Swing Speed

16 Dec

I know that my blog is short on finds recently, what with the weather turning and the holidays and my job, I’ve done very little hunting. Plus, learning a new detector can set you back temporarily.

However, one thing there’s no shortage of, is topics on metal detecting.

Today I want to talk a little more about swing speed. You all know that certain detectors like a fast swing and others like a slow swing. There are various factors that determine what swing speed the detector best works with but at the end, it boils down to how fast the processor in the detector can analyze the signal coming from the coil. You may know this as Recovery Delay (RD) or Recovery Speed.

Many detectors in the market today come with all the variables that determine RD preset at the factory but some high-end detectors such as the Spectra V3i allow you to set those settings yourself. The easiest way to test the RD of your detector is to place three coins about a coil-wide distance from each other on the ground and then run your detector over them at various speeds. The optimum speed will be the speed that generates a beep for all three coins in one swing.

The importance of this becomes obvious after this test and that is that if you are swinging too fast, you may miss a good target. If you are swinging too slow, you may be wasting precious hunting time.

And here’s the thing I failed to realize until just recently; the beep you hear when your coil sweeps over a target is generated after the signal goes through the processor (I am not sure if this is true when hunting in All Metal mode). In other words, the metal detector obtains a signal from the target and then it processes that signal before generating a tone for you to hear. What happens if during that processing time, the coil runs over another target? The chances are high that you won’t ever hear a tone for the second target because the detector is busy processing the first target and never processes the second.

This is not a problem if both targets are good targets because as you dig the first target, you may recover the second due to it being very near the first good target. However, if the first target is trash and the second target, invisible by now, is a good target, you may decide not to dig  and you will miss the good target.

If you just don’t like a slow swing, here’s a technique that will help: Run the coil back over the same path on every swing. That is, swing one way and then retrace the swing the opposite way before you overlap the swing or swing the coil over a new path. This will ensure that the processor is clear and that the coil will see any possible invisible targets going the other way.

One last thing. If you are looking for deep targets, it is best to swing slow in my opinion.

Ok, that’s all for now. Thank you for looking and HH!


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