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About Tiftaaft

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  • Location:
    Vancouver, WA
  • Gear Used:
    Minelab Explorer SE Pro & Etrac (PreOrdered Equinox E800)
    Garrett ATX, AT Pro & Ace 250
    Tesoro Vaquero Black & Compadre
    Garrett Carrot & DetectorPro Pistol Probe

  1. Recent Encounter

    I have known this is the best opportunity for finding old coins now that all the public areas have been scoured by every detectorist and machine out there... more than once. I'm not sure what makes walking up and having a conversation with a home owner so difficult. But this thread lights the fire under my seat... I have targeted several properties around my neighborhood that are 1900 - 1920 homes... which should be prime locations for some nice older coins or relics. I would be interested to hear how the rest of you do going forward by knocking on a few doors... permission success rate and finds. I'll post the same... Tim.
  2. Vaquero Teaches Valuable Lesson

    A cool find (to me at least) yesterday at the infamous park. About 6" deep. Missed countless times before. Same settings as above. Sorry for the blurry pic and pre-cleaned condition. I believe this is a 1950's promotional ring issued by Red Goose Shoes. :) Vaquero - 3.... Park - 0. Tim.
  3. Silver

    NICE! This is a big deal to me Mark... I am trying to better my technique to find the hidden gems at pounded sites... I don't consider that just a Mercury Dime... that represents so much more. You found a desired target that countless others missed.. even yourself! That's what I am talking about! Thanks for posting! Tim
  4. New Minelab Equinox Fan Club

    I just feel bad that I will have less time to spend chatting with all you great folks on the forum once the EQX is released... I will be too busy in the field with it attached to my arm. ~ Fanboy Tim.
  5. Vaq Black

    Monte, I am curious to hear how you decide which of your lineup to choose. For example, what prompts you to grab the Bandido over the rest, or when do you say.. "I'm going to hit this site with the Vaquero" etc. I try to approach my machine choice by the size of the field, the ground condition, and the targets I hope to find... but would be very interested in your decision tree. Thanks, TIm.
  6. Metal Detectors On TV Shows

    And....??? How was it? I have been scrambling trying to figure out how to watch it here in the US!!
  7. Vaquero Teaches Valuable Lesson

    Vaquero vs. Pounded Park Part II As my learning curve continues, as well as my excitement, with the Vaquero... I took 45 minutes at the pounded park I talked about above today at lunch to see if I could execute against all the great advice I have received over the past several days. I wanted to better understand how the Vaquero discriminates and how increased discrimination impacts the depth. I set out to the area of "my park" that I have pounded myself many times, as I outlined above. My settings: Ground Balance slightly negative. Sensitivity just into the red. Threshold at about 2:00. Discrimination at 3:00 (looking for high conductive hits... zinc, copper, clad, silver). In this area, I felt very comfortable that any shallow zinc or clad had long since been removed, however there does seem to be a replenished supply of bottle caps and square tabs due to the after hours visitors of this area of the park. So discriminating past tab eliminates small gold and nickels, but this was a short test hunt, and I will go back (probably many many times) to hit this area with more open disc... Looking for any beep in that disc, and digging it, I popped out two wheaties (crusty, but 1940 and 1938) at a solid 6" that had eluded me in all the previous passes with my other detectors. One of which was laying next to a rusty nail. Vaquero - 2.... Park - 0. Amazed! Tim.
  8. Vaq Black

    GB, I am just speculating when I say the additional price is justified by Tesoro by the addition of the easy switch between modes (Disc and AM). Speaking for my reasons for choosing the Vaquero over the Tejon... I liked the pinpoint button option, but honestly, knowing now what I didn't know then... I rarely use it other than setting the ground balance... the Vaquero pinpoints easily without it... even with the 11x8 coil, and especially in AM. Also, I was sold on the weight difference between the 9V and AA's.. though it probably wouldn't make that big a difference when swinging. When I got the Vaq, I was swinging an Etrac with a 15" WOT on the end... so a couple AA's over a 9V wouldn't make that much difference. I guess the biggest deciding factor along with those rather minor differences was that I am mostly a turf hunter for coins, and hopes to get better and jewelry hunting. So I was looking for a nice marriage of targeting higher conductive items, while being decent at hitting on shallowish gold. What I didn't know when I bought it, but found out when I started using it... I switch back and forth between AM and Disc to try and get a target id more than I thought I would, so the Tejon switch would be handy... but as I understand the supertune option better, the Vaquero might give me a combination of both AM and Disc, (though understandably less depth than AM and less accurate ID as in pure disc mode... but it is a trade off). Having said all that, and having the Vaquero in my possession... it does everything I hoped it would do, and more (much better depth than I expected while in AM). However, I admit, I might have the same exact comment if I had the Tejon in my possession rather than the Vaquero. As CSN&Y said... Love The One You're With. :) And I do. Tim.
  9. Vaq Black

