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Optimizing Ground Coverage


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This is a topic relevant to every(?) form of detecting -- ground coverage.  I'll list several questions concerns I've had but any replies of course aren't limited to these, nor do they need to address  any of them.  Just tossing out some ideas to prompt further discussion.

1) What methods and efforts do you apply to ensure full ground coverage in the cases where that is one of your goals?

2) Is your sweep a straight line path or an arc?

3) How long is your sweep?

4) How much do you overlap consecutive sweeps in the direction you walk?

5) How much do you overlap side-to-side swings when following parallel paths (e.g. when walking two side-by-side swaths in the same direction how much does the left end of one path overlap the right end of the next path or vice-versa)?

6) Have you ever measured your coverage?  How well do detectors with GPS (e.g. Minelab GPZ-7000 and Minelab CTX-3030) monitor ground coverage to this detail?  Have you used other devices to measure ground coverage.  E.g. I can imagine a drone with camera could provide useful data.  Are there smartphones app that would help quantify coverage?

 

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1 hour ago, Norvic said:

I`m erratic as, all over the place, tried raking, chaining, roping, dragging a boot etc etc... just over that creek/hill/mountain keeps calling.

Yeppers!  My moto  "WTF.... runamuck!"

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I tend to fantasize about gridding the pits out of 5x5 foot sections of ground at a time. With nice little corner markers and all the skill from years of not coloring in the lines applied.

But! That level of patience is Diamond and the best I can muster is only about Beryl. So it's off to aggressively push at the boundaries of patches with loose grid fundamentals or follow some mysterious terrain features! 

It's nice to feel as if you've covered a sizeable amount of ground.

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I've mentioned what I do a few times, but I think I'm going to random search from now on, leave some mystery. I was using 6 6' fiberglass driveway markers with white tape attached as flags, 3 on one side of the field and 3 on the other, spaced about 6' apart since that's about my swing arc. I moved 2 poles each pass, the objective being when I got tired I'd only have to move the two nearest my cart and wouldn't have to go back across the field. In perspective they look like sights on a gun and kept me on track. The flags help when the poles are in the sun.

Each place I did this I wiped it out to the point that subsequent searches got me nothing but the trash I skipped before. 😵 

I used Tect-O-Trak to monitor my coverage and finds, it looked pretty good.

I believe it's called "strip mining"

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Unlike my above post and on a more serious note....  I generally start a search at a moderate pace following the old timers and/or where I think there might be some gold crumbs left or missed by the old timers.  Most areas I hunt are trashy so I usually start with my main machine the Monster to get an idea how trashy the location is?  If I start finding a few pieces I automatically start to slow down keeping a mental map of what I find and where.  Once the area has been semi searched and I get an idea of how trashy it is and the bigger finds and number of finds starts to decrease, as they always do, then decide if it's time to take a different approach?  Usually I'll hit productive areas from several different directions, different settings maybe, and if not too trashy then it's time to bust out the SDC, mark some targets and chase them down with the Monster.  The slower and smaller the finds come, the slower I hunt.  When things really slow down then I usually try and plan my next hunt allotting half or 3/4 of the time to finding a new productive area?  Generally that is a bust so I have 1/2 or 1/4 day to return to a previous area that I've had good success but drying up and really slow down and CRAWL through area again with the "skunk buster" ( Gold Monster).  Usually I can avoid the skunk in a once good area just by slowing down to pick out a few last little tiny bits?  When I can't find any more itty bittys then I might even do some digging? Some areas I've hit 4-6-8 times and more. That's what has been working for me so far?

