This field test report is actually the first of a three-part series that will cover the newest additions to the Teknetics line of metal detectors.
As the series unfolds, you will not only find out about the features and performance of their newest detectors, but also some background information about the company, hear from the engineers that designed them, and see where Teknetics is heading in terms of product development and support of the hobby. Letâ€™s start with a quick look at the Teknetics family treeâ€¦
Teknetics â€¦ The Company
Behind the Detector
The name Teknetics was first introduced with the formation of a company in the early 1980â€™s and it quickly earned the reputation of building detectors with cutting edge technology and world-class performance. Unfortunately, while the products were first-rate, the management practices were not and the company faded into the history books.
Years later, First Texas Products, located in El Paso, Texas, who manufactures Bounty Hunter, Fisher and related private-label metal detectors, resurrected the Teknetics moniker and attached it to the initial model in the line â€“ the T2 â€“ based on the high level of performance it offered detectorists.
The T2 quickly gained a loyal following based on the performance it provided under a wide range of conditions worldwide, and it was clear that the Teknetics brand once again stood for innovative design and superior performance where it counts - in the field.
First Texasâ€™s lead engineer, Dave Johnson, has designed many of the industryâ€™s most popular metal detectors for different companies, beginning with the Fisher 1260-X in 1981. If youâ€™re an avid detectorist, you probably already swing machines that are Dave Johnsonâ€™s designs or adaptations of them, as he has worked for companies including Whiteâ€™s, Fisher, Tesoro and Troy.
When he started with First Texas, he worked on incorporating suggestions from the many wish lists veteran detectorists have put together into a line of high performance yet affordable detectors. The T2 was the first in the Teknetics line, but the Alpha, Delta, Gamma and Omega have since followed.
Daveâ€™s goal â€“ and that of the engineering team he works with on the projects at Teknetics â€“ was to improve the current detectors on multiple fronts.
Lighter weight, better ergonomics, better battery life, deeper detection, more accurate discrimination and target ID, and an improved user interface, to name just a few.
Based on user feedback and the finds reported since Teknetics was reintroduced, it looks like they accomplished what they set out to do with the T2 and have carried that philosophy into the latest four models that bear the Teknetics name.
The first thing that stands out, once you have the Delta 4000 assembled, is its weight, or really the lack of it. With the 8â€ concentric coil and single 9V battery, it tips the scale at just 2.3 pounds. Combine its weight with the adjustable position armrest and telescoping shaft, and it is ideal for anyone to use for extended periods of time without fatigue.
The Delta is a single-frequency detector that operates at 7.8 kHz. While having a preset ground balance setting, which eliminates any complicated ground balancing procedures, it offers surprising performance over a wide range of ground conditions.
It has three separate motion-based search modes, one Discriminate and two All-Metal modes (shown as A1 and A2 on the display). It also has a non-motion all metal pinpoint mode to aid in zeroing in on detected targets.
The Discriminate mode also provides NOTCH discrimination, which means you can easily accept or reject any of the eight possible target ID segments. This allows specific trash targets to be rejected while still accepting targets that read lower on the scale, preventing missing potentially valuable items because you opted to reject a piece of trash, which will happen on a non-notch detector.
The Delta also offers an audio target ID function where targets fall into one of three different tones when searching in the Discriminate mode. Combined with the 2-digit numerical value in the center of the screen, and the eight icon blocks on the bottom, one can identify targets with a high degree of accuracy and decide whether to recover it or move on to the next one. An extremely useful feature is that the visual target ID information is provided in any of the three search modes â€“ Discriminate or All Metal.
The Delta is controlled through the use of six touchpads on the face of the control housing which are POWER, MODE (switches between the two All-Metal and the Discrimination search modes), MENU (scrolls through the various options that can be adjusted depending on the search mode selected), PINPOINT (when held, switches to a non-motion all-metal mode to zero-in on targets) and <+>/<-> (used to actually make any of the menu adjustments).
The LCD screen provides a wealth of information in an easy-to-read format that includes the search mode and options selected, target ID information, a real-time battery strength monitor, and target depth indication (via an icon at all times and a large numerical display when in Pinpoint).
Similar to its bigger brother, the T2, the Delta does not retain adjustments made in the field, but rather resets itself back to the factory-preset values in terms of settings and search mode. While that may seem like an oversight at first, since one needs to â€œtweakâ€ it each time it is turned on, this takes literally seconds to accomplish and ensures you have it set precisely the way you want it each time you start hunting.
The default settings have the Delta power up in the Discriminate mode at a sensitivity level of â€œ08â€ and only Iron being rejected. With a few simple strokes on the touchpads, you can customize the settings to meet your specific needs for the site you are searching.
The Delta is powered by a single â€“ yes, a single - 9V battery, which provides between 20 to 25 hours of operation. A rechargeable battery can be used with no adverse effect on performance; however, with the life of alkaline cells, the cost might not be justified.
A unique feature found on the Delta is the headphone jack, or I should say jacks. It has both a 1/4â€ and a 1/8â€ jack located on the side of the control housing, which allows one to use any type of headphone available, ranging from a lightweight pair in warmer weather to more substantial models when external noise is high or temperatures drop.
