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Red Baron Outlaw 290

Operating Manual

Bounty Hunter Red Baron VLF SPD RB-7D & Outlaw 290



BOUNTY HUNTER RED BARON & OUTLAW 290 . . . The ultimate detectors

You now have in your possession the most versatile, sensitive, easy-to-use Metal Detector ever produced for the treasure hunter! With this unique detector, you will be finding coins and valuables that until now were beyond the capabilities of the other detectors to distinguish! And, if you develop a smug little smile, it will be because you find yours without the amount of backbreaking digging that is necessary with the other detectors.

The revolutionary new S.P.D.* (Synchronous Phase Discrimination) circuitry enables Discrimination at VLF depths! This patented technique uses a type of analog computer that reads the sensing signal of the combined target and matrix (supporting soil around the target), then subtracts the effects of the matrix—leaving only the sound of the target itself to analyze!

EVEN THOUGH YOU MAY CONSIDER YOURSELF AN EXPERT (and may BE one) the Red Baron/Outlaw 290 is an instrument that solves the old problems in a new way! Since different principles are used, the detection and discrimination techniques differ a bit from all other detectors. It will be well worth reading the instruction manual for successful hunting.

Most users have discovered that although it is an ultra-sophisticated detector by today's standards, it is only a matter of studying the instructions and practicing a little before they begin to master the technique. HAPPY HUNTING!


Please study thoroughly before moving on.


Single turn adjusts Audio threshold.


New style battery check system indicates the exact condition of the battery pack. It saves on battery costs! Batteries may be used until they drop to zero on the meter. Use power position for normal operation. Test position for Battery Test.


Selects primary search mode Choose between two ground canceling modes (S.P.D. Discriminate and All Metal) or TR Discriminate for added versatility in non-mineralized ground.


This control is used to cancel out the effects of soil mineralization. Adjusting out the ground must be done in the All Metal mode. Once this is accomplished, the adjustment covers both the All Metal and S.P.D. Discriminate modes.


Convenient thumb-push button in the tip of the handle may be pressed momentarily to reestablish the tuning threshold. OR . . . TO CHANGE MODES . . . It is not necessary to change the mode select toggle switch each time. If searching in the ALL METAL VLF mode depressing the push-button switches the unit to the S.P.D. DISC mode and keeps it there for as long as the button is depressed. After target identification the unit can be returned to ALL METAL by simply releasing the button. If the Mode Select Switch is placed in S.P.D. DISC mode, the reverse is true. Therefore, searching can be done in S.P.D. DISCRIMINATE but pinpointing is accomplished in ALL METAL by simply holding the button in when in TR mode switched mode to SPD Disc.

INTENSITY METER shows depth of coin-sized targets. In discriminate indicates good and bad targets shows battery pack conditions


Composite switch combines both functions.


Continuous Adjustment from Iron to Screw Cap Rejection.



Before turning instrument on, place the mode switch in the S.P.D. Discriminate position. This mode features the S.P.D. Synchronous Phase Discrimination) circuitry which needs no periodic retuning after the environmental temperature is reached—therefore, the S.P.D. Discriminate mode is used for initial tuning to establish the reference levels of the VLF all metal) mode. IMPORTANT the instrument MUST be in the S.P.D. Discriminate mode before turn-on and initial tuning to work properly!

Turn On-Off/Volume control on.

3. Wait 10 seconds, and then check battery condition. Move toggle switch to Battery Test and read the meter. New batteries should read full scale . . . older batteries (used) OR a Rechargeable battery pack will read lower on the scale. The new battery-saver system uses batteries until they read zero on the meter. If batteries are satisfactory, proceed to Step 4.

4. Turn On-Off/Volume control fully clockwise.



With the search coil raised about 2 to 3 feet above the ground and away from any large metal objects, turn the tuner clockwise until the sound just starts. This setting is usually referred to as the "Threshold" and is the most effective for treasure hunting.

