Looking for gold tomorrow. New to everything. What is the best setting for gold if anyone knows?
I will do my best to calibrate the detector tomorrow and was thinking of trying to use some gold jewelery to attempt calibration test. I was told by someone in a hiking shop the Vanquish 440 does not have the frequency to pick up small fragments of gold, is this true? Would the “all metal” and a high sensitivity setting give me the best chance if there is not too much interference in the soil?
Thanks in advance guys.
Hey everyone, so I received my shiny new Vanquish 540 at Christmas, and only had a couple chances to get out and do anything with it.
But I got out a couple times, and tried some things, this post is a mix of a bit of a log of my first activities/attempts, and what I experienced, what I think I learned, etc... As well as an ask for any tips/advice/help anyone has to add for my next couple outings (things to try, things to improve, etc)
First time out I went around my yard/lawn/gardens, and just got familiar with the machine, played with settings, got used to the tones, etc...
I found Jewelry Mode worked well initially (tried Coin mode, couldn't discern any real difference, and relic mode didn't seem like what I'd usually be using from the manual description). I started with max sensitivity which was a little chatty... Then turning it down 2-3 notches seemed to silence the machine completely, and it had no falses, but still clearly identified targets... Seemed pretty good 🙂 even found a couple coins along my driveway from long before I lived here (though modern spendies).
Anyway, then next up I got a whole bunch of household objects:
Modern coins of every denomination Some jewelry (10K gold rings, 18K gold rings, 10K gold brooch, 10K gold necklace, silver necklace, silver brooch, pewter bracelet) Assorted screws, bolts, etc Some brass hardware Misc Junk, aluminium etc And proceeded to setup a test spot that there was nothing in the ground, laid a board out, and swung past the items, getting to know the IDs for each, how I detect them, differences with different orientations, etc... Also tried each of the junk items, and even tried masking (pairing up junk with good items) to see what that did... Overall this process took a couple hours of playing with the detector, and I thought I had a good handle on it...
So then I went to my first beach, saltwater beach, no black sand, fairly popular beach, went when it was quiet, about mid-tide. Powered up, let it do it's noise cancelling, and immediately it started chattering (still on max sensitivity) so turned it down 2-3 like I did at home, still chattery, so turned it down to 4-5 notches below max... Seemed quiet then... So then I started walking along the waterline about 1m away from where the top of the waves lapped at the sand (so sand was still "damp" but not "wet", just on the "water side" of the totally dry sand). And went along the water line at a slow pace, doing my best (and likely failing) to get a good swing technique (more on that later lol).
What I found was that it was very noisy, it was picking up little beeps and bloops (sometimes with no target id, sometimes with) and if I went back and swung around that spot to see what the beep was, it wouldn't be there, so inconsistent... Then I did find a target that was consistent, and pinpointed it, dug it up, and it was a pull-tab, ok no problem that was expected to dig a bunch of those up, and at least I was able to identify a target and recover it successfully...
Still had a lot of noise though, and tricky to decide what to dig and what not to. I was also noticing almost all the targets I got an ID for (including the inconsistent ones, and consistent ones) were at the max depth readout...
Dug 3-4 more targets, ended up with a few pull-tabs, some can slaw, and a great big iron bolt rusted really badly, which for some reason was coming up as a high 20s on the target ID...
Had another target that was a consistent 33-35 on the target and very strong, and stable, but showing max depth... And I dug down probably 18" deep (and eventually a hole like 2 feet diameter lol). Kept re-checking still had same consistent signal... But was hitting hard-packed sand, and my digging tools weren't up to going deeper... So never recovered that one...
Once I went a couple hundred meters I turned around and went the other direction, as the tide had come in a bit by then... And when I turned I switched from Jewelry to Coin mode, and tried Coin mode on the return trip... Still had that noisy behavior, like I was picking up 1-2 beeps or bloops on every swing, but mostly tiny beeps (medium to high pitch, not iron tone) usually with no ID code. I did figure out around this time that the unstable hits I was getting at 14-15 id which seemed consistent enough to warrant double-checking, but weren't stable, if I turned on all metal mode, I immediately noticed a consistent iron tone, so thought those might be junk pretending to be something else...
So in total I spent about 2 hours on the beach, found some trash, cleaned the beach up a bit, and had some fun. But clearly need to do some more learning to get better with the machine.
