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DragonsWest

I need a metal detector

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Finding stations, finding reference marks. Sometimes it's only an inch or two of debris or soil (we have the most active groundsquirrels and gophers on earth, I swear you can see the earth churning) I load up the descriptions and go out to look for benchmarks and come up empty, but I strongly suspect they are there. Any recommendations on the minimum necessary requiremets for a metal detector?

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Sometimes it's only an inch or two of debris or soil (we have the most active groundsquirrels and gophers on earth, I swear you can see the earth churning)

What about a handheld "security wand" style? That would be OK for a small area. You can probably get one for less than $25. It will detect cans, bottle caps, fence wire, stuff like that, but there will be no doubt once you hit the benchmark.

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I would pass on the wand type, unless you want the exercise of bending over a lot. We use one of the cheap Pioneer detectors and leave it in the back of the truck and it has worked for about 6 years now. If I remember correctly it was under $50.

 

John

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Finding stations, finding reference marks. Sometimes it's only an inch or two of debris or soil (we have the most active groundsquirrels and gophers on earth, I swear you can see the earth churning) I load up the descriptions and go out to look for benchmarks and come up empty, but I strongly suspect they are there. Any recommendations on the minimum necessary requirements for a metal detector?

Having metal detected for several years I can tell you that you don't need much of a detector if you looking for a large object an inch or two deep. Not having ever owned a cheap detector the only problem I could see would be the possibility that a cheap detector might not hold it's tuning as well as a more expensive one.

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I've found that 'simpler is better' - http://www.harborfreight.com/6-function-metal-detector-43150.html I've used this one specifically for BM hunting for about 7 years & it still has life left to it!

 

That's the one I use.

Don't use it a lot, but it has found a few disks for me.

I don't think it'll find that single coin three feet down, though. :lol:

 

Does yours have a tone for non-ferrous items? I bought that one several years ago and it makes a tone for ferrous items but not when it detects non-ferrous items. On non-ferrous items (like disks) the needle does respond appropriately but the unit does not make a sound. I returned it to the store and the replacement model did the same thing. I kept it anyway since I got it on sale for $20 or $25 but I have been looking for a better one. Also, the plastic twist tightener at the bottom of the shaft broke.

 

Thanks

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I have the same detector as Ernmark and it has served me well for about the same time frame. It is lightweight and even telescopes so I can put it in my backpack for longer treks into the woods. It reacts well to disks--about 6 inches is my guess, equally well to aluminum cans, sadly, and also well to ferrous materials. I turn the volume up all the way, the sensitivity all the way, then tune it so it just stops making a constant noise. Then I am ready to go. A long time ago we had a big discussion on here about metal detectors and someone found a great sale at Radio Shack, so I ran out and got a high end detector. I used it maybe twice because it is awkward to carry and really has to be tuned to what you want to find by setting it USING said object. So it sits in the corner of my basement, unused and I keep carrying the cheapo model and loving it. As a matter of fact, I don't even remember replacing the BATTERIES on my cheap detector in the 7 years I have used it!

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The only down side I can see to the cheap one is the handle. If you are metal detecting a 5 mile stretch of beach you may want a more comfortable handle that contacts your forearm, but if you are only looking in one small area the cheap one would be fine.

Edited by 68-eldo

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I've found that 'simpler is better' - http://www.harborfreight.com/6-function-metal-detector-43150.html I've used this one specifically for BM hunting for about 7 years & it still has life left to it!

 

Looks like this one is the ticket. Not looking for more than I have to spend and would only be used when I think there's a possibility of a station along the way I'm going. Always like to find those reference and az marks. Thanks for the mention.

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Does yours have a tone for non-ferrous items? I bought that one several years ago and it makes a tone for ferrous items but not when it detects non-ferrous items. On non-ferrous items (like disks) the needle does respond appropriately but the unit does not make a sound. I returned it to the store and the replacement model did the same thing. I kept it anyway since I got it on sale for $20 or $25 but I have been looking for a better one. Also, the plastic twist tightener at the bottom of the shaft broke.

 

Thanks

 

I just took it out for a test, and yes there is a tone for non-ferrous metal.

It's the same tone for either, so you need to observe the needle to tell which it is.

As for the twist-tightener...duct-tape is your friend. :D

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Note that there's one that does have arm support (and more features) on sale for only $5 more.

 

I've thought about getting a metal detector, but since I do most of my benchmark hunting in Yosemite where I couldn't use it anyway, it's never seemed worth the money to me.

 

Patty

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Would some of the above mentioned metal detectors read a late 1800's bolt through the base of of a ten foot diameter rock cairn?

 

Price isn't too big a consideration since it is about two tanks of gas from present position to target.

 

Thanks for any info. kayakbird

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Would some of the above mentioned metal detectors read a late 1800's bolt through the base of of a ten foot diameter rock cairn?

 

Price isn't too big a consideration since it is about two tanks of gas from present position to target.

 

Thanks for any info. kayakbird

 

If the 'base of of a ten foot diameter rock cairn' is only a foot or so thick, you may have a chance.

 

Edited to add:

 

A random nail or any other metal object left on site will be your worst enemy.

Edited by AZcachemeister

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Maybe not ten foot through. This one I judged to have a 5 FT diameter, but it would be placed rocks all the way across.

 

01c47b19-91be-42e7-a4ef-8b2549fdb5d9.jpg

 

This is what I want to detect.

 

eb14aed0-193c-4084-92e5-b3577b36779b.jpg

PORCUPINE

 

kayakbird

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I doubt even a very good coin hunter type of metal detector will give any indication strong enough to overcome the "ground balance" effects.

 

If the object is iron and several inches long, a surveyor's magnetic locator would probably show a very weak indication at 5 feet and be hard to distinguish from natural changes as you swing the detector. A 4 ft vertical iron pipe or rod would give an obvious signal at 5 feet, but you'd have to remove all other iron from yourself and the area.

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Would some of the above mentioned metal detectors read a late 1800's bolt through the base of of a ten foot diameter rock cairn?

 

Price isn't too big a consideration since it is about two tanks of gas from present position to target.

 

Thanks for any info. kayakbird

 

To get an idea of how well a metal detector will work for this adventure, you will need to set a nickel flat on the ground and the see how close the detector must be (directly over head of the nickel). If it is 5 feet or more then you will need to put the nickel on edge and see if it will read it at the required distance. It needs to be able to read the coin on edge since you will be measuring from the outside edge of the cairn to the bedrock under the center of the cairn and not from the top down.

 

Most detectors are designed to measure through the ground and not the air. I don't know if measuring through the rocks of the cairn will work at that range.

 

If you do decide to try this, be sure and scan the majority of the rocks in the cairn to see if they are "Hot Rocks". If they are "hot", that will kill the idea of using the detector.

 

Good luck,

 

John

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If the cairn looks like the one pictured, then you will need to dismantle it to find the mark.

 

There is no possible way you could induce me to do that. (well, maybe a loaded gun to the head of my wife)

 

If I found a cairn like that I would mark it found and move on.

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