2 days with Lobo Super Traq (Tesoro LST)

SkateCreek

Well-Known Member
#1
I realize this review may seem somewhat premature being that I have only had the LST for 48 hours, but I have used it for well over 8 hours and the Lobo is so easy to use that I feel that I already have the "hang of it".

Consider this a short overview of my preliminary findings, a more in depth review will follow when I have a hundred or so hours of use.
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I came across the Tesoro Lobo Super Traq (LST) on Craigslist while looking for the elusive Tesoro Compadre. I wanted the Compadre for those rainy days we have so often here in the PNW - Washington State, the idea was that I would put a sandwich bag over the control box of the Compadre and be able to detect in the rain. When I discovered the Lobo had a removable control box that could be carried on your belt or suspenders I figured why not? I could keep the control box dry and available under a rain poncho and detect all I wanted, the unit was unused and the price was right!

I have not used the LST for "Prospecting", which is it's intended design, I purchased it with the intentions of learning the art of detecting using tones only, and have mainly used it at local parks and beaches for coins and jewelry.
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First of all, I have to tell you that the LST is a Super Sensitive Detector capable of finding a needle in a haystack quite easily. With the stock 5x10 DD coil it will scream a very loud signal on a small piece of foil 6 - 8 inches down.

With the stock coil I have noticed a very clear target separation even with similar targets close together, as an example I found two pennies in the ground about an inch apart and knew there were two targets prior to digging.

Target ID is easily accomplished prior to digging using the Discriminator mode and simply rotating the dial, adding discrimination as you sweep the target, when the target stops 'beeping' a simple glance at the dial will give as much of a hint as with any MD with a display.

Here's how to do it... After properly ground balancing the LST, leave it in "All Metal" mode and start looking for targets, you can tell an Iron target easily by the tone, but to be certain you merely need to flip the mode switch to Disc. and start the Target ID process outlined above.

After making the decision to dig the target you simply flip the switch from Disc. to Pinpoint and use the "X" method to find the center of the target, which will be in the center of the 5x10 coil.



AIR TESTING:
Extensive Air testing was conducted at SkateCreek Labs, the Discriminator settings have been found to be true and consistent on mine:

1 = Gold and Foil
3 = Nickels and Pull tabs
4 = Pull Tabs
7 = Pennies (zinc)
9 = Quarters

Air Testing revealed the LST to be Very Sensitive yet extremely Selective. A small Gold Ring was faintly detected at 16 inches, and clearly audible at 12 inches and just plain loud at 6 inches. To test selectivity I set the Discriminator to Allow Gold and Reject Iron, when an Iron half inch thick "Lag Bolt" was passed by the coil alone there was no signal, when the Ring and Bolt were passed by the coil at 6 inches the Gold Ring rang out strong as before, with no broken tones or any other indication of "Target Masking". The Iron target simply vanished, no clicks or pops, just gone!

It should be noted here that Large Iron targets sometimes cannot be discriminated out, but it is plainly obvious when you have the Disc all the way up and the signal is still punching through. To verify a large target (or a moderate sized piece of Iron near ground level) you can merely lift the coil 10 inches or so and sweep over the target, if it goes away, you may want to dig, the target is likely near ground level anyway. If the signal remains it is obviously a large Iron target (fence post, manhole cover, etc)

It is strongly advised that you use headphones with the LST as it can be quite loud and will surely draw a ton of attention when people are nearby, most targets punch through the speaker very loudly. Small and very deep targets (pull tab at 9 inches) will have a diminished volume, however that is not true once you switch to Pinpoint mode, which will respond with a very pronounced "squeelawking" as you "X" over the target.

The use of headphones will also help with those not so pronounced signals from very small targets that are very deep (foil candy wrapper at 10 inches).

The LST does not seem to like SALT water very much! I tested the LST at one of our local beaches and noted problems with Ground Balance, a "Chattering" noise was noted in the Threshold background, after repeated attempts to balance the unit had failed I consulted the trusty manual. Ground Balance was easily accomplished in ALKALI selection with reduced Sensitivity levels. I tested the Lobo in fresh water beach with excellent results in wet or dry sand, Ground Balance was not an issue in FRESH water.
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In the picture below I have some of the items that I have found with the LST and some of the items were used for testing.

The Lag Bolt that is under the Silver Dollar was used in the air test with the Gold ring (not pictured). The Silver dollar was found in a sand filled Tot-Lot at nearly 16 inches, literally elbow deep! The signal was loud and I thought for sure I would find a pop can. The dime was found at 8 inches of in a Wood Chip style Tot-Lot. The Penny and Nail were in the same hole, never heard the nail which was at 2-3 inches, I knew there was a coin so I kept digging and found the penny at about 6 inches. The Heart Charm was in a grassy park at the depth of my trusty Lesche tool 6-7 inches. The tiny gold plated wafer next to the charm was found in a sand filled Tot-Lot at 4 inches and I thought for sure it would be my 1st Gold Ring. Lastly the pull tab was unearthed at 4 inches..... yes we will always have to deal with those pesky pull-tabs.


Silver Dollar = 16 Inches
Dime = 8 Inches
Penny/Nail = 3 & 6 Inches (nail was a bonus)
Charm = 7 Inches
Wafer = 4 Inches
Pull Tab = 4 Inches

Each of these targets rang out loud through the speaker as good targets,
there was no Iron Masking evident.
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Turn on and go settings:
Starting points = Normal Soil - Sensitivity 10
Relics - All Metal Mode
Coins - Disc Mode and Level 3
Coins and Jewelry - Disc Mode and Level 1

For the Coin and Jewelry hunters, the LST works very well, just use the settings above and when it beeps, you dig.... simple.

For Relic hunters be fair warned that the super sensitive LC circuitry is going to keep you very busy, a small ball bearing at 6 inches will sound off loudly and you'll think the Liberty Bell is down there!

For all users, be prepared to dig deeper, the super sensitive LC circuit that Tesoro is famous for has no problems finding deep targets, regardless of size.
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General recommendations:

I would recommend a good pin pointer be used with the LST as this detector will find very small targets very deep, the volume of earth you will need to search through to find these tiny targets can make it a daunting task without a pin pointer.

The Online Manual can be found here

Generally, I do not recommend products or engage in endorsements or product reviews, I had to make the exception in this case. I have a White's DFX detector with all of the "Bells and Whistles" and I like it very much, however with all of those bells and whistles come Trials and Tribulations and a steep learning curve. With the Tesoro LST I did not know what to expect, I was looking for the single control Compadre remember? I wanted simplicity and ease... and that's exactly where the LST excels.

When I am using the Lobo I know that if I have decided to dig it is because I know there is nothing but goodies in that hole...... unless it is one of those pesky pull tabs! :rocketwho

BTW: If you happen to find the elusive Compadre, I am still looking for one.
Since the Compadre uses the same patented ED180 Technology as the LST, I am sure that it would make a productive loaner or back up machine
 

EBCIII

Well-Known Member
#5
That is a great review Skate. I have looked at the lobo many times. I know my next machine is gonna be a Tesoro, now I may just get this one, Beale.
 
#6
The LST is a gold detector, yes you can use it in the park, but it will SCREAM on every piece of aluminum !! It thinks it's gold !! It does have fantastic depth, but really is designed to be a nugget hunter.
 

SkateCreek

Well-Known Member
#7
The LST is a gold detector, yes you can use it in the park, but it will SCREAM on every piece of aluminum !! It thinks it's gold !! It does have fantastic depth, but really is designed to be a nugget hunter.
My DFX thinks everything is a coin too! ...
Which Tesoro would you recommend for Parks and occasional beach use?
 
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