Another thing I learned is I suspect my form is off (ergonomics, swing technique, whatever). I was able to get a decent swing arc about 60-90 degree arc in front of me, and I think did an "ok" job of keeping the coil at a consistent flat height, but probably lifted it a bit at the end of the swing (did my best not to). Also beach was a bit rocky/shelly, mostly clean sand, but had "debris" and occasionally bumped some of that, or scuffed off a rock, etc... Again tried not to do that either lol... But the biggest thing that seemed to indicate I was doing something wrong is I was getting a fair bit of fatigue, which became pain, in my hand/wrist and running up my forearm. I suspected initially I was gripping the handgrip too tightly, tried to loosen off that, but while the detector seems super light and simple to swing at first, after a couple hours it quickly began to wear on me (and I'm a big guy, with a fair bit of upper body strength). After coming back and reading, I suspect my first mistake was over-reaching with the coil. I had it about 20+ inches in front of my feet when swinging, didn't realize I should have it much closer... Also as I said I was over-gripping the hand-grip. So I'll try adjusting some of that next time. But any other tips there would be appreciated.
Secondly, I was troubled by how "noisy" it was, and combined with all the targets I was seeing being at "max depth" indicator, was worried, that turning down sensitivity further might mean I'm missing things... I didn't seem to notice a main difference between the coin and jewelry mode, but probably don't have enough time on the machine to tell the subtle differences yet...
So, first off does anyone with experience think one mode is preferable over another for general beach hunting on the Vanquish 540?
Second, how should I be tuning the detector to optimize my experience? Should I be turning the sensitivity down further? Am I missing targets? (am I mis-reading the depth indicator) etc... 🙂
I didn't really experiment much with the Iron Bias setting (low vs the default of high), and I didn't play with Iron Volume at all.
Anyway, any advice or input/suggestions at all would be appreciated. I'm excited to get out and get more practice in, and learn some more, but always good to take what I've learned, and combine it with sound advice from those with the battle scars to know what they are talking about 😉
I know @phrunt has already given me a ton of good advice on the local NZ id codes to look for with commonly found coin types, etc... And those matched up perfectly with what I found in my little "test garden" experiment at home... And so Simon if you have any specific advice being as you've detected in some of the similar environments I'm in, and with the same detector, any additional "nuggets" that you're willing to share would be greatly appreciated (of the information kind I mean of course, though the other kind would be appreciated also lol)
Thanks! And happy hunting!
Hey Everyone, New here, and new/returning to the hobby after a long time away (let's not go into how many years... lol)
Anyway, have a shiny new Minelab Vanquish 540 under the tree that my wife got me for Christmas, and eagerly itching to get out and do some hunting...
But in-line with my other hobbies, and my general nature as an individual, I can't leave anything alone. I'm an Electronics Engineer, Computer Engineer, and I build/diy things like crazy. I have multiple 3D Printers at my disposal, etc...
So, I'm itching to come up with some ways to improve/augment/customize the vanquish, and am interested in hearing what others using these detectors would think of as valuable "quality of life improvements". Since I haven't had much time using them, and even once I do, what I find useful, may be different from what seasoned hunters would find useful, I'd love to hear suggestions.
One obvious idea that springs to mind, is an external power source mod... Which I think I'll be doing for sure. Think of a 3D Printed battery cover replacement, that makes contact inside the battery compartment, takes an external USB power input, and presents a clean regulated 6V to the vanquish. Along with a printed sling for under the arm rest to allow adding the weight of the battery by the elbow for any USB power bank of your choice. would allow longer detecting sessions, and might do a good job of pulling the balance back and lightening the detector... (this is all supposition as I haven't actually handled it yet lol). That one should be an easy build, could probably be done in $20 in parts and plastic, and provide a neat benefit.
I've also thought of printable replacement coil covers. These seem like a "sacrificial" part to me, and would be valuable in having an easy to make replacement for these. My printer should be able to handle the V12 coil on the 540, but maybe not others, so I might have to do this in a couple parts that snap together, but it's easily doable either way.
Anyway, any other thoughts/suggestions/ideas?
I'm eager to build/design some stuff, so now is your chance if there is that little thing you're itching for that minelab haven't released yet!
I notice that RNB now has a lithium battery pack for the Vanquish priced around $60.
I have been using RNB battery packs in my Etrac for years and probably will buy one of these Vanquish batteries, if there are no bugs needing to be worked out. I intend to keep the Vanquish in my car trunk and will only use it sporadically. Regular rechargeables don't seem to hold a charge if they are not used for a long time. In contrast, the RNB batteries seem to hold a charge indefinitely. I want to be confident that the detector is going to work even if it has been sitting unused in the car trunk for months.
By calabash digger
I decided to go to my local dealer and buy them..... here is a look at all three...