I've been wanting to take the QED to the beach for a while now, it has a Mode 11 beach mode which is very deep, its essentially just a mode that has ground balance disabled at 7.5uS pulse delay.
The beach I went to was only just over an hour and a half from home. I live about as far from a beach possible in NZ. I also wanted to try out my new Fisher F-Pulse pinpointer as it's meant to handle salt water beaches, my Garrett Carrot AT doesn't, last time I tried to use it on the beach the wet sand was setting it off like mad and it would not balance to the wet sand.
The good news is the F-pulse worked fine, handled the wet sand well.
I took a photo of my QED all geared up ready to detect.
The weather was shocking, About 3 degrees with snow on the forecast for later tonight, strong wind and showers was what I was dealing with. I was going to be near the beach which is why I took my detector, the purpose of the trip wasn't to go detecting, the detecting was just a bonus. I decided I'd put the X-Coils 15" spiral coil on it as it's my biggest GPX coil, it's also very sensitive and deep so seemed a good fit. This beach is just huge and people spread out all along it as you're allowed to drive your cars on it, so there is no "good busy spot" like on normal beaches.
On the dry sand Mode 11 (Disabled Ground Balance) worked well, it was perfect actually and I was digging deep bottle caps. I'm more of a discrimination type person so was getting pretty annoyed digging junk. I was however surprised how deep I was digging these bottle caps. It felt like I was regularly digging junk at 12". I got sick of that real quick so I jumped back in my car and drove down closer to the water, I was using my car as a bit of a wind break the weather was that bad.
As I was closer to the water I was no longer able to use Mode 11, the no GB mode, it's my first time using the QED where I've had a response from the ground raising and lowering my coil. I'm not used to bad ground 🙂 The beach has a fair bit of black sand, not terrible like some of NZ's beaches that are virtually pure black sand.
I ended up having to go to Mode 5 with a gain of 6, settings I've never used before, I always run things flat out but I didn't like the ground response I was getting, If I kept the coil level to the ground the No GB mode worked OK, although I wasn't sure if that would mean depth would be affected so I wanted to be balanced, I was able to ground balance now after a bit of fiddling around with manual ground balance. I'm not good at dealing with bad ground, it's something I'm not used to at all.
My first target as I got down near the water was an old NZ 2 cent coin, then a rusty old beer bottle cap and a few pull tabs and an old rusty weird looking bit of scrap metal and a few more bottle caps and then....... to my surprise a coin I've only found two of in my entire time detecting, a NZ silver florin!!!! from 1933 too, the first year NZ made a Florin and a harder to get date. I went to take a photo and my damn phone was flat! It was deep too, I tilted my coil sideways in the big hole I dug with my scoop and it was almost the depth of my coil, and the coil is a 15" coil. I took these photos of it when I got home.
It's not all nice and shiny silver like the coins I find in the grass, I will try clean it up a bit somehow. My silvers from the sports fields always come up looking new.
I decided to leave after that, the weather was getting to me and the wind was freezing. I had achieved what I wanted to do, test the QED out on the beach. It worked well enough, certainly deep and good ground coverage with such a big coil, I'd rather use a detector with discrimination and Target ID's for beach hunts though.
So I wanted to go back to my favorite beach since this time I would hit it at low tide. Not a great low tide, but enough to expose a good stretch of wet sand where I am dying to try the Tone (and Mute) modes where there is a decent amount of iron present. Today was not that day. Completely sanded in so I will have to wait until this beach gets ripped up a bit. It does not help that they groom the beach every morning. Last time the grooming guy came out of his way to circle me, trying to intimidate me into leaving I heard almost no iron, so I knew it was deeply hidden. 2 1/2 hours flies by and I'll probably have to wait until my good season hits this fall. I guess I'll have to cough up some cash and buy that Xtreme scoop so I can maybe hit some lakes with it. I'm not strong enough to handle those rough waves at these exposed beaches like you veteran water guys are The surfing dudes will be scraping me up out of the water. I'm not disappointed in the machine, just in the beach conditions and of course the short time allowable to hunt.
By Steve Herschbach
First off, I want to point out that what I am about to describe is not uncommon with high power detectors that have a coil that can be disconnected. The only way to really eliminate the problem is to hard wire the coil, which is another reason for why this option is chosen by so many manufacturers of underwater metal detectors. The White's TDI Beachhunter is a good example. The problem has its root in coil capacitance and the high voltages involved, and the difficulty of getting good shielding using a removable connector.
If the Impulse AQ is submerged halfway, so that the water level is anywhere in roughly the area indicated in the photo below, you will get continuous false signals. Just holding the unit stationary in the water at this level will cause signals as the water moves around the connection area. If you are not aware of what is happening it is every easy to mistake this for electromagnetic interference (EMI).
The problem is worst in the Tones mode, which I just happen to be using a lot. It is accentuated by a short pulse delay, high sensitivity settings, and low ATS settings. If you want to reduce the false signals, here are some solutions:
Use the All Metal or Volcanic modes instead of Tones Increase the Pulse Delay to 9 or higher Reduce the Sensitivity to 4 or lower Increase the ATS to 8 or above Or some combination of the above.
In practice this only occurs when wading, and only at a certain depth. My solution was simply to stay either deeper or shallower. This does leave a strip or area unhunted. You can either switch the settings as suggested above, or do something to change the height. Like hunt that strip with mask and snorkel, for instance.
Anyway, hopefully this is put in the manual as it is something inherent in the operation of the detector, and can drive you nuts if you run into it and do not know what is going on. It took me several hours of detecting to put two and two together, and it was then confirmed that yes, that is the way it is.
By Joe Beechnut OBN
Early on I see the Halo of targets in the threshold of the "AQ" doing airtest..... so I've been playing with the settings to see if I can pull up more of the audio of them when out hunting in the water. Jim and I have hunted together before, a very good "old beach" hunter.
Video of those changes in the threshold Jim speaks of....