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The unit worked well for me but became a little irratic and when i turned it off to dig, it wouldn't turn back on. I went to get new batteries and when I returned it came on again before replacing the batteries but still no low battery indicator.I've probably used it a total of 4-5 hours with the first set of new batteries. I believe my low battery light is not functioning properly but I would appreciate any advise.
This is my first metal detector and have very little experience. I have really enjoyed this user friendly unit. It looks high tech with all it's capabilities but it's so easy to catch on to. I feel confident with the unit and have seen what my friends use. If I go out with others I wouldn't feel like I arrived with a toy. I'm very impressed.
New to metal detecting, I wanted a mid-point detector that offered the normal video information in addition to multi-tone audio found on most metal detectors today. I hunted with a friend a time or two who let me use his Bounty Hunter Time Ranger and I was impressed, but a bit intimidated by all of the features. I wanted sort of a 'little brother' to the Land Ranger and Time Ranger, but with the manual ground-balance feature of the LandStar. My search included all of the major manufacturers and I finally found and settled on the RadioShack Discovery 3300 as the perfect solution.
The detector has 4 audio tones which delineates the lower 2 target categories that are lumped together by the main Bounty Hunter branded models. It also separates the Iron target category into 3 segments, yielding better separation on smaller gold items as well as iron targets, resulting in 11 target categories overall. The numeric VDI is stable and accurate as deep as the detector will detect. The unit incorporates automatic ground-balancing in the motion All-Metal/Disc modes and the manual ground-balance feature is great in mineralized soils when operating in the PinPoint mode.
The unit operates at 6.5 kHz and is very lightweight at a touch under 2.5 lbs with both 9V batteries installed when fitted with standard 8" coil. I purchased the 4" and 10" auxiliary coils sold by Bounty Hunter which can be used on the detector and they work quite well. The control box and coils must be sent into the factory to have the coils calibrated to the machine.
The units sounds the 4 audio tones at start-up and goes into the default 'All-Metal' mode which is a motion-all-metal mode (like running in Discrimination mode with the discriminator set to accept all metals). Pressing the All-Metal/Disc touchpad toggles the unit between the default All-Metal mode and the motion Discriminate mode. Discriminate mode starts with the 3 lower-most iron categories rejected. Pressing the up and down Discriminate arrow-shaped touchpads adds or subtracts target categories to be discriminated. Pressing the PinPoint touchpad allows for deeper searching and excellent pinpointing. The PinPoint mode is actually a no-motion-all-metal mode and the video is turned off in this hunting mode. The detector is a single-tone, non-discriminator in the PinPoint mode, but is quite deep in its search capability.
The ZAP! feature works in the All-Metal/Disc motion modes and eliminates single targets when the touchpad is pressed. A Notch feature is also included that allows selective notching of the 7 lower-most target categories for customized hunting situations.
I have found the detector to be able to detect dimes at 7" measured depth in my moderate Central Mississippi soil with the standard 8" coil and the default sensitivity setting. For a selling price of $299 it's a lot of detector for the money and performs better than I expected. I purchased the optional 3-Year extended warranty for $59 and a set of RadioShack full-muff headphones with individual volume controls for $20.
I really like this detector and have found some good things with it. I like hunting in the default All-Metal mode to see how much trash is at a site and can ZAP! out certain targets that are numerous at a given site. The numeric VDI helps to reconcile the TID categories and the audio to allow the detectorist to dig only the targets he's searching for. Target separation with the 4" coil is excellent and depth with the 10" coil (especially in the PinPoint) mode is ridiculous. It will detect some items that are deeper than you'll want to dig.
I once got a strong signal in the PinPoint mode (relic hunting) and outlined it. It appeared to be a round profile (potential cache!). I switched back to All-Metal and couldn't detect it at all, then switched back to PinPoint and could lift the coil about 10 to 12 inches before I lost the signal. I found the top of the Mason jar at 17" measured depth, but it was just the lid...no jar or money! The point is that this detector is an easy turn-on-and-go unit that is highly programmable for the veteran user and has adequate depth. It is affordably priced and offers unbeatable value for fully-featured detectors with VDI.
Kellyco now offers the Titan 3000XD, which is a twin to the Discovery 3300, but includes a 5-Year warranty and the upgraded upper stem assembly with the larger arm-cup and locking collar to stabilize the lower rod (I paid $20 for the upgrade when the unit was sent in for coil calibration).
