Minelab Excalibur II Information & Details:
– Two Modes (Discriminate and Pinpoint)
– Five knobs (Discrimination, Sensitivity, Threshold, Volume, Mode)
– Iron Discrimination
– BBS (Broad band spectrum) multiple frequency technology
– Waterproof (200 feet)
– NiMH Rechargeable Battery Pack
– 8′ or 10′ hardwired waterproof coil
Minelab Excalibur II Review & Guide:
Let me start off by saying this is my main detector. I absolutely love it. It has produced great finds over the years and never has had any problems. The detector is pricey and I would not recommend it for the beginner. Much like other detectors this requires experience and patience in order for it to be working at it’s maximum potential. Turning the threshold knob clockwise will turn the detector on, you will hear a click. Turn the knob until you hear a faint “hum” or “buzz”. Get used to this noise because this is your normal “threshold”. Turn the volume knob to between 2 and 4 o’clock. Discrimination knob should be set at “1”. Why? Well there is some debate on what to discriminate but I am of the belief that the tone will give me all the information I need. In discriminate mode, iron targets are given away by a “null” sound, this is when the threshold makes no sound at all, that is the normal hum disappears. On good targets, you will hear a solid or “crisp” tone that does not change as you go over the target over and over. The Minelab Excalibur has a variety of tones but in general there is a high, mid, and low tone. Most but not all gold makes a low tone similar to that of a nickel. Finally, the sensitivity knob is tricky because I am constantly changing mine depending on the location. In the dry sand you can have the sensitivity at around 1 or 2 o’oclock and be fine because targets will not be particularly deep. However in the wet sand & water you are going to want the sensitivity as high as possible without falsing or a noticeable change in threshold. If your sensitivity is to high you will notice the normal “buzz” sound has changed to either a far more scratchy sound or a much higher pitched hum. Both of these mean the machine is working to hard and you will lose depth.
My Personal Minelab Excalibur Settings:
– Discriminate mode
– Volume at between 1 & 3 o’clock position
– Threshold at barely audible (this will vary depening on location)
– Sensitivity (dry sand about 1 o’clock/ wet sand usually 11 o’clock)
– Discrimination at “1” position
What mode should I use, All-Metal or Discriminate?
There is much debate on this. It boils down to preference. Some say pinpoint mode (AKA all-metal) will get you increased depth but you lose the different tones of the target and the iron “null”. Pinpoint sounds are based on how far away the target is from the coil, so the deeper the target the less sound the detector will make. I personally hunt in discriminate, do I lose some depth? Maybe but its minor and based on how much iron and junk is on the beaches I hunt I don’t mind. Plus, discriminate mode is plenty deep. A common practice is to hunt in discriminate and then go over the area again in pinpoint to see if you can fish out any of the deeper more faint targets. This is great when you find a pocket of items (a grouping of items that have settled together due to tidal/wave movement). Work the area in discriminate to remove the easier to get targets then go over it “low and slow” in pinpoint to see if you can uncover and real deep ones. I have found some crusty old coins this way (particularly mercury dimes).
Where to hunt with your Minelab Excalibur II?
This is a dedicated beach machine mainly for water and wet sand hunting as the Minelab Excalibur II is considered a divers metal detector. However, you can hunt all areas, including the dry sand, due to the Excalibur’s exceptional discrimination capabilities. Additionally, I have hunted some of the most mineralized beaches and this has no problems what so ever. As a beach hunter who has hunted the most popular beaches in Southern California and Hawaii I have created a page dedicated to what I consider the best places to metal detect at the beach. Be sure to check out beach metal detecting tips here!
What is BBS technology?
BBS (Broad Band Spectrum) technology transmits & receives multiple frequencies at the same time. Because of the multiple frequencies the detector is able to analyze and provide more information given about a target and the ground than what a single frequency would provide. What does this mean for you? Simple, more target information, increased depth, and no ground balance necessary. To me this seems like a cross between other popular metal detector technologies such as pulse induction (no need to ground balance, increased depth, no discrimination) and VLF (ground balance, discrimination, depth issues with mineralized ground). Which is best? Well it depends on the situation and what style hunter you are. For me, its the BBS technology because I want to be able to tell what the target is and be able to reliably hunt in highly mineralized ground.
