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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Disappearing signals

Yesterday I hit a beach for an hour that I had watched all week, from an apartment I was working in that over looked the beach.
I knew I had an opportunity to metal detect on Friday so I took along my Minelab Excalibur.
I figured that if I had seen at least twenty people a day in the water opposite a beach walk over, that added up to a lot of people in one week who could potentially lose jewelry.
An extra bonus was that I never saw anyone metal detecting on the beach or in the water, quite a rare thing for south Florida. 
My second signal after entering the water was a gold ring, unfortunately it was the only piece of gold I found on my lunch break but I am not complaining.


Heres the connection to the title of todays blog, the faint signal from the gold ring completely vanished after the second attempt at scooping it.
I know I heard it, it was there after the first attempt at scooping it , but it was completely gone after the second attempt to scoop it.
From experience I knew the target was probably gold and probably deep, so I took another couple of scoops of sand from the area and the target reappeared loud and clear.
I have been using the Minelab Excalibur for years, along with the Sovereign it is one of my all time favorite metal detectors for beach and water hunting. 
The round gold target was easy to pick out from the Excalibur audio,  and I was not about to give up on a promising sounding target.
There are several things that could cause a beach or water hunter to walk away from a good target, a target on edge, a small target falling through a scoop basket, multiple targets in the same area, or a ferrous object partially masking a non ferrous target.
These examples all plant the dreaded " I'll just walk away and carry on detecting" seed.
Previously good signals can disappear using a little discrimination, but I would rather stop, scoop and put a crusty bottle cap in my finds pouch than walk away from a gold ring.
Never walk away from a target you clearly heard but you cannot detect after disturbing the area with your digging tool, this also applies to land hunting too.
Another thing to take into consideration is the size of your search coil, especially if you have have taken a few scoops of sand out of a target area. 
If a target has sunk or been pushed deeper into the sand, your search coil size may prevent you from detecting the target if you are sweeping your search coil across the area. 
Try moving your search coil inside the depression and around the slope, instead of across the top of the area.
One final thing about disappearing signals, never assume you are trying to detect a single target. 
You may have ferrous and non ferrous targets in the area, causing a smaller but more valuable target to suddenly disappear.
Remove any large ferrous (iron) objects away from an area you believe you heard a good signal.
You may also think you have an elusive target in your hand after a troublesome recovery, but always recheck the hole just in case that coin or fishing weight was masking a piece of gold jewelry. 

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