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Starting to look at metal detectors Recommendations?

#1 User is offline   andylphoto 

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 07:07 AM

After a year of benchmarking and not wanting to spend the money, I have finally started to look for a metal detector. Better yet, my wife says she'd like me to have one. So the search is on. I've never owned one, so I am looking for recommendations from all of you. I started shopping ebay, and would like to definitely spend less than $200 on this. Good/bad brands? How does the coil size affect the quality & usability?

I found THIS one on ebay for a nice price, and looked good. However, also found several very critical reviews. Any experience with this model, or this brand? Also looks to be the same as "Gold Century" products found on Amazon.

I have also seen Bounty Hunter detectors, and had kind of looked at the Quick Draw II. Street price is in the right range, and looks very much like the Pioneer 202 that Wal-Mart stocks.

Also found the Bounty Hunter Sharp Shooter II on Amazon for not much over my target price. It's a little better model, but I don't know if the difference is worth it or not.

Also of interest is the Garrett Ace 250 that I found on Amazon. I had never heard of the company. Found lots of good reviews but also a caution that it's overrated, and has a factory preset ground balance that can't be changed.

The Radio Shack 2200 is also in the ballpark.

At the moment I'm kind of leaning toward the Quick Draw II or the Garrett, but I'm open to suggestions. Never heard of Garrett before...are they a good brand? What about ground balance? What is it, and will the features on a $200 machine matter? My primary interest will be benchmarking. I may take it out occasionally just to see what I can find, but I'm not planning on treasure hunting or striking it rich with this.

Too bad that Radio Shack clearance event isn't going on now. Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions!

#2 User is offline   BlueDeuce 

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 07:21 AM

The ACE250 is a great starter unit for general metal detecting and you can pick them up for $200.00

This post has been edited by BlueDeuce: 23 May 2007 - 07:23 AM


#3 User is offline   Ernmark 

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 07:40 AM

..I have a Radio Shack 3300 but actually get more use out of a Famous Trails model that I got from www.heartlandamerica.com for $49.95- it's pretty rugged (makes a good bushwacker) & is small enough to lug 2 miles to a mountain top if needed..

#4 User is offline   mloser 

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 07:45 AM

My overwhelming opinion is to buy CHEAP. Ernmark and I both own this cheapie and are extremely happy with it. I have had mine for 2 years and generally treat it like dirt. It won't find rivets, at least not the way I have it set, but it WILL find a disk at about 4-5 inches depth, which has always been enough for me. I am not really willing to dig more than 6 inches if I don't know whether the disk is really there or not.
It is fairly compact--the extendable rod means I can slide it closed until it is only about 24 inches long, which means I can stick it in my backpack, with the coil sticking out the top, for extended hikes. I haven't yet replaced the battery either. I set it to the most sensitive, least discriminating settings and just dig whenever it beeps at me.

I also have the RS model we all got last year for cheap, and have used it a couple of times to look for deeper marks or for bolts/rivets. However, I can't remember it actually helping me find any!

Garrett is known for making most of the commercial metal detectors used by airports and security forces. If you have been swept with a handheld detector at a concert, it was a Garrett. Whether being able to detect contraband at a concert makes them good at detecting quarters and gold rings is unclear.

I see Ernmark beat me to the punch! The detector we own was purchased from different places but it is the same one--the cheapest Famous Trails.

This post has been edited by mloser: 23 May 2007 - 09:46 AM


#5 User is offline   Renegade Knight 

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 08:17 AM

Surveyors use special metal detectors that look for Iron rods. Apparently the detector can zero in on the vertical rod's magentic field (or something) and being specilized for doing that, is a different design than the ones you would purchase for finding loose change, lost gold rings and the like.

If you are getting this for Benchmarking...but are going to get one optimized for the metal detecting hobby make sure it's going to do ok for benchmarks.

#6 User is offline   shorbird 

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 11:44 AM

I have the cheap Famous Trails one too--but it hasn't helped me at all. I set it all up, and the only time it works is when I sweep it over a benchmark which is already out of the ground. I've been leaving it home and having better results.

#7 User is offline   Kewaneh & Shark 

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 12:09 PM

The magnetic locators used by surveyors are highly specialized and generally locate ferrous metals (ie steel & iron). The field produced is substantially different from a recreational treasure hunter metal detector in that the field on the survey models is a narrow beam and targeted, instead of being wide. Schonstedt is one brand of magnetic locator used by many surveyors. I've used one for years and found them to be bullet-proof.

