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My Quest - 2021.

In years past I have set goals on what I want to accomplish with my detector each year.  The past few years, I have been sidetracked by a re-location to a new job in a new city, and really spent the time getting settled with my family… but as I look out my window in West Houston, and see the snow falling to the ground (yes I said West Houston..!!), I felt it was time to engage my competitive nature in detecting again.

I happen to live about 6 blocks away from an elementary school, and through historical topo research I discovered that this was a school grounds back to at least 1915.  Of course, as with many school grounds these days… a new school was built, and then another, each one covering a bit, and a bit more of the historical playground area with either the new building(s) or parking lots.  And in the case of this old school – a portion turned into a fenced off water run-off area.  However some of the original grounds exist in an open field adjacent to the new school and parking area, along with some old growth trees, that appeared to be small but in existence judging from the earliest aerials I could find. 

I have hunted this site since moving here (I mean… it is old ground and walking distance from my house) many times…  I believe a large portion of the ground is overlay/fill dirt to set up a good platform for the new school grounds… so any old finds in this area have been non-existent… However, as I have hunted nearer to a tree line on the outside edge of the old grounds, I have popped up a few older finds, one merc, and a handful of wheaties, along with some clad.  I can tell this site has been cherry picked with the best of them… the one silver coin, and the higher conductive clad finds have been co-located with iron, or other trash…  And this site has plenty of iron and trash.  Which brings me to my long-winded Quest for this year.

This hammered site (hunted many times by me in the past year, but also obviously hammered prior to my time here) is my target for 2021.  I have hunted it enough times to know these will not be easy “just get the coil over the target” goals… My Quest is as follows:

  • One Silver Coin
  • One Indian Head Cent
  • One Buffalo Nickel
  • One "V" Nickel

The challenge will be un-masking a silver coin - given the cherry picked nature and masked potential targets of this site.  Challenging in a different way will be finding the lower conductors in the heavy trash area (for example, the few nickels I have recovered, were at a ratio of at least 1 in 25 tabs - all coming in at either solid 12 or 13 on my Equinox).  I will start by trying to use the technology of my machines, and develop my ability to decipher what they are telling me especially in the areas where I have uncovered the wheat cents near the trees, and hopefully making me a better detectorist in the process.  However, I am not shy from endeavoring to start “cleaning out” small sections of the site at a time, which will be lots of trash digging, but if I have learned nothing from my experience and all the posts from more experienced detectorists than me… a site is NEVER hunted out. 

If nothing else – posting it here will keep me motivated to strive toward the goal.  I will follow up with my progress in much shorter forum posts, I promise 😊. 

HH in 2021 everyone.  ~Tim.

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1 hour ago, Tiftaaft said:
  • One Silver Coin
  • One Indian Head Cent
  • One Buffalo Nickel
  • One "V" Nickel

The challenge will be un-masking a silver coin - given the cherry picked nature and masked potential targets of this site.  Challenging in a different way will be finding the lower conductors in the heavy trash area (for example, the few nickels I have recovered, were at a ratio of at least 1 in 25 tabs - all coming in at either solid 12 or 13 on my Equinox).  I will start by trying to use the technology of my machines, and develop my ability to decipher what they are telling me especially in the areas where I have uncovered the wheat cents near the trees, and hopefully making me a better detectorist in the process.  However, I am not shy from endeavoring to start “cleaning out” small sections of the site at a time, which will be lots of trash digging, but if I have learned nothing from my experience and all the posts from more experienced detectorists than me… a site is NEVER hunted out. 

If nothing else – posting it here will keep me motivated to strive toward the goal.  I will follow up with my progress in much shorter forum posts, I promise 😊. 

HH in 2021 everyone.  ~Tim.

Hi , if you have a high iron or aluminium trash density then probably the smaller coils would give the best results because big coils tend to overlap several targets at the same time ( which is called iron masking in the case of iron trash )  .

The Equinox with the 6coil is very good in iron trash , the Vanquish with the V18 or V10 too ...  And it is much faster to center/pinpoint targets with small coils than with big ones ....  HH

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Thanks Palz, I have the EQX 6" at my disposal for just this purpose, and will be using it for sure.  I have the small coil for the Vanquish as well.  Another arrow in my quiver is the concentric 6" for my Tesoro... I am sure I will be giving them all a workout in my process.  And by the way, thanks for the tip on the battery compartment on the Vanquish.  I installed some padding beneath the cover as you suggested, and so far no power drops while testing it out!!  

