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  #1  
Old 08-01-2022, 12:02 PM
RgnFn RgnFn is offline
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Default Looking for Apex tips/advice

Hi all,

Learning MDing on a Garrett Apex in a very trashy area (1901 farmhouse) and would appreciate any tips from those who've used an Apex in similar situations. There are places where there are metal items every 3-4 inches, so at times it seems it would be easier to get a bulldozer and dig up the whole yard.

Anyway, I've gotten fairly good at ignoring most ferrous stuff, but still get fooled a lot by larger items, especially non-ferrous trash. One scenario I come across is where I'll hear grunt-hightone-grunt, which I've learned is usually junk, but sometimes after swinging over the target several times, the grunts will disappear leaving the hightone, making me dig junk. I (mis?)interpret the disappearing grunts as the machine deciding it's maybe good after all, but often it's not. So far the best indication I've (mis?)learned is to go into pinpointer mode and see how large an area the pinpointer mode is in the upper range - if it just blips, it's small item, if it stays at maximum for an inch or two then it's too large to be a coin. Lead and Aluminum are the bane of my existence. The Apex just screams at aluminum liquor bottle caps. I've found lots of melted lead (dross from old timers molding their own bullets or fishing weights?) which usually rings up in the 70s as well as spent bullets. Because of the trash level, I tend to dig up only items that ring up as 70 or higher, realizing that I'm risking missing nickels or even gold. Nevertheless, I'm still digging up too much trash. Any advise or suggestions would be appreciated.

BTW, I'm willing to consider upgrading to a higher class machine, but changing machines won't change what's under the ground, so I'll entertain suggestions about how ABC machine's xyz feature could help me in this trashy location. That having been said, I am pleased with the Apex's performance, and am convinced (deluded?) that any less-than-desired results are a result of my needing to be more sophisticated in my understanding of the clues the machine is trying to tell me.

P.S.: I have started to beach hunt, which I find enjoyable, and would consider a PI machine like the Axiom for the beach, but I can't imagine a PI machine would help on the farm. Again any comments about vlf/pi would be appreciated as well.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions

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  #2  
Old 08-02-2022, 12:46 AM
thefabulousnip thefabulousnip is offline
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Originally Posted by RgnFn View post
Lead and Aluminum are the bane of my existence. The Apex just screams at aluminum liquor bottle caps.


I lived this seriously last week. I was detecting a park that dates to the 1800s that is very near a historic Irish pub.

St. Patrick's day celebrations always spill over to the park, and I dug nearly a 5 gallon bucket of aluminum bottle caps over 2 days

Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk

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  #3  
Old 08-02-2022, 09:08 PM
Scg4090 Scg4090 is offline
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I have an apex and keep digging aluminum that's showing 78-80. Most seems to show in the 45-48 range, but some cans/scrap rings up around 80 for some reason. Still in the 78-80 range on the surface as well. Not sure what to do really. I'm only a few weeks into this hobby so lots of learning to do. Need those tips and advice as well.
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  #4  
Old 08-03-2022, 07:20 AM
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stetam stetam is offline
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Originally Posted by Scg4090 View post
I have an apex and keep digging aluminum that's showing 78-80. Most seems to show in the 45-48 range, but some cans/scrap rings up around 80 for some reason. Still in the 78-80 range on the surface as well. Not sure what to do really. I'm only a few weeks into this hobby so lots of learning to do. Need those tips and advice as well.
There is no magic secret in telling the difference between trash and treasure. Only experience will help you learn. You have a lot of old areas in Lanc County so I would look for permissions on old farms. Farm fields are a good place to find old coins. If you would like any help, I am North of Lebanon and would be glad to assist, once the ground is not rock hard dry. Right now streams are the only places you can realistically hunt.

Steve

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  #5  
Old 08-03-2022, 09:06 AM
Scg4090 Scg4090 is offline
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Thanks for the info. I've started to notice trends in how the detector sees cans and scrap aluminum so far. I was wondering if sticking to a single frequency for a while would help my learning curve or if the MF frequency would be better to stay with?

Last edited by Scg4090; 08-04-2022 at 12:10 PM.
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  #6  
Old 08-03-2022, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Scg4090 View post
Thanks for the info. I've started to notice trends in hot the detector sees cans and scrap aluminum so far. I was wondering if sticking to a single frequency for a while would help my learning curve or if the MF frequency would be better to stay with?
Multi-freq all the way

Steve

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  #7  
Old 08-03-2022, 09:17 PM
MuddyMo MuddyMo is offline
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Where's Monte? This is up his alley.

