Dec. 4, 2020

The Mighty Pin Pointer

The Mighty Pin Pointer

This week I talk to you about the Mighty Pin Pointer do you need one to detect are there any things to look out for in buying one and what happened to the inline Pin Pointer.

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Hey Everybody. Welcome! to Episode 37 of the metal detecting show podcast. My Name is Ciaran and I have been Metal Detecting for nearly 30 Years and This week I talk to you about the Mighty Pnpointer do you need one to detect are there any things to look out for in buying one and what happened to the inline pinpointer.


So lets get on with the show.



Hey everyone before we start I want to thank you for listening to the podcast and I hope you enjoy the show this week  but before we begin I want to give you the following information. 


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Hey Detectorists! Welcome to episope 37 I hope you all had a lovely thanks giving last week if you celebrated it and if you don’t well heres the first of many happy Christmas’s you will here over the coming weeks. 


Lock Down is Finally over so I can start planning to get out again over the coming weeks I still have an in depth review of the Simplex to Complete so that will require a few more hunts at least to ensure it’s a fully in depth review the bit I have done so far I have really enjoyed so looking forward to completing it. In other News i'm still banned from Reddit but that’s fine i've given up reaching out to the Mods so ill wright it off as a bad experience. 


Im looking for someone to interview about magnet fishing so if you know of anybody that is an expert and can talk about it let me know and i'll reach out to them and see if we can arrange something. 


So this week I want to talk to you about The Mighty Pin pointer One of the most under rated on the tools we use but has such a large impact. Do you know who invented the pinpointer……..neither do I and neither does the internet just google who invented the pinpointer and you get very vague answers the best I can assume is that it comes under the invention of the actual metal detector by alexander graham bell but did you know there are two types of pinpointer’s. The inline pinpointer and the singular or handheld pinpointer. Looking firstly at the inline pinpointer this is essential another coil that is attached to your detector by splicing the connection from the main control box to the main coil. 

This coil is normally a pair of windings just like a normal coil except configured and given the pinpointer shape by having both windings on a plastic cylinder. 


This is then covered in whatever hard wearing plastic the manufacture sees fit to use but the key being that it behaves like any coil that you attach to the main control box in that it adopts what ever settings you have applied to the machine and utilize's the detectors headphones and battery. What you are purchasing is a new coil head and a way to switch from the main coil to the pin pointer coil. Early models of the inline pin pointers were made bespoke to order by guys in their sheds till the sunray probe was released which seems to be the first commerical version of the inline pinpointer. 


Sunray have recently stopped producing these and if you think of it with the advent of the proprietary coils by the major manufactures there is no easy path to producing an inline pinpointer for a modern detector as it would require licensing of the manufactures technology for each pinpointer and because we cant swap coils between detectors of the same brand the same process will be required for every model of detector you wish to produce. Which isn't ideal if you own several models or brand s of detector which most of us do.


When looking at the singular our handheld pinpointer the earliest model I can find is the AH:Pro by Allen Hamette in you follow me on instagram you will see I shared a picture of the model 8A recently this was released in the late 70’s and came with features such as differentiation which from what I can see is a form of discrimination allowing the user to differentiate between a bottle cap and a coin. Now if you ask me his looks more like an normal metal detector with the only difference being the coil which is a rod on the model 8 Modern pinpointers come in all shapes and sizes with a wide gamut of features but it is clear you can see the lineage in the rod coil design so make sure to check out the picture on my instagram. 


Before we get on to talking about some good brands of pinpointer lets examine do you actually need one now that most detectors come with a pinpoint mode. Do you need one No you don’t you can happily search away and use the inbuilt pinpoint mode of your detector in fact if you are new to the hobby there is no harm in carrying out your first few hunts without one as it wont take you long to create the muscle memory and develop a successful pinpoint technique with you large coil, in my case I cant pinpoint for jack in fact I find that my holes are getting bigger the longer I detect and I use a pinpointer. And if I lost it as I have recently done with my Garret Pro I would be wracked with anxiety and have to quit the hunt so using a pinpointer is not all good it can lead to some bad habits and dependancies but I think the good out-weights the bad for example using a pinpointer just saves on frustration when trying to isolate a find while testing handfuls of muck over and over again till you find it.  

