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FAQs

How to Use a Metal Detector and Tips for Metal Detecting

Minelab metal detectors comprise of the World’s Best Metal Detection Technologies as well as a comprehensive list of features, making them market leaders in metal detecting equipment. The experienced detectorists at Minelab have put together a comprehensive list of FAQs on how to use a metal detector which also contain pro tips for metal detecting - which you can find below.

In order to help you start your successful detecting career as soon as possible, arm yourself with as much research and information as you can. It’s also a good idea to read the FAQs above and the Knowledge Base articles that we have posted on our Customer Service page. Inside them, you’ll find all you need to know about how to use a metal detector. Of course, if, after searching through this information you still have a question, there is also a customer support team for Minelab owners worldwide.

 

Which Minelab detector should I buy?

First you need to know what type of detecting you will be doing; coin, treasure and relic hunting, gold prospecting or a combination of both. Coin, treasure and relic hunting and gold prospecting have different requirements because of ground conditions, target size, amount of trash in the ground, and the conductivity of targets.

Coin, treasure and relic hunting detectors
Coin, treasure and relic hunting grounds are often places like parks, farming land and beaches and therefore tend to be littered with buried trash such as bottle tops, ring pulls and nails. Metal detectors can see all of these targets, but digging up trash is time consuming and unrewarding. To solve this Minelab has a range of metal detectors with the ability to ‘discriminate’ whether a target is likely to be treasure or trash. The discrimination feature on Minelab detectors measure two target properties, ferrous properties and conductive properties.

Ferrous properties refer to how much iron is in a target and therefore how strongly it’s attracted to a magnet. Ferrous targets tend to be trash, so can be discriminated/masked out based on their ferrous properties alone by the detector. Conductive properties refer to how well a target conducts electrical current and therefore responds to a metal detector’s magnetic field. Trash like nails and foil have different conductive properties to valuable targets like coins and rings. In this case the metal detector can make a judgement as to whether the target is trash based on conductivity.

Minelab’s superior discriminating coin treasure and relic detectors are:

Gold prospecting detectors
Gold fields typically occur in areas where there are high levels of ground mineralisation. Ground mineralisation refers to how magnetic the ground is. This doesn’t mean that mineralised ground produces a magnetic field, but it does mean that particles or grains in the soil will be attracted to a magnet. Metal detectors see mineralised ground as one huge target, which makes detecting buried targets in mineralised ground difficult. To solve this Minelab has a range of gold prospecting metal detectors that have superior ground balancing technology to counter act ground mineralisation.

Minelab’s superior ground balancing gold detectors:

Dual purpose detector 
Dual purpose detectors have both ground balancing abilities (compensation for ground mineralisation) and discrimination abilities (treasure from trash).

Minelab’s superior dual purpose detectors:

In summary, gold prospecting detectors can see through mineralised ground and coin, treasure and relic hunting detectors can discriminate treasure from trash.

Some scenarios to consider when choosing a detector:

“I travel a lot and like to search out old ruins, ghost town and historic sites, and would like to detect in these areas, as well as parks and beaches along the way. I’d also like to be able to detect in water at the beaches that I detect at. So, I want a powerful, robust, waterproof detector, with the best available discrimination, to maximize my chances.”

Detecting solution: CTX 3030

“I’m a keen coin, treasure and relic hunter. I regularly go on dedicated trips to parks, open fields and beaches. I’m looking for a very good detector for depth and discrimination”

Detecting solution: E-TRAC

“I enjoy regularly detecting for coins, treasure and relics and want an easy to use top performing detector that will work in all conditions”

Detecting solution: Safari

“I do a lot of travelling, so I’m looking for a low priced detector, which will be used at playgrounds, parks and picnic areas along our travels”

Detector solution: X-TERRA 305/505

“I want to search for coins, treasure, and relics both inland and at the beach. I need a detector that punches deep, and has excellent discrimination capabilities. A mate of mine regularly visits the goldfields, so I may occasionally try my luck for some nuggets”

