The New (and the Old)…

The New White’s TDI Beach Hunter

Well Whites proved me wrong and just announced a new machine, the TDI Beach Hunter. Looks like a winner but I’ve learned over the years that only time and diverse user feedback will tell….


Better Hurry!

The Notka Invenio is now available…who’s getting one? Have to say I watched the following video a few times and was not in awe. Ultimately you still have to dig it to know for sure and at $12,000 I want the detector to ID the find, recover it and pour me a cold one all at the same time.


Many Moons Ago

The following is for old beepers only…

I can’t remember exactly when I started detecting but it was sometime in the 70’s. I do know I began recording my finds in 1977.  Prior to that I put my them in a compartmentalized plastic boxes, separating wheats, new cents, silver and clad. Any VF, XF or relatively scarce dates were stored in 2×2’s. Other finds or what you now consider ‘relics’ were thrown in a large jar. Rings and any other “decent” jewelry items were kept in a small cigar box.

 In the 70’s…

Treasure hunting was a metal detector, screwdriver and a fifty cent carpenters apron.

It was “Old West”, “Long Latham’s Lost Treasure” and “Western Treasure” magazines.

It was reading about Superstition Mountain, Victorio Peak, Padre Island and yes Oak Island.

It was freedom to detect pretty much anywhere you wanted.

It was D-Tex, Garrett, Whites, Fisher, Compass and Bounty Hunter.

It was G&C Technology, Cue, Gold Mountain, Treasure Ray,  A.H. Electronics and Gardiner.

You almost always came home with treasure.

It was worth your time to hunt schools, athletic fields, parks and churches.

No one took notice or bothered you when you were detecting.

You knocked on doors without trepidation.

The local gendarmes would stop to say hi, ask what you were finding and leave you with “have fun”.

You drove the back roads looking for old homes, churches and schools, ignoring all the open areas in between.

You were able to locate and extract the target without leaving a trace.

In the 70’s..

It was Karl von Mueller, Hardrock Hendricks, Richard Ray, Abe Lincoln and Charles Garrett

Technology was  BFO, TR, VLF, VLF/TR and gaining an inch or two more in depth.

It was discovering reverse discrimination.

Manufacturers cared about the “small dealers”.

You hunted the sidewalk strips without looking over your shoulder.

You dug neat holes and used a drop cloth.

You made your own probe and knew how to use it.

It was the advent of water hunting, weighted coils and sand scoops.

In the 70’s…

It was Ray Smith and the National Treasure Hunter’s League.

It was looking forward to the monthly club meeting, talking shop, arranging get-togethers and seeing what others were finding.

Gal tekkies were few and far between but those that did detect could kick ass.

It was getting that cool photo of you and “all” your finds.

You didn’t need to “see” what the target was, you pretty much knew from the sound.

It was Karl von Mueller and Paul Tainter with Exanimo and the National Prospector’s Gazette

Club hunts were popular, fun and AFFORDABLE

Detector manuals were no more than ten pages.

You always knew your detector settings because there were knobs and switches.

And Today…

It’s not enough to have one detector, you need a sh*t load.

You need headphones, digger, shovel, pinpointer, backpack, GoPro camera, video software, drone, lions and tigers and bears, oh my…..

“Old” and “relic” are relative terms.

It’s all about the internet, a.k.a the “misinformation highway”.

You’re lost without a visual readout of the target.

Instead of treasure hunter you’re a relic hunter.

It seems every school and athletic field is state of the art with manicured grounds, gates, signs and cameras.

Parks are posted, patrolled and with good reason. We are no longer good stewards of our pastime.

What was once a wooded area or forest is now a housing development, industrial park or apartment complex.

Homeowners are overly sensitive and cautious to strangers knocking on their doors because someone is always looking to make a fast buck.

You earn your stripes by being popular on social media.

Manufacturers pick your pockets with accessories (can you say printer ink?)

You need to have an imported searchcoil because they are “supposed” to be better.

Wearing camo is cool (oops forgot, today it’s “sweet” and “awesome”).

You need to take out a mortgage to attend a club hunt.

Bullshit is sometimes necessary to keep your status in the social media pecking order.

It’s all about views, likes and followers.

Finding a silver Roosie might cause a tekkie to consider quitting his day job.

You have to have at least one “detector leaning on shovel” photo at sunset.

You would leave your spouse if it meant being on a field test team.

You have to buy at least one new detector each year so you can find one more thing at that park you’ve hunted for the past twenty years.

I consider myself fortunate to have entered the hobby when things were uncomplicated and less competitive….happy hunting!




