Metal Detecting Code of Ethics

Metal Detecting Code of Ethics

  • I WILL respect private property and WILL NOT trespass without the land owners permission.
  • I WILL NOT destroy property, buildings or what is left of ghost towns and deserted structures.
  • I WILL NOT litter, always pack out what I take in and remove all trash dug in my search.
  • I WILL leave all gates and other accesses to land as found.
  • I WILL appreciate and protect our heritage of natural resources, wildlife, and private property.
  • I WILL use thoughtfulness, consideration and courtesy at all times.
  • I WILL abide by all laws, ordinances or regulations that may govern my search, or the area I will be in.
  • I WILL fill all holes, regardless how remote the location, and never dig in a way that will damage, be damaging to, or kill any vegetation.
  • I WILL report the discovery of items of significant historical value to a local historian or museum in accordance with the latest legislation.
  • I WILL Be an ambassador for the metal detecting hobby. Be polite and informative to those who inquire about your hobby – you are the ambassador of a pastime we want to protect and we will be judged by how you act & respond.
  • March 4, 2009

What kind of metal detector should I buy?

That’s a goooood question! There are lots of people who have been in the hobby for many years who still try different machines on a steady basis. (I’m one of them 🙂 ) There are others who have found a detector they are comfortable with, and have stuck with it, having no desire to change. That’s fine too!

If you’re a person considering getting into this great hobby, I suggest finding someone who already has a metal detector and asking them if you can try it. If they will let you, spend some time throwing coins on the ground, listening to the sounds the detector makes. If the person is REALLY generous maybe they’ll let you borrow it for a few days to make sure this hobby is really one you would like.

Now, you’ve taken the above suggestion and tried out metal detecting, and you think “This is a hobby for me!”… What next?

Well, it’s time for you to buy your own. There are lots of good metal detectors out there. The huge variety is due to different preferences and needs. Generally, there are three “financial” categories of metal detectors.

  • First is the “bargain” or entry level machines. They are the least expensive, and generally offer the least number of options, or somewhat subdued performance. These usually run in the $100 to $300 range.

  • Second is the “mid-level” detector. These are a middle of the road machine, usually offering higher performance or more features than the entry level, but not quite as much as the next category, the high end detector. Here you’re looking at the $350 to $600 dollar range (give or take). For the most part, these detectors have very respectable performance and offer enough to satisfy even the avid hunters.

  • Last, is the “high end” detector. These are the pinnacle of current hobby detectors. They usually offer the best a company has in performance and user options. Now, I know you’re thinking “THAT’S WHAT I WANT!”, please consider that a lot of new users have bought this type right from the beginning and felt frustration when trying to learn so much at one time. Other new users have bought these and been just fine… Here you’re looking at the $700 to $1200 dollar range. That’s a lot of cash!

Ultimately the choice is yours, but my suggestion is either the mid level detector or certain entry level machines for first time hunters. Why? Well, the first thing that causes new detectorists to “fall out” of the hobby is frustration. Frustration of not understanding what the detector is “telling” you, frustration of not finding good stuff every time you dig, frustration from the weight or ergonomics of your detector.

A good entry level machine will let you do what you want….find cool stuff! The definition of “good machine” in this context is one that comes from a reputable company. (Fisher, Bounty Hunter, Garrett, White’s, Minelab, Tesoro, etc.) I, of course, have my “favorite” companies for my own detectors, but I’m not going to suggest them, because I feel that would be unfair to you as a new person to the hobby.

There are many good metal detecting sites where people in this hobby talk about their detectors…here are a few.. this one of course 🙂 ,,, . Most people on these sites are polite and friendly and will be more than willing to offer suggestions and advice to new users. However, be aware, just like some folks like Chevy more than Ford (or vice-versa) there are some who will swear by a certain brand of detector. Take it all with a grain of salt, accumulate all the info. you can, and visit a local detector dealer to check out what they have. DO NOT succumb to strong sales tactics (ie: “Oh, you don’t want that cheap detector! Buy this one *they point at the most expensive one in the store* You’ll like it MUCH better!” 🙂 ) You will also find detector website “sponsors” to be a good moral choice. By “moral” I mean they are the one’s who pay the websites for advertising. As such, the sites are available for reading and information due to their contributions. Without them, little to no info.

