Saturday, July 30, 2016

Is metal detecting good for the beach and ocean?

I think the picture below speaks for itself. Metal detecting on the beach cleans the beach of unwanted trash and metal objects. Many people would be surprised to see how much trash is left on the beach after a busy weekend. When trash gets dropped on the beach it gets covered by sand almost immediately . Then when a storm comes through it goes out into the ocean. This can poison and destroy the environment. Beer/soda cans and caps begin to rust and can cut people and injure wildlife. Fish hooks are all over the place. There is nothing good about trash on the beach.

While metal detectorists do find gold rings, silver rings, and coins a majority of the things they find are trash, as shown in the picture. In fact, almost everything metal detectorists find is trash. Ask a pro what their trash to gold ratio is and its probably very high. The trash shown in this picture was found over the course of a few hours of searching on the beach. On the far left you can see a big chunk of sharp metal that was only inches in the sand - something someone would of stepped on and cut themselves on.

So if you want to keep your ocean and beaches clean, please support metal detecting on your local beaches and the next time you see a detectorist out, please thank them for cleaning the beach.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Cleaning those coil covers...

I try to clean mine 1x a week which = about 6 hours of detecting in the summer. If you don't clean them they can affect your detectors performance so please clean them often. Here are some pics of mine once I took it off after only a few days of detecting

On the coil:


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Great morning on the beach

Well it was hot but its always a good day to get out. I also found a nice silver earring .925.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Silver it is...

Went to the sanded in popular beaches today. Just as I was setting up my detector on the dry sand right by the entrance I hear a ping and it was this .925 silver ring. About 5 minutes later on the water's edge I found this silver pendant.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

When to dig...

Many people wonder if they should use discriminate and when they should be digging if they hear iffy signals. While there are times to use discriminate and times where I don't dig iffy signals in general you should be doing the following until you know your area and detector very well:

Iron = Don't dig
Not Iron = Dig

Iffy signal - if its repeatable and not iron = Dig
Faint/Deep signal - check to see if iron. If not, dig. If iron tone, clear a few inches of sand/dirt and check if its iron again to confirm. The deeper the target the more trouble machines have at telling what kind of metal is beneath the coil.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Pinpoint vs All Metal (autotune) on the CZ21

I just did an air test today to figure this out as someone on the forums said they were considering hunting in pinpoint. Here is what I found on my air test with a quarter:

- PinPoint I can only airtest at around 7 inches.
- Autotune my faint signal dies off at 13 inches.
- Disc I can get around 11 inches.

So pinpoint was significantly less deep. Also, the halo around the coilwas  much smaller in pp. I have to get under the coil to hear it whereas in autotune I can be on the edge or just outside the coil to hear the target.

Monday, July 18, 2016

This mornings hunt

Went out (even though it was high tide) this morning to search for weekend drops from a professional surf competition. Since it was high tide I was limited to the towel line and dry sand. But I knew there was a surf competition all weekend so there would be fresh drops and I can't get to the low tide sand unless I came out at midnight...and I have 3 kids and need to sleep when they do! So...there was tons and tons of garbage. Beer bottle caps, foils, wrappers, you name it. I found more zippers than I ever have in my life. It was like a zipper company threw out all of their extras on the beach. I mean I find zippers all of the time...but not 20 of them in a 2 hr hunt. I was able to find some deep quarters and nickels that were there for quite a while, which is nice to always find because this beach was dredged 2 years ago and its searched like crazy so anything older and deep is positive. I also managed to get two silvers out of the bunch. The earring is marked and toe ring was positive in testing. I found the toe ring about 6-7 inches down - 1 scoop. The earring was found right on the sand. My Excal was on top of it and it still wasn't a loud booming hit even though it was laying directly on the sand, it was pretty about a fresh drop. I would of loved to stay there longer but by 730am I was drenched in sweat due to major heat wave we are having so I called it a day but I am happy when I find silver!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Fisher CZ21: Getting max depth

This video shows the basic settings for getting max depth. Keep in mind this is an air test so settings in the field may differ for a number of reasons. But please test your CZ21 to see if you can get the same - 13-14 inches on a quarter. This is the exact same depth I can test a quarter with my with stock machines they are both the same an air test that is:)

How to make a straight shaft for the Excalibur 2

This tutorials shows the measurements and parts I used to create a behind the elbow shaft for my Minelab Excalibur. I have tried all of the different ways to swing this machine and this is by and far the easiest and keeps it out of the water when you are in waist deep. The downfall is that its also the longest. I have been using this set up for about 1.5 months now (80+ hours of detecting) and its still perfect. Very light, no wobble or anything like that, and I could very easily swing it all day. I found an aluminum broom handle at lowes for $4 and I made my handle out of PVC for $5. I wrapped it with a velcro strap but I think a piece of neoprene that holds a beer/soda can would be good too.

If anyone is looking to make one its very easy.

