Bounty Hunter | Time Ranger | Owner`s manual | Bounty Hunter Time Ranger Owner`s manual

Time Ranger ™
Metal Detector
Owner’s Manual
The new improved Time Ranger™ is a top-of-the-line professional
metal detector with the kind of depth performance and sophisticated
features demanded by the serious metal detector enthusiast. A
large LCD screen displays the current operating status at all times,
and displays probable target type and depth when metal is detected.
All features are either named on the touchpads or displayed on the
screen, making it easy for you to program it the way you want.
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Waterproof searchcoil
Touchpad control panel
Microprocessor-controlled
LCD screen with target ID readout
Readout of ground mineral conditions
Numeric readout of target conductivity
SMART TRAC computerized ground balancing
Programmable target type acceptance or rejection
All Metals Pinpoint mode for pinpointing target position
Self-Tuning all metals mode for maximum depth in mineralized ground
Search for coins, lost jewelry, relics, gold nuggets, and other valuable metals
The Time Ranger™ can be used as a "turn on and go" metal
detector (see page 4 ). However, you'll find a lot more if you read
the manual to acquaint yourself with the many performanceenhancing features which the Time Ranger™ offers.
CONTENTS
Quick Start (if you're really impatient) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
THE BASICS
OF
METAL DETECTING
Types of metal detecting
-"coinshooting" . . . . . . . . . . .
-relic hunting . . . . . . . . . . . .
-gold prospecting . . . . . . . . . .
-cache hunting . . . . . . . . . . .
-shallow water hunting . . . . .
How metal detectors work .
Capabilities and limitations
-depth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
-target identification . . . . . . .
-requirement for motion . . . .
-ground balancing . . . . . . . . .
-discrimination . . . . . . . . . . .
-depth reading . . . . . . . . . . . .
-air testing . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
THE METAL
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.5
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.7
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.9
PLASTIC STUFF
Easy Assembly Instructions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10
Batteries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11
Headphones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12
THE CONTROL PANEL
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12
Touchpad buttons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13
Numeric target readout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
Probable Target ID fields . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14-15
OPERATION
OF THE METAL DETECTOR
Introduction: Selecting operating modes . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16
DISCRIMINATION MODES
Preset Program #1 (low discrimination) . . . . . . . .
Preset Program #2 (medium discrimination) . . . . .
Preset Program #3 (high discrimination) . . . . . . .
Discrimination/Target Mode (fully programmable)
Blanker ("zap") . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Sniff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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.17
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ALL METAL MODES
All Metal Pinpoint mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20
SmartTrac (ground balancing) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20
Preset Program #4 (Self-Tuning all metal mode) . . . . . . . . . . .21
SEARCH TECHNIQUE
How to sweep the searchcoil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
How to pinpoint targets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Pinpointing a target in the Self-tuning Mode . . . . . . . . .
Retrieving targets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
False signals and chatter. Using the Sensitivity Control
Estimating target size and depth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Tips on ground balancing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
TYPES
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.34
OF METAL DETECTING: DESCRIPTIONS AND TIPS
"coinshooting" . . . . . . .
relic hunting . . . . . . . .
gold prospecting . . . . .
cache hunting . . . . . . .
shallow water hunting
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TROUBLESHOOTING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35
LEARNING
MORE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36
SPECIFICATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37
TREASURE HUNTER'S CODE
OF
ETHICS . . . . . . . . . . .Back Cover
FIRST TEXAS PRODUCTS WARRANTY . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Back Cover
QUICK START (if you're really impatient)
If you want to get started quickly, do the following.
1. Assemble the detector (see instructions on page 10).
2. Install two alkaline 9-volt batteries (see instructions on page 11).
3. Press the Power ON/OFF button. The machine should turn on,
giving several beeps and turning on the LCD screen.
4. When first turned on, the Time Ranger™ starts out in preset
Program #1. This is a "motion discrimination & target ID mode"
with iron and foil rejected. This means that the searchcoil has to
be in motion over a metal object to detect it, and that the
machine will ignore objects which it has decided are probably
iron or foil. .....Sensitivity starts out at medium, which is the
most a beginner should use.
5. If the searchcoil is not in motion and not close to metal, the
detector should be silent. If you experience false signals from
electrical interference, from the soil itself, or from lots of trash
metal, press the Sensitivity minus button to reduce sensitivity.
This will usually make the unwanted signals go away.
6. Toss a coin on the ground and sweep back and forth over it a few
times to get a feel for how the machine responds.
7. You are now ready to search for nonferrous metals such as coins,
to a depth of 6-8 inches under most conditions.
8. The All Metals Pinpoint mode makes recovering a target much
easier. See page 23 for details. Learn to use it at first without
Smart Trac ground balancing.
4
THE BASICS OF METAL DETECTING
TYPES OF METAL DETECTING
The Time Ranger™ is suitable for all five of the main types of
metal detecting:
1. "Coinshooting" -- searching for coins, usually in places like
parks and people's yards. Usually there is a lot of aluminum
trash like pulltabs and bottle caps, so ability to distinguish
between metal trash and coins is important. Since coinshooting
is usually done in places where you're not permitted to dig holes
with a shovel, extreme depth capability is not essential. Some
towns have ordinances prohibiting metal detectors in parks, so if
you have any doubt, check first.
2. Relic Hunting-- searching for historical artifacts, including coins,
mostly in places like fields and vacant lots where digging holes is
okay. The most common unwanted metal is iron (nails, fence wire,
parts of wheeled vehicles, etc.) but you may actually be searching
for iron objects. For relic hunting, the important features are
excellent depth capability and the ability to ignore iron metals
(discrimination). Before you go relic hunting, obtain permission
from the property owner. Some public lands are protected by law
from relic hunting, so if you intend to hunt on public land, check
first with the administrator to make sure it's not illegal.
3. Gold Prospecting-- searching for gold nuggets. Because most
nuggets are tiny, high sensitivity is needed. And because gold is
usually associated with iron minerals in the soil, an accurate
ground balancing system is also needed. Ability to identify
targets or to ignore iron is relatively unimportant. It's best to use
a small accessory searchcoil. If you're going gold prospecting,
search in areas where gold is known to be present -- it's very rare
nowadays to discover a new gold location. Learn to recognize
posted claims and don't search on them without first getting
permission. Prospecting clubs often have their own claims which
are open to members.
4. Cache Hunting-- searching for a specific buried cache, typically a
jar or strongbox containing money or gold or silver bullion. This
requires a ground balanced all metals mode. It's best to use an
oversize accessory searchcoil. Always make sure the issue of
ownership is resolved before you dig a cache.
5
5. Shallow Water Hunting-- All First Texas Products searchcoils are
waterproof, allowing you to search in shallow water. However, if
you're searching around water, please be careful not to get the
electronics housing wet. Because water is electrically
conductive, mimicking the effects of metal, searching in the wet
zone of beaches usually requires sensitivity to be reduced. If it's
salt water, discrimination is usually necessary to avoid false
signals. Avoid salt spray, as it will work its way into the control
housing and damage the electronics-- such damage is not covered
under warranty.
HOW METAL DETECTORS WORK
Most metal detectors for finding buried objects are of the "VLF
Induction Balance" type. Here's how they work.
