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GB_Amateur, your addition to this topic fits well.

October 22, 2022 02:18PM avatar
Good topic, Rich, and some excellent responses have been coming in.

Hope I'm not pulling this discussion away from the intended topic, but this is also an important consideration.

Effective coverage of a site includes good overlapping technique, as UtahRich brought up, but if we don't work the coil over all the area then there's a problem. You troughed on the other part of overlapping and coverage referring to advancing in a starlight or coordinated manner to get effective overlapping as you go.

I usually pick an object far away from my location and try to walk towards it. However, in cases where I can review my path (e.g. wet grass), when I look back over my path it appears to be mimicking the drunkard's walk! One problem is that after I stop to recover a target I don't get back on the original line.

Yes, indeed, and that's what most folks do, wander off their intended path and the result is we have nice big parks or even ferrous littered old sites to deal with because they have not been efficiently covered. Fortunately, for me, I got started detecting long agon and lived in the greater Portland Oregon area, and for those who haven't spent enough time around there and a lot of the NW area, it gets wet. They can have some long rainy seasons, and when it stopped I would go detecting. Hunted some of the large grassy parks and early on I'd take a glance and see that my travels in that wet grass were far from a straight-line maneuver.

I'm really hoping others have a better method and will datail those here in this thread.

There are several things I do when hunting any site where I want to get the best coverage I can, and that includes proper overlapping for the type of site and anticipated target depths. Here are things i like to do, not in any particular order, just things to consider:

I use slow-and-methodical sweeps, work the search coil in as straight a line as possible, keep the coil at a functional 12" to 18" in front of my lead toe, and usually keep the side-to-side sweeps anywhere from 20" to 30".

I often grid an area. Sometimes I use my gridding device that has pegs and a rope to physically grid off an area. Most of the time I visually-grid a site, using trees, shrubs, building rubble, ditches, fence posts, or anything on-site to establish an area I want to cover. And a gridded area I want to hunt is not large, Generally they range from maybe 3'X6' to perhaps 6' by 10'. I keep them small enough that I can best control my search behavior and cover a dedicated area, When done I just move the grid area to the adjacent space or perhaps some noteworthy potential area.

Although I have often hunted grassy areas, the past 40 years I have devoted more hunt-time working open spaces with a lot of dirt, or dirt and weeds or wild grass. If I was just slowly covering a bigger area looking for anything or prior activity and not gridding a particular spot, I used to drag my toe to help mark where I traveled when I glanced back. The last 29+ years I have had to use a cane so that has been a handy tool to draw a straights line in the dirt as I moved along, slowly. Slowly because I wanted to since I learned the benefits long ago, and slowly because physically I just have to.

There are times I hunt backwards in an open park-like area with nothing to trip over. That lets me see where I have been, keeps me on a proper path, and really helps with making slower sweeps, moving slowly, and overlapping properly.

Here are some first-hand examples of making sure we are overlapping as well as working in a line to effectively cover an area:

** Back in '83 I had an excellent and productive site to hunt where they had demolished an 1880's house several years before. Mostly dirt with a little uneven ground and wild grass here and there. I'd been doing well but decided it would make nice area for members of our newer metal detecting club in Utah. David & I gridded it off before our Saturday morning gathering and the grids, using wooden stakes and colored twine, were roughly 6' by 10'. Those attending our meetings had heard me, I'm sure, comment about 'coverage'. 'working slowly' and 'overlapping'. I told them to select a grid and work it thoroughly, then let me know and I would assign them a new grid.

One of the more avid or experienced detector users had his Fisher 1260X that he got when they came out in '82. Those were the first 2-Filter, slow-motion / quick-response detectors to come out so he had a year to know it. He did a pretty good job on his grid, as I was watching everyone, and he appeared to be covering it better than most others who were newer to this great hobby. He had pulled some early wheat-back cents an other things, and had selected a weed and grass-free grided dirt adjacent to the sidewalk.

