Various MD (metal detector) products being advertised on the internet today offer a wide range of deep penetrating metal detectors and TM808 is just one among them. TM808 is a product manufactured by “Whites Electronics” which is one of the top leading brand of MDs worldwide.

According to the promotional description of this product, TM808 models are designed to detect large sizes of “deep buried metal objects” under the ground. This sounds interesting for THs (treasure hunters) who are in search of large buried cache of treasure deposits.

At the time of this post, the price of TM808 is worth $600. It used to be around $700 to $800 but the price recently dropped because Whites Electronics just released a new and improved version of this same model.

Assembling the TM808

TM808 is “not the type” of MD that you can just grab, turn ON its power then immediately use it to detect buried objects. It actually requires few several steps to set it up before it can be used and assembling it correctly is the first important step.

A TM808 is composed of 4 separate parts which are the following:

1. Front Loop Antenna (horizontal loop antenna)
2. Back Loop Antenna (vertical loop antenna)
3. Control Unit
4. Battery

First Step: The Control Unit Box

On this first step, a table is recommended in assembling your equipment. So take the “Control Unit Box” then place it on the top.

Second Step: The Front Loop/Horizontal Antenna

Grab the “Front-Loop Antenna” then connect it into the front portion of the Control Unit Box. The front portion is the side where the “Battery Meter Indicator” is embedded. Insert the antenna’s tube gently into the unit then tighten it with its “bolt and nut”.

Third Step: The Back Loop/Vertical Antenna

Perform the same similar step above using the “Back-Loop Antenna” but this time at the opposite side of the Control Unit Box.

Fourth Step: Battery

The “Battery Compartment” is found at the back portion of the Control Unit Box. You can open it by pulling the small circular button attached from the cover. Inside, you should find a sticker indicating the correct side on how you are going to insert the battery. The battery being referred here is the “white rectangular box” consisting of four “C” size batteries packed inside it. Once inserted, close the cover then push the small circular button until you hear a “tick sound” confirming that it is securely locked.

In case that the batteries requires new replacement, “Alkaline” batteries are best recommended because they offer longer and more consistent power supply as compared to ordinary batteries.

Replacing the Batteries

Depending on how you frequently use your equipment, its batteries will soon deplete requiring replacement or recharging (if you are using rechargeable type of batteries).

TM808 MD is powered by four pieces of C-Size batteries packed inside the white rectangular box referred by the manufacturer as the “battery holder”.

Here are the following steps on how to replace the batteries from the battery holder of your TM808 MD:

Step 1: Opening the Holder Lid

Inspect the battery holder and look for the “two locking tab openings” near one of its edges. What you have to do is to apply gentle pressure into those two tabs both at the same time. This should cause the lid cover to slip off revealing the batteries inside.

Step 2: Remove the depleted batteries

Now that you removed the lid cover, flip the battery holder to its opposite side to loosen the batteries out.

Step 3: Putting the new batteries

If this is your first time to assemble your TM808’s battery holder then you should find small pieces of soft cylindrical foams. Insert each of these foams inside each of the springs which purpose is to prevent the spring’s loss of tension.

The most crucial part in replacing the batteries is on the process of inserting them according to their correct “terminals”. This refers to the “positive” and “negative” polarities of the batteries. Incorrect placement of the batteries will not turn the POWER ON of your equipment. And worst, the fuse may get damaged requiring serious repair from an authorized service center.

In the new model version of TM808, there is a sticker inside the battery holder illustrating the proper positions of the batteries. But in the older model, there is no such sticker so you have to rely on the springs as your main guide. The trick here is to make sure that the battery’s negative terminal always sits on the spring.

Step 4: Putting the lid cover back

Line up the locking tabs of the lid cover from the lacking tab openings of the battery case then with a slight push, the lid cover should snap back into the casing.

Actual Testing of TM808 on the Philippine Soil

Philippines is known by many THs around the world as filled with many large treasure deposits hidden by the Spaniards and the JIA (Japanese Imperial Army)/General Yamashita. However, recovering them won’t be easy because they are deeply buried beneath the ground. This makes deep penetrating metal detectors the right tool in locating these buried treasures.

Is TM808 the right tool for THs in the Philippines? Let’s find out.