This completes tuning the S.P.D. Discriminate Mode. Once the instrument reaches the environmental temperature, no retuning will be necessary in this mode.


While holding the detector as before place the mode switch in the "All Metal" position. Changing modes should not significantly change the threshold and signal strength should be about the same. Should retuning be required, depress the handle push button momentarily and the threshold will be resumed.

The unit is now ready to be "ground adjusted" to eliminate the effect from mineralization. THE RED BARON/OUTLAW MUST BE IN THE ALL METAL MODE FOR THIS PROCEDURE.

Lower the search coil to the ground as shown in Figure 4.

a) If the sound DECREASES, turn the Ground Adjust control clockwise approximately one quarter turn.

b) If the sound INCREASES, turn the Ground Adjust counterclockwise

Raise the search coil at least one foot above the ground and depress push button to retune. Lower the search coil to the ground again and if the sound changes, repeat step (a) or (b) accordingly.

Repeat this procedure, turning the Ground Adjust in smaller and smaller increments, until you obtain the least amount of change in sound when going from air to ground with search coil.

The detector has now been "ground adjusted" so that searching may be done independent of ground conditions in both All Metal and S.P.D. disc modes.

The detector is now tuned for search in the VLF (All Metal) Mode. It should only need occasional retuning in the VLF Mode as the search progresses, and this can be easily accomplished with a momentary touch of the thumb-press button in the handle.

After the initial tuning procedure, the Red Baron/Outlaw 290 can be used effectively in mineralized ground in either of two ways:

A. SEARCH IN S.P.D. "DISCRIMINATE" MODE Pinpoint the target in the "All Metal" (VLF) Mode by pressing and holding the button in the handle.

B. SEARCH IN THE "ALL METAL" (VLF) MODE/ Identify the target in the S.P.D. "Discriminate" Mode by pressing and holding the button.

To temporarily switch from All Metal mode to S.P.D. Discriminate mode or vice versa, all that is necessary is to depress the push-button in the handle and keep it depressed as long as the opposite mode is desired.

When searching an area which is not highly mineralized, the above two methods can still be used, plus the TR Discriminate mode can now be utilized. Many Treasure Hunters prefer to use this mode whenever possible because of its conventional TR operating characteristics (i.e. searching, target identification, and pin pointing all accomplished within the same mode). However, the ground adjust is inoperative while the Red Baron/290 is being used in this mode. Therefore, serious loss in depth and stability would occur in highly mineralized soil.


1. Again, place the mode select toggle switch in the SPD Disc position BEFORE turning the instrument ON.

2. Turn ON/OFF-VOLUME control fully clockwise and rotate tuner clockwise until the threshold is reached.

3. Flip mode select toggle to the TR DISC position.

4. Depress push button momentarily to resume threshold sound.

NOTE: When tuning and searching in the TR DISC mode the search coil must be held at a constant height in respect to the ground since raising and lowering the coil can cause drastic changes in the audio level.


When switching to the DISCRIMINATE Mode, many unwanted items are rejected AUTOMATICALLY!

This is not true with the OUTLAW 290 because it has variable adjustments.


FOIL (Includes gum, candy, cigarette wrappers, and miscellaneous thin gauge scrap.)

PULL-TABS (From aluminum drink cans):

Unlike other detectors, there is negligible loss of sensitivity (depth capability) when changing from the FOIL level to the PULL-TAB level. How ever, at this level, as with other manufacturer's discriminators the Nickel Coins can no longer be detected. Also, because of the shape and nickel content some rings may be bypassed. However, it is may be a small price to pay for the convenience of ignoring pull tabs.


A bothersome obstacle to the treasure hunter is the twist off aluminum screw cap used on many large soft drink bottles. RB has a level to counter this problem. In the SCREW CAP level some sensitivity is lost. For maxi mum performance, you discriminate at no higher than the PULL-TAB level unless the search area is heavily strewn with SCREW CAPS. In fact, the best rule of thumb is always to use the lowest level of discrimination possible for a particular area.

