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Comparison - Manticore vs EQX 800 vs Explorer SE Pro

Odanscoils

Well-known member
Nox 900 carbon fiber shaft. 3D printed handle, same oval profile as the Manticore. That oval hand rest on top of the handle is printed in Polyurethane rubber, a key component of avoiding hand/arm fatigue the weight can rest on this vs 100% of the weight supported by grip.

View attachment 48686

Front/rear housing with battery holder and rubber cover. New membrane switch panel.

View attachment 48687

This was a bit of work as the original Explorer housing is curved in 3 dimensions so designing the board standoffs was a challenge. Two sets were needed, one for the LCD screen board a 2nd for the two rear circuit boards. Different depths and locations. All three boards have to align perfectly there's 20 pins sticking up from the LCD screen circuit board that have to plug into the main board.

View attachment 48688
Incredible work. Awesome build.
Thanks for posting.
Will you be selling these ?
 

autopilot42

Well-known member
Carl Moreland has explained the difference. Two freqs going out and there is a third for ground balance. Lower level. Reflection and recieve and signal processing is the rest. Depending on the mode chosen you get a different response. I like gold mode on 800 will not buy a Manticore just me . It is a weighted system.
 

Charles (Upstate NY)

Well-known member
A friend of mine did go real slow with his Explorer 2, but added in the wobble sound the machine gave off on deep silver. He understood what you have posted but didn’t explain it in your terms. Thanks for the memories of those days we hunted together.
I still don’t believe that Minelab even knew about the wobble sound or how important the two screens helped folks.
Tony
Explorer tones were the best, there's so much information in the tones. Silver ringing (like a bicycle bell), Merc bell like tone (due to the deep relief strike of the coin), round sounds, deep sounds, the smoothness of gold vs nickel/tab. Platinum is altogether a unique tone on Explorers. The tone generator was more like a musical instrument on Explorers. Now that's with Sunray Pro headphones which I prefer. I tried some others like Grey Ghost but they were inferior. If you want to hear the rich information in the tones those headphones were key.

Hence I have a brand new pair of Sunray Pro's I have been hoarding. I'm going to wire them up for use on the Manticore. Wireless headphones, that's nice, love cutting the cord. But the Minelab 105's are not going to cut in on the beach when it's blowing NE winds. I'm wondering if they will open up more info in the Manticore tones, we'll see.
 

Odanscoils

Well-known member
Explorer tones were the best, there's so much information in the tones. Silver ringing (like a bicycle bell), Merc bell like tone (due to the deep relief strike of the coin), round sounds, deep sounds, the smoothness of gold vs nickel/tab. Platinum is altogether a unique tone on Explorers. The tone generator was more like a musical instrument on Explorers. Now that's with Sunray Pro headphones which I prefer. I tried some others like Grey Ghost but they were inferior. If you want to hear the rich information in the tones those headphones were key.

Hence I have a brand new pair of Sunray Pro's I have been hoarding. I'm going to wire them up for use on the Manticore. Wireless headphones, that's nice, love cutting the cord. But the Minelab 105's are not going to cut in on the beach when it's blowing NE winds. I'm wondering if they will open up more info in the Manticore tones, we'll see.
I definitely want to know how the tones go.
You could make little patch adapters.
A short cord adapting one connector to another without cutting cords. A couple inches long.
I did this with my microphone cords for different radios.
Won't have to cut cords.
 

BigTony

Well-known member
Explorer tones were the best, there's so much information in the tones. Silver ringing (like a bicycle bell), Merc bell like tone (due to the deep relief strike of the coin), round sounds, deep sounds, the smoothness of gold vs nickel/tab. Platinum is altogether a unique tone on Explorers. The tone generator was more like a musical instrument on Explorers. Now that's with Sunray Pro headphones which I prefer. I tried some others like Grey Ghost but they were inferior. If you want to hear the rich information in the tones those headphones were key.

