How it started for me


Metal Detecting - How It Started

It's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Received a Whites IDX Pro 950 as a Christmas Gift.  Way Cool, from the coolest person I know (Miss C)!  Have been thinking about a detector'n for a long time.  What for? ... Well, to pull out while camping and poking around.  Ok... so that's not the typical what I read about when metal detecting. 

There was more to picking out this Whites detector than "eni-mini-miny-mo", but let's get on...


Read instructions!  Put it together, Set  all three of the control knobs to their "P"s... Yep there's nails in the living room floor and loud ones at that!  Ok, now a quarter... hey... almost a change in tone, in the speaker racket of kla-bleeps and the led below the quarter lit.  I can clearly see that this has something to do with the right swing and is an outside affair with headphones.

In the back yard I threw down an assortment of coins and garbage.  It was dark and I had my new led head lamp on.  Some sort of large hook and brass screw wouldn't set it off.  Nickels and a tabs sounded and displayed on the readout very much the same.  Found a strong signal, with a quarter reading, a few feet away... Hum, wonder what's under there?  Well, 6x12" deep hole produced a folded can lid.  Too cold to go on.

Out to the Owyhees for a drive... Stopped at a well known camp spot and found several shell casings, a blob of something and a few other trash items.  Now what were them tips and tricks that I read for tuning out trash? Was about 30min of checking things out with the detector.


A few checks in LB's backyard test lab, set up for me, proved that this detector would not do small gold very well and even a small 18k ring dialed out at the P ring setting.  With the setting in the ring range, the bleep factor goes up, but the repeatable ones from multiple angles appear to be targets.  Several other detectors over the test items also had mixed results but with another shadow detector sound was clearer than the rest (no headphones).  It was quite clear that nickels, rings, tabs etc... were pretty much the same on the IDX display.  The more current nickels appeared to have a more solid lock but the old nickel looked just like trash to me.


I got a quick finger frozen instructional tour of a high school bus stop by an expert (Lucky Berl).  Learned how to probe for coins with a fat ground/wore out screwdriver.  Wow, I'm not very good at that!  You really had to force the screwdriver into the ground and that can't be too good for a potential rare coin.  Maybe a thinner shaft would be easier?  Looks easier than it is!  As if locating with the probe wasn't as hard enough, getting the coin out of the ground with the probe and not chewing up any lawn was equally hard.  That hour or so of randomly scattered scans over that small area showed these targets.  Many targets were left un-recovered after probing because my recovery skills took too long and I had several golf tee marked spots to check out.  Wow, LB is good at this!


Back to the yard! ... mostly in the ring high sensitivity setting turned up several items down about 8" or so.  I've got to get this pinpointing thing down better!  I could dig a plug in my own yard and the ground was wet so everything went back just like it was with hardly a trace of digging!  I spent a couple hours and turned up some interesting items.


Decided 2 detectors were better than one... so, I looked around and picked out a package deal for a Minelab Explorer XS with 3 heads and some other free accessories in a Package.  Oh yea, hopefully better head phones too (with coil cord).  Anyway, I had a hard time picking one out... since I've never used a detector before.  Had I seen the year 2002 or so magazines, that I just ran through, before I ordered the Minelab I may have picked one of the other ones from my list! ... Why?  Well every magazine had at least 2 picture ads per month with each containing a full 2 page spread.  Hum... too much "talk it up".  Anyway I picked it more for it's looks, and gadget appeal over any other factor like which one is really best!  I've skimmed over many opinions and views.


Ok, got the new detector in the mail!  Tried it in the back yard for a few...  Dug up an old can down about 10" and left it there as it was bigger than my hole.  Found the coins I wedged into the ground on edge.  Found a really big target with what appeared to be a couple feet of length that registered shallow and it ended up being a head gasket down at just about 9".  Guess that can stay in the ground.  Oh yea, forgot about them... I threw out a few coins the first night out with the whites...  Nickels got a neat sound to them, surprise!  Hum... wonder what a pull tab sounds like?  That'll have to wait for another time as I'm getting cold and it's getting dark.

I don't know much about detectors but this is a pretty cool gadget!  It has lots of different noises compared to the IDX bleep.  Kind of musical I'd say.  It was easy to distinguish my stashed coin targets.  The nickel was a strong mid toned double boing sort of sound that stopped me in my tracks. 

Anyway what I've figured out is that shallow 1c & 10c coin targets have only a little tip & tail signal overlap.  This overlap seems to be directly related to the object size as I would expect but it seems easier to determine this overlap with the Minelab than with the whites.  It could be that I'm just getting better at figuring some of this stuff out too.  This holds true though, also, for pinpointing with an approach method also.  So far the Minelab is just about dead on center bar either just under the edge on deep items or just outside edge on shallow surface items.  Trash type items seem to be the ones that are harder to quickly pinpoint.

Centering target worried me because I'm having trouble finding center with the whites but have been just about dead on every time with the Minelab.  Hum... seems as if I read that the Minelab was hard to center?  Well, if it is ... then, the whites that I have, in my opinion is even more difficult!  I was just getting it down (so I think) by simply X'ing as I raised the head of the IDX.  But the DD pinpointing is so easy in comparison.   Don't get me wrong, so far, it picks up things just as deep, loud, and clear.

I've skimmed through the manual so maybe now I should read it and the book that came with it.  Where did I put that, something about mastering the explorer, book?


So, that's how it all got started...  A big thanks to C & L.B.!