The S.P.D. DISCRIMINATION Mode is not affected by ground mineralization and when used at the beach it will go from wet sand to dry and back without changing tune! The Discriminate Mode is recommended for areas of heavy surface trash. Any level in this mode will reject small surface area targets such as wire, nails, tacks, rivets - that to other detectors may look like coins! Larger junk targets are easily identifiable because of their erratic signal or widespread signal area.



Place the mode select switch in the VLF All Metal mode. Depress the Tuner Push Button momentarily. The RB-7D/Outlaw 290 is now ready in the All Metal mode to indicate the depth of coin-sized targets.

The depth meter is calibrated for the 8" diameter search coil.



You are now ready to search. This is the time to decide what sort of search system you will use. Several things may influence this choice—what you are looking for, the condition of the search area (is it clean or littered with trash), mineralized or not, etc.

First, Treasure Hunting with your RB/Outlaw 290 Metal Detector can be roughly divided into 4 categories:

1. Coin shooting: (Which includes other valuables such as jewelry, rings, watches, etc.

2. Relic Hunting: (Anything metal that may be of historic or monetary value from an area such as a battlefield or ghost town.) These would include cannonballs, muskets, swords, cast iron toys, horseshoes, etc.

3. Beach combing: Assuming that anything metallic on or under the beach surface has been put there by accident and is not placed there by nature, you may want to search for the things most likely to be found there. . .again . . .rings, jewelry, coins from bathers or old shipwrecks or even buried treasure chests.

4. Prospecting. Since the Red Baron/Outlaw 290 can be adjusted to ignore the "Black Sand", precious metals in the form of nuggets or solid ore bodies may be found. The "Black Sand", or magnetite, could prove many other units useless in these highly mineralized areas.

After choosing from one of these categories, we can decide how to use the detector most effectively. Let's start with:

COIN SHOOTING. The Red Baron/Outlaw 290 is the coin shooter's dream come true. Not only does it have a standard TR Discriminate mode for non-mineralized ground but also the SPD Discriminate which offers the unique capability of ground canceling discrimination for mineralized areas.

Normal Coin shooting.....

When operating in neutral or non-mineralized ground, the standard TR Disc mode can be used. After selecting the desired discrimination level, tune the unit to the threshold of sound with the search coil at the desired operating height. Sweep slowly in an overlapping pattern being careful to keep the search coil at the same distance from the ground throughout the complete sweep. After locating a target, pinpoint by crisscrossing. Once the strongest signal is obtained, the object is directly beneath the center of the coil.

Coin shooting in Mineralized Soil....

In many areas you will find it very difficult to maintain depth and stability in the TR Discriminate mode. These are the mineralized areas in which the Red Baron/Outlaw 290 begins to leave the competition behind because ground cancellation while discriminating can be obtained in the S.P.D. Discriminate mode.

NOTE: The search coil must be moving to detect a target using the S.P.D. system. Therefore, it is difficult to pinpoint a target within the S.P.D. Discriminate mode.

After detecting a target in the S.P.D. Disc mode, simply depress the push button on the handle and keep it depressed to allow pinpointing in the All-Metal mode. After pinpointing the target, release the button and the Red Baron/Outlaw 290 will revert back to the S.P.D. system to search for the next target.

NOTE: Since the S.P.D. System relies on motion to operate properly, it stands to reason that a faster sweep speed will result in increased depth when searching in S.P.D. Discriminate mode. Sweep in a slightly overlapping pattern. Use as you would any normal detector—the search signal should "peak" as the target center is passed. Try to keep the search coil parallel to the ground at all times and avoid lifting the coil off the ground at the end of each swing. This will prevent loss of detection of some deeper targets, since you are putting more distance between the coil and the target on a careless swing.


When operating with the-8-inch coil, if a target is located generally with a side-to-side sweep, the exact location may be determined by also passing the coil in a for ward and back sweep.


