By Steve Herschbach
I have used many metal detectors over the years, and right now I have to say that the new Makro Racer 2 has perhaps the easiest to understand, best laid out, most practical display and menu system I have ever seen in a top end detector. Now, you can sure say you hunt by ear and do not need a screen and I get that, but if we are going to put a screen on a detector, then let's do it right.
Simple detectors with few functions are easy to make screens for - there is not much you need. But even then just the basics are often wrong. Machines that feature target id numbers, what is the thing you will most look at on screen? The target id numbers! Yet these are often way too small or off to the side as if an afterthought.
The Makro Racer 2 id numbers are huge, much larger than on the original Racer and Gold Racer, which are already good sized. The number 88 display in the diagram above is fully 1.5" x 1.5" in size in real life. Other machines have some pretty big numbers but I think this sets a record as I can't think of any machine with larger id numbers on screen though some are close.
Makro Racer 2 LCD display and controls
Makro Racer 2 screen layout
Makro Racer 2 screen and control descriptions
The number can be the ground balance number, target id, or depth reading. You get a text display just above the number confirming which it is. Below the numbers are three zone references, Fe, Gold/Non-FE, and Non-Fe, that are used to set tone breaks and audio for the three main zones or bins as they are sometimes called.
Another basic feature lacking on a lot of machines - the meter backlight. With the Racer 2 you get off, intermittent, or full time backlighting, and it includes the translucent red control buttons. The control ranges between 0-5 and C1-C5. At 0 level, the keypad and display backlight are off. When set between 1-5, they light up only for a short period of time when a target is detected or while navigating the menu and then it goes off. At C1-C5 levels, the keypad and display will light up constantly. I do not know of anyone doing a better backlight.
The right side of the meter is informational - ground phase (ground balance number), mineral % (ground magnetite content), coil warning notices, and a six segment battery meter.
Across the top below the 0 - 99 reference sticker, is a series of 50 "bullets" each of which covers 2 target id numbers. Open bullets (which appear gray in the diagram but are invisible in real life - see top photo) indicate accepted target id numbers. Blacked out segments show what discrimination and notch setting you have programmed in a single quick glance. When a target is detected, the big number on the display will be mirrored by one or more of the bullets flashing dark.
The four control buttons are simple as can be - up and down takes you through the left hand menu area. Right or left lets you set each function selected by going up and down. The menu is basically the entire feature list just laid out right there for you to see. You want to know what this machine can do, just look at the screen. Most other machines you have no clue without reading the owners manual or at least pushing buttons to see what functions appear.
Some settings like the backlight are system wide for all modes. All other settings like Gain are independent in each mode, and can be saved independently in each mode. This means you can play neat tricks like setting up a couple modes with dramatically different settings and then flip back and forth easily between two modes for target checking.
You even get to decide what mode is the default start up mode. The Racer 2 starts up in the last mode where the save function was performed. If you always want to start in Beach mode, just modify and save something in Beach mode. Next time you start the detector, you will be in Beach mode.
It is simple. It makes sense. No cryptic abbreviations or acronyms. No sub menus. It is, in metal detector terms, a work of art. Whoever designed this should sign it so I can frame it and hang it on my wall.
By Nokta Detectors
Hello all...as we are getting many emails and messages inquiring about the Racer, we would like to give you a little bit more info.
The device has 2 versions - Racer and Gold Racer.
Racer is the coin & relic device and the Gold Racer is the prospecting one as the name implies. Racer will be launched first and Gold Racer will follow a few months after that. Racer runs on 14KHz. Gold version - waiting for the final testing stage.
We will be visiting USA next week to meet our distributors and upon our return we are planning to launch the product.
So we are expecting to start shipments early February if all goes smooth. Should there be any changes, I will definitely inform you.
Thank you everybody!
For the latest information on the Makro Racer and Makro Gold Racer visit More information on the Makro Racer and Makro Gold Racer
One year ago My husband and I decided to try our hand at metal detecting.We were total newbies with a steep learning curve. We purchased a used Xterra 705 for our starting machine. We downloaded and printed Randy Horton’s Xterra guide and have read it many times. It is a valuable tool for any Xterra owner. We spent the last year educating ourselves on the basics of metal detecting and getting to know our machine.
