Through most of 2020 I detected a large park which had been previously detected but still produced decent old coins for me. In one post I told of a well used path to a small waterfall which confused and frustrated me. The path (approx 150-200 m long) is right next to a creek ('stream' for you New Englanders 😉) and it was likely used for watering cattle in the late 19th and early 20th Century. The path was hard packed gravel and crushed stone, occasionl larger pieces of limestone, with soil filled in between all that aggregate. This path gave thick iron response to the Minelab Equinox and produced almost no coins. (I do remember one Zincoln -- I would.) Back then I tried both the 11" stock DD coil and the 6" DD with similar results. With both coils I recovered shallow (meaning mostly within the first 1" depth) lead bullets as well as brass casings. Most were 22 cal. but a few were larger and those in particular I was able to date at over 100 years old. My conclusion is that this path was used by hunters prior to it becoming part of the park. So in summary, lots of small iron (nails and wire), as many bullets and casings as I cared to recover, but no coins. And the recovered targets were mostly located in the top 1 inch.
Some time after my report, kac suggested returning with the Tesoro Vaquero and 8"x9" stock concentric (the only concentric I have for it presently). He and dogodog recommended setting the threshold to where Zincolns just break up. I found out from the park caretaker that the path is scheduled to be covered over completely with a boardwalk so if I was ever going to return, I better make it quick. A week ago I took his advice as well as kac's and doggo's. But in two hours of hunting with the Vaquero I recovered almost nothing. One lead bullet somehow snuck past the threshold and I think I got an aluminum can base, but specifically no coins and practically no trash either.
I had been committed to using concentric coils only and took my Fisher F75 with its tiny 3"x6" concentric as a backup. Returning the the vehicle I swapped out the detectors and returned for 2 more hours. I only use silencing discrimination (and silencing masking) when I have no choice so I set the F75 up in Default process, 4H (4 tones with nickel zone joining the high conductor coins in the highest tone). Low tone is 0-15 which is nominally the entire iron range. With this detector I decided to dig anything 'interesting', at least at the start. As was the case in 2020 I immeditately started recovering lead bullets and brass casings, all very shallow as before. Two more hours and still no coins. I gave up.
At the far end of this wooded path there is construction of a new paved path in the open area of the park. (I've bitched many times before that I hate these backfilling-party upgrades!) For the last hour of this session I decided to search near that path, also at or close to where I had hunted previously. All the coins found that day (just two clad dimes and two copper Memorials) were found in that last hour with the F75 and its tiny coil. Here are the coins I found that day and the next day (described below):
The next morning I returned to search several dirt piles -- the dirt having been removed ("scraped off") so they could backfill the walkway with crushed stone before paving with asphalt. That 2.5 hour hunt was exclusively with the ML Equinox 800 and 11" coil with my standard park/school coin hunting settings. The dirt piles produced only a clad dime -- what a disappointment. For the last hour I just searched part of the park I had hunted previously. One wheat penny was in the ground up trunk of a recently cut down tree (not surprisingly with damage from the blades of that tool). The other Wheatie was in along a path I'm pretty sure I had detected previously, but was less than 2" deep and thus sounded like a shallow Zincoln. (Lesson to self: Be careful what you mentally reject digging....)
Oh, what's that other thing? Near the end of the first day in a dirt pile I got a signal in the nickel zone of the F75 (25-35 on the 0-99 scale) and thought maybe it was in fact a nickel. Imagine my disappointment when it turned out to be a 10kt gold child's ring weighing 0.43 g. (still about $10 in gold content at today's price). That's my first gold jewelry find since December of 2018. Ignoring the foil and pulltab ranges has its advantages... and its downsides.
Finally, the non-valuable non-ferrous finds over these two days.
