Here are some tips I've gathered (and mostly tested) that will help you build a good test garden for your detectors. Some of these I came up with myself, others were gathered from detecting sites… I'm sure I'm forgetting a few things, but this will help you get started if you want to have a good test garden!
- Sweep your prospective spot while in all metal (no disc) to make sure there is NO iron present. Remove any that is present...if it's flakes, find another spot
- Chart where you bury stuff with a map! (yep..unless you're super human, you'll forget years down the road)
- When digging your hole for placing the test objects, check them CAREFULLY with a pinpointer to be sure there's no other metal present.
- When you place your test objects, pour a little salt water on the object while it's in the the soil, prior to reburying. This will speed up the effect normally seen when objects have been buried a long time. Caution...the test won't be legit until the salt water dissipates after a few days.
- Bury coins and objects at different angles if possible so you can learn how they sound
- Bury some nuisance items as well, beaver tails, pull tabs, foil, etc.
- Golf tees pressed to almost flush with the ground, or gold ball markers can make good visual indicators of where you have things buried.
- ...MOLES! Yep...they will change things! (air space between the coil and the target)
- Test your garden on dry days and wet, wet days to see the difference in signals
- Bury some coins adjacent to common iron objects (square nails, for example) This is a great way to test target separation and detector reset speeds
- Just for the heck of it, bury a coin TOUCHING an old iron object (like a nail)...interesting, huh?
- When you REALLY want to go crazy, bring in some different soil types and fill in a 2 foot x 2 foot spot...red, iron rich clay has a very humbling effect!
- Be sure to bury a few coins that are barely TOO deep. You may eventually find a detector that will sniff them out!
Thanks Mark – it has been a while since I had a test spot but this is a good idea for anyone getting used to new detectors. Anymore I just set my sensitivity and do a good airtest. This doesn't take into count the different soils but I guess I rely on 50 yrs of experience. I'm sure the young guys can probably out hunt me and set their machines up better "Like the E-Trac" so anymore i just go by the old adage - swing slow, swing low Main thing - keep it fun 😀
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