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An interesting 'non-response' means I need to do some 'evaluating'.

March 17, 2019 09:16AM avatar
Not tinkering with one of my detectors, nor wanting to spend the big bucks to buy one, but I want to find someone with a Garrett ATX so I can check it out. I have owned a couple of PI's but they really aren't a good 'fit' in my Detector Outfit for the typical detecting sites I enjoy hunting. I have a couple of models that are my personal favorites for handling a few of my tough Iron Nail Test Scenarios, and those are my Nokta FORS Relic and FORS CoRe devices, especially with the 5" DD coil in very dense nail/trash environments.

Anyway, here's the encounter that sparked my curiosity to want to learn at least a little bit more about that model. The main PI (Pulse Induction) devices I have owned and used were White's TDI and TDI SL specimens, and that was only briefly back about six or seven years ago. Last Wednesday I made a long drive over to Bend Oregon to be a guest speaker at the metal detecting club 'Remfire' is a member of, High Desert Treasure Club. A good bunch of folks attended, and I knew they were invited to bring their detector along if they wanted.

Now, that's both a good thing and a bad thing when you have a limited amount of time for a short presentation. I've been at a club meeting in the past when asked on the spot to take a few minutes to tell attendees who I am, how long I've been detecting, what types of places I like to hunt and make any encouraging comments to the audience to encourage them to get out and enjoy this great sport. That's easy and can be delivered in ±10 minutes or so.

But when asked to be a guest speaker, and when folks are encouraged to bring their detectors to the meeting, it's a good thing because there can be more direct answers if needed about the model, and there will be some hands-on use of the detectors to take on some demonstrated 'tests' to experience an educational moment. But it's also a bad thing because there is so much to learn about metal detectors and how they work and what they can and can't do well, that it really takes more time to try and get any information delivered to the group and hopefully leave a few of them encouraged to get out more and learn their detectors better.

I was prepared for a 45 minute presentation and when introduced by Steve, the Club President, he said I'd have an hour. A few times I was going to try and wrap it up but was told to keep on going. An hour and thirty-five minutes after being introduced I finally wrapped up and they concluded their meeting. But it was an educational experience for everyone, or should have been, and I know it was for me. As I always state, I continually want to refresh my memory of what I've learned in the past, or learn something new any time I handle, or am witnessing, metal detectors of any make or model.

I already knew about the detectors Roger (Remfire) has, and Steve, the President, told me he was now using an XP Deus. I was also informed that some of the members used a Gold Nugget Hunting Minelab model so suspected there could be others, and naturally I expected to see a Bounty Hunter or two, a Garrett or White's and was pretty much ready for what would happen when anyone wanted to check their detector out on a couple of test scenarios. But even I was in for one surprise!

I tried to explain that there are a lot of function adjustments that we can make with different makes and models, and sometimes an adjustment like Ground Balance can be manually made, done by an auto-tracking circuitry, achieved by pumping the coil in an automated GB procedure, or simply be adjusted internally (factory preset) or integrated in the circuitry design. Also, that many makes and models have the adjustable GB tied in with both the All Metal and Discriminate modes, but also many designs only have adjustable GB in the All Metal mode but the Discriminate mode has a fixed or limited range of adjustment for Ground Balance.

Then I used some of my test Samples as I demonstrated some of the interesting things about a detector's ability to perform ... or not perform ... and that proper settings can be important. Also, that in some cases, when dealing with a dense iron nail contaminated site, some models can excel over the competition, even with increased iron rejection. In my full-day metal detecting seminars or in short presentations like this, I usually know ahead of time what results there will be using different tests with various detectors people might have, and I use the samples so others can learn about strengths and weaknesses and, possibly, how to overcome them. Naturally, it also brings up questions and that's also how we learn.

Here are some of the Test Sample demonstrations used and the educational moments that occurred:

I used a big, silver 1921 Morgan Dollar and my Tesoro Bandido II µMAX (microMAX) because the sample coin is somethting anyone would enjoy finding, and the detector is a very simple analog design with knobs to make adjustment changes. Settings are mostly easy to view. I used a very mineralized rock I have from Australia to adjust the GB for some 'bad ground' and had an attendee observe the Discrimination control was set at the absolute minimum Disc. setting.

