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Deciding on a 'favorite' detector for Ghost Town Hunting? Simple ...

February 18, 2020 03:16AM avatar
I remember back in my earlier days of enjoying this sport when I had a lot of fun, and success, using a very good detector. It was mainly typical Coin Hunting we did because we hadn't really progressed to having different applications, the others being Beach Hunting and Relic Hunting, then Electronic Prospecting in the latter '70s and so on. But I would own a detector that worked well, and along the way part with it if I found something I liked better.

By late '71 / '72 I realized some of my search needs might be better handled if I owned two different detectors (or more as I ended up doing since that time) and, to this day, I have favorable success using good detectors because some makes or models provide some performance advantages over others I like for certain site needs.

Therefore, I tend to have 'favorites' for different applications and not just a single detector. This is especially true in more recent years for a few reasons:

1.. We have a greater number of available features or functions than I used to consider, such as visual Target ID, audio Tone ID, Iron Audio Volume, Recovery Speed, Iron Bias, Reactivity and other such terms and features.

2.. There is a greater variety of search coil sizes and types to select from for different site conditions.

3.. Perhaps the main reason is that so many good-potential locations have been well hunted over the last half-a-century, if we go back to 1970, and especially the past 37 years since we got better detectors for handling those old sites where ferrous debris is a real challenge ... especially Iron Nails.

Today, and over the past couple of decades, we have had a lot of multi-featured detectors available to choose from. We've gone from single frequency to selectable multi-frequency and so-called simultaneous multi-frequency designs, and have visual Target ID and audio Tone ID and all sorts of nifty things for consumers to tweak and adjust. Kind of like being junior engineers because the high-paid design engineers at the factory couldn't make one detector work right for a lot of things.

In that case, I found early on that more and more of those model offerings simply provided a way for the end-user to mess things up and not get improved performance, but just the opposite. In short, I like a detector that is relatively 'Simple' so I can enjoy more detecting and less fiddling around.

Now, I don't mind having an extra adjustment or two on a detector, but they have to be 'Functional' and actually do something useful for me and my needs, and at the same time not mess up other aspects of detector function. Controls need to be 'Functional' and not just some fluffy add-on to tinker with.

A detector and coil combination is useless to me unless the device is 'Performance' based and it handles the site challenges and provides good, in-the-field results. Then we have to remember that different search locations offer different challenges to deal with, and in some cases, a lot of the adjustments or detector feature's are not very useful. Perhaps the main one to point out here is the visual Target ID systems we have. They can be very useful for a typical or average urban Coin & Jewelry Hunter who works sites with far less problem trash.

In heavily littered places, such as a ghost town or old encampment site, a stage stop or railroad depot area, etc., the amount of trash, especially offending ferrous discards, too easily mask or partially mask a desirable target, and the offending metal object it so close that it alters or blends the response that causes an errant visual Target ID. Thus, it serves little purpose like it would someone hunting in a nicer city environment.

Through these many years I lucked upon a very decent-performing detector in July of '83 made my Tesoro Electronics, and that was the Inca. Jack Gifford's first popular-use silent-search, slow-motion / quick-response discriminating detector. A single-tone, slow-motion sweep unit that handled most ferrous debris quite well, especially Iron Nails, and it lacked visual TID and all I had to rely on was the audio. But that was really all I needed. A good clean audio response from a non-ferrous target that was lost in amongst a lot of junk, especially in my favorite locations .... ghost towns.

I filled four binders of carded coins and had a lot more to clean and card, all from my one all-time favorite town-site, and probably 95% of all of them came when I was working one of my favorite Tesoro detector models since July of '83. I knew what they could do and had a few random comparisons I would use to evaluate other detectors that came on the market. If they impressed me enough for a variety of site challenges, they stayed in my detector outfit.