Hence I have a brand new pair of Sunray Pro's I have been hoarding. I'm going to wire them up for use on the Manticore. Wireless headphones, that's nice, love cutting the cord. But the Minelab 105's are not going to cut in on the beach when it's blowing NE winds. I'm wondering if they will open up more info in the Manticore tones, we'll see.
Yes, Your right in the, ‘smoothness of the gold vs nickle/pull tab sounds. They are excellent! I always checked against the display screen to verify where the signal landed. It was a great backup/ double check to have with one button to switch back n forth. My friend Ernie always used the Sunray Pro headphones, I didnt and struggled at times with separation but overall I did well.
It’s still sad to me that minelab folks scrapped that system instead of building it out.
Hopefully minelab will add more tones in a future update on the Manticore!
Tony
 

sube

Well-known member
Yes, Your right in the, ‘smoothness of the gold vs nickle/pull tab sounds. They are excellent! I always checked against the display screen to verify where the signal landed. It was a great backup/ double check to have with one button to switch back n forth. My friend Ernie always used the Sunray Pro headphones, I didnt and struggled at times with separation but overall I did well.
It’s still sad to me that minelab folks scrapped that system instead of building it out.
Hopefully minelab will add more tones in a future update on the Manticore!
Tony
Hopefully minelab will add more tones in a future update on the Manticore! Tony I am still waiting for a update on the CTX lol Mark the engineer that was grilled for all the imfo on the manticore said (THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER MANTICORE THIS IS IT ) So does that mean all the muti-iq is done and they well move to a new tech . Don't think minelab well give you anything just fix problems that should of been fixed before release .
Wonder what there working on . sube
 

BigTony

Well-known member
Hopefully minelab will add more tones in a future update on the Manticore! Tony I am still waiting for a update on the CTX lol Mark the engineer that was grilled for all the imfo on the manticore said (THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER MANTICORE THIS IS IT ) So does that mean all the muti-iq is done and they well move to a new tech . Don't think minelab well give you anything just fix problems that should of been fixed before release .
Wonder what there working on . sube
Sube, minelab always made us wonder. Instead of a few fix updates they went ahead and put out several new machines. Maybe chasing other companies for market share.
Hopefully they are working on that new CTX - lighter, more coils and voice control…..like Alexa change my iron volume to 7.
Tony
 

Charles (Upstate NY)

Well-known member
I definitely want to know how the tones go.
You could make little patch adapters.
A short cord adapting one connector to another without cutting cords. A couple inches long.
I did this with my microphone cords for different radios.
Won't have to cut cords.
There's a couple of options here...the simple version is to run a cable from the Manticore's 1/8" jack back along the shaft to the rear of the arm cup to a 1/4 inch jack. Better, use a superior waterproof connector vs the 1/4 inch jack. The problem with those is twisting wears the plating off 1/4 jacks and they eventually fail. There's gobs of waterproof IP68 connectors available today.

Now a more advanced approach would be to rip apart a set of Minelab 105's, take the wireless guts out of them and insert them into a pair of Sunray Gold headphones. Best of both worlds, the speakers and earmuffs of the Sunray's. I know Joe Demarco was working on wireless Sunray Golds before he passed. He had purchased Sunray from the owner who retired. So maybe I'll do some electronic surgery.
 

Charles (Upstate NY)

Well-known member
A short cord adapting one connector to another without cutting cords. Won't have to cut cords.
On this topic, a couple of things. I have thermal wire strippers that never nick or cut the tiny wires in these cords, that's a game changer. Also, discover Ancor brand heat shrink it's for marine applications and there's waterproof glue inside the heat shrink tubing. I highly AVOID 1/8 and 1/4 inch jacks. They twist in the sockets while swinging, wear off the plating, get scratchy and start cutting out. I have been replacing the 1/4 inch jacks with 5 pin mic jacks, the same used on Explorer coil connectors. But today there are an abundance of waterproof IP68 connectors you can assemble to make cords. Back in the Explorer days about the only decent connector was stainless for underwater cameras but it was expensive and quite heavy.

Also on this topic I had to extend my Explorer SE Pro coil cord by 250% for this hip/chest mount mod. I was a bit concerned about added resistance and capacitance but it was minimal and doesn't seem to have impacted the Explorer's performance.
 

