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Nokta Fors New Panel & Power Switches, Headphone Cap, Scuff Covers


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I already have a Nokta FORS Gold and I just received a latest update Nokta FORS CoRe control box that will run on the same handle and coil assembly. This is really fantastic because back on October 11th I did a detailed review of the Nokta FORS Gold At that time I noted that I thought the control panel rocker switches were a problem as they would collect dirt and water. I also pointed out the left side mounted control panel would provide some hardship for left handed people.

Nokta responded by almost immediately announcing a special order version for left handed people! Shortly after that they announced the control switches would be upgraded. I have never in my decades of experience working with metal detector manufacturers seen anyone respond so quickly is addressing physical issues with a model already in production. There was nothing wrong or defective. It was just things that could be improved on. It was a rather stunning response and really made me sit up and pay attention to the company even more.

The bottom line is the LCD panel has been redesigned with a sealed touch pad. The power toggle has been replaced with one incorporating a rubber accordian type seal. The plastic cap covering the headphone jack has been replaced with a softer rubber version that seals better. The ground balance tracking rocker, which is in the downside facing protected end has been left as is, which is fine as this is a rarely operated switch anyway.

I also had noted that the coil scuff covers were paper thin and subject to splitting when removed and not likely to last in any case. Nokta sent a couple new scuff covers along with the control box. They are much thicker and either the extra thickness of use of a different plastic mix now has them feeling much tougher, comparable to other good scuff covers on the market.

This really should be nothing worth making a big deal out of except I think most people would agree we have all gotten pretty used to just generally being ignored. People make simple, sensible suggestions, and years go by with no change and no acknowledgement even of the suggestion. We have been told for ages changes like this just are not practical, so live with it. Well, looks like the game is about to change!

One last note while I was shooting photos - I thought I would point out that the Nokta FORS control box has a couple holes in the rod allowing the box to shift forward and back for better balance. Most people probably do not know that the actual box mount is also adjustable via a sliding section in the slot on top. Just loosen to allen screws, slide around until you have it where you want it, and tighten. At one point I thought there would be little need for me to have the FORS after the new Racer comes out but this ability to custom balance the unit when using the 15.5" x 13.5" coil is actually pretty important to me so looks like the FORS will be sticking around.

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Wow! This company just keeps raising the bar on customer service excellence. I can envision myself owning multiple Nokta/Makro detectors as the new VLF, PI, and Hybrid units are rolled out.

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It's very surprising that a company could re tool so fast unless it was already in the works.  For me a VLF machine must be "Thumb Friendly" meaning that all the controls must be  within reach of my thumb. I don't mind if the on/off switch is on the side or wherever but the main menu must be  easy to reach. Ergonomics and balance  are equally as important as  functionality.

 

strick

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Just my personal opinion but when it comes to VLF detectors I think basic performance is pretty much a given these days. Depth, sensitivity, etc. there are a ton of great detectors available. That will do the job. I also think that for good performance nobody need good outside the $500 - $999 price range. Anything over a $1000 VLF you are paying for more than just performance. Waterproofing, bells and whistles, but not performance that counts for much of anything.

 

With PI detectors choices are limited and I still have to use detectors that I would prefer are built differently. In VLF, I think a person should have exactly what they want when it comes to look, feel, sounds, control layout, whatever.

 

The side mount controls on the FORS models work well if you are the type that sets a detector and forgets it. The target id and ground balance info are displayed on the end of the handle so you have all you need in front of you while hunting. But if you like to look down and see all the settings, and maybe tweak now and then, the side mount controls are cumbersome. It is a style difference that suits some people and not others.

 

VLF detectors are like cars these days. They all pretty much get you from point A to point B. But we just about all have one that looks and acts different than what our friends and neighbors own. Some of us do it purely to be different. We all have different tastes. The good news is you can find just about any VLF in a style you like and it will do the basic job of detecting well as long as you stick with models vetted on the forums.

 

I have been pretty up front about my preference for F75 styling. I like control panel in my face and perfect balance, and that means a little weight under my arm. Racer appeals for the same reason. However, the FORS models shine with the large coils as I can get them to balance because the control box can shift forwards and back. The FORS is going to be my "big coil" ground coverage machine, the Racer more for all around use.

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I got a question on the handle/grip and decided to comment here.

The handle on the FORS Gold and FORS CoRe is packing quite a bit in what for other companies is just a handle. There is a top mounted LCD display that temporarily lights up and displays a target id number whenever you pass over a target. This happens in all three hunt modes including the all metal mode. The button just under the display activates the ground balance. Press and hold and a ground balance number is displayed. Pump the coil a couple times over the ground, the units will beep, release the button, you are done.

