Metal Detecting – Dinosaurs

Metal detecting has been a part of my life for over 22 years

I have so many conversations with my friends reminiscing about the old days and how we made more finds with our old machines, some of it was very true…we did make some great finds,  how much is simply looking at the old days through rose-coloured glasses, was that hammered coin in 1992 really 14 inches deep and so on.

metal detector tests tesoro Minelab Whites
I am lucky enough to still have some of the old detecting dinosaurs mothballed in the cupboard, and true enough, each and every one has made some very impressive finds over the years.

metal detector tests old machines
The Minelab Explorer II
This has done some work, I got it from a guy in the club, who has now sadly passed away, he regularly had find of the month with this machine, it was worked every weekend and never cleaned, I gave good money for it as it was a “finder”…I have a theory on well used machines, to me it is a sign of someones first choice, a well used machine is normally a good one, or a lucky one depending on how you see things.

my trusty old Minelab Explorer II metal detector

The Whites XLT
Another well used ugly duckling, the guy before me had found two hoards with it and I wanted some of his luck, once again, never cleaned but a good finder, I can remember having a pocket full of Roman coins with this very XLT along with some fantastic artefacts.

my trusty old xlt metal detector

The XLT still has a Hinkley Search Society rally sticker on from 2001

Hinkley search society rally 2001

The Tesoro Silver Sabre
Void of any original paint and held together with camo tape, I fitted a manual coil tune control to it many years ago which I never used. This machine really did the business years back and found stuff the modern machines had left, I did a review on it Here is the review

metal detector tests tesoro silver sabre

OK so what is this article all about ?
I wanted to go down memory lane and see if I could re kindle my old love affairs with these machines, each machine would have 30 mins detecting time…followed by 30 mins with a modern metal detector, I chose the XP Deus lite with the WS 5 headphones.

My task was to see if these Dinosaurs could compete with today’s modern metal detectors.

Site conditions : Not a great field for finds, the stubble was well-rotted with bare patches, iron contamination pretty bad.

testing metal detectors

First off was the Explorer II, using an open screen, conductive and 28 sensitivity.
I thought the weight would be a problem, but it was fine, the Explorer II picked out some nice small targets with a low grunt, overall I was pretty pleased with it and thought to myself I should use this more often.
Then it was time for the XLT, Relic plus program
This machine really did show it’s age, finds were noticeably less and the audio very twitchy and uncertain, it really was not happy on this site.
The Silver Sabre, using disc 0 and sensitivity maximum
Once again it really showed it’s age, I just couldn’t get the feedback from it, which is something I have become comfortable with over the years, it was so silent to use and the experience can only be described as cold and un inspiring.

XP Deus lite test Ws5

Then I fired up the XP Deus Lite with the WS5 headphones, program 2 (Gold Maxx Power ) and changed to 2 tone

xp deus lite 2 tone
Instantly the whole field started talking to me, lots of Iron grunts and the non ferrous targets came through like switching a light on, I felt that I had to work very hard for signals when using the older machines, but the XP was like a magic carpet ride, it was literally doing everything for me, all I had to do was dig !

metal detector tests xp deus

My conclusion based on todays test
As you can imagine there are so many factors to take into account, coil size, frequency, price, are my machines past their best, etc, and no dis respect to them, they all have places where they would really shine, but on this field the only one that inspired me was the XP, followed by the Minelab Explorer II… So are modern machines better than the oldies…..you bet !….the oldies are still fun and will find stuff, but if you really want to get your head down and maximise your finds rate, based on my tests today, I personally think modern machines are King, with better feedback and information, better target separation, the overall experience is far more engaging.

Detecting finds after 30 minutes with each machine.

metal detecting finds

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Metal Detecting show in Paris

I had an invite from XP to be their guest at the Paris show, as it was our anniversary I asked Lyn if she wanted to go to paris for the weekend…great she said so I had a result ! The metal detecting show was called the 1er Salon de la Detection, it is a 2 day metal detecting meeting and held on the first floor of the Novatel hotel just East of Paris centre.