Here are some pics:


I bought a Plugger lock off of ebay to connect the lower to the upper shaft but you could use duct tape if you wanted to be cheap about it. I used all plastic screws instead of metal so I could take them off. I used a Oscillator saw to carve holes in the arm cuff so that I could fit a strap in there because the minelab arm cuff does not have them

The only tools you need for this project are a hack saw and drill. The holes for drilling are 1/4 and screws are size 1/4-20.

Here is a breakdown of the parts. I looked them all up so if anyone wants to build this they would know how much it approximately costs:

Pole: $4.50 - lowes
Arm Strap for arm cuff: 4.90 - ebay
Screws (7): 4.84 - lowes
Handle: 5.59 - lowes
Lock to connect bottom/top shaft: 10.89 - ebay
Velcro for handle: $5.47 - lowes

Total: $36.19

Again, you could probably do this much cheaper. I had an extra pole from a broom. I had the plastic screws from another project and I had the velcro already.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Sanded in...

These are just a few pics which show a great example of what sanded in really means and looks like. We had some really bad storms 2-3 days ago which carved off a few inches from the beaches. Almost immediately sand has begun to fill in but hasn't yet filled in the deep section. You can see from the pics just how much its filled in within just a few tide cycles. You don't always get to see it this distinct so I took these pics to show the example...there is a solid 6-8 inches of new sand here between the low and high tide line. The high tide line is still carved out in the pics where the water is but that will fill in within the next few tide cycles as well. When it fills in it wont look like this, it will look like nice smooth beach. This is why studying the beach to see how the sand is moving can increase your finds significantly. Now that this area is sanded in, where is the best place to hunt? I can think of a few areas that are probably going to be better than others in this situation.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Finds this week...

I have been home for 5 days and was able to hunt 3 of them. I normally don't get to hunt this much during the fall/winter/spring so only expect posts like this in the summer. Another tungsten ring to add to the collection, a wheat penny, and a 925 silver toe ring - I love finding silver! This one was a surprise because it looked like junk metal until I got home and cleaned it off and saw the 925 stamp.  Then roughly $16 in clad, which is a lot for my area in such a short period of time...I guess the tourists are out in full force right now.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Minelab Excalibur: Max depth with PP and Disc

I have discussed this already but here is a video to show my findings. Please test yourself and let me know your results:

Friday, July 8, 2016

Find where the targets are

I was out at one of my local spots this morning for the low tide. The beach is not sanded in but I could not get a hit. I spent 30 minutes at the low tide line in a popular section of beach without a hit. I have a 30 minute rule for searching areas and not finding anything so after that I left to the high tide line and towel line to see if they would be any better. The towel line was littered with trash but sure enough the high tide line was the spot to be. When I found my first quarter I knew I was in the right spot. I then combed that area of the beach very slowly. I found a few pennies and maybe 2 more quarters. Then I got a very weird signal from my excalibur. It was a double beep in disc but a very soft beep. I thought it was probably junk but I should dig anyway. It was around 12 inches down and turned out to be a silver quarter. It was very corroded so it has been there for a while. I was very happy with this find even though they are not worth much, silver is silver! I did not get any more good hits except some junk jewelry before I had to leave because it was getting mighty hot out there but it was a good morning at the beach!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Where is the best place on the beach to detect?

The answer to this question is quite simple - the place where there is gold:) Now finding that spot may not be so easy. This is especially true if you are not at the beach everyday looking at the sand and seeing what the ocean is doing. I surf and am at the beach at least 4-5 times per week. I watch the sand, weather, and currents. But I often hear that the best place to detect is on the wetsand but this isn't always true. I believe the water is the 'usually' the best place...and I only say that because its the least hunted. I never see anyone in the water at my beaches. It's literally just me. There will be 5 guys on the beach and only me in the water. It's an untapped place to detect in my area. But there is no reason that the dry sand is any worse of a place to detect than the water or wetsand. It all depends on what the sand is doing, time of year, etc. For example, if the beach is sanded in the water may be too and that means both the water and wetsand will be bad for detecting. When that happens I go on the dry sand and towel line. They key is reading the beach and then choosing a place to detect. But there is no best place...there is just a best place for today because tomorrow that best place might be terrible.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Best beginner metal detector on a budget?

I see this question posted many times in the forums...

Are you new to detecting? Do you want a beginner machine and are on a budget? Do you want a cheap detector? Do you want enough to just get started?

The first thing you need to know is what kind of detecting you are doing. You also need to know your budget and if you really like the sport or not.

Why do you need to know the type of detecting you are doing? Because if you are trying to scuba with your machine you need a much different machine than if you are looking for gold in the desert. So what kind of detecting are you doing? If you are looking for a waterproof machine, you are going to need to spend at least $500+ to over 1000+ for the machine you need. If you are going to do beach hunting only and want to detect the wetsand, then its the same thing - you are going to spend a minimum of $500 and maybe need to spend much more. Now if you are just doing basic metal detecting, like parks, dry sand beach, etc. then you can get away with spending under $100.