Here are the following actual field test results of the TM808 MD tested on the Philippine soil:

Cylindrical Metal Can

The cylindrical metallic can measures 6 inches in diameter by 10 inches in height.

When TM808 was tested on this object “on-air” (means the object is “not buried”), it can detect the metallic can for up to a maximum height of “6 feet” high. On its buried test result, TM808 can detect the object to a maximum of “4 feet” depth.

Flat Metallic Sheet

The flat metallic sheet used on this actual field test are those that are used in roofing purposes. Dimensions were 20 inches length by 15 inches width. The thickness was only about 4 millimeters.

On-air test on this object yields an amazing height of up to a maximum of “10 feet” high. But when buried in the ground, TM808 can only detect it to a maximum of “6 feet” depth.

10 Pieces of Flat Metallic Sheets

This actual field test experiment was to prove “if thickness” of an object will affect TM808’s depth penetration. Thus, additional pieces of flat metallic sheets were cut making a total of 10 sheets. When piled together, the total thickness was about 40 millimeters.

The test result on a buried condition was positive. TM808 was able to detect these pieces of metallic sheets down to “8 feet” depth. A 2 feet difference from a single buried flat metallic sheet.

TM808 Depth of Detection by Whites Electronics

In order to convince THs or metal detector hobbyists to buy their own TM808 MD products, Whites Electronics has their own field test experiments posted on their website.

Without going into their website, here are their following field test results:

Size of the Object —– Depth of Detection

3 sq. inches —– 3.5 feet or 1 meter
6 sq. inches —– 4.5 feet or 1.35 meters
9 sq. inches —– 5 feet or 1.5 meters
1 gal. Can (top) —– 4.5 feet or 1.35 meters
1 gal. Can (side) —– 5.5 feet or 1.7 meters
5 gal. Can (side) —– 8.5 feet or 2.6 meters
15 gal. Can (side) —– 10 feet or 3 meters
Compact Car —– 20 feet or 6 meters

TM808 Adjustment Settings

Assembling your TM808 is too easy but the hardest and most challenging part is “adjusting” its settings that most first time users find it quite troublesome. Improper adjustment settings actually leads to “poor performance” of the equipment.

TM808 has the following 4 settings that needs proper adjustments:

Threshold Knob

The “threshold knob” consists of two functions. First, it is the main switch that turns the unit “ON” and “OFF”. And second, it is used to increase or decrease the volume.

Since it is the main power-switch of the unit, make sure that it is always turned OFF when not in use. To make sure that the POWER is OFF, the threshold knob must be set fully rotated counterclockwise. On the other hand, you can turn the POWER ON by rotating the knob clockwise until a mechanical “click sound” is observed. Rotating it further will increase the volume of the unit’s humming sound. When adjusting the volume, you must set it at a level where you can only hear the slightest and continuous humming sound of your equipment.

On the front top-panel of the Control Unit box is the analog “battery meter indicator”. When you turn the POWER ON, notice that the indicator-pointer will flip towards the right on the “yellow highlighted” portion of the meter scale. It stays there for about 3 to 5 seconds before settling back to its original position at the left most side. This is actually a “battery check” that is automatically performed by the equipment every time you are going to switch it ON.

The indicator-pointer flipping towards the yellow area of the meter scale during battery check means that the unit’s battery supply is sufficient. However, if it did not reached the yellow area, it means that the battery needs replacement or recharging. Using your TM808 despite of battery shortage makes it unstable.

Signal Balance

The “Signal Balance” knob allows you to make adjustments on the unit’s “feedback signal” or “interference signal”. These are unwanted signals being picked up by your TM808 which causes erratic behaviors on its threshold hum. This often generate false alarms. Some common interference are caused by extreme ground mineral contents, electrical power lines, radios, mobile phones and any other devices that utilizes frequency transmissions.

To properly adjust the Signal Balance setting of your TM808, you should rotate the knob towards the (-) negative side when “presence of interference” are around your surroundings. If very few or minimal interferences are present, you can rotate the knob towards the (+) positive side which increases deeper penetration.

Note: All new or inexperienced users are advised to keep their Signal Balance setting adjustments within the “normal range”.

Ground Balance

The main purpose of the “Ground Balance” adjustment setting knob is to “cancel out the mineralization” on the ground. As mentioned above, this is one of the major interferences that triggers false alarm and hinders deeper penetration.