Detector solution: X-TERRA 705 Gold Pack or X-TERRA 705 Dual Pack

“I want a detector that works well at the beach, and I’d probably detect near the waters edge at low tide looking for older coins and gold rings. There’s an old goldfield on the way to my parents house in the country, so I’d also like to have a detect there looking for nuggets and old miners relics”

Detector solution: Excalibur II or CTX 3030

“I want a detector that will work well at the beach, but needs to be simple to use. I don’t really need an LCD screen, and I may also look for relics and coins on old farm house sites and ovals”

Detector solution: Excalibur II

“I live a few hours away from some goldfields, which have produced nuggety gold over the years. I want the deepest, and most sensitive detector on the market, as I will be searching on the old diggings, as well as on the surrounding virgin ground”

Detector solution: GPX 5000

“The goldfields close to home historically gave up mainly fine gold and specimens, so I want a detector that is very sensitive. I may also look for relics, but can't afford a top of the range gold machine”

Detector solution: Eureka Gold, X-TERRA 705 Gold Pack or X-TERRA 705 Dual Pack

“Living right on the coast, I'm after a detector that I can use for wading and diving to search for lost jewellery and coins”

Detector solution: Excalibur II

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Can Minelab metal detectors tell what a target is likely to be before I dig it up?

Yes, Minelab metal detectors have the ability to ‘discriminate’ between different types of targets. The discrimination feature on Minelab detectors measure two target properties, ferrous properties and conductive properties.

Ferrous properties refer to how much iron is in a target and therefore how strongly it’s attracted to a magnet. Ferrous targets tend to be trash, so can be discriminated/masked out based on their ferrous properties alone by the detector. Conductive properties refer to how well a target conducts electrical current and therefore responds to a metal detector’s magnetic field. Trash like nails and foil have different conductive properties to valuable targets like coins and rings. In this case the metal detector can make a judgement as to whether the target is trash based on conductivity.

The process for configuring the discrimination settings and the method used to indicate treasure or trash varies across the Minelab range of detectors.

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What effect does different operating frequencies have?

As a rule of thumb, the lower the frequency used by the detector, the deeper it can penetrate the ground. At low frequencies however, sensitivity to small low conductive targets is reduced. The higher the frequency, the higher the sensitivity to small targets, but will not penetrate as deeply. In general, gold detectors operate at higher frequencies (to find small nuggets), while coin and treasure detectors work at lower frequencies for deeper penetration. The exception to this is MPS type metal detectors that are sensitive and deep seeking simultaneously.

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How do different coils affect the performance of a metal detector?

There are three main differences between coil types; size, shape and configuration.

Size
The size of a search coil can influence the detection depth or sensitivity of a metal detector. The larger the coil, the deeper it detects, but will have less sensitivity to small targets. Conversely the smaller the search coil’s diameter, the more sensitive it becomes but looses detection depth.

Smaller coils are lighter, easier to control and may be chosen for their ability to negotiate difficult terrain or undergrowth. They are also an advantage in areas of high trash.

Shape
The most common coil shapes are conventional solid round coils, elliptical shaped coils and the open web coils. The main reason for the change in shape is to conform to a physical requirement, i.e. an elliptical coil can be pushed around bushes or between rocks easier than a round coil and open web coils move through water easier and are lighter. Conventional round coils are often more stable and perform better and are particularly popular for gold prospecting.

Configuration
The three most common types of coil windings are Concentric, Double-D, and Monoloop. The difference between these coil types is the pattern the wire is wound within the search coil.

Concentric coil
A Concentric coil has an inner circle and an outer circle wire winding. Its search pattern is cone shaped and can be useful for accurately pinpointing a target. Concentric coils tend to be noisier in highly mineralised ground and require more over lap of sweep for thorough ground coverage.

Double-D coil
Double-D coils are the preferred coils for most detecting. They give a blade or chisel shaped signal that covers the ground more uniformly and once an operator becomes accustomed to the signal, pinpointing can be very accurate. Double-D coils are also preferred for their superior ground balancing ability.

Monoloop coil
Monoloop coils have one winding of wire around the circumference of the coil, which is used to both transmit and receive. The signal pattern of the Monoloop coil is cone shaped, requiring more overlapping. In extremely heavily mineralised grounds they can be more difficult to ground balance, however they tend to provide slightly better depth than the Double-D coils.

