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February 21, 2023 03:09AM
Thanks David! This is one (of many) things on the plate...... that we are looking at.,.,.,.,., in regards to battery consumption, longevity and possibly other ideas. Keep-um-coming!!!
February 22, 2023 02:18PM
Hi Tom,

I recently started detecting an old foundation/farm and everywhere I'm at in this location I'm ground balancing around 45-55 with AT-HC and AT-LC I reground balanced in multiple areas and double checked to make sure there was no iron. Since there's no mineralization meter(maybe minelab could add one to the GB screen) do higher GB numbers = higher mineralization?

First time there I used AT-HC and AT-LC and I was able to find stuff. Second time I used beach LC and it seemed to work well and the 2d graph seemed to give better more stable charting of the signals.

What modes/settings would work best for this type of location?

February 22, 2023 05:40PM
Ground Balance numbers only tell you the TYPE of minerals.
Only a Fe3O4 gauge will tell you the STRENGTH of the minerals.

BUT........ you can tell how STRONG the minerals are.....by Ground Balancing the unit. THEN see how far out-of-balance the unit is....... by bumping the G.B. numbers up/down a few points. If the unit goes terribly out of Grnd Bal..... with just a couple/few points change (manually)...... then....... you have strong/bad dirt. If you can bump the G.B. numbers by quite a few points/numbers....... and the unit is still sorta ok........with reasonable ID's and reasonable quietness....... then your dirt is not too bad.

I still recommend (especially if you are old coin & relic hunting)........ to stay in All Terrain High Conductors. Yes.......... if nails are severe; you may want to try All Terrain Low Conductors.
February 23, 2023 12:53AM

Are there any online resources to find soil surveys done in the US that could clue us in as to what kind of soil we are hunting in?
I've searched and searched. Maybe I'm using the wrong words in the search engine. I've found several maps, but not sure what I'm looking at.
February 23, 2023 01:10AM
I believe it is the USGS that puts out a fairly detailed geologic map, but it's been years since I've seen them, so I don't recall exactly what format they are in, or even if they show "surface soil" (as opposed to underground rock formations). But, it may be something to look into...

February 23, 2023 02:32AM
PullTabKing...... yes there are.,.,.,.,.,., and Steve may have hit on it. I KNOW there is; yet, I do not recall what exact (Govt) web-site(s).
February 23, 2023 03:16AM
Thanks guys!

Is there any specific type or soil category I'm looking for? I've found some with conductivity and metals, but they don't correlate to known areas I know for sure has hot soil.
February 23, 2023 04:53AM
I am a geologist, and I use geologic maps frequently. What I look for is the type of outcrops. Generally, volcanic or intrusive rocks are more mineralized than metamorphic or sedimentary rocks. To put it in laymans terms, limestone, shale, sandstone, quartzite, marble, and dolomite are usually mild, while granite, andesite, diorite, basalt, gabbro, seyenite, etc. are often more mineralized. The USGS has geologic maps for most all of the US, with the balance from State agencies (Bureau of Mines, etc). Usually, the soil derived from the outcrops is what you encounter during detecting. You can also get maps showing iron content of surface soil, which you can search for using the term "iron background concentrations" along with a term for where you are interested in.
February 23, 2023 02:25PM
Thanks Tom, I'll be heading to that same location this weekend and I'll try running AT-HC exclusively all day and check signals with other modes and compare them.

Since you mentioned Minelab reads through this thread. I'd like to request adding a Fe3O4 gauge to the ground balance screen so we know how strong mineralization is in the area's where we are detecting.
February 23, 2023 03:30PM
Thanks again guys. I live in North Texas and primarily hunt around here. For the most part I assume my soil is relatively mild, however I have hunted several sites a county or two away where I'm forced to run sensitivity around 17 or 18...sometimes as low as 15 on my 800.
I have a spot in Arkansas that seems like hot soil, but that may be fertilizer that disturbed the soil chemistry. I will be utilizing Tom's ground balance trick he posted above to see how hot my soil is from now on. Excellent advice.
My GB numbers range from 25 to 40 around my area, but I have experienced a few spots where the blow back/feedback drives my detector crazy, so now I'm on a quest to figure out exactly what's going on under my coil.

vipergts323 - I think every detector should have that ability. It's probably the most important feature to have on a detector.

