Maryland Free-State Treasure Club

Let's Science this Hobby

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The Test Field

It is amazing how some detectors detect trash and pennies, and others detect trash and silver. What's the difference? It might be adjustments.

The following will keep you busy for several days of learning bliss.

Find and area in your yard or other discrete place with digable soil where you can dig one or two (or several) neat plugs to a depth of a measured 6-inches. Detect the area to remove trash targets - you might find some neat mementos or coins.

Collect several known trash targets, such as beer tabs, nails, screw caps, etc., use your imagination. Now get some clad coins valuing from a half to a few types of pennies. Now get a silver half, silver quarter and silver dime (all dated 1964 or earlier). Gold and silver rings of varying sizes are a must for this experiment.

Place each target into a small poly bag so you can retrieve it, or temporarily glue the targets to small pieces of light colored plastic.

Place each target on the ground and get a feel for what they sound like or note the VDI (visual display indicator). It's a good idea to write down any data such as VDI numbers for each target.

Next dig one good plug to six inches. You're going to reuse this plug so be gentle.Digging several plugs will make the experiment go faster.

Bury each target, one at a time, under the plug and replace the plug level with the surrounding ground. Swing the search coil from different directions until you can detect each target in its turn.

If you can't detect any of the pennies, make adjustments until you can. If the silver isn't sounding off very well, make adjustments.

Adjustments to consider: Ground balance, sensitivity, modes, swing speed, direction and frequency settings. In hot dry soil you might have trouble picking up the deep signals.

Taking a practical and ordered approach to learning your detector might make a successful difference while out in the field.

Happy detecting!