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#1 Cvans ONLINE  

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Posted July 13, 2012 - 10:08 AM

I've never owned a metal detector before. I have used one but it was pretty crude. I'm thinking about purchasing one now and wonder if any of you might have some thoughts on the subject that might save me some regrets. Two that I'm looking at are the Tesoro Vaquero and the Whites Classic IDX. I know the IDX is an older unit but they still seem to be very popular and desirable.
Thanks for your thoughts.

#2 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted July 13, 2012 - 10:40 AM

It is a very enjoyable hobby, Though I have not had mine out for about 2 yrs, due to losing my old place to a flood and moving to the acreage where there is always something needing done. Detectors are a lot like Trctors& Gt's in that the best one is the one with dealer support. First off I'll admit a defineate bias towards the Tesero and the Vaquero is a great machine. I bought my first machine a Tesoro Eldorado before the Vaquero and Cibolo(both excellent machines built on the same platform as y Eldorado) were made.My second is a Cortez at the time I bought it it was the top of the line display machine. The Third machine I use is a Garrett Ace 300. The Ace 300 is towards bottom of the line and is what I call a Trunk Detector. By That I mean I did not pay much for it and always carried it in the trunk of my car for those times I only had 15-20 minutes to work a playground. If someone were to steal it I would not have had a catestrophic loss as I would if they got my good machines. It is a great machine for that application.
They all are good machines and each works better in some applications than others.
Now after admitting that I'm a Tesoro Guy, there is nothing wrong with the Whites machines either. It's more about what you like and get used to. Like any tool there is a learning curve and a good operator will do very well with the machine he is most familiar with. Whatever you end up with, get a good set of earphones, after you have ran the machine for a while the variations in tone will give you a lot of indication to what your about to dig. I should say most of the time it will? I once thought I had a silver dollar by the tone on my Eldorado Dug down 2 ft to get a complete Coke can. That's what makes the hobby so interesting, you never know what you will find.
If you have more questions I will tryy to help.
What are your plans, Coin shooting, Relics, or another application. Being in South Dakota you could even be going for Gold.
I also have done a little panning for gold, The Eldorado is a good machine for nugget hunting(but I've yet to take it to SD or Colorado), But the gold is scarce in Iowa and is fine flour gold that requires panning to find.
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#3 NUTNDUN OFFLINE  

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Posted July 13, 2012 - 11:35 AM

I would like to eventually get a metal detector and have a go at it finding civil war artifacts. I have a co-worker who does metal detecting almost every weekend. Him and his wife both go. They are always bring new stuff in that they found. Anything from bullets to belt buckles and some other stuff too. One of these days I would like to go out with them and learn a little. I know they use a smaller detector for once they start digging to pinpoint the item.

#4 Cvans ONLINE  

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Posted July 13, 2012 - 11:55 AM

I'm located on the opposite end of the state from from the gold sites. Would be basically looking at parks and old farm sites. Another place that picks my interest is boat ramps. People are always pulling their keys out of their pockets along with other things at boat ramps and the ramps around here have mostly dirt and grass parking areas. This came to me one day when I was loading my own boat.
George if I lived anywhere near where the civil war took place I would surely own a detector. That sounds like a lot of fun. As I get older I'm realizing that the ground is getting farther away and harder to get to so if I'm going to do this I better get started.
JD thanks for the information. One thing I like about the Tesoro is their life time warranty. Seems like a good feature in itself.

#5 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted July 13, 2012 - 12:59 PM

George, living in Penn makes it a great place to relic hunt and Not just Cival War but possibly Revolutionary war and War of 1812.
Penn was populated for about 100 yrs before Iowa was opened for settlement. And yes like any hobby there are a lot of accessories one can acumulate. I Have 6 coils besides the ones that came on my machines for various purposes.
I do have a pinpointer and it saves a lot of digging. This time of year when it is dry you can kill a lot of grass cutting plugs. I have found often with a dull screw driver(so as not to scratch a valuable coin) and probe and the pinpointer I can often lift a find to the surface without cutting a plug at all.
& Chris There are a lot of different ways to go with the hobby and South Dakota has a lot of interesting sites to hunt.
And the lifetime warranty was a point that sent me in the direction of the Tesorro.
Also The Exercise is good for you and you do it a a relaxing pace.

