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trinityau

Makro Gold Racer

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Hello all, here are some pictures of the Makro Gold Racer in the field. The Racer was used in areas previously detected with other VLF's. My detecting partner Chris was using the Racer and I as following up with another VLF going over the same targets. Many of the same targets could be heard easily by both units, however there were a bit less than a quarter of the targets that only the Racer heard very well.

 

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The targets that were in some of the deeper and grittier soil gave a weaker response. Both VLF's read the target but the as I said the Racer sound was much more distinct and in fact heard some an inch or two deeper.

 

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The ICMJ featured an article that I wrote titled "Piles of Gold'' just a few issues back. If you look very closely at the first picture you will see the Makro Gold Racer in action. That particular pay pile that we were working had been gone over with other VLF's and a few pieces were heard in the highly mineralized material of the heap. We assumed that was all we were going to get until we went back another day with the Gold Racer. Once we found other pieces we started taking the pile apart. We pulled a bit over an ounce of gold off that pile and have since found other piles. The video shows how many targets we were hearing sweeping the Gold Racer over the ground. As mentioned earlier, some of the targets could have been heard by other VLF's but the Gold Racer was ultimately what made us decide to tear into the pile.

 

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Chris did have a bit of luck with the Racer one day along a creek where the alluvial gravels had been worked. That piece was 14.8 pennyweight.

 

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One thing that really impressed me about the Gold Racer was its ability to give a better target response to some nice pieces that were on edge in the bedrock.

 

Most of you know that flatter pieces of gold, especially lying flat, will give a better target response than round, marble type gold targets. The Racer showed me no difference in discerning round to flat and I like that.

 

The unit is very light and maneuverable and I like that. Anyone who has detected with me knows my favorite saying "what brush?" and "that's not thick". It can be short shafted or long shafted so it works in the brush for me very well.

 

As mentioned in an earlier post, I will let Steve do the technical assessment as he is much better at that than I am. I know that the unit is well built and many changes were put into the final product. I will be using it quite a bit.

 

A few videos can be seen on TRINITYAU.COM I will have them posted by end of day 11/23/2015

 

Thanks, TRINITYAU/RAYMILLS

 

Take it away Steve...

 

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I'd like to like your post, but it says 'I reached my quota of positive votes for day', so it's here !

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Funny Shep it did the same for me and I only turned the computer on 5 minutes ago for the first time in 3 days!

 

Ray ... Great report on the Racer. I hope Steve will chime in here on the technical stuff for a complete picture. But so far from your report it sounds like they have made a great machine.

 

mike

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The Makro Gold Racer has been my most anticipated new VLF metal detectors in years. It is something I have wanted for a very long time a high frequency VLF metal detector that does not skimp for features, in particular as regards discrimination options.

 

I have been testing prototypes of the Makro Gold Racer, and this mini review is based on those prototypes. The final version due soon has a completely new LCD display layout, audio boost, refinements to other settings, and physical refinements like a change in the handle angle, etc. That being the case this review should be considered preliminary and final specifications are subject to change, as well as details you may see in my photos regarding the physical design of the detector.

 

The Makro Gold Racer looks deceptively like many other detectors aimed at general purpose metal detecting. I want to emphasize that first and foremost this is a gold prospecting detector. There are only a few other detectors that directly compare to the Gold Racer which is running at a very high frequency of 56 kHz.

 

The intent with very high frequency detectors is to sharpen the response on extremely small metal targets. This sensitivity does come at a cost however, in that the detectors are also responsive to ground mineralization and hot rocks that less sensitive, lower frequency detectors might ignore completely. There is no free lunch in detecting, and I want to caution anyone thinking that the Makro Gold Racer is going to be a magical solution to all their detecting desires to be realistic about things. Inevitably when new detectors come out people fall victim to wishful thinking, and I would like to try and avoid that here.

 

In outward appearance the Makro Gold Racer resembles its immediate predecessor, the Makro Racer, but this really is a new detector, not just a Racer running at a higher frequency. Feedback on the original Racer has been incorporated as well as extensive testing and commentary from prospectors around the world. Besides the obvious color difference, major physical changes include completely redesigning the layout of the LCD display to better differentiate what are all metal functions and what are discrimination functions. All metal functions are on the left, and discrimination functions are on the right. I think the new display is more intuitive and better accommodates the extra functions implemented on the Gold Racer.

 

The angle of the bend in the S rod handle grip has been relaxed based on feedback from Racer owners. The vibration mode was eliminated, shaving a tiny amount of weight and freeing up room on the display menu. The Gold Racer with stock 10 x 5.5 DD coil and NiMH batteries installed weighs in on my postal scales at exactly three pounds.

 

Coils available at launch are the 10 x 5.5 DD that is stock on the detector. Optional coils include a 10 x 5.5 concentric coil, the highly regarded 5 x 4.5 DD coil, and a light weight 15.5 x 13 DD coil.

