Using Minelab E-Trac with Pro-Swing Harness – A $8 Hack for More Comfort

2016-06-30 11_30_02-Scott Clark (@metaldetecting) • Instagram photos and videos

Comparing stock E-trac coil to NEL Big Coil

I’ve been using the excellent new NEL Big coil (it’s 15 x 17 inches, y’all!) in some of my civil war camp searches over the past few weeks in a successful attempt to sniff out fragments of friction primers (many are pictured on my Instagram feed.) But the reality is that the NEL coil is heavy (2.3 lbs) and it’s far easier to hunt with it using a harness.  I choose the Minelab ProSwing 45 Harness for this purpose as it is by far my favorite.  With the harness “tuned in” the NEL coil becomes manageable.

Minelab Pro Swing Harness Adapted for E-trac

Minelab Pro Swing Harness Adapted for E-trac

The ProSwing is really designed for the GPX machines, and doesn’t work very well with E-trac out of the box.  But the harness is so good, it’s worth a bit of effort to engineer things a bit.  So I brainstormed the problem and came up with this:

Defining the ideal Scenario 

The main problem is that you must connect to the E-trac in such a way that:

  • You can use very large coils for maximum depth, coverage or sensitivity.
  • The harness supports around 3/4 of the weight (around 3/4 of the weight is ideal.)
  • You allow enough distance between torso and detector to swing naturally (as if harness was not attached.)
  • The detector doesn’t “twist” in your hand by hanging from the side (this will destroy your wrist.)
  • The machine is easy to pop off when you’re recovering a target.
  • You don’t get pain in your wrist, shoulders or neck from extra reach, etc.
  • You can adjust the hang distance based on going up or downhill with minimal effort.

I had remembered a product that allowed you to hang stuff from your garage ceiling called “hang alls” at Home Depot and wondered if it could be used to hang the E-trac?   I was there getting a propane refill, so decided to grab one.

31JvAt3fWoL._SY300_I bought the Husky Tools “Hang All” in 24″ length .  It was $5 and came with a heavy carabiner, which I removed, and added a Nite Eyze 75LB Stainless Steel Clip in its place (more glove friendly.)   The hang-alls seem to come in several brands but you want them to be roughly the same as pictured.

How to Use the Hang-All to “HUG” the E-Trac Control Panel at the Center of Gravity  (see photo)

Taking the Hangall, you slip the velcro around the control box in a “hug” – criss-cross configuration (D) and connect it.  Clip the Nite Eyze clip (B) n the hangall (C) and put your harness strap (A) through that.  Take up slack in the harness strap until you’re supporting about 3/4 of the weight of the machine.  Boom.  Now you can grip the handle fully, reach the buttons easily, and still be connected to the center of gravity for supporting the machine.

After a few adjustments, I was swinging normally with roughly the same effort as it takes to swing the XP Deus (which weighs about as much as a Golf Driver.)  The big difference here is that you’ll nearly double the depth.

Good luck and happy hunting!
2016-06-20 11_09_13-Scott Clark (@metaldetecting) • Instagram photos and videos
Sniffing out these tiny friction primers in a 10 acre field requires patience and serious technology