- Kewaneh

#8 User is offline   mloser 

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 12:20 PM

I have found that the key to the Famous Trails on is to put discrimination on the lowest setting and then tune it. I turn the know clockwise until it buzzes, then back until I can't hear it any more. I often wiggle it a bit between those settings until I am sure I have it turned as far clockwise as I can without making noise any more. Then I test it quickly. I have found that holding it near the pocket I have my cell phone in provides a good test of its sensitivity. It should get a hit on the phone about 4-6 inches from my pocket. After that I start to sweep. If I am searching for a while I will recheck it against my cell phone to make sure I haven't bumped the knobs and messed up the settings.
It gives me a ton of invalid hits, but usually that isn't a problem. The biggest false hits are aluminum cans and bits of tin foil. You would be surprised how many pie tins there are near roads!

#9 User is offline   Klemmer & TeddyBearMama 

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 07:23 PM

I'm one of the many BM'ers who got the Radio shack 3300 on sale last year. It's got all the bells & whistles, and the price was right. It has helped me find 4 or 5 benchmarks, and saved me from digging for a couple that were not there.

There always seems to be lots of metal of all sorts laying around where a BM might be, including burried metal witness posts. So - the best thing I have seen is the ability to differentiate (discriminate) between ferrous metals (iron, steel), and others higher up the scale (brass, bronze, etc.). The only problem is the newer aluminum discs, which look like a smashed Coke can to the detector. Dug one of those up, dang it. Brass or Bronze discs make it easier.

Bottom line: I'm 100% satisfied with it.

P.S. I also bought one of those Garret handheld ones (like they use at the airport). Luckily it was cheap (wholesale, at near distributor's cost). Don't waste your money on one. Leave it for the airport security guys.

#10 User is offline   2oldfarts (the rockhounders) 

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 07:34 PM

We use the Pioneer EX Bounty Hunter. Nothing fancy, but it does allow setting a "reject target" for 4 different types. They are "Iron", "AL ZN", "AL 5¢", & "Coins". It has 3 different depth settings.

It works great for benchmarking. We suggest that whichever unit you buy, you take it to a nearby benchmark and sweep over it. Learn the tone or meter reading so you can discriminate (reject) the type of objects you don't want to find (primarily iron). Learn the speed you need to swing the detector to get a good "Hit", different units different speeds.

The Bounty Hunter did find a 1939 Mercury dime at about 5 1/52 to 6 inches deep and about 10 inches from a benchmark.


John

#11 User is offline   DonB 

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 03:11 AM

View Postandylphoto, on May 23 2007, 07:07 AM, said:

After a year of benchmarking and not wanting to spend the money, I have finally started to look for a metal detector. Better yet, my wife says she'd like me to have one. So the search is on. I've never owned one, so I am looking for recommendations from all of you. I started shopping ebay, and would like to definitely spend less than $200 on this. Good/bad brands? How does the coil size affect the quality & usability?

I found THIS one on ebay for a nice price, and looked good. However, also found several very critical reviews. Any experience with this model, or this brand? Also looks to be the same as "Gold Century" products found on Amazon.

I have also seen Bounty Hunter detectors, and had kind of looked at the Quick Draw II. Street price is in the right range, and looks very much like the Pioneer 202 that Wal-Mart stocks.

Also found the Bounty Hunter Sharp Shooter II on Amazon for not much over my target price. It's a little better model, but I don't know if the difference is worth it or not.

Also of interest is the Garrett Ace 250 that I found on Amazon. I had never heard of the company. Found lots of good reviews but also a caution that it's overrated, and has a factory preset ground balance that can't be changed.

The Radio Shack 2200 is also in the ballpark.

At the moment I'm kind of leaning toward the Quick Draw II or the Garrett, but I'm open to suggestions. Never heard of Garrett before...are they a good brand? What about ground balance? What is it, and will the features on a $200 machine matter? My primary interest will be benchmarking. I may take it out occasionally just to see what I can find, but I'm not planning on treasure hunting or striking it rich with this.

Too bad that Radio Shack clearance event isn't going on now. Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions!


Take a look at Whites.

#12 User is offline   Bill93 

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 06:53 AM

I'm pretty much in agreement with the others. Either buy cheap and portable, or else buy the best discrimination between metals you can get.

