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Ghost Town Hunting: ... Part 4 .. Now, are Detectors, Coils and Settings up to the Task?

February 20, 2020 07:51AM avatar
Now things can get interesting. For a detector to handle things well, does the Operator know the settings?

There are a lot of labels applied to many modern makes and models for a single function. Some make sense, but others can leave many a little confused. And some terms are not always used by the same manufacturer for different models. For example, some detectors provide an adjustment for the Volume control for Iron (Ferrous) Targets. Let's look at just the Nokta / Makro brand models:

This was first found in early 2016 when they introduced the FORS Relic and Racer 2, then followed as a feature on the Impact, Multi-Kruzer and Anfibio Multi, but they were labeled like this:

Relic: ...... Iron Volume
Racer 2: .. Iron Audio
Impact: .... Fe Volume
Kruzer: .... Fe Volume
Anfibio: ....Tone Volume

Just 1 brand with these 5 models using 4 different names to adjust what they described as a Volume control for the Iron targets.

Question?: Which of those 4 names is most CORRECT?

Just going by the name and function described, if you said 'Anfibio' then YOU are correct. On the other models the term used is INCORRECT. How is that?

Here in the Ghost Town topic we have really touched on Iron Nails more than anything because they can be the most prevalent trash at those old sites, and if the Iron audio response gets too annoying we have two choices. Either increase the Discrimination to just reject Iron Nails, or adjust a little higher to the Ferrous / Non-Ferrous break-point to reject most Ferrous, aka Iron, trash.

A lot of people just don't like any trash so they search with a lot of Discrimination anyway so they don't hear Nails and other ferrous discards. Me? I prefer to set my Discrimination low enough to just barely accept Iron Nails, then I will hear a lot of the Iron targets at a site. With the Nokta / Makro FORS CoRe or Racer models you didn't have the extra Volume control so you either Accepted Nails and other Iron or used Discrimination to Reject it, and everything was at Full Volume for both Ferrous and Non-Ferrous.

With the Relic and Racer 2 and Impact and Multi-Kruzer, when operating at their default settings, you could adjust the Volume for the Iron or Ferrous-range targets, and that was good. But I said at the Default settings. Why? Because these models also feature Tone Break to adjust the break-point for the different audio Tone ranges you prefer. If you adjust the lowest "ferrous" adjustment from, let's say '15' up to perhaps '20' then you have made that audio range wider. With a Ferrous / Non-Ferrous Break-Point at '15', then the Low-Tone Audio that covers ONLY the Ferrous range is then a Ferrous or Iron Audio Volume control.

But if you increase the Tone Break setting to something like '20', then you will get the Low-Tone Audio for targets below that setting, but they are no longer Iron-ONLY targets. By adjusting the Tone Break you will still get what's referred to as a Low-Tone Iron Audio, but now it is simply a Low-Tone Audio because that adjustment would then assign some foil, thin gold jewelry and other low-conductive Non-Ferrous targets into the lower 'Ferrous-Tone range, and the Iron or Ferrous Volume will reduce the loudness on those non-ferrous targets as well.

The Anfibio Multi corrected that improper target range naming to Tone Volume. That way, regardless of where you set that lower Tone Break, you can then assign the Low-Tone Volume to that range which might included Ferrous targets only, as well as some Non-Ferrous targets.

Now, let's get away from Iron and Volume for a moment and consider a detector's ability to make a quick-response and reasonably fast-recovery when hunting a target congested area and you want to improve the handling of closely-associated targets. Is there a name for that function? Yes. Matter-of-fact, there are a few names for one performance behavior.

With an XP Deus or ORX device you can adjust what they call 'Reactivity' or the ability for the detector to react more quickly with closely-associated targets. Or you can grab a Minelab Equinox 600 or 800 and do the same, but they call that performance adjustment 'Recovery Speed.' There is no manual adjustment for that function on the Minelab Vanquish 540 as it is all done in the mode software like many other manufacturers do. But in the Vanquish manual there's no mention of 'Recovery Speed' and they refer to that as 'Separation.'

Similar to the 'Park' mode on the Nokta / Makro Simplex+ the Vanquish 540's 'Coin' mode is designed with a quicker-time ('Reactivity' or 'Recovery Speed') that allows a faster sweep speed and can more quickly respond to a closely associated target, while other modes provide better depth and allow for a slower sweep-rate and better deep-target acquisition.

There you have just a couple of examples of how the detector owner/operator needs to understand the terminology used by different manufacturers, and even with one brand's different models. Are YOU up on the feature terminology for performance on YOUR chosen models? And if there is no available user-adjustment for some function, do YOU know of any designed-in performance differences for the available search modes?

Before you make an adventurous jaunt to a an old ghost town location, it's important to be sure you are knowledgeable and in control of your chosen detector, search modes and performance settings.

The very important next step is the selection of a search coil. Trust me, it is not a one-size or one-type fits all decision.

With virtually all of the TR detectors being made and sold today, there are two popular types of search coils: Concentric or Double-D. The latter is also called DD or Wide-Scan, and these two types are named based on the internal placement of the Transmit and Receive windings.

FACT: It is impossible to make a claim that one type of coil is going to be superior over the other on a general-purpose detector.

This is especially true for a number of reasons. One is the actual physical size and shape of the search coil windings when hunting trashy ghost towns because, with ether type coil, the annoying ferrous objects are going to pose a problem based on their relationship with a desired non-ferrous target and the EMF induced by the Transmit winding. The inner coil windings might be in-between problem Iron Nails, or maybe larger and align just outside the position of the Iron Nail, or be almost right over and aligned with the Iron Nail.