The finds along the 'noisy' path to the waterfall (4 hours of the 7.5 hour total) are the lead bullets and brass casings, the aluminum bracket at far upper left corner, the chrome plated strap clamp (off womens clothing?), and the two items right above it -- one a small cap (but not bottle cap) and the other a small gear, possibly from a clock. To the right of those, also found along the wooded path, is heavy gauge copper wire wrapped around a fine gauge copper wire -- something electrical I guess. Everything else was from the rest of the (open) area I hunted over those two days. The tag with printing is religious and not old. Note the interesting toy cannon from a WWI(?) playset. I have no idea what those two embossed mating pieces (pot metal?) to the right of the toy gun are. That rectangle at the lower left is some kind of nametag, etc., not a buckle. Lower far right is a thick amber glass jar piece, probably part of a canning jar. Crown cap is pre-plastic liner era (I seldom find those as they rust away over 50+ years). Upper left is a decorative knob off of a piece of furniture. Finally the upper right -- what this was doing in a pile of scrape-off dirt at a park I have no idea. Here's a picture of a nearly identical piece I found googling:
And some info on the company that made it:
I'd much rather be showing you pictures of early coins, especially silver, and I'm sure you would, too, but the earlybird detectorists got those worms, leaving the decaying insects for me.
Pots worn out on my Tejon and I have the info for the ground balance pot but not on the others.
Threshold and I believe 2nd disc are the same
Sensitivity, primary disc and VCO/Tone might be the same
I can't get a good reading on them as they are worn out and still soldered in so any info would be a huge help.
I just purchased a NIB Silver umax today. I started to use my Compadre about 3 weeks ago to cover some hunted out HaHa ground that I've been pounding with the 800. I've become aware that the 800 has a little problem masking out silver targets in areas with a lot of nails. I know some of you will tell me I'm using the wrong settings ect, ect. But after trying all the so called great settings from other users I still came up short and feeling like I missed some good targets. So for shits and giggles I pulled out the lowly 5 3/4'' Compadre and hit a few spots. Well now I saw a dramatic silver increase in some of my nail infested areas. There's a lot to be said for setting your Disc near max and just hunting the BEEP = Silver. A light bulb went off and I almost forgot how great Tesoro machines were at discrimination. So a few days ago I got the bug to find a Silver umax, for better depth. Lucky for me a member gave me a tip on a new one. As soon as I get it I will give it a good run. I think sometimes old school detectors will give the new ones a run for the money. I hope all tesoro fans take their machines for a walk once in a while, You might just have a good time.
Today was a day that I've been waiting for for two weeks. A great forum member GB amateur contacted me to see if I would be interested in getting together to hunt on his way back from another trip on the east coast. Without reserve I said yes. With all the details worked out we got together today to hunt an old swim club established in the 20's. It was hot hot and more hot today and I was hoping we would have a good time before we both died of heat stroke. GB was running the 800 and I was too for about 15 minutes, When I decided to change over to the Compadre. I have found a few silvers there and had some problems with iron so what the hell. We both were finding some clad and wheaties. After an hour or so GB raised his hand with the first silver of the day a merc dime. Shortly after I pulled a 62 rosie. More clad and wheaties I decided to move to a spot I hunted a fair amount with the 800, But not with a Tesoro. Within a few minutes I pulled out a 44 merc. Two minutes more and out comes a 9k wedding band. The Compadre never ceases to amaze me. After a little while longer we decided to call it quit's and get some lunch and BS some more. Getting a chance to hunt with GB today was as fun as it gets and to have a good time with someone who you respect makes it all the better.
I started a new thread on a subject that we were discussing in this thread. In a post there, @kac said:
...When you get into can slaw and pull tabs you can easily just skip all that by cranking up the disc to the pull ring mark where class rings sit and most aluminum has dropped off and make an easy and quiet hunt for coppers and silvers.
This looks like what @dogodogwas saying he likes do when cherry-picking high conductor coins. Sounds like you stil accept Zincolns. Is that right? Do you set the disc so that ringtabs are truly silent or on the hairy edge (giving ratty response)? (kac continues:)
Hunting in the aluminum range the Tejon has the advantage of dual disc so you can work a tighter range but that can be just as tedious as hunting with a VDI machine and constantly checking numbers with the exception that as I mentioned before there is a pop to most aluminum.
Is the 'pop' dependent upon where you set the threshold? I recall you (and maybe others as well) mentioning this previously. Is this one feature that makes an analog detector superior to a digital (for that particular 'discrimination' technique -- I don't mean superior across the board)? Is this something that you need to train your ear to pick up?