Recognize that the depth it will sense something depends on whether it is in dry sand or moist heavy soil.

#13 User is offline   Lat34North 

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 05:54 PM

View PostRenegade Knight, on May 23 2007, 08:17 AM, said:

Surveyors use special metal detectors that look for Iron rods. Apparently the detector can zero in on the vertical rod's magentic field (or something) and being specilized for doing that, is a different design than the ones you would purchase for finding loose change, lost gold rings and the like.

If you are getting this for Benchmarking...but are going to get one optimized for the metal detecting hobby make sure it's going to do ok for benchmarks.



White makes a unit called the "Bullseye II Pinpointer" that is supposed to precisely "pinpoint" the target. It appears that this model is indented for use after you locate the general area of the object you are looking for. Does not sound like something useful for finding a Bench Maker to me.

#14 User is offline   mloser 

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 07:01 PM

That depends on what you are looking for at the time. I could have used it last weekend when I was trying to find a bolt in a crack between two boulders and couldn't fit my normal metal detector in between easily. A pinpoint detector would have helped me a lot. Not enough to actually BUY one though!

#15 User is offline   68-eldo 

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 09:43 PM

When I was first introduced to metal detectors long ago and far away, they were rather simple devices. They were simply an audio oscillator with the detection coil used as the inductor for the oscillator. When metal got close to the coil the inductance changed and in turn the oscillator changed frequency. But the change was not always easy to hear and the constant tone would drive you batty. So a second oscillator was added. When two frequencies are combined four frequencies come out of the circuit; the two original frequencies and the sum and difference of the frequencies. This second oscillator used in the metal detector is called a beat frequency oscillator. The main oscillator is then set well above audio and the BFO is set to the same frequency; so no difference frequency is generated or it is below audio. Now when metal changes the inductance in the detector coil an audio tone is emitted because the main oscillator is not on the same frequency as the BFO. The amount of deviation of the main oscillator is dependant on the size of the metal object and/or the distance to the object. The further/smaller the object the lower the tone. Larger/closer means a higher tone.

The result of this is that pinpointing an object was easy; all you had to do was move the detector to the place that gave the highest tone.

Along came the geniuses who put micro processors into the metal detectors. Now you can see what type of metal is in the ground on the display and what coins are there. The down side of the new fangled detectors is they do not detect anything unless they are in motion. You must swing the detector coil to have it detect the metal. It does work if you swing it vertically.

My detector seems to have a delay in the beep that says it found something. This delay means it will beep six inches to a foot after it passes the object. That makes it hard to tell exactly where the metal is. A lot of swinging back and forth and at right angles is required to narrow down the location.

The geniuses come to the rescue. They put a button on my detector called pin point or some such thing. By pressing this button it changes the detector to the old style that changes tone as it approaches a metal object. No swinging required. I get a high pitched tone when the coil is directly over the metal object.

Too bad it’s only a soda can or a rail spike.

Any way that’s what I think of when someone talks about a pin point detector.

<babble mode=”off”>

#16 User is offline   mloser 

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 04:50 AM

Mine also has a pinpoint feature, and I find it to be totally useless, although it could be that I am using it wrong. It seems to beep at almost anything, including non metal things, or perhaps at a quarter laying on the surface of the earth on mainland China or something, because no matter when I use it, it beeps and leads me on a digging spree with no results.

There are actual pinpoint detectors for the fanatics though, that look as much like those long lighters you use to light a charcoal grill as much as anything, on steroids. They pinpoint down to the inch or so from what I have read. The idea is to buy an $800 detector from Whites and use it to get a hit, then use your $200 dollar pinpoint detector and a tiny $20 tool (which resembles a weed remover to me) to extract the 4 carat diamond ring from the lawn without disturbing the grass.

My specific problem was that I was arm deep in a 4 inch crack between rocks, trying to find a bolt. Posted Image
If I flattened my detector it fit in the crack but I was never sure if the beep I got was from the side of the rock face or from the bottom of the crack, which was what I wanted. A pointy detector would have helped me here.