Buying used is another option. The sites I listed above will usually have a buy/trade/sell forum where hobbyists swap around detectors. Caution, of course, is advised, and be aware most companies do not allow transferable warranties.

Once you’ve found a good general purpose metal detector, and not paid a fortune for it 🙂 after a while, you may think “Hmmmm, I really like this hobby! I think I’m gonna stick with it!” At this point you’re ready to “consider” buying that “high end” machine you’ve been lusting over 🙂 You should know enough about the hobby by this point to understand what it is you want out of a detector. Who knows? You may find enough with that entry/mid level detector to PAY FOR that top end machine!

Welcome to one of the greatest hobbies in the world!


  • March 4, 2009

Fisher F4 Review

f4largerI’ve always heard “The older you get, the faster time passes.” Now that I’m in my mid 40’s I’ve found that statement to be all too true. However, there are exceptions to this rule…. Christmas, payday and waiting for a metal detector to arrive in the mail! I’m the first to admit, I become very “kid like” when I have a new machine on the way to my house. My wife is very “understanding” of this affliction of mine, only succumbing to the occasional “eye roll” when I constantly babble on about treasure hunting, old sites, coins and metal detectors.

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1 Detector Stuff Interviews the Engineers of White’s Electronics

whitesI want to thank the fine folks at White’s, and especially Alan Holcombe and Carl Moreland for helping arrange this interview!


John Earle – Long time White’s Engineer and Loop Guru.

Dan Geyer – Dan worked on the TDI and is White’s PI specialist.

John Plautz – Multifrequency design Engineer

Carl Moreland – Engineering Manager (and owner of the awesome detector tech site Geotech!)

Question 1:

What got you interested in engineering metal detectors?

John Earle: Playing around with them, trying to make one from scratch.

Dan Geyer: During the period of the 1950’s and 1960’s my family was seriously involved with placer mining for gold in the Mother Lode area of California. During that time it was obvious that metal detectors designed for finding gold would be of tremendous value to the prospector, however, there was nothing commercially available that worked satisfactory. When I started into electronic engineering the desire to develop suitable detectors for prospecting was of continuing interest. After a many years of working in the electronics field I finally received the opportunity to work with metal detectors here at Whites. And, it has proven to be the most interesting job in my 47 year career!

John Plautz: I met a technician from White’s about 20 years ago that convinced me metal detector design was more challenging than it appears. He was right!

Carl Moreland: When I was a chip designer for Analog Devices I designed circuits in CAD, but got very little hands-on building and “playing” with circuits. So as a creative outlet, I started building detector circuits on the side, which led to my quest for more technical information, which led to the creation of Geotech, which led to my job with White’s.

Question 2:

What do you feel is the “key” to the success of a new model of metal detector?

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1 Detector Stuff Interviews FT-Fisher Engineers, David Johnson and John Gardiner

From left to right: Mark Krieger, New Product Development Engineer; John Gardiner, Electronics Engineer; David Johnson (kneeling), Chief Engineer; Jorge Anton Saad, Electronics Engineer


First of all, I want to thank Tom Walsh, Mike Scott, Tricia Richardson, Dave Johnson and John Gardiner for their help in arranging this interview. I think it’s a fair statement that First Texas – Fisher is one of the most exciting metal detector companies on the planet right now, and as such, has piqued the interest of the hobby detecting world in a way that hasn’t been seen for quite a while.

I had the idea for this interview months ago, before I had started this web site. There was quite a buzz in the forums when rumors started of a new Dave Johnson design coming from First Texas under the Teknetics moniker. After the subsequent release and success of the T-2, the hobby community was set on fire with excitement over the prospects of “things to come”. Another wave of excitement hit when it was learned First Texas had acquired Fisher, and that wave turned into a tsunami with the release of the F-75. Mr. Johnson was quick to point out that the T-2 and F-75 were team efforts, not solo projects, and that Engineer John Gardiner was key to the success of both machines.

The purpose of this interview is to give the fans of metal detecting a “behind the scenes” glimpse of the engineers who designed the T-2, F-75 and F-4. There is an unusual “connection” people in this hobby have with their metal detectors. Over time, they seem to take on a personality of their own, becoming an extension of the owner/user. Because of this “personal” connection, most view the responsible engineers with a sense of awe and mystery. I feel that “getting to know” the Engineers will help people appreciate and applaud the outstanding efforts of these geniuses behind the scenes.