Now don’t get me wrong if you like getting your hands dirty digging around in the dirt then have at it but as soon as I target a find I am trying to get it out of the ground as quick as possible and a pinpointer allows me the speed I require in recovery. 


This heightened recovery speed has a knock on affect, one it allows you more time to hunt giving you an opportunity to find more but also allows you to conserve energy letting you go for longer again giving you more time to hunt resulting in more ground coverage. I have seen estimates online stating that a pinpointer will give you an extra 30% hunting time. 30% more hunting time means 30% more finds. 


Another factor that is often forgotten about especially when I look at videos of coin recoveries online where the user is pinpointing the find in the plug, locates the find and then jabs their trowel right into the spot where the pinpointer said the find was inevitably leading to a damaged find. 


One of the major benefits of the pinpointer is to locate the find and allow you know where it is but also to avoid it in recovery. This damage Limitation also translates to the ground dug using the pinpointer should result in a smaller hole being dug especially if the find is near the surface and you use the pinpointer to isolate the find further by locating the point on the surface where the finds location intersects. Allowing you to dig surgically.


So is there any special way to use a pin pointer well there are a few things that can help for example if the pinpointers range can be adjusted then adjust this down to approx 1 inch from the tip. There is no point in having the pinpointer set to pick up a target 4 inches away what you want when you put the pinpointer in the hole is for it to narrow down your search field if its set to max range there is almost no point especially if the tip of the device is not directional that means it can indicate which side of the tip the find sits by increasing the vibration signal. Also if set to high the pinpointer can detect the signal from your own metal detector and you find your digging in the direction of the metal detector location for a find that is not in the direction at all. So when probing with the pinpointer make sure to move your metal detector away from the hole this mean’s that you might not be able to test each handful of dirt on your detectors coil but now need to use the pinpointer. 


Pinpointing with a pinpointer takes some practice especially if you want to be a pinpoint and pop black belt ninja person who can recover a find by diggin the smallest of holes or even by using a long screw driver. I am not one of those people. My holes are getting bigger by the number of years im detecting and I still locate finds in the side of the hole.


If you are like me and using a pinpointer all the time it only takes a slight issue for you to lose thrust in it. 


For example you see it all the time online people turning on the pinpointer and the first thing they do is check to see if its on by testing it on a metal part somewhere this behaviour came about because at some stage in the past that metal detectorist spent a few minutes rooting about a hole with their pinpointer only to eventually realise that it was not on or had died. There is nothing wrong with their current pinpointer but they have this learned behaviour for past errors and the erosion of thrust in the machine. Then If they probe the hole and find nothing the first thing they do is retest that the device is on again. This is crazy I do all this myself and often wondered how much time I was wasting with this behaviour and was that behaviour negating the benefits of the pinpointer. I think a best practice is to fully charge or replace the battery and make sure there is some audible or vibration to tell you it is on and trust it.


I don’t particularly want to recommend any particular models of pinpointers as good as I have used very few but I will highlight some brands to look out for and there key models.


Starting with Garrett you have to start with Garrett they may not have invented the pinpointer but they definitely made it their own with the Pro- Pointer II which is aptly named the nations favorite Garrett have extended their range beyond the pro pointer II to include features such as water proofing and wireless comms.


Up next would be Minelab with their profind range what I like about the minelab range is that they have a pinpointer to suit your budget they are sturdily made and will last you till you lose them but the minelab pinpointer has a built in alarm to alert you if it does get lost. Minelab are quick to bring in new features such as a specific tone for a ferrous target not im not sure how usful that is because you can be guaranteed if I have gone so far to dig a hole im not gonna turn back if the pinpointer tells me its an iron target ive come this far ill keep going till I find it.


Quest have a nice range the Xpointer an afforadable pinpointer that are positivly reviewed and have a fanitical following so they must be good but I can’t testify to this ive only heard good things from people I thrust. 


And finally nokta makro pulse dive series this is the pinpointer I use a little on the expensive side but you are paying for the versatility of adding separate tips such as a scuba search coil in various sizes and an ability to be used onland as well as under water. Some great feature such as frequency shift that you may remember Dirtifishmish teaching me about on our recent interview.


And that’s it for the mighty pinpointer often ignored as an nonessential accessory but once you use one there is no turning back. 

Wrap Up 

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.