Chris; The boat ramps are a good site to detect. In the gravel parking lots digging tools can get very specialized. A Chisel or hardened punch might be wise to carry. One Year I got stupid and decided that I would detect in every month of the year and Iowa Weather is much like SD. So in th winter I was using a Mason's hammer and chisel to dig coins out of th frozen ground. Most of it was Clad so I did not damage collectible coins. I'll never tell you you will get rich detecting. But I've never had a day where I could not pick up enough change to buy a barger fries and a coke. And sometimes it is very surprizing what you find.
How a North Carolina Tar Heels Badge got into an out of the way park in Colfax,Iowa I'll never know(But I have it). Or the Dallas Cowboys Ring in a park in Mitchellville.

Wherever people go they lose things!! And a favorite place for me is the roadside parks along the secodary highways that were used in the 50's & 60's before everyone took to the interstates.

Edited by JD DANNELS, July 13, 2012 - 03:29 PM.


#6 Cvans ONLINE  

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Posted July 13, 2012 - 04:11 PM

That was very interesting post. Thanks a bunch. I hope this turns out to be interesting and something enjoyable for a long time.
I'm not in it for the money, just looking for an interesting past time. Who knows, the wife might even get the bug. Most of my life has dealt with machinery of one sort or another and this would be a good distraction from that. :smile1:

#7 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted July 13, 2012 - 08:41 PM

Oh it is most definealty interesting and educational too!! If you really get bitten by the bug, You will find yourself talking about the "Good Old Days" with the old timers down at the coffeeshop, to learn about where the old fairs, and picnic and gathering places were, Horse races formal and informal etc. Chichaqua's were tent meeting that set up all over the country and small traveling circus's and carnivals hit most counties in the country.
I usually call them old Geezers, but now I;m rapidly aproaching that era? :laughingteeth:
You will be in the library looking for old publications, or digging for dated maps. You will soon become something of an expert on hisory in several counties surrounding the one you live in. When you dig," whats its" you will research to learn what it is?
Pretty soon like me you will have 6-10 3 ring binders fill ed with research And a lot of that research can be done in the winter when it;s too miserable to be outside much.. And Ironically I have a few people convinced I know something? :confuse:
Like I said it is a multi-faceted hobby. And it is not unusual for women to take up the hobby and often have more paitence and are willing to work slower miss less targets and bring home more goodied than us guys.

Research is something like reading the dictionary. You look up one word and they use another to define it your not sure you know the meaning of. Pretty soon you realize you just spent 3 hours reading a dictionary and learning was not at all unpleasant?

Edited by JD DANNELS, July 13, 2012 - 08:48 PM.

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#8 Cvans ONLINE  

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Posted July 14, 2012 - 10:06 PM

A short update. I purchased the White's IDX. I did a lot of research on this detector and it seems to still be a desirable detector that can be upgraded later if need be. I will feel better about it after I get a few hour use on it. The lady said that Her late parents bought it new and only used it 1 or 2 times. Thankfully they removed the batteries before storing it. The bottom of the coil looks like brand new with now scratches. It should be here before the weekend. Now the wait.

#9 daytime dave OFFLINE  

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Posted July 14, 2012 - 10:49 PM

Chris, I hope it works well for you. I have used a metal detector a few times, and found nothing. I hope you get out more with your new one.

I agree that George should get one and find all those battlefield treasures.
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#10 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted July 15, 2012 - 07:45 PM

Chris: You made a good choice and should be well on your way to an interseting and rewarding hobby.
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#11 HydroHarold OFFLINE  

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Posted August 01, 2012 - 11:00 PM

I have some experience w/MD's and would like to suggest to anyone getting one for the first time... Or, getting a newer/different model, plant a "Test Garden".

The idea is to bury at varying depths the most common trash items that you would encounter such as steel bottle caps, screw tops, the ever present "pop tops" (of as many different kinds as you find), FOIL, etc. For relic hunting especially, bury aluminum cans and when you find them save a couple old steel beer cans. This stuff is generally found in areas where the good stuff is and can sound/meter like a positive target. Make a map of what's where, this is as important as what you have for targets.