Take special care of the connection points:
Here are some Minelab Excalibur tips for maintaining a flawless machine. Keep in mind the headphones and coil are hardwired to the machine. Take care of the connection points of both of these. Prolonged tugging or bending can have this machine at the warranty center quickly. Owners have done there own modifications but they will void the warranty and to be honest it’s not worth the hassle. The key is to give each connection slack so that there can be no tugging or jerking. Velcro or waterproof black electrical tape is what I use to secure the cables on my detector.
Minelab Excalibur Threshold buzzing and Troubleshooting Guide:
The threshold tone is going to give you a lot of detail about how your Minelab Excalibur is functioning with regards to its surroundings. Here are some common changes in threshold buzz and what they mean:
Is your threshold tone or buzz consistently getting louder and louder without any change in settings? This means your sensitivity settings are to high, try lowering the settings to reduce this problem. Also, this can be a battery issue as well, signaling you need to charge them.
Is your threshold tone or buzz making erratic noises and falsing? You are getting electrical interference and you need to turn down your sensitivity or move away from the culprit.
Did your threshold tone or buzz become silent and is now louder and making a more “growling” noise? This means you passed over iron. The Minelab Excalibur “nulled” on the iron but in order to get the threshold to the original tone you have to swing a normal metal target by the coil. I personally use my scoop, when I get the growl noise from iron I just swing my scoop by the coil and it resets.
Is your threshold tone or buzz inconsistent, making unsual popping noises, or simply cutting out entirely? Your battery is low and needs to be recharged.
Minelab Excalibur II Accessories
You would think the price of this detector would not warrant any aftermarket accessories but you would be surprised how many are out there. Here are the ones I use and recommend:
Minelab Excalibur Replacement Shaft:
I would say this is the most critical accessory you can get for your Minelab Excalibur. It is so important because it makes such a huge difference. The way people mount the detector varies from in the form of a “straight shaft” which places the controls within reach but it is past your elbow. Additionally, there is also “hip mounting” which places the controls on your hip and make it so your arm is not holding up the detector. I prefer the shaft because you can get the two & three piece kits made of aluminum or carbon fiber and it allows you to take your detector traveling because your detector will easily fit in a suitscase when broken down. If you are interested in buying a new
Minelab Excalibur Rechargeable Battery & Alkaline Battery Pod:
Another great thing about the Excalibur II is the battery pack. No more fishing around for batteries, this one comes with a rechargeable NiMH battery pack. You can get the alkaline battery pack also, it makes a great backup. Be aware that the alkaline battery pack is only for you guessed it…alkaline batteries. Using rechargeable batteries will give you decreased performance. I keep this in my bag in case my main rechargeable battery pack runs out of juice. If you are interested in buying the alkaline battery pack they are pricey (about $90) and they are not rated to the dive depths that the rechargeable NiMH battery pack is. Something to keep in mind, regardless they make a great backup in case you forgot to charge your NiMH battery pod.
Minelab Excalibur Knob Guard:
One of the most common repairs to Excalibur metal detectors is due to damage to the knobs. Some people get new knobs but I would recommend keeping the stock knobs instead of getting replacement knobs because the ones designed by minelab are mean’t to have slack so they don’t damage the internal controls. A knob guard is important because it protects the knobs from damage. They are lightweight and easy to install.
Wet Sand Metal Detecting Scoops:
The Minelab Excalibur II is a deep machine, you are going to need a heavy duty metal detecting sand scoop. I personally carry a heavy stainless steel scoop with wood handle because I am out in the water and I need to dig as few scoop loads as possible. Metal detecting sand scoops come in different materials and different sizes depending on your budget. Some are great for the dry sands of the beach while others are heavier but designed to cut through the thickest wet sand. Have a look at my page dedicated to metal detecting sand scoops.
Are you interested in purchasing a Minelab Excalibur II?
The Minelab Excalibur II is an amazing metal detector and I can attest to its performance. This is the machine for the serious beach hunter. The ability to hunt on both the dry and wet sand with great discrimination is a must on trashy beaches. So where can you get this metal detector for the best price? To right is the best price on Amazon. Below are current Ebay auctions that include both new and used metal detectors. Why buy from either of these sites? Well, they offer the best price and have great return policies should you not get what you wanted. If you found the information useful and choose to buy from either of these sites, good luck in the water!