By Steve Herschbach
Teknetics has officially released the new Patriot model, and it looks all but certain this is a rebranded Fisher F70-11DD. Here are the controls/displays side by side:
Teknetics Patriot and Fisher F70 controls and display compared
Teknetics Patriot Specifications
Standard Coil - 11-inch Open Frame Bi-Axial™
Waterproof Coil - Yes
Batteries - 4x AA (not included)
Battery Indicator - Yes
Battery Life - 20-25 hrs.
Pinpoint Mode - Yes
Target ID - Yes
Audio - 8 audio tone options
Volume Control - Yes
Discrimination Adjustment - Yes
Sensitivity - Adjustable
Operating Frequency - 13 kHz
Depth Indicator - Yes, 4-segment
Weight - 2.9lbs (1.3 kg)
Length - Length 43.5” to 52.5” (110 cm to 133 cm)
Headphone Jack - Yes
Ground Balance - Yes
Backlight - No
Same screen, right down to the Fisher "wings"! The thing is the F70-11DD currently goes for $679 and the Patriot is currently on sale for only $399 with free shipping. Rumor has it the F70 itself is being discontinued.
The F70 is a very powerful and underrated detector, overlooked by many because of the top-of-the-line Fisher F75. Dave Johnson is the metal detector engineer guru behind many of the great metal detectors we use. He frequents some forums under the name of woof! and here is what he has to say in a post on TreasureNet:
"The F70 was the product of a mission-- to come up with a less expensive adaptation of the F75, while incorporating things we had learned meanwhile. Without "dumbing it down". Because the F70 was advertised for a lot less money than the F75, marketing dept. didn't quite dare to say how good the damn thing really was. Some of the secret sauce we put into the F70 eventually made its way into later revisions of the F75 group of machines, as well as into the Teknetics "Fratbros" series and most other new beeps introduced after the F70.
As the top of the Fisher lineup, the F75 including its revisions got all the attention. That's how the F70 became a "sleeper". Guys like Mudpuppy will never have to wonder if they should have gotten an F75 instead.
This is the same sort of explanation I just posted in "another forum" about the approx. $200 category. If you get a Eurotek Pro, you never have to wonder if you should have gotten something else. Get anything else, and you'll wonder if you should have gotten a Eurotek Pro instead. F70 owners never have to wonder if they should "upgrade" to an F75. (emphasis added)
The bottom line is the new Teknetics Patriot looks to be a lot of detector for only $399 and well worth a hard look by those wanting great all around performance at an incredibly low price. While not quite as hot on small gold as a Fisher Gold Bug Pro or Teknetics G2 at 19 kHz, the Patriot at 13 kHz I have no doubt can perform reasonably well at nugget detecting in addition to coin, relic, and jewelry detecting. My 13 kHz F75 put a lot of gold in my pocket.
Teknetics Patriot metal detector
By Steve Herschbach
Fisher Research originally released the 19 kHz Gold Bug model about 1987. It was a real breakthrough design at the time with a compact control box, S-rod, and elliptical coils. The detector is a good unit but is strictly all metal (no discrimination). It has no LCD readout and looks much like the current Gold Bug 2 but has a white lower rod and a black control panel face. Some people are confusing this old model with the new so be aware of this when looking at used detectors. The 19 kHz coils for the old Gold Bug will not work on newer versions of the Gold Bug below.
Around 2010 a number of new Gold Bug models were released by Fisher. First came the Gold Bug in 2009. Then came the Gold Bug SE (Special Edition) which added manual ground balance at a bargain introductory price. The SE with minor tweaks later became the Gold Bug Pro at a higher price. So now we have two basic versions, the Gold Bug and the Gold Bug Pro. They differ from the old 1987 model by having an LCD readout. The standard version of either detector comes with a 5" round coil. There is a Gold Bug DP (Deep Penetrating) which is nothing more than a Gold Bug Pro with an 11" x 7" DD elliptical coil instead of a 5" round DD coil.
The only difference listed by Fisher between the Gold Bug and the Gold Bug Pro is that the Gold Bug Pro has a manual adjustment option for the ground balance and also offers "higher sensitivity".
Both models use a "Ground Grab" button as a simple ground balance method that is quite effective. The Gold Bug Pro allows you to also manually adjust the ground balance setting up or down. The manual adjustment can be used in conjunction with or separately from the Ground Grab button.
The big question is the "higher sensitivity" claim. There are two possibilities here. First, that the Gold Bug Pro actually allows for higher gain or sensitivity levels. However, I was in marketing too long and have a more jaded thought. Manual ground balance allows for a higher degree of control that if used properly can get you more sensitivity. There is a very distinct possibility the higher sensitivity claim follows directly from the ability to manually ground balance the Gold Bug Pro. This could be tested with both units set side by side with identical ground balance settings and max gain. If the Gold Bug Pro is inherently more sensitive an air test should show it. I have not had the chance to do this my self but if somebody wants to there you go.
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My opinion? I believe the Gold Bug and the Gold Bug Pro if outfitted with the same coil are basically the same detector. The only real difference is the manual ground balance option on the Gold Bug Pro. Do you need it? Not really, and especially when you consider that for $499 vs $649 that is probably all you are getting. The Ground Grab function is remarkably effective and would suit most people just fine.
I personally do like manual ground balance and so for me spending the extra money to get it is a non-issue. I do as a rule tell people that if cost is not an issue get the Gold Bug Pro. It is far more popular and would be easier to resell. But in all honesty I think the Basic Gold Bug is the real bang-for-the-buck unit. There is nothing else close to it at the $499 price point that offers full LCD readout target discrimination while in full power all metal prospect mode.
