Hello! My name is Emily Copeland, a.k.a. Little Dirt Digger, and I’m super excited to be sharing my prospecting adventures with you! I’m 10 years old and I have been metal detecting for over five years now. North Georgia is where I call home and I like to detect old, abandoned places like homesteads and Civil War encampments. I also enjoy setting up my display cases at trade shows so I can talk to kids about metal detecting and show them what they are able to find if they start the hobby. I really enjoy sharing my metal-detecting finds and you’ll see a lot of my adventures on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook under my name, Little Dirt Diggers. When I’m not metal detecting, I enjoy other hobbies like softball, basketball, magnet fishing, gold panning and gem mining, and bass fishing!
Today, I’m going to be telling you some information about the Nokta Makro Mini Hoard and how to use it! Buckle up! It’s going to be a lot of fun!
Nokta Makro introduced the Mini Hoard and Midi Hoard in 2020 as the world’s first waterproof kids detectors on the market. The Mini Hoard has many great features and is very easy to use and learn! I was selected to test the Mini Hoard before it was released and was able to really see what this machine was made of, and it did not let me down. I have found so many cool relics and coins with this little machine that packs a big punch! It’s about time that we have a metal detector designed just for us!
The Mini Hoard is primarily for 4- to 8-year-olds and the shaft can extend from 25 inches to 35 inches. For older kids, Nokta Makro also offers the Midi Hoard, which is geared toward kids 12 and under. I started detecting at 4 ½ and I would have loved having this detector back then! When I first saw it, it looked really cool, and I liked that the cord for the coil was made into the shaft so that it didn’t get tangled or hung on anything. It only weighs about 2 pounds, so it’s really light and I can use it for a long time. It comes in a grass green color and you can order a Mini Hoard Cool Kit that includes two sets of stickers to customize your machine and make it your very own. The coil is small, so it fits into small areas or under bushes, but it is strong enough to detect metal as deep as eight inches. My cousins, who are 4 and 6, have used this detector and they both had a really good time with it!
When you pick up the machine, place your hand on the grip below the screen and put your forearm or elbow into the arm rest. The coil should be pointed down at the ground. On the control box, there’s an LCD screen and two triangle buttons below it. To turn the machine on, you hold the right button down for a few seconds until you hear a beep. Beep! There’s also a picture of a kid that will show up on the left side of the screen. He’s wearing a bandana on his head and he’s holding a shovel. On the right side, there is a battery indicator. A thumbs up means it’s at full charge and a thumbs down means you need new batteries. The detector only uses two AA batteries. There are no other steps to setting up the machine. It is ready to go! You can start swinging away!
The machine has two tones. The high tone is for good targets, and a smiley face with a thumbs up emoji will show up on the right side of the screen. The low tone is for trash or ferrous targets, and a sad face with a thumbs down emoji will show up on the left side of the screen. There is also an LED indicator between the two buttons that lights up when you go over a target. If you press the right button one time (not holding it down), it makes the sad box go away and will only pick up the good targets. I only use this setting in really trashy areas, but you can use it however you would like.
The Mini Hoard also has a depth indicator that shows up beside the boy with the bandana. There are three levels and they are shown as piles of dirt. The little pile means that the target is shallow, the medium pile means it’s a little bit deeper, and the big pile means it’s really deep. Beside the piles of dirt, there is also an exclamation mark that means the target is too close to the coil, and this means you need to lift the coil up or move it away to see what it is.
To start metal detecting, hold the hand grip and place your arm in the arm rest. Swing the detector back and forth in a half-moon shape around you. Go slowly, or the detector won’t be able to pick up a target. Keep the coil about an inch or so off the ground as you are swinging it. Be careful not to hit any rocks, trees, roots, or any other big objects because this can break the coil or the shaft.
“The high tone is for good targets, and a smiley face with a thumbs up emoji will show up on the right side of the screen. The low tone is for trash or ferrous targets, and a sad face with a thumbs down emoji will show up on the left side of the screen.”
So, as I’m swinging, I look at the ground until I hear a tone. Then I will swing the machine back and forth, several times, over the ground where the target is. I look to see if the smiley face keeps coming up and I look at the piles of dirt to see how deep it is. Then, I press and hold the left button because it is the built-in pin-pointer. It pinpoints exactly where to dig my plug to find my treasure. I like to dig horseshoe plugs because they don’t damage the grass, finding the target is easier, and it’s easier to clean up. Once I dig the plug and fold it back, I use the detector again to see if the target is in the plug or the hole. I carry a bandana with me so if I have to dig more dirt out of the hole; I can lay it on the ground and put the dirt on it so that I don’t make a mess. After I find the target, I clean up the dirt from the bandana and plug and cover it up. I also like to re-scan the hole again to make sure I got all the targets from the plug. I also want to say that I don’t just dig the good targets. I dig them all because sometimes you just never know what you might find.
A couple of other things that I should say would be that the Mini Hoard is waterproof up to three feet and that there is an automatic shut-off feature. I like that the detector is waterproof because I enjoy walking through and detecting creeks. There are some really cool things to find in creeks! I also take my detector to the beach! I can find jewelry, toy cars, and I’ve even found an old phone once! I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get distracted when I’m detecting. I like to look at different bugs, leaves and sticks. I guess that happens to most kids! I also like detecting playgrounds for lost change, toys, and sometimes jewelry; and I get to play after I’m done detecting. Plus, it’s easy digging! But, I do get frustrated when I forget to turn off my machine before I go exploring. Luckily the Mini Hoard has the auto shut-off feature so I don’t run the batteries dead. I would be really sad if that happened!
If you have a Mini Hoard or you are getting one soon, I just want to say have fun! Remember, you have to find the trash to find the good stuff. Make sure to learn how to dig a hole the right way. Ask your parents if you can watch metal- detecting videos on YouTube or read a few books and learn as much as you can about detecting. Sometimes you might get frustrated and feel like you want to give up, but don’t do that! Just keep going. If you need help, ask a parent to help and encourage you. Then you should be good to go!
Have fun! Good luck and happy hunting!
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