Odanscoils

Well-known member
On this topic, a couple of things. I have thermal wire strippers that never nick or cut the tiny wires in these cords, that's a game changer. Also, discover Ancor brand heat shrink it's for marine applications and there's waterproof glue inside the heat shrink tubing. I highly AVOID 1/8 and 1/4 inch jacks. They twist in the sockets while swinging, wear off the plating, get scratchy and start cutting out. I have been replacing the 1/4 inch jacks with 5 pin mic jacks, the same used on Explorer coil connectors. But today there are an abundance of waterproof IP68 connectors you can assemble to make cords. Back in the Explorer days about the only decent connector was stainless for underwater cameras but it was expensive and quite heavy.

Also on this topic I had to extend my Explorer SE Pro coil cord by 250% for this hip/chest mount mod. I was a bit concerned about added resistance and capacitance but it was minimal and doesn't seem to have impacted the Explorer's performance.
May I see a thermal stripper.
I've actually never heard of that.
I have about every stripper out there.
Just not the good looking ones. 😆
 

Charles (Upstate NY)

Well-known member
May I see a thermal stripper.
I've actually never heard of that.
I have about every stripper out there.
Just not the good looking ones. 😆
I have this Patco PTS300 entry level thermal stripper. Gets the job done nicely, various sized heating elements available for different gauge wires though each will strip a range of wire gauges. I have only needed 2 sizes. There's a depth stop which is nice, you can set it to a depth of length to strip and strip all your wires to the same depth. There's also a little lever gadget that ejects the removed insulation from the tool. That said things I don't like about it, it's not ergonomic and it's heavy. The cord is also pure garbage, stiff and kinked, it really needs a nice flex cord. I may have to rip it apart and deal with that.

Thermal strippers are a must if you start using Teflon insulated wire because that stuff is really tough, mechanical strippers struggle to cut it.

Digikey typically has these in stock. Mine is still going strong after a LOT of wire stripping. I also build electric guitar tube amps, typically over 100 wires stripped per amp.

patco.jpg
 

Odanscoils

Well-known member
I have this Patco PTS300 entry level thermal stripper. Gets the job done nicely, various sized heating elements available for different gauge wires though each will strip a range of wire gauges. I have only needed 2 sizes. There's a depth stop which is nice, you can set it to a depth of length to strip and strip all your wires to the same depth. There's also a little lever gadget that ejects the removed insulation from the tool. That said things I don't like about it, it's not ergonomic and it's heavy. The cord is also pure garbage, stiff and kinked, it really needs a nice flex cord. I may have to rip it apart and deal with that.

Thermal strippers are a must if you start using Teflon insulated wire because that stuff is really tough, mechanical strippers struggle to cut it.

Digikey typically has these in stock. Mine is still going strong after a LOT of wire stripping. I also build electric guitar tube amps, typically over 100 wires stripped per amp.

View attachment 49278
Nice. Very interesting. I'll have to check that out.
 

Charles (Upstate NY)

Well-known member
Pick a day to hunt silver quarters and half dollars...when you arrive concentrate on crown caps...Explorers have a special mode for this.
The rest of this story now that I have some time to explain...detectors have quirks and the Explorer is no exception. These quirks are frequently quite helpful. Remember when people would say you have to put time in on a new machine, years, thousands of targets? I never bought into that with one EXCEPTION, the machine's quirks. You only discover these every now and then, in the process of digging thousands of targets. Something really odd will happen. But dig enough targets and the quirks start appearing.

Explorer Crown Cap/Silver Quirk

So crown caps, there's gobs of them out there. Typically sitting shallower than deeper older coins. They pollute about a 12 inch circle on an Explorer. A halo of crown cap trash signal Explorers struggle to deal with. Modern detectors line a Manticore are so good this circle is likely more like 3-4 inches so much better separation.

When a crown cap is shallower, and directly over the top of a deeper coin, even a larger coin like a silver half, the Explorer gets a bit confused by the co-located target. I typically hunt in all metal mode, no discrimination. But this site I was hunting one day was just polluted with crown caps so I notched them out.

Then I get this signal...it's just barely above the crown cap notched out area. Now crown caps will bounce up and down a bit so I thought, dang that crown cap is bouncing all the way up out of my notched area. So I switch to all metal to check the target and BANG that crown cap target ID drops to the bottom/right corner in textbook crown cap behavior. I thought ah-HA crown cap you mother. I took a few more steps electing to not dig that...then the quirk registered in my brain. Wait just a damn minute. What crown cap crawls that high up the screen, then locks dead on bottom/right corner that's really weird.