 

OK, some notes on real world use. Again, this is all based on prototype models and so I can only speak in generalities for this report. However, there is no doubt in my mind that even the prototype detectors rival anything currently available in a VLF detector for finding tiny gold nuggets. I can easily locate flakes of gold weighing under one tenth grain with the Gold Racer and the stock 10 x 5.5 DD coil. In fact, the machine is so hot with the stock coil I thought using a smaller coil offered minimal if any benefit, mostly because of lost ground coverage and possibly lost depth on larger nuggets. I would only use the smaller coil myself for nooks and crannies where the stock coil can't fit, but otherwise the stock coil really is the way to go in my opinion. Keep in mind I did say grain not gram. There are 480 grains per Troy ounce and in my opinion I can find flakes all day long with the Gold Racer that weigh less than 1/10th grain, or less than 1/4800th ounce.

 

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Smallest nugget unweighable, under 1/10th grain, largest 2.4 grams

 

In trashy locations I generally preferred running in all metal and just checking the meter for ferrous targets, which tend to lock in hard at 21 or 22 on the numbers. In theory anything under 40 is ferrous, but to be safe I might investigate items as low as 35 or even 30 depending on the situation and amount of trash. However, as I noted most ferrous locks in hard around 20 leaving no doubt what the target is. In All Metal mode very tiny or very deep targets beyond discrimination range give no target id at all, automatically meaning they need investigation. The main reason I prefer to always hunt in All Metal is the extra depth and sensitivity it affords, and checking targets visually is very quick and more efficient than toggling back and forth to a Disc mode under normal circumstances.

 

For areas with too much trash where meter watching might get to be a bit too much, I just normally used one of the disc modes set for two tone ferrous/non-ferrous. Iron targets just burp away, while non-ferrous target pop out with a beep. If even that got to be too much for some people, increasing the ID Filter to eliminate most ferrous responses completely can make for a quieter experience in really trashy locations. As always, I must include the warning that the more discrimination applied, the more risk of missing a good target. Use no more discrimination than needed to preserve your sanity!

 

I used the Gold Racer to hunt trashy areas and easily located nuggets in the midst of trash. For me personally the Makro Gold Racer fills in two areas where the pulse induction detectors come up short. The ability to find the tiniest, most dispersed gold possible, both in flake form or enclosed in specimen rock. And the ability to deal with really trashy areas where good discrimination is needed.

 

Perhaps the biggest surprise for me was when I decided to give the 15.5 x 13 DD coil a try. Honestly, I did not expect much from it. You normally do not see a coil this large for high frequency machines because the ground feedback usually overwhelms them, negating any gains that can be had regarding depth. Instead, the Gold Racer seemed to be even better behaved with the larger coil than with the smaller coils. I hunted some cobble piles with it and it ran smooth as can be at higher sensitivity levels. I then wandered into some moderately hot ground with it, still with no problems, and was actually surprised when I came up with a couple small gold nuggets with it. The first was only 0.8 grams which I thought was pretty fantastic. So I put a little more effort into it, and found a 0.3 gram nugget. With a 15.5 x 13 DD coil on a VLF? That is really kind of unheard of, and I was thoroughly impressed. I am not sure what is going on there but I do know the Makro detectors can sense what coil is on the detector. Something different going on with that big coil? I dont know, but the results and performance surprised me. Also surprising was that for such a large coil it actually was not half bad swinging for half a day. That could be from my using large, heavy detectors all summer however. Still, it was an eye opener all around and changed how I think my Gold Racer might get used in the future. It looks to have more use for covering very large areas blue sky prospecting than I would have imagined.

 

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I would be remiss if I did not include at least a note on the versatility possible with the Gold Racer. I recently took it to a local park. The ID Filter works very well, and by just running it all the way to 79 it was easy for me to cherry pick a few coins though larger aluminum items like screw caps or big pull tabs often came up in the 80s also. Like a lot of the Euro machines the Gold Racer tends to up average non-ferrous targets. I do think this is a result dependent on ground conditions to some degree, but really the Gold Racer is best suited for people like me who want to recover all non-ferrous targets. I prefer to hunt jewelry rather than coins myself, as one gold ring makes up for a pile of coins. And to hunt jewelry you have to dig aluminum, no two ways about that. The Gold Racer will suit me well hunting jewelry, especially micro jewelry like ear rings and fine chains. Relic hunters may also find applications for the Gold Racer since they are generally recovering all non-ferrous targets.

 

New to the production version of the Gold Racer will be a tone break control. This will to some degree make up for the lack of the three tone mode that is present on the standard Racer, by allowing the point at which low tones shift to high tones to be adjusted. This should make the machine much more effective for cherry picking coins than cranking up the discrimination.

 

I want to emphasize that I am in no way making a case that everyone should run out and get the Gold Racer for general purpose detecting. I just want to illustrate that unlike other high frequency dedicated nugget detectors the Gold Racer can be used for other types of detecting.

 

The Makro Gold Racer is a very interesting, unique, and capable metal detector. I honestly look forward to hearing for myself in the future what people think about it and the applications and tricks they come up with, because you pretty much need to toss anything you think you know out the door when approaching this machine. There really is nothing quite like it on the market today.

