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Whimpster, here's a cut-and-paste edited post I made a while back.

December 08, 2016 01:32PM avatar
Your answer about 'Power Balance' and additional comments:

What is power balance ...
I coined the term 'Power Balance' over three decades ago to describe the method I used to adjust the Ground Balance while in a motion-based Discriminate mode ... especially for 'silent-search' models, most notably Tesoro's, because that's what I was using the most, in varied ground, and I learned the glitchy circuitry design regarding GB between the Threshold-based All Metal mode and silent Discriminate mode. (Note: Not an issue with the all-Discriminate mode Silver microMAX).

Quite simply, 'Power Balance' is a technique to adjust GB in the Discriminate mode for peak performance in the Discriminate mode.

... and how is it performed ...
Do the following:

If you have a model with an external, manual GB control, start out by adjusting the All Metal mode GB to have a starting reference point.

Switch into the motion-based Discriminate mode. (If it is Threshold-based and not 'silent-search,' then adjust for a proper, slight audio Threshold hum.)

Adjust for the lowest Discrimination level, even if it means accepting all-metal targets. With the Silver µMAX I suggest using the All Metal Discriminate toggle selection for the least amount of rejection for the best GB adjustment.

Start with the search coil held about 6" above ground (selecting a metal-free area, preferably of more mineralized ground for your area).

Briskly bob the search coils towards and away from the ground, lowering to about ½" and raising it to the 6"-8" height, and very slowly turn the GB control (external control or internal trimmer) towards the negative. It is a little easier to 'Power Balance' with a silent-search Disc. model.

As soon as you hear an audible 'Beep' on the UPLIFT of the search coil, AWAY from the ground --- STOP. This is an indication that you have adjusted just a little too far and the Discriminate mode GB is now too negative. If left this way, you will experience a lot of false signals when trying to search over more mineralized or varied ground.ground.

To correct the Disc. mode's GB adjustment for peak performance, very gently increase the GB setting while briskly bobbing the search coil until you just eliminate the 'Beep' on the uplift of the coil away from the ground and --- STOP. You no longer have a too negative GB setting and are just 'spot-on' to very slightly positive in the Disc. mode.

'Power Balancing' is an ideal method to adjust the Ground Balance setting for the primary search mode, which for most folks is the motion-based Discriminate mode. The only issue is how the detectors were designed initially with regard to how the All Metal and Discriminate modes share the GB adjustment. Let's pick two different brand models for examples, and we'll use silent-search Discriminate modes, a White's Classic ID or IDX Pro and a Tesoro Bandido II or Silver Sabre µMAX.

By design, with the White's Classic series you will find that the Discriminate mode has a slightly negative GB reference. That is, if the All Metal/Pinpoint mode is adjusted to have a 'spot-on' GB, the Discriminate mode will be very slightly negative and you may experience falsing during a search in modest to higher mineralized ground. If you lift the coil away from the ground, you will get a 'Beep' due to the negative GB for the Discriminate mode.

Therefore, with a Classic series model, you can 'Power Balance' in the silent-search Discriminate mode for a proper Disc. mode GB which eliminates the falsing. Then you can select the All Metal mode or Pinpoint function and note that the GB is now very slightly positive but quite functional.

With many of the Tesoro models, the circuitry was designed with a rather positive offset reference to the GB setting in the Discriminate mode. If you 'Power Balance' for a peak performance GB setting in the Discriminate mode, to just eliminate the false 'Beep' on the uplift of the search coil over bad ground, you can select the All Metal/Pinpoint function and note that in that mode it now has a negative GB setting.

Since most hobbyists prefer to search in the Discriminate mode, you want that GB adjustment to provide the best all-purpose performance, and in most cases the Threshold-based true All Metal mode is only used for Pinpointing targets and, generally, this is still going to be operable with this GB setting. It will take a little getting used to and you have to make sure the search coil is the proper distance from the ground when switching to the All Metal or Pinpoint function to help reduce any problems.

Some makes and models do not have an external or internal GB control or trimmer so you have to rely on how they designed that particular model in the software settings.

Some makes and models have an external manual GB control, or an internal automated GB function, that is only tied to the Threshold-based All Metal mode, and have a separate internal trimmer that is used to adjust the Discriminate mode GB as it is not tied in with the All Metal mode primary GB control. Two examples of these two designs are the Tesoro Cortés and Lobo SuperTRAQ.

