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Tip of the day...

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Over the years I have spent detecting I have noticed one thing that goes hand and hand with being successful.... What you ask?

It is the difference between knowing your detector and just using it!

Getting to know your metal detector is possibly the one most important part of becoming a successful nugget, coin, relic, or treasure hunter hands down in my opinion and I do not mean just reading your manual and hunting in the "suggested" settings. Most of the higher end detectors come with some factory presets to help the beginner get familiar with there new detector and on many detectors like the Minelab GPX series these settings are very good to start right out hunting beginner or not, but they may not be the best for the area you plan to hunt.

An easy way to get to know your detector better is to simply wait for that first faint target (or bury some of your own) and before you dig monkey with your settings and see if you can make that signal stronger, weaker, smoother, etc. and pay attention to exactly what you are doing and which settings will enhance your signal so you can better hear it in the area you will hunt. These will be the best settings for any particular area and these few moments of tweaking your detector could be the difference between success and failure.

Yes I do this...

You see the factory pre-sets are simply a guide, a map if you will to help you get started down the right path in your initial settings and the rest is up to you. With today's detectors especially the newer PI units a small bit of adjustment can make a huge difference in performance and or stability/sensitivity. Also with a different coil installed your settings for the previous coil will NOT necessarily be suitable for the coil just installed!


The "Tone" setting on your detector is another very important setting depending on you hearing or hearing loss and some simple adjustments while over a target may surprise you.

I have met many other hunters in the field over my 20 plus years detecting and many of those tell me they have never really bothered with all the settings possible on their detector and simply hunt in factory pre-set or some setting a buddy and video showed them. While those settings may work great in some cases they may not be the optimum settings for the environment you are currently hunting.

So to sum this up without getting all long winded and drowning the message...

Let your detector be all it can be and learn how, why, and where each setting will work the best for you!

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Thats the way I learn my detectors, I feel its better to find a object thats been burried in the area your hunting in and tweak your settings to see what difference it makes. I keep track of what the object is, the depth and what settings worked best.

Since I have multiple detectors, Garrett Infinium, Whites TDI Pro, Minelab GPX5000, Whites GMT and Fisher GB II. I will sometimes take another detector and see if it picks up a signal off the same target before digging just so I know what detectors are performing better on different settings. None will go as deep as the GPX5000 running the 18" commander mono. I have learned that the TDI and the infinium are pretty much even performance wise. Then the GMT and GB II are on parr with each other.

Properly set up they will all find gold, so take your time and learn your detectors.

If you dont want to take your time to learn them, please let me know where you have found gold so I can go behind you and find what you could have found.

I am by no means a expert with these detectors, heck I can hardley figure out my cell phone, it just goes to show that you can learn these detectors if you tkae your time and practise. Its well worth your effort.

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Good advice.

I had to really make a big effort to learn what you suggest.

Out in the field when you get a good-sounding signal it takes self-control to be able to stop digging

and mess with settings, but the rewards can be quite enlightening.

I have been surprised at what a difference a few small tweeks to a Minelab can make.

It is not night and day but it can be the difference between

a "should I dig" signal and a "definately dig here" signal.

Once you try adjusting some of the settings and seeing the benefits

it is kind of fun too.

There is nothing that compares with testing different settings on a target in the ground where you hunt.

Air tests are fun but really no help in reality.

Burying targets works ok, but doesn't come close to the conditions that are found in the field.

You are doing a big service to alI of us with these tips.



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Thank you Bill:

I actually did this sunday night after coming home from hunting up by lake pleasant.

I took different things..2 small nuggets, #9 lead shot, brass..and scotch taped them to some 1/8 masonite.

I could only do air tests because my back yard has 27 years of metal working filing and weld spatter in it.

I tweeked knobs and tried different modes.

I know it will be different once I bury them in the mineralized soil.

So, at least me and the detector got to know each other better. We were just about on the verge of divorce. :)

Heres a tip....dont do the testing under florecent lights. Detector makes all kinds of funny sounds.

Welp, going up to my secret spot from years back on Sunday...wish me luck, im going in!

Tks for sharing your experiance.


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Bill: What size test nuggets [if any] do you employ as throw downs in the field? I use two -- a .6g and a .15g. The latter is challenging to tune and I need to be virtually on top of it to get a perceptible response. Also, tuning in the morning is very different from tuning in the afternoon when the sun's radiation seems to cause a lot of emi. Just curious.

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Aloha Bill,

Excellent advise for anyone just getting into this hobby. Read the manual first and foremost, then go out and practice till it hurts. I personally feel that if you dont learn something everytime you go out hunting you are getting lazy.

You have to "train your ears to alert your brain to the different sounds" targets make when you pass your coil over them.

Aloha and stay safe out there.

Stan aka Ka'imi

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Good info for the newbees as well as the experienced beeper operators.I'm more of a hands on visual person who does employ those techniqes as well as a few others I very rarely read manuals I just jump into a beeper and find the best settings for me and to see what its all about- with a few tweeks here and there and I'm off and beepin -One persons settings might not work for another- so I never ask for anyones settings as I probably won't like them :head: Mike C...:ph34r2:

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Hi Guy's, My name is frank, I'm from Oregon. I'v been detecting for about five years, and have Loved every minute of it. Your advice is right on. My situation is that I have a Bounty hunter quick draw. The sound it makes is just that. It beeps in diffrent tones with each target. I have no adjustments like the big guy's do, but I have had good luck finding many small items at 10". My question is " I want to go nugget shooting here in Arazona and hopt it will find what I'm looking for. What advice can you give me in my case, other than going broke buying a big rig? The Quick Draw has been a great machine for what I'v been doing so far. Thank's

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Bill Great bit of advice, It always amazed me how so many people could spend so much money on a detector and not spend the time to truely understand the operation and or function of there machine,Then after months of half assed detecting complain how the detecor does not do what they said it would,Yep you might get lucky and find a nugget or two with the factory presets, The facts remain that you will be missing alot of gold not perfecting your skills, when people ask me what my sttings are or that i was using i know then {well most of the time} that these are people who need help and do not understand how things work,

Bill that is simply the best advice anyone could put out for the new and unskilled. :thumbsupanim

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