Thrash By Any Other Name…

30 May

…could be something cool!

What do you consider trash when metal detecting? Pull tabs? Foil? Zinc Lincoln cents?

The reason why I want to split hairs here is that I have read many, many posts out on the Web, whereas some wizened detectorist tells noobies that if the VDI jumps all over the place and the audio is a mix of mid tones, high tones, and iron grunts, that the target is likely to be trash.

Not too long ago, I would have accepted that assertion as gospel but now that I have put away childish things, I am looking at that kind of signal in a different way.

Let me repeat something someone smarter than me said: “There is no such thing as an iffy signal, only iffy analysis”. So when you run into a signal as the one described above, you could be leaving a keeper in the ground if you don’t spend some time looking at it with a critical eye.

Just yesterday, I ran into one such signal. What got my attention was the fact that the depth kept changing with each VDI shown in the screen. The audio changed accordingly. I asked myself, “Am I looking at an amorphous piece of aluminum can, or am I looking at several targets in close proximity here?” I walked around the target and tightened my swing to try to separate each sound. Eventually I could isolate the high tone and it came in somewhere below where a copper penny would be at 12KHz. If I moved the coil just a tad bit more, the mid tones and iron grunts would pipe in, at different depths.

It was then time to dig it to see if I was right. I was right. In the hole, there were: One piece of aluminum can (can slaw), a piece of rusted iron, and a 1996 clad dime. Sure, it was just a clad dime but it could have been anything in the coin range, even silver. The VDI was a bit off because of the other objects near the dime.

I am not suggesting you dig every signal of this nature. I am only suggesting that you spend a little more time evaluating them. It may pay off for you to do so.

And by the way, I no longer consider pull tabs and bottle caps trash. Their signals are so unique and consistent that I think of them as relics. Another thing I don’t consider trash is rusted iron, especially nails. In fact, square nails now are kind of sweet to me, especially if they are whole. In my hate list there are only two things (in order of hate)

1) Empty holes, or holes to nowhere as I like to call them.

2) Foil.

Unfortunately, given the way I run my detector and the nature of the signals I hunt, I dig more holes to nowhere than I should. And foil, well, foil may eventually grow on me and move over to the category of relic as well.

Thank you for looking!


4 Responses to “Thrash By Any Other Name…”

  1. Lawdog1 May 30, 2013 at 6:14 pm #

    Bottle caps and pull tabs? You may need a tinfoil hat!

    • pulltabMiner May 31, 2013 at 8:21 am #

      LOL! Well, I dig plenty of tin foil too so I may just make me a hat

  2. Ozarks May 31, 2013 at 1:15 am #

    Exactly, I read the same posts, and that is just one persons opinion. Some of the things that are taken as gospel that he says have proven to be the exact opposite of what I have seen in the field, and I run the same machine as he. I think some people like to write just to hear the keys on their keyboard click. In my opinion you only KNOW what a taget is if you dig it. Everything else is just what you said, an analysis…which may or may not be correct, and how do you know? You dig the target to find out. Keep the great blogs coming!!!

    • pulltabMiner May 31, 2013 at 8:23 am #

      Thank you sir. You are absolutely right. I find a lot of stuff because I dig a lot of holes

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