Sunpow OT-MD02 Metal Detector Review

The Sunpow OT-MD02 is an entry-level metal detector.  Although simplicity is at the core of its performance, it has manual ground balance and a color LCD display to help beginners get a head start on learning how to detect.  It’s priced within the budget range, so it’s an affordable detector if you’re buying for an older child or a friend.  If you’re just getting into detecting, or if you’re uncertain your child is going to stick with it, the Sunpow may be the economical choice to make

At a Glance…

✔️ Best Feature: Manual Ground Balance

Worst Feature: Quality Control Issues

👌 Ideal For: Shallow Water, Coins, Jewelry, Relics, Beginners, Older Kids

  • Manual Ground Balance
  • All Metal & DISC Modes
  • 6 Target Categories
  • 3 Audio Tones
  • Pinpoint Mode

Our Verdict: The Sunpow OT-MD02 is a basic and entry-level metal detector that can provide hours of fun for both kids and adults.  To see Ground Balance on a detector at this price point is great, and it will allow searching in multiple terrains.

Who is the Sunpow OT-MD02 Best Suited to?

The OT-MD02 is undoubtedly designed for beginners, and we mean very green rookies to detecting.  This is the type of metal detector that you would buy as a first-time detector.  The length is adjustable, so users from 4’10” to 6’2” will find that it will fit them perfectly.  It’s also very lightweight, likely around 2 lbs, so all users will be able to hunt for as long as they want, or at least until the batteries run dead.  These specs make it obvious that this is a detector for older kids and adults.  The whole gang can now join in on the fun.    

How Does the Sunpow OT-MD02 Perform?

The Sunpow is only intended to be a starter metal detector.  Once you learn the tricks of the trade and you master your Sunpow, you can confidently upgrade to a more advanced detector to improve your skills and finds.  Quite a few parts are made from plastic, so younger users should take extra care with it.  The MD02 is a VLF single frequency metal detector that operates between 6.2-6.8 kHz.  It has a maximum coin detection depth of 8.7”, and with the ground balancing feature, you’ll be able to maximize your search when changing terrains make it tough. 

Features & Benefits

Sunpow Metal Detector

Manual Ground Balance

Surprisingly, this entry-level detector has a manual ground balance knob.  This is exciting as many comparable detectors in this price range will either have preset ground balance or none at all.  This is a key indication that isn’t a kid’s toy.  The first setting you want to use ground balance in is the P indication on the knob.  Make adjustments be sure to press the GND TRAC button to fine-tune and set the threshold.  It’s a rather crude ground balancing feature, but it’s better than nothing. 

The purpose of ground balancing is to calibrate the detector the conditions of the soil.  While this isn’t always required of most entry-level detectors in ideal conditions, when you hit saltwater or highly-mineralized areas, the minerals in the soil interfere with detection.  Being able to reduce this interference improves detection on good objects. 

All Metal & DISC Modes

There are two search modes on the Sunpow with All Metal as a non-motion mode and DISC as a motion mode.  All Metal has no discrimination, so it will provide the same tone for all types of metals detected.  Importantly, it’s a non-motion mode, so it will help you get as close to the target as you possibly can before you activate the Pinpoint function. 

DISC mode allows you discriminate metals so you can improve success in finding your desired object.  It’s a motion search mode, so the searchcoil must always be in motion to relay a signal.  Once the searchcoil detects an object, you should switch in All Metal to then use the Pinpoint function to locate its position in the ground and its depth. 

6 Target Categories

The OT-MD02 detector doesn’t have a numerical Target ID system, but it does have a six target category scale that allows you to get an idea of what the unit has detected.  Sunpow has grouped these categories into two ranges: Gold and Silver.  The Gold range includes Iron Foil, Nickels, Pull Tabs, S-Caps, and Pennies.  The Silver range indicates silver coins.  Sunpow says that quarters, some pennies, and possibly large aluminum items might register in this category. 

It’s important to note that the entry-level detector is provides only a probable estimate.  You might find that what registers on the target category may prove to be something different.  Successful and accurate detection is determinant upon many factors that are out your control and sometimes beyond the detector’s capabilities.  As it’s said, “The best discriminator is the shovel.”

3 Audio Tones

When in DISC mode, you will hear three distinct tones: low, medium, and high.  Each audio tone will provide some indication of the type of metal detected.  This detector has filtered the six target categories within its most appropriate tonal range.  Iron and nickels will signal with a low tone, pull-tabs, s-caps, and pennies will signal with a medium tone, and quarters will signal with a high tone. 