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What are Minelab's Warranty Terms & Conditions?

Warranty Terms and Conditions [Extract]

2.1 Electronic control boxes (with the exception of the Excalibur*), Minelab branded search coils, handles, shafts, headphones, bags and battery chargers are under warranty for a period of 3 years (36 months) from the date of retail purchase as set out in the warranty registration card ("date of purchase"); [* The Excalibur is warranted for a period of 1 year (12 months) from the date of purchase.]

2.2 Batteries and all accessory items not listed in paragraph 2.1 are under warranty for a period of 6 months from the date of purchase.

Read the complete Limited Product Warranty Conditions.

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How often should I clean out my skidplate?

Dirt, dust and moisture can be trapped inside the skidplate leading to false signals and poor performance. To maintain peak performance of your Minelab detector, it is recommended to clean out the skidplate quite regularly.

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How do I know if my coil is waterproof or not?

Check the coil selection guide to find the most suitable coil for your detecting needs.

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Do you have a detector for diamonds?

No, diamonds are not metallic, so they cannot be detected by a metal detector.

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What advantages does FBS have over VFLEX?

  • Highly accurate Discrimination
  • No need to Ground Balance
  • Superior Depth on large targets
  • Very stable operation on salt beaches
  • Superior Iron see-through (CTX 3030 is best)
  • Maximum depth on a broad range of target sizes

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What are the recommended impedance values of headphones for each detector?

Headphone specifications are not really critical in a metal detector as their audio circuitry does not produce Hi-Fi quality sound. E.g. Our detectors frequency output range is only circa 75 -1200Hz

Our audio circuits will drive most headphones from 16 - 100 + ohms.

Audio optimisation is also very subjective as everybody hears differently.

We endeavour not to confuse our customers with unnecessary technical specs because in reality there is no honest way to determine what headphones are best for you other than to try them.

If you have a detector with adjustable audio tones, such as a CTX 3030, we would also recommend you spend some time to ensure the detection tones are optimised for your hearing needs.

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How deep will my detector go?

There is no specific answer to this question as it depends on the target size, orientation, metallic content, ground minerals and conductivity, electrical and ambient noise in the area and etc.

However we commonly hear of GPX Series detectors finding large gold nuggets at 3 and sometimes 4 feet deep, and CTX 3030s finding coins and rings at over 12 inches.

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How often should I send my detector back for a service?

Only if it becomes faulty.

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How often should I ground balance, where should I ground balance?

On some detectors you don’t need to ground balance at all. On others, users new to detecting are recommended to use the Ground Balance Tracking function. In Tracking, the detector will automatically ground balance for you and remain in balance even if the ground minerals vary. On manual ground balance detectors like the X-TERRA 305 and X-TERRA 505, you need to ground balance at the start of every hunt, and re-balance periodically as required. Always ground balance on clean ground, away from metal objects.

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Why can’t my detector pick up a gold chain?

Gold chains are very difficult to detect, particularly very fine chains. Each link of a chain can be very small and the detector sees each link as a separate target, so it can easily be missed. You are more likely to detect the actual clasp or any pendants that may still be on the chain as these are much larger than the individual chain links. High frequency detectors such as the Eureka Gold, or an X-TERRA 705 with an 18.75 kHz coil in prospecting mode, will often pick up fine chains better than most coin detectors.

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Why does my detector pick up some coke?

Coke is carbon and as such can be quite conductive, just like a coin.

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What is your deepest detector and can it detect through rock?

The GPX 5000 is our deepest detector in all ground conditions and can detect through even highly mineralised rock.

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I would like to extend my coil cable, can this be done?

No, cable characteristics are matched to coil windings at manufacture, so extending the cable will reduce the performance of the coil.

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Can you recommend a good coil for trashy ground?

Smaller coils are better for trashy sites, as they reduce the instances of detecting multiple targets at once. Concentric coils are generally better than Double-D coils for this same reason.

Check the coil selection guide to find the most suitable coil for your detecting needs.

