By Monte Von January 1999

Here's wishing a Happy & Successful New Year to you. I'm glad you're visiting this TomsTreasures Internet Magazine website. It is one of the many avenues you have to gain a better understanding of the "basics," as well as some advanced tips for metal detector tuning and application.

Perhaps you are using your new computer you got for Christmas to browse around the many detecting related sites. If so, then your computer is newer than mine, and has more features and abilities, too. The personal computer industry has been growing and advancing in a manner loosely similar to the metal detecting hobby.

The early big and awkward Radio Shack units, with their TRS-DOS system, were replaced by computers with truly mega-memory, nicer graphics, and all of this in a nicer appearing package and friendlier controls. Just as those now ancient computers of twenty years ago are, so are the early BFO and simple TR metal detectors of the 1960's and early '70's. We could even include some now seldom-seen TR-Discriminator models, too.

The leap that is similar to the modern-day computers was that period from the mid-'70's thru the mid-to-late 80's. That's when we saw the introduction and refining of VLF ground-cancelling All Metal modes, and the extremely popular ground-cancelling Discriminate (motion) circuits of today.

I got my first introduction to computers in 1980-81 when I worked for Radio Shack and we had to use them for a very small part of the business, and try to learn them in order to sell them. My real hands-on start with a computer came in the spring of '97 with my Packard Bell D-141 with it's 133 MHz processor, 1.7 Gig. hard drive, and loaded with Windows 95. Two months later you could hardly find a similar configuration and for the same amount as I spent you could get at least a 50% faster operating system with 50% more memory, and those were quickly followed by units with Windows 98.

Do I need one of today's top-of-the-line systems? Do I necessarily want all of the extra features? No, I don't really 'need' it, and I probably don't 'want' it either. I am still a 'newbie' with all of this computer stuff, and just might always be. I have to take a practical look at things.

My only use for a computer was to work on my books, do some research and work on genealogy, and pop in on some metal detecting related sites to see what was happening. i.e., Word processing & Internet viewing. Hummmm ... still haven't started that genealogy, and have done only a fraction of the research I intended to do by now. Got "hooked" on visiting so many detecting related sites, especially trying to help others to better understand and master their equipment through communication on the various Forums as well as direct E-mail.

Well, I guess I'm a 'newbie' to the computing hobby since I still have a lot to earn. I honestly don't understand much of the computer 'jargon,' but I do know how to turn it on and use it successfully to do what I want to do with it. I couldn't do what I now want to do, if I had the earliest computer gear, but I also don't need the most modern gadgetry, either.

You could relate this to offerings past and present from the metal detecting industry. While those early BFO's and TR's worked, the many models that came along - especially from about '82 thru '90 - offered all the performance most users really can use today. A problem I feel exists is that many hobbyists never really learned and mastered their equipment. Lacking a solid understanding of terminology, proper tuning and application, and general good knowledge of just how a detectors work, will result in many hobbyists remaining 'newbies'. To this group we must add the just-getting-started 'newbies'.

Manufacturers have offered some newer models that are lighter, smaller, better balanced and such, but aside from packaging and appearance there really hasn't been a great deal of performance improvement. in some cases I feel a few current offerings have less performance than some of the models they replaced.

Many reading this article just recently got a new detector. It might be your first detector, making you a genuine newbie, while others just decided it was time to upgrade or they had a need for a new tool for a specific task. So, if this is your first detector or just a new or different detector than you've used in a while, how do you determine when you are no longer a 'newbie?'

Without referring to your Owner's Manual or any other reference or detector catalog, see if you can answer the flowing True-False & Multiple Choice questions. If you can breeze through this easy quiz with high accuracy, then you are NO a 'newbie' and ought to be responding on various forums to help those who ask questions and seem confused. Should you not do well on this fun little quiz, then I suggest that learning the correct answers, and what makes them the correct answers, will get you rid of that newcomer title and help you on your way to being a more educated and successful detectorist.

Again I say "Welcome" to 1999 and the wonderful hobby of metal detecting. I wish everyone success for years to come. Okay, let's get into these forty questions .......

#1 TRUE or FALSE Most detectors made today are based on the Transmit/Receive (TR) principal of operation.