The searchcoil (also called "search head" or "loop") on the end of the
rod ("stem") contains two electrical induction coils which are like
antennas. The larger (outer) coil transmits a rapidly alternating
magnetic field, "illuminating" the region surrounding the searchcoil.
If metal is present, its electrical conductivity distorts the magnetic
field. If iron metal is present, its magnetism also distorts the
magnetic field, but in a different way, allowing the metal detector to
distinguish between ferrous and nonferrous metals.
The smaller (inner) coil is a receiving antenna which detects changes
in the magnetic field caused by the presence of metal. The
electronic circuit amplifies this weak signal, analyzes it to determine
what kind of change is occurring as the searchcoil is swept past the
metal object, and then conveys the information to the user in the
form of an audio tone and (usually) a visual display of some type.
The iron minerals which are present in most soils also distort the
magnetic field, often obscuring the weaker signals from small or
deeper objects. This can cause the object to go undetected, or to be
misidentified if it is detected. Much of the technology that goes into
modern metal detectors is devoted to the task of eliminating the
unwanted signals from iron minerals in the soil, while not losing the
signals from metals. The technology in the new improved Time
Ranger™ embodies the knowledge and experience of two of the best
known engineers in the metal detection industry.
6
CAPABILITIES AND LIMITATIONS
DEPTH
The Time Ranger™ can detect U.S. coins to a depth of about 9-11
inches under good conditions. Large objects (55 gallon drums,
manhole covers, etc.) can be detected to a depth of several feet.
Electrical interference from power lines and from electrical
appliances and electronic equipment can reduce detection depth, or
cause audible interference making it necessary for the user to
reduce the sensitivity setting. Soils with large amounts of iron or
salt minerals, may also reduce detection depth or necessitate a
reduction in the sensitivity setting.
TARGET IDENTIFICATION
The Time Ranger™ identifies the probable type of metal object
("target") by measuring its “effective electrical conductivity”, which is
displayed as a number from 1 to 299 on the LCD screen. The
"effective electrical conductivity" of an object depends on its metallic
composition, size, shape, and orientation relative to the searchcoil.
Since coins are minted to tightly controlled specifications, they can
be identified with good accuracy. Identification of pulltabs and foil
is less consistent because these kinds of targets come in wide
variety. In general, smaller objects, and objects made from lower
conductivity alloys such as iron, bronze, brass, lead, pewter, zinc,
etc. will read lower on the effective conductivity scale. Larger
objects and objects made from higher conductivity alloys such as
silver, copper, and aluminum, will tend to read higher. The notable
exceptions are gold, which usually reads low because it's rarely
found in large pieces; and zinc pennies, which read moderately high
because of their size and shape. Although nails and other iron and
steel objects will usually read as iron ring-shaped pieces of iron (for
instance steel washers and harness rings) will usually give medium
to high readings. Flat pieces of iron or steel, such as can lids, will
occasionally do the same.
Most targets can be identified correctly in air out to about 7-10
inches. The minerals in many soils will cause identification to be
less accurate. However in most soils effective target identification
can be had to a depth of at least 4 to 6 inches.
7
REQUIREMENT FOR MOTION
Like other modern metal detectors, the Time Ranger™ searchcoil
must be kept in motion in order to both detect and identify targets.
The All Metal Pinpoint mode continues to detect metal if searchcoil
motion stops over the target. This mode is used primarily to
pinpoint the exact location of a target so that it can be retrieved with
a minimum of digging, and does not provide target identification.
The Time Ranger™ also features a Self-Tuning All Metal mode in
Program #4. Under most conditions, this is the deepest and most
sensitive mode. It is used primarily for gold prospecting and for
relic hunting in areas where there isn't a lot of metal trash, and
does not provide target identification.
GROUND BALANCING
To achieve maximum depth in both the All Metals Pinpoint and SelfTuning all metals modes, the Time Ranger™ offers Smart Trac™
computerized ground balancing to cancel the effects of iron minerals
in the ground. This does not affect the other (discrimination/target
ID) modes. The All Metal Pinpoint mode can be used for pinpointing
objects at moderate depth in most soils without prior ground
balancing.
DISCRIMINATION
"Discrimination" refers to a metal detector's ability to ignore metal
objects in selected categories, especially iron and aluminum. This
makes searching an area where there's a lot of metal trash much
more pleasant. The Time Ranger™ offers a wide variety of
discrimination features which you can select according to conditions
and your personal preference.
DEPTH READING
The estimated "Depth reading" is based on the strength of the
signal. It is calibrated for typical coin-size objects. Small objects
will read deeper than they actually are, and large objects will read
shallower than they actually are.
8
AIR TESTING
There may be times when you want to test or demonstrate the metal
detector without sweeping it over the ground, for instance if it's not
fully assembled, or if you're indoors. Place the searchcoil in a spot
where it's stable and more than two feet away from any large
masses of metal, including the reinforcing steel which is usually
present in concrete. If you're wearing a wristwatch or jewelry on
your hand or arm, remove it. Then, test or demonstrate by waving
metal objects ("targets") briskly several inches in front of the
searchcoil.
The Smart Trac ground balancing system cannot be tested or
demonstrated in air unless you happen to have appropriate
specimens of iron minerals or electronic ferrite available.
Position of detector and object when air testing the Time Ranger™
9
Getting Started
Assembly
Knurled
Knob
Bolt
Assembling your Time Ranger™ is
easy and does not require any tools.
Using the following diagram as your
guide, just follow these easy steps.
▲ To assemble the
Time Ranger™
1. Using the supplied bolt and
knurled knob, attach the search
coil to the lower stem. Twist stem
locking nut counter clockwise.
Search Coil
2. Press the button on the upper end
of the lower stem and slide the
lower stem into the upper stem.
Bottom view
Adjust the stem to a length that
lets you maintain a comfortable
upright posture, with your arm
relaxed at your side. Tighten the
stem locking nut.
3. Wind the search coil cable around
the stem. Leave enough slack in
the cable to let you adjust the coil
when you are hunting on uneven
ground. Then tighten the knob at
the end of the search coil.
TIP:
To adjust the coil, simply loosen
the knob.
Lower
Stem
Stem
locking
nut
Lower
Stem
Upper
Stem
Bottom side
Search
Coil
Cable
Plug
Control
Housing
Upper
Stem
4. Insert the coil’s plug into the
matching connector on the control housing. Be sure the holes
and pins line up correctly.
CAUTION:
• Do not force the plug in.
Excess force will cause
damage.
• To disconnect the cable,
pull on the plug. Do not
pull on the cable.
10
Connector
on back of
control housing
Batteries
IMPORTANT: Always use ALKALINE batteries only.
Do not use so-called heavy duty batteries.
Always remove the batteries for prolonged storage.
Release Clip of
Battery Door
Release
Clip
Alkaline Batteries
CHECK THE BATTERIES if your detector
exhibits any of the following symptoms:
1. The unit does not turn on.
2. Low speaker volume.
3. Unit beeps continuously or erratically.
The LCD screen shows battery
condition on the lower left.
