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The Perfect Partnership

The Perfect Partnership

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Published by corinne mills

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Published by: corinne mills on Mar 24, 2008
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06/17/2009

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The Perfect Partnership
By Dynamite_DavisYou may think this a funny title for a piece on metal detecting, after all am I talking about twomachines? Me and my detecting partner? Or indeed the partnership between me and my ownmachine.The answer is simply all three!! I have been detecting since the age of eight, I was truly destinedfor this hobby, as it had already been my dad’s passion for many a year before me. I’m nowrapidly approaching my 30th year on this earth, and we have spent the last twenty two yearstogether as a detecting partnership, to be honest growing up I simply could not have wished for abetter person to learn from.Knowing what I know now I would recommend all newcomers to the hobby to try to get adetecting partner, someone who has experience would be ideal but above all someone to sharethose priceless moments with! Those times when you shout out across a field that you’ve foundsomething nice, are times you will never forget! Certainly for me detecting on my own does notgive me quite the same thrill and buzz as being out detecting with my dad.If you are not overly competitive, you can really reap the rewards of working as a pair, purelybecause this means you stand more chance of discovering those hot-spots on your search areas(afterall two coils has to be better than one).We like a lot of metal detectorists have thousands of acres of land that we have permission tosearch on….. Over the years how many of our finds would still lay undiscovered if either one of us were detecting alone? The mind boggles believe me.You think about walking on to just a 10-acre field…. You look down at for arguments sake at an11” coil, now think how much of this field am I really going to cover? The simple answer is atiny fraction of it! You could spend hour after hour, month after month on a field that size, andnot even scratch the surface when it comes to finding coins and artefacts.We have had smaller pasture fields that we have detected for 5 or 6 fruitless years only tosuddenly find they start producing roman finds. It’s almost as if from nowhere finds have beenmagically transported into the soil. I firmly believe I would not of had anywhere near the numberof good personal finds, if I worked my current sites alone, purely because I may never of walkedover the hotspots on my own.
Pooling of resources
 
When we first started detecting as a partnership we always used different machines this was100% down to the fact I was using my dads old machines when he upgraded! It was the onlydownsides to being a schoolboy at the time rather than having a job, and earning money toplough in to my hobby I got the hand me downs.This trend of us using different machines continued quite accidentally but we have sincediscovered it to be of great benefit to us. My dad currently uses a Minelab Explorer and I haveand Explorer in the cupboard and an XP Goldmaxx Power as my preferred machine.May I add that this is not down to individual performance it’s down to the fact that the XPcomplements the Explorer perfectly! Both of these machines will find the hard to find items, butboth have different characteristics and overall strengths. By that I mean in difficult circumstancesone of these machines may find that elusive hotspot that bit easier than the other.Both have similar performance but the XP must be used very slowly to get extreme depthwhereas the Minelab will need to be used very slowly to get items amongst trash! You cantherefore see that as a pair, these machines work as a great combination towards finding thoseelusive targets and hotspots.There are many great combinations, one of our past favourites was an Arado 120b and the Fisher1265X (admittedly you didn’t particularly want to go to close to a Fisher with an Arado though,crikey that was painful on the ears).
Being as one with your machine
Just as I have described my partnership with my Dad to be the number one key to my success inthis hobby to date, the wisdom that he has passed on to me regarding learning my machines hasstood me in good stead.There are three things you need to learn when you get a new machine :-1) What are the good signals like (either sound or sound & meter reading)2) What do the ferrous/iron items sound like (either sound or sound & meter reading)3) What does an iffy signal sound like and if I have a meter where does it registerRemember that all machines will give an iffy signal to good targets that are next to iron, on edgeor at the limit of the detectors detection capabilities. This makes digging iffy signals essential tobeing successful in this hobby. Deciding what is iffy and what is outright terrible and thus iron,is the hardest thing to learn in metal detecting.This is purely because you cannot teach this to someone; you can only learn it by using yourmachines and digging quite a bit of rubbish to start off with.I firmly believe that the ability to recognise iffy signals is one of the things that sets certaindetectorists apart from others… Why does Joe Bloggs always come in to the club meetings witha hammered coin??? Yes he may have good sites… but then why does he always find hammeredcoins on club digs and rally’s??? Maybe he’s just lucky!!! Remember by knowing your machineyou too will become that little bit luckier.
 
It’s like the old golf pro Gary Player’s famous statement “the more I practice the luckier I get”
Dynamite’s Tip
:- When judging iffy signals always look for excuses to dig not an excuse towalk away… if you look for an excuse to leave a signal you will always find it whether it’sreally there or not.I feel I now have my current machine setup perfectly for me! Other people have tried to use theGoldmaxx Power the same way as I do and they can’t get on with it…. This is because my earshave adjusted to the settings I’ve chosen.I chose to set my machine up from day one at settings I knew from both in air tests and test bedswere maximising it’s ability to both go deep and find coins close to iron.I then stuck with these settings and struggled for the first few weeks, but simply by sticking withthem and digging lots of signals both good and bad I managed to train myself to recognise whatis good and what is trash.I have now been in fields where I’ve checked signals with people who own the same machine…they have said signals were rubbish when I said I’d dig them! The items have always turned outto be non ferrous (not iron), one certainly turned out to be a cut half (hammered), and the otherthat I remember was a less impressive horse brass but very deep. This does not mean I am usingsuperior settings to the other chaps, it just means I’m hearing something in that signal that makesme think “that sounds dodgy but it’s not quite like an iron signal”This is a saying I use and I think I’ve made it up “
A good detectorist is a nosey detectorist
Reasons for this :-
1) A nosey detectorist will dig the dodgy (iffy) signals because he simply can’t resist finding outwhat it is.2) A nosey detectorist will try every setting on a new machine in the hope of finding the bestbalanced performance.3) A nosey detectorist will listen at length to what other people are doing with there machines.Remember you may think someone is talking rubbish but there is no harm in experimentation. If you feel your settings are wrong believe me your doomed to end up hating your machine.
Dynamite’s Tip :-
If someone gives you some new settings for your machine don’t fully commit to them but do tryto give them a fair chance.There are two types of people that usually give you advice on setting up a machine:-1) The person who basically doesn’t have a clue and who will say black is white simply becausethey want to believe that there way is best.2) The chap that has studied his machine endlessly and has discovered what he considers the bestsettings for finding small items in tricky English conditions and longs to share his knowledge.

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