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  1. #1

    May 2016
    10 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    New to the game

    Hello All,

    I just bought my first metal detector, a whites coinmaster. I took it out and had a couple hits. I dug (as deep as the detector said the target was, and sometimes deeper) and never found anything.

    I’m yalls opinion, would this happen because I’m not getting a solid signal or because I just didn’t find what it was hitting? Or any other reason?

    Any tips for getting started are appreciated.
    RustyGold, Hawks88 and BLK HOLE like this.

  2. #2
    Charter Member
    Aug 2013
    Southern California
    Equinox 800 / XP Deus
    9229 times
    Maybe the target is in the side of the hole or the target was not in the center of coil but near the coils edge when giving a tone. Were you using a pin pointer to zero in on the target? That would help greatly.
    Pay no attention to MD’s target depth as that’s usually just a guide and not always accurate. Also could be a halo signal of a rusted away target and you’re picking up the bits and pieces of what’s left. One more thing, it could be a very tiny object that just keep moving around in the dirt as you dig. Good luck!
    BLK HOLE, Joe-Dirt and Hawks88 like this.

    “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.”
    – Albert Einstein

  3. #3
    Charter Member

    Feb 2017
    Georgetown, SC
    Fisher F75
    9255 times
    Metal Detecting
    Read your manual. It tells you how to operate your machine.
    RustyGold and Joe-Dirt like this.

    "And so the population was gradually led into the demoralising temptations of arcades, baths, and sumptuous banquets. The unsuspecting Britons spoke of such novelties as 'civilisation', when in fact they were only a feature of their enslavement." Tacitus, Roman Senator and Historian, written AD 98.

    The Bald Eagle photo...he/she posed for me, gave me it's best American look. I felt privileged to get the shot.

  4. #4

    Aug 2012
    Niagara falls
    Equinox 600
    11796 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Welcome to tnet from Niagara Falls. Good luck out there.
    angelito1, RustyGold and Joe-Dirt like this.

  5. #5
    Charter Member
    Jun 2016
    624 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    welcome to tnet . . . . . . . . . . . .
    Joe-Dirt and Hawks88 like this.
    Cat-like reflexes with a sloth-like brain

  6. #6
    May 2011
    3009 times
    Very common to dig empty holes at first while learning a new detector.
    Many reasons for this, lack of understanding of your detector behavior and lack of understanding of how things work in our world regarding false signals are the primary reasons.
    It all gets better with experience, trust us, it does.

    Years ago I had many hundreds of hours running with a Vaq but then I picked up a simple F2.
    For the first week or so I dug tons of empty holes, big deep ones looking for targets that were never there.
    Soon enough I figured it out, learned to tell the difference between iron falsing, ghost signals and actual targets.
    I never opened up another empty hole after I gained some knowledge and experience with that particular detector.

    This is all normal for newbies, you have to give yourself a chance to learn the basics of target behavior PLUS the ins and outs of a tool you have never used before.
    You have to learn some things you never had experience before in your life.
    I had tons of experience with one tool but I started over when I switched to is completely understandable why newbies without a veteran's knowledge can get so confused.
    The good thing is it all levels out and gets so much better once you start to understand things more.

    In a couple of weeks you will look back and laugh at what you know now.
    Also very common in this hobby so just have paitience.
    Last edited by digger27; Jun 12, 2019 at 07:26 AM.
    "Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity."

    Currently hunting with an F70, and a Mojave.
    Annnnd now an Equinox 800

  7. #7
    Travis Mitchell

    Feb 2016
    Elizabethtown, IN
    XP Deus ORX, MX5, V3i, Equinox, Tesoro Vaq, F22
    740 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    I dug my fair share of empty holes at first as well. Obviously a pin-pointer helps considerably with avoiding this. If you have a solid tone and you have dug down recheck both the hole and the plug. Sometimes I set the plug a foot away from the hole so I can be fairly certain if the target is in the hole or the plug.

    I would practice on some targets to get the feel for the tones and try a few tot-lots until you get the hang of it. HH
    Joe-Dirt and Hawks88 like this.

  8. #8
    Mar 2018
    Delaware, The First State
    White's, Technetics, Fisher M, AT Pro
    507 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by RustyGold View Post
    Maybe the target is in the side of the hole or the target was not in the center of coil but near the coils edge when giving a tone. Were you using a pin pointer to zero in on the target? That would help greatly.
    Pay no attention to MD’s target depth as that’s usually just a guide and not always accurate. Also could be a halo signal of a rusted away target and you’re picking up the bits and pieces of what’s left. One more thing, it could be a very tiny object that just keep moving around in the dirt as you dig. Good luck!
    I once dug and dug, not finding the elusive target in beach sand, only to finally locate a staple.

  9. #9
    Charter Member
    Aug 2017
    Northern Virginia
    AT MAX/AT PRO/GPX-4500,Garrett Pro Pointer,NEL Attack Coil, Lesche diggers, and the custom made in the USA Freeloader Pack Mule Pouch!
    6037 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    Welcome from Northern Virginia You are experiencing what we all went through and go through with a new machine. Takes some swing time to learn what is telling you, be patient and keep swinging
    RustyGold, Joe-Dirt and Hawks88 like this.