If the dial indicates "R", replace the batteries. If the dial
indicates "L", the batteries are low and may go dead quickly, so you
may want to replace them. When you replace batteries, replace both
at the same time.
TIP: Battery life is typically about 20 hours, or a little longer if
you use headphones.
▲ Follow these steps to install the batteries.
1. Carefully remove the battery compartment door by pressing the
release clip on the right side of the door.
2. Snap one battery onto each of the terminals and place the batteries inside the compartment. Insert both of the batteries with
terminals facing outward.
3, Replace the compartment door by carefully inserting opposite
side of clip first. Then press down on clip side until battery door
snaps into place.
11
HEADPHONES
The Time Ranger™ is equipped with a standard 1/4 inch
headphone jack for use with any stereo headphone that has a 1/4
inch plug. Use headphones with built-in volume controls, because
without volume controls the sound may be too loud for you.
Using headphones improves battery life, and prevents the sounds
from annoying bystanders. It also allows you to hear more clearly
subtle changes in the sound when
in the All Metal modes,
particularly if you're searching in
a noisy location.
Don't use headphones when
working in an area where it's
necessary to be able to hear for
reasons of safety, for instance
around vehicle traffic, or where
there may be rattlesnakes.
POWER
ON/OFF
PROGRAM
SELECT
SNIFF
ALL METAL
SMART
TRAC
DISC
TARGET
BLANKER
Headphone
Jack
1/4 inch
Headphone
Plug
THE CONTROL PANEL
The control panel on the front of the control housing consists
of the following zones:
• along the top, Probable Target ID Fields which are used to
interpret the target signal data displayed on the LCD screen.
• in the middle, an LCD screen which displays operating status
and signal analysis data
• along the bottom and sides, touchpad "buttons" for controlling
operation of the detector
POWER
ON/OFF
PROGRAM
SELECT
SNIFF
ALL METAL
SMART
TRAC
12
BLANKER
DISC
TARGET
Touch pads
The detector control panel includes several touch pads as shown
and described in the following table. These touch pads are used to
set detector operation.
Detector Touch Pads
POWER
ON/OFF
PROGRAM
SELECT
SNIFF
ALL METAL
SMART
TRAC
POWER
ON/OFF
DISC
TARGET
BLANKER
POWER ON/OFF is used to turn the detector on.
HIGH (+) and LOW (-) are used to increase or decrease
the detector's sensitivity.
PROGRAM
SELECT
PROGRAM SELECT is used to select one of four predefined
search programs. The first three are discrimination
programs and the fourth is Self-Tuning all metal mode.
ALL METAL
SMART
TRAC
ALL METAL / SMART TRAC is used to select the All
Metal Pinpoint mode of operation, to retune (reset) the
All Metal Pinpoint mode if it has drifted; and, if it is
held down for more than two seconds, to perform the
Smart Trac computerized ground balancing maneuver.
DISC
TARGET
DISC TARGET This button selects the programmabletarget Discrimination mode. When already in that mode, if
you tap the button, it activates the Accept and Reject
buttons to allow targets to be programmed to be either
accepted or rejected. When you’re done programming
targets, tap the DISC/TARGET button again to drop back
into Discrimination mode ready to resume searching.
ACCEPT and REJECT are used for Target Programming
in the Discrimination mode.
BLANKER
BLANKER is used to enable the unit’s BLANKER
feature.
SNIFF is used to enable the SNIFF mode of operation.
SNIFF
13
Numeric Target I.D. Readout
This table shows the numbers typically associated with certain
commonly encountered nonferrous metal targets. Older silver US
coins usually read about the same as their modern clad equivalents.
Modern quarter-sized dollar coins like the Susan B. Anthony and the
Sacajawea read about the same as a quarter. Most Canadian coins
which are somewhat similar in appearance to U.S. coinage are minted
from a magnetic alloy which gives very inconsistent readings and may
register as iron. Most one-ounce silver bullion rounds will read in the
same range as the modern U.S. $1 Eagle bullion coin.
foil from gum wrapper
U.S. nickel 5¢ coin
aluminum pulltab
aluminum screwcap
zinc penny (post-1982)
aluminum soda pop can
copper penny, clad dime
quarter 25¢ coin, clad
50¢ coin, modern clad
old silver dollar coin
US silver Eagle $1 coin
1
20
29
55
68
70
90
110
124
130
130
-
12
33
50
75
78
105
100
122
132
140
165
Probable Target ID fields
The Probable Target ID fields above the top of the LCD screen
represent the signal ranges produced by various coin and metal object
types. When a metal target is detected, the microprocessor analyzes
the signal and categorizes it based on what kinds of metal objects
usually produce that kind of signal. The microprocessor then lights
up an arrow along the top of the LCD screen which points to the
probable target ID field which corresponds to that signal category.
For instance, if the detected signal fits within the parameters
usually exhibited by zinc pennies and the electrically similar
aluminum screwcaps, the microprocessor may categorize the signal
as "zinc penny - aluminum screwcap". The LCD screen will then
point an arrow to the (Z-1¢ S-CAP) field above the LCD screen.
Above the specific target ID fields, there are two general fields, Gold
Range on the left and Silver Range on the right. Most silver jewelry
is larger and of higher conductivity alloy than most gold jewelry, so
silver jewelry will tend to fall to the right and gold to the left.
Since different metal objects can produce similar signals, and since
minerals in the soil can distort the signals, the probable target ID's
are just that-- probable. There is no way of knowing for sure what's
down there other than to dig the target up and see. Experienced
metal detector users have a rule of thumb-- "when in doubt, dig".
14
PROBABLE TARGET ID Fields
Probable Target
ID
Description
GOLD RANGE
SILVER RANGE
Located on the top portion of the control panel. The GOLD
RANGE is located on the left and the SILVER RANGE is on
the right. Other metal types can appear in this range: for
example, iron, foil and nickel appear under GOLD RANGE
and copper pennies appear under SILVER RANGE.
IRON / FOIL
Indicates that the target is probably iron or foil. Time Ranger™
has four levels of progressive iron discrimination—from small
to large. Some rusted oxidized iron may occasionally register in
the SILVER RANGE.
5¢
Indicates that the target is possibly a nickel. Many gold rings
register as 5¢. A percentage of foil and many newer pull-tabs
are still detected as nickels.
PULL TAB
Indicates that the object is probably a pull-tab. Some small
gold may also register as a pull tab.
Z-1¢
S-CAP
Indicates that the target is probably a zinc penny (post 1982) or
a screw cap. This target ID is usually accompanied by a
medium tone. Other targets, such as large gold, may also
register in this field.
DEEP TARGET
Indicates that the target is out of identification range.
1¢
10¢
These four fields indicate a coin type or an object or metal
within similar detection range. Many other objects are
identified in this range: for example, copper, brass and
oxidized metals such as cans, jewelry, tokens, medals, or
even junk metal objects that fall in the same range.
Copper pennies (pre-1982) will usually register in the
1¢/10¢ range.
25¢
50¢
$1
Target Detection Dial
The Target Detection Dial is in the lower right-hand corner of the
LCD screen. When the machine detects a target, an arrow will
point to “+” if the target is accepted, and will point to “-” if the
target is rejected.
