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My 'general search' B & D approach with the Nokta FORS Relic

March 12, 2019 10:31AM avatar
Allways fun to do a little "what if" and let the imagination run.
Quite true. Matter-of-fact, while I enjoy occasionally asking a 'What if' question of others now and then, I ask myself 'What if' questions almost every day, sometimes more than once. Asking others or ourselves helps us to think things out and learn, considering other folks might take a different approach to settings used or model choices, etc., that might be of benefit to me for some applications.


When using the FORS Relic in its native environment, do you find that you are mainly using it in B&D mode and ignoring any display info?
By "native environment" I guess you're being more specific to ferrous littered Relic Hunting type locations. I started this great hobby fifty-four years ago this month, but we didn't get a visual Target ID detector until the release of the George Payne designed CoinComputer, by the 'original' Teknetics, in '83 which was thirty-six tears ago.

So, prior to 1983 I had spent eighteen years using a 'Beep & Dig' (B & D) search method with traditions BFO's, TR's., TR-Disc. VLF/TR-Disc. and the three-mode VLF/VLF-Disc./TR-Disc. models. In that span of time there was a lot to be found and I can guarantee I got out and found my share and then some. Using the basic B & D technique had worked fine for me, and right up to mid-'83 I still preferred to use a good TR-Disc. (mainly a 50 kHz Garrett American S2) unit and a few favorite VLF/TR-Disc. models (mostly 15 kHz models like the Garrett Ground Hog and Gold Mountain VIP) because the bulk of my detecting was urban Coin & Jewelry types of sites.

I would get off to some old Relic Hunting sites, but not as frequently because the irregular-textured, weedy and brushy terrain were more difficult to hunt with any early Discriminating TR, and I sometimes had and used a 'modern' VLF-Disc. motion-based detector, but back then, they were a four-filter type circuitry and required a very brisk sweep speed that didn't work too well in the older sites with a lot of dense brush, building rubble and a lot of debris, to include nails, other metal junk and a lot of rusty tin shards.

Like other hobbyists I saw the ads in magazines ahead of the release and knew visual TID was about to happen. Maybe good for avid city Coin Hunters in minimal trash, but it didn't mean a thing to me with the required fast-motion sweep speed required. What I wanted was a slow-motion, quick-response and recovery detector that would let me better handle the brushy and debris-filled environments I preferred to hunt, such as ghost towns, old picnic and resort sites, homesteads, stage stops, railroad depots, etc., etc.

We came close in '82 when Fisher introduced the David Johnson designed 1260-X, our truly first slow-motion Discriminator, but while it almost impressed me when I evaluated one that summer, it fell short in iron rejection. Those early Fisher motion-based detectors really struggled to reject the common iron nails and other ferrous junk.

So in '83 we enjoyed the introduction of new Target ID then Tone ID technology with the Teknetics CoinComputer series, and that was good for Coin Hunters. But better yet, in July of '83, we also had the introduction of the Tesoro Inca that provided what I really wanted, as they were a slow-motion sweep technique with quick-response / fast-recovery AND very good iron nail rejection that the Fisher's didn't provide. I could now find coins and jewelry in urban settings as well or better (mostly) than my TR-Disc. and VLF/TR-Disc. models, but better still they really opened up the older remote sites I favored. With that slow-motion and great iron nail handling I was finally able to make an immediate shift and Relic Hunting became my #1 choice of where to go and what to do when I headed out detecting.

The Tesoro line really grabbed my interest due to their simple yet proven performance and ease of handling in those trashy and brushy environments, and they didn't have the new visual Target ID display, so my enjoyment afield and resulting success in recoveries continued ... and I was still enjoying the good ol' Beep & Dig approach to success.

As the years progressed, I would add a new model or two to my detector team that had Target ID then a VDI display, and I would make use of the visual display to get an idea of what I was about to recover ... but it was mainly a glance for basic information as I had already made up my mind as to Dig or Not Dig based on the audio response and not on the visual suggestions of what the target might be. Also, I made use of the display suggestions when hunting Coins in typical urban environments. It wasn't used much when hitting the very littered Relic type sites because hearing a good iffy or favorable good-target response was ample audio information.

What methodology do you employ in using its feature set to hunt those iron & tin infested sites?
My 'methodology' with the Nokta FORS Relic is pretty much unchanged from how I set up just about any detector I own, and another advantage to the Relic is that it meets my Three-Factor preferred criteria. I prefer a detector that is:

'Simple'.. Meaning there are not a lot of excess adjustment functions, many of which might counter a different adjustment. Often, some model's adjustments, or multiple adjustments, can leave many detector operators confused. Not just beginners but more experienced people as well.