I really like my Discovery 3300 and am having a blast hunting with it. Thanks to Bounty Hunter and RadioShack for teaming up together to get this little gem to the market! The only downside or change I would like to see incorporated is the ability to save your hunting setup when switching back and forth between the motion All-Metal/Disc modes and the PinPoint mode. The setup is fast and easy to do, but it would make hunting a bit more enjoyable. I would recommend the Discovery 3300 without reservation for beginners or veterans alike.
Currently I own both configurations of the TimeRanger, the older configuration with the dual C-Cells that had the true Blanker feature which allowed the user to eliminate surface while searching deeper and the Newer version with the Dual 9v's that also has the Blanker though it is now referred to as a Zapper which basically is a target rejection feature. Both models are great to detect with though my choice has been with the old version for various reasons I won't go into here.
If you read the promotion articles posted by various dealers the TR is all that it says it is. It's lightweight, easily understandable and more importantly user friendly. The LCD Readout System with Numerical Values to discriminate coins is a definite plus and about accurate as one can wish for. The unit has a Fully Programmable Touchpad Selection affording the user a wide range of search capability and discrimination. The SNIFF mode feature used for detecting preselected targets is great for competition hunts and could/will provide the user a definite edge in quick target location. The TR doesn't lack anything in the depth range either being able to get down as deep as many of the high ended models made by other manufactures. It has three coils in which you can employ, the 8in which is the work horse of the lot, the 4in great for getting around and close to them sidewalks, rocks, foundations and fence lines, and last but not least the 10in which will provide the depth you would expect to get out of those more expensive models on the market today.
Using the All Metal function one can easily pin-point with accuracy any target ID'd. The TR also provides the user a three-tone audio discrimination; four-level iron discrimination thus allowing the user full versatility to use the unit for all types of detecting from beaches, coin shooting, relics, artifacts and even prospecting. The TR's ground monitor for automatic ground control is great and has allowed me to focus on other aspects the hunt rather than worrying if I have the ground balance set to optimize my units performance or not.
I would classify the TR as a professional model detector and have taken it up against many other models and have amazed the users of these with its performance. Much of this may have something to do with my experience in detecting since I have been at it for almost 28yrs, but for the most part I do believe the TR has taken much of the guess work out of setting up the machine to achieve the optimum performance level and capability of the unit. As I stated previously the unit is one of the most user friendly models I have ran across.
I detect primarily old homestead sites, plantation homes and sites that I know will be productive relative to finding old coins and found the TR to be my choice detector for many of the reasons/capabilities I cited above. I have found many, many old coins, jewelry, relics and artifacts in the last few years. I can honestly say the unit paid for itself many times over and though I love all my other detectors and each has a purpose in my arsenal, the TR is my detector of choice. If you'd like to read more on my experiences with the TR you can easily go to the BH web site forum and look for the many, many posts I have made there under the handle Pineapple. The only thing I am now waiting for is for BH to put a PI type detector on the market.
I did have initial trouble as my unit arrived DOA but Maggie in cust service was VERY helpful allowing me to return cost free and promptly sent a brand new unit..! I have since read many positive responses about their service policies yet NO negative so far..
Practice is necessary to ID targets better, I now guess right almost 2/3rds before I dig. Gold is very difficult to differentiate from Aluminum but Notch & tone Discrimination works when you get used to them. Using tone differentiation has indicated by far most trash iron & aluminum! Mine works best if I search in "all Metal" mode (center toggle) with max sensitivity (just under chatter), when I get a hit the switch is easily reached with thumb and I flip toggle to right then left of center to use the tone disc and notch disc. The 3 modes give a very good idea of what you found (with Headphones and practice !!! ). I have not yet ordered a 4" coil but plan to soon. I think this will help get into tighter areas as the 8" will react to any poles or metal frames under or around equipment & stadium seats when within a few inches of them..
Overall, for under $150 you get more than your money's worth and it does work better than some of the $300 units I tried (no names here). The only negative issue is only motion detection, no still detection. but this does also cost a bunch more in other models.. For best results, as I stated above and just as the manual suggests, set the machine on a table or use a clear area to practice with items you WANT to find and more important, items you DO NOT want to find. The choice of modes and settings will help you sort much of it out, you just have to PRACTICE..!