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The organisers got it right, from what I could see these guys knew what they were doing, all around I could hear great interaction and comradery between those who attended, I was really amazed to see such great support for the hobby in France…when metal detecting has so many archaic laws.

xp-metal-detectors-the-team
I worked mainly on the XP stand and it was a great pleasure to talk with people who have watched my video’s and read the reviews…I was even asked for autographs and offered beers.

It was really good to chat with the manufacturers
Dilek from Nokta is a great ambassador for her company and really has her focus on future developments….I still think she should be on the cover of a beauty magazine and not promoting detectors… 😆

Nokta-trade-stand
The guys from C scope were there I had a talk with Martin and Paul who are looking at some new idea’s for the very near future, C scope are one of the last UK detector manufacturers to survive and have always been known for excellent build quality and reliability, it’s good to see they are still in the game and I look forward to hearing from them soon.

metal-detecting-trade-stands
Minelab had a representetive from Ireland helping out on the Minelab dealer stand, nothing new from them just yet, I asked about a mid range machine or upgrades to the CTX but nothing as of yet.
There were to many trade stands to list, I will make a short video to compliment this excellent event.

detector-trade-stands-in-France
What about XP metal detectors ?

xp-hoard-hunter-pictures
These guys are really sparking at the heels, lots of new products due for next year, we have the Deus version 4 update, a new coil, a new pin point probe, a Hoard Hunter, plus some other innovative idea’s I can’t talk about, but rest assured these guys are busy.
The French detectorists really did the hobby proud and I really hope they can get some suitable treasure act agreed very soon.

Oh yes I sampled some Deus beer to !
Having a Deus beer
I didnt get too much time to talk with Alain, he was so busy talking to people I thought my questions could wait until another time, I’m sure he will be visiting me soon for some detecting.

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Clairvoyant talks to Roman soldier

I Recently had a meeting with a lady who is a clairvoyant, at the end of our talk we got onto the subject of metal detecting

We and started talking about my finds and interesting experiences, she then asked if it would be possible to see some of my finds as Psychometry was her specialist subject.
I showed her some coins, then a set of Roman tweezers that I have had for over 10 years, she held them in her hand and went very quiet, after a short time she looked up with a satisfying smile and said I have just been having a fantastic conversation with a Roman soldier…in fact he is a Roman surgeon.

Roman tweezers belonged to Marcus

I was blown away and wanted to know more, she went on to say he was called Marcus and in his time was very respected in his field, his speciality was wound infections, he discovered that stuffing the open wounds with Garlic would drastically minimise infection, he had his own workshop where he made potions and remedies for the fallen Roman soldiers.

metal detecting find Roman tweezers
The clairvoyant said these tweezers had operated on many people, sometimes successful…sometimes not, he metioned that I found them very near to a wooden Roman hospital where Marcus often worked. They were lost along with some other items in a leather pouch, he said he was very pleased I found them, but would love me to find the other items because one in particular was very special to him.

I asked what it was and the clairvoyant said it was a brooch, a very special brooch

Marcus was awarded the brooch for exemplary conduct in the battlefield, I asked was it like this…showing her a fibula…no no she replied it’s round with writing around the edge and a gem in the middle, get me a pen and paper I will draw it for you, and she did, along with some other items lost in the leather pouch.

marcus picture
My final question to Marcus was….Do you have any objections to me finding your items ?
He replied, Gary I had a fantastic life, with a loving family I am so pleased you found my tools and remember the next time you are near to the find spot let your mind be guided I will be there, you need to find my brooch.

Wow…whether you believe in this or not you have to agree we could all do with our very own Marcus when out metal detecting.