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  #8  
Old 08-04-2022, 08:12 PM
RgnFn RgnFn is offline
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Thanks everyone for the replies so far. I'm definitely still learning and am eager to learn from other Apex users. While I've managed to get some time in, it's all been at at a couple of sites, so I realize that part of the answer is to try out different sites.

I keep hearing folks touting one wonderful machine versus another, and I sometimes wonder if I should have gone with one of the higher end machines, but then I think, well no, they will generally all "see" the metal equally well (given the same size coil), the difference between one machine and another is in how well they help you interpret what's there. Am I wrong? I'm hoping that if I learn the Apex better, I'll be just as productive with it than I would be with, say a Legend or a nox.

Along those lines, I'd appreciate any links to videos where you can hear the tones and see the VDI and see what they dig up. I found this one from NQExporers to be helpful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqAjDZ4H_GU

>>Where's Monte? This is up his alley.<< Monte's exactly one of the one's I was hoping would jump in on this!

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  #9  
Old 08-04-2022, 08:43 PM
Metalsguy Metalsguy is online now
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Originally Posted by RgnFn View post
... but then I think, well no, they will generally all "see" the metal equally well (given the same size coil), the difference between one machine and another is in how well they help you interpret what's there. Am I wrong? I'm hoping that if I learn the Apex better, I'll be just as productive with it than I would be with, say a Legend or a nox.
I think you are right on with this statement. You really need to learn what your machine is telling you. I, too, have an Apex and haven't chimed in because I am also new in this area. I have hit several locations but mostly my trashy backyard at this point.

Because you didn't really say, I'll offer a few thoughts of mine. You are aware that you can adjust the iron volume, right? I have mine at zero and yet, I still find some iron. I think that's a size thing where the machine is trying to identify a item of potential interest based on the size, but I could be wrong. I have my screen set to "Relics," which basically blocks out the lower (mostly iron) signals. It should pick up gold and nickel, I believe, and I am staying with the MF mode for now.

If I am trying to be a little selective in what I dig, I will go back and forth over a signal, sometimes changing the direction of swing by 90 degrees. If I don't get a good and similar signal on both the forward and back swings, I might not dig it. If I get a 70 (for instance) on the forward swing, I want to see about the same 70 coming back or it's likely junk. I still dig a lot of that!

I don't think I can really pass along any other thoughts because I still have not found any silver or gold. Seems like I find a lot of copper, can you say pennies, and aluminum is a PITA! Pretty sure the guy who lived here before us worked for an aluminum company in the Pittsburgh area, and he had so much around that he used it for fill. Lucky me!!

Good luck to you, and sorry I can't be of more help.
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  #10  
Old 08-05-2022, 12:47 PM
Yell-X Yell-X is offline
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I have an Apex (my 3rd detector) and it is easy to master. Depending on how you handle technology upgrading to a higher end machine with more bells and whistles might be over whelming. It would be to me anyway.

I would suggest a slow swing speed and maybe looking into a 5X8 ripper coil. The 5X8 coil is always my go to coil for trashy areas on my AT machines. I use the 8.5X11 Raider coil when there is less trash in the ground. As already stated changing you coil angle 90 degrees over a target can give a better idea to dig or not to dig.

I thought the 6X11 Viper coil that came with my Apex would be the best of both sizes coils but didnt like it for some reason.
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  #11  
Old 08-06-2022, 10:35 AM
RgnFn RgnFn is offline
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Thanks MetalsGuy and Yell-X!

I forgot to mention in this thread that I always hunt in zero mode with iron audio on so I can hear the iron grunts and know that there's something down there. I've gotten so used to this mode, I haven't even tried any of the discrimination modes. I've gotten used to this setup. Maybe that's a bad idea? Part of the reason I did this is because in trashy areas the sound would seem to briefly cut out like it does when discrimination is on but its off. For lack of a better term, I'll call it a hiccup. So I'll hear hiccup-grunt-hiccup. Or sometimes hiccup-hightone-grunt. I don't seem to run into that situation so much anymore, maybe because I switched to the 5x8 ripper coil and I've learned to slow my swing speed.

