This issue’s field test covers the latest addition to the growing line of state-of-the-art detectors being developed by First Texas under the guidance of Dave Johnson and his team of engineers.
At the time the Teknetics moniker was first resurrected by First Texas a few years ago, to support the introduction of their professional series of detectors, there was but one model in the line – the T2.
Much the way the original line of Teknetics detectors did in the 1970’s and 1980’s, the T2 quickly gained the reputation of offering high-end performance, ease of operation and lighter weight than that found on other top-of-the-line detectors.
Dave and his team continued their development efforts and, over the last few years, have added other detectors to the Teknetics line offering above-average performance incorporating a range of features at price points that can fit any family’s budget.
The most recent addition to the Teknetics family is the G2, which was designed to provide the versatility of not only serving as a sensitive gold prospecting detector, but one equally at home searching beaches for valuables, sites containing artifacts, or even everyday sites for coins and other keepers.
As anyone that has picked up one of the Teknetics models can attest to, the most striking features of the entire line, evident even before turning one on, are their weight and balance. Weighing just 2.8 pounds, the G2 can be used for hours without the slightest hint of fatigue setting in.
At first glance, one might see a striking similarity between the G2 and the Omega 8000, with a few less touchpads and different color control housing.
The similarity ends there, as First Texas designed the G2 from the ground up focusing on building a detector that has enhanced sensitivity to lower-to-mid-range conductivity targets, such as gold, brass, lead, platinum and bronze.
This makes it an ideal choice for applications such as electronic prospecting, relic hunting, beach hunting and searching areas around the world where targets spanning the centuries tend to fall in this conductivity range.
As has become a signature feature on Teknetics detectors, the G2’s controls are a lesson in simplicity itself with only two knobs and three touchpads required for any adjustment in either of the two discrete search modes.
The knobs are POWER and MODE – both of which serve dual functions.
The POWER knob turns the G2 ON and OFF, as well as allows one to set the gain (sensitivity) to match the specific requirements of the site being searched.
The MODE knob is used to select the desired Search mode (Discriminate or All-Metal) and, when the All-Metal mode has been selected, to adjust the audio threshold heard through the headphones or built-in speaker.
The touchpads are intuitive in nature. The center touchpad labeled [GG/PINPOINT] is another dual-function control.
When the All-Metal mode has been selected, the ground balance is set by pressing and holding it while raising-and-lowering the coil until a constant audio response is received.
Many people are "afraid" of manually ground balancing their detector, fearing a mistake will adversely impact the detection depth they will receive.
But precise ground balancing with the G2 is extremely simple and ensures maximum detection depth is always achieved.
A helpful feature is that the precise ground balance setting obtained in All-Metal with the Ground Grab circuit is applied to the Discriminate mode, ensuring optimal performance in either search mode.
The two remaining arrow-shaped touchpads are used to either select the amount of discrimination desired when searching in the Discriminate mode, or to fine-tune the Ground Balance setting when an offset is desired for specific reasons, such as searching for deposits of black sand or making slight adjustments when ground conditions change.
The LCD provides a wealth of information and the content actually varies depending on which search mode has been selected.
The 7-segment bar graph in the lower left shows what the actual ground mineralization is under the coil when in All-Metal (useful in interpreting falsing and making appropriate adjustments), or signal strength when in Discriminate.
The large numerical display in the center which will indicate what type of mineralization is present (Ground Phase) in the All-Metal mode or probable target ID when in the Discriminate mode, a graphic in the shape of a conventional meter that provides target ID indication in all search modes, and a continuous display of remaining battery strength at the bottom of the screen.
The discrimination circuit found on the G2 is different from those found on other detectors and is worth a discussion in this report.
Dave and his team looked at how electronic prospectors and relics hunters tended to use discrimination in the field, and what information they were looking for in determining if a target was worth recovering.
The banes most often encountered are small pieces of iron, such as nails, boot tacks, bits of tin roofs, etc.
What was developed was a discrimination circuit that provided an adjustment range from "0" to "80." In the range from "0" to "40," no targets are rejected; however, targets that read below the selected discrimination level produce a distinctive low tone that lets one know a ferrous target has been detected.
The targets that will produce a low tone are shown with light gray "tick marks" on the LCD display while the adjustment is being made. Those targets that will produce the sharper VCO response are shown with black "tick marks."
