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Makro Racer at the Beach

By Colonel Dan
18 August 2016

Makro Racer 1Gene Knight, Director of Domestic and International Sales for Kellyco Metal Detectors, asked me to try out and report on the Makro Racer in a salt water beach environment. Given that mission statement, this report is focused solely on my observations of the Racer's performance on the wet salt sand and in the surf of central Florida's New Smyrna Beach.

After reading the manufacturer's User Guide, I found the overall layout of the control panel and operation of the Racer simple and well-designed. Controls were intuitively obvious and readily accessible. There were no hidden sub menus or complicated trees to navigate—everything was “right there.”

Upon arriving at the beach, I experimented with the auto ground balance function just out of curiosity and not unexpectedly, I was unable to achieve a stable balance. The Makro designer's recommendation of using manual ground balance for the beach mode was most assuredly the right way to go.

On our beaches, the best ground balance for the Racer was achieved at 00-01 level. At that setting, I was able to run the Racer at a Gain level of 90 in the Beach Mode and remain stable throughout the entire testing operation. Anything above 90, the Racer became increasingly more “chattery.”

My first impression after properly setting up the Racer for that particular environment was how very stable it was on thoroughly wet salt sand. There was no chatter whatsoever as long as my settings remained within the parameters described above. Once the machine was stable, I buried my target quarter at an extreme depth and began raising it until the Racer could detect it. At 7 inches, I was able to get a solid tone on the target but no ID Number. Being a beach hunter, “tone only” is something to which I've long been accustom. I would have definitely dug that hit—lack of Target ID not withstanding. The tone itself was strong and positive.

Makro Racer 3I continued to raise the target until the Racer gave me a solid and stable Target ID number which was achieved at a depth of 5 inches in thoroughly saturated wet salt sand. I repeated this test several times and got the same result with each run.

I next entered the surf and confirmed my ground balance—again 00-01 and a Gain level of 90. All was again stable even with several inches of calm salt water over the coil. However, when I walked out further where waves began hitting the coil and the surf went from calm to somewhat rough, the Racer went into overload. Walking from the calm surf into rough surf and back numerous times, the result was the same—stable in calm waters; overloaded in rough. I attempted to lower the Gain in order to eliminate the overload but every time the waves washed over the coil, the Racer went into overload.

Returning to the calmer waters, I buried my target in sand under 2-3 inches of salt water. The Racer gave me a solid hit on the quarter at a depth of 4 inches in sand with the coil covered by 2-3 inches of calm salt water surf.

Bottom Line: I was sincerely impressed by how stable the Racer operated in wet salt sand and the calm surf of New Smyrna Beach. The detection depths and sensitivity results were commensurate with other well performing single frequency machines that I've tested on the beach and much better than many others. Having said that, the Racer, although designed primarily as a land machine, can function pretty darned well in the wet salt sand and calm surf. Although it is not, nor was it ever designed as a daily use saltwater beach detector, it's certainly one the hobbyist could use on an occasional trip or vacation to the beach if they remain on the dry and wet sand and in the calm surf areas of the beach.

Finally, I have several suggestions for users of the Racer at the beach:

1) Stay in the dry or wet sand or calm surf areas. The Racer performs best there both in terms of stability and sensitivity and remember, the control box is not water proof.
2) Headphones are a must. The noise of the surf and surrounding beach goers makes a good set of headphones a necessity.
3) If you wear sunglasses at the beach, as most of us do, a pair of non-polarized glasses makes viewing the screen much easier. Polarized glasses create a rainbow effect that makes the smaller font on the screen difficult to read at best.


Just the view from my foxhole... results under different saltwater beach conditions may vary.

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