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  #1  
Old 04-26-2021, 05:46 PM
mh9162013 mh9162013 is offline
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Default Vanquish 540 Behavior After a Recent Rain

I metal detected my front yard, which has been heavily pounded with my Fisher F2 and Vanquish 540.

Currently, I detect with my 540 in a modified coin mode, where it's basically the stock coin mode, but I've notched out some lower number. Basically, if it doesn't hit 16 or so, I won't hear it.

All day Saturday it had been raining, although most of Sunday was sunny and dry. So the ground today was nice and moist, but not wet or soggy at all. When using my 540, it seemed like my entire yard came alive with a bunch of targets hitting 17 or more. Some of these were solid and some were iffy. To put it in perspective, normally when using my 540, I rarely get any strong signals in my front yard over 17 due to heavy hunting done so far.

However, when I dug the strong signals, about half the time it was a medium-size rusty nail and half the time, it was a penny.

So I have the following questions:

1. What's going on here? I've heard that wet or damp soil can improve the depth of your detector. But I went from barely any 17+ signals to tons of them. I was even able to find a dime in the curb strip in front of my house. Normally, unless I'm in all metal mode with my 540, hunting that area results in ZERO signals; pure silence. Now, I get a dime and some solid targets? It's almost as if I had never hunted that curb strip before.

2. Whatever is going on here, will getting an Equinox 600 help me handle it? On the one hand, getting 4 pennies and 1 dime in a heavily hunted area is great. On the other hand, I was digging up more iron than normal. My first thought was that my soil had mineralization whose effects were amplified by the recent rains. So would the Equinox's ability to ground balance make a difference here and if so, how much?
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  #2  
Old 04-26-2021, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by mh9162013 View post
I metal detected my front yard, which has been heavily pounded with my Fisher F2 and Vanquish 540.

Currently, I detect with my 540 in a modified coin mode, where it's basically the stock coin mode, but I've notched out some lower number. Basically, if it doesn't hit 16 or so, I won't hear it.

All day Saturday it had been raining, although most of Sunday was sunny and dry. So the ground today was nice and moist, but not wet or soggy at all. When using my 540, it seemed like my entire yard came alive with a bunch of targets hitting 17 or more. Some of these were solid and some were iffy. To put it in perspective, normally when using my 540, I rarely get any strong signals in my front yard over 17 due to heavy hunting done so far.

However, when I dug the strong signals, about half the time it was a medium-size rusty nail and half the time, it was a penny.

So I have the following questions:

1. What's going on here? I've heard that wet or damp soil can improve the depth of your detector. But I went from barely any 17+ signals to tons of them. I was even able to find a dime in the curb strip in front of my house. Normally, unless I'm in all metal mode with my 540, hunting that area results in ZERO signals; pure silence. Now, I get a dime and some solid targets? It's almost as if I had never hunted that curb strip before.

2. Whatever is going on here, will getting an Equinox 600 help me handle it? On the one hand, getting 4 pennies and 1 dime in a heavily hunted area is great. On the other hand, I was digging up more iron than normal. My first thought was that my soil had mineralization whose effects were amplified by the recent rains. So would the Equinox's ability to ground balance make a difference here and if so, how much?
I don't know how much it would affect in your soil, but I went a similar transition from vanquish 440 to a Nox 800. We have mild soil here, so it didn't do much difference, but it could discern the half corroded zinclons from rusty nails. If you get some inconsistent 17 to 19, go to all metal and bounce the coil. You will probably get negative, so move on.

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  #3  
Old 04-26-2021, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Metal detecto View post
I don't know how much it would affect in your soil, but I went a similar transition from vanquish 440 to a Nox 800. We have mild soil here, so it didn't do much difference, but it could discern the half corroded zinclons from rusty nails. If you get some inconsistent 17 to 19, go to all metal and bounce the coil. You will probably get negative, so move on.
That's the thing, I did not. I got the low iron tones and negative numbers, but the 17+ number (and tone) remained.

From what I've read, getting both iron and high tones means it's either a rusted iron object or it's a high value target AND an iron target. So in other words, unless the high tone disappears, I need to dig it.

Also, how did going from the 440 to the 800 allow you to tell the difference b/w rusty nails and corroded zincolns?
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Old 04-26-2021, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by mh9162013 View post
That's the thing, I did not. I got the low iron tones and negative numbers, but the 17+ number (and tone) remained.

From what I've read, getting both iron and high tones means it's either a rusted iron object or it's a high value target AND an iron target. So in other words, unless the high tone disappears, I need to dig it.

Also, how did going from the 440 to the 800 allow you to tell the difference b/w rusty nails and corroded zincolns?
So as for the nails, I use the adjustable iron bias. I am aware that the 540 has iron bias? Change the iron bias to high, and see if that works. The equinox has the FE2 setting that's used for bottle caps and such.

The zinclons vs nails was just a matter of patterns. As for me, the zinclons were doing a solid 19-20, but the nails were like this:

Nail: Beep. *no signal for a few sweeps* Low tone beep. Slight grunt. Beep.

Zinclons: Beep, beep beep beep (from every side). Then I know it's a zinclon.