I think cut square tabs and nickels for me are too difficult to hear the difference and oddly their numbers are nearly identical on just about all my machines that have VDI screen.
I don't know what you mean by 'cut square tabs'. Do you just mean modern racetrack shaped pulltabs broken off from the can? So listenting for the 'pop' doesn't distinguish those from nickels?
If I'm expert at anything in metal detecting, it's aluminum drink can pulltabs. I really like nickels and as you note, their dTID's (on detectors with digital Target ID readout) are in the same general range as pulltabs, sometimes with overlap. Most of my experience is with the Minelab Equinox (to be specific I'm talking Park 1 or Field 1, 5 tones, Recovery Speed = 4) and here is a breakout of the types of targets by dTID:
Nickels: (start with the 'wheat' and shift to the 'chaff'): dTID sweetspot in the 12-13. There can be differences depending upon such things as depth and amount of corrosion. Shallow fresh drops are usually 13 while corroded ones tend towards 12. Most of the time I get some 12's and some 13's. Deep nickels (quieter on the volume scale and also more bars on the strength meter) can blip an 11 or 14, but still most of their dTID signals will be in the 12-13 band). The signal strength is the key for me. If I'm getting a rather weak nickel signal I'm not strict with the techniques below. In my area pulltabs don't tend to be as deep as the deeper nickels so most of them give a pretty strong to very strong signal.
Rolled over beaver (only): Have quite a bit of 11 along with 12 and a bit of 13. In fact I can (most of the time) distingish these by going to Park 2, 50 tones, recovery speed=6 where they always give lots of 11.
Smallest (latest in series, so closer to 1975 vintage, particular the single piece ones as opposed to those with a rivet) ring+beavertail, extended: mostly 12-13. I end up digging all of these as trying to distinguish from nickels is too risky.
Modern punchout (near disk-like piece of thin aluminum that's part of the can lid and gets pushed into the can when opened): almost completely in the 12-13. These are pretty much impossible to distinguish from nickels, IMO. Just dig 'em and cuss the idiot who went to all that trouble to remove them.
Bent over itself ring-only pull: These are assymetric so probably give a 'tell' when picked up from different directions, but they tend to be strongly in the 12-13 sweetspot.
Modern racetrack pulltab: Fortuantely these seem to be one of the easiest to distinguish with the Equinox as they give both 13 and 14 dTID's. The 14 is in the long direction so if perfectly aligned you may get only 13 but you don't have to be much off that alignment to get the 14.
'Early' circular ring only (i.e. beavertail missing): These are easily separated from nickels, somewhere in the 15-17 range but unless bent do not come close to the 12-13 sweetspot. Of course these (and all others) are still a problem for jewelry detectorists and their symmetry (except for the rivet extension) make them sound really sweet, as if a nice fat gold finger ring).
Ring and beavertail (attached) but with tail folded over or even wrapped around the ring: These tend to dTID lower than ring only, but still above the nickel sweetspot. 14-15 with maybe some 13 thrown in.
Some more unusual varieties (at least in my area) are the early 'squaretab' which rather than racetrack is closer to rectangle, and even kind of butterfly shaped sometime. These dTID higher than nickels, and in fact a bit higher than the modern racetrack 'cousins', especially when not on-axis (meaning you're coil trajectory isn't solely along the narrow part). Another less common are the small ring+beavertail (intact) which contain a rivet. I'm not confident these are easily separted (dTID-wise) from nickels. Finally, there are many varieties of ringtabs associated with other cans such as Pringle potato chip cans and some automotive fluid cans. Those are larger and still further distance from nickels. One last word of caution: a fair amount has been written about Wartime Nickels ("silver nickels" which have no nickel content but rather quite a bit of silver and some manganese). In my experience they signal with the same dTID's as standard nickels but some have reported their TID's going up even into the Zincoln zone. In those cases, discriminating against pulltabs can lead to missing those. I do think they are rare but maybe I've passed over some??
So, kac, after all that, how does your Tejon respond to these various pulltab types, and do you set your threshold so as to be able to ignore all of them?