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kac

How Is The Sea Hunter Mk2 With Small Targets?

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I have been pounding the beaches with my AT Pro and a Nel Big coil but the black sand gets annoying so I have been looking at some PI machines. I was curious how well the Sea Hunter MKII does with small finds like earings, small silver pendants. Also how well does it do with NiCad rechargeable batteries or are there better battery alternatives like the RD pack I use on my AT Pro that gives me 40+ hours per charge?

Thanks!

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garrett-sea-hunter-mark-ii-metal-detecto

The Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II is an old design, quite dependable, but if there is a weak side to the detector it is the ability to detect small targets. It is a straight up non-ground balancing PI and so relies on a relatively long pulse delay to eliminate saltwater and mineralized soil signals. The Infinium and then ATX were designed to address this lack of small gold sensitivity.

Saltwater and small gold read the same, and so all detectors working in a salt environment give up some small gold sensitivity to eliminate the salt signal.

Sorry, but no idea on battery life options.

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Would slow passes help or do they just run blind? My AT Pro with Nel Big shows 50's in the salt so I fully understand the similar signal but I am able to find nickels >10" down in wet sand but need to make slow passes to find that consistent ping between the random chatter. Curious if similar technique would work with a PI since I never used one.

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Pulse induction relies on the fact that all targets "hold" a signal for a number of microseconds. A PI transmits, pauses (the pulse delay, measured in microseconds uS), then receives. A VLF is a "continuous wave" or induction balance machine and has a delay of "0".

The pulse delay is normally around 10uS to 25 uS on most machines. 10uS is very close to what will make a signal on saltwater. Pushing to around 8 uS is borderline. Basically, the shorter the pulse delay time in microseconds, the greater the sensitivity to small items, but the more sensitivity to saltwater and mineralized soil. If you want a stable machine you go for a longer pulse delay, if you want a "hotter" machine you go with a shorter delay.

The Sea Hunter pulse delay is a well kept secret, I can't find the actual spec anywhere though I am guessing around 15 uS? Bottom line is the lack of sensitivity to tiny stuff is inherent in the design.

Anyway, great detector but just do not expect it to be super hot on tiny stuff. Sea Hunter YouTube Videos

Minelab Equinox 800, Minelab Excalibur II, Quest Pro, Makro Multi Kruzer, Quest Scuba Tector. How to stabilize machine.

Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II, Garrett AT Max, XP Deus, Whites MX Sport,
Stable beach settings part 2

 

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Excellent info so unless I can have control over the pulse delay and ground balance then I may just as well miss those tiny bits. So essentially the Whites TDI beach hunter might be my next option in price range?

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The Sea Hunter does not ground balance - the equivalent White's would be the Surf PI Dual Field. The ATX and TDI Beachhunter would be equivalent models.

The Sea Hunter does I believe employ a pulse delay control but they employ it as a reverse discrimination control. The problem is nobody knows the range of the control. https://www.kellycodetectors.com/catalog/fieldtests/index/view/id/105?

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Price on the Sea Hunter seems worth a shot and simplicity is also nice. My issue with the AT Pro and Nel big is more the weight as it really is heavy for all day swinging. I have got it stable with 2 clicks down from max sensitivity and 3 click in some areas. The beaches here are hit hard so I have no clue if I missed any rings or anything of value though I have found nickels which is always a good sign.

Thanks for the help!

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kac,

I hunted water with these for years, and the Seahunter gen before it too. They are decent machines and if you are just wading, they work fine. Every one of them I dove with leaked though, a thing to consider if you want to dive. 2 Sea Hunter MkIIs, 2 Infiniums  all worked fine till they went below 10'. One of them was the coil, 2 were boxes, one Infinium never dove and never leaked. The hipmount works great,  and the small coil on the MkII was much nicer for me than the larger coil on the Finny. For wading, both these work fine, and for normal jewelry work well. There is no effective discrimination at all, though the hee-haw of the Finny is supposed to tell you something it is very limited and not to be trusted. Regular batteries on these last well, are easy to change out, and the MkII does not eat batteries like some.

At some point, I went VLF to stop digging iron and believe I never found as much gold in the water again even though the digging was not as arduous. This year I am going back to PI for some applications, and found a nearly new Mirage by Sven Stau for less than a new Sea Hunter MkII. You have other, and sometimes better, options if you are willing to explore the used market.

A thing about the Mk II, and the Finny too for that matter, is they are a little clumsy out of the water. If you are not going in the water, pick something lighter with land coils and you may be happier. Also of note, Garret was always very good about fixing them and never charged a dime for it even though at least one of them was out of warranty. 

S

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I have 2 detectors, the AT Pro and I use it more with the Nel Big to get that little bit more depth and a Tesoro Tejon.

On land the Tejon really outperforms the AT Pro with the Nel Big or stock 8 1/2 x 11 coil and when run in all metal mode actually reaches same depths or more as the Nel Big coil. Basically I am looking for a lighter waterproof machine that I can swing around in the ponds, rivers and beaches that is lighter than the At setup. The AT does get chattery in the salt and as I saw in the video Steve posted it actually runs similar to the AT Max. I actually run It at most 3 clicks down from max sensitivity but most of the time just 1 or 2 clicks down. Maybe my shoulders are getting tired but the weight really takes the joy out of the day. I do kind of wish Tesoro would let everyone know what is going on as the Sand shark looked like a good alternative. As far as warranty that really doesn't matter but if it broke it would be un-repairable if there is no one there to stuff some new parts in.

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The Sand Shark and the Sea Hunter MkII are dated though still entirely serviceable, but the new prices on them seem awfully high for what they are. A good reason to keep an eye on the used market for pi detectors is that now Whites put the TDI in a waterproof box, Fisher is said to have a nice one coming out any minute in the next decade or so (maybe), and old geezers that think pi is superior to vlf in the water no matter how much you dig are starting to be less common.

People underestimate just how much digging they are letting themselves in for with these and just how deep they will be doing it. Even a MkII will hit a pop can at a couple feet, and big iron in China will keep you busy for a while. Digging that deep in water will take the shine off that new pi purchase fast for some people and make those VLFs look pretty good pretty fast no matter how good the marketing was.. Then old machines can wind up on the used market at great bargains when new ones come out and then end up on the used market too. 

It is a particular sickness to want to dig that much. Sometimes those sickos get a lot of gold though.

 

 

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