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Why does my detector pick up signals in the air?

Metal detectors pick up electromagnetic signals from underground metal objects. Similar signals can also be received through the air from other electromagnetic sources, such as power lines, radio transmitters, generators, etc.

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How will I know if the ground is mineralized?

If your detector is noisy when you are detecting, but goes quiet when you stop sweeping the coil, then it is receiving signals from mineralized ground. Perform a ground balance and continue detecting.

GPX SERIES ONLY: IF IT IS STILL NOISY THEN YOU MAY NEED TO TRY AN ALTERNATE SOIL/TIMING SELECTION. ALL OTHER DETECTORS: IF IT IS STILL NOISY YOU WOULD NEED TO REDUCE YOUR SENSITIVITY TO THE HIGHEST STABLE SENSITIVITY LEVEL.

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Is it possible to miss good targets with preset discrimination patterns?

The only guaranteed way to get every possible good target is to use no discrimination. However, digging every target can waste lots of time. Discrimination patterns are always a compromise between digging most good targets and ignoring most junk targets.

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Sometimes I dig what seems to be a good target and then cannot find any metal, why?

This can be caused by a number of reasons:

  • Sometimes rusty objects get broken up during the digging process 
  • Metal objects can leach trace elements into the surrounding soil
  • Some rocks can sound like targets
  • Some targets get ‘lost’ or reburied during the digging process

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Why do I sometimes get a signal at the end of my swing?

Usually because you are lifting the coil at the end of your swing. Always sweep slow, low and level for the entire swing.

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CTX 3030: I can’t register on XChange 2. My warranty has been accepted, but I have not received the confirmation email allowing me to sign into XChange2.

The virus protection software on some computers places the Minelab email into a spam file/folder, please check your spam folder for this email. If you did not receive the email please contact your nearest Minelab Authorised Service Centre.

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CTX 3030: I have installed XChange 2 and the “file” icon does not appear. What has happened?

When XChange 2 is first installed the “file” icon will not appear until the software recognizes the CTX 3030 being connected for the first time. This is the only time this will happen. After the initial connection the “FILE” icon will appear and remain. You will no longer need to connect the CTX 3030 to access it.

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CTX 3030: Why doesn't GeoTrails work?

The factory setting for GeoTrails is off, so you will need to turn it on. First turn GPS ON, then turn GeoTrails ON. From the map screen, press and hold the Map button to access this option. Use the arrows to select ‘View GeoTrails’ and press the Select button.

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CTX 3030: What does the GPS Enhanced mode do for me?

Enhanced turns on SBAS or Satellite Based Augmentation System which is a generic term for WAAS used in the USA and EGNOS in Europe. These systems use a geostationary satellite to probe the atmosphere and TX this to your GPS receiver. It works well in the USA, but in Europe it seems to be better for planes rather than on the ground. In Australia you get signals from a satellite over Japan which makes your fix worse. Not sure how much of Europe has this as an issue.

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CTX 3030: What happens if I change the default of the "User" button to something else?

The default for the "User" button is to control the backlight, so if a user changes this to something else, then the backlight is controlled in the Menu/Options/Backlight - ON / OFF / TIME.

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CTX 3030: How do I setup my time zone?

  1. Press the menu button
  2. Go to Options
  3. Scroll down and highlight Locality then press the menu button
  4. Scroll down and highlight Time Zone then press the menu button
  5. Scroll through the list and select your UTC time zone then press the menu button
  6. You’re all done and your time zone has been set.
If you don’t know your UTC Time Zone please refer to the following link: http://www.timeanddate.com/time/map/
 

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CTX 3030: I turned off the WM10 and now I can’t hear the detector, why?

In a session, if the WM10 Wireless Module is enabled and the detector is connected to it then you will hear tones as expected. If you turn off the WM10 it will "mute" the detector. Power cycle the detector and you will be able to hear the tones.

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CTX 3030: Should I ground balance the detector before using it?

The CTX 3030 has a similar ground compensation feature to that on the Explorer SE Pro and E-TRAC models which works very well in most ground conditions, so there is no need to ground balance the CTX 3030 in most conditions. Ground balance should only be performed in "Extremely Mineralised Ground". Do not perform ground balance on the beach, this will "confuse" the detector.

