Friendly Metal Detecting Forums   Antiques Detectors
List all sponsors

Go Back   Friendly Metal Detecting Forums > Detectors and Gear > How to Use Your Metal Detector

Reply
  
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-23-2011, 10:23 AM
HugoBorchardt's Avatar
HugoBorchardt HugoBorchardt is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Nashville / East Central MS
Posts: 461
Default Tips from 25 years detecting

Hi! I am a newbie to this forum, but have been a metal detecting nut in Mississippi and Tennessee for over 25 years. I currently hunt with a Garrett GTI 2500 and a GTP 1350. I primarily hunt old homesites and occasionally hunt battlegrounds.

I'd like to share a few tips from my experience, and hope that someone here finds one or more of these useful.

1) Know your metal detector! Learn every little thing about it! This sounds obvious, but I have often ran out screaming into the field with a new detector and used it for hours (or months) without knowing something very important about that model. Read the manual, then search for your detector model on YouTube.com and watch videos of others that are an expert with your detector.

Two commonly overlooked settings on a detector are Sensitivity and Frequency. My Garrett's factory setting is around 80% sensitivity! You can vary the depth and number of targets you hit by adjusting the sensitivity. You may want maximum sensitivity in areas where you are getting few hits, and may want reduced sensitivity in high trash areas. You can always go back over the area later with higher sensitivity after you have removed some "low hanging fruit" and major trash. Your detector ever start acting "Haywire"? It could be interference from another detector, powerline, or the like. Change the frequency!

2) Create a Test Patch and warmup before every session! Take an area free of any targets and bury some coins and trash at different depths. Scan this area for a few minutes prior to going out to make sure your batteries are good and your detector is working properly, and to get a feel for what a coin hit feels like. Nothing beats knowing you are digging a coin before you break the ground! Another advantage of warming up is that you can't say you didn't find anything!

3) Positive Thinking: Prior to commencing a hunt, envision yourself digging a gold coin up. Relive your greatest find ever in your memory. Try to mentally take yourself back in time and pretend that old homesite is still there, or the battle is raging, or kids are running through that park in 1905, or the congregation is singing inside that old abandoned church. You catch my drift? Get your mind in a winning state every time you go out!

4) Enjoy Yourself: I am outdoors and above ground if I don't find a darn thing! Take in and appreciate the history you are looking at. Don't let anything get you down. You are enjoying your sport.

Slumps happen. I happen to be in a slump right now, which I feel is mostly due to the hard dry ground in the Southern US during this hot summer. You feel better if you can identify a probable cause for the slump and not feel like the metal detector dieties are after you personally. Try to break the slump by mixing it up some - hunt a new area, think outside the box, try different settings, change your batteries....

5) Safety: Some of the dangers I have encountered during my days detecting are snakes, fire ants, open abandoned wells, glass, wasps, sunburn, and poison oak/ivy. Just be aware of your environment and take the proper precautions. Get permission to hunt, or you can add "Shotgun" to the list of safety hazards!

HOT TIP: If you are in a remote area, take plenty of water and some toilet paper with you. Thank me later.

6) Respect the area. Don't ruin the site by having someone come along and it looks like vandals have been there. Don't make someone regret giving you permission to hunt. Respect the dead and don't dig in cemeteries please. An old man once told me that as a metal detector user, you are one part historian, one part archeologist, and one part treasure hunter.

7) Share your finds! School children learning about history by viewing some of your finds in a display case at a local museum or from you first hand is the greatest joy you can ever get out of this hobby and is far more satisfying than finding gold. Trust me.

8) In old crumbling and abandoned homes that are still standing, I have the most luck in the area under the porch (often find coins under less than 1/2" of dust) and in the bottom of the inside of the outer walls. Look for chewed up very old newspaper. Rats hid coins over the years and I have found many silver coins like this without even having to use my detector.

9) In high trash areas, I like to move way out to the outskirts of the area where there is less trash and work my way in. I like to begin a hunt in a new area with no discrimination to get a feel for the concentration of trash. I usually switch to discrimination only if I am tired of hearing trash signals, or just to switch approaches because I am not finding anything.

