I Didn’t Ask For Any of This!

I’ve always felt fortunate that I got interested in metal detecting when I did, and wonder whether I would have stuck with it had I discovered the pastime later. In the 70’s the competition was almost non-existent and the good finds were more plentiful.No one then had a computer, smart phone, GPS, or access to cable TV. It was a simpler time and life was good.

I was reminded of all this last night while watching my beloved New York Yankees lose a game to the Orioles. It started when Fox Sports decided to show me how many mph Mark Texeira was running, while going from first to third. Soon after that I was treated to another graphic of an “arrow” indicating how many feet a runner was off first base while getting his lead (apparently the naked eye wasn’t good enough).  And the coup de grâce came later when I learned that center fielder Mason Williams ran 20.8 mph, traveled 114 feet, to catch a ball and crash into the wall. Oh, and his route efficiency was 96.8 pct.  Seriously….. You can check it out here.

I mean Holy sh*t batman! How complicated can we make a baseball game?  We already have the radar gun, and the strike/ball graphic (which almost always indicates the ump is blind or in a foul mood), and did someone really write to the network asking about all these statistics? I have to wonder too if it’s just something to burn air time, or to use when a contest is a runaway, which last night’s game wasn’t.  And who the hell came up with these ideas?  What TV tekkie decided to see how fast someone ran while going from first to third, and was he given a raise for it?


There are similar parallels as well in our pastime. We, along with the manufacturers, have decided to over complicate and micro-manage a very simple hobby.  Think about it…. We no longer “listen” to our treasure….we need to look at it, via the spelled word and a numerical readout.  Likewise, for whatever reason, we are no longer able to pinpoint our finds, and need to buy another instrument to do that.  And if you really want to be a professional treasure hunter you need to spend $2,000 on a detector, be a computer wiz, own five or six searchcoils, a GPS, and be a budding Steven Spielberg. Sheesh!

As I look at all this I wonder…. has it really added more to YOUR coffers?  Not the manufacturers….I know they are thriving. I am talking about you.  Putting the “thrill of he hunt” bit aside, are YOU finding the treasures you want, or are you just playing the game?  Might your time be better spent at the library than online comparing one video camera’s features to another?  Would you be better off talking to that old-timer you see all the time at the Dairy Queen, instead of spending hours trying to figure out a “killer” computer program for your detector? Or how about actually going detecting and digging those audio “whispers” instead of posting “do you think coins sink deeper every year” on fifty detecting forums and Facebook pages.

I am thinking it’s only a matter of time before everyone will be buying parts and building their own metal detectors.  Anything to make things even more complicated and expensive. Yup, a Heathkit on steroids. Then everyone can really be a pro and say things like “Well that’s your problem man. You bought a stock model…you need to build one.  Let me tell you how it’s done”.  Far fetched? Don’t be so sure…

Finally I want you to know that 40 years ago I could turn on my detector, adjust all the knobs and switches (Google what they are), and cover a 50 x 50 foot area in 5 minutes and 23 seconds, moving at a speed of 14.3 mph. My route efficiency?  89.5%.  Put that in your damn pipe and smoke it!



Filed under Metal Detecting

19 responses to “I Didn’t Ask For Any of This!

  1. RoyR

    Got out today for about two hours.Heat has kicked in.
    Handful of coins, nothing worth putting on Facebook or taking pictures of. Did have to adjust the ground balance once, it is just as easy to hunt in the shade and find nothing as it is to hunt in the sun and find nothing.

  2. Roy Rutledge

    I know you feelings on posting coin after coin on Facebook. Don’t want to step on any toes, as maybe one of the days we can meet and share a cold adult beverage.

    • Roy, come on man, post whatever. You won’t step on any toes….I bust balls a lot but that’s about it. You make it sound like I have total control over someone’s life. Not true….that’s my wife’s job.

  3. Well, to some it isn’t about detecting anymore. It’s a new pastime called “detector” Why even get out of your backyard when you can practice your new pastime at home and get on the techi forum and try to be king of “detector”

    Not me though. I’m sticking with the basics and plan on getting out more despite the fact that some in the hobby have made it more difficult by turning the hobby into being a youtube star search.

