How To Make Any Land Metal Detector's Operation Wireless - Setup Tutorial, p. 1
A Simple Solution To Metal Detecting Without The Hassle of Headphone Cords
Introduction (brief historical facts on development of wireless metal detector operation):
The first wireless headphones for metal detecting appeared on the market in 2005 when the XP Metal Detectors manufacturer introduced the first wireless headset with a transmitter being integrated in the circuit boards of five metal detectors - Gold Maxx Power, G-Maxx2, Adventis 2, ADX250, ADX 150. And after users of these detectors got a kick out of metal detecting without being "on a leash", the news spread fast. The XP detectors began gaining their popularity, and big success followed. One would think that metal detector manufacturers of other major brands would follow suit, but, no, that did not happen.
In 2009 the XP introduced a revolutionary XP Deus - TOTALLY wireless metal detector, which still remains the only fully wireless machine on the market. Because the Deus does not have either a search coil's cable or a headset connecting cord, the digital wireless audio transmission is unbelievably fast, hence the increased depth penetration. In addition to the super light Deus' incredible maneuverability and super fast reactivity to targets, the wireless detector's operation allows a user to double the time efficiency in the field if compared to other detectors!
One would think that with appearance of the Deus other brand md manufacturers would follow suit! Hmm... no... They were busy designing lots of nonessential features such as in-built GPS (very useful when your regular GPS unit gets lost, and you need to traverse through dense woods to find your way back to your car. If you hold the detector high in front of you to read your whereabouts on a display, the detector's stem will block tree branches hitting you in the face! How nice!), various COLORFUL screens ("Edit", "Detect", "Map", "Polar Plot", "Frequency SpectraGraph", etc. - Oh! How therapeutic! Blue color is used to symbolize Hope, so when you constantly see blue icons indicating rusty iron nails on the screen, you can still hope for at least one red indication of a coin!), waterproof (very useful in those situations when your favorite hunt site is completely flooded in the spring, and water level raised to 6 feet, but you still want to go metal detecting!), "Zoom" ("this makes the text larger or expands a menu" - WHAT?! Is this an electronic book reader or a metal detector?!), Stereo Mixed Mode Audio ("All-Metal in one ear, Discrimination in the other" - yeah, when you become deaf in one ear after having used this mode for long, you can switch the ear cups around so that you could still enjoy the All-Metal mode!), and so on! (this list of unnecessary and COSTLY features can be endless)
I am only wondering when are they going to incorporate a video game "Metal Detect For Treasures" into a metal detector? So one could stay home and still metal detect! Or one would certainly not have time for real metal detecting at the hunt site...
Only in 2012 two major metal detector makers - Minelab and White's, made a little progress in incorporating wireless technology into their latest models, CTX 3030 and Spectra V3i, respectively. They integrated transmitters into their latest detectors to make just the headphone operation wireless. But how about developing and producing similar cheap wireless transmitter modules for older models of metal detectors that still have been popular and in demand?
Not many of the Minelab's die-hard fans can afford a $2,500 fully waterproof detector/GPS unit to enjoy a SEMI-WIRELESS metal detecting operation. I honestly do not understand why most metal detector manufacturers have not been able to design metal detectors that would respond to wishes, complains and suggestions of real detectorists in the fields worldwide? Lucky us, at least one company, the XP Metal Detectors, has been doing that and remaining the only manufacturer of a fully wireless and truly UP-TO-DATE metal detector on the today's market.
What do I mean by "up-to-date metal detector"? Nowadays such a machine must enable its user to get satisfactory metal detecting results even at the "searched-out" hunt sites (90% of metal detecting sites) while maintaining high time efficiency in the field. And the detector's wireless operation plays a major role in the latter. The faster you RECOVER detected targets, the more search area you cover within given time! Back in 2005, effects of this simple approach started being noticeable through metal detecting results that were certainly in favor of the XP GoldMaxx Power metal detectors when compared to results of other detectors used side by side with the GMPs.