    As always, great comments Monte! First, please pardon my typo... it is the 8x11 widescan coil that I have (and thank you for not calling me out on my error.. ;)). Second, the more I use this machine, the more I am liking it and learning its capabilities. I absolutely love the All Metal mode and am both surprised and impressed with the depth it detects in that mode. Of course... it is "ALL METAL", so working this mode in a very trashy area would take some patience, but I found myself in an open soccer field yesterday and getting excited each time I got the threshold bump telling me there was a target below. The joy of detecting. I did manage to find some deep clad, and a few pieces of junk jewelry... nothing of real value.... yet. I have heard mixed reviews on the concentric coil, and truly the only way to know for sure is to try it myself. I have heard the concentric coil struggles in difficult ground, but the reality is, I am not looking for depth as much with the 6" as I am better separation of masked targets, so that might not make as much difference... especially with the 8x11 ready to go in the wings for any depth needs. As you mentioned, avid detectorists have several machines. My current stable contains 8... and soon to be 9 when the Equinox is released (I think it is time to thin the herd). Right now, this Vaquero is in #2 position to my SE Pro. Or maybe a better way to say it would be sitting in a shared position with the SE Pro... depending on the type of hunting I intend to do. I hope to post some nice Vaquero finds soon. Tim.
  10. A Little 18k Eye Candy

    That is a beautiful bracelet.. Nice find Mike! Tim.
  11. Great review GB!. I thought I was the only one that didn't care for the "in line probe". When I first bought my etrac I read a lot of the forum posts about it.. the Sun-Ray x-1 probe was a "must have" according to a majority of the etrac users ad well as explorer users. The X-1 was one of the first to be shelved by the mfg, giving it an almost cult status, and by the time I was convinced I needed one, the old supply and demand market kicked in. I finally did pony up the market rates and get ine, but having spent most of my learning curve with the carrot,, I noticed the differences you outlined very quickly. Once I committed to getting down to the ground, I really didn't care if I dug several pieces of iron to ultimately find my target, so the discrimination you get with an attached probe is cool, but a novelty. I also found it slowed me down to have to fiddle with my machine once I was digging.... moving it to pin point mode, watching the screen if I was interested in the id readings... and of course.... forgetting to flip the bypass switch to put it back into main coil mode and sweeping across the field in silence until I realized... (ok, maybe that was only me..haha). Plus, the added weight on the wrong side of the swing weight balance.. It didn't take me long to switch back to the carrot. Better sensitivity with good feedback (slow beep = far away to solid tone = right on it). After reading this thread... now I am thinking it may be time to move it out of the corner of my office, and into someone's hands that might appreciate it more than I do. Tim.
  12. Vaquero Teaches Valuable Lesson

    Great idea for an interactive application to track readings across the world GB! As I mentioned in my note above, I'm not sure I have the right tools to measure my actual ground mineralization, but would be happy to share my settings on any machine I have. Tim.
  13. Vaquero Teaches Valuable Lesson

