Wednesday, April 4, 2012

4/4/12 Report - Cache Found & Metal Detector Threshold Settings

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Some of the Treasure Found by Sixth Graders in Canvas Sacks in a Lake.

Are you luckier than a sixth grader? That is what many treasure hunters might be asking themselves today. The reason is, a class of sixth graders cleaning up a lake while doing community service found two canvas sacks full of treasure. Bracelets, rings, pocket watches, coins, etc. were in the bags.

Thinking it might have been stolen, they turned it into the police. If it isn't claimed in ninety days, they get it.

Here is one link to that story.

One thing that I don't like about some detectors is the rough threshold tone. I like a rock steady threshold tone so that I can easily identify any real signals, even the tiniest whispers.

Ideally, a detector signal would be binary. By that I mean that any real signal would be clear and completely distinguishable every time. Another way of saying that is there would be no noise.

The reality is that many detectors have a threshold tone that is unsteady. It wavers or is rough to some extent. That means that actual signals can get lost in the noise. The more noise, the more difficult it is to detect a real signal - especially the weaker signals. That should be obvious.

Many people use the factory recommended settings. That is OK for a starting point, but eventually you want to find what works best for you.

Many people ask other people what settings they recommend, and it is OK to try those settings, but the best thing is to determine what settings are best for you and your location.

Everybody is different. Not only do the detectors have their operating characteristics, but so do people. Some people hear better than others. And some hear high tones better than low tones. Some people are better than others at picking signals out of noise. That is why you have to determine the best settings for you and the local conditions.

If you use a detector that has a rough threshold tone, you might turn the threshold level down until it sounds more steady. Of you might turn it down until you don't hear the threshold tone at all. In either case, you'll be losing some of the weaker signals. Yet it is difficult to know what is the optimum level or if it is better to use a loud threshold tone that gives you a bunch of noise, or turn the threshold down so it is more steady and risk losing some of the signals that way.

If you use a detector that has a rough threshold tone, you might be tempted to either turn it down, or if you leave it up, only respond to the clear easy-to-identify signals.

With practice you can become better at telling the difference between the weaker signals and noise. Practice is important if you want to learn to use your detector more effectively.

Practice systematically with a variety of objects under a variety of conditions. Make sure to practice with some targets that are difficult to detect with less than the optimum setting.

Plant a few different targets at different depths in the field. Make sure you have first removed any targets or junk. Turn the threshold up and down, adjust the other settings, and see what settings work best for you. You will eventually find a threshold loudness that will provide the best results for you.

If you are not real good at picking weak signals out of noise, the best setting for you might be a low threshold setting. If on the other hand, you can easily identify the subtle differences between noise and an actual signal, you might do well with a louder threshold even if it results in a more erratic sounding threshold tone.

Again, there will be a threshold setting that is best for you, so it might be worth spending a little time to find that best setting. That setting might change depending upon a number of factors, including things like if there is a lot of noise in the environment or different ground conditions.

The two keys are practice and experimentation.

I hope you respond to the blog poll. I'd like to get an idea of how many fake treasure coins are found relative to the number of real treasure coins found.

If I remember correctly, I've found about six fakes. The first was very confusing to me. It took me quite a while to realize what it was. I didn't know much about treasure coins at that time, plus it was encrusted when I found it. Years later I found a genuine cob just yards from where I found that first fake.

Treasure Coast Beach Conditions and Forecast.

Beach conditions remain poor, but there is the possibility of some improvement in the forecast.

The wind is out of the southwest and the swells out of the northeast. The high tides will be a little higher than normal.

The forecast is that Saturday the seas will increase to about 6 or 7 feet. If that happens, we could get some improvement in beach conditions.

Fingers crossed.

Happy hunting,