Tag Archives: AT Pro

Boring but important

19 Dec

I went hunting yesterday with lawdog1 who is  a member of the Friendly Metal Detecting Forum. He took his AT Pro with the 5×8 coil and I hunted with Maurice, my trusty XP Deus metal detector.

At one point, he asked me to to use my Deus to check a deep, iffy signal he was getting. The signal was an on and off high signal with an intermittent VDI that told him it was a copper penny. His AT Pro was telling him the target was 8 inches deep.

I hit the spot with Maurice and I got a solid but mixed signal. Although I was getting a high tone, my VDI indicated that it was iron wrap-around. Additionally, the horseshoe said “not iron” (If you use the Deus, you know we have a horse shoe graphic that tells us if we are looking at iron or not). My depth said 9 inches (just a pip on the horse shoe). I was using Deus Fast with the 12KHz frequency (I changed it from 18KHz).

We decided to dig the target to see. I dug an 8 inch hole with my Raptor tool and the target was still at the bottom. I pulled the dirt from the bottom of the hole to verify. I dug about one more inch of dirt and out popped out a 1941 wheat in very good condition.

So let’s analyze.

First, I have to say that I am SUPER impressed with the AT Pro. That’s nothing new. I have been singing the praises of the AT Pro for a while now. And I have spoken very highly of the 5×8 coil. Although it was an iffy signal, the Pro with the 5×8 coil, detected a wheat cent at 9 inches. Sure, we don’t have heavily mineralized soil here in Kansas. Well, at least not where we were at. We do have heavily iron infested sites though. By now you should know that mineralization and iron infestation are two very different things.
Be that as it may, the fact remains that lawdog1 got a signal AND a VDI at 9 inches. We both have been doing this for over a year now and we both know how to tell when a target falls from the sides of the holes to the bottom. That wheat WAS 9 inches deep.

Second, I want to talk about two things that are related. Number one is that when you buy a high end detector vs a medium or low end, you will have to interpret more. Data does not become information until you process it. In this case, the Deus gave me data, i.e. the VDI, the tone, the horse-shoe, the depth. I had to then, interpret that data to turn it into information. My information may or may not lead me to dig a target. To be totally honest, I probably would have left that wheat in the ground. The trade-off between more data vs less data is that you may dig less false positives (trash) BUT, having more data to analyze may very well lead you to miss a good target if you don’t analyze the data correctly. This leads to the next thing I want to discuss.

KNOW YOUR DETECTOR! Lawdog1 has been using his Pro now for a while and he knew that his machine was telling him something important about the target under the ground. I, it seems, need to spend more time with my machine and apparently, I need to dig more targets!

So there you have it boys and girls. The lessons never stop in this hobby. And here, I will regale you with wisdom, for free:

IN METAL DETECTING, THERE ARE NO ABSOLUTES. (except that you WILL dig trash 🙂 ).

Thank you for looking!


Never, never, never, NEVER!…

4 Dec

…skip a site because you’ve heard it has been hunted out.

This year, while hunting a postage stamp-sized park from the late 1800’s with some friends, I found a gold bracelet that at 10K –the bracelet was unmarked, will bring around $400 U.S. once melted. The park is notorious for not yielding anything anymore and yet, there it was, under the coil of my XP Deus metal detector.

The reason why a place is likely to never be hunted out is three-fold:

1) People continue to use a site, even empty lots, and thus the site is replenished with new drops.

2) People who have hunted the place may not have been at the top of their game and thus missed lots of stuff.

3) Considering that a typical target takes up about a square inch of space, well, you do the math.

Plus, there is another mystery to consider here. I don’t know why, and I doubt anyone else knows either, there are many targets that will only be detected at a very specific angle. I had read about this phenomenon from day one but I experienced it first hand well into my first year of detecting. I had hit a private yard from two directions perpendicular to each other (90 degrees) and had returned to do a diagonal search. Going over a spot I had gone over twice in the previous hunts, I got a sweet signal on the AT Pro (my machine at the time) and a VDI that said quarter. I couldn’t believe that I had missed this before. So I decided to go around the target and run my coil over it from different directions. To say that I was shocked is an understatement. I only had to deviate about 15 degrees before I lost the signal completely. COMPLETELY! Not a peep. Not a grunt, whisper, moan. Nothing. Unless I hit the target from that very narrow angle. I dug the hole and at about 4 inches or so, if memory serves me right, I pulled a dateless Standing Liberty quarter.