After initial S.P.D. tuning and choosing your discrimination level, leave the Mode switch in the S.P.D. "Discriminate" position. Move the search coil in a broad rapid sweep in a slightly overlapping pattern. Keep the search coil slightly above the ground and avoid coil impact with the ground. This can generate a target-type signal. A good (possibly valuable) target will produce a clean, unbroken signal over the target area. When a promising signal is established, press the push-button in the handle to switch to the "All Metal" (VLF) Mode for pin-pointing.

Pinpoint the target in the "All Metal" (VLF) Mode as before.


The Red Baron RB/Outlaw 290 Discriminator is designed to identify a target by its metallic composition, whether it is basically conductive or magnetic. There are many objects in the world which metallurgically resemble a coin or valuable object and which you will detect as a coin. However, you will find these objects in the minority and your "batting average" will be much higher than with a normal VLF Discriminator without S.P.D. Using the RB/Outlaw 290 set up for rapid coin shooting will enable you to bypass most of the targets that confuse even the experts WITHOUT DIGGING. Your Red Baron/Outlaw 290 can make you a winner at the treasure hunts with just a little diligent practice.


In many parts of the country, such as areas where civil war battles have been fought in fields and forests, relics and historically valuable objects were lost in the heat of battle or abandoned in hasty retreat as the tides of battle changed. In areas such as these, just about any metallic object may be of interest. For locating any and all targets, it is best to use the "All Metal" VLF) Mode. The Red Baron/Outlaw 290 has the sensitivity and power to detect these relics to match or surpass any detector available today. Follow the Initial Tuning procedure (Page 3). As soon as the RB/Outlaw 290 has been tuned in accordance, it is ready for Relic Hunting! Should you wish to narrow your search to include only items like brass buttons, medals, rings or buckles, simply switch to the "Discriminate" Mode and try the "Foil" level of discrimination. The Red Baron RB/Outlaw 290 has extraordinary depth capability in the "Discriminate" Mode. In your Relic Hunting as well as your Coin Shooting you now have your choice of targets. If there is too much miscellaneous ground clutter, such as pull tabs, you may want to increase the discrimination level accordingly.

NOTE: Since maximum ground coverage and depth on the larger targets are desired in relic hunting, the accessory 12" diameter search coil is highly recommended.


Your Red Baron RB/Outlaw 290 is the ideal beach combing companion. Unlike other VLF detectors, the RB/Outlaw can be used in wet sand or dry—salty or fresh water, with out retuning—but at VLF DEPTHS Simply use the "Discriminate" Mode with S.P.D. I


If beach combing at an ocean beach or other area of high salt concentration, the Red Baron, like all other VLF detectors, will lose stability in the VLF (All Metal) Mode. It is best to search in S.P.D. Discriminate and pinpoint in All-Metal with push button.


If you are planning to do much serious beach combing, it would be wise to invest in, or fabricate, a recovery tool similar to a french fry basket to make the job easier. Any sort of a loose wire mesh scoop with holes big enough to pass sand through, but retain coins, will do. You will find, without one that you can locate a coin, but chase it all over the beach before you get it in your hand.


The idea in prospecting is to locate the possible location of gold or similar valuable metals. Usually gold nuggets or dust are located along with "Black Sand"—a form of highly mineralized fine particles.

In order to search for gold nuggets:

Place Mode selector in "All Metal" VLF) Mode.

"Ground Adjust" as outlined before, search in the most likely areas. A stream bed, wash or dry creek bed is an excellent place to look, especially downstream from known mining and mineral areas.

Many prospectors prefer the smaller 6" coil as an accessory for searching crevices and being more sensitive to the tiny gold nuggets.



Although the iron bottle cap is rejected at any level of discrimination when operating in the TR Discriminate mode; this is not the case when using S.P.D. While searching in S.P.D. Discriminate an iron bottle cap will "blip", but can be men tally identified quite easily.

