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Metal Detector

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Mention the words metal detector and you'll get completely different reactions from different people. For instance, some people think of combing a beach in search of coins or buried treasure. Other people think of airport security, or the handheld scanners at a concert or sporting event.

The fact is that all of these scenarios are valid. Metal-detector technology is a huge part of our lives, with a range of uses that spans from leisure to work to safety. The metal detectors in airports, office buildings, schools, government agencies and prisons help ensure that no one is bringing a weapon onto the premises. Consumer-oriented metal detectors provide millions of people around the world with an opportunity to discover hidden treasures (along with lots of junk). Anatomy of a Metal Detector A typical metal detector is light-weight and consists of just a few parts: 1. Stabilizer (optional) - used to keep the unit steady as you sweep it back and forth 2. Control box - contains the circuitry, controls, speaker, batteries and the microprocessor 3. Shaft - connects the control box and the coil; often adjustable so you can set it at a comfortable level for your height 4. Search coil - the part that actually senses the metal; also known as the "search head," "loop" or "antenna" Most systems also have a jack for connecting headphones, and some have the control box below the shaft and a small display unit above. Operating a metal detector is simple. Once you turn the unit on, you move slowly over the area you wish to search. In most cases, you sweep the coil (search head) back and forth over the ground in front of you. When you pass it over a target object, an audible signal occurs. More advanced metal detectors provide displays that pinpoint the type of metal it has detected and how deep in the ground the target object is located. Metal detectors use one of three technologies:

Very low frequency (VLF)

causing them to generate weak magnetic fields of their own. This means that if the coil of wire is parallel to the ground. . the object's field is pulsing upward. a small electric current travels through the coil. Therefore.  Pulse induction (PI) Beat-frequency oscillation (BFO) VLF Technology Very low frequency (VLF). The receiver coil is completely shielded from the magnetic field generated by the transmitter coil. The coil amplifies the frequency and sends it to the control box of the metal detector. The current moving through the transmitter coil creates an electromagnetic field. the polarity of the magnetic field changes. Each time the current changes direction. which is like what happens in an electric motor. As the magnetic field pulses back and forth into the ground. where sensors analyze the signal. This current oscillates at the same frequency as the object's magnetic field. is probably the most popular detector technology in use today. when the receiver coil passes over an object giving off a magnetic field. The polarity of the object's magnetic field is directly opposite the transmitter coil's magnetic field. the magnetic field is constantly pushing down into the ground and then pulling back out of it. also known as induction balance. The polarity of the magnetic field is perpendicular to the coil of wire. However. If the transmitter coil's field is pulsing downward. it interacts with any conductive objects it encounters. it is not shielded from magnetic fields coming from objects in the ground.

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