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CTX 3030: Why doesn't the Play tone work when the WM10 is connected?

This is a standard feature, when you perform "Tone ID profile edit", and select Play Tone or Play All, it will not work if the WM10 WIreless Module is connected.

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CTX 3030: Will the volume setting "change" when I switch from using the headphones to the WM10?

There are 4 different volume settings. The CTX 3030 remembers what each setting is. If you turn the volume down while using the headphones and then unplug your headphones the external speaker volume will not have changed from your previous setting.

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CTX 3030: Why is the armrest so hard to install?

Before placing the armrest on the shaft turn the lock fully counterclockwise. There is no need to turn the lock completely 90 degrees to lock it. Around 30 to 45 degrees is often sufficient.

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CTX 3030: Why does the detector turn off unexpectedly?

This was corrected in a software update. Connect your detector to XChange 2 and check for software updates. We always recommend using the most current software update. If you're on the latest update or the update didn’t correct the problem please contact your regional Minelab Authorised Service Centre.

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CTX 3030: Why didn't my modes translate to English when I changed the language from 'X'?

The modes will change (or be translated) ONLY when changing from ENGLISH to another language and not in reverse. If the detector is initially set up in a language other than English, the modes will appear in that language. But if you change the language to English later, the modes will stay in the original language.

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CTX3030: What does the 'trigger' do when navigating through the menu?

The Trigger will Cancel any adjustment being made and go back one level in the menu.

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CTX 3030: Why is my CTX 3030 taking so long to upload to XChange 2?

If you’ve been using the detector a lot since the last time you connected it to XChange 2 then there is a lot of data stored. It could take several minutes for the data to upload. Please be patient.

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CTX 3030: Why doesn't my CTX 3030 find a known target?

This could be related to masking, low sensitivity setting, coil overload or etc. Perform a “Factory Reset” and retest the detector.

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CTX 3030: What if the WM10 and the detector are not synchronising?

To connect the WM 10 WIreless Module to your detector:

  1. Press and hold the Power button on the WM 10 to turn it on
  2. Press and hold the Pairing button. The Pairing LED will start blinking orange
  3. On the detector, highlight and select Options > Wireless Enable
  4. Highlight and select Wireless Connect
  5. Use the right and left arrow buttons to select a channel and press Select. When Pairing is complete the LED will stop blinking and the WM 10 will emit a sound
  6. If Pairing fails, try selecting another channel

The location of the WM10 can be an issue for path loss. The human body is very attenuating, so having the WM10 tucked on your backside away from the detector could cause issues. If you’re having issues place the WM10 in a clear line of sight to the detector to get best results.

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CTX 3030: Why do my snapshots disappear after I turn the detector off?

Snapshots are only saved while the detector is on. It is a design feature that the snapshots are deleted when the detector is turned off.

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CTX 3030: Is the GPS working properly?

During your initial use of GPS the detector will take a while to build up local data. From a cold start the “locking in” of where satellites are and etc. takes a few minutes, but it can take an hour to build up lots of local data. This data can be used to get better resolution and shaded sky use.

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CTX 3030: How do I save my modes on to my PC to transfer them or email to a friend?

This is as simple as saving the modes and/or data you want as a file and emailing them the file. Here’s the procedure:

  1. Plug your CTX 3030 into your PC
  2. Open XChange 2 and click the CTX 3030 Collection

    XChange 2 Mode (Email) - Step 1

    All the modes and other data from your CTX 3030 will be displayed in the list.
     
  3. Drag and drop the Items you want to email into the FILE Collection.

    XChange 2 Mode (Email) - Step 2
     
  4. Click the FILE Collection and check the contents are what you intended to share.

    XChange 2 Mode (Email) - Step 3
     
  5. Simply click the ‘Export a Minelab file’ icon

    XChange 2 Mode (Email) - Step 4

    The entire FILE Collection will be exported as a single file, and saved in the Downloads folder of your PC. You can then save the file elsewhere or email it to whoever you want.

