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Don't overlook using NDP detectors. -- (Lengthy.)

February 26, 2020 05:23AM avatar
1965 through 1982 we saw the rapid advancement of metal detector design and changes, going from mainly BFO's and TR's to the popular TR-Disc. then VLF Ground-Cancelling detectors, to the 2-Mode VLF/TR-Disc. models followed by the VLF/VLF-Disc./TR-Disc. 3-mode detectors, and in '82 the first slow-motion / quick-response motion-based Discriminators from Fisher.

For urban Coin Hunters, that was the 'Thriving Times Era' compared with the '90s and on to the current date. The quantity of coins that were easily findable in all of the parks, school grounds, parking trips and other grassy easements, around parking meters, payphone booths, fruit and vegetable stands, picnic areas and so many other high-use activity sites, for so many decades, were loaded with a grand supply of older to current coinage.

In the latter '60s, my brother Ed & I were each armed with a rounded-off screwdriver and we shared one White's BFO w/6" diameter coil and kept it going. We'd take turns recovering located targets, most of which were coins from about 1" down to 3" since they were not very deep and those detectors of the era worked great on shallower small-size targets. Together, we'd hit a park or school around Ogden, Utah an fill a pint jar in 2½-3 hours. Yes, those were the days.

In '71 I started using a TR most of the time, and by late that year had a BFO to complement my detector outfit, and I found that still single-handedly, popping targets with a rounded-off screwdriver, the many huntable places around Portland, Oregon also proved very rewarding. So many lost coins to be found, and a lot of Little League ball fields were added to my visits, as well as other activity places I recalled. Sledding hills we used when I was a youngster, access to strawberry and raspberry fields when=re I used to earn some $$$.. in change ... in harvest season during the school break in the summer.

This was an active time, also, for detector development, and I was fortunate to enjoy growing along with it, using it and learning it. The result was I was out finding more, a lot more, because it was still around to be found. From 1971, for a decade plus a little, I was living in more populated areas with ample places to hunt, and since coins and other pocket-losses had been gathering for over a hundred years, I was able to find 60K to 70K coins per year, during my busier work years, and hit the 120k mark on a couple of years when I wasn't working overtime.

During that era I wasn't watching TV much at all except for late-night westerns. If I wasn't at work, I was out detecting. More people were still playing and picnicking and parks and other places were being used, and there wasn't as much modern trash being discarded. Not like today, and we didn't see it increase until the mid-to-late '70s, referring mainly to Pull-Tabs, and those became, quite numerous. Especially the modern, rectangular-shaped Pry-Tabs that tend to 'read' like a US Nickel or some a higher conductivity more like a Zinc Cent in more recent years.

That period of time took me through 1982 and into early '83. I found a lot of good targets because I got out hunting ... very often ... and worked old-use places that had a lot of activity in very populated towns and cites and metro environments. Also, because I relied on some of the better NDP models I came across. I'd often have two to five models of different brands in my detector outfit for working different places, and change them through the years as a better performing model came along.

Here is an example of some NDP models that served me well during that early-era period:

White's Ghost Towner BFO
Garrett Hunter BFO
White's 63 TR
Compass 77B TR
Fisher Orion 121 TR
Compass 94-Auto TR
White's Coin V Supreme VLF
White's Coin Y GB/TR-Disc.
Garrett Master Hunter TR-Disc.
Garrett Master Hunter VLF/TR-Disc.
Garrett Ground Hog VLF/TR-Disc.
Garrett American TR-Disc.
Gold Mountain VIP Deluxe VLF/TR-Disc.

And those were the main-use models I had on-hand, but used many, many more from White's, Garrett, Compass, Gold Mountain, D-Tex, Fisher, and yes, even Bounty Hunter and more. During this era, all that was offered were NDP metal detectors, and all I had to do was find those I preferred because they felt better, worked better, and gave me the best performance.

That brought us to 1983, when the metal detecting industry was still going pretty strong. There were many, many detector dealers in small towns to large cities. metal detecting clubs had been growing, and continued to grow and kind of level-out by the mid-to latter '90s. But the industry here in the USA had pretty much leaked by '83 to '86, and that's when we noticed more changes coming.

During the Hey Day of the hobby, an unimaginable number of lost coins and smaller things had been found in all the commonly-hunted places, and remember, this hobby especially appealed to the group we'll call the urban Coin & Jewelry Hunters. That also included typical Beach Hunters as well. Folks jumped into this great sport to have 'fun' and go after coins, then after older coins.