We are feeling pretty confident about the Xterra except for one issue. I am looking for advice on any errors we are committing or if we possibly have something wrong with our detector. We have contacted minelab, but they never got back to us about our issue. So here goes...
We are having an issue with TID numbers with in ground silver. We have several old silver coins we use for testing. They air test perfectly per published Xterra TID charts. When we place a coin (dime, quarter or half dollar, doesn’t matter) in a dug plug and cover, the coins register as ferrous (-8, -6 or -4) every time regardless of the coil we have installed. We have the stock 9” 7.5 kHz and the 6” 18.75 kHz Double D coils. We cannot get silver to register as anything but ferrous in the ground. The depth does not matter.
We usually run in all metal or discrim 1 on occasion. We go through a set up each time we arrive at a place to detect that includes noise canceling, threshold, sensitivity and manual ground balance, although we usually detect in auto ground balance. We use 99 tones and silver in the ground has a ferrous “thunking” sound to go along with the TID numbers.
We have reset to factory setting several times in the hope of solving this issue to no avail. We are out of ideas and possibly need service. Thank you for reading this far. Any advice or suggestions are welcome and appreciated.
By Stephen newell
I got my new coil and played sick at work to run this thing on our claim.
So the claim has lots of desert bed rock and very small gold on it. I have picked it over with the makro and the monster. Others have done the same with a sdc2300 and gb2. So, needless to say the pickings are slim these days. Matter of fact I have been skunked the last two times. Both of those times with the monster using the small coil. Not so this time out. I only found one small nug. It is .8 grains it was about 1.5"-2" down in a bedrock wedge. I am very happy with this coil. I really like the size and shape. I feel I could go toe to toe with a gb2 sniper coil, with this new setup.
By Nuke em
Tuesday evening after work i went to the beach again , even though it was a bit cooler and misty i thought maybe there would be something to be had. I got to the beach at around the same time as the last time at 7.15pm and used my Terra , i took the Nox with me in case the lower beach looked suitable to detect . But it didn't , using the Terra is easier on my beaches on the dry tops.
I searched the same beach as last time plus another East and by 10.30 i was almost finished when a couple with a torch appeared and were looking for something . They said the Girl had lost a Silver ring , they seearched one area but i thought after looking that they must have lost it slightly further away . And i was right , within a few minutes i had found it . So thats 19 i have had this year , though i dont have a picture of it . My total finds for this search were 2 Junk rings , a junk ear ring , the Silver ring (returned) and £30.69p and also 2 Pencil sharpeners !
My next search will be with the Nox further West on Thursday morning for low tide . Time to find Gold , if its there . I know fresh coinage might be boring to some but to me its what pays for my machines and thankfully it does. It will be a sad time when it all finally goes cashless , finding coins will be very nostalgic .
Tried out a new detector on Saturday:
Due to some unavoidable delays, I finally made it out with my Makro Gold Racer on the weekend to see what it could do.
I don't know about where you live, but winter here just didn't want to let go this year. I mean, we had one of the coldest, longest winters we've had in forever, and snow, snow, snow (we're about four feet over the average mountain snowpack at the higher elevations as I write), but Old Man Winter finally took a breather, and so I got a chance to head to the mountains to swing the coil again.
The place I picked was one that didn't have a lot of exposed bedrock, just a small section really, with the rest of the ground covered with six to eight feet of overburden on top of the bedrock, and that's just too much overburden for the size of gold I commonly find.
As for the weather that day, it was a true mixed bag. I mean this time of year, we can get all four seasons in one day! Saturday was no exception. It rained early in the morning, then the sun came out and it was nice and warm, then it clouded over, started to rain again, then turned to snow, then the wind blew a cold blast of air for about an hour, then the sky turned blue and the sun came out once more, the wind stopped, and the weather did its best spring imitation for the next three hours.
I unlimbered the Gold Bug Pro first, and you can't make this stuff up, within three minutes, I'd found a three gram nugget, one my wife said looked sort of like a four-leaf clover. And, Nature indeed had made it look kind of like one. The nugget was sitting in some tough clay that held a lot of former river stones, so it seemed to me that it was likely what used to be the bottom of a crevice long ago, as the surrounding bedrock had been cut down at least a couple of feet by the former placer miners whose actions would have left the sort of deposit I've described.
