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Tubeman

Using A Metal Detector

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Anyone been stumped or skunked after seeing a benchmark located on the topo map and loading coordinates, then getting there and finding nothing but moss, decayed leaves, and the resulting "mulch"? Or a similar scenario? I'm just not quite willing to give in yet, but after carefully searching twice with the GPS, I feel I've walked right on top of it. So out of sheer frustration, I ordered a decent metal detector. Anyone else been here? "Resistance is futile."

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Is the mark you are looking for in the Geocaching or NGS database? What are the coords for the mark?

 

But in short, yes, metal detectors have been used and can be very helpful, especially with the older marks that were "at about ground level" and been covered up over the years.

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A metal detector is a great idea and I have worked with GNBROTZ who has one. He claims it will find a mark about 12 inches below ground surface and while I can't confirm that I do know we found two marks we wouldn't have found without the detector as they were both about 2 inches under ground and the measurement points in the description were not in existence any longer, so we guessed and started 'detecting'. Found them in about 30 seconds too!

I DO use a metal probe to find the markers and have been very successful at that, but it is much easier to cover more ground with a metal detector. MUCH easier!

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Be sure you pay attention to whether the mark has "SCALED" or "ADJUSTED" coordinates. Adjusted are more accurate than your GPS, but Scaled are read to lesser precision and are frequently 100 or 200 feet off, and occasionally much more. On SCALED marks, the coordinates get you in the neighborhood, and then it is all done by description.

 

I have found quite a few with a metal detector that I would not have otherwise.

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I have given into the temptation to get a detector and am glad I did. Terre Haute where I live is an old river bed with sandy soil. Marks that were monumented in the late 40's and 50's are very prone to settling. One recent find was monumented 4" above ground and is now 2" below. Given the inaccuracies of scaled coordinates and reference points disappearing over time can make for a frustrating hunt. Learning to "tune out" the buried junk is probably the biggest challenge. The one I got weighs 2 lbs. including batteries and has a telescoping shaft. I can throw it in my backpack if I am hiking or riding my bike. It helps.

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I never go benchmarking without a metal detector. I have a Whites and a small one that they use in prisons that I carry in my pack on the long walks. I have found many bm's that I wouldn't have found without it. Two of them were at least 15" down.

I'm not to far from Tubeman so I cover a lot of the same area. There is a benchmark on Colonels Mt. that I've looked for with a metal detector a few times without any luck. I think that it might be a drillhole so the detector is no help.

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Nice call on the location.... Colonel's Mt. it is. I live less than an hour's hike from it and it's been very perplexing not being able to locate the BM... and it is marked as being scaled on the NGS site. Went there yesterday, with the hope that my new GPSmap76CS might have a better chance of locating, but no joy. Aarrgghh.

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I use a metal detector (a RadioShack model with an eight-inch coil) and I find it very helpful. However, it is amazing how many metallic objects are buried in the earth! Hence, this report for EZ1381 :

 

HIGHWAY INTERSECTION HAS BEEN REALIGNED SOUTHWARD, SO CL MEASUREMENT FROM SR1924 NOT ACCURATE. LOCATED AN OLD FENCELINE BUT NO REF TAGS ON POSTS. NO REF TAGS ON NEARBY POWERPOLES. SCANNED WITH METAL DETECTOR TO DEPTH OF SIX INCHES BUT INEFFECTIVE DUE TO MANY BEVERAGE CANS AND POP TABS. STATION MAY BE INTACT (BEING SO CLOSE TO THE FENCE LINE) BUT PROBABLY NO LONGER IS FLUSH WITH THE GROUND.

 

I have a nice collection of door hinges, electrical boxes, toy cars, and nails. No coins, so far. B)

 

The detector helps with below-ground marks, as well as in tall brush.

 

-Paul-

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Don't leave home without it.

It is AS important as the GPS,compass,the wisk broom,military shovel and all those other goodies.

Yes I have to admit I have found bunches of marks that otherwise would still be 6 to 8 inches underground.

The reference marks especially,around these farms soil seems to build up quite rapidly.

 

Its a Radio Shack cheapie,Analog,with discriminator.

And yes the one thing that gets me along the Highways are those Da** aluminum cans.

 

But other than that it is a great tool.

Found lots of goodies.

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I have a White's XLT and I like it. Found 1 BM about 2 ft deep, had been covered by gravel.

 

Been looking for are triangulation station and could not locate it. BUT I did find a 1917 Mercury head Liberty dime.

Edited by elcamino

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I ended up ordering a Minelab Advantage. Seemed to be a very good beginner rig. Kellyco throws in a bunch of accessories for a fair price. Looking forward to giving it a try.

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Interesting threat to find last night. I won an Ebay auction last night for a metal detector (Item number: 5731925213). I have only found a handful of benchmarks so far, but have been wanting a metal detector for a while just for benchmark hunting. There are seveal that I know must be there, but the grass has overtaken them and/or erosion has covered them. I can't wait to hit some of my DNF benchmarks when the metal detector gets here.

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my grandfather's metal detector works great with finding benchmarks, and i'm sure you can find benchmarks buried under dirt or sand or even snow cover with some metal detectors. but what really annoys me about my graandfater's detector is it doesn't tell you what you're digging or how deep it is. i mean i've gone benchmark hunting with a metal detector, get a reading where the mark should be, but i dig for the marker and i end up getting like a coin or something.

 

- Mark "Markonthedot"

Edited by Markonthedot

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You have to learn how to read(listen)to the tones.

If tones.........try several different pieces of metal,gold,silver,brass,copper,alum,

you will see they all make a different tone.

If a anolg meter the magnitude 0-10 shows the size with practice.

 

Its when your looking along the Highway and you got there late the trucks are zipping by,you can't hear the tone cause of all the other sounds......you wish you would have brought the earphones but hey we only use them ...when did we use them last? Then its at a place where all the aluminum cans(I HATE ALUMINUM CANS)are and the things going goofy,everything you dig up is an alum can you get frustrated and then>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>all the sudden BEEEEEEEEEP>>>>EUREKA I found it!!!!!

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Iowa has had bottle/can deposit for a long time and that probably has helped keep the number of cans in the ditches under control.

 

I find it much more frustrating to encounter rusty steel cans because they generally won't come out intact and you don't know whether you still have pieces of can or something more interesting in the hole.

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