(Metal detectors have come a long way. Minelab's E-Trac pictured here.)
"Bells and Whistles"
Metal detectors have come a long way since the days when I used to swing my old Garrett Beat Frequency Oscillator (BFO) machine until it felt like my arm was ready to fall off. Back then metal detectors were all made of metal and very heavy to wield, not to mention the fact that they didn't have all the "bells and whistles" that are are part and parcel of newer machines.
I learned to discriminate by sound only with my BFO because the only other discriminating function on that machine was a needle indicator! Still, I found lots of "goodies" with that old Garrett, including many pieces of silver and lots of jewelry.
Hundreds of Detectors on the Market Today
What should this tell you? You can pay thousands of dollars for the fanciest machine out there and yet, if you don't learn how to use it properly and swing it to its greatest possible potential, you'll lost out to some guy or gal who comes along behind you with a seeming "inferior" machine and gets all the "goodies" you missed.
Although there are literally hundreds of metal detectors on the market today, not all of these are the same. This is especially true of those detectors that are most commonly used by coin and beach hunters, since most of the time these machines feature lots of those bells and whistles I mentioned, some very useful and some not.
What Might Be Junk Iron...
These features may be optimum for hunting coins in a park on along a stretch of beach, but they are not always an asset when searching for treasure caches. In fact, there have been numerous times in my own artifact and treasure hunting days where I turned off these types of features because they could potentially steer me away from important ferrous (iron) targets.
(An old Garrett BFO like the one I used "back in the day.")
Getting the picture here? What might be a junk iron target in a park coin-hunting search may be an important target lead to a buried treasure cache, or perhaps part of the cache itself. The last thing you want to do in that context is be using discrimination circuitry that might blank out a ferrous target that may be an important clue or "pointer" to a cache.
So remember...not all metal detectors are the same. Neither are treasure hunters, for that matter...
Good hunting to you.
If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Basic Treasure Hunting Equipment"
(c) Jim Rocha (J.R.) 2012
Questions? E-mail me at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org