Once a target has been received, take notice of its audio strength at a normal sweep rate. Now sweep over the same target at increased speed and compare the strength to the first response. If the signal diminishes at all, you may leave it for a bad target (iron bottle cap). However, if it gets stronger the faster you sweep over it, it is a good target. With very little practice, this procedure will become second nature and you will begin to experience the real joy of using a Red Baron/Outlaw 290



Often you will receive a signal from a target that is difficult to "Read" to really determine what it is, what may seem to be a bad target because of the signal pattern, may be a combination of targets.

Let's take an example: With the detector set to S.P.D. "Discriminate" at "Pull Tab" level:

With the audio signal produced, at first you may be tempted to pass on and forget it. DON'T! a situation like this may be worth an investigation.

1. Switch to the VLF All Metal) Mode for pinpointing.

2. Sweep the search coil across the target area in both directions to see if you

can isolate the signal into more than one target.

If you do determine that there is more than one target present, try sweeping the coil over it at a more favorable angle in the "Discriminate" Mode to get a more reliable reading.

With the Red Baron in the S.P.D. "Discriminate" mode, increasing the sweep speed makes a "Good" signal better and a "Bad" signal drop out!

NOTE: Moving the Disc Level switch up to "Screw Caps" setting will cause the bottle cap to disappear more easily.


From time to time, you will acquire a good sounding signal that seems to pass all the tests for a coin or other valuable. It will be loud, clear and positive. In fact, targets like this are usually objects possessing a large surface area and may consist of an alloy or plating that will cause the detector to respond to the nonferrous portion. Among these may be aluminum containers, such as beer and pop cans, or a composite item such as a discarded alarm clock. The big giveaway to this kind of signal will be its size, both in ground area and signal strength. With practice, you will soon discover the depth capabilities of the Red Baron on certain coins and other objects. If, for example, you normally detect buried pennies at 5 or 6 inches with the coil just above the surface, and you get a strong signal even with the coil 10 inches above the ground, you know that it is not a penny—or even a quarter or dollar either, for that matter! However, you may want to dig just for the heck of it - to satisfy your curiosity! (It just might be a buried gallon can of coins if the location is right). So, when you get one of these "Super Signals-`, see how far you can raise the swinging search coil above ground before it fades.




Headphones are a must if you wish to obtain the greatest possible detection depth. They reduce substantially the amount of noise caused by such things as traffic, wind, aircraft, ocean surf, etc. With the Bounty Hunter earphones available at your dealer, even the faintest, deepest targets are heard.

Headphones also increase battery life, as the power requirement for the audio circuit is greatly reduced. The audio circuit power requirements usually far exceed those for detection and with headphones, only a fraction of this power is required.


Access to the RB battery pack is gained by pulling out the plastic snap lock fastener on the rear of the unit and removing the battery door. Switch detector OFF when changing batteries. The RB/Outlaw is equipped with one 12-volt battery pack made up of 8 size AA penlight batteries. These batteries are easily replaced in the battery pack by pressing the battery against the spring at the negative end and pulling out at the positive end of the battery. Be sure to observe battery polarity when replacing batteries. The plastic battery holder is marked for proper battery placement on the back of each cell position.

The battery lead connector snaps to the battery pack terminals as shown in the next figure. The battery cover will not close unless the nylon snap is pulled out.

The Red Baron/Outlaw 280 can be properly powered with any good quality AA Batteries. However, longer life can be realized with Heavy Duty or Alkaline types. Recharge able batteries may also be used and the Nickel-Cadmium pack and charger are available as accessory items.


Since the Ni-Cad batteries only charge to 1.2 volts each, instead of the usual 1.5 volts of regular AA batteries, a fully charged pack will only hold 9.6 volts. This will cause the meter to indicate only about ? scale on a full charge, but it will power the Red Baron properly for approximately 10-12 hours.


To avoid short circuits and possible damage to the detector, replace the battery pack exactly as shown with the connector leads toward the center of the pack... ALSO, avoid pinching or otherwise damaging the lead wires as the battery pack are replaced in the detector. Caution: When the detector is not in use, remove the battery packs and store separately. This will prevent damage from venting and leaking which is not covered by warranty!


