Cheap pinpointer - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-22-2013, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Cheap pinpointer

Found some good reviews, like surprisingly good, for a pinpointer for $16 at Harbor Freight. Now, I know ol' Hazard Freight stuff is usually about as reliable as the blister pack it comes in, but seriously, I have a hard time finding any negative reviews on this thing. Anybody have one or use one? I think I might get one, after all, 16 smackers is a pretty cheap gamble if it saves me the cost of a Garrett Pro pointer!

Go n-ithe an cat thú is go n-ithe an diabhal an cat!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-22-2013, 02:49 PM
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Re: Cheap pinpointer

I was wondering how long it would be until someone found that piece of "garbage", no offense. I have owned THREE of them.......they lasted under 4 months COMBINED.
There is a known issue with them that when they get above room temperature (most of my hunting is done may-august) they overheat and they will beep EVERY time you push the button. The button will wear out after a few hundred pushes(one hunt for many of us) and they are very fragile. I wouldn't suggest you not try one, but I would suggest having two because WHEN the first fails, you don't want your entire hunt ruined due to cheap equipment

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-22-2013, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Cheap pinpointer

Yeah, that sounds about like HF. Thanks for the reality check. I might still try one, it's better than not having a pointer at all I suppose, and I'm just not ready to invest in a Garrett.

Go n-ithe an cat thú is go n-ithe an diabhal an cat!
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-22-2013, 02:59 PM
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Re: Cheap pinpointer

glad you took it the right way, didn't mean to sound harsh but it is a touchy subject after buying 3 of them

The crew over at treasurenet used to have directions on how to fix them, but it included more money/time/effort and even then they were hit or miss. I just don't want someone to go through the torment and aggravation I went through after not listening to my mentors.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-22-2013, 05:20 PM
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Re: Cheap pinpointer

I have read a lot of guys remove the speaker in them and replace it with a small vibrating motor. And they also replace the push button switch with a toggle switch. There is directions over on metaldetectingforums.com that shows you how to do it all.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-14-2013, 12:44 PM
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Re: Cheap pinpointer

For the guys that want to try their hand with the harbor freight pin pointer, here are the "fixes" I found on another site:



<span style="font-weight: bold">That dirty rotten switch...</span>
This was the first thing that I had trouble with on this unit. After several hunts in the dust, the switch got dirty and would only operate intermittently. It's not a sealed switch, so dust and moisture will get in it and cause problems. Not a big deal, the switch can be cleaned. After taking the battery out, open the unit by removing the four screws holding the back on. They are small screws, but can be turned with a 3/32" Phillips screwdriver from a precision screwdriver set. Carefully pull the back off, being careful not to pull it apart too much so you don't pull the wires to the speaker out.

Hold the unit so the switch is facing down. Put a folded paper towel under the switch. Apply drops of ordinary rubbing alcohol to the back of the switch where the contacts enter the case and start pushing the switch up and down on the paper towel. You should see the alcohol work its way into the switch through the gaps where the contacts go into the case. If the switch is dirty, you'll start to see dirt and gunk flow down around the red button and onto the paper towel as you work the switch. This dirt was fouling the switch. Keep doing this over clean sections of paper towel, adding more drops of alcohol until no more dirt comes out. Once it is clean, keep working and shaking the switch without adding more alcohol. This will help get the excess out. Then just let the whole thing sit out for a while to dry before reassembling it.


My switch gunks up a lot, so to make cleaning easier, soldered wire extensions on the switch and insulated the connections with heat shrink tubing. This makes it easier to clean the switch without having to deal with holding the pinpointer case. I simple remove the switch from the case and clean it as explained above. One of these days, if I come across a cheap sealed switch, I just might install it.


<span style="font-weight: bold">
Hey, the tip isn't waterproof!</span>
The tip of this unit is press-fit into place. It isn't waterproof. I waterproofed mine by gently prying off the tip, being careful not to break the coil wires. The coil is glued to the inside of the tip of the probe, so if you pull the tip too far, you might break the wires. Clean both surfaces with rubbing alcohol, let them dry, and apply a coating of silicone caulk to the part of the tip that fits in the probe. Press the tip back into place and wipe off all excess silicone. Allow it to cure for at least 24 hours. Now your tip should be waterproof.


<span style="font-weight: bold">My probe is loose!</span>
Only after months of abuse, the screw holding the end of the probe to the inside of the case wore through the inside of the case and was loose. Simply replace this screw with a small bolt, lock washer, and nut. Just be sure the head of the bolt is bigger than the hole in the back of the cast that the original bolt fit into. Use a washer under the bolt head if it isn't.


<span style="font-weight: bold">
Hey, there's gunk in the speaker.</span>
One other thing I noticed. The speaker hole kept getting gunked up and the screen eventually tore. After cleaning the case, I covered the hole with a piece of blue masking tape. It keeps dirt out and you can still hear the beep.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-21-2013, 01:10 AM
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Re: Cheap pinpointer

Hey guys ...how about the Orbitor Prospector 200....is it any better than the Harbor Freight unit?
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