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Saturday, August 25, 2018

Ghost signals

I often hear people new to metal detecting refer to “Ghost signals” when experiencing false metal detector signals.
An unexplainable beep that suddenly disappears when they try to detect the source of the signal again.
Some so called ghost signals can be put down to the ground being searched. 
For example, searching over seaweed on the beach with pods full of salt water or transitioning from the wet to dry sand. 
These type of false signals are easily recognizable, but most false signal issues are metal detector related and they are easy to eliminate. 
There are a couple of easy ways to deal with distracting false metal detector signals, secure loose flapping cable and lower your metal detector sensitivity. 
In my opinion a loose search coil cable is the number one reason for false signals. Every time a flapping loose search coil cable hits your metal detector shaft it is going to create a false signal. 
An easy remedy is to wrap your search coil cable around and down the shaft then secure your cable to the shaft using electrical tape or Velcro ties.
Avoid using plastic zip ties as they may cut into your search coil cable over time if you have them tied too tight. 
The number two cause of false signals is running too high a metal detector sensitivity setting, especially for beach and water hunters.
The best sensitivity setting for your metal detector is the point of smooth operation just below the setting that produces chatter.
The recommended sensitivity settings for a variety of different ground conditions is usually in your metal detector manual.
Many recommended settings in your metal detector manual are safe settings but they make good starting out points, try raising the setting first until you experience a little chatter then incrementally lower the sensitivity until your metal detector runs smoothly with little to no chirping or false signals.
The old dimmed car headlights seeing better through the fog analogy works well for metal detectors too.
Between a secured search coil cable and a smooth operating metal detector sensitivity setting, so called ghost signals will not be a factor. 

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