Metal detectors are sensitive electronic instruments. Although it does not have to be babied, reasonable care must be taken to help ensure a long trouble-free life for your detector. KEEP IT CLEAN - Take a few minutes after each use to remove dirt and dust. Wipe the housing and wash the coil, especially if it has been dipped in salt water. A plastic bag over the control box at the beach will help protect the unit from sand and prevent corrosion due to salt air. KEEP IT COOL—Never store your detector in an extremely hot environment, such as an automobile trunk in the summer, for extended periods of time. The prolonged heat will not only shorten battery life considerably, but can cause electronic component breakdown. KEEP IT SAFE—Never transport your detector in such a manner that will subject it to extreme vibration or shock. The unit may be cushioned by wrapping it in a blanket or by putting it in a carrying bag or case designed for the purpose.



Try to run your detector's search coil as close to the ground as you can without actually touching or scuffing the ground.

In order to thoroughly cover an area, always search in both directions. Many deeper coins on edge might be missed going North and South, but detected going East and West After you have dug up a coin, always re-check the hole. It is not unusual to find several coins in one hole. If a strong signal is received but then lost after cutting a divot, check the loose dirt at the bottom of the hole for a coin on edge. In order to do the very best in a particular area, try searching immediately following a good rain while the soil is damp. Coins, jewelry, and relics oxidize. This oxidation causes a "halo" effect surrounding the item. The longer an item is buried, the larger it appears to the detector. This halo effect is more pronounced when the soil is damp. Not only are the signals stronger at this time, but probing is also easier when the ground is soft. When beach combing, look for the concession stands. Around these stands, and the surrounding beach area is excellent for coin shooting. Don't forget to check the shallow water in swimming areas. Many rings and coins are lost when people enter the water. When beach combing on ocean beaches, check history records to locate sunken ships. Rare old coins, gold pieces, and artifacts will sometimes wash ashore after a storm. When ghosttowning, try to get a picture or a layout of that old town in order to determine where the church, post office, saloon, general store, etc. were located. This will also show you where money was handled and most likely lost. When ghosttowning or hunting around old buildings, try to think like the old timer thought: "If I couldn't get to a bank, where would I safely hide my valuables?"

Don't worry about how many times a particular area has been searched.

Usually the very best finds still remain in a supposedly "worked" area. Persistence and a positive attitude are the two main ingredients for successful treasure hunting. Use your imagination. It's your best source for ideas of places to search—possibly productive areas previously overlooked by other TH'ers, but . . . Also listen to the "pros" with many years of TH—ing experience. If they say that old church yards are good for old coins, or swimming areas are the best places to find lost jewelry, etc., you can bet that they know what they are talking about. Never ask permission to treasure hunt over the telephone. People tend to visualize you using a pick and shovel, making large holes. Join a local historical society or get acquainted with its members. Join or form a local treasure club. In many cases, clubs and organized, responsible groups can gain access to areas that individuals could not.

AGAIN . . . Remember, in the modern metal detector, modern science has given us a valuable and exciting way to search the past for objects of historic and monetary value. Let us consider it a privilege to keep alive by careful and considerate hunting. In many countries of the world today, metal detection and the treasure hunting hobby have been drastically curtailed as a result of inconsiderate actions of treasure hunters who did little more than vandalize!


Help protect our great hobby by respecting the rights of others. Always obtain permission before searching on private property. Be extremely careful with your probing, picking up and discarding trash, and ALWAYS COVER YOUR HOLES.

Treasure Hunter's Code of Ethics:

1. Respect the rights and property of others.

2. Observe all laws, whether national, state or local. Aid law enforcement officials whenever possible.

3. Never destroy priceless historical or archeological treasures.

4. Leave the land and vegetation as it was. Fill in all holes.

5. Remove all trash and litter when you leave.

6. All treasure hunters may be judged by the example you set. Always conduct yourself with courtesy and consideration for others...

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