This post has been edited by mloser: 07 June 2007 - 04:50 AM


#17 User is offline   BlueDeuce 

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 05:03 AM

Posted Image

#18 User is offline   Klemmer & TeddyBearMama 

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 12:03 PM

A couple quick things:
1) I believe that until last year, the Radio Shack metal detector many of us have (3300 etc) were made by White. The pictures look(ed) the same. Good stuff, but arouind this time last year Radio Shack (I thgink) switched manufacturers away from White.
2) If I remember right, the pin point mode (which I like) is susceptible to "Ground Balance" problems (whatever theyare). My Radio Trash 3300 has an adjustment for that, which when nulled (adjusted so no tone heard on a "clean" spot), results in a lot better usage in the pin point mode. The pin point mode also detects deeper that the normal "discimination" mode. Just deep enoough to find that rail spike or old tin can..... I've backed some off using it, after digging about a foot in hard dirt for a %^&* tin can...

#19 User is offline   DonB 

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 03:45 AM

[quote name='Lat34North' date='Jun 6 2007, 05:54 PM' post='2904430']
[quote name='Renegade Knight' post='2879190' date='May 23 2007, 08:17 AM']
Surveyors use special metal detectors that look for Iron rods. Apparently the detector can zero in on the vertical rod's magentic field (or something) and being specilized for doing that, is a different design than the ones you would purchase for finding loose change, lost gold rings and the like.
[/quote]

Not true, I have three Whites detectors and have used all three of them to find property stakes.

That's why people buy models with the discriminator function that can be turned on and off, that function will discriminate between coins and junk.

#20 User is offline   Bill93 

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 08:44 AM

>Not true, I have three Whites detectors and have used all three of them to find property stakes.

Knight had it right. Notice that he did NOT say that your White would not find iron, he said surveyors use other detectors that are better at it. Typical brands of these detectors are Schonstedt, CST Berger, etc. and they are marketed to surveyors, construction companies, etc. who need to find buried iron objects.

Treasure hunters do find iron unless their discrimination is set to reject it. This class of detector senses electrical conductivity in the surface of the metal near its coil. Thus most metals respond to a greater or lesser degree, and the larger the area presented the better they are detected. Having more metal in the shadow of the object's surface helps very little. There is a lot of variation in the details of the instruments with pulse versus continuous, operating frequency, etc. but all the White, Radio Shack, etc. use conductivity.

But the magnetic field detectors referred to in the earlier post do not care about conductivity, they only sense differences in the magnetic field. This makes them much more sensitive to iron rods and other magnetic objects that distort the earth's field. Area helps, but length helps more in grabbing the magnetic field. At the same time they do not respond significantly to aluminum, copper, gold, bronze, etc which do not alter the magnetic field. In most cases it is the static magnetic field, but the one-call-before-you-dig guy uses one of these that is outfitted to detect an AC magnetic field emitted by pipes and wires carrying a current from his clip-on transmitter.

#21 User is offline   DonB 

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 11:49 AM

View PostBill93, on Aug 9 2007, 08:44 AM, said:

>Not true, I have three Whites detectors and have used all three of them to find property stakes.

Knight had it right. Notice that he did NOT say that your White would not find iron, he said surveyors use other detectors that are better at it. Typical brands of these detectors are Schonstedt, CST Berger, etc. and they are marketed to surveyors, construction companies, etc. who need to find buried iron objects.

Treasure hunters do find iron unless their discrimination is set to reject it. This class of detector senses electrical conductivity in the surface of the metal near its coil. Thus most metals respond to a greater or lesser degree, and the larger the area presented the better they are detected. Having more metal in the shadow of the object's surface helps very little. There is a lot of variation in the details of the instruments with pulse versus continuous, operating frequency, etc. but all the White, Radio Shack, etc. use conductivity.

But the magnetic field detectors referred to in the earlier post do not care about conductivity, they only sense differences in the magnetic field. This makes them much more sensitive to iron rods and other magnetic objects that distort the earth's field. Area helps, but length helps more in grabbing the magnetic field. At the same time they do not respond significantly to aluminum, copper, gold, bronze, etc which do not alter the magnetic field. In most cases it is the static magnetic field, but the one-call-before-you-dig guy uses one of these that is outfitted to detect an AC magnetic field emitted by pipes and wires carrying a current from his clip-on transmitter.

That I don't consider a metal detector, it is transmitting a signal through the wire, kind of like the X10 lighting system. We used a simular piece of equiptment when I was in the electrical business to find breakers so we didn't kill the wrong breaker. They kind of got upset if we dumped their computers.

