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Metal Detectors


aka Monkey
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I am a gadget freak, as I suppose many of you are as well. I've always wanted an excuse to get a metal detector, but could never come up with a use for it. Recently, however, I realized how much easier (and fun) it might be to find a cache using a metal detector rather than just turning over rocks.

 

Has anyone here ever used a metal detector to try and locate caches?

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We've used a metal detector to find a cache buried in a rock field (turns out the cache coordinates were 70' off) and hidden under a blanket forest moss/lichen. We've also used a metal detector for rapidly sweeping a cache area which was an expanse of knee-high holly-like bushes after getting pretty torn up looking two other hides by the same cacher. In all cases, the metal detector was used as a last resort, but it will be standard equipment for these cachers' hides in the future. Haven't tried one in snowy conditions yet.

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I have used one to find several benchmarks. The description gets you close but why get crazy with a tape when you have technology on your side. I have a cache that is hidden in an OLD foundation and one day I went all around the area and found several hinges, a couple of brass door knobs and a horseshoe. The only problem was lugging around all the equipment.

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As I hinted to in my topic entitled "Excavation" I am actually in need of a metal detector to find a cache.

 

One of my caches is missing, and it's possible it's buried under some dirt, and I plan on using a metal detector to see if it is really buried or whether it just got stolen.

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I've always wanted a metal detector. ...

Me, too. I always wanted to be an archaeologist, and even participated in a couple of real digs when I was in high school. I have always wanted to search my entire back yard with a metal detector, although I have no great desire to use one for geocaching.

 

The trouble is:

  • they're expensive, and I don't want to devote my life to another hobby. I just want to do it now and then.
  • The people who I see using these things on a regular basis (at the beach, mostly) look kind of...umm...like rejects from the high school audio-visual club. I suppose I shouldn't let that bother me.

Isn't there some place to rent a metal detector?

 

What I really want is ground-penetrating radar, but that's probably not gonna happen.

Edited by reveritt
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I've always wanted a metal detector. ...

Me, too. I always wanted to be an archaeologist, and even participated in a couple of real digs when I was in high school. I have always wanted to search my entire back yard with a metal detector, although I have no great desire to use one for geocaching.

 

The trouble is:

  • they're expensive, and I don't want to devote my life to another hobby. I just want to do it now and then.
  • The people who I see using these things on a regular basis (at the beach, mostly) look kind of...umm...like rejects from the high school audio-visual club. I suppose I shouldn't let that bother me.

Isn't there some place to rent a metal detector?

 

What I really want is ground-penetrating radar, but that's probably not gonna happen.

Life as an archaeologist is not as great as you think! believe me

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It would be kinda hard to find a tupperware contianer with a metal detector.

Most metal detectors can sense a flake of aluminum foil just a sixteenth of an inch square. I can't remember ever finding a cache that didn't have something or part of a thing that wasn't ten times bigger than a flake of foil.

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If you already have one then fine, go ahead and try it. If you seriously want to try the hobby of metal detecting then go ahead and buy one. If you want to buy one just for geocaching then forget it. Don't waste your money.

Most affordable detectors must be within about 12 inches or less of the target. It's a lot easier to bend over and check that un-natural pile of branches, leaves, rocks, etc. then to lug a detector along on your hike.

I have one that I bought in another life and thoroughly enjoyed the hobby for 3 or 4 years until permission or permits were required for most managed parks. Sound familiar?

 

Cheers, Olar

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The trouble is:

[*]they're expensive

They don't have to be expensive. I use a Radio Shack model and have great success with it. I keep it in my car while I'm out caching.

I don't use it to find caches, but if I find a good area such as an old foundation, I'll go back to the car and get the md and swing it around.

 

Metal detecting takes practice to do. You have to find a lot of junk to find a treasure, but it pays off!

 

:rolleyes:

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I am a gadget freak, as I suppose many of you are as well. I've always wanted an excuse to get a metal detector, but could never come up with a use for it. Recently, however, I realized how much easier (and fun) it might be to find a cache using a metal detector rather than just turning over rocks.

 

Has anyone here ever used a metal detector to try and locate caches?

People use them in huge rock piles where ammo cans are located.

 

They work very well from what I hear.

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I am a gadget freak, as I suppose many of you are as well. I've always wanted an excuse to get a metal detector, but could never come up with a use for it. Recently, however, I realized how much easier (and fun) it might be to find a cache using a metal detector rather than just turning over rocks.

 

Has anyone here ever used a metal detector to try and locate caches?