10) To identify very old home sites in the woods where there are no obvious visible signs, look for anything out of place such as a depression in the ground that may have been a cellar or a well, or out of place stones or rocks. High areas nearby a water source are good candidates as well. Keep in mind the original road/roads may be long gone. A quick scan with the detector will hit nails and verify a structure was once there. Spending the time to find an old topographical tax map of an area is a huge shortcut. I carry one of the handheld Garmin GPS devices to mark sites in the deep woods so I can find them again. It also keeps me from getting lost like I was in the Blair Witch Project!

11) Don't be afraid to dig trash. I used to refuse to dig up anything that my discriminator didn't like. When I started digging up more trash, I started also digging up more treasure. Remember a gold ring shows up as a pull tab on the detector, and remember a gold coin could be lurking under that cola can you refuse to dig up. You know the one I'm talking about!

12) I love old driveways that are no longer visible from above ground. You can identify them because the ground will be very hard about 1 to 2" deep and has a dense concentration of small rocks in it. Old driveways hold great targets very shallow as they cannot sink. Once you think you have found one, survey the entire thing with a screwdriver or your shovel to get an idea of how the whole thing is layed out, and hunt it all on low sensitivity. Silver coins, jewelry and even a hood ornament to a 1950's Plymouth are some of the shallow targets I've found in such.

13) Use proper digging tools and cover your holes appropriately. My digging tool of choice is a drain spade/shovel!

http://www.toolsandsuppliesforless.n...776/index.html

14) Take a kid detecting! Pass along the hobby and teach the kid something. A kid that is detecting is probably not out getting in trouble. Not only are you being a positive role model, you can negotiate with the kid for half of his finds! Just kidding LOL! Detecting also can be fun for the entire family. My wife and daughter love it. If you only have one detector, take two shovels and alternate using the detector and digging holes. You'll dig more stuff!

15) Ever dig a giant pit and can't find what the detector is yelling about? Spend the money and get a good pinpointer probe! Thank the Lord (and by proxy the manufacturers) for these things. I like the Vibra Probe and the Garrett ProPointer.

16) Redig and rescan every hole you find a winner in. When I was a kid, I didn't have a metal detector, but I followed this guy around and dug coins out of the holes he had already extracted a target from and abandoned! True story. I like to spend the extra time to dig a few more inches and use my pinpointer one more time. Sometimes you will get an extra coin that your detector wouldn't have hit. Also, check your shovel. I've had a coin stuck to it with gummy mud before.

17) Take care of your detector. Don't sling it to the ground every time you get ready to dig. Keep it clean and dry and store it properly. Take the batteries out if you plan to store it for a long time. My Garretts are tough as nails, but these are expensive, sensitive instruments. Take care of your detector and it will take care of you.

Happy detecting. Best of luck to you, and thanks for reading:

Clark R.
Nashville, TN
Reply With Quote


47 members found this post helpful.
  #2  
Old 08-23-2011, 10:29 AM
new jersey andy's Avatar
new jersey andy new jersey andy is offline
Elite Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Central NJ
Posts: 4,173
Default

Thanks for the great tips!

__________________
AT Pro/Ace 350/Minelab Sovereign XS 2APro/Garrett PP
2013 Clad Count $45.31:Silver Coins (14) .925 (3) IH's (3) Wheats (95) Buffs (5) LG Cents (3)

Reply With Quote


  #3  
Old 08-23-2011, 11:18 AM
OZARKS OZARKS is offline
Civ In The Pock
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Ozark Mts
Posts: 4,996
Default

Good word! Welcome
Reply With Quote


  #4  
Old 08-23-2011, 11:24 AM
Steely_Ray's Avatar
Steely_Ray Steely_Ray is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Hunt Valley, MD
Posts: 75
Default

Now that is a quality first post!!! Thank you!!!