Filed under Metal Detecting

28 responses to “The New (and the Old)…

  1. John

    Nice to see Whites has a new beach hunting detector. Still using my original MXT, still top of the line in my opinion.

  2. Paul T.

    Dick, how true my friend. What a good read. I drove down to Weeping Water, Neb. and bought one of my First metal detectors from Karl Von Mueller in the middle 60’s. Those were the days, and darn good days that I remember,

  3. Ah Dicky Boy, they are soon releasing another new unit, the 24K Gold Machine…..

  4. Roy Rutledge

    Dick, you are spot on about the 70″s. I first met Richard Ray in 1970.. Met his wife and children. and went to his shop many times. Also went to Costa Rica with him a couple of times.

    Bought my first detector from Ray Smith in 1969. Became a dealer for him in 1972. Sold enough detectors to keep me supplied with all the extras I needed.
    The first one was a Garrett BFO Master Hunter. would dig you to death as there was no meter to give you any idea of what you had just went over. If you got a signal, you dug it up.

    Hunted a few times with Bill Mahan and used his D-Tex machines..

    Went to a lot of hunts put on by different clubs here in Texas and Oklahoma. Went to the big hunt in Seymour Indiana put on by Mr Wray. Also a couple of hunts in Tennessee.

    All you needed was a detector a couple of nail aprons and something to dig with. Now I seldom get out as old age and high temperatures are hard to overcome. May hit a lake beach once the weather cools off.

    • “If you got a signal, you dug it up”... yup and because you didn’t have disc to cause you to doubt your signal you found a lot of good stuff. Also Kenny Wray’s treasure week was always well attended. Each manufacturer sponsored a day.

      How things have changed… As for the old age and heat, I have no idea what you’re talking about Roy. Have one for me….

  5. Ronald

    Dick, I sure like all the information on metal detecting. I have bought several of your books,they are very informative and read your emails, I was wondering if the four letter words are necessary to get point across. Please do not take this wrong as you have good web site. Thanks

    • Ronald, probably not, but I write how I think and talk and if I made an effort to do otherwise I might as well not blog. I’m sorry if it offends….

  6. Bob Sickler

    Dick… You are acutely correct in your observations about our past and present. I think as we age, we normally appreciate and become nostalgic about things and ways of the past. I myself had a recent bout of nostalgia and older detectors. What I will say is, even though I long for the happy days of the past, I very much appreciate the newest iteration of my old detector. It definitely goes deeper, operates easier, is lighter, and has comfort features we were only dreaming about back in the 70’s! Gone are the easy plentiful finds of yesterday. At least now we don’t have to wear those baggy bell-bottom plaids and platform shoes! 🙂

  7. Joseph

    Dick, just curious, when was the last time you made it back to NJ? Why not round up some of your buddies that are still here and fly out for a weekend detecting blowout? Or just post about it and you’ll have 30 guys lined up to hunt with you as soon as your plane lands. I only mention this because you’ve stated many times how terrible detecting is in TX, and it might be a breath of fresh air to come back east for some fun & friends.

    For some odd reason, every single hobby I’ve started over the years wanes after a short while, but not metal detecting. If anything, the needle goes deeper every season. Which is why I couldn’t even imagine being in a place where the hunting wasn’t up to par.

    I wasn’t detecting in the 70’s, so I cannot comment on that, but I do know for sure that there’s still treasure to be found out there, and all you’ve got to do is go and find it 😉

    • Joe Grasso, last time I came home was for my Mom’s funeral seven years ago. I’m going back Labor day weekend for a wedding but only for two full days and won’t be driving.
      I know I should indeed do what you suggest but it won’t be soon. Know too it’s hard being on my feet for a long period of time and at right now I won’t leave Digger any extended length of time. Add in the fact that I don’t have “leftover money” living on SS. My labor day trip is paid with leftover AA mileage.

      Just the way it is…no fun getting old.

  8. Bob Sickler

    It is nice to see White’s investing in and tweaking an “ancient”, but highly effective simple concept for hunting severe ground minerals. I have always believed pulse technology to be the most advantageous in severe ground hunting. The principle has been quite simple since day one, but older pulse units were not always easy to operate. The elimination of small iron at greater depths has always been the issue. White’s concept of breaking metal conductivity into tones is well suited for this type of detector.

    • The demo did look pretty straight forward. I had trouble using the Sea Hunter years ago.

      • Hey Dick, I’ve got a Sea Hunter. What were your experiences with it? I mean for free…no payment of 20 Bucks! That tonal ‘discrimination’ on the Whites looks very interesting…

      • John it was 30 years ago but as I remember it was snap, crackle, pop, etc.. Just sounded off all the time and I didn’t have the patience to figure it out. That impatience is still with me thus my reluctance to read a 100 page owner’s manual.

