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Jamie, good questions; interesting comments; and reasons why I do seminars.

October 28, 2018 02:36PM avatar
From the mid-'60s when I got started in this great sport until the late '70s, there were differences to be noted between brands in the way of physical design, build-quality, and cosmetic features. But moving from the BFO's to conventional TR's, and on to TR-Discriminators and then to dual-mode VLF (Ground Cancelling All Metal mode) & TR-Disc. models there were differences in performance, but their circuitry designs were still more similar in the way of general performance.

Then in '78 we got our first motion-based VLF-Disc. models to reject both the ground mineral signal and trash targets signals and that moved us into the very fast-motion requirement. Then in just 4 to 5 years time we saw a lot more incorporation of digital circuitry design that brought us slower-motion detectors as well as models that featured visual Target ID then audio Tone ID functions. Those earlier new models were more of a digital/analog blend than what we have today, but one thing I did notice as we went through a lot of very quick circuitry design progression in that five year period, and ever since then, is that there have been more notable differences in circuitry design.

Differences with how they worked and what some models designs can do, as well as a lot of newer terminology that has been used to describe a detector's performance behavior afield. Unfortunately, a lot of the terminology isn't well understood and is often incorrectly applied or used to describe a detector's abilities and features.

Over the past 40 years, since our first motion-based Discriminators, it has kept me on my toes in evaluating detectors in general to know their strengths and weaknesses and to sort out all the goods and bads in design to make sure I select the better makes and models that I feel fit MY personal detecting needs. Thus, I also to know the strengths and weaknesses there are to help me share advise with newcomers to this great sport because many either have, or make a determination, to limit the amount they are interested or willing to spend on an electronic device to help them find lost change.

You will note that I do have this General Metal Detecting Forum and it is especially for questions like yours about a Bounty Hunter model, or any make and model detector, especially those that are older and long discontinued, such as a Jetco, Relco, Gardiner, D-Tex, Gold Mountain, Pillar, Treasure Ray, and many others. Even some currently produced models or available in recent years that are usually associated with being budget-priced and obviously mass-marketed.

I do have some brand-specific Forums, because they represent brands that draw more interest from Avid Detectorists here in the USA as well as foreign-to-us countries. They represent manufactured products that have some loyal followers, and represent some leaders in the industry who have provided noteworthy strides in new product advancement. Naturally those represented brands can have discussions on those brand-specific Forums, or for in-general discussion they can be placed on this Forum.

There are quite a few registered participants here who now me personally and are aware of my general feelings about several brands so I am sure a few are wondering how I will respond to your questions related to a Bounty Hunter Tracker IV. Well, many questions can be answered "in general" so that most folks will understand what is stated, but quite a few comments and questions come up that can be a little difficult to explain to an audience or readers when I am not sure how much detector knowledge they have and am noit able to immediately respond to questions they have.

That's why I especially enjoy doing my day-long or even two-day seminars, since 1981, because I work with a group as a whole and can demonstrate what I am also trying to verbally describe, and I do it using some of my detectors as well as their detectors. That way they can ask questions and see and hear answers and a detector's demonstrated behavior. In addition, I am often able to pick up expressions on some of the faces I the group and then question what they are wondering about and on-the-spot address those things as well. Seldom are they the only person in attendance with that question on their mind.

So I will gladly get to your post and hope I can be of help, and along the way I'll share some comments not specific to a question or comment in order to help describe the particulars detector you have.

I’ve been a member for a few years. I have also read most everything you have written. Great knowledge that is appreciated.
'Thank You' for your comments, and that also tells us you must really enjoy reading if you spend time on all my brief replies. eye popping smiley

I was wondering if you have ever spent much time using a Bounty Hunter Tracker IV with a 4” coil attached?
I have spent time with various Bounty Hunter Tracker IV's through the years. Maybe not 'much' time, but enough to get to know what I liked and didn't like about them. That model, like a Chevrolet Impala, is a name that has been in use for quite a while but the specific model has been through some changes. Do you have an older Tracker IV with the solid coil, or a newer Tracker IV with the open-frame 8" coil?

