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Andrew, back to the "Iron Masking" discussion and your new video.

September 22, 2020 03:34AM avatar
'Iron Masking' or hunting in any site with a lot of ferrous contamination:

There are a few reasons why there isn't as much 'discussion' as you might hope. The main reason, I believe, is that the majority of metal detecting hobbyists spend most of there time, if not all of their time, searching typical urban environments. Just your 'average' Coin & Jewelry hunters who seldom take a detector beyond the local park or school.

Because they are 'Coin Hunters', and most don't really get out hunting all that frequently anyway as it is just a casual hobby, they tend to use a 'Coin Mode' or 'Program' or set the Discrimination as desired which rejects most Iron as well as some higher-conductivity ranges such as Pull Tabs or even Screw Caps and the lowly Zinc Cent here in the USA. Thus, they never hear any Iron Nails or other annoying ... and masking ... ferrous objects.

Second, because they are urban hunters most of them don't want to hear Iron so it is rejected, and even if they run a lower Discrimination level to hear at least some ferrous trash, they have not experienced what some avid Relic Hunters do in many horribly-littered locations with an abundance of observed Iron nails and even more that are just out-of-sight. There are some bad or challenging Iron plagued locations, but for decades I have concentrated a lot of my Relic Hunting efforts at old-use sites that fit the description of 'horrible!' Most hobbyists don't see it, haven't heard it, and thus don't understand the topic to jump into a 'discussion.'

Third, we get into the detectors used, the search coils used, and the audio and visual reports of located targets. From experience working with people in clubs or small groups, discussing topics on phone calls or e-mails, and from years as a detector dealer or working some detector shops to assist customers, the majority of the 'hobbyists' are not really prepared to tackle average to really bad Iron littered sites. This is because:

Most 'hobbyists' only have one detector, and a small percentage have two.

Most of them tend to own and use a lower-cost, so-called "Beginner Level' or "Novice" or "Entry Level" detector because they have limited their shopping / buying budget, do not understand some of the 'extra' adjustments some models offer or feel it is too difficult to learn metal detecting.

Most of the one or two detectors they own feature visual Target ID, with or without a VDI numeric display. And because they have a 'Coin Hunter' mental approach, and perhaps believe that TID is fool-proof, they rely on Target ID almost 100% to make a judgment call to recover a target. Savvy folks know that's not a good idea in a more littered site.

Most of the detectors have a fixed or pre-set Ground Balance which can sometimes limit or impair their detector's performance in a more mineralized site. Besides, most do not know what Ground Balance is, what it is needed for, or why we should learn how to handle 'ground.'.

A bad trend we've seen for a couple of decades now, or more, has been for manufacturers to produce models with a larger-size 'standard' coil. Coils we used to consider an 'optional' coil in the 9" to 12" size range, but detectors have them standard. Unfortunately, most of the coils that size are not very good choices for hunting in a trashy environment, especially if we are dealing with a lot of ferrous debris scattered about.

On that topic, search coil 'type' or 'design' comes into play as well. I am referring to Concentric wound search coils vs Double-D type coils. Often we will find that one type will out-perform the other type if they are of similar outside size, but that's not always due to the coil itself. It is more importantly how the metal detector's circuitry was designed to handle the different types of coils. Some detectors simply perform better with a Concentric while others are stronger performers with a Double-D.

And we can't forget to consider the audio response. It can be as bad as trusting a 'lock-on' Visual TID because many people will intently listen for a particular tone, such as a High Tone for many avid Coin Hunters, and they don't understand a 'blended' tone or an off-sounding audio report form a partially-masked good target near unwanted debris.

Therefore we have a lot more 'readers' than we do 'contributors' on these or any other website Forums. I also wish more people would jump in some discussions, but most don't. That's one reason why a lot of my replies on Forums tend to be a wee bit longer than most folks post because I know a lot of readers are out there, and they are reading posts to try and learn more. Just like watching a posted video link that can be informative and helpful ... such as the very good video you posted in your above post. There's a lot there for people to absorb, and some of it provided very good proof to what some savvy readers have posted in their replies.