And it might be the rain. Rain is water, and water is conductive. Imagine it like this, the regular, dry, ground is an orcestra. The metal detector is the conductor (the person waving the long stick and such). Then with the rain, imagine that a person who ate too much chocolate is playing that Mario Smash game. Really fast. So fast that it has a bit of a hard time recognizing which note is which. A really low note (in this case I'll say it's a nail) might be considered a high note to the very tired and busy conductor.

Sorry that this is so long, and if you read all of this, go get some sleep, or your health care would want me dead.

Josh

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  #5  
Old 04-26-2021, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Metal detecto View post
So as for the nails, I use the adjustable iron bias. I am aware that the 540 has iron bias? Change the iron bias to high, and see if that works. The equinox has the FE2 setting that's used for bottle caps and such.

The zinclons vs nails was just a matter of patterns. As for me, the zinclons were doing a solid 19-20, but the nails were like this:

Nail: Beep. *no signal for a few sweeps* Low tone beep. Slight grunt. Beep.

Zinclons: Beep, beep beep beep (from every side). Then I know it's a zinclon.


And it might be the rain. Rain is water, and water is conductive. Imagine it like this, the regular, dry, ground is an orcestra. The metal detector is the conductor (the person waving the long stick and such). Then with the rain, imagine that a person who ate too much chocolate is playing that Mario Smash game. Really fast. So fast that it has a bit of a hard time recognizing which note is which. A really low note (in this case I'll say it's a nail) might be considered a high note to the very tired and busy conductor.

Sorry that this is so long, and if you read all of this, go get some sleep, or your health care would want me dead.

Josh

The 540 has adjustable iron bias, but it's just "high" or "low." It's currently on high right now (default).

Your example doesn't explain why water (pure water is technically an insulator, although water in the real world is not pure, so it's conductive to some extent) would cause a detector to give a high tone to a nail when in dry soil, it would properly give it a low tone. I mean, is the conductive water making the iron target "bigger" as far as what the detector sees, hence the high tones?
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Old 04-26-2021, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by mh9162013 View post
The 540 has adjustable iron bias, but it's just "high" or "low." It's currently on high right now (default).

Your example doesn't explain why water (pure water is technically an insulator, although water in the real world is not pure, so it's conductive to some extent) would cause a detector to give a high tone to a nail when in dry soil, it would properly give it a low tone. I mean, is the conductive water making the iron target "bigger" as far as what the detector sees, hence the high tones?
I read and re-read your reply, and didn't get how, so I did the test myself.

I got my old vanquish out of the garage, got some dirt, filled up 2 home depo buckets, and put a nail that I dug up next to a quarter a few days ago, and a penny. I also got the hose and wet it to a mild extent.

So, you are CORRECT! I am shocked myself. How in the world does it give a positive tone? I got a 16 on my vanquish. Then on the equinox I got nothing.

I'm going to experiment a bit more today, and see for myself.

Josh

Edit: I think it might be the soil... I think it isn't the rain at all.

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  #7  
Old 04-26-2021, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Metal detecto View post
I read and re-read your reply, and didn't get how, so I did the test myself.

I got my old vanquish out of the garage, got some dirt, filled up 2 home depo buckets, and put a nail that I dug up next to a quarter a few days ago, and a penny. I also got the hose and wet it to a mild extent.

So, you are CORRECT! I am shocked myself. How in the world does it give a positive tone? I got a 16 on my vanquish. Then on the equinox I got nothing.

I'm going to experiment a bit more today, and see for myself.

Josh

Edit: I think it might be the soil... I think it isn't the rain at all.
Can you explain what you put into bucket 1 and what you put into bucket 2?
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Old 04-26-2021, 11:22 PM
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I've done some further reading and what I've found seems to confirm my observations:

Wet/moist soil will result in iron targets giving off stronger signals.

Wet/moist soil will improve depth and VDI accuracy in certain soil conditions.

But there are two caveats/questions/issues/concerns.

One, people say masking increases. I did not notice that today. Perhaps it's b/c the good targets (pennies and dime) had their signals enhanced so much, the masking was overcome? Or maybe my front yard isn't as iron infested as other yards. But I doubt that as going into all metal mode will make my 540 sound like a suppressed machine gun. or maybe that's my mineralized soil...still trying to figure that one out.

Two, my research involved single frequency VLF detectors, not SMF ones. I don't know how much the advice from 10 years ago changes, though.

I'd like to fully understand what's going on, but I understand it's mostly academic. However, there is a practical consideration: I'm trying to determine if I should replace my 540 with an Equinox 600.

I know the Equinox 600 is better, but how much so and why. Right now, I'm trying to determine if the ability to ground balance makes a big difference and if so, how I would observe the improvement with the 600 over the 540.
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  #9  
Old 04-27-2021, 06:06 AM
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I have both the 540 and the 600. Both have incredible depth but the 600 is better at unmasking and better identifying targets in trashy soil. And yes, wet ground is a better conductor but make it almost undetectable in trashy soil.