15
OPERATION OF THE METAL DETECTOR
Introduction: Selecting operating modes
The Time Ranger offers three basic types of operation:
1. Discrimination with visual target identification. This type of
operation requires the searchcoil to be in motion over the target
for the target to be detected. The Time Ranger offers an array of
discrimination modes: three preprogrammed modes accessed by
the PROGRAM SELECT button, a fully programmable mode
accessed by the DISC/TARGET button, and a target-activated
mode accessed by the SNIFF button.
2. All Metals "pinpoint". This mode is used primarily for locating
precisely where the object is so that it can be dug with minimum
effort. This mode does not provide target ID, and does not
require the searchcoil to remain in motion.
3. Self-Tuning mode. This is a high-sensitivity mode which detects
all metals, does not provide target ID, and does require the
searchcoil to remain in motion to detect a target.
When the machine is first turned on, it goes to Preset Program #1.
To access another mode, tap the corresponding button. If the other
mode you want is a different Preset Program, tap the PROGRAM SELECT
button until you've stepped to the one you want, as indicated on the
display screen.
If you are in a mode other than one of the Preset Programs, and tap
the PROGRAM SELECT button to get back to the Preset Program
selection, it will return to the Preset Program you were previously in.
16
DISCRIMINATION & TARGET ID MODES
Preset Program #1
(low discrimination)
When the machine is first turned on, it goes to Program #1. This is a
motion discrimination & target ID mode which rejects iron and foil,
as indicated by the R's under those categories on the display screen.
Preset Program #2
(medium discrimination)
If you're in Program #1 and tap the PROGRAM SELECT button, it'll
step you to Program #2. This program is like Program #1, but it also
rejects pulltabs. Nickels are still accepted.
Preset Program #3
(high discrimination)
If you're in Program #2 and tap the PROGRAM SELECT button, it'll
step you to Program #3. This is a motion discrimination & target ID
mode like Program #2, but it also rejects targets in the zinc penny/
screwcap category, as indicated by the R's under the corresponding
categories. Nickels are still accepted.
If you're in Program #3 and tap the PROGRAM SELECT button
again, it'll step you to Program #4, which is entirely different.
Discrimination/Target system
(fully programmable)
The Discrimination/Target system gives the user the ability to
accept or reject any target category, including 4 levels of iron. Its
discrimination (DISC) mode is accessed by tapping the
DISC/TARGET button. When the machine is first turned on, it
detects ("accepts") all target categories. This makes it handy to use
for ID'ing targets which have been detected in the Self-Tuning all
metals mode (preset Program #4).
When you're already in DISCrimination mode, if you tap the button
again, it switches to TARGET programming mode. In this mode, the
ACCEPT and REJECT buttons are activated, and the machine does
not detect targets because it's waiting for you to enter ACCEPT or
REJECT target category selections. If at any time you are finished
making ACCEPT or REJECT selections, just tap the button again,
and it'll drop back into normal DISC operation.
TARGET PROGRAMMING MODE: In this mode, the machine is
waiting for you to select which target categories you want to accept
(see and hear), or reject (ignore). The machine flashes a blinking
17
arrow in the category it's waiting for you to decide. If you want to
accept that category, press ACCEPT and the machine will step to the
next category. It will also erase an R if there had previously been
one. If you want to reject that category, press REJECT and the
machine will place an R under that category to remind you that that
category is now rejected, and the arrow will step to the next
category. When you have the target categories selected the way you
want, just tap the DISC/TARGET button, and it'll drop out of
TARGET programming mode back into DISCrimination mode.
The iron category is a special case. Iron is broken down into four
iron levels, which are indicated below the word TARGET on the
display screen. Ir1 is small or deep iron objects. Ir2 is small to
medium iron objects, or iron objects which are relatively deep. Ir3
is medium size or depth iron objects. Ir4 is large shallow iron
objects. For certain types of relic hunting you may want to select
some iron categories and reject others; however in general you will
probably want to reject all four categories.
To erase all R’s, hold the DISC/TARGET button down for 3 seconds.
▲ Blanker
("zap")
"Blanker" is not an operating mode, but a feature. It is different
from "blankers" found on some other metal detectors, and is similar
to the "zap" feature found on a few other models. The purpose of
the blanker is to automatically reject targets in the category of a
known metal object which was just detected. Here's how it's used.
If you're in programmable the discrimination mode, and you detect
an object in a category you don't wish to find, just tap the
BLANKER button. An R will be added under that category and
other objects in that same category will be rejected.
Note: Objects in classifications 1/10¢ and higher cannot be
blanked. To reject targets in those categories, you have to
use either SNIFF or the DISC/TARGET mode.
18
▲ To use the SNIFF Feature
The SNIFF feature allows you instantly reprogram the
DISC/TARGET mode to detect only targets of a type which the
detector has just “seen”. Here’s how to use it.
1. If you’re not already in DISC/TARGET mode, tap the
DISC/TARGET button.
2. Sweep the searchcoil over a target of the type you wish to detect,
excluding all other targets. Note the numerical target readout.
3. Tap the SNIFF button. the word SNIFF will appear on the screen. if
there were any R’s on the screen, they will disappear.
4. The machine will now reject (ignore) all targets, except those which
register within +/- 15 counts of the numerical value of the target which
was “sniffed”.
POWER
ON/OFF
PROGRAM
SELECT
SNIFF
ALL METAL
SMART
TRAC
DISC
TARGET
BLANKER
19
All Metal Modes
All Metal Pinpoint mode
When the ALL METAL-SMART TRAC
button is pushed, the detector switches to the All Metals Pinpoint
Mode. This mode detects all metals and unlike the other modes,
does not require to the searchcoil to remain in motion to detect a
target. However, because this mode tends to drift, you may
frequently have to tap the button again in order to retune (reset) the
signals to zero in order to restore sensitivity. For instructions on
how to pinpoint targets, see page 23.
SmartTrac™ (ground balancing)
Computer-assisted ground balancing increases the usable depth of
the All Metals Pinpoint Mode and the Self-Tuning all metals mode
(Program #4). It does this by cancelling interfering signals from iron
minerals in the ground. This is a feature for the advanced user.
PROCEDURE FOR GROUND BALANCING
1. With the searchcoil more than half a foot above the ground, press
and hold the ALL METAL/SMART TRACK button.
2. Immediately lower the searchcoil to within about half an inch of
the ground.
3. When you hear a wobbly tone (in about 2 seconds), release the
button.
▲ The meaning of the beeps.
1. WARNING BEEP After you’ve been holding the button down for 1
second, there’s a beep to remind you not to hold the button
down unless you are intending to ground balance. When the
computer attempts to ground balance, your existing ground
balance setting (if any) will be lost.
2. WOBBLY TONE After you’ve been holding the button down for 2
seconds, there's a wobbly tone which tells you the computer is
ready to ground balance. When you release the button, the
computer will attempt to ground balance.
20
3. HIGH “SUCCESS” BEEP A high tone after you ground balance
means that the attempt to ground balance was successful.