I kept working the exposed bedrock and any places I could find where bedrock had been tossed out in case some gold had ridden out with it. (I have found nuggets this way before.) I really took my time and went slow, because I wanted to be sure I'd cleaned the area before I broke out the Gold Racer so I'd have as accurate a comparison as I could. By the time I'd finished with the Fisher, I'd gathered another gram and a half of small stuff that I'd thrown in the bottle.
My wife had wandered off, and I found her panning near the foot of channel wall, but she wasn't having much luck; however, she pointed out something to me that I'd have completely missed. To the north and east of where she'd been panning, there was a short section left of what had been a bedrock drain, and there were small sections of bedrock still exposed that the boulder clay hadn't reclaimed.
Nevertheless, I headed back to the original bedrock I'd worked with the Gold Bug Pro, and I broke out the shiny new Makro Gold Racer. The ground balance worked flawlessly, and setting the sensitivity was a breeze. The ground was moderate to a little hot, so I didn't have to worry about adjusting the ISAT, and I was pretty familiar with the types of hot-rocks I'd likely find, so I knew most, if not all, of them by sight.
I started by running the coil slowly over the areas I'd hit with the Bug Pro, and after a few sweeps, I had several quiet but distinct signals. When I dug down, the signals got louder. I called by wife over, and she took the dirt with the signals and panned them out. Neither one of us could believe the tiny gold in the pan! The Gold Racer really did deliver on finding small gold. However, the first bedrock area was not where I realized how good the Gold Racer could perform.
Remember I mentioned the bedrock drain? I headed over to it with both detectors. First, I scanned the small exposed areas exceptionally carefully with the Bug Pro, and I got a few small pieces, then I ramped up the sensitivity on the machine as far as I could, fought the background chatter, and all in all, liberated about half a gram of gold from the bedrock.
I swapped out the Bug Pro for the Gold Racer and covered the same areas again. Almost immediately I had a signal. I couldn't believe it, but the signal was clear, and I could see a previous dig mark where I'd nailed some small stuff with the Bug Pro, and the Racer was giving a crisp signal, quite unmistakable, right in the same dig hole! To make a long story short, three inches of bedrock later, a nice picker was in the bottle! This blew me away, as the Gold Racer had found the target while running nice and quiet, with the sensitivity not ramped up, yet the signal was very clear.
I kept at the small sections of bedrock, and kept getting quiet, but clear, signals until I'd added another gram and a half of small gold to the vial. (Sometimes I'd get a break in the threshold too, but when I dug down, the signal either disappeared or it turned out to be a target. [Some heavy iron deposits in the bedrock did give a weak signal, but I soon learned that due to the broad nature of their signature exactly what they were.])
What this weekend's outing made me realize is that if I'd have given the Gold Racer a run the end of last summer, I'd have undoubtedly recovered a lot of small gold, and I do mean a lot, that the Bug Pro just couldn't see (this test was carried out with virtually the same coil sizes on both machines, elliptical shapes and DD's as well), and knowing now what I likely left behind last summer makes me a bit sad. (Out of six grams of gold for the Saturday, a gram and a half was fine stuff from the Gold Racer, and that's a pretty good added portion of gold recovery I'd say.)
In fairness to the Gold Bug Pro, let me say this: I've found lots and lots of gold with that great little machine, and it's super easy to learn how to use making for a quick learning curve. In addition, I don't have an unkind word to say about the Fisher as it's paid for itself many, many times over, and I will continue to use it, and I'll continue to train others how to use it as well. Moreover, let me say that the Bug Pro doesn't run at nearly as high a kHz, so it's unfair to compare apples to oranges that way, but I wanted to see what I was leaving behind, that's all.
So, I learned my lesson well on Saturday, and I gained a whole lot of respect for the little Gold Racer for how sensitive it is to small gold, how good it punches into the ground to find it, and how quietly it goes about its job of doing so. Furthermore, The Makro is a great little gold machine I can swing all day long, and I'm looking forward to really taking it for a long, dedicated run this summer to add more gold to the poke because it sure gets the job done in style! (How I wish some fine company would produce a light-weight gold-hungry pulse machine with excellent capabilities or that Minelab would find a way to lighten the technology package of their GPZ 7000. Wouldn't that be great?)
(I'd like to thank Steve for pointing me in the direction of the Gold Racer, and I'd like to thank Dilek at Makro for her exceptional customer service.)
All the best,