So what is your budget? And do you like the sport?

Assuming you are an absolute beginner and are not sure if you are going to like metal detecting in a year from now and dont have unlimited income, I encourage you to spend as little as possible on a decent beginner machine.

My choice for a beginner machine is a bounty hunter tracker IV because you can find them for $60-$100 new. Other good beginner machines are made by each company like the fisher F2 and Garret Ace series. However, each of these machines more or less has the same depth but is much more $$$. What differs is features. However, I think most of these features are not worth the money, especially for a beginner. What I would like to see a beginner do is learn to use their ears. I don't want you to learn to rely on technology telling you what a target is because there are instances where that technology can be wrong. Learn to use your ears. The bounty hunter tracker IV is a great beginner machine that can accomplish this. And when you are ready to upgrade machines (and you will when you get into the sport) you will be ready to buy a good mid-high level detector which will run $500-$1000+ like the Garrett AT Pro, Minelab CTX, etc

So what is so great about this machine I recommend? I see 3 advantages to getting this over other machines. 1) Its cheap, like the cheapest detector you can get, so if you decide you don't like MD or you want to upgrade you didn't break the bank at all so your loss is minimal 2) When you do upgrade you can keep it as a backup machine or for friends who want to try metal detecting (and trust me your friends will want to try it) and 3) It will force you to learn to use your ears and not technology that tries to tell you what the target is.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Beach machines?

Looking for a beach machine? Here are a list of PI/VLF and Waterproof and Non Waterproof machines. This is not every machine out there that works on the beach but its a very comprehensive list. Also, please note, any machine will work on the dry sand in a salt beach so I am not including those. These are machines that will work on the wetsand and/or water. Also, these are machines in production. Older models are not included. And for those that do not know VLF is a machine that can tell the difference between iron and non iron and PI means dig everything. If you are not sure if you need a PI or VLF that means you more than likely need a VLF. PIs are not really beginner machines in most cases.

VLF Waterproof (multifrequency):

Fisher CZ21
Minelab Excalibur
Minelab CTX
Whites BHID 300

VLF Non Waterproof (multifrequency):

Minelab Etrac
Minelab Safari
Fisher CZ3D

PI Machines:

Tesaro Sand Shark
White's Dual Field
White's TDI (Non waterproof)
Garrett Sea Hunter
Garrett ATX
Garrett Infinium

If a machine is not listed here its probably not going to work on the salt beaches wetsand/water. If you are unsure please ask because new models are always coming out.

Trip to NJ

I was only able to hunt for about 5-6 hours this trip. I didn't find anything special unless the unmarked ring I found turns out to be plat but I have a feeling when I test it I will find its tungsten. I was however surprised at the amount of clad I found ($10.37) given that I only hunted for such a short time. I couldn't imagine what I could find if I was able to hunt here for a few weeks. In my local area 5-6 hours might produce $2-$3 in clad on a good day so it was quite a surprise to find so many recently dropped quarters.

So my good finds of the trip were the ring and a silver nickel. Here is a picture:

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Why I love finding nickels and quarters...

When I find nickels and quarters in a certain area I know I am on to something. Nickels and quarters are roughly the same size as rings. Thus I know the area of the beach I am detecting is a good place to focus because if the quarters have sunk to 6'' inches then the rings are going to be found in that range as well. Plus it tells me that the area has the potential for good finds because a good detectorist is not going to pass up those signals. So when I find nickels and quarters, especially old ones, I know I need to pay attention to the area I am in and hunt there.

So when you do find these types of areas pay attention to the sand level, where you are on the beach (ie wetsand, high tide line, towel line, etc) so that you can start to identify them before you even start detecting.

Friday, July 1, 2016

What is the 'halo effect'?

What is the halo effect and does it exist?

This is a debate we see in metal detecting quite often. The halo effect is the idea that an object that has been in the ground for a long (extended) period of time is easier to detect than one that is freshly dropped due to a metallic halo, from rust (oxidation), which has formed in the soil around the object. While this can happen, this is not always the cause of the halo effect. The halo effect can occur for two reasons and sometimes they happen together 1) because the ground around the object is more compact and condensed which allows one to easier to detect the target and 2) The item can rust around the object which can cause a greater field of detection. Either or both of these instances can cause what we perceive as the halo effect. Much of this depends on the object, its environment, and how long it's been in the ground.

Traveling with your detector

When I travel with my detector I like to store it in a hard case so that it doesn't get ruined. I have found the perfect travel case for my detectors that works with every detector. Its a bow case at Dick's Sporting Goods that holds my detector and pouch among other things. Its a hard case so it protects the detector and packs well. Additionally, I dont need to take my detector apart to put it in the case, I just need to adjust the size of the detector by pushing the lower shaft all the way in the upper shaft. Then I wrap the detector in a blanket so that its nice and sturdy. This is the easiest way to travel with my detector. Here is a link to the case:

Here is a picture of the bow case I use for my metal detectors