Eleven years after I started relying on Tesoro's I was on an annual outing with club member friends on Memorial Day Weekend of '94 when I chanced upon a useful challenge. It was an Indian Head cent laying on top of the ground and surrounded by four Iron Nails in the ghost town of Frisco Utah. I know, old story, but it provided me with a useful test scenario that was an exact duplication of an in-the-field encounter. I made an exact layout of the Nails and Indian Head Cent, recovered them all, and then duplicated that encounter on a piece of cardboard that I used in a week-long presentation at an Arizona college.

I have used my 'Nail Board Performance Test' ever since in seminars and presentation, but most of all, it has been important for me to use it when I am sorting through detectors and coils to evaluate detector performance to challenge a detector to match the results I get from a very 'simple' but performance-based detector to us for Relic Hunting old sites. I don't pick a detector because it is pink or blue or green, or simply based on a catchy name or brand, and I never rely on marketing hype. I pick a detector for certain applications based on Performance, #1 ... and if it can handle the NBPT and a few other Iron Nail challenges and be 'Functional' as well as 'Simple,' that's all it takes to win my acceptance.

This brings me to your inquiry:

So, it appears that for GT hunting, the Relic is still your favorite?
I have several 'favorites' for hunting popular old-use sites:

Nokta FORS CoRe w/4.7X5.2 'OOR' DD and mid-sized 5X9½ DD coils.
Nokta FORS Relic w/5" DD and mid-sized 5X9½ DD coils.
Tesoro Bandido II microMAX (µMAX) w/6" Concentric coil..
XP ORX w/5X9½ DD HF coil and sometimes a 9" X35 DD coil.

NOTE: These are listed in alphabetical order. I grab the detector/coil I mainly want to use based upon the site challenge. Since it is often Iron Nails, I tend to grab my Relic w/5" DD first in dense ferrous debris because I like to use the Iron Audio Volume when it is really choked with ferrous trash.. However, any of these are very good GT hunting units.

The Anfibio 19 is the replacement for it. Might as well get the Anfibio Multi in that case. Have you seen these?
It seems that was sort of the intention for the Anfibio 19. That was the first Anfibio series model I got, arriving on the day I came home from cervical spine surgery. That kept me from getting out much until I got the neck brace off, so I kept busy doing a lot of 'bench testing' and using several of my 'Test Scenarios' indoors and comparing the performance with my regular set of detectors That was a pre-production prototype and it had a glitch. It was an unfamiliar issue where I had no audio, speaker or headphones, and we couldn't resolve it and I had to send it back to the engineers in Turkey.

Finally I had that system box replaced with a production Anfibio Multi, which I preferred to the '19' that had some different design. I had no clue which test sample I was going to get, but was interested in the Anfibio 19 to see if it would be a repayment for my 19 kHz Relic. I had time on my hands and the audio worked for a while so I was able to make indoor evaluation comparisons.

Later, with the Multi at 20 kHz, also. My conclusions: With the Impact at 20 kHz, Multi-Kruzer at 19 kHz, Anfibio 19 at 19 kHz and Anfibio Multi at 20 kHz .... and with all of these models using a 5" DD coil as well as the Relic, their performance was all very close to the same.

Of them all, I already have my pre-production prototype Relic so I'm good-to-go, especially since my mobility stinks and I can't get out like I used to.

If I were shopping for a new Nokta / Makro device for use in Ghost Town type hunting with an ample supply or Iron Nails but also with some more open areas, here are my choices:

1.. A NEW model and not a Discontinued model which has harder-to-find parts and coils, etc.

2.. A newer model because all of them have more available search coils and parts than the Relic, such as the round 11" DD, and the round 7" Concentric.

3.. All of them, except the Anfibio 19, give you more frequency options, search modes, and adjustment functions than the Relic.

Right now I am satisfied with my current Relic Hunting Team of detectors as well as my Coin & Jewelry Hunting Team. After I sell off all my extra detectors and coils and such, I am going to get one of the models I just mentioned, and it's likely to be the Impact. Why?

I like the audio for my impaired hearing over the waterproof models. I prefer to use alkaline or Ni-MH rechargeable batteries than the built-in Li-PO battery. And with 3 preferred search coils it will fill-in when either my CoRe or Relic finally get tired or fail.


