Friendly Metal Detecting Forums   Quality metal detectors
List all sponsors

Go Back   Friendly Metal Detecting Forums > Detectors and Gear > Make It or Fix It Yourself

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-04-2013, 05:28 AM
TCosbyJr's Avatar
TCosbyJr TCosbyJr is offline
Full Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Bedford, IN
Posts: 157
Default My custom Harbor Freight 9 Function Metal Detector (MD6008)

I recently purchased a metal detector through Harbor Freight, item #67378, listed as a 9 function metal detector. I bought it new for only $45.99 (including sales tax, and shipping costs) - as I had a 20% off coupon.

For the price I figured it would be fun to experiment with and have a back-up for friends and family to play with in the backyard. In the last few years all the reviews really rave about how well it works for the price so I couldn't resist.

It arrived safe and sound and looked like this...



It took 6 AA batteries and was ready to go. After using it in the backyard I quickly learned it had more potential that it was given credit for! Indeed the plastic armrest is flimsy, and is strange to hold/use (due to the grip design) - but it was doing some great depths and had excellent discrimination (it can even disc out nearly all trash and clad coins, if wanted, except a quarter and half-dollar).

Here are the air tests of the stock HF 9 function metal detector, also known as the manufacturer number MD6008 - with the detector set in DISC mode with the DISC knob at 10:00 o'clock with maximum sensitivity...

Quote:
Stock detector air test depths -
14K Gold Ring - 6.25"
Penny - 6.75"
Nickle - 6.25"
Clad Dime - 6.25"
Silver Dime - 6.50"
Clad Quarter - 7.50"
Silver Quarter - 7.25"
Half-Dollar - 8"
I took many other air tests, with 19 different objects (as I always do), in the different settings and DISC positions. I decided it was worth customizing the detector to see what I could do with it.

Well here are my results...









Not only is the detector now much easier to use and set-up properly, it also gets much better depth! Here are the new air test depths with the detector set in DISC mode with the DISC knob at 10:00 o'clock with maximum sensitivity...

Quote:
My custom detector air test depths -
14K Gold Ring - 8"
Penny - 8"
Nickle - 7.75"
Clad Dime - 7.75"
Silver Dime - 8"
Clad Quarter - 9.25"
Silver Quarter - 9"
Half-Dollar - 10.25"
Here is a list of changes and modifications I did to the detector - as it is rather extensive I plan to release detailed instructions/how-to's on the different mods. I have plenty of images and full details saved, and I will release the instructions later on as I have the time.
  • Custom straight shaft that is weight balanced to the handle, with most of the weight under the arm/elbow to make it feel lighter and easier to swing
  • Shaft uses a locking spring clip with 10 adjustment holes (stock shaft is plastic cam-lock only)
  • A metal twist cam-lock for the lower rod
  • Custom detector stand - keeps it out of the dirt and makes it near impossible to knock/roll over
  • Search coil no longer hard-wired and uses a standard detector screw-on connector
  • Search coil was sealed with pure silicone (aquarium grade) to prevent water damage
  • Padded armrest added with a armrest strap
  • Headphone jack changed to standard metal detector 1/4" size (6mm) and added to the end to prevent tangles/problems
  • Added headphone switch for Mono or Stereo headphone cables
  • On/Off switch wired separate to prevent having to change the volume each time
  • Volume control works with mono or stereo headphones, and has smoother increase/decrease
  • Sensitivity potentiometer changed to 100K to allow more power/greater depth
  • Dual DISC/TONE knobs added to make changing detecting targets easy - also aids in easier identification of object in the ground by switching the DISC back and forth as needed
  • Ground control added - and I included a course and fine knobs to allow accurate control/set-up
  • Battery type switched to 9V batteries - as I have many great 9V rechargeable's I wanted to use from my other detectors; however, it can easily be switched to 6 AA batteries again if I prefer.
  • Battery tray is water resistant, has a simple latch to allow easy battery changes when detecting, and holds three 9V batteries for longer detecting time. Also this allows me to continue detecting even if I only have a single 9V battery as only one is required to power the detector.
  • A custom control box was created above the handle to house the meter (which does work to display strength/depth of a found target), On/Off switch, DISC 1/DISC 2 switch to change discrimination settings, and toggle pinpoint switch so I do not have to hold the button -- all within easy thumb reach while detecting
  • ...And many other things "under the hood"

