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From Wikipedia:

"A long-range locator is a class of fraudulent devices purported to be a type of metal detector, supposedly able to detect a variety of substances, including gold, drugs and explosives; most are said to operate on a principle of resonance with the material being detected."

There is more at the link, but "a class of fraudulent devices" says it all as far as I am concerned. I just wanted to post this so people can find it in the search results in case they are looking.

For me these devices have always failed the most basic test... the experience of hundreds of thousands of prospectors and treasure hunters around the world. Treasure hunters and gold prospectors will give anything a try that might work, no matter how crazy it seems. If it works, the use soon spreads to other prospectors. You can Google genuine successful results for regular metal detectors all day long. The internet is full of successful people using normal metal detectors to make great finds. Except for a few obvious promotionals, the success stories of people using LRL devices are glaringly absent. All excuses for why this is so flies in the face of the simple common sense answer - they don't work. In almost 50 years of metal detecting and prospecting I have met a lot of successful people, and none of them got that way by relying on a long range locator.

Part two of the common sense test is if they did work, there would be at least a few users of these devices that would be fabulously rich. The few I have met are anything but... just the opposite. Again, excuses made about why these rich LRL users are invisible fly in the face of common sense. As if we are not a country that brags about every tiny thing we can think of! The only people getting rich are the people selling these devices. I personally refuse to purchase anything from a company selling long range locators. It says something about the management of the company that makes me prefer to do business elsewhere.

More at Geotech

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Yup, long range detectors cost a fortune too and you'll find nothing at all with them, at least with a traditional metal detector you'll find something.  Long range detectors just take advantage of peoples dream of striking it rich, I'm satisfied with finding $1.66 a day 🙂

joke.thumb.jpg.4c49166160b673949f0c4829506eda4b.jpg

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There are some that say the LRL is just to get you in the general area, then you switch to a normal metal detector to make the actual find. I actually have a few of those devices myself - I call them books.

If I was not an honest person I could be a remarkably effective LRL salesperson, and could easily "prove" to people they work. Playing on people's greed is one of the easiest sales gigs ever. Look what it has done for the Nigerian economy!

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Thanks for bringing this to our attention, verifies what I have always thought, except when I was a beginner, it could very well save someone on this forum from falling into this trap. 

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22 hours ago, Steve Herschbach said:

I personally refuse to purchase anything from a company selling long range locators. It says something about the management of the company that makes me prefer to do business elsewhere.

I agree.  It either says they are dishonest or intentionally ignorant.  If you sell a product, you owe it to the customer to know if it's worthwhile or not.  Period.  BTW, I tried to search for LRL's at Kellyco and didn't find any.  Was starting to think they cleaned up their ways.  Then I went to Google and found this:

https://www.kellycodetectors.com/catalog/okm-bionic-x4-long-range-gold-metal-detector

Hey, what's a $13,500 investment when it will find you a fortune?!

Dowsing is in the same boat.  I've met some nice people who are proponents of that and it pains me.  I've never been good at politely and diplomatically making a case against believers....  Here's a good video by Chris Ralph where (IMO) he does a nice job of telling-it-like-it-is while still maintaining some diplomacy:

 

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I can't believe Kellyco sell them.  That's beyond wrong.

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Dowsing does not bother me because it’s honest about what it is. As long as people stick with homemade or very inexpensive dowsing tools no harm done really. Spending big bucks for dowsing gear I personally think is ill advised. LRL devices are dowsing devices pretending to work on scientific principles, and therein lies the deception. Dowsing is a belief system that has never passed the barest thresholds of scientific testing. There are on the other hand plenty of people who have anecdotal evidence about dowsing that causes them to believe in dowsing. The same can be said of ghosts and over a third of Americans believe in ghosts. Being a science nerd type I don’t believe in either dowsing or ghosts. I also acknowledge it is impossible to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that things like that can’t exist. I would be foolish to think there are not things currently outside the reach of known science. Those kinds of questions I am therefore more than willing to toss in that vast category where I simply don’t know, and the truth is I know almost nothing. It’s not my job to prove people wrong when in fact I cannot. I maintain it’s the other way around... prove to me it works, and then we can talk.

For me it’s all a truth in advertising thing, and if people want to think dowsing works and buy something advertised as a dowsing device... that’s fine by me. They know what they are being sold. LRL not only crosses that line but inevitably seems to come with insane price tags attached. That is where I object and where silence is being complicit by not taking a stand.

