It’s Halloween and I wanted to share the following ….Read it carefully lest your trick or treating go terribly wrong!



It’s also Thursday so here’s a throwback from October 2016….


I’ve been a big fan of chef Jacques Pepin for many years and when I saw this recent quote of his on a Facebook page it got me thinking about how it also relates to metal detecting and our pastime……..

“I tell a student that the most important class you can take is technique. A great chef is first a great technician. ‘If you are a jeweler, or a surgeon or a cook, you have to know the trade in your hand. You have to learn the process. You learn it through endless repetition until it belongs to you.”Jacques Pepin


Now I have long advocated that metal detecting is not rocket science, and I still believe that, but I also believe that constant use of one detector in the field will make you a much better detectorist. That is if you are not constantly buying new ones, and yes I know certain areas, certain situations might call for the use of a certain kind of detector. What I am referring to and trying to say is that the longer you use “one particular detector” the more attuned you will be to its nuances quirks and responses. Every detector has a personality and you need to get to know it.

Back in the 70’s, and 80’s I pretty much knew what I was about to dig based on the sound/tone I heard.  A lot depended on how it was sitting in the soil, but I could almost always tell whether a coin was a penny, dime, quarter, etc..  I am talking about using machines like the early Coinmasters, groundhogs and Judges. I might also add I only had one detector back then and did not have the luxury (or maybe not) of having a backup.

Joe Attinello was the man who sold me my first detector and he was uncanny in his ability to tell what the target was based on the audio response. He used to tell me to call him over when I got a response and he would tell me what it was.  I have tell you he was almost always right, and he could tell what coin it was, whether it was a nail, pulltab, bottle cap, etc.. He was also the smoothest guy I ever saw when it came to recovering a target. He used a probe and would have the item out of the ground in seconds and it was impossible to tell he even disturbed the soil.

Today I feel pretty comfortable with the MXT Pro, its features and its ability to find good things, but I must say I don’t have that “togetherness feel” that I had years ago.  A lot of it I’m sure has to do with the visual readouts, as well as the broader audio responses that it and most all of the newer detectors offer.

In the 80’s I drooled when those first target ID models came out, and when they changed from the “good – bad, left – right” meter to one that actually had the various coin denominations listed I pawned my car, kids and playboy collection to buy one. I mean damn man!! After that the bottom fell out.

My good finds slowed to a trickle. I blamed in on lack of depth, the weather, worked out sites and just about anything else I could think of. It took me maybe a full season of hunting to realize I was “staring” at that meter, and digging only those targets were labeled as good.  I was mesmerized with that damn penny, dime, quarter thing and not listening to the audio. It took some doing, or in this case undoing, but I eventually got back to square one and my better finds started showing up.

I do miss the staccato responses of the early VLF detectors and wish the newer machines would offer a similar sound. A couple of tekkies have told me the Deus responds like those earlier machines, but I have never had the chance to use one.

Anyway, are any of you having an intimate relationship with your detector (no need to respond Howland)?  Curious too if you can ID your finds easily, or if you have become a slave to that meter. And……do you have a name for your detector? Joe used to call his “mama”, and if he put on the large coil it became “big mama”.  I also had another tekkie friend who used to call his machine “Louise” just to piss off his girlfriend Diane. Loved telling her things like “I promised Louise I spend some time with her on Sunday but I’ll give yo a call when I get home”…..

Thanks y’all for listening to my wine induced drivel. It’s all I can offer right now.  Get your big mama or your Louise out and go find something cool…..



The recent Dan Hughes Q&A was very popular generating a lot of views and shares. As a result I decided to see if Dan would allow me to share a few his old podcasts every now and then and he said yes. Here’s the first two…enjoy and thank you Dan.

Business Cards

The Buffalo Nickel




Filed under Metal Detecting

20 responses to “Boo!

  1. john taylor

    he’s keeping a “low profile” cuz he won the “lottery!”.. ain’t nobody’s fool!
    he gut a fresh pint of “mad dog” in his jacket!..he ain’t foolin’ me none!
    god bless him!..just sayin’


    • Now I have no clue what that comment means or who you are referring too?

      • john taylor

        it’s obvious dick! .the guy sitting in the chair ..ehe! heh! he! he’s attempting to disassociate himself from the fact he just
        won the lottery, by acting as an unfortunate gentleman down on his luck. i’m just sayin’


  2. john taylor

    “dead nuts” on with the one detector comment dick! always been a “champion” of this philosophy as well! learn the audio “nuances” of whatever detector you take in to the field, and it will make a difference in enjoyment, and finds…i’m just sayin’


  3. Yo Ricardo:
    I reckon you must hold the current Chair of the Bleeding Obvious at Dallas Uni when it comes to metal detecting. How many times have you and me told newbies to stick with one machine, and learn its nuances to get the results. But more than that, it’s WHERE and HOW one uses the machine NOT the machine itself.

    Jeez, they are simple to use – even an arkie can operate one, but knowing WHERE to use it is another ball game entirely, and that only comes with in-field experience.

    As for having an intimate experience with a detector there’s a couple of female Tekkies who qualify on that score. One especially, makes a happy man very old.

    i’m just sayin’

  4. Tony

    When I drink red wine there are times I try a bit of milk chocolate with it – thanks for the Halloween trick and treat! We all need that “sound” reminder no matter which machine we use, thanks for that one.

    Happy Halloween buddy, cheers!

  5. john taylor

    not so fast! red wine?..yes! chocolate?..not so much! metal detecting?..definitely! i’m just sayin’


  6. Yup, I finally gave in and bought a Deus. I wanted that machine so badly… and there it hangs on the wall, with that flashing light on the coil that says “take me, take me”, but I ignore it and reach for my old standby time and time again. Lesson learned.

  7. john taylor

    diva!..e-trac’s a mighty fine detector! should be!..they ain’t exactly giving them away! tons of people swear by them for coin shooting in trashed parks.wish i could afford one, would buy it in a heartbeat! ..alas! i have to be content with the mighty tesoro mojave! damn fine sniper it’s own right! learn it’s language, and good to go!..i’m just sayin’


  8. njfella007

    I’m with Diva, I stick with my Etrac…it’s my only machine. Though I’d gladly swing any of the higher-range Minelabs. I tried the Nox but didn’t care for it though.

    The reason Minelab can charge (and get) what they do for their machines, is because they’re dead nuts accurate…even at depth. Almost any detector can hit on and correctly distinguish targets up to 4 or 5″, but not many can do it reliably past that point.

    Of course, the screen is only one form of information, and shouldn’t be depended on fully, that’s where the sounds & depth come in. Once all forms of info are factored in together, that, to me, is how I then make my dig/no dig decision.

    Am I fooled occasionally? Absolutely, and anyone who tells you they aren’t is a bullshit artist. I usually get tripped up on deep iron since I chase very iffy signals. One can never know if a mixed tone is simply a piece of junk throwing off a high tone at certain angles, or if it’s a good target next to a bad one, so I usually dig them to find out.

    • “Am I fooled occasionally? Absolutely, and anyone who tells you they aren’t is a bullshit artist…” Not me Joe, I know precisely what I’m going to dig!

      And the most accurate discriminator is your digger (or shovel, unfortunately).

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