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Metal Detector

The Bounty Hunter Time Ranger Metal Detector

-At First Glance-

Note: This article was written before the latest version of the Time Ranger went into production. The Sentron Corelator has been removed and the technology for it is all on the board inside.

By Dan Breitenstein

I've been an avid user of Bounty Hunter products for quite some time now. Having started with the Radio Shack Discovery 3000 and then the Landstar, progressing to the "top of the line" model was an inevitable evolution. It arrived last night and I spent the evening reading the instructions and running possible setup scenarios through my mind. It was no more complicated to put together than any other Bounty Hunter detector, a five minute job at most.

I have to admit that before hitting the field this morning I was skeptical. I couldn't imagine what the Sentron Co-Relator would do for me and I have to honestly say that it looked downright odd. I decided that the best place to hunt was ground that I was familiar with that I knew had been hunted before, even by myself.

I chose an area to start in that was a notorious bed of nails that had produced good coins the week before. I set the Time Ranger up to reject iron/foil and pulltab readings. This left the nickel reading still alive in the lower end of the discrimination spectrum. I found this very easy to do by going into the discrimination mode and pushing the "preset" button twice.

I started off into the nail bed and all was silent for about three feet. The first hit came solid and strong in the penny/dime scale. The depth indicator was reading strong at 6". I dug and found a nice 1946 Wheat Penny at 5" down. I proceeded on and within five minutes had another solid hit in the same scale. This dig went on for quite awhile. The readout indicated an 8" depth and at 7" I hit an 1877 Seated Liberty Dime. I was amazed at the control the Time Ranger had in the rusty nail bed and the silence in between good hits was deafening. The depth of the dime itself was also an achievement for any detector. Dimes are small targets to start with and finding one that deep is an accomplishment, especially with so much iron in the ground around it. As the morning progressed, I found a 1948 Roosevelt Dime at a 4" depth, an 1898 Indian Head Cent at 5", and several other Wheat Pennies scattered throughout the nail bed.

After a fairly successful morning I broke for lunch and pondered my next test. I had two areas in mind at an old church yard that I've hunted hard. One was an area laden with coal cinders that has vexed me for the last two years, the second was close to the road under the high power lines that has driven my old detectors and a couple of other brands nuts.

When I started off through the yard, I used a different setup. I knew there was some junk still in the ground, so I set the detector up in the basic Discrimination mode without the presets in use. This gave me the opportunity to hunt in my favorite mode where I can "see everything" and still have the three tone target ID. This is a simple one button push to get to from the default all metals mode.

Once again I was thoroughly impressed. There were iron targets every few inches with positive pinpoints to relate to that I never knew existed. Many of them were in the 8"-10" depth range that I had not seen before. I went back to the second preset again and all was silent. My first viable target turned out to be a very small copper clip at 4". It was less than 1/4" square and only about .030" thick, nothing of any value, but it told me the machine was extremely sensitive. I worked my way across the yard to my cinder spot and it handled the disturbance with true class. This area has been notorious with my detectors and other brands for years. I worked approximately a 10' by 10' area and found two zinc Memorial Pennies. The readout for both coins bounced from zinc to penny and both depths were within an inch of actual depth. The normal clattering disturbance from the cinders was minimal and almost unnoticed.

I moved on to the area with the high voltage lines and did get some interference at first. I ended up turning the sensitivity down from level 5 to level 2 and the detector behaved admirably. I only found one clad dime and a few Memorial Pennies in this area, but I'm confident that I covered it with one of the best machines for the job. I don't fully understand the technology involved, but from what I've read, I believe the Sentron Co-Relator is what quieted this machine down in the high interference areas. Whatever that strange looking thing is, it works.

Overall my first glance at the Time Ranger has been a very good one. The machine does what they say it will do and more. I barely scratched the surface of the many options and setups available and had a very successful hunt. At first glance the Time Ranger appears complicated, but it doesn't take long to realize that this is truly a professional machine that cuts through the bull and goes deep.