Remember, too, that some detector manufacturers do not make both types of search coils for their product line so that can limit your choices.

Also, even if they do make both search coil types does not mean their detectors work well with each type. Here's one example. A few years ago we had a WTHO in Nevada and Ryan K. had just purchased a gently-used Tesoro Tejón with the standard coil and three accessory coils. If I recall correctly,, what he had been using at that time and prior was an XP Deus which only has DD coils available.

I know that many detector users, especially in more recent years, have jumped into the hobby with a detector that features, and might only have, DD coils for it. Or, they have been at this sport for a while and caught the 'Double-D Bug' and, quite often, thanks to marketing hype have bought into using factory or after-market DD coils. Obvious to me at the time he bought the used Tejón that came with a 'standard' 8X9 Concentric coil but the seller also had three DD coils for it, and those were not standard-issue.

I've been using Tesoro detectors since July of '83, and sold Tesoro's for quite a while during which time I checked out some of their DD coils. My preference with Tesoro, from day-one, was to use the Concentric coils, and my favorites have ben the 7" Concentric from '83 until they introduced the thin-profile 6" Concentric and that's all I own and use on my two favorite Tesoro models since then.

So, we end up out in one of the Nevada ghost towns in what I call "the flats" which is one of the cleanest, target-free areas around. Ryan was chatting with me at the back of his vehicle while putting his new-to-him Tejón together and telling me about his new unit. The night before the Outing started he had been 'scouting' some places and found a silver Barber Dime. He had one of my Nail Boards and he placed it on the clean ground in that townsite, and used his Barber Dime in the #1 position instead of an Indian Head or modern Zinc Cent.

The three search coils he got with the Tejón were the 10" elliptical DD that comes with the Lobo SuperTRAQ, the new Tesoro 8X11" DD, and the popular aftermarket brand NEL Sharpshooter DD. I continued to detect and chat with him as he checked out each coil on his unit, hoping to get plenty of good hits out of the possible 8 on the Nail Board. If Ryan reads this and responds he'll confirm that he was not very pleased with the lack of good results. My Tesoro's and most others I use and demonstrate (used units I acquire) handle the Nail Board with ease ... when using one of my favorite smaller-size Concentric coils.

I started detecting off to the north as he finished and was about to take the detector apart when I asked if he happened to get the smaller 6' Concentric coil? He said he didn't and only had the bigger size coils ... to include the standard 8X9 Concentric. I grinned as I suggested he give that one a try. He did, and it worked well! But it was also a bigger-size coil than the two narrower elliptical coils he had just checked out with disappointing results. But why? Because it was a Concentric design?

Well, kind of, yes. But mostly because the detector itself had a circuitry design that performed quite well with Concentric coils and not as favorably with a Double D coil. A detector design has to be considered. It happens the other way, too. In my get-serious Relic Hunting Team are my two Nokta FORS models. The CoRe has ONLY DD coils designed for it, and the Relic only had DD coils and just one Concentric coil, a 5½X10 elliptical enclosed design. That Concentric works OK on the Relic for a lot of applications, but overall, the CoRe and the Relic were designed with a DD coil, and they work exceptionally well with DD coils, especially their smallest-size which is what I keep mounted to mine full-time. I do have the mid-size 5X9½ DD open-frame coils on extra rods for more open, modestly littered sites.

Regardless of the detector make or model, I have always done my best to select the search coil(s) that provide me the best performance I can get out of a particular detector. I am a fan of a good Concentric coil on my favorite Tesoro's, and virtually all of the White's and Tesoro's and Garrett's I have used during the '80's and '90's and until recently gave me the best performance afield with a proper-size Concentrics coil. That said, I started using DD coils on quite a few models in '71 and '72 and through the years, especially since the latter '90s, I have also enjoyed some success with models using only DD coils, especially from Minelab, Nokta, Makro and now XP.

I pick my detectors and coils based on what is lighter-weight and comfortable for me to use as long as I can, and also based on how they have demonstrated their strengths to me by evaluating what they can do when I have used them and tested them against proven performers. I hope anyone wanting to enhance their detector outfit will also take the time to give different detectors as well as different search coils a chance to work for them and their wants and needs.

.... Now, the next part is to Get Out Hunting!. We're still at the point of getting this new year underway and I wish everone ample success with what they use and wher they hunt!


"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: I rely on an assortment of personal favorites I happen to like that work for me when and where I need them.
Pinpointers: Makro & Pulse-Dive .. Headphones: Killer B's 'Hornet' & 'Wasp' ... Detector Pro's Gray Ghost XP
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

Ghost Town Hunting: Part 1... 'How to Prepare.'.

Monte 76 February 19, 2020 09:08AM

Ghost Town Hunting: Part 2.. 'Selecting Detector & Coil'

Monte 63 February 20, 2020 01:02AM

Ghost Town Hunting: Part 3 .. 'Before You Get to the Ghost Town'

Monte 48 February 20, 2020 01:05AM

Ghost Town Hunting: ... Part 4 .. Now, are Detectors, Coils and Settings up to the Task?

Monte 50 February 20, 2020 07:51AM

Re: Ghost Town Hunting: Part 1... 'How to Prepare.'.

glabelle 62 February 19, 2020 09:21AM

Re: Ghost Town Hunting: Part 1... 'How to Prepare.'.

Monte 42 February 19, 2020 09:45AM

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