  9. Tony from Bayonne

    Dick, those names that you listed above from the 70’s really got many of us interested or at least thinking about this crazy hobby. I wonder if they knew what an impact they had on this hobby?

    I started reading those stories and tales probably in the late 80’s and then I finally purchased a machine in 1991. Many time I wish I still had that first detector. It went deep but me the operator didn’t really understand what it was telling me. I am glad to see the new whites pulse machine. The one I had was very good. It went deep too. I recently sold it to a person who dives and he loves it.

    The new Nokta machine is just interesting. Soon they will have a picture on the screen so you know what is down there……..

    • I suppose every generation will have people that inspire and encourage. My concern is that we’ve become a “greedy” bunch and no one is looking at the overall picture. As a result the pastime is losing ground via loss of territory.

      You said “Soon they will have a picture on the screen so you know what is down there”. I say “for twelve grand they should have those pictures NOW”

      Have a good weekend Tony and have one for me.

  10. Hahaha! “…Finding a silver Roosie might cause a tekkie to consider quitting his day job.” Almost, almost Dick.I remember pockets filled with Merc Dimes in school for the “Chocolate Milk Machine,” or to buy a school lunch (3-silver dimes) to go with your milk. Silver is still a pretty depressed metal, and I cannot see any reason it may rise anytime soon, but find a “silver” coin and you are ready to say goodbye to your hard-to-find job and enter the sweet world of the lazy-assed treasure hunter. I constantly watch the predictable posts from newbies on FB “HI, I’m new to Florida and want to know the BEST beaches to hunt!!!” I’d love to reply “You mean WHEN was there a best anyplace to hunt, cause you are about 40-years too late!”

    Used to be a 3-D radar-type machine cost you around $65,000 dollars, with the various “search-heads” for it running in the $5,000 to $12,000 range. An entire system for $12,000 that will look thru anything and see ANYTHING to a depth of about 30 meters is a pretty good price nowadays. I own a Nokta Impact which is also a pretty nice machine for the money, well-built, meticulously documented users manual, and complicated as hell…as you would expect.

    The problem is, as you’ve pointed out, there are less and less places to use em’ and nowadays every “citizen” you see, or see’s you, can, and WILL speed-dial cops on you for having even the wrong haircut…let alone carrying around a metal detector.

    My “hiding-in-plain sight ” routine with the florescent shirt, hat and reflective-vest do the job most of the time by becoming a “21st Century Ignorable,” street worker, lawn care person, city worker, lineman, construction worker, or road maintenance. But the homeless and small-time criminals are now getting into the act dressing that way, to the point that, bright colors and traffic vests MAY now label you visually as an undesirable or persona non grata. Keeping one step ahead of the !#!#!@!!!!s is getting to be a full time job in and out of the hobby!

    • I know I was being a smart ass with that comment but I see so many photos of Roosies “in the dirt” or as the star player in a video that I couldn’t resist. I need to remember that today’s tekkie will never know what it was like detecting years ago and it’s not their fault.

      It’s sad too that we even have to think about hiding. We can thank the camo wearing, shovel wielding folks for that.


    Hi Dick, Succinct and entertaining as usual.
    Got to hand it to White’s as they’ve used the old BH enclosure so any left over from the previous VLF BH production won’t be going to waste. I’m not going to try it but I reckon you could shoot their enclosures and the bullets wouldn’t penetrate.
    Glad to say that I haven’t succumbed to the filming of my finds though I might be tempted if I ever find a hoard that’s going to make me very rich. :):)
    All the best from a currently sunny Eastbourne.

    • Hi John, they are indeed recycling enclosures as in the new Gold Master/MX7…Just hope the metal bread boxes are used up. I haven’t seen the new beach machine but that battery pack doesn’t look like it would be waterproof. Time will tell.

      Just remember when you dig that hoard ole Dick Stout is a great guy, great friend and baby needs a new pair of shoes….

      Glad you’re having a little sun…


  12. Ed B.

    The “Many Moons Ago” post was a walk down “memory lane” and a joy to read. I started in the early 80’s but things were pretty much like what you mention for the 70’s. Things sure have changed and not for the better.

    • Ed they have changed but sadly I don’t think anyone detecting today understands or cares. Too busy making videos and promoting.

      • Ed B.

        Like you, I cringe when I see those pics and videos that show a detector leaning on a shovel. I just now clicked on one of the websites you have listed called “New York Metal Detecting” and what does the home page show? That’s right….a metal detector leaning on a shovel.

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