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Re: Cen-Tech Pinpointer
Posted by: Old Katz
Date: February 21, 2010 09:08AM
Hi Ken:

You won't be happy with the CenTec. It was my first pinpointer and it helps save time
locating the target but you have to be right on top of it and even touch the target to
get signal. Pinpointers are great because sometimes the target blends in with the dirt
and you just can't see it.

I would not go with the Whites pinpointer, though its a good one but for about $25
more you can get the Garrett Pro-pointer; its even better and gets more depth than Whites or Bounty
Hunter ($35 to $45). I got my propointer for $129 but I know people who have gotten their for less
because they shopped around.

I still have my CenTec. You can have it if you want it. I think its still in the trunk of my car.
Send me an address and I'll pop it off to you no strings.


Now if you have the money there are some fancy pinpointers that get 3 inches depth or more but
your talking $169 and up for like a SunRay I think one of them is called.

The propointer will get youo 2inches or more depending on the size of your target.

Katz

Re: Cen-Tech Pinpointer
Posted by: ken(toronto)
Date: February 21, 2010 11:47AM
Hi Katz,
thanks. I've sent you a PM; hope you got it because I just found out I had my old email address in my "profile".

Ken

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Sent you an email
Posted by: prodrigsr
Date: February 21, 2010 11:48AM
I am very satisfied with mine. Just fixed it (new sodering) and tweaked via post here, good to go!1 Thanks.

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Thanks for the info. Great stuff!! Just did mine but the real test is outside
Posted by: prodrigsr
Date: February 21, 2010 11:52AM
Thanks a bunch

Re: Cen-Tech Pinpointer
Posted by: Old Katz
Date: February 21, 2010 01:16PM
Ken:
Your message got to me just fine.
Its been cold and raining here in Indiana and I wasn't doing
much but just sitting around stuffing myself. Be dodged a bullet
today; we were suppose to get hit
will massive amounts of snow but be
got rain instead.

I'll send it to you
in the next couple of days.
Katz

Praying for Spring to get here!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/21/2010 01:18PM by Old Katz.




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Re: Cen-Tech Pinpointer
Posted by: Critterhunter
Date: February 22, 2010 10:09AM
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lafatlife
Go to harbor freight online and order it that way. I have had one for 2 years and I am quite happy with it. The case/holder for it is not very good and falls apart easy, but you can rig up something else for it. If it breaks, it's only 16 bucks. If you get a propointer and it breaks, that's over 100 bucks. The difference is what 1/2 an inch or so?

The Pro Pointer comes with a two year warranty. Primarily pinpointer failure is going to be due to moisture or dirt contamination that gets into the switches. The Pro Pointer has a sealed switch and the manual states it can be washed off under water. If you seal the speaker hole with silicon (shoe goo) and put an o-ring under the screw on battery cap (to be sure that won't leak, though it doesn't look like it will) I bet the unit could be made completely waterproof down a few feet anyway.

When I had the Harbor Freight unit I thought about making it more waterproof, but that would require modding it by changing the switch and sensitivity pot and sealing the entire box. Not sure how you'd even manage that with the slide on battery cover. It's bulky square housing makes getting it out and sticking it in a hole more of a hassle. Even after modding the holder it was still useless as it grabs at the unit when I try to remove it with one hand. The Pro Pointer's holster never fights the holder removing or re-holstering it with one hand like the Centech did for me. I was also going to add a pager motor and do a few other things to it but didn't feel the performance was worth the extra money and time.

My primary dislike of the Centech (and many other pinpointers for that matter) is they are very picky with sensitivity settings to get any kind of depth out of them, where as the Pro Pointer automaticly adjusts that when turned on. Once you think you've got the Centech set at home and get out in the field I found the amount of moisture in the air would cause it to false at that setting. Once I thought I had it set right the unit would false when touching the ground with it's tip. By the time I'd tweak that low enough to not get so eratic the depth was at best 1/2".

I played with the internal POT to adjust the sensitivity but so far as I could tell it was simply a way to raise it or lower it, offering the external switch a different window of adjustment range. In other words, the only benefit people would get from adjusting the internal pot is if the external sensitivity setting is maxed out and the unit still hasn't reached a level of unstability. I found mine was already unstabile with the external knob no where near max so adjusting it made no difference. Also be careful because you might think it can handle a higher adjustment level at home and so adjust the internal pot, but once you've got out in the field you might find even the lowest external knob setting is now falsing.

