Thursday, December 13, 2012

12/13/12 Report - Lessons From Meterorite Men & $70,000 Diamond Flushed

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Nice Old Button Find.
Find and photo by William M.
Some were saying the world was going to end yesterday.   If you are reading this, it probably didn't.

I mentioned some of the following a couple of days ago but wanted to add some.  Like I said then, I was watching the TV show Meteorite Men this past weekend and they had a couple of shows in which they were getting very frustrated.  I haven't seen that before.  Usually they are walking around and finding things.  Sometimes they don't find things for a while, but I haven't seen them frustrated like I did during the shows I saw this weekend.

You might wonder what hunting meteorites has to do with metal detecting on the Treasure Coast.  It isn't so much the meteorites as the hunting.  A lot of things are the same no matter what you are hunting.

So what was different during these two shows where these guys were obviously so frustrated besides the fact that they were having a lot of trouble finding meteorites?  During two these two shows they were using some new and especially high powered deep-seeking detectors.  The other shows I've seen, they did a lot of eye-balling and using rather standard metal detectors.  In these two shows that I am talking about they were using Pulse Star detectors.  They used a relatively large round coil for a while, which looked like about fourteen inches to me, and they also used the very large coils, which are so large that you actually walk in the middle of them.

By the way, I've seen the same basic types of detectors and coils used on the Treasure Coast beaches several times, going back years.

Anyhow, like I said, they were using these large coils with deep seeking detectors and not finding anything.  They were getting a lot of false signals and junk targets.

The first thing that I'd like to point out is that many targets are near the surface and you don't need the deepest seeking detector in the world, especially when beach detecting conditions are good. How deep your detector will detect a target is a very highly over rated factor, especially when you are talking about beach detecting.   Of course, you should have a detector that works fairly well, especially under the conditions you are working in, but you don't need the most expensive, most deep seeking detector in the world to do well. 

Also take into a account the amount of time spent digging a deep target, either good or junk, compared to detecting more shallow targets.  I saw the meteorite men dig several four foot deep holes only to find out that it was a false signal.  That can take a lot of time.  

Consider which way your time would be better spent.  That is a decision that must be made on a case by case basis.  There are times when there are a lot of good surface targets that need to be recovered as quickly as possible, but you also have to consider the possibility of some very good deep targets.  Again, you have to weight everything and make a decision.

As I've said before, if it were a contest between a wise old Indian with a bow and arrow and a city slicker with the best gun in the world, I'd bet on the old Indian coming home with the deer.  There is more to it than your equipment.

After one show was nearly over, and they hadn't found a thing, they decided to calibrate their super detector.  They wasted a lot of time before they did that.  That was a mistake.

They then experimented with the detector settings and a target until they got the settings adjusted for the best operation.  That was after they had already wasted some very frustrating time.

I always advise, using practice targets in a controlled environment to learn  to adjust your detector's settings to get the best signal for the type of target you are hunting.   There is no reason to spend a lot of field time running around with the wrong settings.

Experiment with your detector until you know the best settings for different targets and different conditions.

These guys know a lot more than me about finding meteorites, but they failed to learn to use this new detector before they wasted a lot of time and frustration out in the field.

Another thing they were frustrated by was the fact that the detector gave false signals in the red clay where they were hunting, and to hot rocks.   Select the best detector for the conditions where you are going to hunt.  I say detectors are something like golf clubs, choose the one that works best for the circumstances.   They all have strengths and weaknesses.

I would bet if they learned to use their detectors better, they could have learned to distinguish some of the false signals they were getting.  You can learn to do that with time.   On the Treasure Coast beaches, some people have trouble using their detector in black sand, others in wet salt sand.   Most of the time you can learn to use your detector more effectively under different conditions like that.  But it takes a little time.

Here are a few tips in summary.   1.  The deepest seeking detector is not always the best.  2.  Spend time experimenting with the adjustments and learning what works well under different circumstances.   3.  Spend enough time experimenting with your detector and different types of targets and conditions so that you learn to understand what your detector is telling you.

It takes some time to learn to learn to use a detector well.  A poor detector used well can be more effective than a super detector used poorly.

A plumber found a diamond ring worth nearly $70,000 that had been accidentally flushed down a toilet in a diner in Phoenix Arizona.

Watch for the bigger swells around the Treasure Coast tomorrow.  Things could improve a little.

Happy hunting,