With all that said....  Had my first skunk of the season yesterday!   lol

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Since I’ve been hunting trashy turf sites for a few decades, I’ll elaborate my thoughts on this subject.  The most important aspect for covering ground at a trashy site is the “speed” which you cover the ground. You’ve got to swing your coil at a sloth pace...doing this, you’ll most likely end up overlapping your swings, and not unintentionally lifting up your coil off the ground on the ends of your swing path, which is critical!  Even if one does hunt at a sloth pace, when you think you’ve covered a site 100%, you need to go back again another 50-75 times 😁.  Sites with years of ferrous/non-ferrous strata take many years to strip mine the older targets (most of these types of sites never get completely hunted out).  Many th’ers give up at a site way too soon (their patience wears thin or their keeper finds are too few/far between to justify hunting the site further).  The typical site I hunt has been hunted by countless th’ers over decades (a common condition that exists for populous, old inner city turf across the country), so there’s really nothing earth shattering about the conditions, except that a tremendous amount of patience/persistence/perseverance is required to consistently produce finds from these sites, while many others who don’t possess those traits will move on to greener pastures.

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12 hours ago, GB_Amateur said:

I'll list several questions concerns I've had but any replies of course aren't limited to these, nor do they need to address  any of them. 

GB, I know that you helped my grandfather with his 800, now I am also learning it so that it won't be left in the corner.

 

Just tossing out some ideas to prompt further discussion.

1) What methods and efforts do you apply to ensure full ground coverage in the cases where that is one of your goals?   Every time I go out I take a cooler full of beverages to stay hydrated and begin. I take the first beer out and drink it real fast so I can get going to the area.

2) Is your sweep a straight line path or an arc?  I first start out with a straight line, but after about the 3 beer it starts to go to the right for some reason.

3) How long is your sweep? I will start to turn back to the starting point after about the 5th beer just to make it a good day covering a lot of area.

4) How much do you overlap consecutive sweeps in the direction you walk? Well that really depends if I am on my 6th or 7th beer by then.

5) How much do you overlap side-to-side swings when following parallel paths (e.g. when walking two side-by-side swaths in the same direction how much does the left end of one path overlap the right end of the next path or vice-versa)? By this time I really don't care to much about overlapping where I have been, because I am enjoying the detecting so much and a few more beers.

6) Have you ever measured your coverage?  I tried to do that but somewhere I lost my 1 foot ruler that I had in my back pocket after getting another beer. How well do detectors with GPS (e.g. Minelab GPZ-7000 and Minelab CTX-3030) monitor ground coverage to this detail?  I have not used any such device such as that, but have kept an accurate map of where I laid those empty cans. Have you used other devices to measure ground coverage.  E.g. I can imagine a drone with camera could provide useful data. I save my money for more important supplies like beer, who needs a drone.  Are there smartphones app that would help quantify coverage? With an 800 you don't want to use a phone near it to cause interference. Besides I can't answer the phone when I'm on my last beer.

 

I hope that you don't get upset on the way I have answered these tough questions, and some day maybe we can meet up and have a beer together. Maybe go on a quick hunt as I have a good cooler that holds plenty of ice cold soda and water.

 

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When I keep seeing the same bushes, rocks, and  trees over and over again thats whenI know I've covered good... Kinda like Ground hog day. 

strick 

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Every day on the wet sand beach is like a new day because things move (in, out and sideways).  I can look at my 3030 Find Points and see a pattern and that makes me slow down but with the 800 I 'kinda remember' and just hit the area.  

When you use a ZigZag method to find a patch that is exactly what it looks like because sometimes you can't hit it all as they say.  You look for the most targets for the allotted time you have.  I'll walk to my producing areas and go back and grid those with promise.  Sometimes targets will be dense which includes trash and rocks or coins ... it just triggers your hunt pattern.

Dry sand areas of a beach also move because of the raking machines but some areas are not raked as much as others.  Some areas near vegetation and structures need special attention.

I know there are sometimes holes in my swing pattern.  As Raphis said slow is best.  As you speed up areas are completely missed and as fast as the 800 is it still can't process good targets at depth at a brisk pace.

Then there are the days when you are just 'drawn' to a great find and you don't know why.

Mitchel

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