__________________
Ray Prior/Forum sponsor
Feel free to e-mail me at
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
or call 410-916-8812
Authorized
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
&
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
dealer. I only sell what I know.
Look for me on
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
,
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
,
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
and
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
.

Reply With Quote


  #5  
Old 08-23-2011, 11:25 AM
Ark's Avatar
Ark Ark is offline
Elite Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: SoCal
Posts: 805
Default

Great tips

__________________
Minelab Safari -

Reply With Quote


  #6  
Old 08-23-2011, 12:32 PM
The Rebel's Avatar
The Rebel The Rebel is offline
Elite Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Southern, CT
Posts: 5,144
Thumbs up Mods Please Make This A Sticky!

This is one of the all time best posts I've ever read! There are so many AWESOME tips in this post, we can't afford to let this one turn to dust.

For the newbie, this is a MUST READ!

Thanks for all of the time & effort you put into this. You've given me a few good ideas for a trashy site I've been working!

Thanks & HH!
Roger

__________________
SPECTRA V3i, BH 505, Pro-Pointer. Lesche Digger. Join The V3I Drivers Group.
Oldest Copper: 1694 William & Mary Halfpenny.
Oldest Silver 1663 1-Reale Cob.

Reply With Quote


  #7  
Old 08-23-2011, 12:37 PM
Brittany-Guy's Avatar
Brittany-Guy Brittany-Guy is offline
Supporter
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Otsego County, NY
Posts: 629
Default

I'd vote for this to be Sticky.

Thanks for a 'keeper' post and Welcome to the forum.

Your on my 'must read' list now.

__________________
Tesoro Vaquero,Comparde, B-H Pioneer 505, DP Pistol Probe, TinyTec Deluxe PP, ProPointer

Currently I dig everything, but, I have learned when not to.
Reply With Quote


  #8  
Old 08-23-2011, 01:09 PM
Thatsit's Avatar
Thatsit Thatsit is offline
Elite Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: SoCal
Posts: 2,195
Default

Very informative post for sure.....Best 1st post I've seen since I've been on here...Nice Job and Welcome.

__________________
2-Ace 250's/Fisher F5/AT Pro/E-Trac/2-PP's/Coins 4040 /$240.50/ Silver Coins 1 / Wheats: 26/ IH: 1 Oldest:1906 IH / Foreign:12/Tokens:24/Jewelry:11 Silver 1 Gold

Reply With Quote


  #9  
Old 08-23-2011, 01:17 PM
pulltabMiner's Avatar
pulltabMiner pulltabMiner is offline
Elite Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Wichita
Posts: 2,982
Default

This post has better, more useful information than some of the books on md'ing out there. I can really tell from these tips that you are indeed an experienced metal detectorist.

Thank you for sharing!

__________________

XP Deus**http://thedirtisgoodtome.com/
Reply With Quote


  #10  
Old 08-23-2011, 01:21 PM
SeabeeRon's Avatar
SeabeeRon SeabeeRon is online now
"Can Do" Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Santa Cruz, CA.
Posts: 20,742
Default

Thanks and WELCOME Clark!! I hope you will do an "Intro" post in the General section and become an active member of this Forum. We can all benefit from your experiance!

__________________
SeabeeRon-On the beach in Santa Cruz,CA.
Sov GT, White's MXT & Surf PI Pro,BH Land Ranger

Reply With Quote


  #11  
Old 08-23-2011, 01:35 PM
mamahound's Avatar
mamahound mamahound is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Greers Ferry, Arkansas
Posts: 87
Default

As a newbie, I find this post a valuable read. You can bet that I will print this out and keep it for a reference close at hand. Thanks and I hope you post more and often!

__________________
Fisher F2/Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail...Ralph Waldo Emerson

Reply With Quote


  #12  
Old 08-23-2011, 09:40 PM
whynot's Avatar
whynot whynot is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Mentor,Ohio
Posts: 269
Default

Thank you very much

__________________
Current-Fisher F70 w/DD coil/AT PRO--,Pro pointer,lesche digger.
past machines AT Pro,Etrac,F75 ltd,cortez,Safari.

