Tuesday, October 7, 2014

10/7/14 Report - The Experimental Method Applied to Metal Detecting. Adaptability For Optimal Detecting Anywhere.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.BlogSpot.com.

Small 10K Ring Find.
If you are always going to hunt in the same places with the same detector looking for the same types of targets that is fine, but the probability is that you are not always going to be doing the same thing all the time.  And if you are not going to be doing the same thing all the time, you need to know how to adapt.

A few days ago I did a poll and asked people where they hunted "most."  You probably read the results, yet there were several different locations mentioned in that little poll.  Like some, you might hunt on an ocean beach in the wet sand "most" of the time, but there are probably also times when you hunt in the dry sand or inland, or whatever.  That means that you will need to know how to adapt.

If you want to be able to adapt, you can't just set your detector's settings the same every time and expect to get the best results.  A day or two ago I told you how important the threshold setting could be on a PI detector.  There was a threshold level that produced the best signal.   Either too high or two low could cause you to completely miss a thin gold ring.

You need to use the best settings for each environment.  And you can't always take some one's specific instructions and simply apply them.  Their situation might not be the same as yours in some small but important way.

The point is to know how to determine your best settings, best detector selection, and best hunting techniques where ever you might be and what ever you might be hunting.

I use a method that I've called "empirical."  That means basically that it is based upon data that comes from skeptical observation.  I could also refer to my method as "scientific," even though it is not highly controlled as it would be in a laboratory setting. 

I continually conduct experiments.  You might remember the experiments I conducted to see how objects sink in sand.  Those posts were two that were the most "google plused" of any that I have done.

You might remember the experiments I did to determine how objects of different sizes and shapes moved in water.  Those are just two quick examples.

I also apply "test it" and "prove it" method when selecting my detector settings at the beginning of a hunt.  That does several things for me besides checking for the optimal settings for the particular type of target that I am most interested in finding.

I won't take it for granted that the optimal setting will be what it was last time or at another beach or when hunting something else. 

There are a lot of little things that can make a big difference.  Is there black sand today?  Is the sand rippled or smooth?  Is there radio interference or EMI?  

The beaches in South Florida are very different than those on the Treasure Coast.  I began detecting when I lived in South Florida and later moved to the Treasure Coast.  It is a big difference.  It is necessary to adapt.

Recently I reported on some experiments with the Ace 250 and Whites Dual Field Surf PI detectors.  I told you what I learned from my experiments, but the most important thing was not the results.  The most important thing was the method the method that I used to determine the best settings. 

You can pretty much use most of the same settings most of the time if you do hunt the same places and hunt for the same things in the same way all of the time, but there are still advantages of going through the method of testing with relevant test targets.  For one thing, it will give you advanced warning of deterioration in detector performance.  That is just one of several good reasons to go through the process.

The method that I used to tune my PI for gold, for example, employed a relevant test target and a systematic procedure at the location I was preparing to hunt.  The same method could be used at different locations with different detectors and targets, and the procedure would work just as well.

My point is not that there are important differences in beaches and detectors and targets.  Everybody knows that.  My point is that you can't take specific settings and set your detector the same way in every situation and expect optimal results.  That is one reason that I was not more specific about exactly where to set the gain and threshold when I did my test.  What I gave you was something better - a method of finding the best setting for yourself no matter where you are going to hunt and what types of things you want to find.

My "empirical" or "experimental" method has been applied to a lot of different things, not just tuning a detector.  I was a researcher for many years and brought that same experimental approach to my detecting.  I didn't accept what someone else said, but experimented and proved or disproved things for myself.

My experimental method not only applies to detectors and settings, but to almost everything that I do in metal detecting.  As I said above, I've done experiments on how objects sink in sand, for example, and how different types of objects are moved by waves, as another example.

I still continue to learn.  Some of my most valuable experiments showed that something that I believed was wrong.  That is when you have to figure it out and make a change.

What I'm telling you today is something that was in my posts, but which I have not made crystal clear.  The important thing that I'm giving you is an approach.  I am giving you a method of learning, not just specific information to memorize and apply.  

The surf on the Treasure Coast will be around two to three feet for a couple days.  It will slowly increase for a few days after that.

There is nothing in the Atlantic to watch.

Happy hunting,