I'm not trying to be a nitpicker but the detectors that you are refering to I don't consider a metal detector that most people would be refering to when they would be talking about metal detectors, even though they do find metal, you said it yourself, they are magnetic field detectors and you wouldn't use them for treasure hunting.

#22 User is offline   Kewaneh & Shark 

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 12:27 PM

View PostDWBur, on Aug 9 2007, 12:49 PM, said:

...I'm not trying to be a nitpicker but the detectors that you are refering to I don't consider a metal detector that most people would be refering to when they would be talking about metal detectors, even though they do find metal...

I guess you can call it whatever you want. If it detects metal, it's a metal detector. The survey-grade, 'magnetic locators' I've used for years all detected metal. Guess what we've called them?
- Kewaneh

#23 User is offline   Black Dog Trackers 

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 12:34 PM

I think the terms are "Magnetic Locator" and "Metal Detector".

Two different search technologies for different purposes with some shared abilities.

I guess a main point for us is that the magnetic locator is not useful for hunting benchmarks unless the _MAGNETIC data element on a datasheet indicates that there is something for it to find. (Also those magnetic locators are really expensive compared to the lower price range of metal detectors.)

The Magnetic Property Code (if it exists on a datasheet) will indicate whether a magnetic locator can be used to find the mark. Examples:
_MAGNETIC: I = MARKER IS A STEEL ROD
_MAGNETIC: M = MARKER EQUIPPED WITH A BAR MAGNET
_MAGNETIC: N = NO MAGNETIC MATERIAL

#24 User is offline   mloser 

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 12:53 PM

We are pole vaulting over mousesh*t here, arguing terminology.

Renegade's point was that SURVEYORS have been known to use SPECIALIZED equipment that DETECTS METAL. He never made any statements about them being used for anything but finding iron-based survey markers.

Kewaneh, a surveyor, confirmed that surveyor used these devices and that they called them METAL DETECTORS.

#25 User is offline   Renegade Knight 

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 01:02 PM

View PostDWBur, on Aug 9 2007, 01:49 PM, said:

...That I don't consider a metal detector,...


Regardless of what you wish to call it, that's what it is. Yes it's specialized. That's why it works better for the purpose of finding survey markers of various types.

There is no doubt a more general metal detector would work. Just not as well. The original poster asked about a metal detector for the activity of benchmarking. Treasure hunting is another thing.

It's like my Car vs my SUV. Both see off road use, but one is better at it.

#26 User is offline   Black Dog Trackers 

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 08:39 PM

Yep, anyone who wants to can call both technologies metal detectors, whether or not they can detect brass, bronze, or aluminum markers. Nevertheless, finding out the correct terminology (as used by those that sell the devices) is useful, especially when there's a discussion of which devices can do what.

This post has been edited by Black Dog Trackers: 09 August 2007 - 08:41 PM


#27 User is offline   DonB 

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Posted 10 August 2007 - 02:53 AM

View PostRenegade Knight, on Aug 9 2007, 01:02 PM, said:

View PostDWBur, on Aug 9 2007, 01:49 PM, said:

...That I don't consider a metal detector,...


Regardless of what you wish to call it, that's what it is. Yes it's specialized. That's why it works better for the purpose of finding survey markers of various types.

There is no doubt a more general metal detector would work. Just not as well. The original poster asked about a metal detector for the activity of benchmarking. Treasure hunting is another thing.

It's like my Car vs my SUV. Both see off road use, but one is better at it.

Go back and read my message again, the quote you used was not refering to metal detectors, it was about a different device completely that the previous poster mentioned, a device simular to a unit we used for tracing electrical circuit breakers, it detects a signal sent through a wire or pipe, not metal.

#28 User is offline   Black Dog Trackers 

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Posted 10 August 2007 - 05:09 AM

DWBur -

In your post, you were referring to a Circuit Tracer, probably like one of these. However, that post was in response to Bill93's post in which he was instead referring to a magnetic locator (as was Renegage Knight's post and Kewaneh & Shark's post) like one of these, not a circuit tracer. Everyone else in this topic was referring to a metal detector.

Metal Detector, Magnetic Locator, Circuit Tracer; we need to not mix up these technologically different kinds of devices in a discussion. :o

This post has been edited by Black Dog Trackers: 10 August 2007 - 05:16 AM


#29 User is offline   Bill93 

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Posted 10 August 2007 - 05:10 AM

I suppose I shouldn't have brought up cable tracing in the first place, but one of those ferrous metal magnetic locators offered by Schonstedt can do double duty as a very sensitive underground cable tracer. Much more sensitive than those used to identify circuit breakers because it is based on a different sensor technology. The circuit breaker finder has to be close to its target and does not find passive magnetic objects.

