Sunday, October 30, 2011

Metal Detecting: Getting Started

So you are interested in metal detecting and wondering how to get started. Well first you need a metal detector. With many different detectors out there this can be a daunting task for a beginner, but never fear, we can help you. We have several articles discussing metal detectors and how to decide which one is right for you. Once that you have your metal detector you should practice with it a bit. Read through the metal detector’s operating manual to get acquainted with the features. Most metal detectors will have features that will allow you to adjust the sensitivity of the detector as well as how much is discriminates. By adjusting these settings you can determine if the metal you have found is a precious metal used in jewelry or coins or just junk metal like wire or nails. Metal detecting is a hobby that requires practice, so it would be a good idea to practice with your new metal detector before you head out for your first treasure hunt.

Take your detector and manual outside during daylight hours. If you can find a sandy area or an area with loose ground covering that would be great. If no such area is available, a jacket or a blanket can be used.

Turn on the metal detector while the detecting coil is parallel to the ground and a few inches from the ground. Using the manual as a guide, play around with the sensitivity setting. Slowly move the detector back and forth, keeping the detector coil parallel to the ground.

Place a coin or small metallic object on the ground. Sweep the detector coil over it. You should hear a beep. Pick up the coin and place another metal object in its place. See if there is a difference in the beep’s pitch; also note the visual meter if your detector has one. Try several different kinds of metals, and by using the manual and adjusting the sensitivity and discrimination features see if you can tell the difference in the different kinds of metals. This will become important when you are hunting because you don’t want to spend your whole day digging up nails and wire.

Bury a few coins and inexpensive metal objects (even a bottle cap will do) a couple inches beneath the ground. If you don’t have soft ground, you can put them on top of the ground and just cover them with a jacket or blanket for practice.

Walk a few steps away and then come back to the spot. Sweep the detector back and forth until you locate the buried items. Repeat this until you get a feel for the items' placement based on when the detector beeps during both left and right sweeps of the coil.

Once you feel comfortable with your detector and how to adjust it, it’s time for a real treasure hunt.

For ideas about where to go, click here.

Good Luck and Happy Hunting!

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