I held up the Silver Dollar and all agreed they would like to find it, so I passed it by the search coil and it gave an expected good 'beep.' As I walked side to side and asked what adjustment I could make that would eliminate me finding that Silver Dollar I heard a couple of responses who said: "Discrimination."

I again turned my Tesoro toward the same fellows on the front row who confirmed the Disc. control was still set at the minimum adjustment as I had not changed it. I again waved the big shiny coin across the coil's center axis and .... nothing! Not a 'beep' of any kind.

I do that to get people's attention when they see or hear something happen, or not happen, that differs from what they expected. If I simply told the group something, they might wonder. But when I demonstrate what I am trying to explain, it at least gets some of the group interested in learning more about their detector selection and/or the settings and how to, if possible, improve the in-the-field performance.

What had I told them and what did I do? As I moved from side-to-side while explaining adjustments while holding my Bandido II µMAX, I used my thumb and increased the manual GB control for a fully-positive GB setting. I explained that I didn't change the Discrimination setting, but only the Ground Balance setting which, in turn, eliminated the detection of the single large Silver Dollar. The lesson? Having a proper Ground Balance setting for the search mode used can be very important.

I then got a small plastic container out of my seminar sample tote, and they could not see what was in the container. I told them it was a sample target that many detectors have a difficult time responding positively to, and that I guessed several brought to the meeting would not do well on that test sample. Now, to be honest here, I also figured that Steve would get up with his XP Deus to see how it would work, and odds were that it wouldn't signal on that Test Sample. I was right, he did get up with the Deus, and no, the Deus didn't give a good hit at all.

Surprised with that 'non-response' he wondered what the sample was and others were also curious especially after he mentioned the cost of his detector. A Bounty Hunter and Garrett AT model, in their Discriminate modes, DID respond to the sample, by the way. When Steve didn't get a good hit with the Deus I asked about adjusting the Ground Balance. He said he never did, and that he's still learning the detector. Obviously, GB adjustment just might be a helpful thing to understand with that model. It can make a difference, and the Deus does appear to have the GB adjustment tied to the Discriminate mode.

I can't forget to mention that I also had my Nail Board Performance Test there to explain how much of a challenge Iron Nails can be in a close association with a good target, and how important search coil selection can be as well as settings and using a proper sweep speed. A few folks checked that out but they really would have had better results with a smaller-size search coil than they were using.

Finally, it was 'educational moment' for the guest speaker as well as others. One of my fun Test Sample set-up is using just two targets. One is a small, thin-metal Button Front that is brass and has a train engine on it. This Button Front is almost exactly the diameter of a US 1¢ coin, no bigger across than an Indian Head or modern Zinc Cent. Due to the shiny brass appearance and having the RR train engine on it makes it a 'fun find' we could make at an old site. The other test piece is a straight 3¼"-3½" nail. One object we would like to find and one object we don't care to find.

I lay the small, very thin metal Button Front flat, then lay the Iron Nail on top of it so they are centered. The 'test' I want to make is to sweep down the entire length of the nail, both directions for a possible 2 hits, then sweep the set-up crossways both directions for another possible 2 hits. Ideally, a detector/coil combination will give me 4-for-4 hits.

I also explained there were three ways to check this test scenario as follows:

1.. Adjust the Discrimination of a 2 or Multi-Tone model to just barely ACCEPT an Iron Nail with a Low-Tone Audio and produce a higher tone on the non-ferrous Button Front.

2.. Increase the Disc. setting to just barely REJECT the Iron Nail and still respond to the Button Front.

3.. Get very challenging and increase the Discrimination to the Ferrous / Non-Ferrous break point and then check the test scenario.

Before anyone checked their detectors on my Button Front & Nail sample I told everyone that, to my knowledge, there were only two detectors at the meeting that I knew would give 4-for-4 hits. That included the 7 detectors I had on the table in front and those that club members brought. Like I said, only 2 detectors, one model, that I knew to be present that could achieve that result, but I was curious if another model could perform that well.