This post has been edited by Bill93: 10 August 2007 - 05:22 AM


#30 User is offline   DonB 

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Posted 10 August 2007 - 06:30 AM

Everyone else in this topic was referring to a metal detector.

Metal Detector, Magnetic Locator, Circuit Tracer; we need to not mix up these technologically different kinds of devices in a discussion. :laughing:
[/quote]but the one-call-before-you-dig guy uses one of these that is outfitted to detect an AC magnetic field emitted by pipes and wires carrying a current from his clip-on transmitter.

I was refering to a statement made by Bill93, that he made about a device other then what I would call a metal detector, I said what he was talking about sounded simular to the circuit tracers we used to use that puts a signal on the wire or pipe. So I would say there was something refered to other then just a standard metal detector. Enough said, I'm sorry I mentioned it.

This post has been edited by DWBur: 10 August 2007 - 06:35 AM


#31 User is offline   mloser 

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Posted 10 August 2007 - 06:56 AM

Does anyone else want to beat this poor dead horse?

#32 User is offline   andylphoto 

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Posted 10 August 2007 - 07:44 AM

Well, since this thread has resurfaced, I'll give an update. I decided to purchase a Garrett Ace 250 for a couple of reasons. While my main purpose in wanting to buy the unit was for benchmarking, I figured I would also probably dabble occasionally in treasure hunting as well, since it looked interesting. I haven't found the 10 carat diamond ring, or the rare gold coin yet, but I'm sure I will. :laughing: Or not.

I'm planning to get rich with the thing, but it's fun to look sometimes. The Schonstedt magnetic locators look nice, but I also wanted something more in the consumer price range. I'll keep my eyes open for one of those in an auction or something.

On the benchmarking side, I have used it (so far) to find the stem of a reference disk on a debris covered rock outcropping, and it did a nice job of that. I also looked for one that I haven't found yet (RK0171) but I had it set for all metal and was interested in what else I might dig up. Well, I dug a lot of other stuff up, but no benchmark yet. My next search on this one, I'll be setting the detector to discriminate against iron.

This post has been edited by andylphoto: 10 August 2007 - 07:50 AM


#33 User is offline   Renegade Knight 

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Posted 10 August 2007 - 08:10 AM

View PostDWBur, on Aug 10 2007, 04:53 AM, said:

View PostRenegade Knight, on Aug 9 2007, 01:02 PM, said:

View PostDWBur, on Aug 9 2007, 01:49 PM, said:

...That I don't consider a metal detector,...


Regardless of what you wish to call it, that's what it is. Yes it's specialized. That's why it works better for the purpose of finding survey markers of various types.

There is no doubt a more general metal detector would work. Just not as well. The original poster asked about a metal detector for the activity of benchmarking. Treasure hunting is another thing.

It's like my Car vs my SUV. Both see off road use, but one is better at it.

Go back and read my message again, the quote you used was not refering to metal detectors, it was about a different device completely that the previous poster mentioned, a device simular to a unit we used for tracing electrical circuit breakers, it detects a signal sent through a wire or pipe, not metal.

Went back and re-read. Nothing changes. I think you are making this more complex than it is. We also use detectors to find pipes and other underground utilities. We don't call those devices metal detectors, but the OP wasn't trying to find a pipe, or wire with a current running through it. The Survey style metal detectors are not used to find pipes or trace wires. It would be nice if it was all the same. Less equipment to muck with.

#34 User is offline   oisact 

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Posted 22 September 2007 - 08:30 AM

Sorry to bump an old thread again. Someone mentioned this inexpensive detector. If you scroll to the bottom, you'll see this other detector listed for the exact same price of $39.99. It is a "nine function" detector compared to the first one, which is "five function". Has anyone used this other detector, and is it better (sensitivity, general usefulness) than the 5 function one? "Three-way metal finder has three separate audio signals for different metals." The one thing I see is it would be bulkier to pack up and haul, but it also looks like it would be a lot more comfortable if you were doing a lot of searching.

