Operating a top end metal detector can be as easy or as complicated as you want it to be, I am your typical button presser wanting the last ounce of performance on any given site, but I have to admire those guys who simply switch on to their favourite Deus program and detect without a care in the world.
I goes without saying we all want to use the best machine for the job and our goal is to find something old or interesting, so it is fair to say everyone’s journey is different in some way, but the desired end results are the same.
In my opinion, soil conditions can be the hardest challenge to overcome, if your soil won’t allow it, the metal detector will not perform at its best, and it’s as simple as that.
Very often, historic land is contaminated with various sized iron, from large lumps down to iron dust mixed in mixed in with ground minerals,.
I am convinced the high frequency coils will be your best option.
The ultimate test
I was recently detecting with Paul Bancroft over in the west country on one of his interesting sites, he invited me over because he wanted a second opinion, as the soil conditions were giving him problems using high frequencies.
Paul wanted to use the higher frequencies in order to find the small targets, but his metal detector had different ideas.
After a few minutes detecting I had experienced his dilemma, at the top of the field the machine was working well, but as you worked down the slope towards the darker soil it became increasingly unsettled.
Having made all the usual adjustments, sensitivity, reactivity, to no resolve, I felt I was missing something but had no idea what it was. Operating the Deus at 14Khz and above was proving to be a problem.
I was in a stalemate situation, I wanted to use a higher frequency but this Jekyll and Hyde soil would not allow it….what was I missing here, HF coils have always been my “go to choice” on ancient sites.
I could have easily used the X35 coil on a lower frequency, but I wasn’t going to be beaten, so it was a case of using the HF round coil and thrash this thing out !
I knew sensitivity and reactivity were not the cure, although reactivity at 4 using the HOT program was indeed the best option. It was not EMI because with the coil in the air it was silent.
My next choice was ground balance, although reluctant to adjust because the mineralization bar was only showing 1 block showing the mineralization was low, I made some experiments, all to no avail.
Paul came over for a chat, and said are you going to detect or just press buttons all morning, he had a good point, I said to him this issue was consuming my thoughts I had to get to the bottom of it or suffer in silence.
As we parted the words “suffer in silence” bounced around in my head, I looked down at my XP Deus screen, it was still in the reactivity feature, then I noticed Expert on the bottom left, a quick press and into silencer, showing -1.
OK I thought let’s give it a try, up a couple to 2,,,,You’re kidding it’s working, now up to 4, and it had eliminated all the false signals generated by the high frequency.
I had cracked it, no more suffering in silence, the SILENCER our old forgotten friend that nobody ever contacts had just dropped by and saved the day.
I called Paul back over to confirm I wasn’t going mad, he tried it on his Deus and confirmed, this was the trick we were missing.
We had a great day with some interesting finds.
There’s a lesson for us all here, but I can’t think of it at the moment.
Here is a video of our day, and also the chance for you to win a free HF round coil.
XP Deus the ultimate test
Happy hunting Gary