Though it seems rather obvious, it is important to understand what a metal detector really is. It is generally an electronic instrument that detects the presence of metals especially those that are buried underground. Most of them will give an indication of the metal by a sound or a needle moving on a scale or even a visual display unit. This will also be an indication of the magnitude of the distance of the metal to the sensor of the metal detector. Metal detectors are used in a wide variety of activities. These include archaeology, hobby, security screening, and civil engineering and even in industrial manufacturing.
We are however going to focus on using metal detectors as a leisure activity. Below are some of theenjoyable activities using metal detectors:
- Beach combing that involves searching for lost coins or jeweler on a beach. It is therefore necessaryto be familiar with tidal movements.
- Participating as members in metal detecting clubs where competitions are made and the individualclubs are able to show off their findings and share more about their hobbies.
- Prospecting that is looking for valuable metals like gold or silver mainly in their natural forms.
- There is also metal detecting that is mainly after historical artifacts called relics.
- One is the other very common activity is coin shooting where the individuals mainly focus on findingcoins. The individual may also conduct a historical study to locate potential sites.
As a potential user of a metal detector it is important to conduct an anatomical study of your metal detectorin order to understand your equipment better. So typically, a metal detector will contain the followingcomponents:
- Stabilizer: This is a unit that is used to keep the unit steady as you swing it back and forth.
- A control box that contains all the major circuits, controls, batteries and processors.
- Search coil: It is the sensor for the metal detector. Various technologies are applied to make thispossible.
- Shaft: this is the arm connecting the control box to the search head and is most of the time adjustableaccording the height of the user.
So, now you really want to own a metal detector. There are a number of factors you need to consider inorder to make a good purchase. Firstly, what is the level of your skill in detecting? If you are just starting out,you may want to acquire a machine that is easy to use as opposed to being bombarded with a high-level technology that might not give you value for money in the end.
Cost is a great factor during purchase of any piece of equipment. A typical beginner detector will go foraround $150 to $300. This will be reasonable enough as cheaper than this will not do much detecting. Thisamount might just be the key to getting a machine that you can slowly learn and boom, you are hooked!
You also need to look out for some features incorporated in the metal detector. It is very advantageous tohave a machine that is weatherproof to ensure it can survive both scorching heat and even the heavy rains.Metal detectors also come in different weights. You want one you can carry around comfortably for a considerable distance. Also, the processing speed of the detectors vary. It is important to choose one with a reasonable processing speed to ensure you do not get frustrated while building your hobby.
As with any piece of equipment, it is important to purchase a metal detector with a warranty of about 3 years. This a clear indication of the level of technology and the durability of the components utilized in the detector.
So, what are your intended uses? What are you looking to find using your metal detector? Some of the metal detectors are specially designed for specific purposes while others are general machines that will locate coins, jeweler and historical relics. So, before you make a purchase, it is of utmost importance to know what you will be hunting.
While carrying out your hunts, it is inevitable that sometimes you will be searching in shallow pools. The salinity of water varies from place to place. Also, if you are searching in sea water, you need a detector that is adapted for the salty water conditions.
Some machines are single frequency while others operate in multiple frequencies. I would personally recommend a machine that can operate in multiple frequencies in order to vary the depth that you can detect.Some machines will prove useless beyond certain depths especially when you cannot do anything about the frequency.
Basically, there are three technologies that are utilized in different metal detectors. This have their pros and cons and are applied in different situations.:
- Very Low Frequency (VLF): This is the technology utilized by most metal detectors. The technology is very basic and very good for starting out.
- Pulse indication (Pl): This is a technology that is specifically built for saline conditions and mineralized areas. So, if you are looking to hunting on a salty water beach or former gold mines, this is the detector for you.
- Multiple Frequency: They are by far the costliest detectors and not without good reason. You will mostlikely have to part with over $1000. They are best if you are a serious hunter as you will most likely applythem for all conditions.
The most important part of your detector is the search coil. It is therefore important to give this partparticularly close attention when making your purchase. The size of the coil that you choose should bedetermined by the ground conditions. Large coils have a wider range of search on the ground area and evenin terms of the depth. The only setback to this is lager amount of data to be processed leading to falsereadings and even missing out targets. A smaller coil on the other hand will not give you as much depth butthe possibilities of false readings and missing targets are greatly reduced.
The display properties of different detectors will lead you to choose one over another. Some detectors comewith a screen. Most experienced hunters rely on sound in their searches. While the experience comes withtime, a screen is handy while you build your listening skills. You may be particularly interested in a detectorthat has a display screen as well as the sound output. This is the FisherF5.
So, assuming now you are ready to get one for yourself, it is important to know some of the accessories that you may find necessary. These include: pin pointer, hear/earphones, a scoop for beach hunting, a digger and a carry bag.
Finally, it is important you have a list of quality brands that have proven to be the most competitive timeafter time. These are: Fisher, Garrett, Whites, Tesoro (has a lifetime warranty), Minelab and Teknetics. Theseare just a few but are a great way to staring out on your hunting hobby. All the best and good luck in yourfuture finds!