Dan

#35 User is offline   Black Dog Trackers 

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Posted 22 September 2007 - 09:01 AM

oisact -

I don't know about those function counts, but I'd definitely choose one with an arm brace on it over one that was just one handle. For benchmark hunting anyway, better ergonomics is what I'd go for.
.

#36 User is offline   GEO*Trailblazer 1 

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Posted 22 September 2007 - 09:13 AM

My Radio Trash is great for all types of metal.
It has a 3 option switch for all type metals.

I bought it years ago and it is just a WHITE in Black clothes.ones.

One of the main things is to learn how to set the discriminator.
It has found BM's up to 12" deep.
With the optional add on head it will go much deeper.

I suggest around heavy traffic areas to have a set of headphones.
Traffic noise drowns it out sometimes.

#37 User is offline   WebChimp 

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Posted 22 September 2007 - 03:17 PM

View Postandylphoto, on May 23 2007, 07:07 AM, said:

Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions!


If you're still looking, you just asked the question: "What's the best make.model of car to buy?" Plenty of answers, most are right for some people, and most are wrong for some people.

I've been metal detecting for about 40 years, and today I use a Fisher 1236-X2. It's good for coin-shooting, will find benchmarks at a foot and deeper without trouble. Will also completely block out all ferrous material if you wish, and find only non-ferrous. It has all the bells and whistles, except for a display screen.

A White's machine has always been a reliable machine. I still have one in the closet, uses about two pounds of batteries. The newer models are more confortable and user friendly.

Garrett makes good machines. My first one was a Garrett, made some of my best finds with it.

The ones sold by bargain stores and discount houses are usually designed more to sell than to function.

To ask the folks who are really up to date on their info, visit this site:

http://gometaldetecting.com/

This is the Gc.Com of the metal detecting world.

Have fun.

#38 User is offline   PFF 

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 01:28 AM

BDT wrote:

Quote

I don't know about those function counts, but I'd definitely choose one with an arm brace on it over one that was just one handle. For benchmark hunting anyway, better ergonomics is what I'd go for.



I agree about the arm brace. Plus, that model operates on 9-volt batteries, instead of AA or AAA batteries. Serious hunters will not use less than 9-volts. <_< Actually, I suppose the higher voltage and current availabilities indicate there is massive power available to operate the circuits--which suggests that they do more.

Being able to discriminate among different types of metals is a necessity. Otherwise, you will spend a lot of time digging up rail spikes, pop tabs from beverage cans, etc. Benchmark disks have a unique signature, so it makes sense to put this fact to good use. [See "Good News/Bad News", in the next message.]

Oddly, I've never found a coin while using my detector. You'd think that at one of the fourteen hundred disks I've been to, someone would have dropped a nickel or dime while working. Do surveyors have deep, secure pockets, or is it that they don't carry money? Or, that they don't have money to carry? :huh:

-Paul-

#39 User is offline   PFF 

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 01:56 AM

Metal Detectors – Good News/Bad News

First, a brief story. Shortly after getting into this wacky hobby, I purchased a metal detector which generally sells for $120. I got it for half price because it had been sent back for factory repairs and could not be sold as “new”. It has simple discrimination abilities, good depth penetration, and it really made a difference in finding buried disks, and those obscured by tall grass.

Last fall, I wandered into a Radio Shack store on my lunch break. I was startled to see that the Model 3300 detector was reduced for clearance. (List price was $300, but they were unloading them for $89.) Only a few were left, so I bought one.

I rushed back to my computer and posted a note on GEOCACHING.COM/MARK, suggesting that other benchmark hunters check stores in their areas. Within hours, people started snatching up all remaining Radio Shack inventory. Folks whose market areas were sold out were getting the assistance of others around the country in having a 3300 shipped to them. Within two weeks, so many had been purchased that we had enough guys and gals to form an unofficial “3300 Club”.

The difference between my $120 unit and the $300 unit was astounding. Better discrimination. Better read-out panel. And a unique feature called “pin point” which allows me to refine my search with the detector head stationary.

Here’s the point. It’s late September. Christmas is coming. This suggests several opportunities for anyone shopping for a metal detector. First, Radio Shack traditionally has big sales as Christmas approaches. Second, you have some time to save up money to purchase a better detector. Third, you can tell your family that you want this year’s present to be a Radio Shack gift card. (And if your birthday falls between now and Christmas, you’re home free!)

Is there something magical about Radio Shack metal detectors? Not at all. As someone mentioned, these are manufactured for The Shack by other companies. The advantage is that Radio Shack is a consumer-oriented organization, and they love to push product out the door.