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32 minutes ago, Steve Herschbach said:

Dowsing does not bother me because it’s honest about what it is.

Maybe we're veering too far off topic (but I guess the Site Admin will decide that 😉 ).  IMO, dowsing is dishonest because its followers claim it does something that it doesn't.  You link to scientific testing results (thanks for that) which tallied evidence consistent with dowsing being no better than random chance.  The onus is on the dowsers to show that it works under scientific scrutiny.  Apparently they haven't.

Ghosts (as you mention), paranormal activity, astrology and unfortunately a lot of even more widely accepted practices and claims fall in the same boat.  If we allow those to go unchecked then they infiltrate policy, as we've seen repeatedly and embarassingly occur in our congresses and parliaments, and it continues into the present.

'Belief' is a word I've tried hard to remove from my vocabulary.  Evidence, honestly gathered, scrutinized, and publicized is what matters.  It's ok not to know something and particularly to have the courage to say so.  But it doesn't give 'believers' a pass into pushing an agenda which has no basis in evidence.

(Now please pardon me as I step down from my soapbox and we resume previously scheduled programming.)

 

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As admin I would say the rules here basically say keep it respectful, and no politics. So beware the line between saying dowsing as a methodology is "dishonest" and saying that those who believe in dowsing are dishonest. If a person believes dowsing works they are not being dishonest in that belief. The perception of such things causes discussion to stray into people defending their ethics and intelligence instead of staying dispassionate about a subject. Tread carefully on these forums when it come to respecting other peoples "beliefs".

What constitutes allowable public policy or not is merely an opinion when it comes to politics. Some people (not me) approve of theocracy. They are not "wrong" and you are not "right" in your opinion that public policy should be based on science, proof, etc. It is all opinion based on personal preference as to how to structure government. I do not allow politics on this forum as it is the realm of endless argument over such opinions, and so that's the end of that part of the discussion. If you want to do battle in that realm there are better venues.

These threads have a way of going south and so this one may get locked at any instant that it appears to be heading that way. To reiterate, my concern in starting the thread was to warn people about LRL devices, not prove whether or not dowsing works. Nobody here will ever be able to prove it does not to people that think otherwise and attempting to do so will just needlessly ruffle feathers. If anyone wants to state an opinion one way or the other about whether they think it works or not, that's fine. Trying to prove other people wrong... let's not go there.

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Belief does not require proof....facts require proof....

I have done a little dowsing, yet, my detector is what I rely on...maybe, I will give it another try sometime....

with complete respect

fred

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    • By Steve Herschbach
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    • By Steve Herschbach
      VLF metal detector discrimination works well on isolated targets in an air test. The problem is in the field what is reported by the detector is the sum of everything the coil "sees". This means the ground mineralization, the gold nugget (or any other item you are trying to find), other metal under the coil at the same time, and even electrical interference. Sweep speed matters also as does the angle of the item in the ground and the direction from which the coil approaches it. Add it all up, and it is a miracle discrimination works at all, and the reality is it is wrong very often.

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      This happens with coins when coin detecting. A person using discrimination is looking for items that read in a certain number range. The problem is that mineralization pulls those numbers lower and then the items reads instead as a trash item, and is left behind.

      The simplified explanation is the detector is seeing a little bit of non-ferrous signal and a lot of ferrous ground signal. The White's GMT is a rare machine that tries to show you this graphically. It will say a target has a 40% chance of being non-ferrous. Most machines have to call it one way or the other and in this example just go ahead and call it ferrous. Which is it? Ferrous? Or 60% chance of being ferrous? Would you dig something if you knew it had a 40% chance of being a nugget?

      A picture says it all. See the one below. This is such a well known thing that White's has for a long time shown it on their simplified VDI (Visual Discrimination Indicator) scale. On most White's 1 through 95 indicates non-ferrous, and the negative numbers -1 through -95 indicate ferrous numbers. Notice how ferrous readings as low as -20 could indicate gold. Yet nearly everyone using any discrimination at all will tune out this range to eliminate finding small ferrous trash.

      This happens on all VLF metal detectors that employ discrimination.