"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 & Simplex + / Bandido II µMAX & Silver Sabre µMAX / XLT / ORX
Pinpointers: Pulse-Dive .. Headphones: Killer B's 'Hornet' & 'Wasp' ... Garrett MS-3 Z-Lynk
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

Hopes & Dreams, squashed like a bug.

OregonGregg 206 February 16, 2020 05:04PM

Re: Hopes & Dreams, squashed like a bug.

Elbert 105 February 19, 2020 03:26PM

Re: Hopes & Dreams, squashed like a bug.

OregonGregg 105 February 19, 2020 04:01PM

Zincoln's Whites results...and a Compadre Attachments

zincoln 179 February 17, 2020 03:37PM

Just a few updates or corrections for Gregg's post.

Monte 167 February 17, 2020 05:36AM

Now you got me thinking...........

OregonGregg 145 February 17, 2020 08:52AM

There is still hope ............. Attachments

OregonGregg 153 February 17, 2020 06:06PM

Re: There is still hope .............

WM6 107 February 18, 2020 04:27AM

In many ways I agree, however, not totally. Here's why.

Monte 102 February 18, 2020 08:56AM

Re: There is still hope ............. Attachments

glabelle 153 February 18, 2020 08:26AM

That photo pretty well nails it. . . . . . . . . . so to speak. N/T

UtahRich 91 February 19, 2020 08:21AM

Re: There is still hope .............

WM6 109 February 18, 2020 11:26AM

Re: There is still hope ............. Attachments

glabelle 145 February 18, 2020 01:57PM

Re: There is still hope .............

WM6 92 February 18, 2020 03:50PM

thumbs upthumbs upthumbs up .. George, 'Thank You.' That photo even out-speaks me!eye popping smiley N/T

Monte 91 February 18, 2020 10:01AM

Re: There is still hope .............

glabelle 93 February 18, 2020 07:42AM

Re: There is still hope .............

glabelle 100 February 17, 2020 09:23PM

Yes, 'spreadsheets' fior OregonGregg.

Monte 105 February 18, 2020 03:34AM

Analytics for Gregg -

UtahRich 97 February 18, 2020 08:16AM

Another test suggestion

glabelle 121 February 17, 2020 09:11AM

Re: Another test suggestion

OregonGregg 111 February 17, 2020 09:21AM

Re: Just a few updates or corrections for Gregg's post.

glabelle 116 February 17, 2020 08:47AM

Re: Just a few updates or corrections for Gregg's post.

glabelle 130 February 17, 2020 07:27AM

Re: Just a few updates or corrections for Gregg's post.

Monte 124 February 17, 2020 01:17PM

Re: Just a few updates or corrections for Gregg's post.

glabelle 99 February 17, 2020 01:48PM

Deciding on a 'favorite' detector for Ghost Town Hunting? Simple ...

Monte 100 February 18, 2020 03:16AM

And some over-the-phone results.

Monte 128 February 17, 2020 06:45AM

Re: And some over-the-phone results.

diggindeep 116 February 17, 2020 09:11AM

Re: Hopes & Dreams, squashed like a bug.

Kickindirt 107 February 16, 2020 10:44PM

Coil size matters . . . . ???

UtahRich 105 February 17, 2020 11:54AM

Kickindirt, about the ORX and coils used.

Monte 135 February 17, 2020 04:45AM

Re: Kickindirt, about the ORX and coils used.

Kickindirt 122 February 17, 2020 06:04AM

Squashed like a bug?

UtahRich 129 February 16, 2020 10:29PM

Re: Hopes & Dreams, squashed like a bug.

diggindeep 136 February 16, 2020 07:48PM

I agree with you, but ....

Monte 134 February 17, 2020 03:43AM

Re: Hopes & Dreams, squashed like a bug.

D&P-OR 141 February 16, 2020 07:21PM

Del, some answers & information for you: Attachments

Monte 144 February 17, 2020 02:57AM

Re: Del, some answers & information for you:

D&P-OR 126 February 17, 2020 07:36AM

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