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How about Tesoro Sidewinder?? ... Good News!!smiling smiley - and a wee bit of bad as well.sad smiley

June 12, 2021 07:00AM avatar
The Sidewinder was introduced in the mid-'90s when metal detecting clubs in the USA we're about at their peak, and the vast majority of all of the active clubs held an annual Open Competition Hunt. The bulk of the detectors in use at the time where in a category you might call slightly bigger size and heavier weight. One notable positive for Tesoro was that their detectors were of the two filter type that provided quick response and fast recovery which was a desired function for Competition Hunts.

As an active dealer I quickly ordered in a couple of Sidewinder models because they were simple, easy to use with a preset GB, and worked well for a lot of beginners and average Coin Hunters and we're great for hitting tot-lots and similar sites. I kept one on hand in my travels mainly because I was a dealer and also to have as a loaner unit. Most of my own detecting was handled with a Bandido or Silver Sabre model so I use the Sidewinder very little at the time.

It worked however it did have that wimpier performance for detection depth due to a very modulated audio that trailed off too quickly at about 3 inches. Oh, there was one other feature that I did not care for and haven't except for only one detector model on the market soon Tesoro introduced a second version of The Sidewinder and that was the use of the 1/8" mini-plug headphone jack.

There was no particular name used at the time to describe this new and small-sized detector. So Jack Gifford, the owner and design engineer, use the electronic symbol for 'micro' which resembles a reverse letter 'I'm. Unfortunately, and irritating to me, is that most hobbyist never read their manual or marketing literature that explains that symbol means micro and the added word following it is pronounced 'micro-MAX to name that small housing design as The Sidewinder micro-MAX. Instead, many people pronounce it with a 'you're and say 'you-MAX' which is incorrect.

With the second Sidewinder model we still had use of all those general-purpose search coils as well as some added features. However this new model came with a glitch. That glitch is that the preset GB iserrantly coupled with the variable Discrimination control and that results in some terribly bothersome performance.

If the Discrimination control is reduced from where was when that internal GB trimmer was preset, it also reduces the GB into a negative range that can result in very noisy performance and more mineralized ground conditions. And worse yet, I noticed that when I increased the discrimination it also increased the GB setting to a way to positive point where the detector would not respond with a good beep to a highly conductive Target such as a US silver dollar. Sometimes it might even be adjusted so high that it would not respond to a half dollar or even a quarter.

That made this particular model very unfavorable in my opinion and I did not keep one on hand. I continued to use my Bandito and Silver Sabre. The other thing I did notice was that some of the original Sidewinder models that were produced close to the transition to The Sidewinder mocro-MAX, used some of the transition circuitry resulting in similar glitchy performance.

I think it was about October of 1997 when Tesoro introduced two new models using that compact control housing that became my all-time favorite Tesoro detectors. Those were the Bandido II micro-MAX and Silver Sabre micro-MAX, and ever since that time into this present day I always have at least one of each of those models in my personal detector outfit. I keep a 6 inch concentric coil mounted on each of them.

Not only do these two models perform well and without that annoying circuitry glitch, but they use a drop in 9 volt battery without the wired clip oh, they use a 1/4 inch headphone jack, and best of all they introduced the Tesoro Low-Noise / High-Gain circuitry that enhances their detection depth and responsiveness and uses a more saturated audio that only Trails off to be more modulated at the deeper depth of detection.

So there are my thoughts and opinions and experiences with both of the Sidewinder models. They started a good trend but they got off on a bad foot and limped a little bit. Check out what you have to see if it has the glitch or not


"Your EYES ... the only 100% accurate form of Discrimination!"

Stinkwater Wells Trading Post
Metal Detector Evaluations and Product Reviews
I'm now 'back home' in Farr West Utah
monte@ahrps.org ... or ... monte@stinkwaterwells.com
Detector Outfit: A selection of my chosen makes and models, with the best coils mounted for the tasks I'll take on.
F-19 .. Racer .. Vanquish 540 .. FORS Relic .. Silver Sabre ┬ÁMAX .. Bandido II ┬ÁMAX .. XLT
Pinpointers: Garrett AT Pro-Pointers .. Headphones: 'Hornet' .. MS-3 Z-Lynk .. ML-80
*** All working well today to make memories for tomorrow. ***
Subject Author Views Posted

How about Tesoro Sidewinder??

Kickindirt 638 June 10, 2021 10:08PM

How about Tesoro Sidewinder?? ... Good News!!smiling smiley - and a wee bit of bad as well.sad smiley

Monte 638 June 12, 2021 07:00AM

Re: How about Tesoro Sidewinder?? ... Good News!!smiling smiley - and a wee bit of bad as well.sad smiley

Kickindirt 355 June 12, 2021 11:50AM

Here are two quick methods.

Monte 368 June 12, 2021 11:19PM

Re: Here are two quick methods.

Kickindirt 324 June 13, 2021 05:23PM

The serial number concept doesn't work because

Monte 348 June 13, 2021 06:35PM

Re: The serial number concept doesn't work because

Kickindirt 332 June 13, 2021 07:13PM

Re: How about Tesoro Sidewinder??

Timbertodd 403 June 11, 2021 04:07PM

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