One local cache used a survey pin in grass as the second stage in a multi. Needless to say when the grass wasn't cut it was about impossible to find. Metal detector found it right quick though. :unsure:

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I have one that I bought in another life and thoroughly enjoyed the hobby for 3 or 4 years until permission or permits were required for most managed parks.  Sound familiar?

I see that a lot of National Parks forbid the use of a metal detector, but since I'm unlikely to be searching for caches in a National Park anyway, I'm not sure I see the concern. I can understand it in places like historical settlements and battlegrounds, where even picking up an artifact is a felony (I went through this once when I found a perfect arrowhead by the side of a trail and tried to turn it in to a park ranger to keep it from getting stolen by Joe Redneck. You know the saying, no good deed goes unpunished, although all he did was yell at me).

 

Someday I'd like to live in England, where metal detector use is encouraged and you're actually likely to find something more interesting than old ammo and horseshoes.

 

I'm surprised by the number of responses to this thread. It sounds like the concensus is that they're useful on the DNFs and well-concealed micros, although a bit of a bother to carry around. There still doesn't seem to be concensus on whether a cheap one is worth the money. I'll have to do more research on that I suppose.

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I've done a bit of research and think I've found a good unit: The Garrett Ace 250. It's not expensive as metal detectors go (actually near the bottom end on pricing), but packs a lot of high-end features into the unit. All of the reviews I've seen indicate that if you take the time to learn how to use it properly, it can yield excellent results. It's certainly more than enough to find a Geocache. :lol:

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I gather, though, it's one of those things where you really do need to spend as much as you possibly can. The cheap ones are apparently pretty useless.

 

You gather wrong grasshopper! :lol: You do not have to spend as much as you possibly can, to get good results. Just like with GPS receivers (or any electronic device) you get what you pay for, BUT: My cheapo Magellan 310 gets me to geocaches just fine--it just doesn't have all the bells, whistles and extra features of more expensive units. The same is true of my cheapo Wal*Mart detector--It tells me where the stuff is, but doesn't tell me it's a 1926D wheat penny in VF condition 3.278 inches deep, like a more expensive unit might . :lol:

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I talked to a cacher over in Wyoming that uses a Metal detector to find ammo box caches under the snow. He likes winter sports.

I always thought it was easier to follow the foot prints :lol:

 

Slightly related note - had to hold off hiding a cache yesterday because it had just snowed - would of made it too easy to get the FTF if there are people around here looking for one. Then again, the last cache I hid took a month for the FTF and hasn't been found since.

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I would use my metal detector but it is an ancient model that my parent bought me when I was like 6 or 7 from Radio Shack. It is outdated now, its like 9 years old now. I need a new one, I want one that shows you whats under the soil before you dig it up, those are awesome. :lol:

I also recieved one my grandparents bought me from Radio Shack when I was a kid back in the 70s - I've since handed it off to my 9 year old boy, but I wouldnt consider it for geocaching use. It had a little sensitivity dial on it, but the problem was that if you moved it any higher than about 15% strength, it would pick up the wingnut that was used to affix the sensor to the wand - and therefore the sensor had to practically touch metal to sense it.

 

I never figured out why they didnt just use plastic hardware to fix that issue, and I probably should have done that myself, but like everything else I never got around to it.

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You have to carry the thing and they aren't as light as your gps and they don't have lanyards. I purchased a Tesoro specifically because it is featherweight and has a lifetime warranty. The Compadre is the least expensive (about $155) and will work well looking for caches. Don't forget battery life and what kind of batteries it uses. The Garrett ACE does looks nice.

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Of all those people that say you have to pay alot of money for a detector YOU ARE WRONG. I have a tesoro amigo 2 it is the same thing as the compadre but a slightly older model that ran me about 100 bucks i bought that 3 years ago. And i have since paid it off (with my findings). if you ask me caching goes hand in hand with detecting so thats why i started caching is because it sounds sorta like detecting. Since i started detecting i bought that tesoro and paid it off and i bought a 600 dollar detector at a yard sale for 20 bucks!! (apparently the owner couldnt use it) so that worked to my advantage. ive paid it off and all my digging tools. I love metal detecting for civil war relics and old house places. :lol:

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I have used one to find several benchmarks. The description gets you close but why get crazy with a tape when you have technology on your side. I have a cache that is hidden in an OLD foundation and one day I went all around the area and found several hinges, a couple of brass door knobs and a horseshoe. The only problem was lugging around all the equipment.

This may be a question better asked in the benchmarking thread, but I have a few detectors my dad left me. I was thinking about using them for this as well. However, is it desirable/ permissible to recover a benchmark by digging down to it?

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