As for the 4" 'Sniper' Concentric coil, yes, I have used it a number of times in product comparisons. I have preferred smaller-size search coils in the 5" to 7" size since about 1971 so I am always interested in search coils that are smaller than what is usually a 'standard' size which typically runs from 8" to 11".

Most of the sites I search are very littered, especially with nails and other iron-based debris, but I also deal with a lot of brush and rocks and uneven terrain along withy building rubble or dealing with metal structures and metal fences, which all are reasons to prefer a smaller-size search coil.

It is so much fun to swing.
All metal detecting activities should be 'fun' and I especially enjoy using detectors that are light=weight and comfortable as that makes them even more 'fun' to use. However, it is their light weight that can make them fun to sweep left-and-right to search an area, but all too often I see some people swinging their detector too far off to the left and right and moving much faster than they should, simply because their detector is so light weight.

Keep in mind that your Bounty Hunter Tracker IV is not only a lighter weight design but also is a 'double-derivative' design which means it is a slower-motion requirement. Additionally, that design works well in an 'air test' or used in a very low-mineralized condition with a comfortable sweep speed. If you live in or search in a highly mineralized environment, however, this type circuitry design will have more challenges ignoring the ground mineral signal and passing along a good target signal if it is swept too fast. The ground mineral signal basically swamps the filtering process and doesn't allow good-target processing so a slower and methodical sweep speed is required.

That will improve performance and therefore make the adventure afield even more 'fun' because more good finds can be made.

Great iron separation, also a pretty quick recovery rate. Thoughts?
Yes, I have thoughts on these two statements. Let's start with "iron separation" and then we'll get to "quick recovery rate."

'Iron Separation' calls for a very definite description of what we consider 'iron separation' to be. Many average hobbyists want to just Coin Hunt and do not want to hear nails and other iron-based junk, so to them, 'iron separation' is simply iron rejection so they do not hear any iron targets. Thus it is often a matter of Discrimination settings to not hear nails or other iron targets in average Coin Hunting types sites. As a rule, the various ferrous and non-ferrous targets are well spaced so there isn't a dramatic difference in performance from most detectors set up that way and the majority of good targets are easily found.

Now, let's associate 'Quick Recovery Rate' for this group of typical urban Coin Hunters working a park or school grassy area or a sports field. They are searching for individual lost Coin or Jewelry that are generally going to be separated by feet or at least several inches from other nearby coins or jewelry or trash, such as bottle caps, ring-pull tabs and modern rectangular pry-tabs.

Because they have a greater spacing in average urban search locations, most detectors have an adequate 'recovery rate' to be able to encounter a bad target and reject it and then recover fast enough to respond to another potentially good target that is separated far enough away that it can recover and be ready respond to it. Or, if it is simply nearby coins, the 'recovery rate' is fast enough to deal with an average urban situation with reasonably close coins to be able to respond and recover to be able to take on the next coin.

Times have changed, however, and when it used to be a large number of Hobbyists simply Coin Hunted, I have noted a decline in that due to urban banning of detecting in parks and other public places, or a major drop in frequent city hunting because the bulk of all of those once-lost coins have been found and places are well hunted and thinned out. In the couple of decades I have seen that change, I have also acknowledged the increased number of Hobbyists and growing number of Avid Detectorists who have taken on more Relic Hunting activities which lead them off into more rural locations.

There, they will more often encounter and increased amount of nails and iron debris, which is also very dense in many areas and that presents a problem of 'good-target masking' and calls for an excellent and 'fast recovery rate' combined with a 'iron separation' that is also taken care of very quickly so the detector has recovered fast enough to quickly respond to a very close desired good target. This combination of 'Iron Separation' and processing for an also 'Quick Recovery Rate' is not an easy task for most detectors to accomplish.

Even when using a smaller-size search coil, which is usually vey helpful in such environments, many detectors just are not very good when it comes to 'separating iron' trash and still producing a 'quick response' in such close-target encounters. The4 older Tracker IV models like many earlier Bounty Hunter models, had a somewhat delayed response which resulted in a slower response time.