4. LOW “FAILED ATTEMPT” BEEP A low tone after you’ve attempted
to ground balance means that the attempt failed. The computer
will decide not to ground balance if there is a large piece of metal
under the searchcoil, if the ground is of a type which cannot be
balanced (for instance salt water), or if you lifted rather than
lowered the searchcoil. If the attempt to ground balance fails, the
computer sets the ground balance to zero.
▲ Ground balance setting display
When you ground balance, the ground balance setting is displayed
briefly on the LCD screen. It is also displayed every time you tap the
ALL METAL/SMART TRAC button.
With a little experience, you’ll know what number to expect where
you hunt. If there is metal where you ground balance, and the
attempt is successful, the number displayed will be higher than
normal. This is one way you can know that you need to try again in
a different spot.
For additional tips on ground balancing, see page 27.
Please note that the Smart Trac feature is for the advanced
user. Beginners should first master using the pinpoint mode
without ground balancing.
Preset Program #4 (Self-Tuning All Metal Mode) Under most
conditions, this is the most sensitive mode in the machine. Its
primary uses are for gold prospecting and for relic hunting in areas
where there's not a lot of unwanted metal trash. This mode requires
the searchcoil to be in motion in order to detect a target, and does
not provide target identification. This mode is for the advanced user,
and is often unusable unless ground balancing has been done first.
If you tap the PROGRAM SELECT button while in Program #4, it'll
recycle the program selection back to Program #1.
21
Search Technique
How to sweep the searchcoil
▲ Coil Movement
◆ When sweeping the coil, be careful to keep it level with the
ground about 1” from the surface—never swing the coil like a
pendulum The following diagrams illustrate incorrect and correct
coil movement.
◆ Make sure you keep your search coil consistently about 1” above
the ground as you sweep. Raising the coil during the sweep or at
the end of the sweep will cause false readings.
◆ Move slowly—hurried movement will only cause you to miss
targets.
Right
Wrong
Do not swing the coil like a pendulum.
Swing the coil level with the ground.
Swing the coil in a half-circle
and repeat this motion every
step you take to guarantee
complete coverage of the area.
Swing the search coil
gently side-to-side,
slightly overlapping each
seep as you move
forward.
22
▲ How to pinpoint targets
When you've discovered a target you wish to dig, do the following:
1. Hold the searchcoil about half an inch above the ground, off to
the side of where you think the target probably is.
2. Tap the ALL METALS/SmartTrac touchpad button. This will put
you into the All Metal Pinpoint mode. NOTE: unlike the other
modes, this mode does not require the searchcoil to be in motion
to detect a target.
3. Lift the searchcoil slightly, and pass it over the target. The sound
will be loudest over the center of the target.
To Narrow It Down Further:
4. Now that you know about where the target is, again lower the
searchcoil to about half an inch above the ground, near the
center of the target but not right over the top. Tap the button
again. The sound will instantly go away.
5. Lift the searchcoil slightly and move it horizontally over the
target. The audible response zone will be much narrower. If you
move the searchcoil around right and left and also forward and
back, making an "X" pattern over the target, you can determine
the location of the target usually within an inch or two.
NOTE: If at any time it seems like the signal may be drifting, just
tap the button again. This restores the signal to its zero level.
▲ Pinpointing a target in the Self-Tuning mode
Follow these steps for best results when attempting to pinpoint a
target, in the self-tuning all metal mode.
1. When you hear a tone response indicating a buried target,
continue sweeping the search coil over the target side-to-side
pattern.
2. Keeping your eyes on the ground, notice where the “beep” occurs
as you move the search coil slowly side-to-side.
3. Move the search coil straight forward
and straight back towards you a
couple of times.
4. Again, keeping your eyes on the
ground, notice where the “beep”
occurs.
5. If necessary, “X” the target at different
angles to zero in on the exact spot on
the ground where the “beep” occurs.
The following diagram illustrates the
proper “X-ing” technique.
Try drawing an X over the location
where the tone is being emitted.
23
TIP: If “X-ing” the target does not yield one point, try finding
the perimeter of the object by “circling” the object. Many
large objects will seem irregular in size and shape.
▲
Retrieving Targets - Some Tips
Targets which have been buried a while usually develop an oxide
and clay coating so they look almost like dirt. You can be looking
right at it and not know it.
If you're in a situation where you can dig a hole without damaging
turfgrass etc., there are two popular ways of quickly recovering the target.
1. Dig out enough dirt that you probably have the target, and
spread it out over the ground surface. Then locate the target in
the spread-out dirt.
2. Dig the dirt out handful by handful, passing each handful over
the searchcoil to see if it beeps. When it does, the target is right
there in your hand. (Note: Program #4 is the best mode for
this. If you haven't ground balanced it, it may "see the dirt", but
the handful with the metal in it will be louder.)
Once you've recovered the target, ALWAYS CHECK THE HOLE
AGAIN! There is often more than one object to be retrieved.
After you've made sure that you've recovered all targets from the hole,
ALWAYS REFILL THE HOLE. Empty holes look ugly and present a hazard.
24
▲ False signals and chatter; using the Sensitivity control
At times the machine may "beep" when there's nothing there, or at
least it seems like there's nothing there. There are three main
causes of this: electrical interference, nuisance buried metal objects,
and electrically conductive ground minerals. Usually, reducing the
sensitivity by tapping the Sensitivity Low (minus) button will help,
but sometimes other corrective measures will also be needed.
ELECTRICAL INTERFERENCE can be caused by powerlines,
appliances, fluorescent and vapor type lamps, light dimmers, other
nearby metal detectors, electric fences, radio transmitters and
electrical storms. If you get noise even while holding the loop
motionless in the air, the cause is electrical interference. By
walking around with the metal detector, you can often "follow the
signal" and track it back to the offending device, and simply turn
the offending device off. If it's from a powerline or a
communications transmitting antenna, reducing sensitivity is
usually a satisfactory solution to the problem. Switching to another
searchcoil, even of the same size, often helps, and switching to the
smaller 4 inch searchcoil usually helps.
NUISANCE BURIED OBJECTS In some areas there is a lot of
metallic trash which produces weak signals, including items buried
deeply, and little bits and pieces of rusty iron and corroded foil
which are shallow. These items can be detected, but they are often
difficult to find because of their depth or small size. It may seem
like the machine is beeping at nothing. The best solutions are to
reduce sensitivity, and to discriminate out iron and foil. Using the 4
inch coil can also help by reducing sensitivity to deep targets and by
giving a crisper "feel" on shallow targets.
Metal detectors are designed to "see" one metal object at a time. If
pieces of iron are laying next to each other, such as can happen on
sites where a building has burned or been torn down leaving lots of
nails in the soil, this can confuse the machine into thinking there
are nonferrous targets present. This can cause high tones to occur
even though there is only iron metal present. The way you can tell
the difference , is that a nonferrous target will usually beep
consistently and in the same location, whereas false high tones
caused by too much iron trash are inconstant and seem to wander
around-- what experienced detectorists call a "nonrepeatable signal".
The 4 inch coil provides better signal separation and so exhibits
fewer false signals and better identification of good targets when
searching under trashy conditions.
GROUND MINERALS In irrigated soils and in the wet areas of salt
water beaches, electrically conductive salts can cause the ground
signals to fall outside the range which can be ground balanced. This
usually causes false low tones. The problem can usually be solved
by reducing sensitivity and/or by discriminating out iron and foil.
