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I have the Minelab SDC 2300 and am getting ready to jump in the water with it. I decided to do a bit of research on its waterproof integrity. The model is listed at being waterproof to ten feet but the manual at http://www.minelab.com/__files/f/238536/4901-0172-2%20Manual,%20SDC%202300_WEB.pdf is pretty silent on the subject - just earnings to be sure the battery door oring is clean and sealed prior to submersion. The headphones are only submersible from your neck on down. I am waiting for fully submersible headphones before getting in the water with the SDC.

Optional waterproof headphones for Minelab SDC 2300:

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The SDC 2300 is based on the Minelab F3 Compact mine detector. That model is listed at http://www.minelab.com/emea/products/countermine/mine-detectors/f3-compact?view=FAQ as having an IP68 rating. The 6 means it is dust proof. The 8 means it is capable of full immersion to a depth specified by the manufacturer.

http://www.dsmt.com/resources/ip-rating-chart "8 - Immersion beyond 1m. The equipment is suitable for continuous immersion in water under conditions which shall be specified by the manufacturer. Normally, this will mean that the equipment is hermetically sealed. However, with certain types of equipment, it can mean that water can enter but only in such a manner that it produces no harmful effects."

The F3 Compact housing was a joint design effort by MineLab Electronics Pty Ltd, Applidyne Australia Pty Ltd, and Cobalt Niche Design Pty Ltd which won an award for its design at http://www.gooddesignaustralia.com/awards/past/entry/minelab-f3-compact-metal-detector/?year=2012 where it is noted "It complies with military standards for environmental conditions (MIL-STD-810G) including shock, vibration, decompression, transformational cycling and is water proof to 10m IP68 irrespective of the transformational state of the detector."

If I read all that right the unit is actually capable of continuous immersion to 10 meters, and so Minelabs waterproof rating to 10 feet on the SDC 2300 is a pretty conservative thing. On the flip side, the F3 Compact manual at http://www.minelab.com/__files/f/61797/F3 does state "Although the F3 COMPACT can withstand immersion to a depth of three metres for short periods of time, it is NOT designed for use as an underwater detector." That pretty much says just the opposite.

So I am going to start with fresh water and keep an eye on things before working up to possible salt water use. I really do not think the SDC was really designed specifically as a dive detector so caution is warranted. Fresh water prospecting is one thing, and salt water surf hunting is another. I tend to tell people to stick with detectors that have a 100 foot plus rating if salt water use is the primary reason for getting a detector. That said Gary Drayton has had some smashing success with the SDC 2300 is salt water in Florida http://www.minelab.com/emea/treasure-talk/beach-hunting-with-the-sdc-2300

More Information and Specifications on the Minelab SDC 2300

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Wasn't there a line in one of the early announcements of the SDC 2300 that said it was good to 10 Meters? - we all assumed it to be a typo which was meant to be 10 feet.

I was out with my SDC yesterday in the dry - no water - and got 13 little nuggets for a total of 1.6 grams, just a hair over a pennyweight.

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Well, the SDC 2300 spent a good 6 hours completely submerged in fresh water yesterday with no ill effects. I used the stock headphones and waded, which means care must be taken to keep actual headset out of the water. The cord is waterproof up to the headset. The SDC runs very well in fresh water - the deeper the coil the quieter the machine ran since the water insulates the coil from electrical interference.

The SDC weight is good when submerged up to the control box, in fact about perfect. But as the box goes under it tries to float and so considerable pressure must be used to keep it under. This is not really an issue when standing upright but if fully submerged with waterproof headphones (which I do not have yet) it could be a problem. The unit basically floats like a cork and do if you were down 6 feet and released it - up it will go! And harder to hold in general not being right over it. Yet another potential SDC accessory - strap on lead weight.

The target responses were good and easy to pinpoint with the 8" coil. I just ran the recommended sensitivity setting of two. I worked the dry beach for about an hour before getting in the water, and the SDC did of course pick up some really tiny stuff, bits of aluminum and wire. I was not equipped to recover these in the water (they drop through my scoop) but did locate and observe a couple of those little aluminum crescents that hold an aluminum screw cap onto a plastic soda bottle. If going for this stuff I prefer to be on mask and snorkel and just fan the bottom to recover targets instead of using a scoop. The goal being chains and earrings most detectors miss but too much tiny trash can make this type of hunting pretty daunting. So bottom line is I ran a lower sensitivity so as to not be bothered as much by super tiny targets.

Lake Tahoe is heavily mineralized with lots of hot rocks and black sands all of which the SDC handled with ease.

Mostly just a pile of pulltabs and a few bottle caps recovered, at depths to about 10" - 12", again, running sensitivity "2" out of five.

Anyway, the SDC is a great wader unit in freshwater with the included headphones. The only real caveat is that like all PI detectors you basically dig it all and so trashy locations would be challenging. The tones can help a bit but basically anything of size gives a low tone, like coins or rings or pull tabs and bottle caps. Thin of small items like earrings or chains plus all manner of tiny trash give a high tone so ignoring high tones will eliminate a lot of tiny trash like foil while still getting most high value gold items.

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Steve

  Minelab and Garrett  made the SDC and ATX putting the operating level in water at 10 feet down but the limit is not there. The true depth may be at 15 feet and they seen the need to have a safety factor in place of 5 feet.

It's good to hear that the SDC will float. So if I get one and a shark gets me the SDC will not be loss. Some things is just wonderful.

Chuck Anders 

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