'Functional'.. And that just means the adjustments it provides are basic and straight forward, that they have a useful purpose and don't adjust to extremes that would have a negative influence on performance.

'Performance' based.. And this means a detector model, regardless of price or feature set, is capable of providing ample performance to fit the needs of what it is best designed for. From being able to fit a specific niche in this hobby, to providing a broader-range of performance capabilities.

With regard to the Nokta Relic specifically, here are the features it provides and how I set it up for the typical sites I use it, and especially for the worst environments that have a dense amount of iron contamination and a lot of rusty tin. From typically encountered rusty tin cans or can lids, on down to the smaller pieces of rusty tin shards from old and decayed tin objects due to the deterioration and the passage of time.

Available search modes include:

GEN: A conventional Threshold-based All Metal mode.

Di2: A silent-search Discriminate 2-Tone Mode featuring a processed Low-Tone Audio for Ferrous range objects (or all targets with a numeric VDI below the Tone Break setting), and a VCO enhanced response for all Non-Ferrous targets (or those above the Tone Break setting). I leave my Tone Break at the Ferrous / Non-Ferrous break-point of '20.'

Di3: A silent-search Discriminate 3-Tone model that produces a processed bass-like Low Tone for Ferrous-range targets with a VDI below '20' and a processed Mid-Tone and High-Tone based on the operator-set Tone Break.. I have my two FORS Relics set at '65.'

COG: A Conductive Ground or Beach Mode for saltwater beaches or wet alkaline environments as needed. This is a 2-Tone Mode.

DEP: A 2-Tone 'Deep' mode comparable to a 'Boost Process' mode that can provide enhanced detection depth in low-target sites, to better handle higher mineralization by employing a slower sweep speed to allow enhanced ground signal and target signal processing.

SWT: A 2-Tone 'Swift' or 'Fast Process' mode for very trashy environments to allow a little faster processing and sweep to help with some target masking conditions or just help separate closely positioned targets.

Of these available search modes, in over three years of using the Relic I never use SWT, and have only had need for COG mode on two saltwater encounters. When hunting some wide-open and very sparse-target areas, such as plowed fields, rangelands or woodland, I sometimes use the GEN All Metal mode, and when Coin Hunting more open areas like large parks, yards, etc. I make use of the DEP mode. That boosted-processing is the 3rd most often mode I use.

I really enjoy the Nokta FORS Relic, as well as the FORS CoRe, and keep two each of these models equally prepared and set-up. My most used of these models keeps the smaller coil mounted full-time, which is the 5" DD on the Relic, and the settings are saved to start-up in the Di3 mode to take advantage of their audio performance when Coin Hunting sites with a dense amount of targets, to include iron junk.

If a site is primarily bothersome due to a lot of scattered iron nails, I quickly change to Di2 because the audio response and clarity of alert is terrific in the 2-Tone mode when there isn't too much other trash than just Iron Nails or other wire-iron type trash such as cut fence wire. Otherwise, I enjoy the 3-Tone mode for most sites with a dense amount of debris, and that includes Rusty Tin ... the meanest annoying trash we can encounter.angry smiley

In more open areas, such as working a pasture or open spaces in a larger-size site between the heavily littered areas, my other unit keeps an open-frame, mid-sized 5X9½ DD coil at-the-ready, and that unit has the programs saved to start-up in the Di2 2-Tone mode. That provides me with excellent audio and target response, and most iron encountered seems to be Nails or just occasionally other types of scattered metal.

So my 'methodology' in a very Iron littered site with ample Rusty Tin to deal with is to grab a Relic w/5" DD coil which starts up in Di3, and my saved settings are Sensitivity at '99', and ID Mask (Discrimination) set at '05' which is just low enough to Accept most Iron Nails and any more-conductive ferrous targets. My Iron Volume is set at either '01' or '02' to keep the Iron target loudness very low, Tone Break in this mode is set at '65' and iMask is at '01.'

All adjustment settings are easy to get to and change to your preference. I like to always start out with a higher-to-maximum Sensitivity and then reduce it, if desired, to gain stability or deal with site environment. To be honest, I very seldom reduce it. My other Relic, with the 5X9½ mid-sized DD coil is saved to start up with a Sensitivity of '95.'

Another important 'method' I use, and have relied on in my search technique for decades, is to work a site with a slow-and-methodical sweep speed and search coil presentation. I do NOT make broad side-to-side sweeps. I do NOT extend the search coil way out in front with a long rod extension. Instead, I keep the search coil closer to me at about 12" to 18" in front of my lead toe, depending on the search coil size used. In more open areas I do make a little longer side-to-side sweep, but typically my side-to-side sweep is a straighter line and not an arc, and covers about 24" to maybe 30".