__________________
Thomas - Tesoro Outlaw, BH Tracker IV, Mod HF Cen-Tech PP -MDing Since 6-4-12
-Number of Coins: 428 -Jewelry: 15 -Pull Tabs: 415 -Fun:100%

Reply With Quote


3 members found this post helpful.
  #2  
Old 04-04-2013, 05:45 AM
bergie's Avatar
bergie bergie is offline
Elite Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: maysville wv
Posts: 6,171
Default

Nice modifications there that thing gets more death then my AT ProThat thing will work as good as $1000 detector.

__________________
CTX 3030,AT PRO.T2 PRO-Pointer 2014 $309.35 2gold 8 silver ring,2 IH,14 Silver coins 5 silver CRH

Reply With Quote


  #3  
Old 04-04-2013, 05:50 AM
HarveyH48 HarveyH48 is offline
Elite Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Moved On
Posts: 2,758
Default

Not bad, should do a full write up, it should be of interest to lots of people. Money is tight, but there are many who have the time, tools, and access to materials to do the modifications, plus it's a lot of fun. Would kind of guess that if you actually had to purchase all parts and materials, probably more cost effective to purchase a better machine in the first place, but there is always more satisfaction in building something yourself. I buy a lot of cheap things with potential, just to improve and customize. Not exactly because I'm thrifty, it's sort of a hobby. Besides, sometimes there isn't a whole lot of difference inside the case, and you pay a premium for the case and brand name on it. I just want, what satisfies my need, not a logo.
Reply With Quote


  #4  
Old 04-04-2013, 06:16 AM
TCosbyJr's Avatar
TCosbyJr TCosbyJr is offline
Full Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Bedford, IN
Posts: 157
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bergie View Post
Nice modifications there that thing gets more death then my AT ProThat thing will work as good as $1000 detector.
Thanks, not sure about that - after all it is missing a major option required for many detectorist anymore - a LCD screen with buttons. Thankfully I am a beep and dig kinda guy so it works out, at least I can disc to sort through some of the trash.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarveyH48 View Post
Not bad, should do a full write up, it should be of interest to lots of people. Money is tight, but there are many who have the time, tools, and access to materials to do the modifications, plus it's a lot of fun. Would kind of guess that if you actually had to purchase all parts and materials, probably more cost effective to purchase a better machine in the first place, but there is always more satisfaction in building something yourself. I buy a lot of cheap things with potential, just to improve and customize. Not exactly because I'm thrifty, it's sort of a hobby. Besides, sometimes there isn't a whole lot of difference inside the case, and you pay a premium for the case and brand name on it. I just want, what satisfies my need, not a logo.
Thanks, I will do just that coming up. It seems I have so many projects anymore I am in the process of building a website to host all my mods/projects/instructions.

Indeed it cost much more than I thought, or wanted to spend, but in the end it was worth it. For me working on something like this project - it is more about doing the project than the finished product (I guess that is why I lose interest in some of my things as they get nearly done, and sometimes are left unfinished).

Ha, I know what you mean I am the same way. My family always says I can't leave anything alone, I always have to mod/tweak/customize whatever I buy.

I admit I was hoping to save up to get something that was similar to what I ended-up creating. If this detector gets the depth in ground that is even a few inches less from the air tests I don't think I'll have to worry about it anymore -- as I don't want to dig 9"-10"+ holes for each find (unless it is something truly valuable).

__________________
Thomas - Tesoro Outlaw, BH Tracker IV, Mod HF Cen-Tech PP -MDing Since 6-4-12
-Number of Coins: 428 -Jewelry: 15 -Pull Tabs: 415 -Fun:100%

Reply With Quote


  #5  
Old 04-04-2013, 07:45 AM
DirtyNeckJesse's Avatar
DirtyNeckJesse DirtyNeckJesse is offline
Elite Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,230
Default

Sooooo to sum up...You added a bunch of buttons and knobs and other cool electrical stuff and made a great new "man-toy", right? Sorry ...I am totally techno-stupid man! Looks like you did a heck of a job on this mod. Cudos to ya!