So lets now think about the fact that a typical target will occupy about 1 square inch of space. Even in a small park, or lot, or yard, we will have a sizable number of square inches to contend with. Add that to the fact that the majority of hunters don’t grid as carefully as they should, or if they do, they eventually tire and get careless, and now you’re beginning to see why there are still good targets left everywhere. Now, remember those targets that will only sound off at a very specific angle and my point is made.

Last, I want to mention something Tom Dankowski says (Tom is a legend of this hobby). “80% of all dropped coins ever, are still in the ground”. He says this because there are several factors making these coins undetectable, the main one being masking. Another one is depth. Tom says that these coins will yield only to the very experienced hunters or to metal detectors of the future.

So there. Don’t be discouraged, the stuff is there. Go get it.

***you can tell when I am not hunting or when I am not finding anything because I start waxing philosophical LOL!***

Thank you for looking!

The ever-changing state of affairs

25 Jun

Another Compadre

My youngest child has asked that I take him metal detecting. The problem is, when one wants to go so does the other. To solve this problem, I have ordered an additional Tesoro Compadre.

One Metal Detector to rule them all!

In a fit of madness, I have decided to trade my three current detectors for an XP Deus. Lately, I have come to appreciate the joy that is swinging a light weight detector. Plus I still want the power of a flagship machine. The XP Deus fits the bill to a T.

top view of XP Deus metal detector


Another thing that I look forward to besides the power of the XP and its under two pound weight, is the fact that I can collapse the unit and put it in a bag and carry it with me into the house or into the office. No more leaving my expensive detectors in the car so that some loser can steal them.

I LOVE my V3i! Especially now that I am beginning to understand it. I am going to miss the three frequencies and the analysis tools. I am going to miss the 22 KHz frequency for micro gold. Alas! I think the XP Deus will deliver equivalent power with the added conveniences of no wires and lighter weight.

I will miss my beloved AT Pro. The Pro is the detector I became a proficient hunter with. I found more stuff with it than with any other machine. We were like one me and the Pro. At three pounds, it was my lighter detector but again, the XP is less than two pounds! I may yet regret giving up the AT Pro but the XP may work better in some of the iron infested sites around town.

Last I say good bye to my newest machine; the CZ-3D. I got this machine to get the hard-to-detect coins that I know are there. I have found many coins now that didn’t read like coins at all. The CZ-3D was designed for just this kind of scenario. I didn’t count on the weight of the unit however, especially once I put the 10.5 inch coil on it. Man! I even tried hip-mounting the unit which helped but then I had to adjust my digging style. Nonetheless, this machine quickly earned a spot in my heart by finding nickels missed by everyone else.

So I am counting on the XP Deus to deliver all the things I am giving up and it yet may. I’ve heard the following about the the XP:

1) It works great in iron infested sites.
2) It goes deep
3) It can find nickels , which are notoriously hard to detect
4) You can swing it all day!

All of these things are important to me but the weight issue was what drove my decision. I hunt during the hottest months of the year and I hunt for gold so I dig more targets than other people. It was very important that the machine I use be light and easy to carry.

The ProPointer is NOT dead! 

Reports of the Garrett Propointer’s death have been greatly exaggerated! It turned out that the thing just needed a new battery. Special thanks to my hunting buddy Patton from the Friendly Metal Detecting Forum for lending me his spare propointer which led me to discover that my propointer was not ready for the trash can.

Father’s Day – Silver Coin #15

17 Jun

For Father’s Day, I was given the whole day to metal detect.

I started my hunt at a tear out at Planeview park. All I got there were four wheats but one was a 1912 S. Throughout my hunting day, I kept running into people from the Friendly Metal Detecting Forum. It seemed everyone was finding silver today!

