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Thread: Teaching Newbies to Metal Detect the Beach

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  1. #1
    us
    Feb 2014
    Ohio and Florida
    CTX3030 w 11" and 17" DD coils, Minelab Excalibur II w 10" coil, BH Discovery 3300 w 7" coil, Troy Shadow x2 w 7" coil Vibra-Tector 730 w 4" coil, Fisher Pulse Pointer, Whites (1970s)
    581
    1353 times
    Beach and Shallow Water Hunting
    Honorable Mentions (1)

    Teaching Newbies to Metal Detect the Beach

    My sister, Strawbarry, and her husband, Bobby, visited for 3 days and they wanted to metal detect. Luckily, I had 3 detectors at hand and decided to make sure they all were functioning just before their arrival. Unfortunately, my Excal was dead due to a short or open in the wire going from the battery to control unit. [fyi entire wire needs to be replaced.]

    Before the first beach hunt, we went over the rules of MDing; to fill all holes, keep away from people, and collect all targets good and bad (trash), for example. We discussed good places on the beach to detect including the blanket line, high tide line and pathways, to name a few. Except for a few important points (e.g., power, sensitivity, discrimination), I managed the machine functions as these would have taken too much time to detail. It was the importance of keeping the coil low to the ground that would repeatedly catch Strawbarry off-guard.

    “KEEP THE COIL TO THE SAND” I’d keep yelling at her as she would keep regressing back to a Pendulum swing. “YA KNOW THAT COIL ONLY GOES 7” DEEP AND IF YOU’RE 8” ABOVE THE SAND!!! GET THE MESSAGE?”

    Ok, so I acted like a drill sergeant; barking orders…they have to hear me through the headphones, don’t they?

    During the subsequent hunts, totally 13 hrs, I became the digger as Strawbarry labored even with a 2 lb 8oz detector (BH Discovery 3300) and Bobby did a little better with the 6 lb 8oz detector (CTX 3030 w 11”coil), but switched arms often. I mention detector weight, first, since I was truly struck at how they struggled with the weight of the machines. [Review of weight of intro machines under $300, shows few weigh less then 2 ½ lbs.]

    Bobby was a natural, at least when it came to keeping the coil to the sand (i.e., ½” above surface). His chief problem seemed to be pinpointing the target, w/o using pinpointing. He tried the wiggle method but seemed to wiggle his hips more than the tip of the double D coil. To help him with localization, he would first try to localize the target and then I would take the detector and localize it (i.e., its true location) and he would re examine before I would dig the target. Locating targets with DD coils is always challenging for Newbies. I finally let him use pinpointing, a function I don't deal with most the time.

    Strawbarry was using an 8” concentric coil, which is easier to localize with, and seemed to have an easier time locating and digging targets (I gave her a sand scoop and off she went). When she got tired, she often had to use 2 hands to carry and move the detector back-and-forth, even though the detector only weighed 2 ½ lbs. My wife had to carry the sand scoop when Strawbarry got tired, which I heard about later. Strawbarry is 63 yrs old but tall and in good shape. Manufacturers of metal detectors might want to consider building very light weight detectors [Detectors are never under 2 lbs. Tesoro seems to have the most light weight detectors but rumor has it they may no longer be in business and currently most of their detectors are “out-of-stock”.]

    Finally, the detector sounds were found to be much more complex for both of them then I could imagine. For example, even though my CTX 3030 is programmed for one tone only (around FE 12 line), it emits numerous tones depending on relative location of the target to the coil. Seldom do we discuss the threshold bump, but it is there. When a target is deep the tone is lower. And then there is the spontaneous or periodic chatter (noise) particularly when they got too close to the wet, salty sand. Did I mention the intermittent (e.g., one way) but present signals? We concentrated on clear and repeatable signals to get through the hunts. I can only imagine the targets we left behind.

    We visited 3 beaches over 3 days and spent a total of 13 hrs metal detecting. Their finds included a Cremation tag from Clearwater Florida, several metal toy cars and a Triton wedding band (Tungsten Carbide) that fit Bobby perfectly. [He put it on so fast I didn't get a picture.] They also found numerous coins, a few pieces of junk jewelry and the usual tabs, etc. Overall they were very happy with their finds; they’re taking home the cremation tag to show the grand kids and I think Bobby will actually wear the Tritan band. Strawbarry was already talking about buying a detector when I offered her the Discovery 3300 and a sand scoop. They left early the 4th day and my wife and I feel back to sleep due to exhaustion.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I know the metal detecting bug has hit my sister when Bobby texted me the following:

    “Strawbarry wanted to metal detect [name of beach] at 8am this morning [on way out of town] but I talked her out of it. Told her wouldn’t be right to use your equipment there before you, she said tuff luck…”

    Note: The day before, we saw a large group of college spring breakers having a serious party at one corner of the beach. She wanted to get there before me! Sign of a true metal detectorist and loving sister.

    Happy Hunting
    Slingshot and dsdigger like this.
    Metal Detecting Goal in Life is to Find Wife a 2ct Diamond Ring (so she'll be quiet about all my metal detecting).

 

 

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