WHAT THE ANALYTICS TELL ME
I’ve noticed that I get the most visitors to my blog whenever I talk metal detectors or post photos/videos of finds. On the flip side, if I talk about archaeologists, organizing the pastime, or simply piss and moan (which is a forte of mine), the numbers go down.
I get the photo/video thing….no need to tax the ole brain, but when it comes to discussing detectors, I am guessing it’s the “silver bullet syndrome.” You are looking for that one clue, one tip or secret that will turn you into Indiana Jones. The ever elusive silver bullet.
Well I hate to disappoint, but there is no silver bullet. No magic formula or hidden secret. Likewise the basics haven’t changed much over the past forty years. You turn it on, set the ground balance, discrimination, threshold, desired frequency and you scan your coil. Shazam! You are a treasure hunter.
THE DETECTOR THAT DOES IT ALL!
Apparently too everyone is looking for that one detector that does it all. The hippest, coolest, meanest looking, bad-assed, machine on the market. The one that “Billy Bob” or “San Francisco Sam” uses to find all that bling! Well here too I hate to disappoint you, but it really comes down to how much money you have to spend, how much time you are willing to put in learning your detector, and how thoroughly you research. I think the detectorist who spends a lot of time in the field learning the nuances of his MXT-Pro, is just as adept and skillful as the tekkie doing the same thing with his E-Trac, AT-Pro or F75. Where he or she uses it is the key.
And you know my feelings about coils. I don’t care what they look like or where they come from. Round, oval, square, closed, open, domestic, imported, organic, whatever. Bottom line, the small is for trashy areas, the large for cleaner sites that don’t offer many signals and the mid-sized works for almost all your other needs. Of course if you want to get caught up in the hype, no problem. Have at it. I did at one time. Today, I think we “imagine” a specific coil is better because we bought the hype, spent the money, and as a result, it WILL be better. Nothing wrong with the power of positive thinking. Same thing happens when you buy a new detector…
Difficult soils will certainly play a big part in your success or lack thereof, but that’s why there’s ground balance, ground grab, whatever. Depending on where you live, you may have to continually monitor and change the settings, but that’s life. Que sera, sera. The alternative? Move! Nothing complicated about sensitivity or gain either. The higher you set it the more unstable your audio, the lower you set it the more shallow your detection range.
When I hear a faint response, but can’t get a decent readout on my MXT, I will move my threshold down below audible, crank the sensitivity up and try to force a more stable number.
Accessories? Whatever your little heart desires. I don’t use a pinpointer because I have never had difficulty pinpointing. Headphones? A necessity IMO, but the only requirement I have is that they have individual volume controls, AND I refuse to pay a lot of money for them. Otherwise I use a Lesche digger, cheap carpenter’s apron and carry a small drop cloth. Finally, if you think dressing in camo will help you find more treasure, most certainly go for it. Wear face paint, and put a few twigs in your hat if you want. I personally think it negatively impacts how others see us. We are hobbyists, NOT an occupation force.
So here you go….MY SILVER BULLET
(1)Buy a detector you can afford, (2) learn it inside out, (3) research your locale, county and state, (4) go detecting, and last but not least, (5) HAVE FUN.
It’s not rocket science!