Saturday, July 26, 2014

7/26/2014 Report - How To Learn What You Might Be Missing With Your Metal Detector: Test Results. VLF Lightening. Water Proofing A Low Cost Detector.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Yesterday I looked at how a relatively inexpensive detector with a target ID display responded to gold items in Coin and Jewelry hunting modes.  Today I'll report on how the same detector (Ace 250) responded to the same gold items in the Relic and All Metals modes.

This picture shows the five sample gold objects that were used in the following tests.

Test Items.  Same As Yesterday.
In the Relic mode the two small rings (1 & 2) showed on the ID display as nickels.   The slightly larger ring (no.3) jumped back and forth between nickel and pull tab.  The largest ring (no. 4) showed up as a pull tab.  The gold bracelet (item 5) showed as a nickel.

So in Relic mode these items showed up very much like they did in the Jewelry Mode.  One difference with this mode as compared to the Jewelry mode is that the jewelry mode would discriminate out lower conductivity targets such as lead and brass that you would actually like to detect in Relic mode.

I'm not going to get into the Custom mode, but will move on to the All Metals mode.

In All Metals mode, the two small rings (numbers 1 and 2) both showed as nickels.  The larger rings (items 3 and 4) both showed as pull tabs.  And the bracelet showed up as a nickel.  

Both of the small gold rings showed up in all four modes as nickels.  The smallest gold ring (item 1) jumped between nickel and foil in Jewelry mode only.  I suspect that if there were even smaller gold rings in the sample, they might have showed up more towards the foil ID.

Coin mode, as useful as it is for finding coins, did not detect the two larger rings at all.  That is a danger with using the Coin mode.  You can miss average size rings.

I thought Coin mode was very seductive.   You could pretty much guarantee you had a coin if it was solid on the coin ID and could avoid digging anything else.  That might be what you want in certain situations.  But the danger is that you could easily get lulled into just picking up coins.   I'm personally not that interested in digging lots of clad coins.  One gold ring can be worth a lot more than hundreds of coins, so I'd rather dig gold.

Coin mode actually did its particular job very well if it wasn't for missing so much gold.  It identified coins very well and eliminated or identified trash.  It was not unusual for trash such as pieces of aluminum cans to cause the ID to jump back and forth between pull tab and dime or whatever. 

The Coin mode would be useful if you are targeting  coins.  It could also be very useful as one step in a Step Search.  I described how to do a Step Search a few days ago.

Using a Step Search, if you don't know what a site holds, you can use coin mode during your first search to get an estimate of the amount of activity at the site and the date of the site from the coins that you find.  At the same time you will also get some sense of the amount and type of junk present even if you don't dig it.   After doing a search in Coin mode, you might then switch to another mode such as Jewelry mode if you suspect the possibility of jewelry, or Relic mode if you suspect the presence of interesting relics or if you decide to clean up the site by removing large iron that might mask other coins or jewelry.  That gives you a few examples about how to use different modes during a Step Search.  It is a very good technique for a site holding a good number of targets.

The three modes other than the Coin mode, identified the larger rings as pull tabs, with the exception of the Relic mode, which showed item 3 as nickel/pull tab.

The gold bracelet was identified by all four modes as being a nickel.

The larger rings were missed completely in the Coin mode and identified as pull tabs by the other three modes.

If you assumed the ID display to be 100% accurate and dug items identified as nickels but not trash such as pull tabs, you would miss about 40% of the gold items in this sample. 

I know this is a small sample of items, but I think the test provides very good information.  Of course there are factors and complexities that I did not take into account here, such as depth and overlapping trash.  That can be for another day.  Of course different detectors will work differently.

You should do these types of tests with your own detector and the types of targets you are most interested in.   I highly recommend testing your detector on a variety of targets.  That is the best way I know of to get to better know your machine.

In the future, I'll post results of similar tests of target ID using other targets, such as treasure cobs.

I've never tried the Ace 250 with the coil in the water but Robb M. has.   It works.  Robb made a YouTube video showing that.  He also made a video showing how to waterproof the 250 control box and ear phones.  Check out Robb's Homemade Life channel on YouTube.  The video he made about an alternative to Disneyworld talks about treasure beach detecting and this blog.

Here is the direct link to the video on water proofing the control box.

We've had a lot of thunder storms lately, and you may have heard the crackle of distant lightening in your ear phones.  And maybe your detector seemed to go a little crazy for a brief time.  Here is an article about the sounds of lightening.

The Earth sings every day, with an electric chorus. With the right tuning, radios can eavesdrop on this sizzling symphony of crackles, pops and whistles — the melody of millions of lightning bolts. ...

With a VLF receiver, anyone can listen to the constant chatter of Earth's lightning, estimated at 8 million strikes every day. (Not every lightning bolt becomes a whistler.)

A worldwide listening network is tuned to one particular lightning sound, called whistlers.

Here is the link for the rest of that article.

Absolutely no significant change in beach detecting conditions on the Treasure Coast again.

This is the season to watch for storms and I will be doing that.

Happy hunting,