Try as I might to keep up with all the latest technology I can’t talk much about the latest and greatest when it comes to the newer machines. Can’t afford them and don’t need them. As a result I’m not the guy to send “how do I” questions to and lest you forget, I’m the old wino who has trouble getting down and up and who loves knobs and switches.
What I Do Know…
I’ve been around since cavemen roamed the earth and have witnessed a lot of changes when it comes to metal detectors. They’ve gone from heavy to light…. bulky to stick me in your pocket…. and do it yourself to sit back we’ll do it for you. I’ve used BFO’s, TR’s, VLF’s, PI’s and WTF’s and despite being dressed up and juiced up here we are still pretty much dealing with the all-metal and discriminate modes.
Whatever your detector of choice your primary goal is to get optimum depth and that’s best dealt with by working with and around the all-metal and sensitivity/gain features. That often means digging it all and dealing with excessive chatter. Now if that’s not your cup of tea, go with the disc mode but set your disc control to a notch below nickel acceptance so as to still hear most gold items. That’s been my modus operandi for years.
If you’re a staring tekkie/meter reader and you get one of those iffy signals (erratic/spastic readout) try turning down your audio threshold to just below audible, increasing your sensitivity to see if you can coax a decent numerical readout. Works about 50% of the time.
Because I’m a coin hunter I’m content with 15kz or thereabouts but if you after relics you’re going to want something higher and if you are primarily a beach hunter the multi-frequency detectors have a lot to offer. Also nice to be able to change frequencies when you are participating in one of the 500 detectors at once events, a.k.a. “let’s beat the living hell out of this area”…
I like this feature though I don’t need multiple or gradual audio. Two or four different tones work for me. Audio ID, along with numerical readouts definitely save me time and effort and at my age I appreciate that. Having said this I could live without a visual guesstimate and would gladly sacrifice it for less weight.
I’ve not used all the various coils that are available today because (1) there’s too damn many, (2) I can’t afford them and (3) in my opinion most are eye candy. I’m also a coin hunter and stick with the manufacturers 5 to 7 inch offerings as well as the smaller “sniper” coils. They’re designed by the folks who made the machine and they’re practical for most types of hunting. The larger coils are okay for areas seemingly devoid of targets, for relic hunting and/or if you have a very large area to cover.
I understand the interest in new searchcoils when they come out. If they can offer more depth, better separation you want to give them a shot but honestly how many of those coils do you have and do you really use them all?
I love the current efforts at design and weight (Deus, Equinox, etc.). I would love however to see these designs incorporate a few switches or knobs. I know they add weight and the detector faces don’t leave a lot of room for such but they needn’t be large. I just like to “know” where I’ve got my detector set. Touchpads drive me crazy. For that matter remove the visual meter/readout. It’s a nice feature but one that’s become a crutch of sorts over the years.
Never a doubt
Right now I own the White’ MXT Pro, *MX Sport, 6000di S2, Garrett VLF/TR Groundhog, Freedom 3 and I’m seriously thinking about dusting off the ole Groundhog and reliving the good ole days.
Other than making sure my detector is ground balanced that’s it folks! That’s pretty much how I do it and how I see it. I will leave the technical, manufacturer induced lingo up to you and if you want to go more into those areas check out Joe Patrick, Bob Sickler, Andy Sabisch and Monte Berry. Old timers who can talk tech. Bob’s “The Detectorist” book is excellent as is the “Treasure Hunter’s Handbook” by Andy Sabisch. Monte Berry can usually be found on his AHRPS forum. Tell him I sent you….
My metal detecting experience started sometime in the early to mid 70’s when the pickings were good, the competition non-existent and the technology easy to understand. The computer, the internet, social media? Non-existent!
In the beginning I dug every response because I didn’t have the luxury of discrimination and digging every beep paid off. Silver was plentiful and every so often a ring or two would surface.
More than anything I was preoccupied with finding places to hunt – the older the better. I spent a boatload of time in libraries, driving back roads and talking to people. I had a long list of places to hunt…old schools, churches, picnic areas, carnival grounds, amusement parks, old homesites and swimming holes to name a few.
Sadly things are different today and the atypical sites are slowly but surely disappearing thanks to the inlfux of new detectorists and the lack of concern with our image. As a result research is even more important than it was 50 years ago. Do yourself a favor and don’t be so preoccupied with having the latest and hippest metal detector because honestly it won’t matter if you’re still hunting the same ole places and please, I don’t care about the “this baby found coins that my older detector missed”…. For the most part you found them because you were paying attention (see Is It the Detector or Is It You?)
You might own the latest and greatest and you might have all the coils, pinpointers and shovels but if you’re hunting in the wrong place you’re pissing in the wind! Spend your time, your money and your brain power discovering new places to scan your coil. Not easy but they’re out there.
*My MX Sport is for sale. Like new condition and has waterproof headphones. Price ($475) includes shipping (US). If interested contact me (see top of page).