Eventually, I got a call from Patton (also from the FMDF) and we hit several parks with little success. We finished the day at a spot both of us have hunted. Almost as soon as we got there, the police showed up. After a  brief exchange with the officer lady, she told us it was cool for us to hunt, wished us good luck, and left.

After a couple of hours of finding only clad, I wanted to call it quits but Patton was of the opinion that if we had the blessing of the beat officer, we should make the most of it. What he said made sense so I agreed to hunt some more and boy! am I glad I did. Soon after we resumed our hunt, Patton struck silver in the form of a beautiful silver quarter. He followed that with a silver Rosie. My efforts netted me a 1944 Mercury dime.

Various coins and metal objects

I worked really hard for this!

1944 Mercury dime, obverse

Silver for daddy!

Eventually it was just too hot and we were too dehydrated to continue. We drove to the nearest QuickTrip to rehydrate and we both went home.

I started my hunt with my trusty AT Pro but I found the Merc with Big Bertha. Despite all, the V3i is a powerful flagship detector. I began to remember all the things I learned to do with it for maximum performance and it did its job well today.

I think I will hunt more with it in the coming months so I can be ready for the Chisholm Trail Hunt in September.

Thank you for looking!

The Return of Big Bertha

13 Jun

Big Bertha, my White’s Spectra V3i, was on leave while I decided what to do about the terrible chattering that I experienced the last few times I used it.

Since I have two other excellent detectors, I was in no hurry to tend to the problem but last night I finally tackled it. First, I suspected that some dirt had gotten in between the coil cover and the coil. I took the cover off (a big challenge!) and indeed, there was quite a bit of detritus in there. I’ve decided to leave the coil off and hunt with the naked coil.

Second, while I was removing the coil cover, I noticed that the cable was lose at the control box! That was probably the real cause of the chattering. Oh well, the cable connection is tight now and the cover is off. I took Big Bertha for a spin at lunch time today and the process of re-acquainting myself with it has begun.

A have a few words about owning and using multiple detectors. When you are using several detectors, the mastering of them is going to take longer. I get a little confused with the VDI’s when I switch detectors. Plus, I have to remember the quirks of each one. So I may not be as effective a hunter as I would like to be. I am not worried however, I know eventually I’ll be able to switch detectors with no problem.

The one good thing about hunting with different machines is that I am learning all the things that are common to all of them. Indeed, many of the things I learn with one unit can be applied to the other ones. This includes all general issues about metal detecting. By using three different detectors from three different companies, I know what is universal to the hobby and what’s particular to each brand.

So in theory anyway, in the future, the learning curve for any new detectors will be a lot more gentle.

Thank you for looking!

Silver coin #14 with the AT Pro

8 Jun

On my way to pick up my niece, I drove by a boarded up apartment complex and I decided to detect the sidewalk strip. After about ten minutes of digging clad, I got a sweet signal with a Target ID of 82. Four inches down I found this silver dime just smiling at me.

dirty coins

20 minute loot

1958 Roosevelt dime-obverse

Another one for the pile

One of the wheats is a 1945 and was six inches deep, so there may be some Mercs still there

Thank you for looking!

A very cool token – The mystery of the Iron Pit; revealed!

4 Jun

After work today, I stopped by the Iron Pit for a few minutes of detecting. After digging a number of pull tabs and a very unexpected 1951D wheat cent, I got a very steady foil signal with a target id of 45. I got excited for a minute thinking this may be a gold item but what I dug from the six inch hole was another Wichita transportation token.

I was happy to find the token anyway and put it in my pocket. Soon after, I turned the AT Pro off and went home. After supper, I went to take a picture of the wheat and the bus token and it was only then that I realized how cool the token really was.

I was staring right at a Wichita rail system token! Early on Wichita’s history, the city had a rail car service that took the citizenry to and fro. I had read about this service while researching various spots in the city but this is the first time I found a token from those days.

Wichita Railroad & Light Co. token

Before there were buses…

With this find, the mystery of the Iron Pit may have been solved. Since finding my honey hole last Summer, I’ve wondered why there is so much iron at the site. There are also lots of slag, coal, square nails, and rusted iron foil. I had suspected that some kind of structure may have stood at the site but it never occurred to me that one of the railways from the Wichita Railroad service may have run through the Iron Pit!