Understanding what "Blended Audio" is:

I know that some viewers might be confused by your video when you were referring to "Blended Audio" or "Blended Tones" while referring to using your XP Deus with what they call 'Full-Tones.' For readers have a better understanding, that is simply an Audio Tone Response circuitry used by XP that assigns an individual Audio Tone or Pitch to targets based on the targets conductivity. Minelab Equinox uses a similar design that they call '50 Tones' and these tone or pitch assignments are associated with the number of Discrimination notches or segments the detector uses, such as '50' segments or perhaps some display uses '99' numeric VDI segments.

Those who own a detector should be clear on exactly what the different labels mean and how they work as it can sometimes get confusing. For example, on some Nokta / Makro models they have such a mode that is described at '99 Tones' .... but they aren't. Those models do have a 1 to 99 VDI read-out, but instead of '99' Tones they only have '85.' Why? Because all responses in the Ferrous or Iron range, from '1' to '15' only produce the ONE Low-Tone Iron Audio Tone. Take 15 from 99 and that leaves '84' Tones plus the ONE Iron Low Tone to make them an '85 Tone' audio design.

Those are some examples of a full-range Multi-Tone audio ID concept. Otherwise, most detectors today tend to offer a 2-Tone, 3-Tone or more Audio Tone ID design. Some, as seen in diggindeep's video, have a fixed number of Tone ID's, such as the Fisher F19 which is a 2-Tone design (if all Disc. segments are accepted).

The Nokta / Makro Simplex + offers three different Audio Tone options. I Park 1 mode, as used in the video, that is a 3-Tone mode, producing 3 'processed' Tones, with a Low Iron Audio Tone, a Mid-Tone and a High-Tone for the higher-conductive targets. It also has a Field mode with is a 2-Tone audio and also incorporates a VCO enhanced audio. The Beach mode is also a 2-Tone mode but doesn't have VCO.

The Garrett Apex is a 5-Tone Audio ID design, if in Zero mode with all Disc. segments accepted, and that is also a 'processed' audio. In other words, and target or blended target response will create a VDI response and the Tone ID for that particular VDI range is what the user will hear.

So, we have a wide-range of Audio ID's or a smaller number of selected Tone ID's or some designed-in audio response, and those are all tied in with the specific target conductivity which is what creates the VDI, or VDI range, a target will respond in. Those ranges or segments are assigned an audio response. Let's loo at two examples we might encounter afield, one with an Iron Nail and one with a wad of non-ferrous foil. Let's also use a US silver Dime as a coin example.

If we lay the Iron nail on the ground and 1' to 1½' away we place the wadded-up foil, and then 1'-1½' away we lay the Dime down, we have three very different and very distinct-sounding targets. A Low-Tone for the Iron Nail with most modern detectors, and a High-Tone for the Foil and Dime with the 2-Tone F19. A Mid-Tone on the Foil and High-Tone for the Dime using the 3-Tone Simplex +. And a Low Iron Audio with the Garrett Apex and a Low-Mid Tone on the Foil and a High Tone on the Dime with the Apex. Each separate target, if we swept down the line of samples, would produce their own visual numeric VDI as well as Audio Tone based on their individual conductivity.

That would be a good example of a nice-an-proper Audio Tone ID on an 'individual' target. But what if we were searching a trashy area and we encountered two or more targets that were positioned very close together? Well, let's move the wad of Foil next to the iron nail and sweep over it. What happens? Usually, due to the different influence Iron has on an EMF we would probably only hear an Iron Audio Tone, and the VDI read-put might only indicate Iron or it might read just slightly higher than the Nail would is by itself.

If we moved the Iron Nail over next to the Silver Dime, they would also both have an influence on the EMF but their response would not be from each individual object. Instead, it would be a 'Blended Audio' caused by the two different conductivity objects that were too close 'blending' together and we would end u with a visual VDI and an Audible VDI that would typically be lower than the Dime would read. A 3-Tone mode would usually respond, but even with the higher-conductive Dime present, the audio Tone ID would fall somewhere in the Mid-Tone range, and you usually would not get a proper numeric VDI due to the negative influence of the Iron Nail.