I started Relic Hunting out-of-the-way ghost towns when I first worked 'Twin Flats' in early May of '69, and I continued to visit ghost towns, homesteads, and all sorts of old places through those years, but operating the TR's and VLF/TR-Disc. models called for more patience and user-control of the search coil height and a functional Threshold setting, and urban Coin Hunting in grassy places was 'easier' by far. We had moved through the higher-production years and by the mid-to late '80s we still enjoyed a lot of OK hunting in most places, but those of us who enjoyed it from the start knew what it had been like and were aware it was starting to get tougher to find lost coins. Again, I am referring to here in the USA and with what detectors we had and the potential sites we had to work

Then came 1983 and the new detector features that were introduced for one line-of-design, and another performance entry that signaled a change for a different set of uses. That was the big news from Teknetics and from Tesoro. Both recent, newer brands to the metal detecting industry, and the wonders that they brought to market have been quite notable. For BOTH new features we were rewarded with. And just what were those features? Here's the answer:

Teknetics introduced the detector world to visual Target ID, and soon after added audio Tone ID The visual TID was quickly incorporated in most major detector maker's mid-priced to upper-end models. This provided a conductivity scale reference for common US Coins as well as for Iron, Foil, Pull-Tabs and Screw Caps. Made in the USA and for the USA market because most 'hobbyists' at the time were still mainly in the US and also because most USA 'hobbyists' were into Coin Hunting.

Plus it was easy-to-do at the time because our more popular-use coins were minimal and fell into very consistent conductivity ranges, thus making OUR coins read out as a 5¢ Nickel, a 1¢ Copper, and soon a 1¢ Zinc, then a 10¢ Dime, 25¢ Quarter, a 50¢ Half-Dollar and a read-out for the larger, and still occasionally findable, Silver $1. The visual display models were intended for here and so many hobbyists made the upgrade from what they were using to buy this newer and fancy-featured model. The concept was well suited for urban Coin Hunting sites ... in the USA. It didn't work well for the folks north of us in Canada because so much of the coinage is made out of magnetic metal and that causes problems with detection plus expecting a 'proper' read-out and lock-on.

On the other hand, while Teknetics engineering brought us more very fast-sweep detectors and the visual Target ID and audio Tone ID, Tesoro introduced some new models that improved on Fisher 1260 design from the year before, giving as a slow-motion search with quick-response and fast-recovery, that also handled Iron trash well without the 'ticking' and scratchy audio we had with the Fisher line. The Tesoro models were easier-to-use, and didn't cost as much because they didn't have the newer Target ID or Tone ID features of the Teknetics.

The Teknetics offering brought about a major detector design change with all major US manufacturers on through the latter-'80s and to the present to incorporate some form of Target ID, and even Tone ID, into most of their entire product line, from most expensive to the budget-priced, entry-level or beginner's models.

Other brands than Tesoro almost eliminated all non-display models, although White's did keep the Classic III SL until shortly after adding visual TID to it and calling it the Classic IDX. Tesoro did offer a few simple visual TID models, but they never produced one that was really very competitive with the bulk of the industry. They just kept offering models without that feature.

I did add some Target ID models to my Detector Outfit through the years, but it was the Tesoro offering on mid-'83 that really captured my attention because my interest had been shifting from typical urban Coin Hunting sites to the ghost towns, homesteads, old encampment sites, around dance halls and other old structures that had a lot of people-gathering. Even in-town I concentrated on similar places like vacant lots, renovation and demolition sites. Places that had more Iron Nails and more scattered debris to deal with, and other conditions that called for a slow-motion / quick-response detector, especially with a smaller size coil of 5" to 7".

In short, my interests shifted and included far more Relic Hunting in very contaminated sites where a visual TID is not very useful, thus Tesoro's and a few comparable models fit my style. The bulk of the 'hobbyists' and new-comers gravitated to the visual TID models and continued to hunt and re-hunt all the public places in cities and towns that had been worked over the past two-to-three decades.

The result? For them, they now had visual TID so they were relying on it more and more to isolate only the most likely-to-be coin signals and ignoring all of the 'iffy' or questionable hits, all based n how accurate the visual display was to confirm, to them, it was most likely a coin. This led to more coins being ignored and left behind in what was obviously already a somewhat trashy area to mask those coins, and during all this time, modern trash has accumulated to further hide a lot of coins from detector-view. Partly because the hobbyist was now looking at the display and ignoring the most likely trash that used to be recovered. Just more and more trashier sites as a result.

For me and those who relied on NDP's and used more patience, we would continue to hunt behind them, if working in-town, to simply listen for a worthy audio response, then make a recovery. A really good audio response to a questionable 'iffy' response will usually be recovered because there is not a display to change our minds.

