone has any specific questions about the Explorer please just ask. Dave

Minelab Explorer SE Pro
Minlab03.JPG
What’s in the Box ?
Detector
Coil Cover – All ready Fitted
Control box cover
Mains Charger
Sealed 1600 mA Rechargeable Battery Pack (1800 mA one available)
Dry Cell Battery Holder – 8 x AA
Head Phones – Did not take these on my deal, went for a Minelab Carry Bag instead
Instruction Book – Geared up for American use, but very easy to follow, 83 pages

Main Specification
Coil : 10.5 Inches Double D
Transmission : FBS Full Band 1.5kHz – 100kHz

On Site Test - Detecting
First thing to do on a new site is do the “Noise Cancel button”, hold the detector 30cm from the ground and press the Button, detector will bleep until it is done, it is also recommended when turning on to give the detector 30 seconds to settle down before detecting. Adjust the Threshold to suit your ears, this is so you can hear null areas that contain Iron. Set the discrimination as required for the site you are doing. Sweep time is recommended at 4 seconds, I personally find 2-3 seconds to be OK, strong signals are detected with ease, I have found after a while you can understand most types of Ferrous/Conductivity from sound alone without looking at the display, it is difficult to review the sounds only to say that the more conductive and least ferrous the higher pitch the tone, the detector is also pre-set to make the larger signals louder and the week signals quieter, all adjustable in the menu. Back light for detecting in poor light. Select between Smart View (Pictures) and Digital View (Numbers).

Coin Detecting
Strong Signals :
Coin bleeps are quite distinctive, sounding like a in tune musical note, swinging at 90 Deg should give the same sound and tone, although a coin at an angle can give of a different tone, or more of a squawk on the other 90 Deg angle, unfortunately Shrapnel can read exactly the same. Old Pennies ring out very loud and clear as you would expect
Weak Signals :
This is where swinging speed has the greatest amount of influence on your finds, when swinging detector is emitting multi-frequencies to the ground and analysing the result, on making a contact the detector will make a very small sharp bleep, go back over the scanned area very slowly giving the detector chance to analyse, it will work out the best frequency to confirm the target, as you continue to sweep, detector will either continue with the same small erratic signal, this will usually indicate iron end spikes leaching through the soil, or ground mineralisation, i.e. false signal. If the target is looking good it will start to sound more like a coin, the detector tweaks the response to a more positive sound, very deep coins can still sound a little squawky.

Artefact Detecting
While set up for coin detecting, default discrimination, I have found Junk Jewellery, Rings, Badges, Buttons, Musket Balls, Gun Shells, AA Fuzes. Only thing I cannot review this detector on is All mode Iron detecting.

Pin pointing
Once you have a signal, make sure you run over the target a couple of times, on selecting pin-point continue to swing the same as in detect mode, if you have a few close targets the pin-pointer will not single out the one you where on, the detector remembers when you go in to pin-point mode what is was last detecting, gentle slow swings will indicate the centre via the tone getting higher over the target, the detector will also reduce sensitivity as required, if sensitivity is still too high just raise the coil up a bit, repeat through 90 Deg, and bingo you should be right over the target, I have found this to be about 90% accurate, the depth reading is also quite accurate about 90% of the time, although very large deep items can show up as smaller items nearer the surface, especially Anti-Aircraft Missile Fuzes.

On Site Test – General
Weight might be an issue for some, as it is quite heavy; my first detector so I don’t know any difference, but after a few hours I have to start swapping arms. Battery life is so far very good, I have done both a full charge and partial top up and performance seems consistent, the battery level seems to decrease linear as expected. Adjustment of the shaft height is very easy, as you change to different ground conditions.

Descrimination
This is going to be very much a personal choice and subject to site and ground conditions, so I will only review my setting for the sites I go on
Trashy sites :
Factory default iron mask
Jewellery mode on
Ring Pull on (Picture shown below with Ring Pulls masked out)
Crown Tops on
Clean sites :
All mode, perhaps with minimal iron mask, or just nails discriminated out, you can learn the machine to discriminate specific zones or items if needed. I have alternated the Iron mask between Auto or Manual on cleaner sites, use the Iron Mask button on the control box, this alternates between Auto, Manual Adjust and Manual, at any time in any menu or mode to return to detecting just press the “Detect Button” and the display will come back to detect mode

EDIT : I now use Iron Mask mode set to 22

Cleaning
The hand grip area is soft sponge, it does get full off fine dirt/dust, I use a soft brush to get it clean, rest is cleaned with soapy water, I dip the whole detector coil in an old washing up bowl, easy to then scrub out the dirt that gets jammed between the coil and the coil cover.

Overall
I have been very pleased with this detector, it has most of the functions of the eTrac, but a couple of hundred pounds cheaper, everything seems adjustable, having said that it is my first detector, if I had started on a more basic machine I probably would have upgraded to the eTrac. To sum up I would recommend the Explorer if you can get one at a good price and budget is an issue for the more expensive eTrac.

Pro’s :
Multi-Frequency, DD Coil, Coil Cover, Control Box Cover, Good battery pack charger arrangement, lots of adjustments, all you would need in one pack, Colour Black, it isn’t Bright Yellow !

Con’s :
Price, no volume control on the main screen, you have to dive in the menu structure, which is a pain with gloves on. Quite Heavy, swapping coils is not easy, as the cable is quite fiddly to treadle through the stem.

Recommendation’s :
Detect in all mode to learn tones, swing low and slow, dig all to start with
Minlab01.JPG
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Last edited by Dave8472 on Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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