Radio Adaptor for Metal Detectors

a detectorist kneeling down ready to dig for buried treasure
A detectorist ready to dig for buried treasure, using the Radio Adaptor.

Metal detecting is widely used as a hobby searching for buried historic treasure, and by the military searching for mines and shells. Usually the detectorist would be wearing headphones connected to the audio output of the control box. He would put the detector on the ground while digging a hole at the point where the signal is loudest. Time and time again the cord to the phones gets tugged and falls off. Sometimes detectorists dig through the headphone cable.

One of us at HIC took up detecting and found this problem all too frustrating so we set out to solve it. We produced a matchbox-sized radio transmitter which could plug into the detector's audio socket or be fixed to the detector shaft by Velcro patches. Then with radio headphones operating at 863MHz there was no longer need for the troublesome long cable.

HIC Radio Adaptor for Metal Detectors
The HIC Multi-Channel Radio Adaptor for Metal Detectors.

The radio adaptor shown here is so popular over 700 have been sold and in different versions. Because the development was made with limited funds, mass production was not an option and although the price was £115 per unit, the sale of the product was not profitable. It did however demonstrate that HIC could come up with innovations that solve a problem and that the public buy. The radio headphones were bought in from other sources. What is amazing is that we had to design the electronics of the transmitter to be compatible with virtually all makes of detector. This allowed us to get a UK Patent on our product.


“Using these headsets have been a boon as we now have freedom to dig without being entangled in endless wire…”
Mary & Peter Isaacs
“I am not going to ramble on about the benefit of cordless headphones. All I can say that once you have experienced the freedom and benefits, you will be converted. I can honestly say that you will not entertain headphones with a lead again…”
“The beauty about Highland Innovation's headphones is that they can be applied to any metal detector with a standard jack plug, and for smaller size jack plug hole like the Minelab an adaptor is supplied. I think the most important asset is that the machines do not have to be opened up and have a chip fitted to operate the headphones like some others…”
“Dear Sirs, yesterday was a dreadful day. Through circumstances beyond my control I had to use corded headphones. What a disaster, my head was constantly being tugged by the cord, I couldn't dig properly and it didn't feel right. I think your product really does make detecting a pleasure. Thank you again.…”
“I am so pleased with my purchase of cordless headphones that I am ordering a kit for my son. I can only compare the freedom you get with cordless headphones as with the use of a cordless phone and we all know how convenient they are. Thanks again for such a great product, I will promote it at our meetings and rallies…”
HM, Flintshire
“Dear David, you may recall about one year ago I contacted you with regard to some of the finds I had made since using your cordless headphones. The NCMD has annual competitions for best coin, best artefact and best hoard finds of the year. The trophy awarded for each competition is named the Robin & Karolyn Hatt Memorial Trophy. Thought you would like to be informed that I have won the Best Hoard Trophy for 2007 while using your headphones. Beating English and Welsh detectorists and others in this competition has pleased me greatly. It seems that this will become the first NCMD trophy ever won by a Scottish detectorist which is really something. The Bronze Age hoard was found near Kinnesswood by Loch Leven. Many thanks once again David for providing such a wonderful innovation…”
Jim Crombie
“Tuning them into the transmitter was extremely simple to do, and I am pleased to say that there were NO background hisses, hums or crackles.…”