__________________
Are you just alive or do you THRIVE?! See what I am talking about here: www.dwmeeks.le-vel.com !

Reply With Quote


  #6  
Old 04-04-2013, 08:01 AM
ace_man's Avatar
ace_man ace_man is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: VA
Posts: 395
Default

That is the coolest FRANKENDETECTOR i've ever seen. I want one bad. I doubt i would have the technical know-how to do it but I would love detailed instructions. Thanks so much for sharing and I look forward to more!

__________________
Tesoro Vaquero, Garrett Freedom Ace Plus - Oldest coin 1867 shield nickel no rays

Reply With Quote


  #7  
Old 04-04-2013, 08:16 AM
kireta's Avatar
kireta kireta is offline
Elite Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Welllsville, Ohio
Posts: 1,301
Default

I dont know how you did it, but thats the coolest thing I have ever seen hands down !!!! If I had a tenth of the knowledge you do I would be thrilled to death. I love it. I had a similiar looking gold digger (Bounty Hunter) that i loved for the price also. You could have tweaked that one awesome too. Heck I bet you could turn it into an awesome side job for some decent money. I would love to have an awesome home made detecor like that. Freaking coolest thing ever!!!! I had to look at it a hundred times, and will look at it again and again. I simply cant get over the talent.
Reply With Quote


1 members found this post helpful.
  #8  
Old 04-04-2013, 11:41 AM
jason_k's Avatar
jason_k jason_k is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Central California
Posts: 368
Default

Nicely done!!! I thought I was slick when I put a rocker switch and vibrating motor on my HF pinpointer.

__________________
Silver uMax, Compadre w/8" coil, F2 w/4, 8 & 10" coils, Propointer, Lesche

Reply With Quote


  #9  
Old 04-04-2013, 02:55 PM
BentRod's Avatar
BentRod BentRod is offline
Elite Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: West Coast
Posts: 4,490
Default

Sweet mod!

__________________
AT Pro w/ 5x8, Bounty Hunter Tracker IV, Garrett ProPointer, Cent-Tech pinpointer

Reply With Quote


  #10  
Old 04-04-2013, 03:27 PM
jim pickens's Avatar
jim pickens jim pickens is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: On the Ohio river in Pomeroy Ohio
Posts: 68
Default

I really like what you done would love to see a you tub video of this. I see how you did some of the mods but would like to see how this was done in more detail.
Reply With Quote


  #11  
Old 04-04-2013, 03:39 PM
gordonquixote's Avatar
gordonquixote gordonquixote is offline
Elite Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: N FL
Posts: 2,291
Default

Reminds me of Johnny Cash's "One piece at a Time".

__________________
CTX

Reply With Quote


  #12  
Old 04-04-2013, 03:57 PM
BrownBeer's Avatar
BrownBeer BrownBeer is offline
Full Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Tiffin, Ohio
Posts: 148
Default

NICE
I have the same model, it was my first detector.
The meter on mine is useless. Does yours provide any info?
I would like to know more about these mods as well.
Good job!
Reply With Quote


  #13  
Old 04-04-2013, 03:59 PM
Top's Avatar
Top Top is offline
Elite Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Gulf Coast
Posts: 657
Default

well we may see a new brand of detectors soon?

__________________
Fisher F-75, F70, CZ 20

Reply With Quote


  #14  
Old 04-04-2013, 10:48 PM
TCosbyJr's Avatar
TCosbyJr TCosbyJr is offline
Full Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Bedford, IN
Posts: 157
Default

Wow Thanks everyone for your overwhelming support and comments! I figured only a handful of other electronic tinkerers would make a few posts, perhaps even showing off their projects.

I'm not sure if it is best to respond to each individual post or add them all in a single post, I imagine the latter - so look below for a response.

I will be creating full detailed instruction write-ups on the mods of my detector as time permits (in other words I will release the instructions as I can, and I will release all the details but it may take some time to write them), and perhaps even some youtube videos as Jim Pickens requested.