I’m confident that there is an awesome opportunity on the horizon. Be ready to seize it. After all, when the perfect wave is spotted just offshore, that’s not the time to be on the beach, purchasing a surf board. You have to be in the water.

So, prepare now to purchase a more expensive metal detector—one you will enjoy using and which will give you outstanding results. Be patient. Save your pennies. Watch those sale flyers.

And, when you find “the deal of the day”, post it here so others can take advantage of it. <_<

-Paul-

This post has been edited by PFF: 23 September 2007 - 01:57 AM


#40 User is offline   DonB 

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 04:55 AM

View Postandylphoto, on May 23 2007, 09:07 AM, said:

After a year of benchmarking and not wanting to spend the money, I have finally started to look for a metal detector. Better yet, my wife says she'd like me to have one. So the search is on. I've never owned one, so I am looking for recommendations from all of you. I started shopping ebay, and would like to definitely spend less than $200 on this. Good/bad brands? How does the coil size affect the quality & usability?

I found THIS one on ebay for a nice price, and looked good. However, also found several very critical reviews. Any experience with this model, or this brand? Also looks to be the same as "Gold Century" products found on Amazon.

I have also seen Bounty Hunter detectors, and had kind of looked at the Quick Draw II. Street price is in the right range, and looks very much like the Pioneer 202 that Wal-Mart stocks.

Also found the Bounty Hunter Sharp Shooter II on Amazon for not much over my target price. It's a little better model, but I don't know if the difference is worth it or not.

Also of interest is the Garrett Ace 250 that I found on Amazon. I had never heard of the company. Found lots of good reviews but also a caution that it's overrated, and has a factory preset ground balance that can't be changed.

The Radio Shack 2200 is also in the ballpark.

At the moment I'm kind of leaning toward the Quick Draw II or the Garrett, but I'm open to suggestions. Never heard of Garrett before...are they a good brand? What about ground balance? What is it, and will the features on a $200 machine matter? My primary interest will be benchmarking. I may take it out occasionally just to see what I can find, but I'm not planning on treasure hunting or striking it rich with this.

Too bad that Radio Shack clearance event isn't going on now. Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions!

I've never owned a Garrett, but they have been around for many years. You might want to check out White's line. They have models to fit just about everyones pocket book and are a very good detector. I have three of their detectors and have found them to be very good units.

#41 User is offline   slippeddisk 

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 05:56 AM

I have used Garrett for years hunting Civil War relics here in the Shenandoah Valley. They are a very good, durable machine. They hold up well in the field, in the trunk of your car, ect. The pin-point and depth features are for coins size objects, although they will help with larger targets. The better the conductivity of a metal the stronger the signal to the detector, so benchmarks should knock your socks off with most any model. I have found over the years that you need to spend time using your machine no matter what brand it is, you get to know the different sounds and signals and get very comfortable with it. I have 2 Garrett's and one cheap Bounty Hunter that stays in the trunk of my car for scouting areas, if I find something I drag out one of the Garrett's. I think any mid-priced model will work well for benchmark hunting.

This post has been edited by slippeddisk: 23 September 2007 - 06:07 AM


#42 User is offline   mloser 

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 06:50 AM

View Postoisact, on Sep 22 2007, 12:30 PM, said:

Sorry to bump an old thread again. Someone mentioned this inexpensive detector. If you scroll to the bottom, you'll see this other detector listed for the exact same price of $39.99. It is a "nine function" detector compared to the first one, which is "five function". Has anyone used this other detector, and is it better (sensitivity, general usefulness) than the 5 function one? "Three-way metal finder has three separate audio signals for different metals." The one thing I see is it would be bulkier to pack up and haul, but it also looks like it would be a lot more comfortable if you were doing a lot of searching.


I was probably one of the ones who brought up the cheapie detector, the one that you mention first. Despite owning the RS one that everyone else here bought last year, my cheapie is still the one I grab first when I head out to look for a mark. I carry the RS in the car, and have broken it out when the hunt gets tough, but I can't think of any instance when it turned up a mark when the cheap one didn't. I can understand concern of the ergonomics but I don't hunt for hours at a time. Typically I sweep an area for 10-15 minutes. One great benefit of the cheapie is that it can telescoped down to fit in a backpack, very nice for marks I have to hike in.

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