Somebody above said..."By the way. I do wonder why people need a hundred dollar pinpointer that that will detect at 3+ inches." Simple reason. It allows you to find the target without getting back up and re-pinpointing with the machine. After a long day of hunting I got real sick of getting back up because the Centech couldn't find the target. My pinpointing skills with my new Sovereign GT are not as good yet as they were with my Whites. Besides, when you are using a machine like this that can get some really outstanding depth you'll find that targets can be much deeper than originaly thought. With the Centech I'd start to wonder if I was off with my plug since I couldn't get a signal. As soon as a friend would throw me his Pro Pointer I could instantly find the target, often deeper or off to the side more than I thought. After many long days of the Centech not finding it for me and bugging my friend to throw me his Pro Pointer I finally had enough.

Not to mention that if you are using a screwdriver like you should in ball fields or other areas where we might lose our right to detect if people keep digging plugs all over the place on shallow targets when they don't have to, the Pro Pointer will give me that extra depth stock or even much more super tuned to really get down there and locate my target so I can pop it

I'm not trying to discourage people from buying the Centech. Like I said, it's better than nothing, but I would caution people who might think from reading these threads that it's just as good as say the ProPointer or Vibraprobe. It doesn't even come close, and the difference for me was whatever mild satisfaction I got using the Centech was more than overwhelmed by a lot of aggrevation on most targets. It would false enough on ground minerals to have me chasing my tail, or be so picky with it's adjustment that I could have dug the target out without a pinpointer by the time I got it tuned properly. You've got to ride the edge of unstability with it to get any kind of depth, and there's a very thin line between decent performance and falsing.

In the end, though, it's only $20 and you can not go wrong for that price. If you plan to do a lot of clad or other very shallow target hunting it will be useful to find some of those without digging and then popping with your screwdriver. When targets are three to four times deeper than that you'll still be able to locate them with the Pro Pointer but not the Centech. It saves time trying to find it with a screwdriver without digging. And, if using a machine that gets really good depth you'll find that targets are going to be further away from the initial plug you dig, either deeper or slightly off to the side, and that's also where the Pro Pointer really shines.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/22/2010 10:17AM by Critterhunter.

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Re: Cen-Tech Pinpointer
Posted by: Critterhunter
Date: February 22, 2010 10:26AM
Quote
ken(toronto)
Here's a video showing the performance of the Garrett pro-pointer:




here's a video on the Cen-tech:




I see difference of about 1/2"

Ken

Here's the big difference. The Pro Pointer will get better depth when you turn it on in the field because it doesn't have to adjust down as far to eliminate nearby electrical noise. On the other hand, the reverse is true for the Centech. I could get some pretty amazing depth out of it (still not near the Pro Pointer's depth, though) but once I got out in the field the ground minerals or moisture would cause me to have to lower it much more. I even noticed that the Centech will tune to some good depth while it's pointing upside down or sideways in the air but as soon as I pointed it downward (still in the air and away from anything, mind you) the unit would start falsing. Not sure why that's the case. Maybe it's the earth's magnetic field or something.

I agree the Whites are not great, even the new ones. If you dig up the reviews you'll find the Vibraprobe (which I think is a PI) is a close second to the ProPointer. The Vibraprobe will get more depth but I think it's heavier and bigger. I also don't care for it's automatic turning on/off (flip it upside down and it comes on with no switches) because I'd be afraid it would be sitting in my trunk just the right away to keep going on and off. It's fully waterproof, though, so that's a big plus for water hunters. The ProPointer fits in your hand much better than the Centech and can be removed from the holster, turned on, super tuned, used, and put back in the holster with one hand. Not possible for me when I used the Centech. Two hands to get it unsnagged from the holster. Two hands to hold the button down to turn it on and adjusted it sticking the probe against the dirt. Two hands to get it back into the holster.

All I'm saying is don't be fooled by people saying it can be super tuned to even stock depth of the Garrett, and once you super tune the Garrett with one hand (just slide a piece of metal down the shaft with your thumb with no need to have to tweak sensitivity), you'll be leaving most others way behind in the dust regardless of how expensive they are. Super tuning/adjusting the Centech will get to be a frustrating game of dexterity having to hold down the button, adjust it, then slide the metal down the shaft.

Really am being too hard on the Centech. If you can't afford something better ($127 with free shipping for the Pro Pointer at some sites) for $100 more than the Centech is still going to be useful and better than nothing. I'm pretty cheap myself and that's why I bought one. Couldn't understand why somebody would spend $100 on a pinpointer either, until I used a friend's.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/22/2010 10:45AM by Critterhunter.