All questions below are for both Mr. Johnson and Mr. Gardiner, unless otherwise designated.

Question 1:

DS: What got you interested in engineering metal detectors?

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1 Detector Stuff Interviews Jorge Saad, Fisher Labs Engineer


DS: Hi Mr. Saad! Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions about the very unique F5! There is a lot of interest in the metal detecting hobby about this unusual detector… First of all, tell us about yourself…. How long have you been designing metal detectors?

Jorge: Good day Mr. Ellington. It is a pleasure to have the opportunity of speaking with you. I first learned about the metal detector’s technology barely three years ago, when I was hired in First Texas Products and got under the expert lead of Dave Johnson and John Gardiner, who you know are two of the top leading engineers in the Industry. Before that I used to write firmware for other kind of products.

DS: What machines have you had a hand in designing?

Jorge: I was involved in the design of the Bounty Hunter Platinum and Gold; and the Fisher F5 machines.

DS: What’s it like working at First Texas? (The people you work with, the philosophy, atmosphere, etc.)

Jorge: FTP is unique in many aspects. We have a very friendly and open environment. Dave, John and Mark are great people to work around. We are quick with a joke and always on the mood to help each other. Our CEO is also a great guy to work for. We consider ourselves happy to be working here, and that adds a lot to our team. In addition the philosophy of FTP has always been geared towards overall customer experience and satisfaction; as a result here in the Engineering Department we keep open and in touch with as many people using our products as we can spare time for. To learn from their experiences and preferences is vital to develop the metal detectors they dream about – or at the very least get close. As close as physics will allow! We are lucky to enjoy a wonderful support and feedback from our customers and field testers via forum chats, email and phone calls. Those guys are an indispensable part of this team!

Read more of this great interview below!….

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Turn the Discrimination Down by Charlie Pearsall

Avoid the temptation to muzzle your F-75 too severely. At first I was running a discrimination mask of 55 with nickels notched in and I might get to 34 or 35 on the sensitivity in default or bottlecap mode. Now I run discrimination at 15 and no notch. The sensitivity can be run up to 85 or 90! More signals, but dig only the steady TID numbers when swept from different directions. If it hops 5, 10 or even 20 units, it’s trash. If it only varies one or two, or none, it’s a coin.

The caveat is that you have to somewhat memorize the trash and coin ranges, and there is a danger a signal outside the common coin numbers might be an uncommon coin or jewelry. The F-75 display has bars for Nickel, Dime and Quarter+, but they’re wide ranges. You can be much more specific (i.e dimes are 70 or 71 in my soil).

When in doubt – dig.

Charlie Pearsall

  • March 2, 2009

Fisher F-75 – Interference Information

*reposted from*

The Fisher F75 is probably the most sensitive metal detector ever
Such high sensitivity makes the F75 susceptible to electrical
interference. In Discrimination
Mode, electrical interference may cause the F75 to chatter or beep
spontaneously. Indoor use, or use in proximity to buried or overhead power
lines, will result in chatter at high sensitivity settings.

To overcome chatter, which is usually due to electrical interference,
you can:

1. Try sweeping it over the ground.
If the F75 chatters while held still, or held up in the air, it
may be much quieter
when sweeping over the ground.


At a reduced sensitivity level, the F75 will still give good
detection depth.
Reduce sensitivity until the chatter stops. This may be a very low


3. Search in an All-Metal Mode.
Interference is much more tolerable in these modes, even at high

Sensitivity settings from 1 to 29 have the following characteristics:
In an All-Metal Mode, you may notice more background noise than
at higher (30-99) settings.
The F75 will be more resistant to overloading on large targets
or salt water at settings of 1-29.

You may find that sensitivity increases as you increase the
discrimination level.
This behavior is normal for the F75. If increased discrimination
results in chatter,
then reduce the Sensitivity Setting.

You may experience “chatter” or erratic behavior if using
inferior batteries, or discharged batteries.
If the lowest battery bar flashes, replace the batteries.
If all battery bars disappear, replace the batteries.
Use only battery types as recommended on page 6 of the manual.
Do not use ordinary zinc-carbon batteries.

  • March 2, 2009