There is a pinpoint trigger on the front of the handle that activates a pinpoint mode that displays a number on the screen. The numbers unfortunately are in centimeters and calibrated to a large European coin. Just treat it like the target id number display. Do you know that 82 means for a target number? You do not know now but with use you learn it is usually a zinc penny. Same thing with the depth display. Big numbers deeper, small numbers shallower. Depending on what you are hunting you will soon correlate numbers with depth.

Above the pinpoint trigger is a mini-trigger that activates the forward facing LED flashlight that illuminates the coil area on low light conditions. Finally, inside the handle you have a vibration mechanism similar to that used in popular pinpointers. This has obvious use for people with hearing disabilities but can be an aid for anyone in very noisy environments.

Stuffing so much in the handle makes it a bit odd to hold compared to a bare handle. Your index finger normally rides up in between the trigger switch and LED light switch. You can grip tightly here, but shift your finger up a bit to activate the light, or down to activate the pinpoint function. This, combined with an aggressive forward stance of the handle itself, makes for what I personally feel is a less than comfortable grip. In practice I use it and it is fine but when I grab other detectors the difference is apparent. I think the design is more to accommodate the control set than for pure comfort.

I will caution however that handle grips are one of those things that seem to hit people different ways. Some people like S rods, some do not. So the Nokta grip may or may not feel great to you. I do think that is a bit unforgiving to criticize too much when you consider all the functionality built into the handle. The LCD screen largely negates the issues with having a side mount control system by putting all relevant information on the mini-screen. There is the flashlight. The built in vibration mode could be the difference between owning this or never going detecting for a deaf person. Put in that light, the handle is a marvel and so I can forgive a bit of oddness in the way it feels.

 

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Nokta FORS Handle System

 

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Nokta FORS Handle System - Top view showing display

 

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Nokta FORS Handle System - Left showing normal grip, right showing pinpoint trigger being activated

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I am a beginner and looking for an easy to use MD... is this a good recommendation??? been reading ur tests on so many machines and take ur opinion as well as Rays as very unbiased reviews... thank u

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There are very many choices and they are all very, very good. Think hard about what it is you want to do exactly with the detector. Not hoped for maybe someday stuff but the actual day in and day out use of the detector. Personally I think the sweet spot for beginners is around $700 with lighter weight simpler machines starting out. I highly recommend you look over my just updated Nugget Detector Review

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thnx ... I'm a gold miner by trade (in my own mind)... i spend my time in a wetsuit 7 hrs a day sometimes..But now that it's cold so I don't go out as much... my neighbor has been detecting for 20+yrs and has showed me some very nice ounce + nuggets and even took me out with him ..He uses a 5000...i can't really afford that without my wife killing me ... He also uses a goldbug 2 ... i don't like the gold bug2 it's uncomfortable and pretty complicated... Although it does find the flakes and very tiny nuggets... I'm on a $1500 budget and am a buy it once guy....i been watching so many videos on so many detectors...my choice actually is the atx...i am so amazed by that machine for some reason... but the nokta fors gold has also caught my attention bigtime.. and the videos are awesome... but gold is my thing.... could really careless about finding anything else ..thnx fir the input..

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If you can get an ATX within your budget and do not look back you will have made a good choice. The mistake most people make is in not trusting their judgment, and then when quick results do not come, sell the first choice. Get a good unit like the ATX or FORS Gold and apply yourself to it and you can do as well as anyone.

 

When you say the Gold Bug 2 is complicated and uncomfortable though that is a warning bell. Many long time miners can't stand metal detecting. It really is not nugget detecting. It is nail and bullet detecting, and sometimes you find a nugget.

 

Beware of videos. They are very, very easy to manipulate, and not always intentionally by any means. If I think detector A is great and want to make a video showing you how great detector A is, well, you can predict the end result.

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  • Similar Content

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      Snow on the ground so time for a little bench testing. Fisher F75 SE version 7.0A (2013) with 5" round DD coil, Nokta FORS Gold with 5" semi-round DD coil, and White's V3i with 4" x 6" DD coil.



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      The VDI range on the Nokta runs from 1 - 99 with 40 and under generally ferrous. The F75 runs from 1 - 99 with 15 and under generally ferrous. The White's V3i runs from -95 to +95 with negative numbers generally ferrous. I say generally because in all three cases gold can run well into the ferrous range. Like by 10 - 20 VDI numbers into it!

      A few big lessons. The Nokta FORS VDI 1 - 99 range is skewed with high conductors bunched on the high end of the scale with most of the scale devoted to ferrous and low conductive items. This is ideal for relic hunters and prospectors. Silver coin hunters however usually prefer the scale to devote more room on the high end to possibly get a better handle on what is silver and what is not.

      The ferrous range of the Nokta actually runs all the way down into the ferrous ground range itself which is why there are 40 numbers devoted to it. The ID Mask setting defaults to 10 and if set lower allows ground signals to sound off. Since non-ferrous starts at 40 and I arbitrarily end low conductors at zinc penny on the upper end you have 40 - 82 or a spread of 42 points for low conductors. This really is no more than an average spread due to the large ferrous range.

