Minelab E-Trac Metal Detector
Minelab E-Trac Metal Detector
The Minelab E-Trac sets a new benchmark in metal detecting! Utilizing the precision of Minelab's proven Full Band Spectrum (FBS) multi-frequency technology, E-Trac is fast, sensitive, accurate and DEEP!Visit Website
The Minelab E-Trac sets a new benchmark in metal detecting!
Utilizing the precision of Minelab’s proven Full Band Spectrum (FBS) multi-frequency technology, E-Trac is fast, sensitive, accurate and DEEP!
Advanced digital filtering has been enhanced with the development of new timings ensuring optimum sensitivity and accurate discrimination.
A refined discrimination scale supports real-time analysis on target identification utilizing the fastest, most powerful microprocessor ever.
New features of the Minelab E-Trac include superior ergonomics and the introduction of a USB interface with XChange software, allowing you to download, save and email your favorite settings.
Minelab E-Trac Features
- USB connector for communication with Personal Computer
- 32bit, 48MHz microprocessor fast and powerful
- Intuitive User Interface; Fast Target processing; Multi-language functionality
- Accurate Gauge active in Normal detecting and Pinpoint mode
- Ultra-lightweight 11″ Double D (DD) waterproof coil
Minelab E-Trac Field Test
The Minelab E-Trac is specifically good at finding silver coins through a peppering of nails and aluminium junk.
When conducting a field test with a higher-end detector, I tend to stay clear of areas where the majority of targets are recently lost, as a pocketful of clad does not provide a true test of the detectors capabilities. Instead, I try to search sites that have been well hunted, where targets are known to be deep, or where concentrations of trash give any detector a real workout.
The first site was an older park near Charlotte that has seen more than its share of detectors over the years. To get a feel for what was in the ground, I opted to hunt in QuickMask with minimal discrimination (rejecting FE from 27 to 35). I also opted for conductive audio which allowed me to identify targets by sound and then confirm that the target was not iron based on the LCD screen. Auto sensitivity allowed the detector to run between 20 and 24 (out of 30) with no chatter or falsing. One section had been the site of a concession stand from the 1930s to the 1950s and had a high concentration of old bottle caps and nails in the ground.
Other detectors tended to null when used there and my first impression was that the Minelab E-Trac was no different, since it was also nulling. Suddenly, a solid signal came through and indicated a CO value of 44. While the FE value bounced around a bit, the CO value remained consistent and the depth indicated 8. From under a tree root at 8 came a 1926 Mercury dime. Over the next two hours, I recovered several coins from the area that was producing a nulled audio from the trash, including four more silver dimes and 11 wheat cents. The Minelab E-Trac new see-through capabilities were clearly evident at this location!
The next site was near a local college and, while there was nowhere near the trash as at the park, the remaining targets were extremely deep and finding any would put the Minelab E-Trac to the test. Selecting the Recovery-Deep option, Difficult Ground, a modified coin discrimination pattern (designed to provide for a bit more acceptance than the factory pattern) and Conductive audio, I started off along the edge of the field. As expected, signals were few and far between, but, after about 20 minutes, a solid 14/42 came through.
The depth indication was almost bottomed out and, after several minutes of careful digging, I pulled out a 1919 wheat cent from almost 10. Several hours of hunting there over the next week netted 12 older coins, including one Standing Liberty quarter with no date, two Barber dimes and a mint 1944 Mercury dime. All had been at least 7 deep and more than half had been at an angle or on edge.
As I did with the Explorer SE Pro field test, I asked Bill Paxton to provide his perspective on the Minelab E-Trac. He is a straight-shooter who calls it like he sees it and has decades of experience using many different detectors. The rest of this section is Bills assessment of the Minelab E-Trac based on his using it at sites around Los Angles.
Since my favorite type of metal detecting is beach hunting, I was anxious to see how the E-Trac would fare at three of my favorite beaches. Ive hunted predominantly with Explorers at the beach since they first came out, so the Minelab E-Trac was going to have to do a pretty good job for me to give it a thumbs-up. Reaching the wet sand at my first beach, I noise cancelled and loaded my program, a combination of Beach Mode and the Jewelry Pattern which I found, through target testing, best fit my needs. The only change I made to the stock setup was to increase the variability from 25 to 30, because I prefer to maximize the difference between target tones.