    Thanks Steve and thanks for the link. As usual, you have a previously posted and completely thorough response to things I am just starting to realize. Every day I hunt, I am leaning more toward the "zero discrim" side of things, whether that be running the Vaquero in All Metal, or placing the ATX arm cannon on and heading across the field digging everything that peeps. I'm not sure the actual level of mineralization I have here in my area, I'm not sure I have any piece of equipment that will accurately measure that. I just know that I have seen targets give very strange readings, and in some cases disappear completely (or get masked inside a ferrous reading) as was the case yesterday. I think it boils down to the 80/20 rule. Good discriminators like many of the multi tone/and variable id machines we all use, probably grab 80% of the good stuff. The problem is, at least in general terms, over the years... that 80% is all but gone. It is the 20% we are all searching for now, and as you so aptly pointed out, it is hidden for various reasons. From my perspective... while frustrating at times that I'm not returning from a hunt with a pocket full of oldies... I love "the hunt" for those hard to reach targets... feel all the better when I find one. Tim.
  14. This note will probably take longer to read than the time I actually spent on the ground… but here goes… I was itching to get out between rain showers today… I think I may be in raingear for about a week if I want to get out and hunt… so I had a little time between con calls and took advantage of a break in the clouds at lunch I have this little park near my work.. it is a place that over the past year, I have pulled 21 wheaties and 4 silvers (lawnmower quarter, merc, rosie, war nick)… most in one corner of the park. I have covered this same ground with the AT Pro, Etrac, CTX, Explorer, ATX, and today, for the first time the Vaquero… with most of my coil combinations over the year. As you can imagine… the ground has quieted down a lot, since I also tend to dig some junk targets everytime I go out there. I usually spend 30 to 60 minutes hunting when I go… since I can get there and back to work fairly quickly. Anyway… I decided that today, rather than hitting a new tot lot in the area, I would take the Vaquero to “my park”. By the way, I have seen other detectorists there in my 12 months of going (AT Pro’s mostly) and I am sure other area detectorists have pounded this park over the years as well. It is a 1920’s park in the middle of the oldest neighborhood in my town, so it isn’t a secret to anyone looking. I wanted to see if I could get any new hits in the area I have hunted most, using the Vaq and the 5.75 widescan. Also, I grabbed a clad quarter and a copper penny out of my car to do some testing. My normal setup is to ground balance, then set a little negative, run in silent disc mode just above iron (but below nickel), sensitivity up around 8 or 10 and listen for the beep. Then thumb the disc to see where the target is sitting… take a guess as to the target and dig. I dug a piece of can slaw and a newly dropped bottle cap… but I wasn’t getting many solid signals. I finally got out into an open area that was pretty quiet on the machine and decided to drop my coins. I dug a 4” plug and placed the copper penny flat in the bottom, and covered it up. Then about a foot or so away, I dug a 7” plug (length of the lesche blade) and placed the quarter flat in the bottom… then covered it up. Grabbed my Vaq, and took a pass over the copper penny. A pretty solid signal, ringing all the way up into copper… definitely a digger. Then I passed over the quarter… nothing. I passed over it several times… occasionally getting a chirp, but nothing that said “target here”. I played with the sensitivity and re-ground balanced, even setting it more negative… and was able to get a little better response… but that also made the machine false all over… still the beep wasn’t something I could repeat on subsequent passes. So I decided to try putting the machine in all metal… I haven’t used this mode with the Vaquero, but had only read about the setup, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I tried to set the threshold to a nice quiet hum, but it seemed to have only two options as I turned thee knob… on or off. So I set it to on… and proceeded to sweep the targets. Over the penny I got a nice response above the threshold… so went to the quarter… and it wasn’t as pronounced, but it was a solid bump in the thresh and repeatable in the exact spot I buried it. I switched back to disc mode, and the quarter was all but gone. So, armed with this new tool, I switched back into all metal and chose a line through my most heavily detected area toward my car… and hit a few threshold bumps and dug them to find some old rusty iron, or a pop top… each time checking the target in disc before I dug… they were iffy or silent in disc, but in each case I dug a target of some kind from the all metal/thresh bump response. Targets I would have walked over in disc mode. One target was completely silent in disc, but was giving me a nice mellow bump in all metal.. so I dug it to find a full ring pull (ring and beaver tail attached) at least 7 inches if not 8. So there is no issue with the Vaq going somewhat deep while in all metal. Of course, there is no way to tell what type of target you have, because you can’t get a hit in disc. Kinda like running the Pi machine. But here is where the story gets interesting. I got back to my car, and decided I had a few more minutes before I had to leave, so I grabbed the etrac out of the back loaded with the 13” Ultimate running the Andy S. pattern and headed out to my makeshift test garden in the middle of my park. To my credit it took me a little while to find it thanks to careful plug and replace technique as to maintain the park landscape. When I finally found the penny, it was a sweet multitone melody, solid hit in all directions, forward and back on the swing… but here is the kicker… while the conductive number was reading at 40, 41, 42 consistently… the ferrous number was reading 07, 08, 09… never up to 12… on a 4” copper target. Now, the tone was solid and sweet, and no way would I have passed that up… but still, I was surprised to see the ferrous numbers so low on such an easy target. So I moved over to the quarter at 7”. I thought there was no way I wasn’t going to get a solid tone using the Etrac with the 13” coil on a flat quarter… but I was wrong. I got a bit of a chirp on my first pass, then it was gone, I would get a chirp every 3rd or 4th pass, but scratchy. I shortened my swing, and targeted in on the chirp and finally was able to get a semi repeatable tone… enough that I would dig it in the wild during a hunt… but it wasn’t banging like a screen door by any stretch. I tried both in auto +3 and manual (22 I think) and was getting 16 or 17 in auto… but to difference in the tones from the quarter. And the most surprising thing… was that while the tone was ringing high… the id was reading in the 20’s for ferrous on 4 or 5 swings out of 8. Every now and then I would get a 12-46, but mostly it was 22 or 24 -45/46/47. I was shocked at the way the ground was impacting such an easy target. Anyway, to finish my version of War and Peace… I started thinking about all the iffy targets I walked over in the past with the etrac and ctx because I was putting too much emphasis on the id readings. I mean, I knew that at depth, the id would start moving, especially the ferrous id… but nice moist soil (granted, no halo because it was newly buried), laying flat, at 7”… I really thought it would be easy for the etrac, and even for the Vaquero in disc mode… but I was proven wrong. So I headed back toward the car, looking for a nice high tone squeak, with id readings with FE in the 20’s. I walked over one target that ended up being a rusty nail, but the next target came in as 22-41, with a high tone. It was a wheat penny, at about 5”, that I have detected over the top of at least a dozen times, if not more, and assumed it was iron, either by it being disc’d by the machine or it being disc’d by my brain. I just wish I would have had the Vaq with me to test it (left it in the car), both in disc and all metal, to see what it sounded like. So, in conclusion… I learned a valuable lesson today with the Vaq and the Etrac. How discrimination impacts depth, and how relying on the machines assumption of the target too heavily can potentially cause you to miss good targets. I am looking forward to taking another run at “My Park” with this new information to see what else I have missed. Also, I am happily surprised by the depth of the Vaquero in AM. At least in today's test and in my ground, it was as deep if not deeper than the etrac. Tim.