Minelab CTX 3030 WM-10 repair

Minelab CTX 3030 WM-10 repair

My Minelab CTX 3030 WM-10 unit has been fine for 2 years, it has not given me a sign of trouble, the battery life has been good, it held a charge….then all of a sudden nothing…it went dead !
Not wanting to spend £180 on a new unit I decided to have a look and try to find out what was wrong, perhaps a wire had come loose.

wm10-1

The WM-10 cordless headphone unit was opened by removing the 4 screws to expose the board and other components….Now be very careful at this stage as things are pretty tight in there and the battery wires have a specific path from the battery to the board.

wm-10- 4

How to fix the WM-10 cordless headphone unit

Dis connect the battery carefully, taking care not to damage the white connector back as you may need this when you buy a new battery. In my case I cut the new connector block off and used my wiring and block as the new one was the wrong size.

wm10-5

Carefully take the felt pad from the old battery and stick it to your new one, and assemble, making sure that the battery wires fit in the exact position they came out.
I got my battery from E BAY for £7.00, it is a higher capacity than the Minelab one and should last for many more sessions, possibly out of an RC helicopter or Drone.

wm10-6

Take care Lipo Batterys can be dangerous

As always take this repair on at your own risk, battery’s can be dangerous, charge the unit up for 3 hours during the day when you are around and never leave it on all night.

I accept no responsibility if it all goes wrong, all I can say is it worked for me and saved a fortune.

wm10-8

Here is a video showing how simple the operation was.

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XP Deus digging deep

XP Deus secrets

This is a follow-up to my earlier metal detecting article and video called XP Deus Deep Targets, the earlier article shows some deep targets being recovered using 4Hhz this time I wanted to go out and try my Deus on 8Khz and see how it performed.
I particularly wanted to run through some tone settings as I have had lots of e mails asking what XP Deus tone in the deepest….well to be honest there is not a deep tone setting for one person, we are all different and like to hear our metal detectors signal in a variety of formats.
XP Deus digging deep talk

Full tone is by far the most popular, combined with my “HOT” program and zero discrimination is a fast and responsive way of getting every last ounce of performance out of your XP Deus…OK it’s not for everyone, some people just like the simplicity of 2 or 3 tones, and I would say that’s fine, as long as you are confident in your settings.

Adjusting the HOT program with the XP Deus

If you find the HOT program to noisy it could be a sign of your detecting pace is to fast, try to slow down and just let the machine flow from target to target, you will soon find the optimum pace and swing speed for your Reactivity setting.

XP Deus digging deep artefact

What do deep targets sound like on the XP Deus ?

When I say deep I am referring to targets that are on the edge of the Deus capability, these signals quite often do not sound clear, there may be some iron tone bleeding through, but the key is a repeatable sound and possibly slightly “clipped”.
A loud “clipped” sound is more than likely to be Iron so be aware that a sensible audio gain of around 3 will give a very good audio perception of depth, where as a high audio gain will be loud no matter what depth the target is.
During my test I found some interesting targets, most at very respectable depths.

XP Deus digging deep coin

The video below shows the XP Deus in action and locates some difficult targets at depth, pay attention to the different audio sounds and make a mental note so you can convert these metal detecting tips into more finds.

XP Deus digging deep using different tone configurations.

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Garmin E Tex 30 test

The Garmin E Trex 30 – Not a full review but a few things you should know before purchasing.
Having recently borrowed a Garmin E Trex 10, I soon realised that the features installed were not what I wanted for my metal detecting needs, so after some homework and decided to go for the Garmin E Trex 30, it had a lot more to offer and was going to be ideal for plotting my finds while out metal detecting, especially when hunting in heavily wooded area’s because the E Trex 30 uses the superior Russian satellite system called Glonass according to reports this system could easily penetrate heavy tree canopy and work under some difficulyt conditions, where as the UK satellites quite often have trouble getting a stable lock.
The E trex 30 can run GPS and Glonass at the same time or they can be selected individually, accuracy was down to about 3 feet when I tested the unit for the first time.

Garmin e trex 30

The E Trex 30 was quite easy to operate in the field, it took a little practice at first, like all things new we think we know it all then read the manual….which in this case was non-existent. I had to rely on video’s and web sites to gather enough information to become semi confident. I got my unit from Amazon which offered the best price.

In order to use this unit you have to download the Basecamp software, which is clumsy and looks like it was designed on a windows 98 system, I had all sorts of problems at first it wouldn’t recognise my passwords or device, then I spent a long time on the phone to the Garmin on-line help, who were pretty good to be fair.