I've received several private messages and comments in regards to my past mods and current mod, so I am thinking of making some of them available for purchase coming up. For example I would buy some new HF detectors and mod them, so those who can't/don't want to mod it themselves can have one, and selling them here on the forum classifieds or eBay. Let me know what you think. Either way I am releasing my detailed instructions, as it can help others create their own.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtyNeckJesse View Post
Sooooo to sum up...You added a bunch of buttons and knobs and other cool electrical stuff and made a great new "man-toy", right? Sorry ...I am totally techno-stupid man! Looks like you did a heck of a job on this mod. Cudos to ya!
Exactly, you got it - bunch of knobs to make a great new toy. Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by ace_man View Post
That is the coolest FRANKENDETECTOR i've ever seen. I want one bad. I doubt i would have the technical know-how to do it but I would love detailed instructions. Thanks so much for sharing and I look forward to more!
Thanks. Frankendetector is right, I like that. The instructions will be released soon as time permits - and hopefully will allow you to create your own. Most of the instructions/details can also be used on other detectors as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kireta View Post
I dont know how you did it, but thats the coolest thing I have ever seen hands down !!!! If I had a tenth of the knowledge you do I would be thrilled to death. I love it. I had a similiar looking gold digger (Bounty Hunter) that i loved for the price also. You could have tweaked that one awesome too. Heck I bet you could turn it into an awesome side job for some decent money. I would love to have an awesome home made detecor like that. Freaking coolest thing ever!!!! I had to look at it a hundred times, and will look at it again and again. I simply cant get over the talent.
Many thanks for the kind words Kireta.

My detector was made just like any project - I started with changing one thing at a time, ensure the change works correctly, and repeat until finished.

Originally I was just going to add dual discrimination (disc) and move the on/off switch to it's own switch instead of the volume knob. Of course having it already apart modding it, I kept finding things I wanted to add or change, and it snowballed from there.

Indeed much of the detailed information on my mods could be applied to any similar detector (or altered to work with nearly anything). Just about any detector that has a few knobs (potentiometers) can be modified to some extent easily.

I may offer some new modified versions of the metal detector in the future, so if you want one that would be the best time to get one.

If you want to see some true talent in this field look over at the GeoTech forum - those people build their own detectors from scratch, and wind their own coils too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jim pickens View Post
I really like what you done would love to see a you tub video of this. I see how you did some of the mods but would like to see how this was done in more detail.
Thanks - I know what you mean, a quick youtube video could show more than countless hours of reading or images for some things. I'm not much for being in front of a camera, but figure I'll have to sooner or later (and I already have a webcam for it).

I'll see if I can work in some quick videos for portions of the instructions, and results, as I write them up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrownBeer View Post
NICE
I have the same model, it was my first detector.
The meter on mine is useless. Does yours provide any info?
I would like to know more about these mods as well.
Good job!
Not sure when you purchased yours, but the newer detectors made in the last two years are said to be light-years beyond the older versions in quality and performance.

Indeed my meter doesn't simply jump to the maximum reading whenever it is over a find. I know from tests the meter needle will be low for deep objects, and progressively higher for shallower objects.

I doubt the meter can be sectioned off for accurate depth, but it can help in trying to determine depth before digging.

I will release detailed information coming up, and thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Top View Post
well we may see a new brand of detectors soon?
Nope, not much of a brand as it uses the heart/brain of another detector - which is itself likely a Chinese copy of a older Bounty Hunter detector. Although that said I may release some custom modified versions for others who can't mod one themselves.

__________________
Thomas - Tesoro Outlaw, BH Tracker IV, Mod HF Cen-Tech PP -MDing Since 6-4-12
-Number of Coins: 428 -Jewelry: 15 -Pull Tabs: 415 -Fun:100%

Reply With Quote


2 members found this post helpful.
  #15  
Old 04-04-2013, 11:09 PM
Dirtfishn350's Avatar
Dirtfishn350 Dirtfishn350 is offline
Elite Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Oregon
Posts: 3,905
Default

That's an amazing job
Reply With Quote


  #16  
Old 04-05-2013, 08:47 AM
dogpound's Avatar
dogpound dogpound is offline
THE JUICE
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: SE PA
Posts: 7,760
Default

you did an awesome job....................i always wondered how Whites machines were made