That is what a 'Blended Audio' or 'Blended Tone' response is, and also what creates a 'Blended' visual Target ID response. Two or more different objects that are close enough to have an effect o the EMF and thus have their conductivity 'character' blended with adjacent or very near-by other target or targets. The Nail Boar Performance Test is a goo example because none of the four Iron Nails are touching a coin in the #1 centered spot, but they are close enough to cause a 'blended' Ten ID and visual Target ID that can be different on one sweep direction that from the other three sweep directions.

Your Video Detector & Coil results = My Dense Iron Unmasking Choices:

In my initial post I answered your question on what detectors and coils I prefer for unmasking abilities in Iron trash. In your video, it seemed very clear that the smaller coil equipped Racer 2 w/5' DD, was the over-all winner. An assortment of challenging tests, and in the orientations you have them, the Racer 2 and 5" DD would easily have been my choice. The Minelab Equinox w/6" DD coil also did reasonably well, but I favored the Racer 2 / 5" DD combination performance. It would have sounded better, too, if the Iron Volume would have been turned down or Off instead of the iron nails being so loud.

The Deus with a larger coil didn't do too badly on some tests, but it was also set up with some custom programs and with that model you have the advantage of selecting a good higher frequency to enhance the performance in Iron. It has a simple, 3-Tone ID, and while the XP ORX regular-use custom mode worked fine, in very dense Iron the #6 slot custom mode had a frequency increase and it made a lot of improvement in performance. Of the models you compare I also like the Simplex + w/5X9½ DD and I can get very impressive performance with that mid-size DD coil compared with many other makes and models, including Minelab, and only wish they would produce a smaller-size search coil.

The new Garrett Apex does very well in some modest trash and I also am holding out hope that Garrett will bring us a smaller-size search coil. It should enhance trashy site performance over the 6X11 DD 'Viper' coil that is just a bit too big for dense debris.

As noted in my first reply to your questions, for really tough iron contaminated conditions, my #1 Detector/Coil of choice is the Nokta Relic w/5" DD. #2 is the Nokta CoRe w/'OOR' DD. My 3rd pick would be my Bandido II µMAX w/6" Concentric coil. And until we can get a smaller-size coil for the Apex or Simplex +, my 4th choice from my current detector group would be the White's MX-7 w/6½" Concentric .... but it would be a 4th choice. Not a primary-use selection.


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

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Subject Author Views Posted

Let's discuss target/iron masking

diggindeep 229 September 17, 2020 10:16AM

Re: Let's discuss target/iron masking

UtahRich 127 September 22, 2020 11:37PM

Re: Let's discuss target/iron masking Attachments

EL NINO 137 September 22, 2020 04:46PM

Re: Let's discuss target/iron masking

Dan'o 130 September 21, 2020 08:25PM

Re: Let's discuss target/iron masking

diggindeep 139 September 21, 2020 04:52PM

Andrew, back to the "Iron Masking" discussion and your new video.

Monte 152 September 22, 2020 03:34AM

Re: Andrew, back to the "Iron Masking" discussion and your new video.

D&P-OR 133 September 22, 2020 11:17AM

Re: Andrew, back to the "Iron Masking" discussion and your new video.

diggindeep 134 September 22, 2020 10:05AM

I'd like to see a 5" or 6" small coil for ....

Monte 137 September 22, 2020 12:46PM

Re: I'd like to see a 5" or 6" small coil for ....

D&P-OR 140 September 22, 2020 01:13PM

Re: Let's discuss target/iron masking

D&P-OR 135 September 21, 2020 06:04PM

Re: Let's discuss target/iron masking

diggindeep 135 September 21, 2020 07:10PM

Re: Let's discuss target/iron masking

D&P-OR 120 September 22, 2020 10:46AM

Re: Let's discuss target/iron masking

D&P-OR 126 September 21, 2020 07:12PM

Here are my lengthy replies to good-target Iron Masking.

Monte 178 September 18, 2020 12:06PM

Re: Here are my lengthy replies to good-target Iron Masking.

diggindeep 139 September 18, 2020 10:14PM

Re: Let's discuss target/iron masking

D&P-OR 152 September 17, 2020 07:55PM

Re: Let's discuss target/iron masking

D&P-OR 149 September 17, 2020 10:40AM

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