The Tesoro Cortés represents the best combination of current and new technologies that Tesoro has to offer. When Jack Gifford and Vince Gifford set out to create a new target ID machine they each brought with them different experience. Jack has over twenty-five years experience designing some of the best analog detectors that have been on the market. Vince brought with him a decade of computer systems experience. Together, they have been creating new technology that gives our detectors superior performance and keeps them easy to use. Various parts of this technology have been finding it's way into Tesoro detectors since the introduction of the Golden µMax. The new Cortés represents all phases of our new microprocessor technology combined with our tried and true analog circuits to create a detector that has all of the high end features our customers have asked for with user friendly Tesoro controls.
The first thing that you will notice is the control box and battery holder configuration. The µMax housing was just not big enough to hold the new circuit board so we moved the batteries down under the arm bracket and increased the size of the box slightly. This allows us to use a 12 volt system to work with the demands of the target ID circuitry. It also gave us the ability to put a 2¼" speaker on the Cortés. This will give better and louder target signals in the field.
The Cortés' 2x16 character LCD display will catch your eye as well. This area is the information center of the detector. The top row is an alpha/numeric display that gives a broad indication of your possible target. One of five different categories are displayed. Also if the target is over-driving the circuits, the display will tell you to lift the coil for a more accurate reading. The alpha/numeric and bar graph section of the display will remain blank until the coil passes over a target. After the detectorist has decided to dig or ignore the target the display will clear itself after six seconds of not receiving a signal. The display works in all modes, regardless of the discrimination setting. By clearing the display after six seconds the user is able to tell if has passed over a new target that may have been discriminated out. The detector may not produce an audio signal, but the display will show a target reading. The detectorist then has the choice to either go back and check the target or ignore it.
The bottom half of the display contains the real nuts and bolts information that will help you to work the Cortés to its fullest extent. The far right hand part of the display is a battery level indicator. This gives an accurate measure of your current battery level. On the far left-hand side is the probable depth indicator. The Cortés uses the phase shift of the target to determine the probable target and then looks at the amplitude of the signal to determine the depth. For example: a nickel and a quarter are in the ground and the quarter is deeper than the nickel; if we just went off of amplitude change, the detector may read the two targets as being the same depth. However, the Cortés would show the quarter as being deeper because its phase shift response is different than that of the nickel.
In the center of the lower display is a nine segment bar graph display. The different segments represent the following possible targets: iron; foil: nickel; round tab; square tab; zinc penny; copper penny and dime; quarter; half and dollar. The graph shows what the coil saw during the entire sweep of the coil. The targets metal composition and orientation in the ground can cause "smearing" or possible indication in more than one graph segment. For example: pull tabs usually will not respond in a single segment but give signals in two or three segments. To help the detectorist decide on the target, we have also included an ID Number display next to the bar graph.
The ID Number takes the largest part of the signal and converts it to a two digit number. When Vince put together the scale for the ID Number, he decided to put the most resolution in the middle range of targets. This is the area where nickels, pull tabs and gold rings lie. We know that iron will always be on the low end of the scale and silver coins and jewelry will always be on the high end. So iron targets will always give a reading of 0 and silver will always give a reading of 95. The Cortés now gives you the ability to decide what you want to dig. One of the hardest parts of designing detectors is the fact that pull tabs can vary from place to place. But a hunter working in the same area can use the ID Number to learn the characteristics of the local pull tabs and effectively ignore them.
For those detectorists that prefer a notch filter discrimination, we have also added a simple flip switch to activate either a narrow or wide notch window. When the display is blanked, two "N"s or three "W"s will appear on the screen. The N will indicate a narrow notch window and will be in the round tab and square tab portion of the graph segments. The wide notch window will cause a W to be in the round tab, square tab and zinc penny segments. These indications are an easy way to check what part of the scale is being notched out. The notch indicators will only show when there is no target under the coil. When there is a target signal, no matter if the target has been discriminated or not, the display will show the information of the target.
The Sum mode is another feature to help identify targets. While the detector is in either the Discriminate or All Metal mode, the display shows the target information from the entire sweep of the coil. Each time the coil passes over the target the microprocessor generates a new target ID reading. While this is nice for general searching, it can be confusing while pinpointing. This is where the Sum mode becomes useful. Pushing the spring-loaded switch into the Sum mode causes the detector to start a multi-tone ID and averages all of the coil passes over the target. The tone ID has nine different tones and relates directly to the bar graph segments. The higher up on the graph the target is, the higher the pitch of the audio signal. Averaging the coil passes over the target gives the detectorist the ability to get rid of most of the signal noise that prevents making an accurate target identification. Here's how it works: when the detectorist gets a target signal that he wishes to check out, he pushes and holds the Mode switch in the Sum position. Shortening his coil sweep to only a two or four inch sweep he passes the coil over the target three to seven times. The short multiple sweeps give the microprocessor the chance to sum the passes and average them. During the sweeps the audio ID will start at the lowest signal and will get progressively higher in pitch until there is no more change. When this happens the detector is giving the most accurate ID possible. Then the user can decide if he wants to dig or ignore the target.
All of these new features are complimented by Tesoro's easy to use controls. No touch pads or scroll through menus. Set the detector how you like it by adjusting the knobs on the front of the machine. The Cortés features an On/Off Sensitivity knob; a Discriminate Level knob; a Manual Ground Balance knob; a Mode Switch with All Metal, Discriminate and Sum mode settings; a Notch Width switch with Off, Narrow and Wide settings and a Light switch to control the LCD backlight with a High, Low, and Off positions.
The Cortés fits into a package that weighs just less than three pounds (including the batteries!) and is covered under Tesoro's Lifetime Warranty. The Tesoro Cortés makes target ID easy and fun. Contact your local dealer or the factory for more information.