#2 TRUE or FALSE In the model name GMT-1650, the GMT referred to the Garrett Master Tracker series.

#3 TRUE or FALSE "Successful Coin Hunting" by White's Electronics, is a book directed towards at least 85% to 95% of the hobbyists who primarily search for coins.

#4 TRUE or FALSE When operating in All Metal or a Pinpoint mode, it is best to have a faint audio threshold setting.

#5 TRUE or FALSE Most coins are typically located within the top 4 inches.

#6 TRUE or FALSE Advanced detectors with 'auto-tracking' circuitry will automatically analyze and adjust to reject common trash targets.

#7 TRUE or FALSE Very few detectors designed and suitable for gold nugget hunting feature a conventional discrimination mode.

#8 TRUE or FALSE Of those gold nugget detectors with discrimination, the variable disc. circuit is designed to accept only those targets in the low- conductive (gold-like) range.

#9 TRUE or FALSE Successful results will best be attained by overlapping each sweep by 75% instead of 15%.

#10 TRUE or FALSE It is easier to pinpoint a coin in the discriminate mode with a fast-motion detector than with a slow-motion type detector.

#11 TRUE or FALSE "Crossfire" is a name used for most of Garrett's search coils.

#12 TRUE or FALSE Tesoro offers both round and elliptical-shaped coils of 'concentric' design for their Golden Sabre II & Toltec II.

#13 TRUE or FALSE White's Blue Max 950 is a 'Double-D' or 'wide-scan' internal designed coil.

#14 TRUE or FALSE Fisher's "Spider" coil is named such because it fits tighter places in ghost towns, homesteads and old torn-down barn sites than their solid 5" coil.

#15 TRUE or FALSE Garrett's GTAx-1000 is that company's very popular turn- on-and-go coin hunting detector.

#16 TRUE or FALSE Tesoro's Toltec series of target ID detectors has never offered notch discrimination.

#17 TRUE or FALSE Nickels will register with a high-tone on most notch detectors set to reject pull tabs other than the Fisher notch models.

#18 TRUE or FALSE The analog meter on an XLT features "Icons" which can be turned 'On' or 'Off.'

#19 TRUE or FALSE The SHADOWx2, by Troy Custom detectors, is made by Tesoro using their latest circuitry.

#20 TRUE or FALSE The Super 7 Inch coil's unique design features the Transmit & Receive internal windings that are reversed, compared to typical coil designs.

#21 TRUE or FALSE The common motion TR detectors of today operate with a set frequency, volume (loudness) change principle like the TR detectors of the '70's and 80's.

#22 TRUE or FALSE Tesoro's use of the term 'NORMAL' and White's term 'GEB' refer to a VLF, ground balanced All Metal mode of operation.

#23 TRUE or FALSE The Classic series, by White's, are two-filter types and search coils cannot interchange with the four-filter types, such as the 6000 Di Pro.

#24 TRUE or FALSE Fisher's Coin Zapper 5, 6 and 7 were updated with advanced 2-frequency circuitry and the names shortened to CZ-5, CZ-6 and CZ-7.

#25 TRUE or FALSE Garrett pioneered "Treasure Talk," the first Internet 'Chat Room' for professional and hobbyists alike.

#26 The best way to deal with trashy sites and still get most common coins and gold jewelry is to: A.. Increase discrimination level to about 70% to 75%.

B.. Use a larger coil.

C.. Use a smaller coil.

D.. Carefully sweep the search coil about 2" above the trash level.


#27 Most slow-motion detectors discriminate modes have this in common:

A.. They handle high mineralization better than fast-motion types.

B.. They tend to produce false signals on smaller nails rather than large ones.

C.. They are most often 'silent-search' in the Discriminate mode.

D.. They feature a Notch Discriminate circuitry.


#28 A "D-D" or "Double-D" search coil, as found on a modern discriminating detector, is:

A.. usually a round, 'wide-scan' design.

B.. usually a round co-axial design.

C.. always a long, elliptical (egg-shaped) coil.

D. both round or elliptical co-axial designed coils.


#29 Manual or auto-tracking ground balance should usually:

A.. result in an adjustment to respond positively to the ground minerals.