Since the Delta 4000 is promoted as â€œan easy-to-use yet powerfulâ€ detector, I came up with an ideal way to put that claim to the test when it arrived. Aaron Riggs, the son of a co-worker, had contacted me to help him with a senior project he was working on that focused on archeology. Seeing that he could incorporate a detector into the project, I dropped the Delta off at his house, still sealed in the shipping box, and asked him to put it together and give me his initial impressions.
Since Aaron had never used a detector before, seeing how he did assembling it, testing it and learning how to use it from the manual would be a good assessment of how other â€œnewbiesâ€ might fare with it. P
icking him up a few days later to try hunting a nearby school, we talked about the Delta on the ride. He said assembly had been a breeze and, based on his comments, he clearly had gained a basic understanding of the detector from reading the manual and testing it on known targets.
Figuring target recovery would be a lesson better saved for a future trip, I followed Aaron as he started searching the grass adjacent to the parking lot and offered to dig signals he felt were worth recovering.
Turning the Delta on, he started with everything at the preset settings. Sweeping the coil across the ground, it was quickly evident that there was a good deal of trash present, so, with a few quick strokes of the touchpads, we eliminated Foil and Aluminum in addition to the preset rejection of Iron. The chatter was virtually eliminated and coins started to turn up with surprising regularity.
It wasnâ€™t long before Aaron was able to identify targets with a high degree of accuracy before I recovered them for him, and you could see his confidence grow with each passing minute. After an hour or two, he started to recover the targets himself and, in conjunction with a Bounty Hunter pinpointer and the Pinpoint mode of the Delta, was able to zero in on detected targets quite accurately.
We hunted two schools over a 3-day period and Aaron recovered 138 coins along with keys, buttons and other items. The Notch discrimination capabilities of the Delta allowed him to eliminate much of the trash that littered both sites, yet still detect several nickels that might have been rejected using a detector with a conventional discrimination circuit.
Aaron said that, after a few outings, quickly adjusting the detector at each site became second nature, which allowed him to select the optimal settings for each site.
After getting the hang of the Delta, we moved on to conducting an archeological survey of a property to support his project to be covered in an upcoming article.
The last site we took the Delta to was an old foundation in nearby woods that dated back to the mid 1800â€™s. Opting for the All Metal search mode, we bumped the sensitivity to â€œ10â€ and Aaron started hunting between the foundation and a nearby rock wall. No coins turned up, but several interesting relics did, including a mule shoe, a plow point, part of a wrought iron hinge and several hand-forged square nails.
Since most Delta users will probably be searching for coins, I opted to spend some time hunting local schools, parks and private yards to see how it performed. As Aaron had found, making a few quick adjustments at each site based on the ground conditions and trash content from the preset values was quite simple. In most areas the Delta remained virtually silent at sensitivity levels up to â€œ10â€ on a scale that reached â€œ12.â€
Combining the eight target ID icons with the large 2-digit values displayed on the LCD screen, consistent accurate target identification was obtained. Distinguishing nickels from pull-tabs is a challenge for most detectors, which explains why nickels are often the least common coin recovered. The Deltaâ€™s nickel notch setting was designed to be large enough to accept nickels, not just on or near the surface, but at the edge of detection depth or on edge, while not picking up most pull-tabs or aluminum. Recovering 17 nickels over the course of my testing validated the engineersâ€™ programming.
One site I visited was a vacant lot that contained little more than a cellar hole and some rotten wooden beams that clearly dated from the late 1800â€™s. After obtaining permission from the property owner, I opted to try the All Metal search modes to see if I could pull out some interesting iron relics as well.
The soil in nearby areas consists of reddish clay, which is quite mineralized and, as the manual warned, while the A1 All Metal mode offered a tad more sensitivity, it is not optimized for highly mineralized soil. After a few minutes of listening to the chatter caused by the ground even at lower sensitivity levels, I switched over to the A2 mode and the Delta settled down considerably.
Using a combination of the audio response (pitch and volume varies based on target size and depth) and the target ID information, which remains active in All Metal, small pieces of iron could be passed over while larger ferrous artifacts such as tools, horseshoes and the like were identified and recovered.
A few hours at this site turned up four coins dating back to 1896 (a well-worn Barber dime), several iron relics and an assortment of non-ferrous items including a token, two keys, some plated silverware and an interesting cereal box premium from the 1930â€™s.
The new Delta 4000 offers a level of performance and a suite of features one typically does not expect to find on a detector in this price range. Teknetics has recognized that there is a large segment of treasure hunters (or would-be treasure hunters) that either do not want or need the bells-and-whistles of a high-end detector and the Delta offers a great value for that group.
The Delta is simple enough for someone with no previous detecting experience to quickly master and versatile enough to tackle different types of sites. Providing solid detection capabilities at a budget price, the Delta can fill the role of a starter unit, back-up unit or primary unit for a wide range of applications.
The Teknetics Delta 4000 lists for $279 with the 5-year First Texas warranty, and several optional search coils are available to expand the versatility of the Delta.
For more information about the new Delta, 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, call (800) 413-4131 or visit http://www.tekneticst2.com and be sure to mention you read about it in Lost Treasure Magazine.