Wednesday, April 26, 2017

4/26/17 Report - Metal Detector Damage That Can Be Prevented. Artifacts Left Behind After Inca Attack.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Detector Showing Poor Maintenance and Serious Damage.

Yesterday I started a post in which I was talking about why you might want to keep old metal detectors in good working order.  I mentioned the dangers of salt water.  Above is a good example of the damage that can be done to a metal detector by things like wind driven sand and salt spray and splashing water.

Notice the corrosion around the knobs and toggle switches.  Also notice the sand in the speakers.  The headphone plug is also vulnerable.

The best conditions for metal detecting can be the worst conditions for your detector.  The wind can be blowing sand and salt and the water can be splashing off of steep cliff faces.  Even knowing all of that, you can be caught by surprise.

There was one time that I was wading not much more than knee deep water in a calm bay and a single wave surprised me and splashed up onto my detector control box (not the detector shown in the pictures).  While I mostly use submersible detectors, I was not using one on this occasion.  The very small amount of salt water that splashed onto the control box was noted by the manufacturer and voided the warranty even though the detector worked fine for many years to come.

Closer Look At Some of the Corrosion.
The damage to the detector shown in these pictures is extreme and severe but happened with normal but heavy usage.  Obviously much needed maintenance was not done.

Most of my detectors are submersible.  Submersible detectors are better protected from the dangers of salt water environments, although even submersible detectors need to be rinsed and properly maintained.  If you work salt water beaches at all, wind driven sand and salt spray is enough to require periodic maintenance.  Salt and sand seem to find their way into the smallest cracks and crannies.

A lot of people complain about detector rods freezing up.  My experience is that all detector rods used on salt water beaches or in the salt water will freeze if they are not maintained.  Rinsing and working them occasionally should prevent that.  While I hear a lot of complaints about the ATX rods, I've had no trouble with them and prefer that type of rod to the others that I've used.

Some people seldom change their detector settings.  I advise working all knobs and switches once in a while even if you don't change your settings much.  I think it helps keep things in good working order and helps you identify any signs of deterioration early.

Even if you get salt water in your control box, rinsing it out with an electronics cleaner can save the electronics.

WD-40 or other oils and cleaners can be a good idea for various parts of your detector.

The Florida sun and heat can also cause damage.  The sun and heat can weaken plastic parts.  I had a lot of trouble with the plastic parts on a White's detector breaking.  It wasn't an old detector either.

Replaced Ear Phone Attachment.
Plastic parts on both the rod and ear phones broke.  I replaced the ear phone tab by making a new one from the metal of a soda can.  The rod was repaired by using a small section of PVC pipe.

I like to have more than one detector with me but I seldom do because I don't like to leave a metal detector in the car in the hot Florida heat.   I also don't like to leave anything good in the car because of possible theft.  That does happen on the Treasure Coast.  I saw some broken glass in a beach parking lot no long ago.  I reported other break-ins at the same parking lot before.

Dennis S. wrote and reminded me to mention the damage that can be caused by leaving old batteries in a metal detector.  Leaking batteries damaged one of his detectors.  I'm sure that many of you have experienced the same thing.  Don't leave batteries stored in your detector when you are not using it for a while.  Thanks for the reminder Dennis.

My main point today is that the beach is a tough environment for metal detectors, but with periodic maintenance you might be able to keep your metal detector working for many years.  The pictures I showed today show extreme and severe cases, but they do show what can happen.


Here is an interesting article.

Treasure trove of bronze and copper reveals incredible speed of flash Inca invasion

Bronze jewellery, stone tools and intact pottery were abandoned as the native Colla people fled...

Bronze Chisel Left Behind by Colla.Source: See link below.

Here is the link for the entire article.


I have some good emails and other things to talk about tomorrow.

The weather is beautiful on the Treasure Coast.  The air was cooler this morning after the front went through.

The surf is small, but we're having some nice low tides.

Happy hunting,