  10. #10
    Jun 2019
    SE Alabama
    BH Quick Draw II,Quick Draw Pro,Harbor Freight 9
    123 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Yup,done that yesterday! Finally found few Very Thin pieces of wire!
    But,i already knew from experience it was NOT a coin.But,curiosity gets me,most of the !
    And of course,getting it out means i will not have to deal with it later!
    Just keep at it,you will get the hang of it...
    Hawks88 likes this.
    Using BH QD2,Harbor Freight 9, Quick Draw Pro.And now the PATRIOT !

  11. #11

    Jul 2017
    White's XLT Spectrum, TRX Pin-pointer, Garrett AT Pro Pin-pointer, Eagle II with Bigfoot, Equinox 600
    2063 times
    Relic Hunting
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    Welcome! A pinpointer is almost a necessity in dirt...Items easily get disguised. The smallest piece of metal can drive you crazy! I have searched and found the tiniest staple setting it off. I bring a telescoping magnet with me to help pull out ferrous materials. There is nothing like time and practice for a teacher though! Have fun.
    RustyGold, Joe-Dirt and Hawks88 like this.
    The detector is my stethoscope to the earth, discovering the heartbeat of the past, to breathe new life into artifacts for us and the future.....

  12. #12

    Jul 2018
    Eastern Connecticut
    Garrett AT Max/ Garrett AT Pro/ Garrett Ace 400/ Garrett Pro Pointer 2 / Garrett Z-Lynk AT Propointer
    3217 times
    Metal Detecting
    maybe you didn't pinpoint the target correctly.
    Hawks88 and Joe-Dirt like this.

  13. #13

    Feb 2016
    macro racer 2, whites mx5, trx pinpointer
    1103 times
    Metal Detecting
    Ok so you got a hit, sweep it with your searchcoil several times to make sure the target siginal doesn't disappear on you because it's below your discrimination setting, ie. small pocket of rust, or small trash target. If nothing else sidestep 90 degrees and see if your still getting a siginal. So you still have a siginal, now move your coil a few inches to either side of where you seen your coil pass when it beeped and tap your pinpoint button on the detector and in a slow move guide your coil to the target listening to the increase in pitch of the tone as you near the target.

    I watch the depth meter closely also at this time. So you hear the tone get louder and the depth gets shallower. When the tone pitch just starts to decrease and depth readout increases by even 1/2 inch back the coil up a hair. Than either push or pull the coil to you or away again listening and watching the depth meter for any changes in tone or depth positive or negative. Personally I sidestep 90 degrees usually instead of the push pull method. I'm assuming your detector has the round concentric coil, so when your target sounds the loudest and reads the shallowest from those two directions 90 degrees apart from each other on your Whites that coin WILL BE right down below the inside of that center circle on your coil.

    Don't totally rely on your target being at the depth your meter said it was. That can vary especially in a non coin target by it size and depth.

    As others have said your target could actually be in the sidewall of your hole (sometimes). Also as others said a handheld pinpointer is a tremendous aid once your hole is dug and plug removed locating your actual dug object.

    If your on a budget buy a Whites Bullseye pinpointer, if you can spend a little more get their TRX pinpointer, or a Garrett model or whatever. Harbor freight sells a cheap one,buts Thats just what they are too. I bought one in a pinch once but wouldn't give a nickel for another. Hope this helps and good luck and happy hunting. It's addictive!
    Last edited by ecmo; Jun 12, 2019 at 05:33 PM.
    Hawks88 and Joe-Dirt like this.

  14. #14

    Jun 2019
    New Jersey
    Whites DFX Whites Spectra V3i
    8 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    The key is not getting discouraged! Understand where your sweet spot is by burying a quarter a few inches in clean ground. Run your detector over it and see what it says regarding depth. Also, listen to the sound it makes; its going to be a nice hard ping every time you pass over it. Look at your coil, and see when the coil intersects your target. Make sure you make the X pattern to help better zero in on where it starts and stops. Do it slowly and make sure you mentally mark the ground when it starts and when it stops. Think of it as a stud finder.

    Out in the field, be generous with the size of your hole at first, and have a good digging implement to make your life easier. Once you have the plug out, run the detector over it and then the hole to determine whether the target is still in the hole or (hopefully) in the plug. The pinpointer here comes as almost a necessity. If you discover your target is in the plug, and you don't have one-take the plug and start to scrape away a layer at a time back into the hole. Hopefully it will be something worthwhile. If it's in the hole and no pinpointer? Keep digging out the hole a little at a time and keep running the detector over the hole until its no longer there. Not recommended.

    Hope this helps!
    Joe-Dirt and Hawks88 like this.

  15. #15
    Charter Member

    Jan 2018
    Central Massachusetts
    Minelab Equinox 600, AT max, 7 coils, 2 Garrett carrots, 2 trash barrels (full) and some dull shovels.
    7189 times
    Coin shooting
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    I would also suggest watching machine specific YouTube video, that will help you a lot watching someone else play with your machine. Keep at it and good luck!!
    Hawks88, RustyGold and chub like this.
    “I was a kid once, but I wasn’t very good at it”

    2020 YTD totals
    Silver coins 40
    Large coppers 5
    Silver rings 9
    Gold rings 3
    Silver items 14
    Skeleton keys 4
    Military buttons 5
    Flat buttons 26
    IHP 26


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