    If you receive a Minelab FILE from someone else simply open XChange 2, select the FILE Collection and then click the ‘Clear the contents of your File collection’ icon.

    XChange 2 Mode (Email) - Step 5

    Then click the ‘Import a Minelab file’ icon.

    XChange 2 Mode (Email) - Step 6

    Then click ‘Choose file’,

    XChange 2 Mode (Email) - Step 7

    and browse for the file location. Highlight the file and click ‘Open’ and the Items within it will be displayed in the File Collection.

    XChange 2 Mode (Email) - Step 8

    Drag and drop the items you want to keep into one of your own Collections or straight into your CTX 3030.

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CTX 3030: Can you please explain combined audio?

Combined audio produces different tones for highly ferrous objects, and objects with varying levels of conductivity. First you set the ferrous line (horizontal line) where you want ferrous targets to provide the audio response. For example, if you set it at 21, then any target with a ferrous reading of 21 or higher (larger number) will produce the audio tone that you program for ferrous targets. On the other hand, if the target has a ferrous reading that is less than 21, the audio response will be based on its conductive properties. In Combined audio you have four "bins" representing conductive groups with conductive numbers running from 01 - 50. You simply move the lines to represent different target groups and assign a tone for each group. For example, you could set bin one with the lines at 01 and 14. Any target with a ferrous value less than 21, and a conductive value of 14 or less would fall into this bin and provide the audio tone you associated with it via programming.

Bin two, for example, could represent targets between 15 and 28. Bin three could represent targets from 29 - 40 and bin four could be the remainder of conductive targets with CO values of 41 - 50. With the numbers used in these examples, if you passed over a target with a FE value of 12 and a CO value of 44, it would provide the conductive tone you assigned to conductive bin four. If you passed over a target with an ID of 11 – 22, it would provide the tone assigned to conductive bin two. Again, the user can resize and assign tones to each target group (bin). For those of you who enjoyed hunting in Two Tone Ferrous with the E-TRAC, this takes it one step further allowing you to adjust the FE line, and break down the CO targets into four separate groups.

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CTX 3030: How do I optimise for gold jewelry?

Gold can ID anywhere in the range of 10-09 to 13-30, and possibly outside of this range. Sometimes the Conductive reading can be very low, like 02, so to improve your chances you really have to dig everything including aluminum foil and pull-tabs.

Regarding settings, the standard Beach mode is quite suitable. One thing you can do is to change the Tone ID profile to Ferrous 35. What this does is it will make low conductive jewelry produce a higher tone than it would in Conductive profile, making it easier to recognize. You can also select Combine, and customize the tones to suit your personal preference.

For saltwater beaches, Manual Sensitivity is recommended, unless your beaches have high levels of magnetic mineralization. If your unit is running nice and stable on Sensitivity 18, try to push it a bit higher. In situations where you are actually detecting in the salt water, turn the Seawater setting on.

The other thing some beach combers often do is to open up the discrimination pattern a little. Mainly dropping the ferrous rejection slightly or simply search in Pattern 2 (simply press and release the Detect button). This is highly recommended on beaches with low levels of junk targets. In this case another thing you can try is changing the Audio Response to LONG. This can improve your ability to hear the very faint target response which jewelry can produce.

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CTX 3030: How do I edit FindPoint and WayPoint data on XChange 2?

Watch the approved Community Instructional Video on Editing FindPoints and WayPoints.

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CTX 3030: How do I remember which finds are related to which FindPoint?

Watch the approved Community Instructional Video on How to link photos from your phone to FindPoints.

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CTX 3030: How do I record a GeoHunt?

Watch the approved Community Instructional Video that includes How to record a GeoHunt.

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CTX 3030: How do I record a FindPoint or WayPoint?

Watch the approved Community Instructional Video that includes How to record a FindPoint or WayPoint.

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CTX 3030: How do I turn on my GPS?

Watch the approved Community Instructional Video that includes How to enable the GPS function.

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CTX 3030: What detect screen options are available?

Watch the approved Community Instructional Video that includes Turning on Detect screen options.

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CTX 3030: How do I turn on my large Target ID panel?