Also, it is very important to overlap each prior coil's sweep by a good margin. I audibly investigate every solid good response as well as iffy responses, and using search coil presentation and sweep techniques I can do a decent job of ATC to identify (aka 'classify') most annoying ferrous junk. ATC? That's a term I've used an taught since the latter '70s that means Audio Target Classification.

I spend a lot of time looking down at the ground and my search coil to make sure I monitor my coverage and pay attention to obvious exposed trash, as well as brush that I want to work a coil under and around. It is not spent looking down at a visual display. I'd guess there are times when I make a quick glance at the display, but more out of curiosity to have a hint of an idea of what I am about to recover, and that decision was made based on the audio response.

I hunt with most of my detectors most of the time much the same as I drive in most of my travels. Just cruising along on a good road that is mostly open is much like searching a very open, sparse-target area. You just cruise along. When I get into a mountainous area with a lot of twisting roads and dips and tight curves, I don't need to look at my speedometer as I can tell how I am doing by experience and gut feel.

If I am off road with rocks, inclines and declines in rough terrain, dealing with loose gravel and encountering ruts and other obstacles during hunting season or exploring or getting into an old site for some detecting, I am able to deal with the conditions and do it all without ever needing to glance at my speedometer.

Much the same, I can look at the terrain and know how much Discrimination to use and the speed to work my coil and have the knowledge and ability to achieve my mission without having to refer to the visual display on my detectors. Yes, for some target responses I might glance at the display just to relate that response with what I felt the audio response is telling me, but it is the Beep-and-Dig audio that leads the way to my success.

This morning, on my den wall, hang my 10 Regular-Use Detectors and all but 2 of them, my Tesoro Bandido II µMAX and Silver Sabre µMAX, feature a visual Target ID and/or numeric Visual Discrimination Indicator display. The displays can be informative, they can be handy, they might even be helpful for some applications such as Coin Hunting a well manicured private yard, but for working the old and ignored places I prefer where nails seem endless and other debris and rusty tin chase many beginners away, I am just fine using any and all of my detectors with the good ol' Beep-DIG! technique, and in those bad environments the FORS Relic is my first-grabbed device.


"Your EYES ... the only 100% accurate form of Discrimination!"

Stinkwater Wells Trading Post
Metal Detector Evaluations and Product Reviews
monte@ahrps.org ... or ... monte@stinkwaterwells.com
Fisher:(2), Nokta-Makro:(4), Teknetics:(1), Tesoro:(4), White's:(1)
Killer B's 'Hornet' and White's Pro Star
Note: Detectors are listed alphabetically by Brand. Models are chosen based on search site conditions.
*** All working well today to make memories for tomorrow. ***
Subject Author Views Posted

Happy 55th Monte!smileys with diet Dr. Pepper float

Druid 173 March 01, 2019 02:07PM

Happy 55th Year Detecting Monte !

Rich (Utah) 73 March 09, 2019 12:09AM

Have 54 years under my belt and just starting my 55th this month.

Monte 74 March 09, 2019 02:59AM

Re: Have 54 years under my belt and just starting my 55th this month. OK MOnte, Now, what if.....

Druid 60 March 10, 2019 12:10PM

OK MOnte, Now, what if.....

Monte 69 March 10, 2019 02:13PM

Re: OK MOnte, Now, what if.....

jmaryt 69 March 10, 2019 10:50PM

Re: Have 54 years under my belt and just starting my 55th this month. OK MOnte, Now, what if.....

jmaryt 69 March 10, 2019 02:08PM

Now, with regard to Tesoro's.

Monte 96 March 10, 2019 02:51PM

Re: Now, with regard to Tesoro's. Thanks Monte.

Druid 82 March 11, 2019 05:43PM

My 'general search' B & D approach with the Nokta FORS Relic

Monte 80 March 12, 2019 10:31AM

Re: Happy 55th Monte!smileys with diet Dr. Pepper float

WM6 76 March 02, 2019 05:34AM

thumbs upsmileys with diet Dr. Pepper float N/T

Monte 61 March 02, 2019 09:14AM

'Thank You' Drew, and I can both Hope and Wish.

Monte 113 March 01, 2019 02:59PM

Cheers Monte! See you before long! N/T

zincoln 83 March 01, 2019 11:53PM

Just one more month to access the old sites! N/T

Monte 84 March 02, 2019 04:16AM


OregonGregg 71 March 01, 2019 11:11PM

Gregg, you still have 3½ months to add to your finds.

Monte 78 March 02, 2019 04:40AM

Re: Congrats.

jmaryt 74 March 01, 2019 11:42PM

Re: Congrats.

NWCindy 82 March 02, 2019 06:16PM

'Thanks' and I always try to help others when I can. N/T

Monte 71 March 02, 2019 04:41AM

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