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Your school sounds a lot like a couple I've also hunted frequently.  Old trees help because the earth reworking usually avoids trees (because the land owners demand it, not because the earth movers respect trees...).  Often you can tell if old trees had backfill added because of the root spread (or lack thereof).  Also some detectorists shy away from trees because of having to deal with the roots.  (I dig around, not through them, unless they are tiny enough to break with my hand.)

2 hours ago, Tiftaaft said:

Challenging in a different way will be finding the lower conductors in the heavy trash area (for example, the few nickels I have recovered, were at a ratio of at least 1 in 25 tabs - all coming in at either solid 12 or 13 on my Equinox).

I assume you are hunting in Park 1 or Field 1.  (I use both and they seem to be quite similar if I set things like Recovery Speed and Iron Bias the same on both.)  But here's a trick I seem to have found:  set up Field 2 (Park 2 might work as well) with multi-tones and recovery speed of 6.  (I hunt in the 1 modes with RC = 4, IB F2=0 and custom 5 tones with 12-13 getting its own tone of 24, just under but easily distinguished from high conductors I set at 25.)  Targets that show 12-13 in the 1 modes can show different numbers in the field modes.  The USA nickels in Field 2 tend to stay somewhere in 12-13 (but not identical to the TID signals in the 1 modes) whereas beavertail-only and bent ring-only pulltabs often 'droop' into the 11's and sometimes even a 10 peeks through.  Bent and broken racetrack (modern) pulltabs which show 13 in the 1 modes will also display some 14 in Field 2.  Also, I used to put Field 2 in the User Profile slot but that is such a PitA button that now I just rotate through all 8 modes.  It's actually easier (since I can do that with one hand; User Profile takes two hands 🤬).

Don't take my suggestion as gospel but try it out yourself and see if it lines up with your experience.  Also, deep nickels (like the oldies you're looking for) can spill out of 12-13 on both sides as you probably know.  I've gotten faint iron grunts for deep nickel hits which I think were nearby small nails or wire.  Deeper is trickier (but that was the case for previous detectorists too which is one reason they left them for you)!

Another suggestion, don't depend too strongly on the 360 confirmation technique when in trash (as you are).  Iron nails and wire bits are evil, evil, evil!

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Thanks GBA!  All great advice, as always!!  I only recently switched out of Field 2 for a few hunts over at this location... but I have really liked what Field 2 tells me.  So at least on that one point, I am aligned.  And the PitA button... another point of alignment!  haha.  I do use the user button when I'm testing new settings, such as switching from multi to 4khz, but even that is a face button cycle click. 

My usual setup is Field 2, recovery 4, 50 tones... I like the idea of setting up the custom bins in 5 tone, however I love the fluid 50 tones sound as well... but for specific targeted hunts like this (especially the nickel "conductors") the tone bins might offer a distinct advantage as you suggested.  I will also bump up the recovery.. that makes sense... I'll be working to separage masked targets more than trying to drill as deep as possible... especially with other targets getting in the way.  Speaking of deep old nickels... I have had a couple of V's hit in the 11 range... but I wasn't sure if I was just a bit off center or picking up co-located targets that might have averaged the TID down a number or two.  Sounds like you have had a similar experience.  

Regarding trees and roots... we are similar... I gravitate toward them because others steer clear... and always work around them... my plug may look ugly to get a decent angle around it, but the roots are unscathed for the most part. 🙂 .  

I seem to recall you are mostly hunting the 11" (I could probably verify by reviewing a few of your posts), but have you had much experience with the 6"?  I struggle a bit with getting a groove on the 6"... the stock and 15" I'm all about... but that sniper continues to be elusive to me.  I just read through a really good thread on the Dankowski forum and Tom stated that the design and functionality of the EQX really revolves around the 11"... of course that makes sense since that is the stock coil... but first hand experience has shown me the same.  

Oh one last question (at least for this post 😉 ) what IB are you normally running with Field 2?  I am currently running F2=0.  