I went back to that target. Sure enough whenever I had crown caps notched out, the ID would climb up out of my crown cap notch area. In all metal it dropped down and stayed down.

This quirk has to be in the software. I think what was happening is, with the crown cap being say 80% of the total signal when crown caps were allowed in the software said okay classic crown cap ID it down on the bottom/right corner. BUT with crown caps notched out, that remaining 20% of the signal, the machine was like, hmmm there's some other signal here...lots of soil mineralization and crown cap rot mixed in but of the 20% it was much higher than a crown cap.

I dug a plug. Dead center of the bottom of the plug was the crown cap. Went into the hole with the X1 probe and also sitting dead center and flat...a Barber Half Dollar. So the big silver was pulling that signal up the right side of the screen, in the direction of where silver halfs ID, but still well below. I mean it was in the bottom half of the right edge.

Very strange how in all metal it latched onto that crown cap so hard that there was ZERO indication of any other co-located target below it. 100% pure crown cap. So as an all metal type of guy, I took note of that quirk. Wondered about the acres of park I had hunted in all metal and big silver I may have missed under the thousands of crown caps.
 

Charles (Upstate NY)

Well-known member
Explorer Quirk #2 - I guess while I'm on the topic of quirks and big silver, wait for it...the all metal null. How does that even happen? I'm hunting along and suddenly the machine go silent. Nothing, no threshold tone, no target tone, no overload, dead silent. I'm like what the hell? Machine looks like its running fine. I turn 90 degrees, ah rusty nail at 9 o-clock and a rusty nail at 3 o-clock about 15 inches apart. Two nails nothing else. Hmmm on further examination they are pointing at each other. I turn back 90 degrees and the weird null returns. That's damn odd I thought. I decide to dig a plug in the center between them...good lord 2 silver quarters and a silver dime dang! The poor Explorer got a brain freeze or something, with two nails both pointing at the silver spill it basically said, hey I have no idea what to do so it went silent. lol
 

Odanscoils

Well-known member
Explorer Quirk #2 - I guess while I'm on the topic of quirks and big silver, wait for it...the all metal null. How does that even happen? I'm hunting along and suddenly the machine go silent. Nothing, no threshold tone, no target tone, no overload, dead silent. I'm like what the hell? Machine looks like its running fine. I turn 90 degrees, ah rusty nail at 9 o-clock and a rusty nail at 3 o-clock about 15 inches apart. Two nails nothing else. Hmmm on further examination they are pointing at each other. I turn back 90 degrees and the weird null returns. That's damn odd I thought. I decide to dig a plug in the center between them...good lord 2 silver quarters and a silver dime dang! The poor Explorer got a brain freeze or something, with two nails both pointing at the silver spill it basically said, hey I have no idea what to do so it went silent. lol
Never experienced that with the Explorer.
Though normal thing with my Sovereign gt.
After learning the Sovereign will still see good targets while in the null. I fell in love with that machine.
Explorer Quirk #2 - I guess while I'm on the topic of quirks and big silver, wait for it...the all metal null. How does that even happen? I'm hunting along and suddenly the machine go silent. Nothing, no threshold tone, no target tone, no overload, dead silent. I'm like what the hell? Machine looks like its running fine. I turn 90 degrees, ah rusty nail at 9 o-clock and a rusty nail at 3 o-clock about 15 inches apart. Two nails nothing else. Hmmm on further examination they are pointing at each other. I turn back 90 degrees and the weird null returns. That's damn odd I thought. I decide to dig a plug in the center between them...good lord 2 silver quarters and a silver dime dang! The poor Explorer got a brain freeze or something, with two nails both pointing at the silver spill it basically said, hey I have no idea what to do so it went silent. lol
I wish you were around here 15+ years ago when I bought my first computer metal detector.
The Explorer. What a pain that was to learn.
Coming from Garret's.
And here you are showing me something I never learned.
Thank You ...
Ever write a book on Explorer tips and tricks ?
I'd buy it.
Love to see your Explorer disc patterns.
 
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