      What I was happy to see is the simulated nugget (BIC ballpoint) nailing at 44 as a non-ferrous target.

      Contrast this to the F75 1 - 99 range. There are only 15 points in the ferrous range with the extreme low end represented on the Nokta scale truncated roughly in the middle. However, this leaves 16 up to 62 at zinc penny for a low conductor spread of 46 or slightly better than that on the Nokta FORS and leaves room for a little better definition for high conductive coins also. There is a ten point VDI spread between a dime and a quarter versus only 3 points on the Nokta.

      What disturbs me on this particular F75 is that having tried multiple coils I am getting the same result on the simulated nugget test. It wants to nail at a solid 1 which is well under the ferrous 8 reading for the allen wrench. This is not shocking but it is not good either. I can get the ballpoint to break in at 16 occasionally but it should be there hard and solid, not rarely. I had Keith Southern test his updated F75 and it seems to do better. I need to test this again when and if I ever get an upgraded F75 but it does confirm my suspicion that at least some Fisher units are not properly aligned at this critical break point.

      The White's V3i slays both of them with White's standard spread of 190 VDI points with half that devoted to ground and ferrous. A full 95 points is devoted to non-ferrous, giving a nice spread across the whole range. The V3i is a three frequency unit and the 22.5 kHz frequency employed allows it to easily nail the ballpoint test with a solid VDI of 3. White's even allows the 22.5 kHz frequency to use a native VDI range that skews and expands the low conductive range that delivers a VDI of 10 on the ballpoint, a very nice cushion between it and a ferrous reading. you have from 1 all the way up to 55 for zinc penny slightly beating both the Nokta and F75 for VDI resolution on low conductors and still room left for very good definition in the high conductor range.

      These detectors can employ a dual tone mode that delivers a low tone on ferrous targets and a higher tone on non-ferrous targets. The break point on the Nokta and F75 is preset at the factory VDI breaks of 13 and 40. The V3i you can customize not only the VDI break point but the tones.

      The F75 dual tone mode is pretty straight forward, with the volume being weaker or louder depending on the strength of the signal. In other words, a modulated audio. The Nokta Boost or DI2 mode uses a VCO (voltage controlled oscillator) audio where both volume and tone increases with signal strength. Anyone that uses a Fisher Gold Bug is familiar with VCO audio. It is rather unique and some people like it, others do not. Again, the V3i allows the tones to be customized any way you want, with either VCO, modulated, or even unmodulated options.




      Things get more interesting in Nokta DI3 or F75 three tone options. The low tone break for ferrous is the same but a third higher tone is added. On the Nokta zinc pennies and higher or from 80 on up delivers the third high tone. On the F75 it breaks above zinc penny so those pennies fall into the middle tone low conductive range.

      Zinc penny is also where Indian head pennies and some other old coins can fall. If you hunt strictly by ear and dig high tones only you are going to pretty much dig all coins but nickels. With the F75 it is geared more towards silver hunters so zinc pennies, Indian heads and possibly other coins would get passed up as low conductors. But wait! The F75 also has a four tone option that puts that zinc range into into own fourth tone - problem fixed. You can chose a tone option that focuses more on silver only or one that breaks out that penny range. Jewelry Hunter would probably prefer the 3 tone mode and dig just mid-tones. The bottom line is the Fisher has more tone options for the coin hunters than what the FORS offers.

      Of note is that the Nokta DI2 dual tone mode uses VCO audio, but the DI3 three tone option defaults to a more normal modulated audio. DI3 favors a faster sweep speed than DI2 which benefits from going slower. A generality would be that DI2 is more powerful but DI3 better behaved.

      The V3i again is unchallenged. You can actually go so far as to independently set a separate tone for every single VDI number, and the tones can be any from 191 tone options. You can make low conductors high tone if you want. Absolutely nothing on the market compares to the V3i for audio and visual customization options.

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      Still, tests like these are very valuable to me in setting the baseline for performance in the field from which I can work to discover how much things vary and hopefully why. The theoretical goal if finding a machine that adheres as closely to bench testing results as possible in the field. Sometimes you get textbook results, but then at another location everything goes haywire. But unless you know where you are starting from you will have no idea what is going on.

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      This is all just stuff I am finding out for myself. I have no real reason in reporting it to you other than just to be sharing some info that is taking at least a little effort to collect. It helps me digest it better trying to put it clearly in a form you can better understand. Hopefully it will help someone in their own choice in a detector. As you may be figuring out if you have not already, there are no best VLF detectors, just lots of really different VLF detectors. They all actually do a good job finding stuff but it is in how they go about it that differs so much. It is mostly a case of finding out what style and type of detector works best for you.
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    • By californiagold
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    • By californiagold
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