Relic hunting advice

Rmeav8r

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Nov 4, 2004
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NW Florida
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Newbie relic hunter here, I?m going to hunt a 1840?s home site that I?ve been to twice before mainly just looking for non-iron items. I?m ready now to try and locate some iron type relics...what?s the best way to get off to a good start? I?ve hunted the area with park-1 and the horseshoe on most of the time there. Lots of small broken China and pottery fragments everywhere. There?s lots of iron signals so what?s the technique to dig the larger items and not get bogged down on nails and iron fragments?
Thanks!
 

brianc053

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Jan 27, 2015
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Morris County, NJ
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I suspect that differentiating iron targets will be challenge. I think the answer may be "dig them all", but I'm looking forward to what others have to say.
I guess you could distinguish between small and large iron targets by using the pinpoint mode, and then only dig the larger ones maybe?
Good luck!

- Brian
 

vferrari

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Jul 19, 2015
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You can use the pinpoint mode to trace out the footprint of the targets and dig just the ones that have a larger footprint. Note that the footprint even for larger targets will tend to shrink with depth, though.

If you don't care about iron bias, you can use 4 khz for max depth. If you are going to hunt in multi, I would suggest Park 1 or Field 1 (I like Field 1's two-tone ferrous/non-ferrous tone setup for this situation, you can switch Park 1 into 2 tones too, if you prefer). Suggest you crank F2 iron bias to the max setting 9 for the 800 or 3 for the 600), that will ensure you get a fuller ferrous signal rather than an iffy falsing, mixed ferrous signal. Set recovery speed to 4, you don't need a high recovery but since you will be in hotshot mode, you don't want to set it lower as you may pick up excessive ground noise. Make sure you do an auto or manual ground balance. HTH.
 
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Rmeav8r

Rmeav8r

Hero Member
Nov 4, 2004
588
711
NW Florida
Detector(s) used
Minelab Equinox 800, Nokta Makro Simplex+, Nokta Pinpointer
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
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Thanks to all. That will get me started, I guess when I start digging I’ll catch on ......or go back to nonferrous targets!
 

brianc053

Hero Member
Jan 27, 2015
915
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Morris County, NJ
🏆 Honorable Mentions:
3
Detector(s) used
Minelab Equinox 800
XP Deus
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
You can use the pinpoint mode to trace out the footprint of the targets and dig just the ones that have a larger footprint. Note that the footprint even for larger targets will tend to shrink with depth, though.

If you don't care about iron bias, you can use 4 khz for max depth. If you are going to hunt in multi, I would suggest Park 1 or Field 1 (I like Field 1's two-tone ferrous/non-ferrous tone setup for this situation, you can switch Park 1 into 2 tones too, if you prefer). Suggest you crank F2 iron bias to the max setting 9 for the 800 or 3 for the 600), that will ensure you get a fuller ferrous signal rather than an iffy falsing, mixed ferrous signal. Set recovery speed to 4, you don't need a high recovery but since you will be in hotshot mode, you don't want to set it lower as you may pick up excessive ground noise. Make sure you do an auto or manual ground balance. HTH.

Hey Vferrari, a quick question to make sure I understand the iron bias concept: will cranking iron bias up to 9 result in the Nox tending to indicate any questionable target as iron?

I thought I understood that lowering the iron bias (to 2,1 or even 0) results in the Nox revealing questionable signals as possibly non-ferrous, leading to digging more of those questionable signals and thus finding some hidden treasures.
Based on that it seems to make sense that if you're looking for iron relics you'd want questionable signals to sound like iron, thus the high iron bias recommendation.
Do I have all that right? (And I love to know what's actually going on behind the screen, so if you want to explain the electronics aspect of this i.e. filters and such I'm all ears!)
 

vferrari

Silver Member
Jul 19, 2015
4,910
8,360
Near Ground Zero for Insanity
Detector(s) used
XP Deus with HF/x35 Coils and Mi6 Pinpointer/ML Equinox 600/800/ML Tarsacci MDT 8000 GPX 4800/Garrett ATX/Fisher F75 DST/Tek G2+/Delta/Whites MXT/Nokta Simplex/Garrett Carrot
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Hey Vferrari, a quick question to make sure I understand the iron bias concept: will cranking iron bias up to 9 result in the Nox tending to indicate any questionable target as iron?

I thought I understood that lowering the iron bias (to 2,1 or even 0) results in the Nox revealing questionable signals as possibly non-ferrous, leading to digging more of those questionable signals and thus finding some hidden treasures.
Based on that it seems to make sense that if you're looking for iron relics you'd want questionable signals to sound like iron, thus the high iron bias recommendation.
Do I have all that right? (And I love to know what's actually going on behind the screen, so if you want to explain the electronics aspect of this i.e. filters and such I'm all ears!)

Iron bias utilizes multifrequency signal processing to make a ferrous target that is falsing or giving an iffy mixed signal a stronger bias or emphasis on the ferrous signal component, thereby reducing falsing. The potential drawbacks are 1) inadvertently biasing a non-ferrous target as indicating ferrous and 2) the potential for masking adjacent ferrous and non-ferrous targets that are in close proximity as the iron bias signal processing filter mistakenly interprets the combined multiple target signals as a single mixed-ferrous target and emphasizes the ferrous signal at the expense of the non-ferrous target. In reality, I have yet to see iron bias take a non-ferrous target and "turn it into" a pure ferrous signal. I have also not knowingly experienced masking (I will sample dig some probable ferrous indicating targets just to make sure, but I don't dig all suspected junk targets). Put another way, I have never seen much advantage to dialing down iron bias to "make" the signal "iffy" in the hopes of revealing a non-ferrous target that otherwise would indicated ferrous under high iron bias settings. My philosphy is that iron bias utilizes an advantage of multifrequency that enables the detector to mitigate ferrous falsing, so why not make the most of it. Therefore, I run with iron bias (F2, which is a superior, refined second generation implementation of the iron bias feature vs. the first generation FE iron bias filter which is poorly implemented) at least at the default setting of 6 (Equinox 800) and crank it up to higher settings under conditions where I think the risk of masking is low (such as at the beach) to take advantage of it's ability to render some targets such as bottlecaps which are troublesome on the Equinox without iron bias, whereas iron bias effectively makes bottlecaps a non-issue.
 
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