Increasing the discrimination level above "40" starts to reject targets beginning with those that register at the "0" point.
The section of the display corresponding to ferrous targets in the lower region will become blank indicating the targets are rejected completely as the selected value is increased.
According to the engineers at First Texas, the break point between ferrous and non-ferrous targets has been set at "40," which means targets that read lower than "40" are quite likely to include the aforementioned targets that hunters typically want to avoid.
By setting the discrimination level at a point where certain ferrous items still produce a signal, albeit distinctive, hunters can use the best discrimination circuit yet invented to determine if a target is worth recovering…their brain!
If you are searching for a skirmish site or campground, often ferrous targets will be the first sign you come across and with a bit of tweaking, selecting the optimal setting for the discrimination circuit will allow you to identify the small pieces of iron that tell you to slow down and carefully scrub the area.
Larger ferrous pieces, such as shell fragments and gun parts, will read higher than nails so you can opt to reject small ferrous and not worry about loosing the larger artifacts that are welcome in any collection.
I found that, after a little practice with known targets, I could easily see the value this innovative discrimination circuit would have in many applications.
The G2 operates at 19 kHz, which was selected to provide optimal response to low / mid range conductivity targets.
Don’t construe this to mean that it won’t detect copper or silver coins, as that would be far from the truth – it just means that sensitivity to the other targets has been enhanced.
Based on the number of these types of coins I found while field-testing the G2, it clearly functions well in that application as well.
Like other Teknetics models, the G2 is powered by a single – yes, you read that right - 9V alkaline battery that provides 15 to 20 hours of operation. A NiMH rechargeable battery can be used if desired; however, battery life will be noticeably less.
A unique feature found on the new Teknetics models, including the G2, is the headphone jack or, in fact, jacks, as is the case.
The G2 has both a 1/4" and a 1/8" jack located on the left side of the control housing, which allows one to use any type of headphone ranging from a lightweight pair in warmer weather, such as when prospecting for gold in desert conditions, to more substantial models when external noise is high, such as when searching wooded areas covered with dry leaves or along an ocean beach with waves crashing in or when colder temperatures arrive.
The week I received the G2 for field-testing I had arranged to take a few days off to "decompress" from work and head down to Myrtle Beach to do some hunting on the beach.
As anyone that has hunted the east coast beaches from upper Florida north can attest to, the black sand / saltwater combination gives virtually all single frequency VLF detectors fits once one approaches the wet sand / surf line.
In talking to Mike Scott at First Texas, he said that the feedback had been positive in terms of how the G2 handled these conditions and I was interested in putting it to the test.
I had hoped to find some cuts caused by winter wave action; however, when I got up the morning after I arrived, I looked out over the balcony and was shocked to see the ocean literally smooth as glass…not a wave to be seen.
Well, you never know what you will find on an ocean beach so I packed up my gear and headed onto the sand.
The first thing I noticed was that the G2 easily balanced out the wet black sand (with an indicated Ground Phase value in the 1 to 4 range, showing the engineers had provided an expanded ground balance range that allowed operation in this part of the beach) and the G2 maintained a rock solid audio threshold as I hunted the area being lapped by the water.
Targets were few and far between as expected based on the lack of beachgoers and no wave action, but there were enough that I could see how the G2 performed under these conditions.
Several coins were recovered at depths that ranged from just under the surface to a confirmed 10 inches down in the hard packed wet sand.
I tend to recover most targets during a field test to see what a detector is capable of and how accurate the target ID and depth indication are as the depth increases, so a number of the targets I recovered were in fact trash; however, I had identified them with a high degree of certainty before digging them.
Running into a few other die-hard beach hunters in late November, it seemed all of us were having similar luck…and unfortunately all of it was less than stellar.
With 23 coins, a room key and a pair of Matchbox cars, I was the big "winner" in terms of finds that first day as we compared finds, but most of them had come from decent depths in the wet sand and I had experienced very little falsing from the challenging conditions the salt / black sand produced.
I had booked the room for three nights and, while it was a bit disappointing in terms of finds, as they say, "A bad day treasure hunting beats a great day in the office every time."
A large handful of coins, a few pieces of silver jewelry, several trinkets and a small gold earring encompassed my finds at the end of my stay, but hey, I had found gold and the G2 had been a pleasure to use for hours at a time along the beach…and considering it was not a high-end dedicated beach hunting detector, it had exceeded my expectations in terms of how it had performed.