I should note that First Texas owns both Fisher and Teknetics. The Fisher Gold Bug DP (Gold Bug Pro with 11" coil) is marketed by Teknetics as the G2. The Fisher Gold Bug DP goes for $699 and the Teknetics G2 is $749. The $50 extra gets you a pistol grip rod instead of the Gold Bug S-rod and an arm strap. Nice gray paint scheme also. Really boils down to pistol grip vs S-rod, purely a personal preference thing.
I use the 5" x 10" elliptical myself and consider it to be the best all around coil for the Gold Bug. However, right now you have to get it as an accessory or as part of a two coil package. Fisher would be doing us a service to release the Gold Bug with this coil as standard on the unit.
My Gold Bug 2 is slightly better on the tiniest of gold but the Gold Bug Pro easily outperforms the Gold Bug 2 on larger nuggets at depth. For all around nugget detecting the Gold Bug or Gold Bug Pro (and G2) have a better balance of both small gold and large gold capability than the Gold Bug 2.
Fisher Gold Bug Pro & Teknetics G2 Detailed Comparison
To recap first came the original 1987 era Gold Bug with knobs and switches:
1987 era analog Fisher Gold Bug
Then in 2009 we got the new Gold Bug:
Fisher digital Gold Bug
Followed quickly and briefly by the Gold Bug SE. Note how the plus and minus buttons now have dual functions, both Disc and Ground Balance, compared to the basic Gold Bug above:
Fisher Gold Bug SE
The Gold Bug SE was basically the prototype for the Gold Bug Pro, which got a new faceplate decal and a higher price:
Fisher Gold Bug Pro
And finally, the Gold Bug Pro was also marketed under the Teknetics line as the G2 with a different rod/handle assembly:
Gold Bug Pro DP compared to Teknetics G2:
Click on images below for larger versions.....
My new T2 arrived this week so I decided I'd take it out for a test run today, I haven't bothered detecting football fields before, it never really crossed my mind to do so especially small town football fields that barely ever get used. I think the last time I even saw people on this thing was about a year ago and they were riding a horse 🙂
I guess back in time it was probably a popular place and my results today show this. This is going to be more of a picture story as the pictures tell 1000 words!
I started using the T2 with Mars Tiger coil and within two minutes of arriving I had my first coin, then another, then another..... it was nuts, coins everywhere and very little junk, I was finding nice old coins, possibly one of my oldest in a while too
1938 British Penny
The T2 was getting good depth, easily hitting on coins with good ID's, another silver!
1948 Penny - Now NZ currency, not British like the older Pennies, we used some British currency until 1967.
Prior to 1933 United Kingdom currency was the official legal tender of New Zealand, although Australian coins and notes were also generally accepted.
The first New Zealand penny was minted in 1940. The penny ran until 1965, when New Zealand stopped minting pre-decimal coins in preparation for decimilisation in 1967.
I have no idea what this thing is
This is the football field I was detecting, under the goal posts and along the end of the field had a good collection of coins, I guess from all the diving with the ball and coins in the players pockets, I don't know much about football, probably the only NZ male who has no clue about the game 🙂
My oldest find of the day, a British 1912 One Penny
It was quite deep down but the T2 banged on it real hard with a solid ID. At this point I decided I'd go home and gear up better as this place obviously has a lot of good old coins. I was only using my T2 with Carrot and Lesche digging tool which was hard work with all the coins being so deep. I wanted a bigger coil to cover more ground but there was no way I was going to strap on the 15" Teknetics coil to continue using the T2 as it weighs a tonne. I opted for the Equinox with it's 15" coil and almost straight away after turning it on, another coin
1950 NZ One Penny. I left the bit of dirt on the coil up the top it came out of, I love when you get the impression of the coin in the soil.
Another silver, 1934 Shilling
This is the hole it came from, I always recheck my holes and I'm glad I did, another target in the hole, then another... this was crazy
3 Silvers in the hole so far, 1934 Shilling, 1934 Shilling and a 1946 Sixpence, I was sure this was it but I did another check and off to the side of the hole, ANOTHER SILVER
Another 1934 Shilling, 4 silvers in one hole, incredible! Someone had a bad day.
1964 Sixpence... the coins just kept coming, all old ones. No longer are they made of silver in 1964...
Nice and deep though
My first modern coin, a $2
But look how deep it was, it was deeper than a lot of far older coins.... weird!
Another two in one hole, just one cent coins from back when NZ had one cent coins.
Another coin leaving a cool impression of itself in the soil, just a one cent I think
It sure a lot of ground to cover, I'll be at this place for weeks... plenty more coins to find I'm sure. Time to head back to the car, with my coil to the soil.
Another for the road 🙂 Double sided impression on the soil with this one. I couldn't possibly put up a photo of every coin find as there were just too many, all in about 3 hours detecting.
The good stuff
The bad stuff... not a bad ratio, good stuff far outweighed bad stuff, unusual for me.... I'll be back there tomorrow.... and the next day.... and the next day 🙂
Does anyone know what other coils the Teknetics Minuteman is compatible with?
Got one on the way for use as "Level 1 Investigator/Scout". This is going to be the little dude that I take to any new site first. It will be used to see how trashy an area is and remove any shallow items like clad coins or garbage before bringing in the XP ORX for deeper items. This little detector seems like it should fit the bill nicely for feeling out a place. It's simple enough to be fun, powerful enough to be useful, and cheap enough to be thrown into the vehicle as a workhorse. From all I've read on it and seen the detector appears to be fairly decent at getting things done without a lot of guesswork. Anyone here have one or have used this model before?
Was nice day with the t2 going over some sidewalk strips.