 

Many thanks to the folks at Makro and in particular Dilek Gonulay for providing me with the opportunity to be one of the first to use the Gold Racer. I admit that VLF detectors were beginning to bore me, and the Gold Racer has reignited my interest in seeing what they can do for me.

 

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Another great review Steve!

 

So are American manufacturers falling behind Turkey?

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Oh, I would not say that at all. It is just that the U.S. manufacturers are moving very slow and the European manufacturers (not Turkey per se) are moving very fast. They certainly are more willing to just try new and different things. I look at the DEUS and I just can't help but wonder why White's never did anything like that. They had the technology but doubled down on the big boxes instead. And I know you are a Tesoro fan but seriously when I look at what Makro is doing I wonder why it could not have been Tesoro. A few models by a few European manufacturers sure do not surpass the breadth and variety offered by the U.S. manufacturers (and Minelab) by a long shot. But they are hungry for the business and moving aggressively so the landscape could look dramatically different in a couple years.

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Hello Ray and Steve... Great reviews.

 

First, Ray, congratulations on your book. As you know, one of my sons bought it for me. It gets read time and time again as it sits in the "primary" library along with the recent issues of the ICMJ.

 

A couple questions about the reviews.... Ray, you say you followed the Gold Racer with another VLF but didn't mention what it was. I assume that was intentional ?

Was it only one or where there others?

 

And Steve, did you just take the Gold Racer out and actually compare it "depthwise" with other machines?

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Hi Harry,

 

Sorry so late to reply. We seem to have lost Ray and I am not off my own forum much these days so just saw this, sorry.

 

Seems like what you want to know is if the Gold Racer is absolutely superior to other VLF detectors for depth? The answer is no. It is just another VLF option for people to argue over. For depth I prefer my GPZ hands down no questions. Talking VLF and depth is like discussing which losing NFL teams are best.

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Morning Steve....

 

I know it is probably not "absolutely superior" to any other VLF. I just wondered if you tested it in the field against other machines? If so, which ones?

 

As Ray said, the machine he was following with could not hear some targets the Racer could hear.

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Head to head in the field not too many and nothing really scientific. I sold my Gold Bug 2 , GMT, and Gold Bug Pro when I got the first prototype Gold Racer as I decided I did not need them anymore after fiddling around a bit with all four. I kind of wish I had them later on to maybe do the sort of stuff you are asking about but oh well. I did tote the Gold Racer in the field along with the Nokta FORS Gold, FORS CoRE, FORS Gold+, and F75. Not fair I guess but I figured out what I wanted to know. I am not in the proving stuff business so do not go to great lengths to do tests with a mind to proving things to others, but just enough to prove things for myself.

 

Ray was probably using a Gold Bug Pro. The 56 kHz gives the Gold Racer the easy edge there on the tiny stuff and so the comparison is a bit unfair to the Gold Bug Pro, and that is probably why Ray did not want to mention names. I have never seen Ray return to a topic after his initial posts and he has in any case been absent forums for some time. Frankly I only posted here because of Mike's comment. Chris is not a Makro dealer and so I felt posting about it on his forum might be a bit rude. That being the case if you have any more questions or want more details there are better venues.

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Hello, haven't heard from you guys for a while. I thought maybe you found all the gold that was left up there and hung up the detectors.

About your first question, no, it was not intentional however I will spill the beans. The VLF's in use before and after were Minelab's Eureka Gold, Garrett's AT Gold and the Fisher Gold Bug's

A person that only gets out once in a while is going to realize that there is more of a learning curve to the Gold Racer than the GB Pro. I have been using the Racer the last month at many different sites and I am still learning lots of tricks and I expect that this pattern will continue for a while. The Gold Bug Pro is a unit that has a shorter learning curve, I think. Any person that gets out on a regular basis with a VLF should be fine with either unit. I do think the Gold Racer has an edge on tiny pieces at a tad more depth than the GB Pro.

Many prospectors want a VLF as a clean- up machine and that is a great purpose for them. Some prospectors want a VLF because they are just breaking into gold detecting and the price is right. I use a VLF for detecting small dink's once I find a patch and I want to clean it out effectively. I have many “crumb” patches where a VLF is all you need.

My primary reason for using a VLF is when I find a new location that looks really good to me, both in depth and the look of the soil. I can use either the Racer or the Bug with their reliable displays to detect between obvious iron signals and other trash. I like to see those numbers that pop right up on a solid target of some size. When all my ferrous bars go away, my larger ground number drops to a 3, 8 or 12, and the bar graph goes back and forth between 40 and 100 I can usually expect a piece of lead, old brass cartridge, foil or gold. I am basically just eliminating the iron, but that helps a lot at many locations. Many of the areas that I detect in are free of trash so I get excited when the display shows these readings as it is usually a nice nugget. I will bring in the Minelab detectors after this first sweep.

 

LOL,I am very pleased with my newest VLF, the Minelab 7000. I have found so many tiny pieces of gold at surprising depth with this unit, it just amazes me.

Thanks for comments on the book. TRINITYAU/RAYMILLS

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