25
In some areas, electrically conductive industrial minerals such as
coke, slag, and charcoal have been dumped or used as landfill.
Individual lumps of these materials can usually be quieted by
reducing sensitivity and discriminating out iron and foil; however
when the ground consists primarily of such materials, you may not
be able to search quietly. In that case, you can tell the difference
between nonferrous targets and "false signals" by their
repeatability: a nonferrous metal target will usually give a
consistent signal, whereas false signals from ground minerals are
inconsistent and seem to wander around randomly.
Rarely, natural graphite, graphitic slate, magnetite, or sulfide ore
minerals can cause false signals. These can be dealt with in the
same way as other ground minerals unless you're gold prospecting.
THE 4 INCH COIL In many cases, the 4 inch accessory coil will
reduce problems with electrical interference slightly, and "slightly" is
often all you need.
The 4 inch coil is almost always superior to the 8 inch in dealing with
problem ground minerals. It's the preferred coil for gold prospecting.
▲ Estimating target size, depth, and shape
The Time Ranger™ provides a readout of estimated depth when in
the discrimination ID modes. The estimate is based on the
presumption that it's a coin-sized target. But what if it's not a coin
sized target?
The most common example is that of an aluminum can. It will
usually I.D. as a zinc penny or a dime. And, its large size will give a
strong signal, tricking the microprocessor into thinking it's a
shallow coin. Here's how to tell the difference.
Tap the ALL METAL button to put the machine into All Metal
Pinpoint operation. With the searchcoil close to the ground sweep
back and forth to get a feel for the target response.
Now, continue to sweep back and forth as you slowly raise the
searchcoil higher and higher. If the response diminishes quickly and
never gets very broad, the target is probably a coin. If the response
diminishes slowly as you raise the searchcoil, and you get a broad
response, the target is probably an aluminum can. If you practice
this by laying a coin and an aluminum can on the ground, after
you've done it several times you'll know the difference, and you'll
probably never have to dig another aluminum can again. And, you'll
know whether it was deep or shallow. (This technique also works in
Self-Tuning All Metal operation, which is Preset Program #4.)
26
Objects which are ring-shaped, or flat and round like coins, tend to
give a narrower, crisper response than an object of similar size but
bulkier shape. The easiest way to demonstrate this is with an
aluminum screwcap from a soda pop bottle. In its normal shape, it
occupies a volume, and gives a somewhat broader response than
that of a coin. But if you flatten it, the response will be crisper and
coinlike. Again, these differences are most readily noticed in All
Metals operation.
Long skinny iron or steel objects such as nails usually give a double
response when scanned lengthwise, and a weaker single response
when scanned crossways. This is most noticeable in the Self-Tuning
All Metals mode (Preset Program #4). However, a coin on edge can
give a similar response, so rely on both target ID data as well as
"target feel" to distinguish between different kinds of objects.
▲ Tips on ground balancing
When the Time Ranger™ first turns on, the ground balance is
preset to give a positive response on all soils. This means that if
you are in either of the All Metal modes, the audio tone will get
louder as you lower the searchcoil to the ground.
Many soils are low enough in iron minerals that the All Metal Pinpoint
mode normally used for pinpointing does not need to be ground
balanced. If you don't ground balance, when you pinpoint, tap the
ALL METAL button with the searchcoil almost touching the ground,
and then raise the searchcoil slightly to sweep back and forth. This
way the machine will be silent except over the metal target.
The Self-Tuning All Metal mode (Preset Program #4) nearly always
requires ground balancing to be usable. The discrimination modes
are not affected by ground balance.
To properly ground balance, it is necessary to find a spot without
metal. Before you attempt to ground balance, sweep back and forth to
see if it seems like a metal target is present. If so, first locate what
seems to be a clear area and then ground balance. After you've
ground balanced, sweep back and forth to see if there is little if any
response to the soil. If so, you've successfully ground balanced. If not,
there may have been metal present where you attempted to ground
balance, so find another promising spot and try again. If you can't
find a spot to successfully ground balance, it's time to give up. Turn
the machine off, turn it on again so the ground balance preset will be
restored, and then use the machine without ground balancing.
27
In most areas, once you've ground balanced, the ground balance
setting will remain satisfactory for a long time. However, if the soil
has been disturbed by digging or bringing in fill dirt, or if it's in a
geologically complex setting such as is commonly encountered in
gold prospecting areas, you may have to frequently rebalance to
accommodate changing soil conditions.
When you ground balance, the numerical value of the ground
balance setting will momentarily appear on the LCD screen. In
general, sandy or gravelly soils will tend to read in the 45 - 90
range, light colored loams and clays will tend to read in the 75 - 120
range, and red clays will tend to read in the 100 to 200 range. To
express it in other terms, in general the more highly weathered and
oxidized the soil is, the higher the numeric reading will be.
If you know through experience what the ground balance should
read in a particular area, if you inadvertently ground balance over
metal you’ll know it immediately because the number will be higher
than it should be. If this happens try another spot.
The Ground Monitor dial indicates how much iron mineralization is
present. For it to work, you have to be sweeping the searchcoil over
the ground. The higher the mineralization, the more necessary it is
to be ground balanced in order to get the best depth in the All Metal
modes.
If you are doing relic hunting, you can use SMART TRAC to take
data on the soils, which you can then plot on a site map. In this
way you may be able to locate areas which have been dug,
backfilled, or subjected to fire. This information in turn helps to
reveal the history of the site.
If you are mapping the soils of a site using SMART TRAC, the
Ground Monitor readings can provide additional information. To
use the Ground Monitor for geophysical mapping, "pump" the
searchcoil up and down a few inches over the spot you wish to take
a reading, until the dial stabilizes, which will usually happen in a
couple seconds. This technique gives more repeatable readings than
sweeping horizontally.
28
Types of metal detecting: descriptions and tips
▲ "Coinshooting"
"Coinshooting" is searching for coins, usually in places like parks,
schoolyards, church lawns, and people's residential yards. In most
places where coins are likely to be found, there's a lot of aluminum
trash like pulltabs and bottle caps, as well as steel bottle caps and
often nails. Sometimes there's jewelry. You'll usually search using
discrimination to get rid of the iron and the aluminum trash, even
though that'll cause you to miss some jewelry.
Much coinshooting is done in lawn areas, where digging holes would
cause damage to the grass. Recovering targets is usually done by
carefully cutting a slit in the turf with a knife, and tamping it firmly
when you're finished. In these situations you can't recover deep
targets, so you can cut down on nuisance signals by reducing the
sensitivity.
When searching on private property, first get the permission of the
property owner. Most of the public places where one would be likely
to do coinshooting are city, county, or school district property.
Usually there's no ordinance prohibiting use of a metal detector as
long as you're not causing damage. However, sometimes such
ordinances do exist, and administrators and security personnel
often have the legal authority to prohibit any activity they don't like
even if there's no ordinance against it. If there is a metal detecting
club in your area, someone will usually know what areas can and
can't be "beeped".
