Tonight, I want to talk about something we have all asked ourselves (even if you have only detected for a few minutes). What is making my detector sound like that? I have told many people that for the first few weeks of detecting I was clueless what my machine was telling me. Then I had a very wise Miner tell me that if a signal sounds odd to dig it. His justification was that it could be gold. After almost two years I want to tell you that it is finally clicking. I have been swinging my Ace 250 for 2 years now solidly. I have messed with AtPro’s, Fisher F2’s, and recently one of the White’s detectors that they gave us to use in the Wheat State THer’s classes. While using my Ace I have gotten used to there being 3 types of sounds and 1,000’s of other mixtures of those 3. The 3 sounds are Low tones, Mid tones, and High (Bell tones). Now it took me along time to learn the subtle sounds of the Ace. For instance, I know that 9 times out of 10 a bottle cap will give me a strong bell tone and then a sharp iron drop sound. I started noticing that my ears were getting better when I would find something in my hole and I knew there was another target because the foil I found wouldn’t have given me a bell tone. Now at our recent class I was kind of embarrassed that when a student asked my opinion of a target while he was using the White’s machine that I had no idea what we were hearing. It was at that moment I told myself I needed to educate myself on these sounds. I have been using the White’s machine the last couple of days and it has given me the itch to upgrade machines. It has VDI (visual discrimination indicator), ground balancing, and 9 tones to listen for. I have dug a few coins with it and I’m starting to get the hang of it. It would take me at least 6 months of using this machine to truly learn it. One of the biggest reasons I’ve never upgraded is the fear of learning a new detector. Swinging this machine over the last few days makes me not quite so fearful of that. I saw Miner go through this with his detector affectionately known as Maurice. When he first started with it his finds were not so spectacular. Now that he has been swinging it for awhile he has it fine tuned and he is making it happen. I have also seen guys buy a new detector and grow into it.
Where am I going with all this? When you are getting started don’t worry about knowing what every target is before you dig it. Dig as many targets as you can until you learn the what and why behind the sound it’s making. Even as you mature in the hobby there is no guarantee what is in the hole. I think the majority of metal detectors made can get easily confused when you get multiple pieces of metal under the coil. I remember one hunt where I told who I was hunting with that if the target I was listening to wasn’t a silver dime I would sell the Ace. Guess what, I still have my Ace and I’m thankful I was right that time. I also think of all the times I have thought I was digging a deep silver coin only to find a brass hinge, a square nail, or some other miscellaneous piece of trash metal.
Keep swinging and thanks for reading.