__________________
armed & swingin
CTX 3030

Reply With Quote


  #17  
Old 04-05-2013, 10:46 AM
Vipr66 Vipr66 is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: RHODY USA
Posts: 15
Default A diamond in the rough

When I found out HF had one, I figured WTH.
Well for fifty dollars, I recommend it to anyone who wants to start MD'g.
It basically has two tones depending on how you set the DISC. I'm not sure what the analog meter supposed to do, but all in all, well worth it!
Reply With Quote


  #18  
Old 04-05-2013, 01:40 PM
TCosbyJr's Avatar
TCosbyJr TCosbyJr is offline
Full Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Bedford, IN
Posts: 157
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirtfishn350 View Post
That's an amazing job
Many thanks, it was a fun project.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dogpound View Post
you did an awesome job....................i always wondered how Whites machines were made
Thanks - although it wasn't my intention of stylizing it like a White's, they do look similar in basic form. I guess when using a standard shaped project box it will look like a White's no matter what is done.

Perhaps that is why several brands have a strange control box - to make their detector look more unique. Like Bounty Hunter's horizontal oval, often called a muffler on a stick, Tesoro's cube, Garrett's Ace bullet style, and others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vipr66 View Post
When I found out HF had one, I figured WTH.
Well for fifty dollars, I recommend it to anyone who wants to start MD'g.
It basically has two tones depending on how you set the DISC. I'm not sure what the analog meter supposed to do, but all in all, well worth it!
Agreed, it is a bargain for under $50 with it's awesome discrimination and above average depth.

Seems the few reasons it isn't a popular detector are - no company backing it just a distributor that has a questionable reputation on their products quality, no digital display (which seems by many or even most, to be a requirement anymore), and perhaps the stock design or quality of the arm rest and grip area.

My detector has only a single tone (factory stock or modified), objects discriminated out are silent or have a broken tone. Even if I set the mode on Tone it still has just a single tone; however, on Tone mode the sound of the tone will beep repeatedly instead of a single long beep, and depending on the find the repeating beep will be faster or slower (the delay between the tone beeps).

On older models the analog meter displayed if the found object was ferrous or non-ferrous by the signal strength. It was changed to just signal strength (how deep the target is), but like most detectors (including the Tracker IV) the meter's needle was either on maximum or nothing.

Now the needle gives signal strength of a found object better, but nothing like the older White's metered detectors. For a found object less than 3" deep it is about maximum, and the deeper it is the lower/less the needle moves. I also noticed even if a object is discriminated out, the detector won't beep, but the meter will still move.

__________________
Thomas - Tesoro Outlaw, BH Tracker IV, Mod HF Cen-Tech PP -MDing Since 6-4-12
-Number of Coins: 428 -Jewelry: 15 -Pull Tabs: 415 -Fun:100%

Reply With Quote


  #19  
Old 04-05-2013, 03:15 PM
Midknight's Avatar
Midknight Midknight is offline
Chatroom King
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: CA
Posts: 1,761
Default

Nice mods!

__________________
Garrett AT PRO, Garrett Ace 250, Propointer, K bar knife

Reply With Quote


  #20  
Old 04-05-2013, 04:01 PM
itsaring!'s Avatar
itsaring! itsaring! is offline
Elite Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Sandedinville Fl.
Posts: 8,802
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dogpound View Post
you did an awesome job....................i always wondered how Whites machines were made
Sweet mod! Looks like my MXT on crack

__________________
Hard to teach someone else how to wipe their own back side

Reply With Quote


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Surprise find with Harbor Freight detector Scooter22 Caches, Old Bottles, and other Treasures 33 03-02-2014 06:01 PM
Harbor-Freight 9-function detector BetterThanFishin How to Use Your Metal Detector 16 01-17-2014 01:02 PM
If you were able to custom build your own Metal Detector... Tin-Tin General Hobby Discussion 28 10-09-2012 08:20 PM
Cen-Tech Handheld Metal Detector (Harbor Freight) Review Spechal Metal Detector Accessories 14 11-14-2009 06:45 PM
Harbor freight narrowroad Metal Detector Accessories 7 05-25-2009 12:24 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:23 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.