I brought Fisher F44, Teknetics Omega 8000, Tesoro Silver µMAX, White's MX-7, modified White's Classic ID and Nokta FORS Relic models I have for sale plus my own Tesoro Bandido II µMAX. At the meeting were an XP Deus, Garrett AT Gold, Garrett AT Pro, Bounty Hunter (I can't recall the model), Minelab Eureka Gold, Nokta FORS Relic and Garrett ATX that come to mind. As I had told the members, there were only two detectors present that I knew of that would produce 4-out-of-4 hits on that sample and I was correct.

All other models, except one, could produce a low Iron Tone response and signal 2 times on the Button Front, and when asked to just barely reject the Iron Nail, some still gave just 2-out-of-4 hits or struggled to get a reasonably good hit at all.

The two that worked the best? The Nokta FORS Relic like I have for sale and Roger's Relic. He came up last to check his unit and with the Iron Nail ACCEPTED he got 4-for-4. Increasing the Disc. to '10' to REJECT Iron Nails he still got 4-for-4. Then I asked Roger to demonstrate full iron rejection by increasing it to '20' which is the Ferrous / Non-Ferrous Break Point and, again, 4-for-4.

That's why the Nokta Relic, as well as the CoRe which can do the same thing, are my two main-use, get-serious Relic Hunting devices. I enjoy other models for casual urban Coin Hunting, but when times get tough in ferrous debris, I have the tools I need.

But there was one interesting moment for me, too, that brings about my interest in handling a Garrett ATX to learn what it can and can't do, or the hows and whys of why it can or can't do certain things. That moment came on this last Test Scenario with 1 Iron Nail and 1 brass Button Front when the fellow with the ATX pulse model turned it on to check it out. It was a non-response moment. I mean NON-RESPONSE!

The owner was about as astonished as I was, but it did spark my interest in determining why it didn't provide any good response at all. There was NO response.

Anyway, 'SPRING' has finally started to arrive here in Vale, Oregon. It hit 59° on Saturday, is supposed to be 62° today and have highs from 61° to 67° during the week to next Saturday when we might have a 50% chance of showers. Kids were out playing, people working in their yards, and I even saw some getting their outdoor grills ready for the weekend. Sunshine, warmth (after our 23° morning low) and pleasant weather is finally, I hope, here to stay for a while.

I hope all of you have favorable weather and can get out. If you're still stuck indoors or if you can get out, I encourage everyone to spend a little time evaluating the performance their detector(s) provide. Challenge yourself to learn more about their strengths and weaknesses as you prepare for a season of successful detecting.


"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
Detectors: Vanquish 540; CoRe, Relic, Impact & Simplex +; Bandido II µMAX & Silver Sabre µMAX; ORX
Pinpointers: Pulse-Dive .. Headphones: Killer B's 'Hornet' & 'Wasp' ... 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

An interesting 'non-response' means I need to do some 'evaluating'.

Monte 447 March 17, 2019 09:16AM

Re: An interesting 'non-response' means I need to do some 'evaluating'.

GeoW 250 March 21, 2019 12:33PM

The Deus didn't respond to my Test Sample stack of Silver Coins.

Monte 312 March 22, 2019 07:13AM

Re: The Deus didn't respond to my Test Sample stack of Silver Coins.

glabelle 258 March 22, 2019 08:46AM

I would like a Short Stack please. eye rolling smiley

UtahRich 209 March 22, 2019 11:47AM

Re: An interesting 'non-response' means I need to do some 'evaluating'.

Kickindirt 240 March 20, 2019 09:46AM

Re: An interesting 'non-response' means I need to do some 'evaluating'.

WM6 259 March 18, 2019 12:05PM

He was handling his own detector and I don't know his settings. N/T

Monte 217 March 18, 2019 04:38PM

Hey Monte,,,don't you have a ferrous crimped bottle cap that won't respond?NT N/T

Hombre 228 March 18, 2019 11:25AM

Yes, I have maybe a half-dozen such Bottle Caps in my sample jug. N/T

Monte 195 March 18, 2019 04:40PM

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