Steve - I've experienced that crazy red soil you have up north of me. I feel your pain.
February 23, 2023 04:17PM
PulltabKing Wrote:
> Steve - I've experienced that crazy red soil you h
> ave up north of me. I feel your pain.

LOL! Yep, it wreaks havoc on the VDI of deeper coins, for most single-freq. machines...and apparently low-frequency ones in particular.

You know, another thing I thought of. I mentioned that next to FBS/Multi-IQ, the NEXT-best machine I've ever used, in this red dirt, is the Gold Bug Pro/F19. And interestingly, it's a 19 kHz unit. I may be reaching here, as correlation does not equal causality, BUT, it's interesting to note that ATHC does not seem to like my dirt, while ATLC was a night-and-day difference; meanwhile, the next best machine in my experience, is also a "low-conductor-favoring" (high frequency) machine...


Of course, the counterpoint to that is that the Fisher F70 -- at least with concentric coil -- was awful, ID-wise, in my dirt, and it runs at 14 kHz...definitely not a "low-frequency" unit...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/23/2023 05:01PM by steveg.
February 23, 2023 04:59PM
Thanks Big Sky Guy--lots of good info there.
February 23, 2023 06:10PM
Word of caution on the High Conductors mode. I did a whole write up on this on Steve's forum. Last weekend my buddy and I hunted my place with the Civil War bullets in hot ground. He marked signals with his GPX and then we took the other machines, using the marked bullets to test over. We had the Manticore, Deus 2, and he had brought along his T2 as well. Between those 3 machines, the T2 did the best via it's all metal mode. The Manticore was a distant last place. Some of the bullets we marked didn't even give a sound on the Manticore once they hit 9+ inches no matter what mode or setting. We did learn a bit...too low of a recovery speed makes the signal disappear in hot dirt...and too fast will do the same thing. There is a happy medium. And the thing we learned about the HC mode was that it is similar to running Boost mode on the T2/F75...in bad ground it's counter productive. These new machines are lacking in having a true all metal mode available to them. Running the Prospecting audio is not the same as a dedicated all metal mode. Manticore in this dirt type is only good down to around 5-6 inches on bullets...but in other places I've had it, I've dug those same minie balls 9-10 inches with great ID in the 50s. The thing about the Manticore is it is lacking a way to determine the soil mineralization. I don't know if you can go by GB numbers...or maybe you can. At my bad bullet site, it would GB in the 20s. At my better dirt sites, it is much higher than that. On other machines, the higher GB numbers usually equate to higher mineral. Manticore reminds me a lot of the CTX in how it really shines on the beach and in low to mid mineralization but not so great in heavy mineral. I actually have already sold mine. It wasn't because I didn't like it...it was to help with an upcoming fishing trip. I figured with it being in high demand I could sell it fast and can always get another one down the road when they are more available. One thing...I hadn't had a T2 in my hands in a very long time. For those to be near 20 year old technology...they still are at the top of the heap for a relic machine IMO. I actually had to track one down for myself.
February 23, 2023 08:56PM
GTS........ yes, this has been bounced around in the engineering lab..........and is still of 'consideration' (still: on-the-plate)......... to add a Fe3O4 gauge.

Daniel; yes, bad/mineralized dirt requires its own set of Recovery Speed(s). I have yet to hear anyone state that a Recovery Speed of 0 or 1.......... or: 7 or 8 Recovery Speeds work in bad dirt. Recovery Speeds around '5'........ in bad dirt ...... appears to be expressing the 'norm'. Maybe one point higher..... or one point lower.
Daniel........ on the Manticore...... did you try the Prospecting Mode? Or........ did you try 20-KHz? ((( I know!!!! "WHY" would you buy a SMF....... only to revert it back to a single-freq!!! )))???
Some areas...... you may 'perform'..... whilst in single-freq. Other areas/dirt...... you'll be glad to have SMF options.

PullTabKing....... be careful with your North Texas dirt! It may be a bit hotter than expected! (((Yes.,.,.,.,., I wished you had a Fe3O4 gauge whereby, you could ascertain a nominal-median-average of your mineralization level(s) ))).
February 24, 2023 03:10AM
NASA-Tom Wrote:
> GTS........ yes, this has been bounced around in t
> he engineering lab..........and is still of 'consi
> deration' (still: on-the-plate)......... to add a
> Fe3O4 gauge.

