Nel coil Minelab explorer information and pictures
We have been hearing about NEL coils for some time, looking at
the web site they are designed
to fit a vast range of metal detectors and the list is becoming more
comprehensive as the weeks go on.
I was recently invited to test 2 coils for my Minelab Explorer II, within
10 days the coils and coil covers arrived well packaged and
looking very impressive.
The 2 coils ordered were the NEL Sharp shooter and the
My first choice was the 13"x12" Tornado coil, about the same
weight as the standard coil with more ground coverage and
hopefully a touch more depth owing to the bigger size, NEL do
make an even bigger coil called the "Big" 15" x 17" ....to
much for what I need.
After speaking to people who have used NEL products I decided the Tornado coil would be
an ideal choice for my pasture site just outside the village
where I have tested so many machines and coils in the past.
My first time out with the Tornado.... I found my original
Explorer settings needed to be slightly changed to cater for
the bigger coil, firstly I lowered the sensitivity a
little...once the machine was settled I could then fine tune
some other settings at start the session.
At this stage I guess you're thinking I bet he finds something
big and deep...well you're going to be wrong then !
Deep yes...Big no, I found myself digging tiny buttons at very
reasonable depths, even some very thin shoe buckles came out
at around 8".
So if I was to to sum up my first session with the Tornado I would say this coil has very good sensitivity to
small targets while maintaining stability, no finds to get
excited about but that's detecting for you, I'm sure it was a
case of simply not walking over it on this occasion.
The Nel Sharp shooter
The coil I was desperate to try was the cute little Sharp shooter 9.5" x
5.5", this would be ideal for my junky site and hopefully get
between the nails to find the odd elusive coin or artefact,
those of you who have been invited out detecting with us know
this site and how hard it is to work.
Time was not on my side as the crops were already showing and the farmer
had mentioned on our earlier visit to take extra care so we
knew the detecting doors were closing for this season.
these fields for weeks with other machines made this a worthy
test for the Sharp shooter.
Also in the van was the Tornado coil just for an experiment
really, I wanted to give it a try later in the day and look for that pot of
Gold I keep promising myself.
Again the machine required a little tweaking to suit the soil
conditions but it performed every bit how I had imagined it
would. Searching with my little Sharpshooter coil was an
absolute dream, the balance was perfect.
I had a nice Roman Bronze amongst my many pieces of lead,
I can honestly say this little coil was perfect for the job in
hand...very precise and sensitive.
Ok that's the Sharpshooter coil in the bag as far as I was
concerned and most definitely
in the armoury for future sessions...There was enough time to
have a mooch around with the Tornado coil to see if I could
find some big targets beyond my normal detection depth, which
is really a lost cause as the iron contamination kills any
hope of soil penetration on this site.
I decided to run my Explorer with a large handful of
discrimination (iron mask to be exact) and just try to pick
off some high tones that may turn out to be large coins or
artefacts, as always I run the Explorer in Conductivity mode
rather than Ferrous it's just a personal choice.
I normally run my Explorer with an open screen, there's
nothing worse than listening to the threshold nulling
constantly, it puts a lot of doubt in your mind, the question
I always ask myself is am I missing targets next to iron ?
well yes would be the logical answer using a slow plodding
Explorer with a 13" coil on a Roman site is never a recipe for
great success, there are lots of machines on the market much
more suited for this environment.
Perhaps I spend to much time analysing things because it wasn't long
before I got a solid low tone...simlar to what I was hearing
with the smaller coil, it turned out to be a small roman
bronze...fluke ! I must have walked over an iron free spot the
coin was there the machine found it...big deal...carry on.
Then another low tone and another and so on..... This bloody coil
had just found 3 Roman Grots like they were on the surface.
At this point I opened the discrimination up and resorted to
my original "small target" program which I had used with the
Sharp shooter coil and from that point it all went shockingly
No pot of Gold but some interesting pieces all different sizes
at respectable depths...on a difficult site WITH AN EXPLORER,
I can't say how the other coils will perform on different
machines but hand on heart I was impressed, not only by the
coil but what the Explorer was actually capable of on this
NEL Pin pointing tip : This is true with most 2d coils,
find your target and lock on with a very tight left to right
sweep..at the same time draw the coil back...when the signal
disappears the target is just in front of the coil in the
recess where the windings cross over.
Explorer Tip 1 : Run an open discrim and watch out for
the cursor in the bottom left of the screen, that's where the
little Roman coins on edge like to lurk.
Explorer Tip 2 : Make your Explorer more sensitive to
small targets by running the "noise channel" at 1 this will
give you approx 18Khz.
Some very minor points I would like to see addressed by the
It would be nice to have after market coil bolts supplied
with the units as the original Minelab coil bolt presses
against the coil
wire and could lead to problems in the future, I had a spare
bolt for the sharp shooter as you can see in the pictures
which fitted well.
Coil bolt is very tight on coil wire
The decals could be made from a better quality material
as they show signs of peeling
The sharp shooter coil cover is a loose fit I would suggest a
line of insulating tape around the coil to seat it properly,
or a line of silicone sealer, apart from those small points
the NEL Minelab coils worked well for me.
What you guys really need to know is :
Did I notice any performance advantages over the stock
Are the products good quality ?.....Yes
What single point impressed me the most ?....The sensitivity
to small targets
Did the Minelab pin point well with the Tornado coil....Yes
Should you buy a NEL coil.....Your choice, personally I prefer the SEF
If you do invest in a Nel coil and want to use my Explorer
settings please drop me a line.
This test is still on going I will be adding more as winter
approaches as there are some pasture sites I would like to try
this coil on.