      Good old Ganes Creek, Alaska is a VLF test bed on a massive scale. Tons of ferrous trash is buried intermingled with gold nuggets in tailing piles. The ground is not all that mineralized and VLF detectors work well there. Because the hunting was pay-to-mine competition style a VLF made more sense than digging hundreds of ferrous targets with a PI while your buddy was cherry picking nuggets around you with a VLF.

      The reputation of the White's MXT as a nugget finder was largely built at Ganes Creek, but many other VLF detectors did well. I saw a couple things over and over at Ganes Creek.

      First, we ran detectors in either of two modes. Dual tones with low tone ferrous, high tone non-ferrous was the most popular. Or there were some who ran in all metal mode then analyzed the target VDI once located. I did both.

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      But if you set to reject, and the detector makes a bad call on the first sweep, you pass over the target and never know it was there at all.

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      Any detector running in disc mode will have a search field that is more limited in extant than that you experience with the detector in true all metal mode. In disc mode you need to be well centered. In all metal, the coil reaches wider and deeper to gather signals. The reason I usually run in all metal is it gives me the best chance of capturing the target, then I can decide what to do with it. Running directly in disc gives you more chance of missing the target entirely.

      Keep in mind these issues vary wildly with the amount and type of iron mineralization in the ground. I saw some ground in Alaska recently that you would not think was very mineralized. No intense red colors, not much in the way of hot rocks. And yet there was something about the iron in the ground that made fairly large nuggets and even .22 shell casings read as ferrous when sitting directly on the ground in plain sight! Very, very scary stuff.

      Now having said all that, there are times I will crank up the disc and eliminate the signals. Sometimes they are overwhelming in number and it is the only way to deal with it. Maybe I am just tired and not in the mood to analyze every target. Maybe time is very limited and I need to do a quick cherry pick run of the ground. There are no absolutes in metal detecting. The main thing is to have the knowledge required to make the best choices you can, to get the best odds for the situation. Hopefully this little article will help. Here is another.
      For more technical detail see Metal Detector Basics and Theory by Bruce Candy / Minelab. An excerpt:
      “In goldfields, discrimination is required only against ferrous targets, without any time constant discrimination, as gold nugget time constants include all values from very long to short.  Unfortunately, X discrimination in goldfields has several major problems:
      Most productive goldfields are extremely mineralised, and thus the soil X signal is extremely large. As was stated earlier, it is only possible to assess the target X signal if this is comparable to, or greater than, the soil signal after filtering. In such extremely mineralised soil, this will only occur when the target signal is also very large which means the target must be close to the metal detector coil. Hence, discrimination in highly mineralised goldfields is only effective for targets buried at shallow depths.
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    • By Steve Herschbach
      Which metal detectors have the most reliable target ID numbers?
      Target ID is a function of depth - the deeper the target, the more difficult it is to get a clean target ID as the ground signal interferes. Other items directly adjacent to the desired target can also cause inaccurate numbers. The more conductive the item, the higher the resulting ID number, but also the larger the item the higher the number. Silver is more conductive than gold, so a gold item will give a lower number than the same size silver item. But a very large gold item can give a higher number than a small silver item, so numbers do not identify types of metal. Gold and aluminum read the same and vary in size so to dig one you dig the other. Only mass produced items like coins produce numbers that are more or less the same over the years but a zinc penny will read lower than a copper penny due to the change in composition.
      In general iron or ferrous targets produce negative numbers or low numbers. Aluminum, gold, and US nickels produce mid-range numbers. And most other US coins produce high numbers. Other countries coins, like Canadian coins with ferrous content, can read all over the place.
      The scale applied varies according to manufacturer so the number produced by each detector will vary according to the scale used. The 0-100 range for non-ferrous targets is most common but there are others. Minelab employs a dual number system on a 2D scale with thousands of possible numbers, but they are now normalizing the results produced to conform more closely to the linear scale used by other manufacturers.

