By Jeff McClendon
For the same money (roughly), similar original manufacturing date and it has all the simple features like target ID in all metal, more tones and one button mode changes that are missing on the F19/Time Ranger, I would rather have a Makro Racer 2. It has many more features that are not on any FTP detector that I know of. That's why I bought one used. I wanted to compare it to my F19 and Patriot. I do wish it was 19 kHz and had a little bigger iron range. Otherwise, it is just as sensitive on small gold with the smaller coils in all my testing as my F19 and much more sensitive than the Patriot at roughly the same frequency.
By Steve Herschbach
Well, I have had the experience of reading other reviews of the Makro Racer on the internet before using one myself. It has highlighted for me that how I look at detectors and how they work for me is often remarkably different than what others experience. Depth tests in particular from back east have nearly no connection to what is see in the soil I hunt in. And air tests as usual show one thing and the ground another.
I have to preface this by noting I really am waiting for the Makro Gold Racer. The Racer offers the physical aspects I am looking for but the Gold Racer is tweaked specifically for gold, and gold is my thing! Some of what follows is just speculation on my part based on both models being Racer models and so therefore likely to share the same basic physical design. Whether the color will be the same, what the frequency will be, and even if they can share coils I do not know at this time. Still, here is a picture of what the Gold Racer will probably look like, except possibly the color.
Makro Racer with Optional 5.5" x 10" DD Coil
The bottom line I am pleased with the Makro Racer. I think people are just getting a little crazy with all the expectations it is supposed to replace detectors costing up to twice as much. This is a feature packed 14 kHz single frequency metal detector for $649, nothing more and nothing less. It offers good performance for that price range and a feature set unmatched at that price. What I am looking at is a detector hot on gold with ground grab, manual ground balance, automatic ground tracking, good coil selection, at 3 lbs for $649.
Unfortunately the machine caught me at a bad time between two business trips and so I have only been able to give it a spin hunting a sandy tot lot and some general park detecting, both in highly mineralized ground. The ground runs 7/8 on the cool Makro pie chart which would be 5 bars on the Fisher F75. I rigged the Racer up with the optional 5.5" x 10" DD coil just to get a total unit weight with batteries as seen in the picture above. Three pounds, 1.5 ounces. Very nice! The coil is not an epoxy filled coil making for a much better weight and balance than for instance the Fisher Gold Bug Pro with similar size coil. The Fisher coil is epoxy filled and weighs in at 1 lb 2.6 oz whereas the Makro coil weighs 12.8 ounces. That is a fairly significant weight difference out there on the end of the rod.
Still, I really like the little 4.2" x 5.5" DD coil and with that coil the Racer only weighs 2 lbs 15.7 ounces. The rod assembly is very tight and stout feeling. The hand grip, despite what others reported, works just fine for me. The angle changes if held high to give my thumb instant access to the four way control buttons. I am happy with the grip showing how it is very much a personal preference area. The Racer suits me because I have always imagined this as the "small coil" detector and the sister company Nokta FORS Gold as the "big coil" detector due to weight and balance design differences.
I found the depth and sensitivity of the 14 kHz Racer to be nearly identical to the 15 kHz FORS Gold, which is exactly what I was hoping for. I am talking about real world in highly mineralized ground. The perceived difference between the DI2 and DI3 modes all but disappears in bad ground.
Makro Racer with Optional Bluetooth Module Installed and Wireless Headphones
I ran the wireless Bluetooth headphones and any lag or delay there is so minimal as to be almost unnoticeable to me. I certainly had no problem with it at all and quickly liked the wireless headphones from an operational standpoint. My only issue there is the audio quality compared to my Sun Ray Pro Golds is lacking. The Phillips phones have a muffled sound, the Sun Ray a much sharper, brighter tone. Not surprising given the relative price difference. Since we are talking Bluetooth I would like to haul the Racer to an audio store and try different headphones to find something of higher audio quality and with individual volume controls. I am a bit deaf in my right ear, another reason I like my Sun Rays with their dual volume controls. Bottom line is I found the lag issue to not be an issue for me personally but the audio quality is not what I am looking for in a headphone.
My favorite feature? Quick mode switching. I was able to set up separate sensitivity levels for all metal, DI2, and DI3 modes and hunt with any one and switch rapidly between modes with the touch of a button. I only played with this a bit but immediately liked it. I found switching to all metal made for a better pinpoint mode than the pinpoint mode. Or I could hunt in all metal, then switch to two tone ferrous mode to check the target. Switching between DI2 and DI3 is instant and effortless.
I like the big display, easy menu setup - bottom line I just like the detector and I don't care if anyone else does or not! Just a great little machine, well thought out and with good performance at a good price. It fits me and my hunting style but again, it really is just a preview and a stepping stone to the Gold Racer. Chances are the Racer will be the model for those seeking slightly more versatility by way of the salt water beach mode. The Gold Racer is likely to be too hot to play well with wet salt sand but that remains to be seen. So far so good though, I'm happy with where we are heading.
Note added 4/7/15 The Racer is a very high gain detector susceptible to overload signals. From Link deleted since Findmall Forum update broke all old links
"The electronic gain of the RACER consists of 3 levels to eliminate the internal electromagnetic noise and to adjust the saturation level. The electronic gain change points correspond to levels 39 and 69 on the Gain setting. In case of saturation (overload), you may raise your search coil a bit or adjust the Gain to the lower electronic gain level. For example, in the All Metal and Two Tone modes, if the Gain is set to 70 or above and if saturation occurs, adjusting the Gain to 69 or 39 will minimize or eliminate the saturation. Similarly, if you experience saturation in the Three Tone mode, adjusting the Gain to 39 will be sufficient. Reducing the gain will not cause a dramatic decrease in depth."
Anyone have any idea why my coil is overloading???
I checked up and down the cable to see if it was shorted to no avail....
It works fine with another coild.
Trying to upload or link a video.... Standby----
Hey all you crazy Aussies-- Im still kicking---hope all is well with you all there...