According to my research, the Wichita Street Railway Co. was formed before 1890. That year, the company adopted the name Wichita Street Railway Co. From 1900 to 1933 the company went by the name of the Wichita Railroad and Light Co. and it is from this period that my token comes from. Cool!
In 1933, the street cars were discontinued and the Wichita Transportation Co. was born and it operated until 1966.

If there was a railway running through the Iron Pit, that would explain all the metal junk there. Now I am going to work really hard at finding a Wichita Railway Co. token!

Super cool!

Thank you for looking!

Gold ring #2 for the year plus a V nickel!

1 Jun

Woo hoo!

Thank you for looking!

Tiny Treasures from the Iron Pit

30 May

I continue on my quest for gold. I have decided to hunt for gold until I fill a gallon container with pull tabs and other mid tone targets. I am hoping to find a gold item before I fill the container with stuff but I am alarmed at how quickly it’s filling up! I am digging an average of 40 mid tone signals per hour.

Meanwhile, I keep finding interesting stuff while digging for gold. Today at lunch, I returned to the Iron Pit. The Iron Pit is the name I’ve given the honey hole I found last Summer. Anyway, as I was scanning for mid tones, I got a foil signal on the AT Pro. The Target ID (TID) was 45 and the depth was two inches. I dug up an old zinc or lead bell emblem that may have been part of a tag.

Later, I got a mid tone with a TID that jumped from 49 to 50 and back. The AT Pro said the target was six inches deep. I began to dig the hole and just below the surface, I found a tiny tennis racquet charm. It looked pretty nice and silvery and I could see that it had a stamp. When I got to the car, I looked at it with my loupe and sure enough, the mark said sterling.

I am not surprised the charm read lower than a nickel. First, tiny silver can read like that. Second, with all the rusty iron at the Iron Pit, I expect the detector to get confused.

silver charm and bell shaped tag

Tiny treasures

So this makes me wonder about how many countless treasures I’ve missed in the year I’ve been detecting because I haven’t been digging mid tones consistently. Heck, for the first eight months or so I downright ignored all mid tones.

And yes, I have to say it one more time: The Iron Pit doesn’t stop giving!

More stuff from the Iron Pit

28 May

I went out hunting this morning for a couple of hours. I decided to try the honey hole with the AT Pro and the 5x8DD coil. First thing I did, was to change the name of the honey hole to The Iron Pit. Second thing I did was to lower the sensitivity on the AT Pro down to three bars. I did this to try to cope with the large amounts of iron there.

So the idea was to dig all foil and pull tab signals and any wayward high tone. After two hours, I had dug 47 signals and only two were high tones: a 1917 wheat that I got only after I had removed the rusty nail that was masking it and a bullet. The other 45 signals were all mid tones with the great majority of them being foil. I ended up with about 7 round pull tabs and a bunch of assorted metal bits. I was just commenting to another hunter, Stevouke, that I was surprised the Iron Pit still continued to yield cool stuff.

1917 Lincoln cent and two transportation tokens

After almost a year of hunting this spot, I still find stuff

I don’t know when the Wichita Transportation Corporation started in Wichita but the newspaper has an article that says that in 1929, the company carried 18,000,000 fares. That means that there ought to be millions of these tokens laying around!  The Iron Pit goes back to the late 1800’s.

Wichita Transportation Corporation token

A relic of Wichita’s past

Wichita Transportation Token

When I started riding the bus in 1980, these tokens were no longer in use.

1917 Lincoln cent obverse

They dropped this guy back in the 20’s I think

Last, I found this tag just under the ground. It is a tag for Royal Swan ribbon. This was popular in the 40’s. This particular ribbon was woven edge rayon. The term Rayon was first used in 1924 and rayon was first made in the U.S. in 1910 although it was patented in Britain in 1894.

Royal Swan ribbon tag

A product of Burlington Mills

There is a very interesting article about Burlington Mills here.

All in all I had a great time hunting the Iron Pit. I am going to wait until it rains before I hunt there again because digging there today was like digging through concrete.

Thank you for looking!