To me, since the Manticore is on the bleeding edge of iron bias with it's upper and lower ferrous limits (FE2 negative 0 on the Equinox 800) an FE304 gauge is a MUST HAVE! There are FAR too many complaints about iron falsing and I have a sneaky suspension it has to do with soil type. An FE304 gauge would be a priceless tool to have on the Manticore. I can guarantee you that feature alone would make me buy a Manticore (even though I'm upset with the Cabela's/Minelab rollout)
It's important to know your enemy inside and out before you go into battle. Bad ground IS our enemy.
February 24, 2023 11:33AM
So you have a Fe3O4 on your detector . . ... what would you do differently to set it up? Change the GB? Lower the sens? Use some or no disc? Notch certain numbers?
Go get your Taracci to handle the bad ground? Dig everything? Use it as an excuse for getting skunked? Abandon the location and go elsewhere?

Are the Fe3O4 meters even accurate?
The f-75 had one. It would spike if you were over iron.
What would you do? What changes would you make?
February 24, 2023 12:54PM
I have a group of hunting buddies and quite frequently we take off for a three or four day road trip. We've been all over Texas, Louisiana Oklahoma and Arkansas treasure hunting. The soil conditions vary and sometimes it takes a bit to get setup properly. Correct recovery speed, sensitivity and program....higher weighted frequency or lower.

Would the FE304 help give clues as to what's going on with the soil? I've never had that feature on a detector. It just seems like a handy tool. Another clue to assist setting up a detector for a new area.
February 24, 2023 11:04PM
Measurements of Fe3O4 mineralization on various ..detectors are relatively accurate, especially if you use the same size and type of coil to measure the mineralization of the terrain...especially in magnetically mineralized terrains.../magnetitive Type../

Lightly mineralized terrain has a value from 0- to 2 Bar Fe3O4 .... measured on Tek T2/G2 and in this grade you can really achieve excellent depth... the loss of depth compared to Airtest is up to 10-15%... and in such terrain you can use a relatively low recovery speed setting...

The value of 3-4 Bar Fe3O4 measured on Tek T2/G2 can be considered as mineralized terrain in which it is already seen that the detection range is really smaller compared to mineralized terrain. We can say that the loss of range is somewhere between 20-28%. of the maximum range of the detector ..- but here too, don't forget that you have to use the optimal recovery speed for this terrain.. which is higher than the recovery speed used in easy terrain..- otherwise target detection will not be reliable..

..As a strong mineralization, we can mark the terrain with a level of 4bar-5bar FE3O4. measured on Tek..T2/G2, and the loss of detection depth can be somewhere at the level of 30-35% - and for reliable detection you will have to adjust the recover from the front, maybe even higher... - otherwise you can pass targets - when sweeping with the coil...

And as very strong mineralization we can define mineralization with a value of 6-7 bar.../ terrain with 5% magnetite/ and the loss of depth here can be as much as 40-45% of the maximum depth of the detector.. which you can achieve in very light terrain, for example in sandy terrain.... and take into account that the requirements for correct detector settings and recovery speed continue to grow... you can realistically hit coin targets up to 6-7" deep max. in discrimination.

Are there more detectors that have a mineralization meter..Fe3o4.... my first detectors are rutus Argo v3, Teknetics G2, Rutus Optima, and Whites Spectra V3 .. which I used They had ... of other detectors that have a mineralization meter I can mention, I had in my hands Fisher F75,/tekT2, XP Deus, XP ORX, Aka Signum, Aka Intronik,, Rutus Atrex-test software,,. also Etrac/CTX in which, depending on the level of sensitivity in Auto, they show you how strongly the mineralized terrain is...

