Harbor Freight 9 Function Metal Detector (item 67378)

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4rob2's picture
4rob2
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First huntFilling a cofee can or two
Joined: 07/15/2012
Harbor Freight 9 Function

I purchased this detector for under $50 from the local Harbor Freight Store in the area. It was a second detector so my 12 year old daughter could detect on her own when we go out. After using it a few times, I would say the field tests are accurately stated. My daughter found her first coin at 3" and was thrilled. In all metal mode a 3/4" nail was picked up at 6", tin can at 12". Depth is as described. Volume is good even for those with hearing problems. It has a headphone jack and that works good. However, it is a process to work the sensitivity and discrimination controls in disc mode? It takes a while to learn that and even then large objects such as nails sound a crackle much like a coin in this mode. This will take some effort getting acquainted to work. It is not a turn on and go detector. But what do you expect for a lower price? Pinpointing is difficult with the button (unreliable) but does OK with the X method. I agree the meter is basically useless as every target is a 10 and any faint signal is all or nothing. Six AA batteries are required and they will go for over 12 hours. I purchased the Harbor Freight 18 pack that was on sale at the same store so I don't know about rechargeable power timeframes are at this time. For the price and the purpose I had, this detector is well worth the money put forth. It would make a good gift for someone you want to go detecting with on that doesn't go out that often or as a second backup detector while you get your main one fixed. It is a surprizingly good basic detector that forces you to learn discrimination and advanced features of higher end detectors to make sense of what you got without forking out the cash ahead of time. It makes you appreciate the advanced features and why you want them. And, for the new detectorist even in all metal mode, it puts a smile on their faces when they find something like a coin. I can say, if this one ever goes out and the price remaining in the same range, I will buy another so I have one on hand for friends and family who want to go detecting with me for a day.

silversurfer1111's picture
silversurfer1111
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First hunt
Joined: 07/14/2012
i have used this machine for

i have used this machine for 2 y now . on the 2 hunt i found a civil war button 8" down ....on other hunts i have found .2 silver dimes at 5 " down.. 1 silver quarter at 7 " down .small silver ring at 4" down ..silver pendant the size of quarter at 4 " down .. oldies coin 1862 Indian head penny.. lots of wheat penny's and lots and lots of clad coins . no gold but lots of pull tabs lol.i have the 16 $ pin pointer to and it helps out big time . this machine has payed for it self on the 2 day out .now im looking for somthing new but i would have to pay 300 or more to get a good upgrade from this 50$ machine lol

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dirt-fisher@hotmail.com's picture
dirt-fisher@hot...
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First huntFilling a cofee can or twoCould use a few more storage tubs
Joined: 08/22/2011
I have not used the model

I have not used the model from HF.  Like anything, your happiness is what counts.  Before my son started detecting, I purchased him a Bounty Hunter ($97.00). He hunted with it for a couple weeks, had a great time but very frustrating time. I would wait until he finished an area, then follow up with my XLT and find tons of coins, jewelry, and so on.  My son now hunts with an At Pro and routinely kicks my butt on finds.Bottom line is you get what you pay for.Happy Hunting....may you find loads of coinsP.S. Dig every solid hit...no matter what machine you are using!!! Gold hides at all levels (VDI).

ultralightpilot's picture
ultralightpilot
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First huntFilling a cofee can or twoCould use a few more storage tubsThe garage is looking smaller all the time
Joined: 11/30/2011
additional information

In case anyone else is following this thread, and looking for more detailed information on the HF 9F detector than can be found in the manual, I have measured the operating frequency as 5.8khz. I have confirmed with both frequency counter and spectrum analyzer.  My intent was to find other search coils that are compatable.  So far the only detectors I have found that operate near the same frequency is the Fisher F2 and F4, operating at 5.9khz.  Since these detectors are fairly new, I doubt I will find any used coils at a bargain price for my experiment.  If anyone knows of an older detector that operates at that frequency, please let me know so I can be on the look-out for used coils.Thanks from ULP

ultralightpilot's picture
ultralightpilot
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First huntFilling a cofee can or twoCould use a few more storage tubsThe garage is looking smaller all the time
Joined: 11/30/2011
Harbor Freight 9 function detector

Thanks for your comments 'Z51'. As I noted in my first post I am happy with the discrimination capabilities and I don't really dig much trash unless it is a large ferrous  or aluminum target.  My only complaints are that the meter is absolutely useless.  It stays at 0 until you get a signal and then goes to 10 (full scale) regardless of target conductivity or size and the instruction manual is barely adequate for an experienced hunter and might be confusing for a neophytes.  The explanation for use of the pinpoint feature is pretty vague, and I am still not sure if I am using it as intended, but my results are good.  It appears to me that the pinpoint button sets the detector to a non-motion, lower sensitivity, and perhaps all metal mode.  The manual doesn't mention how to cancel the pinpoint mode.  I suspect it auto-cancels based on time, but just to be certain, I turn the detector off while I dig and then back on when I am ready to use it again.  Since the meter is not useful for id of targets the tone mode is the most useful in trashy sites.  I was surprised to find that the orientation of the target makes such a difference in the signal.  For instance, a coin buried on edge gives a double signal and the null between the signals is the correct location of the coin.  I don't recall ever seeing such a response from my old detector.Can anyone tell me if this is a normal response for all motion type metal detectors?  The closest I have come to using the detector in mineralized soil so far, is a local lake that due to the continuing drought is very low, exposing soil (and targets!) that has been under water and mud for decades.  I used my old detector under similar conditions and it would often signal targets when none could be found due to the soil mineralization.  So far that has not occurred with this detector.   I thought I was having that problem once, but just as I was about to give up and fill in the hole I found an old small broken fish hook.  It is unfortunate that by the time I found the hook I had churned through the soil so much that I can't be sure what the depth of detection was for that hook.  I had the discrimination set low in hope of finding gold jewelry as this site sees a lot of swimmers.  That incident alone convinced me to buy a pinpointer, also a Harbor Freight.  Time will tell if the pinpointer is as good a buy as the detector. I read a letter from  hunter A.J. in the March issue of  Lost Treasure, asking about this detector.  I hope A.J. sees this and joins in.  I intend to set up a test garden and will be happy to post the results and maybe video if there is any interest. ULP

BlackZ51Vett's picture
BlackZ51Vett
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First huntFilling a cofee can or twoCould use a few more storage tubsThe garage is looking smaller all the time
Joined: 02/27/2010
I think for a basic detector

I think for a basic detector you'll do fine. Dont expect to find coins or relics in the ground like your machine air tested. Once your in some mineralized ground I think you'll find that it dosnt perform anywhere near what a good detector does. Also, I dont think that machine will pick up small objects like your buddies detectors will either. I picked up a Bounty Hunter (low end) for my granddaughter to fool around with. I fooled around with it briefly and no matter how you set the discrimination on the thing, it would signal at everything in its path that was metal. So if your in a park, playground or wherever, be prepared to dig a lot of junk. I'm not saying you wont find something good with it, you just wont be as productive as someone with a higher end unit. Good luck, and have some fun.

1stSgt U.S.M.C.(Ret) Semper Fi !!! Minelab E-Trac/Sun Ray X-1/Titan 2000 XD Pro