It's always a good idea to be ready to put your best foot forward
when using a metal detector in a public place. Any trash you see or
inadvertently recover, pick it up and put it in a pouch or pocketed
apron. This way you can explain that you are performing a public
service by helping keep the place free of trash, especially pieces of
metal or glass that could endanger a child at play. Be proficient at
recovering targets without causing damage to the lawn. Explain
that whenever you find jewelry which has personal identifying marks
such as a class ring, you make an attempt to determine the owner
and to return it. When someone who questions what you're doing
finds out that you are causing no damage and are actually
performing a public service, usually from then on out you'll be
welcome.
29
▲ Relic hunting
"Relic hunting" is searching for historical artifacts. The most
common desired objects are battlefield relics such as bullets and
weapons, coins, jewelry, harness hardware, metal buttons, trade
tokens, metal toys, household items, and tools used by workmen
and tradespeople. The most common unwanted metal is iron (nails,
fence wire, rusted cans, etc.), but some iron and steel objects may
also be valuable. If you're on a site where you may encounter
unexploded ordinance, use caution.
Most relic hunting locations are in fields, forested areas and vacant
lots where digging holes won't damage turfgrass, so having a
detector with good depth sensitivity is important. Some places are
so littered with iron that it's necessary to discriminate out iron in
order to be able to search, even though you will miss some
potentially valuable artifacts that way.
Before you go relic hunting, obtain permission from the property
owner. If you intend to hunt on public land, check first with the
administrator to make sure it's not illegal. Certain kinds of sites on
both public and private land are protected by law from relic hunting.
If there is a metal detecting club in your area, some of the members
will probably know what the laws are in that area and which sites
are and aren't off limits.
Relic hunting is most rewarding if you have an avid interest in
history. In many cases, the value of a relic is not the object itself,
but the story it's a part of-- what historians call "context" and
archeologists call "provenance". A few pieces of rusty metal that tell
a story of life in a specific place or even of a specific family or person
hundreds of years ago, can capture our imagination and help to give
context to our own lives now. But if those pieces of metal are mixed
in with other similar stuff and their context lost, they become trash.
So take the trouble to understand the site you're searching and
keep track of where you found things.
The SMART TRAC and Ground Monitor features of the Time
Ranger™ can be used to map the soils on a site. (See page 20 and
27 for details). In this way you may be able to determine which
areas have been dug, backfilled, or subjected to fire. This
information in turn helps to reveal the history of the site.
30
To find promising sites to hunt, do some research in your local
library, look for clues in old newspapers, and see what information
you may be able to find on the Internet. Where did buildings used
to be, which have since been torn down? Where did people gather
for public events like dances and county fairs? Where did train and
stage lines run? Where were the swimming holes? In almost every
town there is a historical society and museum of local history. Most
museums are grateful for anything they can put on display, and
when you dig something you can't identify, the curator can often
identify it for you. If you work closely with the historical society
and the museum, landowners will be more willing to give permission
for you to search on their property.
Some of the most promising sites for relic hunting are places which
are being cleared for development. After the site is built on,
whatever is there in the ground will be inaccessible. The property
owner can often be persuaded that the site should be searched
immediately while it is still searchable.
▲ Gold prospecting
Gold is found in many places throughout the Western States,
Alaska, and in a few localities in the Appalachians. The old saying
"Gold is where you find it", means that to find gold, you should look
in areas where the yellow metal is known to be present.
The best areas for gold prospecting using a metal detector are usually
hillsides, because hillsides can't be "cleaned out" by panning and
dredging the way streams can. Also, gold on hillsides not far from its
source vein tends to be larger (and hence more readily detected) than
alluvial (placer) gold which tends to get pounded to pieces and worn
away as it rolls along the streambed with the gravel during floods.
Gold is valuable because there's not much of it. Even in a good gold
producing area, you'll often spend an entire day without finding any
gold. Meanwhile you'll be digging bits and pieces of other metal-birdshot, shells and bullets from hunting and target practice, bits
of rusted barbed wire, chips off shovels and other mining tools,
rusted tin cans, etc. "Hot rocks"-- rocks containing concentrations
of iron oxides that sound like metal when you pass over them-- are
also a nuisance in many gold areas. Discrimination is usually
ineffective because the loss of sensitivity resulting from
discrimination is enough to cause those little nuggets to vanish. If
you've gone many hours without finding gold and are wondering if
maybe there's something wrong with your metal detector or the way
you're using it, the most important clue is this: if you're digging
tiny pieces of trash metal, if you'd swung your searchcoil over a
gold nugget, you'd have dug that too.
31
Because most gold nuggets are tiny, and are usually found in soil
which is high in iron oxide minerals, serious gold prospecting
requires a detector with high sensitivity and true ground balanced
motion all metal operation. The 4" accessory searchcoil is preferred
for gold prospecting because it detects tinier stuff and handles the
ground minerals better. Run the machine with the sensitivity high
enough to hear some noise from ground minerals, and "learn the
language" of the sounds you hear. Headphones are recommended
unless consideration for safety (for instance rattlesnakes) rules them
out. Move the searchcoil slowly and deliberately, carefully
controlling its height above the ground to minimize noise from the
iron minerals in the soil. Rebalance the ground (activate Smart Trac)
whenever you suspect the ground balance may be a bit off.
The Ground Monitor dial indicates the amount of iron mineralization
in the soil. In most gold areas, especially alluvial (placer) deposits,
the gold tends to be associated with iron minerals, especially
magnetite "black sand". If you know this to be the case in the area
you're working, you can maximize your gold recovery by
concentrating your effort on areas where the dial indicates higher
amounts of iron mineralization.
Gold prospectors are mostly a friendly bunch, and willing to spend
some time showing a beginner how to increase your odds of finding
the yellow stuff. Many will invite you to search on their claims (if
they have any) once they get to know you. In some gold areas, a lot
of the terrain is under claim, so you need to learn how to recognized
posted claims and stay off of them unless you have the claim
owner's permission to be there. Prospecting clubs such as the
GPAA often own claims which are open to their members, and
sponsor group outings to good gold areas.
To dig into the ground and pull out a precious piece of yellow metal
that you are the first person on earth to see, can be a thrilling
experience. If you love being outdoors, have patience, and can stay
motivated by the prospect of finding that next nugget, then "beeping
for gold" may be the hobby for you. Not many people get rich by
gold prospecting, so the most important thing is to think of it as
outdoor recreation that may pay some of the expenses, and to have
fun doing it.
32
▲ Cache Hunting
A "cache" (pronounced "cash") is an accumulation of money, jewelry,
gold, or other valuables, which someone has hidden. When people
bury a cache, they usually put it in a strongbox or in a jar.
To search for a cache, first you need a reason to believe the cache
may exist. This means doing research. Some caches have been the
subject of many stories you can read about in print, but you need to
be able to sort fact from fiction. If you can get copies of old
newspaper stories about the circumstances surrounding the hiding
of the cache, you may find discrepancies which help you to judge
the reliability of the information available. Often the best
information on an old cache is to be learned from old timers who
live in the area where the cache is thought to be. In the case of
newer caches, often the only information is what can be obtained
from family and acquaintances of the person who is believed to have
hidden the cache.