      Increasing ground mineralization has a huge effect on the ability to get a good target ID. Ground mineralization is nearly always from iron mineralization, and this tends to make weak targets, whether very small targets or very deep targets, misidentify. The target numbers get dragged lower, and many non-ferrous targets will eventually be identified as iron if buried deep enough. Small non-ferrous readings and iron readings actually overlap. That is why any discrimination at all is particularly risky for gold nugget hunters.
      If you want target ID numbers to settle down, lower sensitivity and practice consistent coil control. The target number will often vary depending on how well the target is centered and how fast the coil moves.
      Higher sensitivity settings lead to jumpier numbers as the detectors become less stable at higher levels. The interference from the ground signal increases and interference from outside electrical sources also increases, leading to less stable numbers.
      Higher frequency detectors are inherently more sensitive and are jumpier. So lean lower frequency for more solid results. Multi frequency detectors act like low frequency detectors and tend to have more solid target numbers due to the ability to analyze a target with different frequencies.
      Another issue is the number of target categories, or ID segments, or VDIs, or notches, or bins (all names for the same thing) that a detector offers.
      For instance here are the number of possible target id categories or segments each detector below offers:
      Fisher CZ-3D = 7
      Garrett Ace 250 = 12
      Minelab X-Terra 305 = 12
      Minelab X-Terra 505 = 19
      Minelab X-Terra 705 = 28
      Minelab Equinox = 50
      Fisher F75 (and many other models) = 99
      White's MXT (and many other models) = 190
      Minelab CTX 3030 = 1750
      Fewer target categories means more possible items get lumped together under a single reading, but that the reading is more stable. Many detectors will tell you the difference between a dime and a quarter. The Fisher CZ assumes you want to dig both so puts them under one segment along with most other coins.
      People who use detectors with many target numbers usually just watch the numbers jump around and mentally average the results. Some high end detectors can actually do this averaging for you! But I think there is something to be said for owning a detector that simplifies things and offers less possible numbers to start with. The old Fisher CZ method still appeals to me, especially for coin detecting. So do detectors like the Garrett Ace 250 or Minelab X-Terra 505 for the same reason.
      The problem is that as people strive to dig deeper targets or smaller targets the numbers will always get less reliable. But if you want to have a quiet performing metal detecting with solid, reliable target numbers look more for coin type detectors running at lower frequencies under 10 kHz or at multiple frequencies and possibly consider getting a detector with fewer possible target segments. And with any detector no matter what just back that sensitivity setting off and you will get more reliable target numbers.
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      Detectors often use tones to identify targets and often use far fewer tones than indicated by the possible visual target id numbers. The X-Terra 705 for instance can use 28 tones, one for each segment. However, most people find this too busy, and so simple tone schemes of two, three, or four tones may be selected. I think it is instructive that many people often end up ignoring screen readings and hunting by ear, using just a few tones. This ends up just being an ultra basic target id system much like the simpler units offer. Reality is that most people do not need or care about huge numbers of target numbers. For many just three ranges suffice, low tone for iron, mid tone for most gold items, and high tone for most US coins. The meter could do the same thing, but for marketing purposes more is better and so we get sold on detectors with hundreds of possible target ID numbers. Perhaps this is a digital representation of an old analog meter with its nearly infinite range of response but the reality is we do not need that level of differentiation to make a simple dig or no dig decision.
      Finally, a picture often says it all. Below we have a shot of the White's M6 meter. I like it because the decal below illustrates a lot. You see the possible numerical range of -95 to 95 laid out in the middle. Over it is the simplified iron/gold/silver range. Note the slants where they overlap to indicate the readings really do overlap. Then you get the probable target icons. -95 is noted as "hot rock" because many do read there.

      The M6 can generate 7 tones depending on the target category. I have added red lines to the image to show where these tones sit in relation to the scale. It breaks down as follows:
      -95 = 57 Hz (Very Low) Hot Rock
      -94 to -6 = 128 Hz (Low) Iron Junk
      -5 to 7 = 145 Hz (Med Low) Gold Earrings, Chains - Foil
      8 to 26 = 182 Hz (Medium) Women's Gold Rings/Nickel - Small Pull Tabs
      27 to 49 = 259 Hz (Med Hi) Men's Gold Rings - Large Pull Tabs
      50 to 70 = 411 Hz (High) Zinc Penny/Indian Head Penny - Screw Caps
      71 to 95 = 900 Hz (Very High) Copper Penny/Dime/Quarter/Dollar
      Note that the screen reading of +14 is noted as being a nickel or ring but it can also be the "beaver tail" part of an aluminum pull tab or the aluminum ring that holds an eraser on a pencil, among other things.
      The best book ever written on the subject of discrimination is "Taking A Closer Look At Metal Detector Discrimination" by Robert C. Brockett. It is out of print but if you find a copy grab it, assuming the topic interests you.
      Always remember - when in doubt, dig it out! Your eyes are the best target ID method available.


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