Pinpoint Mode

This feature will allow you to locate an object’s exact position.  The depth indicator are for visual reference only, so you may find the object to be a little deeper or shallower than what is displayed on the color screen.  PinPointing is activated through the GND TRAC function.  It involves having to move the searchcoil in side-to-side motions to eventually create an “X” shape to determine the target’s location.  The center of the X and the center of the searchcoil often indicates the exact location.  However, pinpointing takes practice, so it’s best to run practice tests at home before trying it out in the field. 

Limitations

Quality Control Issues

There have been few complaints about various components of the Sunpow metal detector from parts breaking to the control box not functioning right.  However, the detector is warrantied for 2-years and customer service is adequately responsive in addressing issues providing replacements or refunds.  Fortunately, quality control issues are minimal. 

Beeps Then Stops

One common misconception is that the Sunpow is defect as it may beep when sweeping over a target but then stop when it’s swept over the same area.  This is not a defect as this is a common trait of all entry-level metal detectors.  What is happening is that in DISC mode, when you’ve discriminated iron or pull tabs, the detector may initially “detect” these items.  When you pass over the same area where you received the signal, it’s silent.  This is because the detector has silenced out the signal on the targets you have discriminated. 

Popular Questions

What Kind of Batteries Does the Sunpow Detector Take?

You will need to purchase 8x AA batteries to operate the metal detector.  They are not included in the buy.  There are two battery compartments on the control box, and you must insert them according to the polarity symbols indicated on the inside of the compartment. 

What Accessories are Included with the Sunpow OT-MD02?

You will receive the OT-MD02 metal detector with a 10” searchcoil, a folding shovel, carry bag, and user manual.  No headphones are included with the metal detector, however, you can hear audio tones through the control box as there is an external speaker. 

Can You Use Headphones with the Metal Detector?

You can use the external speaker to hear audio, and it’s even a nice touch that there is a volume adjustment knob.  However, some have said it’s still not as loud as they would like at max volume.  Fortunately, you can use headphones with the Sunpow.  The control box has a 3.5 jack for plugging in headphones.  Using headphones is the best way to hear tones and changes.  It will also conserve battery life and provide privacy while detecting. 

How Long is the Sunpow Metal Detector?

The shaft is adjustable and can be extended from 47.3-55.2”.  Although it doesn’t retract down quite as short as some other detectors, it’s been said by users to be short enough for older children aged 10+ and for short adults. 

Can the Sunpow OT-MD02 be Used at the Beach?

This metal detector can be taken to the beach and used on dry sand.  It does have a manual ground balancing feature, so you may be able to ground balance to saltwater.  It may be effective, or you still may experience chatter no matter how much you try to dial it out.  There isn’t any indication that you can adjust sensitivity, and that may affect how efficient the detector is in wet sand. 

The searchcoil is waterproof, so it can be used in shallow water, but breaking surf on the searchcoil will create erratic signals.  Be sure to rinse off the coil after use. 

Conclusion

The Sunpow isn’t your gold prospecting metal detector, but it is a decent treasure hunter.  Coins, jewelry, and some artifacts will be the main finds of the day.  It’s reasonably priced for an entry-level detector, but the manual ground balance is definitely its prominent feature.  For green newbies searching for a cheap price without compromising on real detector capabilities, the Sunpow OT-MD02 will end that search.

SUNPOW Professional Metal Detector for Adults, Adjustable Groud Balance, Disc & Notch & Pinpoint Modes, Upgraded DSP Chip, Multiple Audio Prompts
161 Reviews
SUNPOW Professional Metal Detector for Adults, Adjustable Groud Balance, Disc & Notch & Pinpoint Modes, Upgraded DSP Chip, Multiple Audio Prompts
  • ★ Three Operation Modes ★: SUNPOW Metal Detector has three operation modes, which can improve your detection efficiency. ALL-METAL (Non-Motion Mode): it can detect metals including iron, aluminum, gold, bronze, silver and their articles in all-metal mode and comes with a PP function.NOTCH Mode (Motion Mode): you can select the target segments by setting DISC ACC / REJ. DISC Mode (Motion Mode): you can detect valuable metal objects while rejecting most junk targets.

Further Reading:

Last update on 2020-06-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About Simon Owen

I’m Simon and I love finding things. From a young age I always had the knack to find coins, notes, wallets and more. All of that was without the use of technology. I look forward to sharing with you some amazing tech that will make your treasure hunt a lot easier.