Re: Cen-Tech Pinpointer
Posted by: Old Katz
Date: February 22, 2010 04:32PM
>Couldn't understand why somebody would spend $100 on a pinpointer either, until I used a friend's.<

You are so right Critterhunter.
Katz

Re: Cen-Tech Pinpointer
Posted by: lafatlife
Date: February 22, 2010 09:35PM
And I agree with both of you. My centech will go about an inch and a half. As far as re-scanning the hole to pinpoint again with my machine, I don't get up. I just hold the machine lower and swing it over the hole again.

Garrett makes great products, please don't get me wrong on that. If you can afford one buy it. If you can't the centech is better than nothing.

I guess as far as pinpointers go, we all forget to take into account our own ground conditions. It is a metal detector just like the big boys and mineralization does affect the performance of pinpointers just as it does with the machines. Perhaps that is why I consistently get 1 1/2 inches with it. I don't have a lot mineralization.

Re: Cen-Tech Pinpointer
Posted by: silversmith
Date: February 23, 2010 06:50AM
Well you guys can keep your Cen-teks. I'll just keep my Garrett............and my friggin Toyota. By gosh if my throttle sticks..............I'll just get to the Tot-Lot "a little" quicker :help:

Re: Cen-Tech Pinpointer
Posted by: Old Katz
Date: February 23, 2010 08:27AM
KyDigger:
Thanks for the tip about the CenTech.
Thats worth fileing away.

I may have to send that on to other CenTech owners from time to time.

The CemTech was my frist pointer and saved me from many hours
of frustration because I couldn't find the target even though the detector said
"ITS RIGHT THERE UNDER YOUR NOSE." But I have to say I'm sold on
the propointer. Maybe someday when I'm feeling rich I'll try the SunRay.
Katz

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Re: Cen-Tech Pinpointer
Posted by: Critterhunter
Date: February 23, 2010 09:52AM
Quote
lafatlife

Garrett makes great products, please don't get me wrong on that. If you can afford one buy it. If you can't the centech is better than nothing.

That's the thing, I'm not a fan of Garrett products myself. The GTI series never impressed me when I ran some tests on those. Depth was decent but man did it have a VERY tight sweet spot at maximum depth. Move off a hair and the target would go away completely without even a trash signal. That, combined with some experience with prior Garretts, is why I had serious doubts about all the good things I was reading on the net about this pinpointer. That was until I was "forced" to use my friend's in the field here and there. I always told him that pinpointer is the best metal detector Garrett ever made. :biggrin:

I had the original Whites Bullseye years ago but never really used it. I was always the type who just would grab the plug with one hand and sweep it over the coil while I was on the ground to look for the target. I had the Sunray probes on my Explorers so I could track down targets with that. With the Sovereign's depth those plugs can get pretty big (lengthwise) so I started to have to use two hands to do that and it was starting to become a hassle. I try to keep the hand I hold my detector with relatively clean by not using it to sort through the dirt or mud. That's why it's important to be able to use my left hand to turn on and use the pinpointer and probe or dig the target. At first that's a bit awkward since I'm right handed but watching a friend do this convinced me to learn. He doesn't even take his arm out of the detector to dig a plug. I still prefer doing that because I often need a little better strength to dig these deeper plugs in certain ground.

I could have went with the Sunray probe for the Sovereign but I wasn't a big fan of those on the Explorer due to the extra weight and mess of extra cables. They are also more expensive and don't offer you the ability to use them on other machines or help a friend quickly find a target without having to lug your machine over to him. The only real advantage they have is the ability to discriminate targets through the detector. I don't know about most people but once I dig a plug I'm going to dig out every piece of metal in there because nails or other trash may be masking more coins than the one you've found with the Sunray and it's discrimination circuit. Because of this I don't want any discrimination ability with a pinpointer. Mainly the weight, extra mess, and price to set up a Sunray that you can only use with one machine is what turned me off about them, though.

Here's another way I look at it. Using the Centech was like having to use one of those small thin diggers they often give away with detectors. It has it's use and is better than nothing but a good quality digger of normal size makes recovering targets so much faster and less frustrating, same way I liken that to using a good quality pinpointer. I am glad that those Centech's are so cheap though, because it should at least help some people who would otherwise not buy a pinpointer do a little better job at finding targets without widening a plug to a huge size.

Here's a tip for the ProPointer: If you get one of those large can type signals on your detector that can sometimes sound good enough to be several coins de-tune the probe by turning it on close to a piece of metal. Now bend down and check the ground with your ProPointer. Since it's detuned you'll be able to see single coin targets laying next to each other if it turns out it's a coin spill, or it will still trace out as one large target if it's a can or other piece of metal. Saves time having to probe or dig these types of large signals to be sure they aren't multiple coins.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/23/2010 10:03AM by Critterhunter.

Re: Cen-Tech Pinpointer
Posted by: Old Katz
Date: February 23, 2010 01:02PM
Hey CritterHunter:
I never knew you could detune the propointer. Whats your precedure?
More valuable information!