Immediately I discovered that manual sensitivity, which is the Minelab preferred mode according to the manual, did not work for me. The E-Trac was noisy and falsing quite a bit at any manual setting over 14. Switching over to auto made the E-Trac rock solid with a steady threshold. The left sensitivity bar readings varied on all three beaches from 15 to 21, generally staying in the 18 20 range. I was able to go to +1 and +2 in auto; at +3 the E-Trac starting nulling more and target response become choppy (clearly sensitivity was too high).
An interesting side note: While experimenting with the Neutral and Difficult ground settings, I found that the sensitivity ran 2 to 3 points higher in Neutral than in Difficult, both in the wet and dry sand.
I did experience some falsing issues, with 01/29s & 01/32s coming up often in the wet sand. A simple touch of the reject button eliminated those falses which I knew did not correspond to any targets I would dig. I then saved this as one of my modes so I could go back to it again for future hunts.
Depth on the Minelab E-Trac was excellent, on par with best machines I have used at the beach. Clad was plentiful at all three beaches, but, unfortunately gold was not. I dug several quarters at depths better than 12 in the wet sand. Target ID was rock solid even at depth. I also discovered that the E-Trac is a nickel magnet; CO values of 12 or 13 were always nickels and it was only fooled by one bent square tab. Tabs typically came with a CO value of 25 and sounded different.
Total take for the day in what I would call poor conditions (translation: no storms, beach sanded in) was nearly $9 and a heartbreaker platinum earring with diamonds that turned out to be junk. Verdict for the beach: I would definitely consider the Minelab E-Trac.
Next I picked out a portion of one of our older Los Angeles parks that has been hunted hard by almost every person with a metal detector. There was a small, long forgotten corner of this park that a buddy and I had hunted for months last year with our Explorers. We had done well, but, after gridding the entire area and hunting it with a variety of different coils, we had finally written it off as hunted out. This would be a good test for the Minelab E-Trac.
Experimenting with Neutral and Difficult resulted in Difficult being the preferred setting, as it made the machine run much quieter. I chose Auto sensitivity and the sensitivity gauge varied during the course of the hunt from a low of 14 to a high of 20, staying mostly in the 16 to 18 range.
To my surprise, the E-Trac started hitting coins immediately. Not just shallow, surface clad, but also deep, older clad that we had obviously missed. This park is very trashy and my Explorers nulled frequently when I hunted here in the past; however, the E-Trac didnt.
Many of the coins produced solid target readings with repeatable audio with trash readings all around them. The Minelab E-Trac did better seeing through the trash than any other machine I had used in the past.
Searching around an old tree I had hunted many times, I was surprised to get a nice, solid high tone that gave a CO value of 46. It sounded deep and out of the hole at 6 popped a 1954 Roosevelt dime!
As I was getting ready to leave, I received another CO-46 that indicated it was deep on the depth meter. After digging down over 10, I was surprised to find, on edge, a half dollar-sized token for the Westinghouse 1936 Golden Jubilee! It turns out that celebration was held in Cleveland, Ohio my home town and somehow found its way to Los Angles only to be found 72 years later.
The E-Trac has taken FBS-technology in a new direction and is not simply a new Explorer. It has combined many of the features that made the Explorer so successful with new ones developed by Minelabs engineers after 100s of hours of in field and lab testing. On the outside, the greatly improved weight / balance aspect along with the new LCD screen and coil are immediately noticeable. The performance in the field where it really matters is first rate based on the improvements made to the software and accessed via the options available on the new menu system.
My keeper count has definitely gone up since using the E-Trac at many sites that I and others had long since given up on. Bills verdict? The E-Trac is an impressive addition to the Minelab line of metal detectors. Speaking as a beach and coin hunter, I can say that it is definitely worth consideration if you are looking for a multipurpose, high-end metal detector.
If you are looking at upgrading your current detector for 2012, the Minelab E-Trac deserves a serious look, as it will meet the demands of even the most critical detectorist. If you are already an Explorer user, stop by your local dealer and compare the two side-by-side. See if what the Minelab E-Trac offers in terms of performance and features can help you be more successful in the type of hunting you do. Remember, the Minelab E-Trac was not designed to be a replacement for the Explorer, but rather offer new features that may enhance your overall success.