Frequently Asked Questions About Security Detectors
How much metal can a walk-through metal detector, like the M-Scope, find?
Many walk-through metal detectors can be set to very sensitive settings, able to pick up something as small as a couple of coins in a pocket or a belt buckle. Most operators will adjust the M-Scope not to pick up small amounts of metal so as to allow more people to quickly walk through each hour. The M-Scope will detect guns, even at settings below 25% of its capability. Turn it up higher and you will start to pick up most knives as well.
What type of metal does the Fisher M-Scope and handheld detectors find?
They can detect all types of metal, ferrous (with iron) and nonferrous. Some are more detectable than others. We encourage the operator to test and calibrate the M-Scope for their particular application.
How long does it take to calibrate or adjust the sensitivity of the M-Scope?
It can be done in less than 30 minutes by passing through the detector multiple times with various types of metal objects in different positions of the body. Once the operator is satisfied with the settings, he or she can “lock-in” the settings with a password. Even with no password, the M-Scope will automatically return to the previous settings each time it is turned on. Users also have the option of using the factory default setting with sensitivities at 50% as well as three other profiles that can be created for specific situations.
Would it be wise to buy a detector that is portable if I plan to use it at one entrance most of the time?
The benefit of the M-Scope is that it can be either permanent or portable, running on battery or AC power (“mains”). With a lifespan of ten or more years it often makes sense to select a detector that can be moved around so easily. Many users can not predict where the detector will be used after the first year. Traditional walk-through detectors can weigh twice as much as the M-Scope, require two people and a truck to move around.
How many zones does a walk-through metal detector require to be reliable?
Some detectors can easily find metal just fine with as little as one zone, while some poorly designed detectors with multiple zones may have the presence of “dead spots,” where the metal can go undetected. The benefit of having 10-30 zones has less to do with finding more metal, and more to do with showing the operator exactly where on the body the metal is detected. The M-Scope is highly effective at finding all types of metal with three zones and it displays which part of the body (upper, middle, lower) has the metal.
Can the M-Scope be used outside?
Many of our customers use the M-Scope outside, but the users must be mindful of the rain. While the M-Scope is somewhat water-resistant, it was not designed to function in a downpour. We do have an option for a “pop-up shelter” and it or a similar device should be used during a rainstorm.
Can the M-Scope be transported in an automobile?
The M-Scope consists of nine modules that can be disassembled and fit in the back seat or trunk of most cars. It can also be strapped together in its “collapsed” configuration, transported on its own wheels, and placed in a van or SUV.
What kind of battery does the M-Scope use and how long does it last?
The M-Scope has a simple lead battery, like those found in an automobile, in each of its two bases. It can run up to 40 hours on battery power and can be recharged in 12-24 hours, depending on which charging routine and method is selected. The battery can be recharged hundreds of times before needing to be replaced after a few years – just like a battery in a car.
Do I need a professional installer to set-up the M-Scope?
No. The M-Scope is designed to be simple to set up with color-coded tags, and easy to operate with factory presets for various detection settings. It ships with a DVD video showing how to set up as well as a thorough and easy to understand user manual. Additionally, you may contact Fisher Tech Support for phone or email support in setting up the M-Scope. Should a user still prefer a professional installer to set up the M-Scope, in many markets that can be arranged for an additional fee.
What finds metal more effectively, a handheld unit, or a walk-through?
Both can be equally effective provided they are used correctly. The primary benefit of a walk-though is that it is a tremendous time-saver. So many more people can be detected in an hour, using a walk-through.
Can walk-through metal detectors like the M-Scope be harmful to people with medical conditions or medical implants, or women who are pregnant?
Metal detection has generally been shown to be harmless and is a completely different technology from x-ray technology as it does not involve radiation. Instead people are exposed to a level of magnetic emissions that are considered to be no higher than what is generally available in our everyday environment. We have a safety certificate that explains this in more detail and is available upon request.