I use the Ace 250 but I much prefer the Whites MXT.
I can criss cross an area with the Ace 250 to make sure
I didn't miss anything and then go back over it with the
MXT and STILL find what the Ace missed.

Katz

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Re: Cen-Tech Pinpointer
Posted by: Critterhunter
Date: February 23, 2010 04:04PM
Before turning the ProPointer on hold it within 1 to 3 inches or so away from a piece of metal and then turn it on. When the unit auto adjusts it's sensitivity level to get stabil it will now set the sensitivity much lower than normal because of the nearby metal making it sound off on power up. Not only is this a handy way to trace the outline of bigger objects and see if they are seperate targets or not, but you can do this to really zero in on a target in the hole if roots or something are in your way and you want to use strategic probbing/digging to pop it out.

De-tuning the unit mostly comes in handy when you have multiple targets laying around or are trying to percisely outline a target to see just what it is- multiple coins or one big piece of metal. Another handy feature would be finding targets like coins or rings in playground areas where they might be very close to a metal pole or something. Since I'm using a 5" coil now I can envision situations where I'd be locating these targets right up against fences are other such metal objects. That's when de-tuning is going to be real handy.

I plan to secure a plastic tube or heat shrink to the side of it via zip ties in which a metal wire is placed. Bend the wire so it doesn't slide without pressure and then bend a loop or "L" at the back end of the wire that will be easy to place your thumb in or on to slide the wire back and fourth as needed. If you are de-tuning the pinpointer simply slide the wire forward before turning it on. If you are super tuning it for more depth simply turn it on first and then slide the wire forward until it just starts to sound off, backing it back a bit to where the unit goes quiet.

Now you've got an easy one-handed way to either detune or super tune the ProPointer and you never have to use two hands to unholster it, turn it on, de-tune or super tune it, use, turn off, and re-holster all with your left hand. The only thing to remember is to make sure the wire is slid back so it won't de-tune it on the next power up. It doesn't take much movement to go from one to the other. Just make sure it's farther back/away from the tip then you feel you need to be so that there is no chance of de-tuning the unit on power up. If you notice you seem to be getting less depth then chances are the wire is closer than it should be and is de-tuning it when turned on.

Somebody mentioned the other killer feature of this ProPointer that I never really covered. It's got a really great variable audio/vibration as the tip gets closer to an object. You can pretty much tell by how fast it's vibrating/sound off just how much deeper the target is. Sort'a like a depth meter on a detector but instead of a number on the screen you've got audio/vibration to indicate that. Really a nice feature.

I'm glad myself that the unit has the vibration ability because I often can't hear a pinpointer with certain headphones on. Some complain the audio is a little too loud and might attract attention but I don't find it to be excessive. If you want to quiet it down just put some tape over the speaker hole or better yet seal it with rubber cement like Shoe Goo. Once my warranty runs out I plan to waterproof it with the Shoe Goo, but until then I'll just put a piece of tape over it as that's about the only place water can get in. Garrett says the tiny speaker hole is somewhat waterproof since you can rinse the whole unit under water but I'm not sure I trust that for any length of time.

Yet another random thought on both these pinpointers...I found that half the time I couldn't get the Centech to sound off touching the plug even if the target was inside it. It required me to break the plug apart to see if it was just too deep inside it, and often was. I'm not a big fan of doing that because it makes repairing the plug hole a little more messy. The ProPointer has always had enough depth to see through the entire width of the plug. So long as I slide the unit down the entire length of the plug it's going to sound off if it's in there. I can then narrow down exactly where the target is by either de-tuning the unit or just holding it further away from the plug and then just break off that piece of dirt to expose it. Really just holding the ProPointer further away from target(s) is better than detuning it as the variable audio/vibration will be strongest when the tip is pointing directly at it.

With the Centech I'd find myself not getting a sound from the plug or inside the hole, so I'd sit there and debate which was which...is the target still deeper in the hole or is it deeper in the plug where the Centech can't pick it up? Because I'm lazy I'd often destroy the plug first to see if it's in there. If it was then great but if it isn't then I just made things messy when I didn't have to and created more work for myself. Yea, I know I could pick up the plug and sweep it over the coil or get back up to re-check the target but that's the whole point to owning a pinpointer in the first place- so I don't have to do those things.



Edited 7 time(s). Last edit at 02/23/2010 04:30PM by Critterhunter.

Re: Cen-Tech Pinpointer
Posted by: silversmith
Date: February 24, 2010 06:53AM
Great stuff, CH. I enjoyed it. Thanks. :cheers:

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