After a while he was the first to get me and let me know he wanted a new grid as he was done and cleaned the grid out. As we headed to my vehicle parked there in front to get the clipboard so I could check off his grid, we walked through it and I had my Tesoro Inca on , sweeping the coil as I walked through. 'BEEP!' Humm, I stopped and unplugged my headphones and re-swept so he could hear it as he was walking ahead of me. I recovered a really nice Indian Head cent at about 1½" to 2". He had a very surprised look on his face and said: "I guess I'm not done." He continued to hunt that same grid for Maybe another 30-45 minutes, finding things missed, before he decided it was cleaned out ... this time.

** Old elementary school, same town, had landscape renovation out in front and the top grass and soil and been removed leaving bare dirt to hunt in. thumbs up I like to find those places to hunt, and I also like to follow up after others have hunted it because, from experience, most folks do not overlap efficiently like UtahRich asked about. Just dirt, easy for target recovery, and really very little trash. this was also about '83/'84. I headed over when I had time and a couple of guys were hunting it. One was working it from front sidewalk toward the school, with the main sidewalk from out front going to the front steps at the school, therefore he had a straight-line on his left to help guide him like you brought up.

I grabbed my Inca and started to hunt his 'path' or 'grid' south of and along the sidewalk to the school and about mid-way in, other than a couple of pennies I had found, I got a very nice signal and recovered a shiny Barber Quarter between 2" and 3". Oh, the guy I was following was also the same as above and using his Fisher 1260X. The grid and direction were fine, but it apparently was poor overlapping that caused him to miss my good find of the day. smiling smiley

** With over 57 years of avid detecting I can think of many time I, or someone else I hunt with, didn't do a good job of overlapping to overing a 'gridded' or 'selected' area. Since none of us are perfect, I will tell about one of my own failures. sad smiley

As I mentioned earlier, I like to physically-grid an area or visually-grid a more selected good area. Example is hunting my all-time favorite old site with my friend David and I chanced upon a good find to get the day started, with an 1854 Seated Liberty Dime near the base of a tall sage bush. David came and took a look, then aske if I was going to hunt that area around the sage bush. I said of course. He kindly went back to where he had-been hunting thirty or so feet away.

My plan, was to visually-grid the area around the tall sage bush and slowly work my way around it and out from it abut a foot-ore-two. I started to work my way around it counter-clockwise, but it was an old site and as you start looking at the ground and recovering targets then move around a different small bush to go after another signal, you can easily go off-course' and end up wandering 'out-of-your-grid', and that's exactly what happened.

I was hunting some nice, fairly open ground about 30 feet away when I heard: "Hey, Monte. Mine doesn't have a hole in it.".

I looked that direction and saw him holding up a nice condition same-year Seated Liberty Dime, and he was standing by 'my' tall sage bush and working my 'visual-grid' around that bush just past where I had wandered off in a wrong direction chasing targets. To this day I recall seeing Dave's big smile as he showed off his find.

Sorry to ramble on folks, but GB_Amateur's topic goes very well with UtahRich's question about overlapping. A lot depends on the site we are hunting, what we are using, and the potential to make good finds and/or deal with challenging conditions.


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

Stinkwater Wells Trading Post
Metal Detector Evaluations and Product Reviews
I'm now 'back home' in Farr West Utah
monte@ahrps.org ... or ... monte@stinkwaterwells.com
Detector Outfit: A selection of my chosen makes and models, with the best coils mounted for the tasks I'll take on.
F-19 .. Racer .. Vanquish 540 .. FORS Relic .. Inca .. Silver Sabre µMAX .. Bandido II µMAX .. XLT
Pinpointers: Garrett AT Pro-Pointers .. Headphones: 'Hornet' & 'Wasp' .. MS-3 Z-Lynk .. ML-80
*** All working well today to make memories for tomorrow. ***
Subject Author Views Posted

When is it beneficial to Overlap Coil Sweeps?