For a lot of 'average' Coin Hunters, leaving questionable targets behind meant they recovered less. As the trash increased, many were then finding fewer coins, and along the way their outing take, or annual recoveries, dwindled in number to the point where many simply lost interest. I come across a lot of people who once enjoyed the hobby, but their detectors have rested silently for quite a while just because they were finding fewer and fewer coins, but more and more trash.

Some, when I talked with them, did try to hunt some older sites, like around barns, outbuildings, and old CCC camp and maybe a dance hall location or even older picnic sites, but they were more frustrated because they hadn't learned how to hunt older and trashier and iron infested places, plus they usually didn't have the best detector to do so, AND they just became too caught up in expecting a 100% Lock-On Target ID in those types of places.

All the while, even though I have added some decent detectors to my Outfit, they are 'decent' for me because most can handle tough trash challenges, and provide a functional audio. Even though some have Target ID or Tone ID, I still rely on listening to the audio response. And among my Outfit I still have some favorite NDP models I rely on often. Using NDP's has found me far more targets, very good targets and large quantities of targets, than I ever found with the Target ID/Tone ID detectors combined.

Do YOU have a well-designed and versatile NDP in YOUR Detector Outfit? If you haven't figured it out yet, although quite obvious, NDP stands for Non-Display Performer. There are still some good ones out there, and in my Outfit that includes a Tesoro Silver Sabre microMAX w/6" Concentric coil that is a quick-grab unit for working tot-lots and similar places where the ground mineral conditions aren't too bad. For more versatile, general-purpose hunting, I like to have a model with a true Threshold-based All Metal mode and manual Ground Balance control. For that, I have my Bandido II microMAX and also keep a 6" Concentric coil mounted on it.

For many decades I have favored a smaller size search coil in the 7" or less size to better work in and around brush, building rubble and trash in order to find a lot of the good targets many had passed by. That's why I like the 6" Concentric today on my favorite Tesoro models. It's not easy to find clean specimens that work well for models in the NDP category, so good luck on your search. Joel, aka 'Kickindirt', does have one listed on our Buy / Sell / Trade forum here Troy Custom Shadow X5 that is a 2-coil package with a 5" Concentric and 7" Concentric.

If you can, consider fitting a good-performing Non-Display model in YOUR Outfit. You might just be surprised how they might reward you. I know that since July of '83, my different preferred Tesoro units accounted for 95% of all the coins and neat finds I made in my all-time favorite ghost town. I filled 4 binders of 2X2 carded coins plus some left to clean-and-card using those NDP models, and of the remaining 5%, at least half of those were also found without any TID or VDI display using early White's, Garrett, Gold Mountain Technology and Pillar models.

Matter-of-fact, it's a cloudy day but I think I'll grab my Bandido II µMAX first today when we get out for some ghost town hunting. thumbs up


"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: Vista 'X' / Vanquish 540 / CoRe, Relic & Simplex + / Bandido II µMAX & Silver Sabre µMAX / XLT / 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. ***

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/26/2020 05:24AM by Monte.
Subject Author Views Posted

Don't overlook using NDP detectors. -- (Lengthy.)

Monte 208 February 26, 2020 05:23AM

It's going to be a Tesoro week for me.smiling bouncing smiley

Monte 123 March 02, 2020 08:03AM

Re: It's going to be a Tesoro week for me.smiling bouncing smiley

Kickindirt 101 March 02, 2020 10:39AM

Yes, Ogden to almost SLC.

Monte 115 March 02, 2020 05:37PM

Tesoro Golden Sabre - winking smiley N/T

UtahRich 135 February 26, 2020 11:56AM

Re: Tesoro Golden Sabre - winking smiley

Digstrashtomuch 140 February 28, 2020 04:38AM

Re: Tesoro Golden Sabre - winking smiley

Monte 138 February 28, 2020 05:10AM

Re: Tesoro Golden Sabre - winking smiley

SvenS 101 February 29, 2020 05:16PM

Re: Tesoro Golden Sabre - winking smiley

Digstrashtomuch 131 February 28, 2020 08:03AM

Vista X and Gold Gain ... what about an XP or Minelab? N/T

Monte 139 February 28, 2020 08:19AM

Re: Vista X and Gold Gain ... what about an XP or Minelab?

Digstrashtomuch 188 February 28, 2020 12:52PM

thumbs up to your Deus, as I do with my ORX. N/T

Monte 115 February 29, 2020 07:16AM

Yes, that's another I used in 'Twin-Flats' and elsewhere,

Monte 129 February 26, 2020 05:42PM

Another option is . . .

UtahRich 140 February 27, 2020 09:58PM

Yes, indeed! The 'original' Bandido w/small Concentric coil.thumbs up N/T

Monte 117 February 28, 2020 04:33AM

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