I am a very pleased Bounty Hunter Customer,
Jim Ramski Vernon, Texas
The Bounty Hunter Lone Star has the same features as the Radio Shack Discovery 2000. There are three modes of operation with push pads to switch between them. There is also an indicator telling you wich mode you are in. The modes are all metal mode, discrimination mode and auto notch mode. There are two knobs on the detector one to turn on the detector and set the sensitivity and the other to adjust the discrimination and notch. There is a low battery indicator as well. In all metal mode there is only one medium tone and all metals are detected. In discrimination mode and notch mode there are three tones. Disc. mode is a normal variable discrimination mode. Auto notch mode is a automatic mode of discrimination that eliminates unwanted items but retains gold items and nickels. The notch is a adjustable area of discrimination that can be narrow or wider depending on what you want to "notch out" It is possible to get rid of zinc pennies and retain nickels for example. The Discovery 2000 is a multi-tone detector it sounds a low tone for nickels and pull tabs a medium tone for screw caps and zinc pennies and a high tone for all other coins.
The detector has a visual indicator for wich item is being detected wich is broken into six groups. Iron and foil, nickel, pull tab, screw caps, zinc pennies, penny- dime- quarter- half dollar. The detector is very light and fairly ergonomic. The detector comes with an 8" open coil and you can get 10" and 4" coils for it as well for a low cost. The detector is very capable even with its minor drawbacks. The most noted drawback I have found is occasional falsing or periods when the detector apears to become unstable. This usually only happens for a few moments and does seem
to correct itself. The other drawback is the lack of a pinpoint mode. New users will find pinpointing to be a daunting task. I am challenged when it comes to locating the center of the target and I have years of practice at this. Another concern is the detector missing deeply buried coins because of the user moving to quickly over the area. This detector is best suited to a very slow sweep speed when hunting for deep coins. On shallow coins a faster more normal sweep works fine. I should note the excellent performance on deep coins when a slow sweep is used.
The discrimination is excellent on this detector and most trash items are simply not detected at all. This
makes for a very pleasant and quiet detecting experience even in extremely trashy areas. The exception to this is that some trash items that are detected can cause the tones and indicator to switch around. The tones take some getting used to as do the different settings of discrimination wich is just a matter of getting to know the machine. Once you learn it this detector is really fun and easy to use. If your looking for a great little detector look no further than the Discovery 2000.
The Bounty Hunter Quick Draw II is a versatile machine with most of the bells & whistles of the higher priced models. A clear LCD readout accurately tells a coin’s depth and denomination within reason. Since this is my first detector, I’ve got no other machine to compare it with, but since learning to understand the machine I’ve made a killing in clad.
Some of the things a new detectorist may have a hard time understanding in the documentation involve the “broken tone” a pulltab will give off. The term is somewhat vague and inaccurate. If there’s a pulltab under your coil the detector will sound a low tone while swinging in one direction and a medium tone in the other. If you’re new to the hobby and the docs are all you have for reference the term is quite misleading. Only after digging hundreds of tabs did I realize how to identify one. The hard thing to remember is that the QDII has a specific marking on the LCD scale for pulltabs, but that also falls into the GOLD range and you may be passing up a good target. My wedding ring laid on the surface of the ground gives off a solid pulltab indication at 6” below the ground. I guess the best advice is to dig the pulltab signals but avoid the mixed low/medium tones.
Another difficult aspect to the QDII is the low battery indicator. A small black LCD dot surrounded by black plastic. It’s so hard to notice, you actually have to stop hunting to move the detector into direct light. This is one time a backlight would have been invaluable, alas the QDII doesn’t have one. An easier way to tell the batteries need replacing is that the detector will beep frantically at non-existent targets ranging from foil to dollars. If your detector gets stupid all of a sudden, check the dot and you’ll probably be in need of a fresh set of batteries.
Depth range of the detector is excellent with the standard 8” coil. Pinpointing using their “X” method works really well. I’ve subsequently purchased the Magnum 10½” coil and it has its good and bad points. I can easily detect a coin at a whopping 17” down but pinpointing becomes nearly impossible. Move the coil away from a deep target and you’ll lose it, but leave it close to the ground and you can only pinpoint to a 5” circular area. No big deal unless it’s a 5” hole that’s a foot deep. Now we’re talking about a lot of dirt. Even in grass looking for a shallow target we’re looking at a considerable size divot.
More sound advice for the newbie is to buy a set of headphones. It will extend the battery life considerably. Also invest in a pinpointing probe, you won’t be sorry.
In closing, I’d rate the QDII a solid 7 out of 10 on the value-to-price
scale. It’s a durable, versatile detector with enough options and
information displayed to make a new detectorist happy and not so
complicated that it takes months to learn the machine. Feel free to
drop by and see my finds at http://www.intellisys.net/choxnpinz