Those enthusiasts who saw advantages in the detector's semi-wireless operation but could not afford to buy a brand new GMP, or did not want to part with detectors they got used to, began experimenting with wireless headphones and transmitter modules that were available on the market of home and music audio electronics. Many tried headphones with Bluetooth technology but only a few stayed with it due to an unacceptable signal lag - a time delay in audio sound between a detector, transmitter and the wireless headphones, that is associated with the Bluetooth setups. If you were a reasonably fast search-coil swinger, then using these headphones would be a bad joke for you because you would be a foot past the target before you get a response to it. And most of the Bluetooth devices are known for being jammed by radio sources.
Some detectorists attached various guitar T-Bone transmitters ($70) to their metal detectors and paired them with wireless headphones. However, such setups were not quite effective because they were loosing some signals, and one would have to tune the setup to achieve optimum performance every time one used it.
Some hobby enthusiasts tried the FM transmitter systems ($10-$20) which consisted of a FM transmitter (2" x 1") to be plugged into detector's headphone jack. However, using such a setup was troublesome and inconvenient because one had to select a frequency (between 88-108Mhz) that was clear of any radio stations. A small FM radio had to be carried on a belt or in your pocket, and headphones plugged into this FM Radio. Yes, it worked; however, it could generate lots of audio chatter, or the radio stations would occasionally come through, and the detector's responses to targets were sometimes distorted.
The US detectorists began using Auvio wireless headphones (product number Auvio 33-283) with a small transmitter sold for $75 at the Radio Shack stores. The transmitter module was conveniently small and utilized a 2.4 GHZ frequency ("the must" for preventing any interference) but could be used only with a 1/4" adapter and stuck about a few inches out of the phone jack. The Auvio headphones sounded great and were quite comfortable but they could only transmit in one frequency - this made it impossible for two Auvio users to hunt within 30 feet of each other. Nevertheless, the Auvio setup would be quite useful because of the transmitter's small size (about the size of a zippo lighter) and clear sounds, and sufficient enough if modified a little. Unfortunately the Radio Shack discontinued this item in 2011.
Finally, Sennheiser MX W1 wireless headphones with Kleer technology were introduced to the market of home audio electronics in 2008. The Kleer technology has been the best because it provides clear CD quality audio, greater resistance to interference and more reliable connection and far longer battery life than, for example, the Bluetooth. The Sennheiser system has no lag, does not require tuning, and is easy to use with a metal detector - simply connect the transmitter to the detector, put on the headphones and turn it on for action! However, most Sennheiser headphone systems come with large cradles/transmitters designed for use at home, and only a few have a small transmitter that could be ergonomically attached to a metal detector.
For example, Sennheiser RS-120 digital wireless system was the first Kleer technology headphone system used by detectorists in the late 2000s. Later, Sennheiser RS-160 wireless headphone system appeared on the market and quickly earned its place in a wide range of metal detecting equipment. The RS-160 is equipped with what is required - a small transmitter allowing for attaching it compactly to a metal detector. And this is the headphone system I used to make my E-Trac's operation semi-wireless in this tutorial.
NOTE: The Sennheiser RS-160 wireless headphone system can be utilized with any regular land metal detector to the same effect. And you can use the Sennheiser MX W1 earphones with the TR 160 transmitter as well.
My Old E-Trac with Digital Wireless System RS-160: Sennheiser HDR-160 Headset and TR-160 Transmitter
Even though this scheme looks simple, putting it all together has a very challenging part - making the wireless setup waterproof, dust proof and shockproof. This tutorial shows you how to do it step by step, and it is very easy if all important things are considered.
At the cost of less than $200, you can forget about having your corded headphones pulled off when you set your metal detector down, having the wire get caught on your digging tool, and getting tangled with the wire that gets in the way. Now you can enjoy total freedom of sound and maximum comfort with your old good machine. Equipped with the wireless headphone setup, your metal detector will allow you to be competitive again in a "game" whose set of rules has been changed by the factory-made wireless metal detectors. Just keep in mind that once you go wireless, it is hard to go back to the "leash". A Table of Contents below is to help you navigate through my tutorial.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
3. Modify Metal Detector's Armrest - page 5
5. Make Digital Transmitter Case Shockproof - page 8
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