    I plan on being more successful too as soon as I drop one of my other hobbies. It’s just hard to give up something when you are so good at it. Finding stuff is a bit more physical than “forum rejection” though.

  4. James Bizzell

    Ah! Progress! I figure that it won’t be long until you can walk over a field while using an app on your phone and the app will show you exactly where each target is, how deep it is and what it is. At the end of the hunt, you will press a button on the phone and it will upload a pic of the area covered and in the pic will be a running total of all the goodies found, how long it took you to dig them up and the total distance you traveled. Ah, progress! Oh, yeah, I post my finds on facebook. Didn’t want to admit it, but at 66, I am still getting some detecting in and I am proud of it! HEHEHE!

  5. Roy Rutledge

    I am just jacking with you…And I thought control was my wife’s job.My wife is headed to Scotland, Ireland and G Britain in about three weeks.I did tell her to stay away from men wearing long Kilts.

  6. Bigtony

    Thanks for those stats on the BB game! I can’t wait for the day when they have lights emanating up from the ground to assist with balls and strikes! Yikes – we are in the future…..Back to the good old days.

    I changed my settings today and used a small coil at an area littered with tabs….hoping to get a silver in between the junk items…..I got a mixed high and junk tone…I checked my VDI numbers – 19 high ferrous and 29 high conductive…I said – this is why I am here…dig you idiot… and at about five or six inches down was a small silver religious medal, smaller then a Roosevelt dime. That is why the larger coil didn’t pick it up before, I think….but this is where I am at….trying to figure stuff out for myself to get more out of a great hobby…..Thanks for keeping the light on the subject – this is a hobby – so lets enjoy it!

    BTW – did Roy’s wife bring a detector across the pond?

  7. Roy Rutledge

    No, she doesn’t detect any more, going to see the sites on a tour, Her and her best friend of 30 years, Not me, I am staying home with my dog..

  8. bill burroughs

    Nice dream James,
    I REMBER GOING TO A DEALERS MEETING ABOUT 20 years ago and Charles Garrett spoke. He was asked the question, when will they build a machine that would do what you suggest? Charles laughed and said if he did he would use it and build only one for himself. He then told us the problem with trying to do it. Lets all dream and hope.

    Happy dirt digging,
    Bill Burroughs

    • Bill, you hit the nail on the head. If they ever built a detector that was able to offer a good image of what was in the ground, the pastime would be banned within a few months.

  9. Big Tony

    Oh now the word is out….and when they make a detector that sees into the ground that is when my son said he would go detecting again….ah crap!

  10. You asked am I finding the treasures I want, so far I have, but dang it I would love to find more old coins! I think you got em all Dick! Give em back so the rest of us can play the game too…lol. My signature on a forum is ‘The more I learn the more I find’ and that has been true so far. The features of my current machine do what I them to do, well. So I am satisfied with the detector, however, I’ve also spent enough time with it that I have the experience it takes to start finding the goodies with more consistency.

    Along the lines of what you’re saying though, I agree the “industry” of detecting is getting a bit predictable with all of the promotion and marketing. Some of these new detectors that are being released are obviously just money grabs from those willing to part with their hard earned cash, for gimmicks. I am by no means saying that my machine is the end all be all, but at this point it does the job I need it to do, and I’ve been having fun out there, even if those darn old coins are still hiding from me!

    • “I think you got em all Dick!”….

      Rob, I found my share of old coins early on, but the guys detecting today put me to shame. The finds they post are pretty cool.
      And as you said, having fun is what’s important.

  11. ” I mean Holy sh*t batman! How complicated can we make a baseball game? ”

    Probably about as complicated as we can make a detector test. I’ve been following a good spat the last couple of days where a person is tired of some talking about a new detector so he asked for someone to send him one and he is going to send his to them,to hold for collateral , while he uses the new one.

    Of course the test will prove nothing at all but it is comical to follow. What he should have done is kept his detector and when it gave a signal he could have turned it off and then swung the new detector over the same spot and seen if it beeped.

    I never see a simple test on any of these machine comparisons. I can’t figure out if the new Racer will hit on a target that the Ace 250 won’t.

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