Returning home, I got up early and drove to Atlanta the following weekend. I spent the day visiting some of the Civil War sites I had hunted in the past and, while I was not expecting to find much, the G2 again surprised me at all three of the sites I hit.
The first one was a well-known site near Kennesaw Mountain that was extremely mineralized causing almost all detectors to lose a significant amount of detection depth.
Spending just short of two hours on one face of the hill hunting in All-Metal, I recovered eight percussion caps (the size of a .22 short brass casing), the back of a period button with the "Scovill & Co. Waterbury, Manufacturing" mark still visible, and three small lead balls (Buck-n-Balls).
Considering how hard this area has been hunted for more than 30 years, I thought the G2 had more than proven itself under the conditions present.
The next site was a wooded area in the southern part of Atlanta that still had some Confederate trenches visible after nearly 150 years.
A feeling that is hard to describe always comes over me when I stand on ground that was fought over by young men who gave their lives for what they believed in so many years before and this was no exception.
Standing on the edge of a trench with the breeze rustling the leaves gave me a moment of thought before getting started.
Opting to stay in the All-Metal mode, based on the limited number of targets expected, I quickly ground balanced and began hunting the area behind one of the trenches.
Targets that registered in the "15" to "30" range all turned out to be ferrous in nature and were easily recognizable after a short time.
When the LCD displayed readings in the high-60’s / 70’s, you knew you had a winner and five 3-ringer Minnie Balls along with two round balls wound up in my pouch by the time I headed back to the truck.
The last site was near the Chattahoochee River where the Confederate troops had camped before pulling back into Atlanta and defending it when the siege was started.
Unfortunately, there was more than a century of trash that had been dumped through the area so some discrimination was warranted in an effort to pull out at least one keeper with the limited time I had left on this trip.
The G2’s unique discrimination system took a bit of adjusting to get comfortable with, but after a little experimenting, I opted for a Discrimination setting of "45," which eliminated the audio response to targets that registered between "0" and "10," produced the low audio tone for targets that registered between "21" and "45," and the Voltage Controlled Oscillator (VCO) audio response to targets at "45" or above.
This rejected some of the smaller nails and barbed wire that littered the area while still allowing me to focus on larger ferrous artifacts if present.
No super finds came out of this area although I did recover four dropped Minnies and a few more percussion caps at depths that indicated the G2 was a potent detector for relic hunting in even hot ground, such as the famous red Atlanta clay.
I was able to try the G2 out in areas close to the house before the winter weather cut hunting short (10 inches of snow in South Carolina was a bit unexpected), and it handled the ground and site conditions with ease.
While not designed for use primarily as a coin-hunting detector, I was able to use it at several schools and parks with good results, although in the trashier areas (aluminum and foil), I found myself increasing the discrimination to eliminate the rash and focus on the higher-conductivity coins.
The G2 is a detector that was designed to excel in a number of applications that often require one to purchase a dedicated, specialized detector to obtain above-average results.
With the G2, users can have a single detector and not be forced to accept mediocre performance if they only plan on searching a saltwater beach for coins and jewelry, or prospect for gold nuggets a few times a year.
The G2 is a true-all-purpose detector that, with a few adjustments, will not disappoint even the most critical of treasure hunters when used in specialized applications.
Its ability to handle highly mineralized ground and black sand / saltwater is clearly a notch above most single-frequency detectors and the engineer’s at First Texas have shown that innovation rather than simply repacking existing technology is how future industry-leading detectors will be born.
As I have said in previous fields tests of Teknetics detectors, the more I use them the more I like them…their weight, simplicity and performance make for a tough combination to beat – and when you look at their price tag, it makes a purchase decision even easier.
My success with the G2 in some challenging locations has me anxious to see what turns up in 2011 as I spend more time in the field with it.
The Teknetics G2 lists for $749 with the 11" Biaxial (Double-D) elliptical coil and 5-year First Texas warranty.
For more information about the new G2, the rest of the Teknetics line, or the name of your nearest Teknetics dealer, contact the factory at 1465-H Henry Brennan; El Paso, TX 79936, (800) 413-4131, or visit their informative website at http://www.TekneticsT2.com
Be sure to mention you read about the G2 in Lost Treasure Magazine.