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Magnetic propety Nails, other ferrous trash, and rusty tin.angry smiley

April 26, 2020 06:30AM avatar
The term 'Tin Can' is often not understood. They first started using a very thin tin plating of steel in Britain in the very early 1800's and they called those containers 'Tins.' In American English they were called Cans and 'Tin Cans' . The 'tinning' was done to protect stored food from spoiling or becoming toxic. But over time, that thin coating gives way to the base magnetic metal (steel or iron) and it is that metal that rusts, and it is that metal that gives detectors fits. So while we say "rusty tin' we really ought to be saying 'rusty iron' or 'rusty steel' or just refer to the object as a 'rusty can.'

Now, when Relic Hunting the types of heavily iron contaminated sites, such as many ghost towns and similar places, we have to learn how to deal with a lot of the man-made Iron objects. It isn't an easy thing to do, and the better method is to learn how to interpret audio responses we get from the various sizes, shapes and orientations of the different ferrous-based discards.

For me, it depends on the particular make and model detector I am using, the search coil size and type being used, and then what you hear or don't hear can be dealt with using the detector's Discrimination setting, sometimes a response or recovery control a detector offers. And, naturally we can't forget the sweep speed and the operator's ability to use a slow-and-methodical sweep and to overlap an ample amount on the following sweeps.

Why overlap, you might ask? Because to hunt in ANY environment you need to put the search coil over the target. In densely Iron contaminated conditions you need to put it over the target even more closely in order to unmask a potentially good target from a masking unwanted target.

Not all detectors and coil combinations will be able to handle this type of ferrous junk well. Matter-of-fact, I'd offer up that most detectors in use today are terrible performers in a densely Iron contaminated site. They might be able to Discriminate or reject Iron so you don't hear it, but that often hampers a nearby desirable target from responding well. And while I know and have experienced some favorable performance in very Iron-littered places when using a bigger size search coil, like something in the 9 Inch to 12 Inch diameter, I have confirmed to myself that coil size DOES matter, and in most bad conditions I have encountered, a smaller-size coil tends to work better, and more efficiently, than a mid-size to standard to larger-size coil can do.

Unmasking is the key to enjoying success when it comes to dealing with Iron Nails, other Iron debris, and most especially dealing with so-called Rusty Tin, be it a whole can, piece of sheet metal, hunk of metal roof, or the many pieces of broken-up shards of it. As I said, some detectors can discriminate or reject all sorts of Iron junk, but the more aggressive a detector is at handling tough conditions, the more good, desirable targets are going to be missed.

Bent Iron Nails or an angled Iron Nail with a 90° Nail Head, or other odd-shaped Iron debris, and especially some pieces of Rusty or Non-Rusty Tin shards, cans or other sheet Iron can, and will, often produce a higher-reading VDI and fool anyone with any detector. Often they read in the US Zinc Cent to Dime or Quarter range on a direct sweep with the center-axis of the coil, yet can be audibly classified using an Edge-Pass Rejection technique. But that's 'often' and not 'always' because many of the ghost towns and other places with an abundance of Iron debris is a problem because there is so much of it, many desired targets are way too close to the challenging Iron that it hampers getting a clean and undistorted signal. In short, you're going to hear a lot of 'iffy' signals and that means you are going to have to recover a lot of 'iffy' signals.

Five-and-a-half decades of hunting many locations with an abundance of Iron Nails to Rusty Tin have guided me to always being alert for a 'better set-up' to come along. No, not all of my detector picks are the best for hunting these types of places since some have other strengths that make them a little better for Beach Hunting or perhaps for typical Urban Coin & Jewelry Hunting sites. A few can serves as multi-purpose detectors and still handle the very challenging sites you asked about, and those have become my valued Relic Hunting tools.

Today, I have and rely on three of these models in my Regular-Use Detector Outfit. The Tesoro Bandido II µMAX, which came out in October of '97, so they have been serving me well for 32½ years with a smaller-size 6" Concentric coil. And the best of the most recent releases I commit to are the Nokta FORS CoRe w/4.7X5.2 DD 'OOR' coil since January of 2015, and the FORS Relic w/5" DD since January of '16.

