Thursday, April 9, 2015

4/9/15 Report - How To Increase Metal Detector Finds By Investigating Marginal Signals. Waterloo Skeleton Of German Soldier.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

A few days ago I talked about detector coils and what I called the area of target sensitivity and peripheral sensitivity.  I'll add a little to that today.

As I mentioned some coils have good peripheral sensitivity and will detect coins out beyond the area covered by the coil.  One detector I tested consistently produced a signal nearly an inch before the coil was over various test coins.  The good thing about that is that it covers more ground.  The down side is that it makes it more difficult to pinpoint the target without going into a pinpoint mode, and it does not provide good and easy target separation when multiple targets are closely clustered.

But what I wanted to mention today is that any coil will produce partial or unclear signals near the edge of a coil or when a target is too deep or the coil is moving too fast or whatever.  There are times when a less clear signal can easily be confused with noise.  That is more true when you are operating in a noisy environment, whether the noise is due to conditions such as ground mineralization or less than optimal use of the detector.  The more noise you have, the easier it is for the less clear signals produced by good targets to get lost in the noise.

There are actually two major systems involved in all metal detecting.  One is the detector, the other is the person.  Those systems share much in common.  The psychosensory system can be analyzed in much the same way as a metal detector.  Both systems are somewhat adaptable.   Both systems can detect signals in noise to a certain extent.   And both systems can have a good or not so good accuracy rate.

In the same way that a detector can be set up to detect good targets in a noisy environment, a detectorist can focus and learn and improve on how he hears or separates good signals from noise.  You can definitely learn to better interpret your detector's signals.  It takes time, but that is something you can definitely do.  That is one reason I suggest a lot of testing and experimentation with a detector.

Don't depend entirely upon your detector to separate good signals from noise.  Your brain is more powerful than any detector.

Set up your detector to do the best job that it can under the circumstances, but also learn to better understand what your detector is telling you.  That will help you identify good targets that produce maginal signals.

If you run your detector hot, there will always be some noise, maybe slight, but still some noise.  There will always be those marginal signals.  Maybe just the edge of your coil went over the target, or maybe the target was partially masked by junk or black sand or whatever.

My point is that you can probably learn to better discriminate and identify the good signals from the noise.

When you are zipping along and hear a whisper or squeak or any signal that could easily be mistaken for noise, it might actually indicate a good target.  It is a good idea to sometimes stop and check those marginal signals.  That will help you learn to tell the difference.

Some detectors will null (go silent) on targets that are so deep that they are at the limits of what the detector can detect.   I've noticed that especially with PI detectors.  If you will stop and check those slight interruptions in the threshold by taking a scoop of sand out so you can get your coil down another inch or two, you might then hear a good signal from the deep target.  If you are running a silent threshold, you won't hear the null.  

When using what I would call a power-detector, I like to run my threshold up a little higher and carefully listen for very slight changes.  Not so much if I am just doing a quick scan of an area.

If you are in the habit of passing over anything that sounds like noise, stop and double check some of those sounds, you might discover that some of them are actually good targets.  You might cut down on misses by doing that and also by adjusting your detector, but even when your detector is well adjusted, you might be able to make additional improvements by learning to pay more attention to those marginal signals caused by good targets.


It is very cool but unusual to track a find down to a particular person.

A skeleton found at Waterloo has been identified (without absolute certainty) to be that of a particular German soldier.

Here is that link.


Conditions on the Treasure Coast beaches remains poor.  It looks like there are at least two weeks of predicted one-two foot surf.  That isn't very promising.  It has been a very slow year so far.  We are way over due for some good erosion.

Welcome to new reader Tony who says he has been detecting for about a year and just discovered this blog.

Happy hunting,