Monday, December 22, 2014

Testing The Fisher F19 Metal Detector

I finally got a chance to test the new Fisher F19, my test  machine was supplied by Joan Allen in Biggin Hill, everything fitted together with ease and it looked very professional and fit for purpose. First impressions were good, the Fisher F19 felt very well balanced and extremely light.

As you can see my test model was in a pink camo, but not quite as alarming as it sounds
The Fisher F19 is powered by one 9 volt battery which fitted in a neat and tidy compartment, operating time approx 15-20 hours
9 Volt batteries do not impress me and I doubt they ever will, if I had one detecting wish it would be for manufacturers to stop using this power source.

The Fisher F19 controls and Menu
At a glance this machine looks quite complicated, after switching on and scrolling through the menu it soon becomes apparent it's child's play, the menu is simply laid out with very limited adjustments, when I say limited it's not in a bad way, what's there is all you need for everyday hunting.
On the screen you have a menu button which doubles up as a "ground grab" button when the machine is in all metal, below that is the pin point, plus and minus to adjust settings up or down.
On the left is the on / off sensitivity control, on the right is the rotary all metal circuit and threshold control.

Once you enter the menu you have to be quick as it times out in just a couple of seconds, features found under the menu are Backlight, V Break, Notch With, and Notch.
The Discrimination is adjusted using the plus and minus keys when the machine is in search screen.
The adjustable V Break
The F19 has a two tone target identification...low tone and high tone, the V Break adjusts the point where the low tone becomes a high tone, some may want to allocate all iron targets with a low tone, this is done by adjusting the V Break parameters to the iron target numbers such as 0-38.

That is not to say the Fisher F19 settings end there, if searching in all metal you can use the GG (Ground Grab) button to quickly ground balance the machine, the chosen ground phase will be carried over to the discrimination circuit once the all metal control is switched off.
The ground grab procedure is simple just press the button while raising and lowering the coil and wait for the threshold to settle...and that's it . Ground grab takes a snap shot of the soil and sets the machine accordingly, if you want to manually adjust the ground just press the + or - keys on the main control box.

The Fisher F19 Notch features
Here in the UK we don't use notch very often, however there may be a scenario where you may wish to reject a desired target. The notch allows you to assign a small discrimination window anywhere in the target range. The notch width allows the user to determine how wide the discrimination window is.
The arm cup is a snug fit with an adjustable Velcro arm strap

The F19 coil plug is good quality and has a tough heat shrink to help eliminate coil wire pulls.

The headphone jack is a 6.5mm and is located under the rubber dust seal, any stereo headphones will work on the F19 as it has an on board volume control.

The Fisher F19 audio sound
VCO Audio stands for voltage controlled oscillator, which basically means the audio pitch increases when the target gets closer to the coil, the sound is not like a conventional bleep, it is more like an electronic zip.
 The VCO gives a very good indication of target size and depth based on the intensity of the sound, with all the discrimination search modes Iron will always give a low tone.

The search coil is a 10 x 5 DD elliptical coil, no cover was supplied with my test machine, the coil is designed more around target separation as opposed to impressive depth, I felt this coil choice was the right one for the job and compliments the F19's fast audio response.

With everything taken into account I think based on my first impressions that the F19 is a neat little package, I can't wait to give it a thorough test in the field.

In the field with the Fisher F19
Sadly its winter season again and the chance to get the search coil on an ancient site is near impossible due to growing crops, so I decided to give the F19 a try in my ancient woodland where we have had some interesting finds in the past. The short test went very well, you can watch the video below.

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