Anyway, I think the real issue is that after reading so many threads on how wonderful such and such a machine is compared to all the others (and hardly anyone mentions the Apex), and seeing so many videos where they dig one great find after another and all I get is trash, I was starting to doubt both myself and the Apex. I think I'm over that now. I just need to get out there and start swinging more often and in more varied areas.

I guess I only have two questions left: a) I've read some posts in the past that implied that the Apex would give some clues about the size of a target by the volume of the sound, but I haven't noticed that, nor do I see any mention of that feature in the manual. Is this true?

b) What does it mean when I get a relatively high tone / vdi when I swing one way over a target, and a lower tone/vdi when I swing back the other way? And again as I mentioned in a previous post, sometimes the more I swing over the object the higher the number goes as if the Apex was deciding that maybe it's better than it originally "thought"?

Finally I throw in an observation that might help other Apex users: On the beach I noticed a definite pattern where the Apex would omit two very short high-tone beeps - these were *always* pulltabs. My hypothesis is that the Apex is sensing first one side of the pull-ring, then the other. For some reason, this doesn't seem to happen as consistently on the farm. My guess is because the soil - who am I kidding? the clay - is so mineralized at the farm that the machine doesn't see the different parts of the pulltab as easily.

Anyway thanks for putting up with my long posts and musings!

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  #12  
Old 08-06-2022, 10:40 AM
Digalicious Digalicious is online now
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Rgnfn,

Unless you're cherry picking coins, then all metal detectors are more aptly named "trash detectors".
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  #13  
Old 08-10-2022, 07:08 PM
RgnFn RgnFn is offline
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Thanks everybody for your responses. I did find a Garrett-made video that answered a lot of my questions: https://garrett.com/sport/support#howtovideos. I actually watched this video before I bought my Apex, but evidently had forgotten some of the details. I hope that others might find this helpful too.

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  #14  
Old 08-10-2022, 07:11 PM
RgnFn RgnFn is offline
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Oops, I didn't notice that that link I just posted is the same for all the videos on the page. The one I was referring to is called "Understanding Iron Masking and Target ID" in the "ACE APEX Basics" section.

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  #15  
Old 08-11-2022, 06:54 AM
graybeard graybeard is offline
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Originally Posted by stetam View post
Multi-freq all the way

Steve
I disagree.
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  #16  
Old 08-11-2022, 10:42 AM
RgnFn RgnFn is offline
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Originally Posted by graybeard View post
I disagree.
Care to elaborate? Are you saying that switching to a single-frequency would help in trashy situations? If so, which frequency?

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  #17  
Old 08-12-2022, 02:16 PM
graybeard graybeard is offline
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Originally Posted by RgnFn View post
Care to elaborate? Are you saying that switching to a single-frequency would help in trashy situations? If so, which frequency?
That comment was made from someone that uses the Equinox. Multi frequency is their best point that they have, they don't do very good using single frequencies.

Multi frequency detectors like the Equinox are only using two frequencies using multi, but you can't pick the ones that you want to use.

Multi frequency detectors are hindered by EMI, so that means people set their sensitivity down to compensate for the erratic behavior of the detector.

The Apex does work good using single frequencies.
Using lower frequencies does better for silver and copper, higher frequencies for nickels and gold also helps around places with lots of EMI.
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  #18  
Old 08-12-2022, 03:47 PM
RgnFn RgnFn is offline
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Thanks Graybeard!

That makes sense. I've been using MF on the Apex almost exclusively, but I live next to some high-tension (500 kV) power lines, and when I get too close, I'll occasionally switch to 5 or 10 kHz, since I'm primarily hoping for coins....

A (perhaps useless?) observation: Often when the weather is dry I can hunt directly under those power lines in MF, just by switching to a quieter channel. When it's damp out, the SF works better....

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  #19  
Old 08-14-2022, 08:16 AM
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You said youre getting fooled by a lot of larger nonferrous items (cans, can tops) things of that nature? Have you tried lifting your coil several inches about the target? Most times that is an easy way to determine if its a large piece of trash. If it sounds the same at that height probably best to move on. If its coins youre after this should help. Small targets will usually drop to a squeak or disappear at that height.

Good luck with your hunting! Keep at it.

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  #20  
Old 08-16-2022, 07:58 PM
RgnFn RgnFn is offline
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Thanks, Diabolik, I just learned of that technique last week. Will definitely try it

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