UtahRich 330 October 20, 2022 11:38AM

How do you walk in a straight line?

GB_Amateur 201 October 22, 2022 10:15AM

GB_Amateur, your addition to this topic fits well.

Monte 186 October 22, 2022 02:18PM

Thanks, Monte

GB_Amateur 232 October 23, 2022 09:57AM

Great questions, Rich. thinkingconfused smiley

Monte 508 October 21, 2022 01:33PM

Re: When is it less productive to overlap coin sweeps?

Sodbuster 186 October 21, 2022 09:36AM

Re: When is it beneficial to Overlap Coil Sweeps?

jmaryt 465 October 20, 2022 06:10PM

j.t., just a brief comment about a 'detection field'.

Monte 170 October 21, 2022 12:21PM

Re: j.t., just a brief comment about a 'detection field'.

jmaryt 204 October 21, 2022 07:02PM

j.t., I agree about the 50% overlap coverage.

Monte 177 October 22, 2022 04:45AM

Re: j.t., I agree about the 50% overlap coverage.

jmaryt 182 October 22, 2022 07:54PM

hmmm . . . . .

UtahRich 194 October 21, 2022 08:41PM

Re: hmmm . . . . .

jmaryt 199 October 22, 2022 08:01PM

It looks like what?

UtahRich 228 October 22, 2022 09:46PM

Re: It looks like what?

Geotech 205 October 27, 2022 12:00PM

Re: It looks like what?

GB_Amateur 176 October 28, 2022 09:52AM

Re: It looks like what?

Geotech 169 October 29, 2022 01:54PM

Re: It looks like what?

GB_Amateur 189 October 30, 2022 09:38AM

Experimenting with your own equipment

UtahRich 192 October 28, 2022 10:42AM

Re: Experimenting with your own equipment

nwdetectorist 170 October 31, 2022 08:49PM

Rich, there is another way to deal with cell phone EMI.

Monte 208 October 29, 2022 10:43AM

Re: Rich, there is another way to deal with cell phone EMI.

jmaryt 164 October 29, 2022 07:20PM

Re: Experimenting with your own equipment

GB_Amateur 175 October 29, 2022 09:46AM

Re: Experimenting with your own equipment

Monte 188 October 29, 2022 10:52AM

Great response.

UtahRich 202 October 27, 2022 04:12PM

Re: It looks like what?

FeistyFrank 185 October 27, 2022 02:44PM

Re: It looks like what?

Geotech 186 October 28, 2022 10:15AM

Thank You, Carl.. Appreciated by many. N/T

Monte 145 October 29, 2022 10:54AM

Re: It looks like what?

FeistyFrank 169 October 28, 2022 11:10AM

Re: It looks like what?

jmaryt 172 October 23, 2022 07:52PM

Descriptions can be confusing. confused smiley

Monte 182 October 24, 2022 12:57PM

Re: Descriptions can be confusing. confused smiley

jmaryt 186 October 24, 2022 06:03PM

j.t., as UtahRich said ... No worries.

Monte 227 October 25, 2022 05:21AM

Re: j.t., as UtahRich said ... No worries.

jmaryt 272 October 25, 2022 05:07PM

Re: Descriptions can be confusing. confused smiley

UtahRich 188 October 24, 2022 07:54PM

Re: Descriptions can be confusing. confused smiley

jmaryt 193 October 25, 2022 05:13PM

Sunrise . . . . sunset . . . .

UtahRich 185 October 26, 2022 01:12AM

Re: Sunrise . . . . sunset . . . .

jmaryt 169 October 26, 2022 06:20PM

Or is that Snow Fal .... Snow Melt ....

Monte 167 October 26, 2022 01:29PM

A better description?

UtahRich 189 October 23, 2022 09:05PM

Rich, I am looking for Carl's post. N/T

Monte 195 October 23, 2022 07:09PM

Yes, the topic can create some interesting discussions.

Monte 189 October 22, 2022 02:35PM

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