Small is Good, but Getting Old is Not!

Was reading the latest issue of Western & Eastern Treasures, and Ben Myer’s field test of the MXT Pro  caught my eye. It’s my detector of choice, and I was curious to see what his thoughts were. I’ve known Ben for some time, and I knew he would give an honest  assessment.

I had to get through the first couple of pages to actually get to the “field test” (don’t understand the need to tell about the features when you can view the owner’s manual on line?), but once I did, one thing that Ben recommended really hit home. The MXT Pro should come “standard” with a  smaller searchcoil.

Don’t get me wrong, I have used the 12 inch spider coil, but only in special situations such as searching large fields, or sites  that have been hit hard.  I am a coin hunter and I use the smaller 5.3 coil most all the time.  I tend to think that sometimes we are too caught up in the “bigger is better” syndrome?

My preference for the smaller coil could be my imagination, or just a brain fart from the early days, but I find them easier to swing, and much more able to  find that small dime in a trashy area. I have also used the 4×6 elliptical coil in areas where the 5 inch, believe it or not, was seeing too much. I know you will  say that I am missing those deeper coins, and you may be right, but I also know what works for me, and it’s hard to change an old man’s mind….

Look back at the older treasure magazines, and you will note that larger coils were not standard gear with the various models being offered. The norm was a 7″ coil, and if you could afford it, you added the larger coil later (usually much later).  I remember those detectors fondly, and I guess that’s why I am still looking for a White’s 6000di detector, have a Garrett Groundhog  (VLF/TR) in the closet, and why I like knobs, switches, and the “S” shaped designs….and oh yeah, I loved the hip-mount option!

I am quite aware that today’s detectors go deeper, have more features, but they often have a sharp learning curve, and that’s something I  have a problem with  (at my age I could die before I finished reading the manual)! Yes I know, I could take the time, read, experiment, fiddle around, flip this, push that,  and eventually understand all the various bells and whistles, but honestly I would much rather spend that time in the field swinging the coil  (the smaller one of course).  Am I lazy?  Am I averse to change?  Am I hard headed?  You bet!

The older I get, the better I understand my father’s somewhat eccentric and very narrow views, even though at the time I laughed at them.  He could  have been Archie Bunker’s brother!  He was very set in his ways, hated change, and more than happy to tell you why.  He never liked cars with automatic transmissons, hated “solid state” electronics  (was a “tube guy”) and only got a color TV because my brother and I bought him one. Even then he did not want to part with the 12″ black and white, and  despite the color TV,  he spent most of the time listening to the radio in his downstairs workshop.  And oh yeah, he was one of those who thought the Apollo 11 moon  landing took place in a Hollywood studio.

EasyEnter stage right, yours truly, now approaching the ripe old age of 72, and already stepping into my father’s shoes. You can laugh if you want, but I will  use that smaller coil, will not wear a camera on my head, nor use the most expensive headphones on the market. Forgive me too if I prefer to find that elusive coin with a probe instead of my  pinpointer, or wear a $1.00 carpenter’s apron instead of that expensive leather pouch you have.  Also, I will not wear camouflage, and I will sit my ass down  whenever I damn well please and rest as long as I want. You see I sometimes have aches and pains, and in case you didn’t know, they go along with getting older.

Lastly, if it’s any consolation, I do believe that Neil Armstrong landed on the moon. I also believe in  Big Foot and the Easter Bunny!



The April Fool’s Day post, and the one the day after, resulted in the most views ever here on Stout Standards, and while I am happy, I am wondering  how to follow up on that now. I am a pretty good bullshitter, but now you are on to me, so how do I retain any respectability and gain your trust again?  To top it off John Howland was also lying his butt off too, but then again that’s nothing new.

I know for sure I disappointed a couple of regulars, but I also had fun with a couple too. So I will move on to other things, and simply remind you  all to look at the calendar from time to time, and don’t be an April fool again.



Thanks to Eddy Current and Jessie Thompson for sharing the following…

152-year-old Civil War tag wins metal detecting competition

The Treasure That Sank the Spanish Empire

 Man to Return Civil War Indentification Ring

Pirate Ship to be Displayed



Filed under Metal Detecting

8 responses to “Small is Good, but Getting Old is Not!

  1. Mike Smith

    It sounds like your father was a very wise man! Made in Hollywood is correct as no one can explain to me as how the craft could make it through the Van Allen Radiation Belt without the individuals inside dying. Most just skip that part of the story.
    By the way a lot of us think you are a pretty wise man yourself!

  2. Hi Mike….

    Can’t respond to the Van Allen thing….not up on that. Will have to research it. My father, despite all his crazy stances, was indeed a wise man, and I miss him a great deal. Will be 12 years this May.

    As for me being a wise man? You haven’t talked to me wife yet.

  3. John H

    Dick, I think we need to talk! Size matters.
    As with most things in life, if you’re gonna have anything at all, always have a big ‘un! After all, you live in Texas where everything is humungus! I could go on, but I don’t want Diva on my case. As for searchcoils……

  4. Big Tony from Bayonne!

    Hello Dick, I read your post on small coils and I agree with it.
    Today, I went to a park and decided to use the small stock coil on my Explorer II. I found plenty of coins, and a heavy gold chain with a ring attached to the chain.
    Depth was good but I do believe the ground moisture helped with the deeper coins. The gold chain and ring were about three inches down. So they aren’t a recent drop. The deepest coin today was a quarter at 7 inches.
    Also, the when using the small coil it makes you detect with a slower sweep speed.


    • Thanks for the reenforcement Tony. You are right about the need to scan more slowly….not a bad habit anytime!!
      Miss the home turf a great deal…stay in touch.

  5. Dave McCarthy

    I am still struggling with the “slowing down” part. This year I am trying out a new 6″ Excellerator coil on my Explorer, so I am hoping that it will help me in that regard. I need to put a little sign on top of my detector screen that says “SLOW DOWN !!”
    And I count myself as one of your biggest April Fools this year Dick .. thanks?

    • Dave, I learned to slow down by shortening my stem so that it was literally at my feet. Pretty hard to go fast with it that way. And I proud to welcome you to the April Fools club. You are in good company.

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