Allow your test "plants" enough room so they don't interact with each other as you scan them. Also plant some common modern coins and a few silver ones for comparison, also at different depths. Your new coin targets will only represent a general target as long buried coins will form a "halo" of mineralization in the ground and be detectable deeper. While you're at it, bury some steel washers (round, hole, detectors are tuned for "round" stuff and gold rings have "holes" and a couple key ring type metal.

Take the machine out there when you want to sharpen up or try new settings and keep a "LOG"! Logs are one of the most important tools to learn how your metal detector will work and where it will work.

Last suggestion, learn how to "PINPOINT" with the machine. If you use a "pinpointer" and it craps out on a trip you'll have to rely on the machine to do it. It's really not that hard and most manuals will tell you how your machine pinpoints the best (then develop your own technique based on that).

Can you dig it?:D
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#12 Cvans ONLINE  

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Posted August 02, 2012 - 09:38 AM

The detector has worked great so far. The pinpoint feature was love at first use. It is easy to use and has been spot on every time.
To give an idea as to it's accuracy, I was detecting next to a boat ramp when I got a good but unusual signal. I pinpointed it and started digging passing each handful over the coil as I removed it. Nothing comes up so I scan again and it says I'm right on so I keep digging. I'm way down there now and nothing comes up. I keep scanning and get the same signal so finally I feel around the edge of the hole and there is something there so I give a pull and up comes a large metal ring. Must have been at least 6" in diameter and made from 1/2" rod. I had pinpointed it dead center and gone right through it without touching it.
I also found something I had never seen before. It is a 1907 copper nickle. They were probably common at one time but they were new to me.
This is kind of fun.

#13 Ralphst16 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 03, 2012 - 07:39 PM

I have a garret ace 350. It's a fun hobby, but it can get pretty discouraging if you haven't found anything for a while. It's all about patients, but when you find silver or gold, it's a great feeling.
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#14 MFDAC OFFLINE  

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Posted September 12, 2012 - 10:31 PM

The detector has worked great so far. The pinpoint feature was love at first use. It is easy to use and has been spot on every time.
To give an idea as to it's accuracy, I was detecting next to a boat ramp when I got a good but unusual signal. I pinpointed it and started digging passing each handful over the coil as I removed it. Nothing comes up so I scan again and it says I'm right on so I keep digging. I'm way down there now and nothing comes up. I keep scanning and get the same signal so finally I feel around the edge of the hole and there is something there so I give a pull and up comes a large metal ring. Must have been at least 6" in diameter and made from 1/2" rod. I had pinpointed it dead center and gone right through it without touching it.
I also found something I had never seen before. It is a 1907 copper nickle. They were probably common at one time but they were new to me.
This is kind of fun.


Hi Chris, this is cool! I have absolutely no real knowledge of these but I do know Whites has been building detectors for the public for at least 41 or 42 years, probably much longer. Around 1970 or '71 Mom bought a White's detector. We were into exploring the old mining towns in the Black Hills, and digging for bottles and whatever else we could find. Unfortunately we lost everything except a truck and a few things we could grab in a flood here in Rapid City 40 years ago this summer, also losing the detector and all the stuff found with it. I grabbed one item when we were evacuated from our house, an old 5 shot pistol that Mom had found the frame with the Whites detector. It was a huge luck of the draw that my Uncle was with us digging around for relics and found the cylinder about 10 feet from where Mom found the frame of the gun. We always said Uncle Art's nose was better than any metal detector!-LOL Anyway here is a pic of that old pistol. I'm sure you will have a great time with that detector!

Later---DAC

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#15 Cvans ONLINE  

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Posted September 13, 2012 - 10:55 AM

Interesting story. Thanks for posting it. My Brother in-law was in Rapid City the night of that flood. He was with the National Guard and he and several of his friends had planned to spend the night by the river. I don't remember the reason but they stay somewhere else instead and it saved their lives. That was a bad flood you went through.
Your pistol find is really neat. And the fact that you were able to find the cylinder for it is incredible. One has to wonder why someone would leave a gun behind in the first place.
I had to lay off the metal detecting for a while as it was so hot and humid that being outside was not an option for me. Now that I'm getting caught up on things I'm looking forward to getting out and detecting again. I would love to try it out in the hills as I would bet there are a lot of neat places to do it.
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