I certainly know what you're saying about the Pin-Pointer! I started around the same time as you (1983) and we never had electronic Pin-Pointers. I ONLY used the the 'Home-Made' probes that WE (you, me others..) made from Umbrella spines, Tig Wire and 'Broom Handles'!
In regards to the 'Roots', I know EXACTLY what you mean and for me this is ANOTHER reason why I have come to 'enjoy' and 'rely' on the accuracy of the Electronic Pin-Pointer!
My last couple of hunts were in 'ROOT INFESTED' areas (some of them as big as my leg!) and the Pin-Pointer 'Saved Me' from some 'SERIOUS' digging for objects that I would NEVER have been able to pull out of the ground due to these objects being 'directly under a series of thick, deep roots. Honestly, because I'm stubborn, I probably would have 'continued to dig' and made a big mess if I had been using one of my old Brass probes and 'still' wouldn't have been able to get the target...
Having stated the above, there is a definite sense of 'accomplishment' when you modify or 'make your own' gadgets and they actually work! I used to love making my own probes and now since there is 'no need' to make them anymore, I Manufacture my own Diggers instead. I use the blades from the 'Fiskars Multi-Tool' and they're built 'to last'...
Looking forward to your Mod!
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