Thursday, February 16, 2017

2/16/17 Report - How The Position of Targets Can Affect Metal Detector Signals. Mexican Tomb Figurines. Golf Eggs. Unwanted Meeting With Solenopsis.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Source: Live Science link below.

1,700-year-old untouched tomb bearing the bones of a dozen male adults, as well as pre-Columbian figurines and statues, has been unearthed in Mexico.

Here is the link.


Here are a couple of finds: two golf balls covered with barnacles and shells. People hit golf balls into the water.  

Couple Barnacle and Shell Encrusted Golf Balls

On the lighter side, that reminds me of two TV shows.  Jethro from the Beverly Hillbillies called them golf eggs, and Cramer, on Seinfeld, once hit a golf ball that got stuck in a whales blow hole.


One thing I don't think a lot of people do enough is experiment with their detector on known targets. I once did a quick little video showing how a detector responds to a screw, copper tag, and small gold ring, when the tag and ring were flat on the ground and when they were standing on edge.

Do you know how the signal will change when thin gold ring is on edge?   If not, you might want to take a look at the video.  The same thing can happen when a coin is on edge rather than laying flat.

Here is the link.

[  I had the wrong link here earlier and replaced it.  I hope the one below is the right one. ]

Of course not all detectors will respond exactly the same but most will respond similarly.  You'll get about the same result from an Excalibur if it is in pinpoint mode, for example.

Long thin targets such as nails produce a double beep when you sweep the coil over the target from end to end, but a single beep when you move the coil at a ninety degree angle to that.  You can get the same kind of thing when a coin or ring is standing on edge.  One direction will produce a double beep.

Of course different settings can change how the detector responds.

Coins and rings and similar things usually lay flat, but not always.  If there are rocks, shells, roots, the targets can be on edge.  Also sometimes they'll slide down and rest stuck to the side of a hole.
That, along with the decreased depth, can make the signal disappear.

I always recommend a experimenting a lot with different types of targets in order to really get to know your detector and how it responds to different targets.


I received more emails concerning Dr. Gunnar Thompson and his article about Pre-Columbian maps.  It seems there are people with very strong opinions on both sides.  From the emails I've received, it looks like the controversy has a life of its own and could continue indefinitely.  I personally have not looked into the controversy that deeply, so I'll leave it up to you to decide for yourself.   I very much appreciate the comments but won't be continuing the topic in this blog. There are other forums that do that. Thanks again for all the informative emails and comments.  I learned from them, and they are appreciated.


I first met Solenopsis two or three decades ago in Davie Florida.  It was a hot day and I was metal detecting an old home site near a canal and orange groves.  I was on my hands and knees digging a target and realized I was in an ant hill and being stung by ants.

Solenopsis is a genus of stinging ant.  You might know them as fire ants.  Snow birds might not be familiar with the little devils.  I wasn't when I first got stung.

They hit me again yesterday.  This time I wasn't detecting.  I was cutting some weeds, and as I often am, I was bare foot.  You'd think I'd know better.  Anyhow, I got a lots of bites and a swollen foot, but it wasn't as bad as it could have been.  Since I don't wear shoes most of the time, I think I've built up some immunity to their poison.  Still, they are a pain, and if you are from up north and don't know about them, be careful.

There are some suggested treatments.  Applying meat tenderizer is one.  That treatment is also recommended for stings from Portuguese Man-O-War.  Life guards at swimming beaches used to use alcohol.  I know first hand about those too.

Other treatments include applying ice to prevent swelling, application of ammonia, Clorox or alcohol.  I don't know how much those work, but I used ice and Clorox and came through pretty well.


Evidently a cool front moved through.  The surf is still small and will remain small for at least a few more days.  The tides are moderating.

Happy hunting,