There have also been some models made that have a more serious glitch in the circuitry design in that the Ground Balance setting will change, in both modes, if you alter the Discrimination level adjustment. Again, I will use some Tesoro models for this example and name just two of several that are problem units, ... the Sidewinder µMAX (microMAX) and original Conquistador.

This circuitry design issue can be quite annoying because it is possible to adjust the Discrimination level and shift the GB too negative and the result is constant falsing and unusable operation. Equally worse is that it can shift the GB too positive, even to the point that the detector will not give a 'Beep' on a higher-conductive target such as a US silver dollar, or even a silver or clad half-dollar, and at times not even detect a quarter.

Some makes and models have another difference in their circuitry design, and that is some modern digitally designed detectors do have a manual or automated GB adjustment that is easily heard in the Threshold-based All Metal/Pinpoint modes, but while they do have some effect on the Discriminate mode operation, it is important to learn how their Discriminate modes function with the GB setting because, even using the manual GB adjustments, you can not 'Power Balance' in the Discriminate mode to get a negative GB setting like you can with most analog-based detectors.

... and is it necessary when hunting with a single tone, manual ground balance, vlf detector.
Single or multi-tone doesn't matter. It is just a concern about how the manufacturer designed and built the circuitry, and how they incorporated Ground Balance with each search mode, and any 'offsets' they might have designed for one mode compared with another.

Went to youtube and nothing was found, just super tuning...
Super-Tuning, which I initially called Hyper-Tuning back in the '80s, is just a way to sometimes help the performance of the audio response in the Discriminate mode. It was most beneficial with earlier model Tesoro's in the Discriminate mode, but Hyper-Tuning/Super-Tuning is just turning up the Threshold setting to augment some of the weaker signals in the Discriminate mode, but that increase makes the All Metal and Pinpoint functions basically useless as the Threshold is then way too high.

If I lost you in my explanation, just shoot me an e-mail or PM and identify the make and model you have and ask questions for help.


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

Stinkwater Wells
~ Trading Post ~

A place to share fond memories of old alkali desert favorite sites in Utah, Nevada, and Eastern Oregon and other detecting travels. To rendezvous with fellow detectorists and trade experiences from our metal detecting adventures, opinions on a variety of old and new detectors, share detecting techniques, and discuss potential hunt sites.

My Regular-Use Detectors:
Makro: Racer 2 w/'OOR'
Nokta: 2-Impact's w/5" DD and w/5X9½ DD, 2-Relic's w/5" DD and w/5½X10 Concentric, 2-CoRe's w/'OOR' and w/7X11 DD
Tesoro: Vaquero, Bandido II µMAX, Silver Sabre µMAX each w/6" Concentric and Mojave w/7" Concentric

Other Specialty Use Detectors from:
Compass, Makro and Nokta
Note: Detectors are listed alphabetically by Brand, NOT in my order of preference for use. Additional search coils on-hand in accessory bag.

Pinpointers: Using Nokta and Makro Pointers.
Headphones: Using the Killer B 'Hornet'.

*** All working well today to make memories for tomorrow. ***

(503) 481-8147
Subject Author Views Posted

What coil works best on the Silver MicroMax

Whimpster 333 December 07, 2016 10:39PM

Best coil for the Silver MicroMAX? --- That all depends. confused smiley

Monte 313 December 07, 2016 11:56PM

Re: Best coil for the Silver MicroMAX? --- That all depends. confused smiley

Whimpster 245 December 08, 2016 12:06PM

Whimpster, I've posted the answer many times, but just

Monte 272 December 08, 2016 12:55PM

Whimpster, here's a cut-and-paste edited post I made a while back.

Monte 320 December 08, 2016 01:32PM

Re: Whimpster, here's a cut-and-paste edited post I made a while back.

Pablo61 135 April 10, 2017 01:16PM

Pablo61, the choice is yours, but

Monte 121 April 11, 2017 09:39PM

Re: Pablo61, the choice is yours, but

Pablo61 119 April 12, 2017 01:26AM

GB on the Outlaw..

pinenut 112 April 11, 2017 01:58AM

Re: GB on the Outlaw..

Pablo61 98 April 11, 2017 03:14AM

Re: GB on the Outlaw..

pinenut 115 April 11, 2017 03:31AM

Re: Whimpster, here's a cut-and-paste edited post I made a while back.

Whimpster 237 December 09, 2016 04:45PM

Re: Whimpster, here's a cut-and-paste edited post I made a while back.

WM6 271 December 08, 2016 02:30PM

Re: Best coil for the Silver MicroMAX? --- That all depends. confused smiley

WM6 247 December 08, 2016 08:21AM

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