Garmin-Basecamp

Garmin E Trex 30 Compass
The eTrex 30 adds a built-in 3-axis tilt-compensated electronic compass, which shows your heading even when you’re standing still, without holding it level. Also added is a barometric altimeter which tracks changes in pressure to pinpoint your precise altitude, and you even can use it to plot barometric pressure over time, which can help you keep an eye on changing weather conditions.

garmin-card-birds eye select

Garmin Maps
What a disappointment !!!, first I purchased the Birdseye maps thinking they were like Google Earth….wrong ! they were just maps, so then I had to subscribe to the Aerial maps in order to get somewhat closer to what I wanted. Sadly when you subscribe you can only choose a very small section of the map at a time and then download it……More is explained in my video.

The Garmin E Trex 30 is a good solid unit, and very functional my only real complaints are the map downloads and the hard to understand Basecamp software.

Here is my short video reviewing the Garmin E Trex 30
Watch Video >>>

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XP Deus deep targets

XP Deus digging deep targets using 4Khz

Lower frequencies are better for big targets right ? Yes and no……As many of you know the XP Deus has a choice of operating frequencies most people use 11Khz or 17Khz, this suits most of their metal detecting requirements. Some have never ventured into the 4Khz domain, possibly because they have no need for it, but I would suspect they simply don’t understand what it’s for. As the instruction manual states 4Khz is a good frequency for large deep objects, this is true but it’s possibly only one reason for using 4Khz.

Difficult soil

Soil conditions play a very important part to successful metal detecting, sometimes a lower frequency can penetrate the soil better than a high frequency, so you are not only making your XP Deus better at finding large targets, if soil conditions dictate 4Khz you will be making it more responsive to ALL targets.

xp deus 4khz digging deep targets

How does the XP Deus see targets….Target orientation

Sometimes a lower frequency can find multiple targets such as scattered hoards much better, for some reason higher frequencies have problems dealing with multiple targets even on the surface, it is something to do with an inconsistent sine wave omitted from the multiple targets which confuses VLF metal detectors.

Here is a video of the XP Deus being used in 4Khz on a pasture site with some interesting results, so next time give the lower frequencies a chance, it may be worth it !

Can I use my favourite settings and just switch to 4Khz ?

Yes…no problem, all XP Deus users….well all professional metal detectorists, should learn to interpret what the machine is telling them and then make adjustments accordingly. Correct power settings and a discrimination level set for the site conditions are the key, when correctly combined = stability, which will allow you to hear those quiet signals. Reactivity is largely dependant on your sweep speed, so if you know you have these settings correct stand firm and have confidence using 4Khz.

XP Deus 4KHZ video review

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Tesoro saves the day

I got up at 5:30 am and made the school yard by 6:30am. No rain last night, expected to find hard dry ground…Blue skies and the sun was out in full force. I Found several area’s that were dig-able where you wouldn’t need a pick axe to get down to the targets.
euro sabre

Today decided to use my PI first and see what this place has in it. Has been detected by numerous people who found some sporadic finds. I took the challenge of coming back in. Continue reading

Garys Detecting review

Metal detecting web site review
As relative newbies to detecting choosing our first metal detector has been a journey of up’s and down’s based on conficting information from so many web sites which Google throw up these days.
Our savior and guardian angel was Gary’s Detecting so I thought what the heck I will send in a report and do my bit for our new found friend.

The_best_uk_metal_detecting
As the web site says welcome to my scrap book of a web site, yes indeed it looks like a scrap book but the key is it’s so easy to navigate, a simple click on the “Read More” to enter and the site opens up. Continue reading

Beginners guide Dowsing

This is a short guide about rod Dowsing for metal
Dowsing is something everyone can do as long as you can clear your mind and have confidence. It’s not going to give you good results every time but it’s fun and adds another dimention to your metal detecting.
Dowsing1_bh
Dowsing rods

 L rods – Generally, these are bent wires with two straight sections separated by a 90-degree bend.   The short length is usually held in the hand like a pistol and the reaction is through a movement to the right or left of the body.

Either a single wire can be used, or often, two wires are used simultaneously.

The L rods have a distinct advantage in fieldwork on physical or material objects, as they are more resistant to wind or body movement than the pendulum.   The L rods usually require body motion such as walking to achieve a reaction. Continue reading

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