Reply With Quote


  #13  
Old 08-23-2011, 10:05 PM
Dug13's Avatar
Dug13 Dug13 is offline
Full Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: S.E.MO
Posts: 212
Default Tips galore!!

Thanks for sharing a quarter century of tips. It's always great to hear from seasoned veterans.
Reply With Quote


  #14  
Old 08-23-2011, 10:24 PM
(Heavy)'s Avatar
(Heavy) (Heavy) is offline
Elite Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: ChicagoLand
Posts: 1,863
Default Chicago

welcome

This one right here tells me a lot about you I see too many lose that expectation you had when you first started detecting.

3) Positive Thinking: Prior to commencing a hunt, envision yourself digging a gold coin up. Relive your greatest find ever in your memory. Try to mentally take yourself back in time.

I'm hanging on to this voice of experience and look forward to hearing more from you.
Reply With Quote


1 members found this post helpful.
  #15  
Old 08-24-2011, 01:45 AM
BountyHunter BountyHunter is offline
Elite Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 590
Thumbs up Thank you for the Gift post

Welcome to the Friendly Metal Detecting Forum.

What a great first post.

Much thanks for sharing with us and hope to read more from you.

Again, welcome!

__________________
Minelab Explorer SE - Fisher F75 - BH Time Ranger - Ames TrueTemper 7in1 - Sunray inline probes

Reply With Quote


  #16  
Old 08-24-2011, 01:46 AM
Thatsit's Avatar
Thatsit Thatsit is offline
Elite Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: SoCal
Posts: 2,195
Default

And since you have been in the game for so long...where did you drop your coins.....I wanna find them...LOL...

__________________
2-Ace 250's/Fisher F5/AT Pro/E-Trac/2-PP's/Coins 4040 /$240.50/ Silver Coins 1 / Wheats: 26/ IH: 1 Oldest:1906 IH / Foreign:12/Tokens:24/Jewelry:11 Silver 1 Gold

Reply With Quote


  #17  
Old 08-24-2011, 05:51 AM
Charlives Charlives is offline
Elite Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 1,668
Default

Good job, thanks
Reply With Quote


  #18  
Old 08-24-2011, 09:01 AM
Doggy Daddy's Avatar
Doggy Daddy Doggy Daddy is offline
Elite Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: NW South Carolina
Posts: 1,033
Default

Great post, loaded with many great tips. Thanks for posting.

__________________
Tesoro Silver uMax, E Trac, Pistol Probe, ProPointer, Lesche

Reply With Quote


  #19  
Old 08-26-2011, 03:00 AM
Countrybob71's Avatar
Countrybob71 Countrybob71 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Barnegat, NJ
Posts: 87
Default

Great post. Thanks for taking the time!

__________________
Ace 250, HF pinpointer, Stanley Fat Max bag, Best coin was an 1833 Capped Bust Liberty Quarter which was also my first silver!!!Also found an old horse stirrup

Reply With Quote


1 members found this post helpful.
  #20  
Old 08-26-2011, 05:23 AM
stewart73's Avatar
stewart73 stewart73 is offline
Elite Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Pretty far away...
Posts: 4,988
Default

Lots of great information in there - thanks!

__________________
Etrac with NEL coils and Gray Ghosts, Excal II with OBN's Amphibians, Whites DF, Stavrscoop, Lesche, Garrett PP.

Reply With Quote


Reply


Tags
detecting tips

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Tips For Buddy Detecting soughtseven1035 Find a Hunting Buddy 8 07-31-2013 07:31 PM
Detecting tips & tricks shegeek72 General Hobby Discussion 3 07-14-2013 09:14 PM
Metal detecting tips xlogit3k General Hobby Discussion 9 04-16-2011 04:46 PM
New to Metal Detecting... Any tips? brymche General Hobby Discussion 12 12-26-2010 12:39 AM
Detecting in the woods - any tips? ADK-Rich Coinshooters and Relic Hunters 6 06-27-2008 01:57 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:28 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.