 

 

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3 hours ago, Tiftaaft said:

I seem to recall you are mostly hunting the 11" (I could probably verify by reviewing a few of your posts), but have you had much experience with the 6"?  I struggle a bit with getting a groove on the 6"... the stock and 15" I'm all about... but that sniper continues to be elusive to me.  I just read through a really good thread on the Dankowski forum and Tom stated that the design and functionality of the EQX really revolves around the 11"... of course that makes sense since that is the stock coil... but first hand experience has shown me the same.  

Oh one last question (at least for this post 😉 ) what IB are you normally running with Field 2?  I am currently running F2=0.

Yes, the 11" is my default.  I use the 6" when after tiny gold in the desert.  I've tried the 6" in a trashy spot in one of my parks but I didn't feel like it was helping much.  The 11" separates surprisingly well in my sites (and they are pretty loaded with both aluminum and nails, although not uniformly so).  However, the 6" performs well so if someone prefers that I'm not going to discourage them.  As always it depends on so many variables, including personal style, etc.  As far as the large coil, if I'm on flat ground (and the grass has been cut!) so that I don't have to lift it much AND if the area isn't trashy it works nicely for me.  I don't get many of those chances, particularly the non-trashy part.

I run at F2=0 always.  The only time I might consider increasing it is in ghost towns or around remains of buildings that had a lot of sheet metal (roofing, etc.)  I could change my mind in the future, but in my current (park and school) sites I don't get many crown caps so I just dig them and let them tell me when they were deposited (by their condition) and how deep to expect to find coins.

BTW, good to see you back posting.  I wondered where you went and now I know.  😁  Frankly I couldn't be paid enough to live in that massive gridlocked sweltering hot (& humid!) place named Houston.  But obviously lots of people like it (or at least tolerate it) and looks like you got transferred for your job.  When retirement comes around for you I bet you'll be following the compass arrow, too.  😉

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Good luck Tim! I think I'll challenge our club members with a similar goal in some of our parks.

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Thanks Tom, I would be interested to hear how you or your club fair..  If I can ever get out again around the power/water outages and sub 20's temps here in Houston, I will be documenting my progress.  ~Tim

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On 2/15/2021 at 5:01 PM, GB_Amateur said:

BTW, good to see you back posting.  I wondered where you went and now I know.  😁  Frankly I couldn't be paid enough to live in that massive gridlocked sweltering hot (& humid!) place named Houston.  But obviously lots of people like it (or at least tolerate it) and looks like you got transferred for your job.  When retirement comes around for you I bet you'll be following the compass arrow, too.  😉

There is a lot of truth in that statement above GBA.   Sometimes career moves don't intesect with where "Home" is or will ultimately be, but overall (current "once in ever" weather related issues aside), it is manageable.  

I always enjoyed the conversations and knowledge share on this site, and am really glad to be back.

On 2/15/2021 at 5:01 PM, GB_Amateur said:

The 11" separates surprisingly well in my sites (and they are pretty loaded with both aluminum and nails, although not uniformly so). 

I have also found the 15" to be surprisingly good at separating for its size... which is even more head scratching that the 6" hasn't (yet), knocked my socks off.  

This site has it all... old bottle caps, smashed twist tops, full flattened cans, old rusty nails and other bent iron, not to mention the pull tabs and beaver tails.  All the things to make a detector sing a symphony... however cacophonous it may be.  Probably short work for your skillset, but it will be a bit of a test for me.  

~Tim

 

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9 minutes ago, Tiftaaft said:

This site has it all... old bottle caps, smashed twist tops, full flattened cans, old rusty nails and other bent iron, not to mention the pull tabs and beaver tails.  All the things to make a detector sing a symphony... however cacophonous it may be.  Probably short work for your skillset, but it will be a bit of a test for me.  (emphasis mine)

Assuming that was directed at me, not so.  I'm still learning every time I go out.  And reading things here on this site get me thinking, experimenting, and improving.  A couple ideas I read this week that I need to work on, when the snow and ground melts...  Starting Sunday for several days our highs will be around 40 F (4-5 C) so it won't be long. 

I wish we could have an annual detectorprospector.com convention where we all (from around the world) gather in one place and compare features of naturally buried (as opposed to planted) targets.  That won't happen so posting and reading here (along with the subsequent experimentation) will have to suffice.

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