Tesoro DeLeón Metal Detector Field Test Report by Ron Barnes

This report began with a phone call from James Gifford of Tesoro Electronics asking me if I would be interested in doing a report on their new I.D. detector—the DeLeón. Would I? Show me the detector!

In a few days, the familiar brown truck rolled up to my shop. In all of about 45 seconds, I had the carton opened and had begun the assembly process. In approximately 3 minutes, I had the DeLeón ready to go. My first impression was "Wow! How do they put so much into such a small, lightweight, well-balanced machine?" When you hold the DeLeón in the proper detecting stance, it feels like it is merely an extension of your arm. When swinging this little "dynamo," you cannot believe how effortless it is.

When assembling the DeLeón, I want to stress the fact that you "snap" the battery doors close after fully inserting the battery packs. After a few moments out in my test garden, I noticed one of the battery compartment doors had opened. If this happened out in the field or woods, I would have had a problem. After inspection of the door, I discovered that it was operator error and not the machine. I had not followed the directions in the manual and had not fully installed the battery pack. Read the book first.

My test garden consists of the following basic targets: penny, nickel, dime, quarter, gold ring, pulltabs, and an iron nail. All of the targets are a measured 6" deep. The DeLeón detected and identified each target accurately. It wasn't until I held the coil between 3 and 5 inches off the ground that the machine started giving the "I am not sure" type response.

Folks, that kind of depth on a good target I.D. is remarkable. I have machines in stock at twice the price that can't do that. The DeLeón's controls are simplicity exemplified. Three knobs and one toggle switch control this powerhouse of a detector. The threshold knob is set to a light buzzing sound and with that done, you can simply forget that control. The next knob is the on/off sensitivity control, which in essence controls the depth (achievable) and stability of the detector. The remaining knob discriminates out unwanted targets. Just remember that the higher you set the discriminate control, the more good targets you can be shutting out. Also, at the higher discrimination settings, there is normally a slight loss in depth. That leaves one control, the toggle switch, which enables the following 3 modes: battery check, discriminate mode, and all metal mode. At full battery charge, the battery check displays 8 squares. As the charge drops off, the quares start disappearing. I like this system because you can tell at a glance approximately how many hours you have left on your power supply. After about 20 hours of "off and on" detecting, my unit was still showing about 75% (6 squares) of power left. I think Tesoro's estimate of 10 to 20 hours of battery life is very conservative.

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