The ownership of a cache is not always clear. Sometimes it belongs
to the person or heirs of the person who hid it, sometimes it belongs
to the owner of the property on which it is located, and sometimes it
belongs to the person who finds it -- or some combination of the
above. If the contents of the cache was stolen to begin with, that
fact can also complicate the question of ownership. Find out what
laws apply to the cache in question, and always make sure that the
issue of ownership is resolved prior to recovering a cache.
Compared to a coin, a cache is usually large and deep. An oversize
accessory searchcoil will help. You'll probably need to search in a
ground balanced All Metal mode. Usually the Self-Tuning All Metal
mode (Program #4) is best. However, for a really deep cache, it may
be advantageous to search in the regular All Metal Pinpoint mode,
frequently tapping the ALL METAL button to cancel drift.
33
Shallow water hunting
All First Texas Products searchcoils are waterproof, allowing you to
search in shallow water up to a foot or so deep. However, if you're
searching around water, be careful not to get the electronics
housing wet. Avoid salt spray, as it will work its way into the
control housing and damage the electronics-- such damage is not
covered under warranty.
Both fresh and salt water beaches are popular places for metal
detecting. Vacationers lose money and jewelry playing in the sand
and in the water. It's usually easy to dig in a beach environment,
and metal detecting is permitted on most beaches. Once in a while
you may be able to recover for someone a piece of jewelry they've
lost minutes before, which is a gratifying experience.
When searching on a beach, it's best to either search in Self-Tuning
All Metal mode, or to use a minimum amount of discrimination,
because the value of beach finds is largely in the jewelry rather than
in the coins. You'll dig a lot of aluminum trash, but the digging's
easy so it's no big deal, and you can tell people that you're helping
to clean up the beach and make it safer for people's feet. You may
want to use a special "sand scoop" for recovering valuables from the
sand quickly-- most metal detector dealers sell these.
The electrical conductivity of the water itself can pose some
challenges. You may get false signals when going into and coming
out of the water, making it necessary to pay careful attention to
keep the coil either in or out of the water but not to touch the
surface. This effect may be observed in either fresh or salt water.
In addition, salt water is highly conductive, and produces a strong
signal which is like that of metal. When searching in salt water it
will usually be necessary to reduce the sensitivity to minimum, and
also to discriminate out iron and foil, in order to quiet the machine
down enough to make it usable.
34
Troubleshooting
Common Problems
The following table lists common problems that you may encounter
when using your metal detector.
Problem
Probable Cause(s)
Solution(s)
Detector is emitting
false signals in the
field.
• SENSITIVITY may be set
too high.
• Improper coil
movement.
• Highly oxidized metal.
• Reduce SENSITIVITY per
instructions in this manual
for your mode of operation.
• Swing the coil more slowly.
• Abandon the target—if the
signal does not repeat as
you sweep the same area,
the target is usually highly
oxidized (rusted) metal and
not worthwhile.
• LCD readout is not
“locking in” or
identifying while
passing over a
target.
• Detector emits more
than one tone over
the same target.
• More than one object
over the area you are
sweeping.
• Odd, unrecognizable
metal.
• Highly oxidized metal.
• SENSITIVITY may be set
too high.
• Iron minerals in
soil.
• Use 4” coil accessory to
narrow detection field.
• Sweep over target at
different angles.
• Abandon the target—if the
signal does not repeat as
you sweep the same area,
the target is usually highly
oxidized (rusted) metal and
not worthwhile.
• Reduce SENSITIVITY per
instructions in this manual
for your mode of operation.
Detector not stable
and has a pulsing,
distorted tone instead
of a clear one.
• Operating very near
another detector.
• Operating near power
lines that can interfere
with detector’s
frequency.
• Move at least 20 feet from
the second detector.
• Move away from power
lines.
Detector is repeating
a loud tone or
constant, repeating
tones.
• Batteries are low.
• Coil or coil connection
is damaged.
• Replace batteries per
instructions in this manual.
• Replace coil.
• Check coil plug connection.
• Turn detector off, then
on again.
35
Learning more
Any hobby is a lot more rewarding if you take the trouble to learn
more about it. Here is a list of organizations, magazines, and
vendors to help you advance in the metal detecting hobby.
Organizations
Federation of Metal Detector & Archeological Clubs, Inc.
www.fmdac.com/sitemap.htm
The FMDAC is probably the largest organization of its type, with
affiliated clubs all over the nation. Their website offers many
resources, including information on legal issues relating to metal
detecting.
Gold Prospectors Association of America, Inc.
www.goldprospectors.org
The GPAA is probably the largest "gold prospectors club". They
publish their own magazine (see below), own a number of gold
properties which are available for gold prospecting by members,
sponsor exhibitions, etc.
Lost Dutchman's Mining Association
www.goldprospectors.org
An affiliate of the GPAA, which is concerned primarily with gold
properties for use by members.
Magazines
Lost Treasure www.losttreasure.com
A major treasure hunting magazine, with emphasis on metal
detecting.
Western & Eastern Treasures www.treasurenet.com
A major treasure hunting magazine, with emphasis on metal
detecting.
Gold Prospectors www.goldprospectors.org
The official publication of the GPAA, quite a bit on metal
detecting.
Vendors
Hays Electronics www.hayselectronics.com (928) 772-2624
Huge selection of treasure hunting and gold prospecting books
and maps.
36
Specifications
Battery requirements:
two 9-volt rectangular alkaline batteries
Power consumption:
20 milliamperes quiescent
Battery life:
typically 20 + hours
Operating frequency:
6.9 kHz
Weight (with batteries):
2.9 lbs
Headphone jack:
1/4 inch stereo
Temperature range:
0 - 40 degrees C (32 - 104 degrees F)
Humidity:
0 - 95% noncondensing
Searchcoils:
concentric coplanar with resonant transmitter, waterproof,
interchangeable
Ground balance resolution:
1 part in 256
37
Notes
38
Notes
39
Treasure Hunter’s Code of Ethics
1.
2.
3.
4.
Respect the rights, property, and privacy of others.
Do not enter private property without permission.
Do not damage property, buildings, or vegetation.
Make yourself aware of federal, state, and local laws which
may govern the use of metal detectors in certain areas.
5. Do not damage historical or archeological treasures.
6. If you find something the rightful owner of which can be
identified, make the effort to return it.
7. ALWAYS refill any holes you may have dug.
First Texas Products, L.P.
5 Year Limited Warranty
Bounty Hunter Metal Detectors are warranted against defects
in workmanship or materials under normal use for five years
from date of purchase to the original user. Liability in all
events is limited to the purchase price paid. Liability under
this Warranty is limited to replacing or repairing, at our option,
any Bounty Hunter Detector returned, shipping cost prepaid,
to First Texas Products, LP. Damage due to neglect, accidental
damage or misuse of this product is not covered by this
warranty.
Copyright© 2003 by First Texas Products, L.P.
All rights reserved, including the rights to reproduce this book or parts
thereof, in any form, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review.
Published by First Texas Products, L.P.
Bounty Hunter™ is a registered trademark of First Texas Products, L.P.
www.detecting.com
First Texas Product, L.P.
1100 Pendale Road
El Paso, TX 79907
1-800-413-4131
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