This week we do our first product review on the podcast reviewing the Nokta Makro Mini Hoard make sure to stay tuned as there are a few co-hosts very excited to give their opinions.
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Hi! Welcome to the metal detecting show Yes its happened were at Episode number 33 go on laugh it up. This week we do our first product review on the podcast reviewing the Nokta Makro Mini Hoard make sure to stay tuned as there are a few co-hosts very excited to give there opinions.
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Ok before we start, We are still in level 5 Covid lock down in ireland which means we can’t travel beyond a 5KM radius from our home. So This limits the availability of sites and as I said last week I’m looking to get back on the fields but it seems nearly impossible to get public liability insurance to detect in Ireland but I keep looking.
So this week I’m going to review the Nokta Makro mini hoard firstly this is not a paid promotion however Nokta Makro did provide a unit for us to test. so how does a man of 44 years of age review a child metal detector well he recruits some helpers of course to offer their personnel opinion but stay tuned for that.
now my part of the review is built up watching my boys Harry who is nearly 9 and James who has just turned 7 use it.
To start let’s take a look at the spec.
Available in two varieties with the stand alone mini hoard or the mini hoard cool kit. The difference being that the cool kit comes with the same detector but the following extra accessories.
A nifty little sand scoop and sifter and some personalisation stickers for boys and girls but both varieties come with the same mini hoard detector.
The detector itself weighs in at a kid friendly and light 780g or 1.7 lb’s and a length starting at 63 CM’s or 25 inches extending to 90cm’s now this is geared toward kids between the ages of 4 to 8 and Harry who is 8 is a big fella looking more like a 10 year old had no problem operating this although he did have to extend it right out to the full length and if he grows any more he’ll be looking for the mini hoards big brother the midi hoard but were not here to talk about the midi hoard so back to the mini.
On to the Features
It is rated for IP68 which indicates that it is fully submersible down to 1M, opening up the control unit and reviewing the connections it is clear that this is the case with a fully sealed silicone or epoxy coil connection to the control box plus there is no headphone socket to worry about any water ingress this coupled with a fully sealed battery compartment we don’t see any foreseeable issues with submersing this only maybe if we forget to put the screw back in the screw off battery compartment lid which I imagine could potentially come lose without it.
We didn’t get to test the submersability of the detector but this looks to be a legitimate claim and if when we do test this it proves false I’ll be sure to let you all know.
The mini hoard comes with some well thought out features such as
2 Audio Tones keeping it simple with one tone for good and one for bad.
A surprisingly accurate pinpoint mode.
A pretty effective Iron discrimination.
And An easily understandable depth indicator.
The mini hoard looks to be a BFO detector operating in the best of both worlds at a VLF of 15khz which is right in the sweet spot between large silver which is better detected at 5khz and small gold which is better detected about 40khz.
Powered by 2 x AA batteries which I assumed were going to run out but didn’t and I never needed the spares in my pocket even after several 1 hour kid friendly hunts.
The mini hoard comes with an innovative icon only and super kid friendly LCD screen for example giving a happy emoji with a thumbs up for a good signal and a sad emoji with a thumbs down for a bad signal.
This emoji theme continued with the simple thumbs up for battery good and thumbs down for battery down. The depth indicator on the LCD indicated how deep the target was by the size of the dirt mound you were going to make bigging the hole so the bigger the pile the deeper the find.
Lastly on the LCD we have a Sad Exclamation Mark that indicated iron overload.
Looking at The 6” Coil
As any listener would know I love a six in coil and this one proved no different I have to say during our test on a very trashy camp fire area the 6 inch coil was great so much so I had to stop myself taking over from the boys as they started to pull out finds.
First look and Assembly
First look out of the box this detector looks the part and super tough the shaft is rock solid with zero wobble. It assembled quiet quickly for me but because this was a kids detector I disassembled the detector and asked both of my boys separately to assemble both found it easy including the thumb screw to secure the shaft however both needed help with the screw for the battery compartment but this was an ideal opportunity for dad to teach them about righty tighty lefty loosey. Asking them what they thought each button did had mixed results based on their reading ability however once they observed the screen both straight away understood the emojis and what they meant which was very good. Harrys comments were happy emojis were worth digging and sad emojis were not. So mission accomplished in User interface.
Observing the boys hunting with it was great to see but very interestingly that Harry the older boy liked to use the tones to decern whether the find was worth digging while James defaulted to the emojis on the LCD screen. Other observances during the hunt included frustration around the arm cuff although it looked in line with the design it is quiet narrow and the rubber cover kept coming for both boys. Future revisions may need adjusting.
And while we are talking about design the Stand legs either side of the battery compartment tend to get in the way mid swing due to protruding out quite a bit but again this is nothing that can’t be overcome with some adjustment in the future.
On onto the field test We brought the detector to several sites including a beach both wet and dry and a park setting the mini hoard preformed surprisingly well for a kids detector on all settings, however there was a little chatter on the wet sand with no way to tune it out but that was to be expected.
We tested the Iron off feature which worked very well but preferred to run it with it on as the lack of signals was quickly trying the boys patience but once back on, I noticed even bad signals brought some level of excitement we ended up digging everything as any new detectorist should and found that the good bad categorisation was quiet good and I liked the fact that ring pulls were not consigned to the dark side.
So Final thoughts from an experienced detectorist looking at it from a kids point of view this detector is the real deal not once did the boys feel they were operating a toy but a machine in par with their dad’s so much so that the running commentary was that it was better than your’s Dad.
I feel that Nokta Makro have gone out of their way to respect a kids intelligence and you can see that in the intuitive User interface and design. However some small issues like the rubberised Arm Cuff frustratingly coming off and the tiny screw used to Seal the battery compartment being very fiddley again are small issues.
Would I recommend the mini hoard as a Christmas present this year absolutely if you want to get your kids into metal detecting then this is the machine for you but don’t take my word for it lets check in with the boys to get there points of view.
That’s it for this week’s I hope you liked this episode of the metal detecting show podcast.
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Once again, I hope you have enjoyed this episode and we will chat to you all again next week.
Get out there eyes down and Happy Hunting.