Several years ago, David Johnson and other FTP engineers addressed most of the Bounty Hunter models and improved their performance generally, and that included giving them a quick-response and faster-recovery time when dealing with closely associated and accepted tar5gets, such as hunting a tot-lot or similar site where many coins or jewelry items can be/are often be near each other. If your Tracker IV is of the latter design the yes, it can be a 'fun' and reasonably6 quick-response and quick-recovery time.

The performance will be close to what I enjoy with my lightest-weight Target ID Teknetics Omega 8000 which shares a similar Quick-Response and Quick-Recovery that makes it one of my favorite Coin Hunting detectors for most popular-use urban sites. I have used them, since 2010, in a few fringe areas of ghost towns or homesteads and old barn and equipment sheds where I have hunted well away from a dense scattering of nails or other very littered debris. and, at times , have had some successful results.

However, even though these models can reject iron, and can demonstrate a 'fast recovery' when working in and around a lot of accepted targets, they are not what I consider to be very good Relic Hunting detectors. That is because they do not do that well at rejecting the Discriminated targets and still be able to recover quickly to give an acceptable response to nearby desired non-ferrous targets.

To clarify that, I have used many Fisher Teknetics and Bounty Hunter models that share a lot of common design behavior with an 11" BiAxial coil, a 5X10 DD coil, a 5X9½ Concentric coil, the open-frame 8" Concentric, and even the open-frame 7" Concentric I keep mounted on my Omega 8000 for day-to-day hunting. And to make sure I gave them every opportunity to compete with my personal favorite detectors for hunting in and around very dense iron and nail conditions, I use a 5" DD (like the one I keep mounted on a spare lower rod and in my Accessory Coil Tote) or the smaller 4" coil on the Bounty Hunter series.

Going with the smaller-size coil does help in the worst conditions, but the Tracker IV is what it is, just as my Omega 8000's are what they are. Very useful and fun for many applications, but not the better choices for serious Relic Hunting.

Personally, I prefer to have more Ground Balance control, especially manual if not a functional auto-mated GB process, and the Tracker IV relies on a factory preset GB adjustment. I hunt in highly mineralized environments and that often doesn't work well. I also often prefer to have more Tone ID choices, even though I do like a good 2-Tone audio when accepting iron nails, and I also prefer to have a traditional, Threshold-based All Metal mode for better sizing and shaping as well as more accurate Pinpointing instead of a possible all-metal accept motion-based Discriminate mode labeled All Metal.

So for ME, the Tracker IV showed what it can do, but it also lacked features, funtions and performance that I like to have so I didn't keep one in my detector outfit. I considered one to have on-hand for grandkids or a loaner unit but instead rely on something I already tote with me.

I hope you have some late fall and winter weather to let you get out and enjoy some detecting. If you would, e-mail or message me your general address so I'll know where you are since I am going to be planning a few seminars next years and might have one in your general area.


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

Stinkwater Wells Trading Post
Metal Detector Evaluations and Product Reviews
monte@ahrps.org ... or ... monte@stinkwaterwells.com
Fisher: F-44, Nokta-Makro: FORS CoRe and FORS Relic,
Tesoro: Bandido II µMAX and Silver Sabre µMAX, White's: XLT, XP: ORX
Killer B's 'Hornet' and White's 'Pro Star'
Note: Detectors are listed alphabetically by Brand. Models are chosen based on search site conditions.
*** All working well today to make memories for tomorrow. ***
Subject Author Views Posted

Hello Monte

Jamie 347 October 27, 2018 04:29PM

Jamie, good questions; interesting comments; and reasons why I do seminars.

Monte 282 October 28, 2018 02:36PM

Re: Jamie, good questions; interesting comments; and reasons why I do seminars.

Jamie 200 November 09, 2018 05:08AM

I trust you have some huntable weather over there.

Monte 218 November 09, 2018 11:45AM

Re: I trust you have some huntable weather over there.

Jamie 206 November 09, 2018 12:41PM

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