B.. result in an adjustment to ignore sporadic signals from magnesium.

C.. result in an adjustment to ignore the search area's mineralization.

D.. result in an adjustment to ignore most, but not all, pull-tabs.


#30 Of the top five (5) current detector manufacturers, both fast and slow motion types are made by:

A.. Tesoro.

B.. Fisher.

C.. Garrett.

D.. White's.


#31 Which of the following does not have some form of selectable Notch Discrimination?

A.. Fisher CZ-6a

B.. Tesoro Toltec II

C.. GTAx-1000

D.. White's XLT


#32 Which of the following groups are the most dissimilar?

A.. Garrett GTAx-500, White's Classic IDX, Tesoro Toltec II

B.. Fisher 1280 Aquanaut, Tesoro Stingray II, White's Surfmaster II

C.. White's QXT, Tesoro Lobo Super Traq, Fisher Fx

D.. White's 5900 Di Pro, Garrett Grand Master Hunter CX-II, Fisher CZ-5


#33 Ghost town and homestead hunting's biggest trash target problems are often the:

A.. modern-day pull-tabs and cigarette wrappers.

B.. iron nails and spent cartridge cases (especially .22 rimfire)

C.. the mineral in broken leaded glass windows and dark red bricks.

D.. horse shoes and railroad spikes.


#34 Smaller than standard coils are good because they:

A.. are lighter weight, create higher pitched sounds, and are not as effected by smaller trash.

B.. balance better, fit in confined spaces, are insensitive to pull tabs.

C.. detect better in high trash, are lighter, fit into tight spaces.

D.. fit tighter spaces, handle dense trash better, cause higher pitched sounds.


#35 Target ID is most often accurate if:

A.. targets are shallow, trash is minimal, coins and rings are laying 'flat' with the ground level.

B.. batteries are fresh, mineralization is higher than normal, coins are in 'pockets.'

C.. the ground balance is slightly positive, discrimination is at mid-point, threshold is a faint audio.

D.. coins are laying 'flat,' ground balance is slightly positive, trash targets are within 3" of coins.


#36 The Toltec II has a free-floating meter needle like the:

A.. 5900 Di Pro

B.. Toltec-100

C.. The Toltec II uses an LCD display.

D.. the Toltec II meter is segmented and not free-floating.


#37 Fishers CZ-7, 7a and 7a Pro differ from the CZ-5 and CZ-6a in that they:

A.. have a variable discriminate control.

B.. have a preset notch discriminate selection.

C.. have a variable notch discriminate control.

D.. have visual Target ID like the CZ-20.


#38 Examples of a dual-mode detector featuring both a motion Discriminate mode and a conventional All Metal search mode would be:

A.. Garrett GTAx-1000, Tesoro Bandido II MicroMax, Troy Custom SHADOWx2.

B.. Troy Custom SHADOWx2, White's XLT, Fisher CZ-6a.

C.. Tesoro Silver Sabre MicroMax, Garrett CX-III, Fisher 1212-X.

D.. Fisher CZ-5, Tesoro Silver Sabre II, White's Classic II SL.


#39 An operating technique called "detuning" is most often used to:

A.. reduce the transmit power in high trash sites.

B.. help pinpoint a detected target.

C.. lower the discriminate level.

D.. extend battery life.

#40 Gold ring jewelry is generally:

A.. more conductive than silver dimes or quarters due to their open-loop effect.

B.. more tolerable of the negative effects of soil acids, salts and mineralization.

C.. similar in conductivity to the modern zinc pennies.

D.. found by those who use a higher than average discriminate setting.

OKAY, OKAY, OKAY .... I know most were rather easy, but how did you do? The answers are below. Any questions? Just fire away with an E-mail and let's see if we can't both learn something. Happy hunting, and I hope you did well.

#1.. T #2.. F #3.. F #4.. T #5.. T #6.. F #7.. T #8.. F #9.. T #10..F

#11. T #12. F #13. F #14. F #15. T #16. F #17. F #18. F #19. T #20. T

#21. T #22. T #23.F #24. F #25. F #26. C #27. C #28. A #29. C #30. D

#31. B #32. C #33. B #34. C #35. A #36. D #37. B #38. D #39.B #40. B



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