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/24/2023 11:22PM by EL NINO.
February 25, 2023 12:57AM
EL NINO........ THANKS for taking the time to explain this!
February 25, 2023 01:46AM
Thanks for the helpful info El Nino.
February 25, 2023 12:27PM
El Nino, thanks.
So now you know the strength of the mineralization on the site you chose to hunt, 2,3,4,6 bars. You now know your detection depth and detector will be handicapped. Where does that leave you? Does it tell you to dig everything? What do you do now that you know this handicap? One thing is . . ., if possible, purchase a detector that is suitable for the soil you hunt in most.
Most detectors don't have the Fe3o4 meter, why is that? Is it not really needed/necessary because there's nothing you can adjust on the detector to overcome the mineralization? If there are some adjustments that can be done, will they make much of a difference? I personally would rather have a depth gauge than a Fe3o4 gauge. I wish the D2 had a depth meter verses a mineralization meter . . . . or both would be fine with me also. Or do aw with the clock and add the depth gauge. . . . .even though the DG is only accurate on coin size objects, it helps me more than a MG.
February 25, 2023 02:09PM
I can chime in on the Fe meter. I think it's an invaluable tool and Fisher/Teknetics set what should be the bar for all others. I feel naked having machines without it. Yes...having that info can tell you a lot. Some sites, a pulse machine is going to be best...and the target IDs way off. Without that info you might blaze through a site and just falsely believe that "nothing is there" when in fact there is...it's just reading as iron or not reading at all.
February 25, 2023 02:11PM
Folks can experiment with their Manticores and even perhaps their newer EQX 700 and 900 units.

Basically can the time it takes for detector to arrive at actual ground phase give clue to level of ground mineralization using tracking GB?

February 25, 2023 05:10PM
What Daniel said.
If you don't have a Mineral meter NASA Tom's advise is very practical.
The more I know about site conditions, the better I can set up the machine & myself to perform best.

February 25, 2023 05:32PM
The only thing I ever used the Fe3o4 meter was to say to my hunting buddy "That ground is hot" Or "That ground is mild", etc. Then we'd say "That's why everything is shallow". And off we'd go detecting no matter what the ground reads.

What I'm trying to say is . . . Whatever the soil is . . whether you know "hot or mild", it's getting hunted anyway and you will adjust your machine like we always do according to how the unit acts. For me, around here it's just something else to talk about that's trivial. . . . . still fun though.
February 25, 2023 05:37PM
Daniel......that is correct.
And mineralization may be so bad that non-ferrous targets may all become "iron" ID....... at 4" deep........and deeper. (On a VLF unit).
February 25, 2023 06:06PM
My civic war camp in Arkansas, you're doing good if you find a 3 ringer past 6" to 7" with an Equinox 800. Past that they just ID's as iron no matter how you set the detector up. I'm still not sure if it's bad ground, heavily fertilized soil or both.
So we dig everything... especially the deep iron signals.
February 25, 2023 06:25PM
Three videos with pinpoint demo on some targets. Second video results more interesting IMO.




Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/25/2023 08:15PM by tnsharpshooter.
February 26, 2023 12:39AM
Ozzie - That's usually our cue to try a different tool for the job. When me and my buddy roll up to a new site, we'll have no less than 4 detectors. One guy that used to hunt with us would have 5 or 6 machines just for himself. We've had several instances where the landowner let us hunt, then come tell us something like "Fellas, I got to thinking, what if my grandkids might wanna do that some day. I'd Iike to have a place for them. Go ahead and finish out the day huntin but go ahead and make it your last time". Well now what? You can't come back with a better machine the next trip because there's no next trip. Better at least have options in the truck to go to, to make the most out of it. I think that's the allure of new machines...a lot of us have the tendency to want to find "the one" machine that can be the jack of all trades...and master most situations. Unfortunately for me at least, that still hasn't been made and I have to fall back on specific machines for specific tasks. If you think that's bad...you should see the deck and rod storage compartments on my boat. I have no less than 12 rods and reels in my boat at any given time. Each with a specific task and lure. Some days I may go all day and use only one...some days I may eventually have most all of them in my hand at some point. Until I find what works.
February 26, 2023 11:51AM
Daniel, I hear ya man. I don't envy the soil you have. We usually only bring one detector a site maybe two, one for back up. We also don't have to travel far to detect, all local so the soil only varies a bar or two. And, our spots keep getting fresh with new techs little advancements . . . . mostly unmasking advancements.

What I'm coming up with here is . . . a useful tool for some is less valuable for others. Like a depth gauge. You probably have little use for one because hunt for relics, and relics can have a huge size difference making the a depth gauge useless. I hunt for old coinage, so if the depth meter reads deep with good tone and numbers, I get a little rush. I guess the detector makers try to please who they can by adding what everyone suggests . . . like a clock, I don't need no stinking clock, slap a depth gauge in there for me boys.

By the way, I got the 13"x11" coil for the D2 . . . I'm not use to a big coil like that . . the jury is still out if I like it or not. I have to get to my test garden to check how depth is. Daniel . . .did you get a 13" for your D2? If so what do you think?