In fringe areas, away from very dense Iron junk, I like the CoRe or Relic with their mid-size 5X9½ DD, and I also welcome the Minelab Vanquish 540 I've been using for a couple of months with the 5X8 DD. That's the smallest coil for this model, but I am working it in several ghost towns to determine if it might perform well enough in the ferrous challenges to slide into a category with my Bandido II microMAX, CoRe and Relic. And the other detector I am holding out hope for, but won't know until smaller coils are out in about a month, is the Nokta / Makro Simplex +. It's very impressive with the stock 11" DD in open areas, and I feel it might bring us the performance we hope for when a smaller coil is attached.

I've used a lot of detectors, side-by-side, and I haven't found any modern or current model with Tone ID or visual Target ID / VDI that can best the CoRe or Relic for unmasking, but also like the Bandido II microMAX and V-540 for also handling Iron challenges quite well. The problem here is that you have asked a very tough question, and I don't think anyone can do more than make some basic suggestions on how to handle Iron and Rusty Tin. Not as well as encouraging someone to using one of the better detector and coil combinations and simply getting out, as often as possible, to hunt such sites to put in the time and listen and learn how best THEY can handle the challenge. It's one thing to use a worded description, but another to actually experience it, listen intently to how each detector audibly handles various types of Iron metal debris, and then they'll know how to pick the make and model detector and coil, and even better how to use coil-control to help audibly 'classify' probable Iron annoyances.

When you get the chance to escape the confines of Canada and head southward a bit, let me know. Come and spend a few days with OregonGregg and me at a few of our nearby gold mining era ghost towns in Eastern Oregon, or make a trip to the Welcome-to-Hunt Outing June 3rf thru 7th in Nevada. Meet up with us and some other dedicated Relic / Old Site Hunters who also enjoy looking for the elusive good targets in a bunch of junk. cool smiley


"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: Apex --- Vanquish 540 --- CoRe, Relic & Simplex + --- Bandido II µMAX & Silver Sabre µMAX --- XLT & MX-7
Pinpointers: Pulse-Dive & ProPointer AT .. Headphones: 'Hornet' & 'Wasp' ... MS-3 Z-Lynk ... ML-80
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

Tactics for tin???

Druid 155 April 25, 2020 11:03AM

Magnetic propety Nails, other ferrous trash, and rusty tin.angry smiley

Monte 120 April 26, 2020 06:30AM

Re: Magnetic propety Nails, other ferrous trash, and rusty tin.angry smiley

Druid 106 April 26, 2020 10:40AM

".... some real baptism of fire ghost town hunting."

Monte 112 April 27, 2020 08:24AM

Re: ".... some real baptism of fire ghost town hunting."

Druid 104 April 29, 2020 08:06PM

Tactics for tin???

UtahRich 120 April 25, 2020 09:48PM

Great response.thumbs up I made bold in red the key points.

Monte 123 April 26, 2020 06:37AM

Re: Tactics for tin???

Druid 106 April 25, 2020 10:43PM

A couple of quick comments:

Monte 115 April 26, 2020 06:45AM

Re: A couple of quick comments:

Druid 108 April 26, 2020 10:45AM

Re: Tactics for tin???

Kickindirt 107 April 25, 2020 10:05PM

Re: Tactics for tin???

Kickindirt 112 April 25, 2020 07:11PM

Re: Tactics for tin???

Druid 107 April 25, 2020 10:49PM

Re: Tactics for tin???

Kickindirt 94 April 26, 2020 10:00AM

Re: Tactics for tin???

Druid 98 April 26, 2020 10:49AM

Re: Tactics for tin???

Remfire 104 April 26, 2020 06:13AM

Re: Tactics for tin???

Druid 94 April 26, 2020 10:51AM

Re: Tactics for tin???

Kickindirt 102 April 26, 2020 10:14AM

Re: Tactics for tin???

Druid 94 April 26, 2020 10:54AM

Re: Tactics for tin???

OregonGregg 99 April 26, 2020 07:44AM

Re: Tactics for tin???

Druid 100 April 26, 2020 10:56AM

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