Rotate the Ground Balance adjustment knob towards the (+) positive side when detecting on a ground with “high mineral contents”. Unfortunately, this will affect the unit’s detection in penetrating deeper depths but it minimizes the interference generated by the ground. On areas with “low mineral ground conditions”, you can rotate the knob towards the (-) negative side to enhance better depth penetration.

Note: Just like the Signal Balance setting, new or inexperience users are advised to set their Ground Balance adjustments within the “normal range”.

Automatic Threshold Toggle Switch

The “Automatic Threshold” setting can be adjusted through the unit’s “toggle switch” by toggling it to either “Auto” or “No Auto” modes. When set to Auto-Mode, the unit automatically adjusts the Threshold hum according to the changes of the ground conditions. Set it to No Auto-Mode when you prefer “manual” operation. Although, this require pressing the red “push-button” at the tip of the unit’s handle from time-to-time. It is recommended that you have to press it for at least “3 to 5 seconds” before releasing it. The main purpose of this red push-button is to reset the unit’s receiver clearing it from “feedback overload”.

Use Headset for Deeper Penetration

Most experienced MD operators recommends the use of a headset because it allows you to have better tuning into the audible signal of your device. Another reason why you have to use a headset are due to noises around your surroundings which is often the cause of missing your target.

A headset or headphone that is compatible to TM808 must be a “1/4 standard size” plug with “8 to 100 ohm resistance”. It should also be a “stereo jack” designed to offer good sound quality output allowing you to hear even the slightest audible signal in both ear cups.

TM808 Positive and Negative Review

TM808 has some good and bad features. Obviously, its best feature is to “detect deep buried large objects”, while its worst feature are its “complicated settings” that most first-time users find it quite hard to adjust.

Here are more positive and negative review about TM808:

The Positive Review

1. Detects Large Sizes of Buried Metal Objects

TM808 is designed to detect large sizes of buried metal objects. Unfortunately, this tool is “not for coin hunters” but THs who are in search of large buried cache of treasures may find it useful on their quests. In the industry, TM808 is a reliable tool used in detecting large buried pipes repair or maintenance.

2. It Works Great on the Beach

In comparison to the soil on the ground, TM808 has a deeper penetration on sand. The depth that it can penetrate to detect a certain metallic object buried in the sand is almost comparable to its on-air height equivalent. A possible explanation is due to the “loose” characteristic of the sand.

During a summer beach vacation along with my family, I took my TM808 to test it if I can find something large and valuable. Throughout the day, I was able to find plenty of metal trashes such as umbrellas, plates and bowls. Too bad I did not found anything valuable but my equipment proved that it works well on the beach.

3. Low Power Consumption

Unlike most MDs, TM808 is designed with “low power consumption” feature where it uses its battery more efficiently. This allows you to utilize your equipment for longer duration period of time. Using alkaline batteries for about 4 to 6 hours of regular use, they could actually last for about 2 to 3 months.

The Negative Review

1. Very Unstable on Grounds with High Mineral Contents

TM808 is quite sensitive on grounds with high mineral contents making it very unstable leading to its erratic behavior. “Hot rocks” is also another serious issue that contributes such major interference. Presence of these interference can be a bit annoying because no matter how much time you spend configuring your unit’s settings, your equipment will still go wild and unstable in just a matter of few minutes of use.

2. Not for the Amateurs

TM808 is not for the amateurs because of its sophisticated settings making it a “non-user friendly” equipment. But for techy individuals, learning how to use it properly with good results may take several months of practice and experience.

3. 1.2 Volt Alkaline Batteries

The required voltage rating of each batteries must be 1.2 volts which is “very uncommon”. Whites Electronics even strictly suggest to use only compatible type of batteries which can be bought from their authorized retailers. Using incompatible type of batteries can seriously damage your equipment.

Update: In the new and upgraded version of TM808, batteries with 1.5 voltage ratings are now safe to use.

TM808 Users’ Manual

If you purchased your TM808 MD from an authorized retailer then the package comes with a “user manual” guide book. It contains all the necessary information you need to know particularly adjusting its settings, locating metals and determining the depth of your buried target.

In case you purchased a secondhand TM808 and it did not have the users’ manual included, you can download it through these following links:

TM808 Manual New Model

TM808 Older Model (with Cave Mode)

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