Steve

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  #10  
Old 04-27-2021, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by stetam View post
I have both the 540 and the 600. Both have incredible depth but the 600 is better at unmasking and better identifying targets in trashy soil. And yes, wet ground is a better conductor but make it almost undetectable in trashy soil.

Steve
I've heard that the 600 is better with target separation and recovery speed.

The dampness seems like it was a double edged sword yesterday by making normally discriminated out iron targets seem like pennies and dimes, but making actual pennies and dimes give off reliable high tones when normally they would have come across as an iffy signal (in dry ground).

But I want to know if the 600 can take better advantage of this double edged sword phenomenon. So instead of say, 50/50 split b/w iron and coins with my 540, it would be 30/70 with the 600 (as an example).
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Old 04-27-2021, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mh9162013 View post
I've heard that the 600 is better with target separation and recovery speed.

The dampness seems like it was a double edged sword yesterday by making normally discriminated out iron targets seem like pennies and dimes, but making actual pennies and dimes give off reliable high tones when normally they would have come across as an iffy signal (in dry ground).

But I want to know if the 600 can take better advantage of this double edged sword phenomenon. So instead of say, 50/50 split b/w iron and coins with my 540, it would be 30/70 with the 600 (as an example).
Nice analogy! That's what I was looking for, "double edged sword." And to answer what I put in the two homedepo buckets, I put a nail in one and a penny (kinda corroded) in the other.

Josh

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  #12  
Old 04-27-2021, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Metal detecto View post
Nice analogy! That's what I was looking for, "double edged sword." And to answer what I put in the two homedepo buckets, I put a nail in one and a penny (kinda corroded) in the other.

Josh
How did each of them ring up on your Vanquish versus your Equinox?
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Old 04-27-2021, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by mh9162013 View post
How did each of them ring up on your Vanquish versus your Equinox?
Nail: Equinox: (no beeps) on all metal rings up like -8, -9, -7.

Nail: Vanquish (yes beeps) 16, 17 or maybe 15. On all metal solid -1.

Penny: Equinox: Soild beeps from every side. rings up 18 19.

Penny: Vanquish: kinda jumpy, 13, 18, 14, then up to 21, down to 18 again, then 19.

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Old 04-27-2021, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Metal detecto View post
Nail: Equinox: (no beeps) on all metal rings up like -8, -9, -7.

Nail: Vanquish (yes beeps) 16, 17 or maybe 15. On all metal solid -1.

Penny: Equinox: Soild beeps from every side. rings up 18 19.

Penny: Vanquish: kinda jumpy, 13, 18, 14, then up to 21, down to 18 again, then 19.
So when your Equinox was over the nail and got no beeps, what mode were you in? Or did you notch out any particular signals?

Thanks for this testing; it's very helpful.
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Old 04-27-2021, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by mh9162013 View post
So when your Equinox was over the nail and got no beeps, what mode were you in? Or did you notch out any particular signals?

Thanks for this testing; it's very helpful.
Your welcome! The equinox was in the default park one. Nope, no notching.

Josh

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Old 04-27-2021, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Metal detecto View post
Your welcome! The equinox was in the default park one. Nope, no notching.

Josh
Huh, that really is weird...I wonder why the Equinox in Park 1 and your Vanquish in relic/coin/jewelry resulted in drastically different responses to the same nail.

Recovery speed or sensitivity adjustments probably made no difference, right?

Is iron bias shouldn't be at play here either. If anything, it means the 440 would have been less likely to pick up on the nail...right?

So what machine variables are left? Ground balance? Could that be the explanation?

What else am I missing?

It sounds like the only way I'm gonna get an answer is to buy my own 600 for testing...then promptly sell it.
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Old 04-27-2021, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by mh9162013 View post
Huh, that really is weird...I wonder why the Equinox in Park 1 and your Vanquish in relic/coin/jewelry resulted in drastically different responses to the same nail.

Recovery speed or sensitivity adjustments probably made no difference, right?

Is iron bias shouldn't be at play here either. If anything, it means the 440 would have been less likely to pick up on the nail...right?

So what machine variables are left? Ground balance? Could that be the explanation?

What else am I missing?

It sounds like the only way I'm gonna get an answer is to buy my own 600 for testing...then promptly sell it.
The iron bias was at zero on the Nox , so it just must be the detecor themselves. Glad I could help, this has been one long testing session for me!

Josh

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Old 04-27-2021, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Metal detecto View post
The iron bias was at zero on the Nox , so it just must be the detecor themselves. Glad I could help, this has been one long testing session for me!

Josh
But what are the differences? They both use the same Multi-IQ...allegedly. So it must be with the settings.

When you tested both machines with the 2 buckets, did you ground balance the Equinox first?
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Old 04-27-2021, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mh9162013 View post
But what are the differences? They both use the same Multi-IQ...allegedly. So it must be with the settings.

When you tested both machines with the 2 buckets, did you ground balance the Equinox first?
Nope. Just in multi IQ. I kept everything as same as I could.

Josh

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Old 04-27-2021, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Metal detecto View post
Nope. Just in multi IQ. I kept everything as same as I could.

Josh
Then maybe that's the difference? Park 1 creates a certain ground balance setting that's very different than what's built-in the Vanquish?
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