Watch the approved Community Instructional Video that includes Turning on the large target ID panel.

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CTX 3030: How do I see the sensitivity panel?

Watch the approved Community Instructional Video that includes Turning on the Sensitivity panel.

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CTX 3030: How do I activate the navigation tool?

Watch the approved Community Instructional Video that includes Turning on the detect screen navigation tool.

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CTX 3030: How do I select a search mode?

Watch the approved Community Instructional Video that includes Selecting a Search Mode on the CTX 3030.

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CTX 3030: How do I edit Search Mode settings?

Watch the approved Community Instructional Video that includes Editing a Search Mode on the CTX 3030.

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CTX 3030: How do I transfer data to XChange 2?

Watch the approved Community Instructional Video that includes Transferring data from a CTX 3030 to XChange 2.

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CTX 3030: How do I create a new collection on XChange 2?

Watch the approved Community Instructional Video that includes Creating a new Collection on XChange 2.

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CTX 3030: How do I change my XChange 2 preferences?

Watch the approved Community Instructional Video that includes Changing XChange 2 preferences.

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CTX 3030: How do I adjust my universal settings on XChange 2?

Watch the approved Community Instructional Video that includes Adjusting Universal settings.

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CTX 3030: How do I make a new Search Mode on XChange 2?

Watch the approved Community Instructional Video that includes Making a new Search Mode in XChange 2.

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CTX 3030: Are the FBS coils and FBS2 coils interchangeable?

No, The FBS 2 coils can only be used on the CTX 3030, while FBS coils can only be used on the E-TRAC, Safari and Explorer Series detectors.

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E-TRAC: What is Ground rejection and the Smartfind screen?

On the E-TRAC there is a lot of action behind the scenes (i.e. outside the Smartfind window) and this will benefit the user in the sense of less blanking from mineralised soils and hot rocks. Any audio blanking is generally an indication for rejected targets (e.g. ferrous junk) and less mineralised ground, so the user will be able to identify high trash and low trash areas. Also, this is very handy for searching in all metal (e.g. for ferrous relic hunting, or ferrous coin detection) where the user does not want to be overwhelmed by ground signals, yet wants to detect any type of metal.

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E-TRAC: How does QuickMask work?

E-TRAC - Quick Mask (EN)

QuickMask is a simple way of adjusting your Ferrous & Conductive discrimination, or can be used as a secondary discrimination or all-metal pattern. The Ferrous (horizontal) adjustment is a trade-off between detecting good targets and rejecting unwanted ferrous junk. If the Ferrous slider is moved up the detector is less likely to detect iron, but deeper non-ferrous targets could be missed. Moving the slider down (towards higher FE numbers) could give more squeaks from iron, but makes it less likely to miss the “keepers”.

The Conductive (vertical line) slider acts as a traditional Discrimination knob where everything to the left of the knob position is rejected and everything to the right is accepted. If you don't want to be bothered by foil then determine the lowest conductivity that you would be interested in and reject everything to the left of that value.

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E-TRAC: What are the advantages/disadvantages of Auto vs Manual sensitivity?

Read the Treasure Talk article about Auto vs Manual Sensitivity which was written for the CTX 3030 but also applies to the E-TRAC.

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E-TRAC: How does the ground setting affect performance?

The Ground setting helps stabilize target ID’s and the accuracy of the depth guage.

In areas where the Auto Sensitivity operates quite high, the Neutral setting will perform best.

In grounds where the Auto Sensitivity is reduced the Difficult setting is best.

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E-TRAC: Which Pinpoint mode should I use?

As always the answer to this question depends on your detecting style.

Normal mode is good for rapidly and automatically narrowing the audio response of a target.

Sizing mode is better when you want more control and don't want the detector to vary its baseline. The baseline is set by the operator when entering pinpoint. This is good for mapping a consistent outline of a target. It can also be useful if working in trashy ground when there are issues with adjacent targets.

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E-TRAC: My target disappears when in Pinpoint. Where has it gone?

There are two possibilities:

Passing over a target in Normal mode causes the baseline to be reset every time based on the strength of the signal received by the detector. If this baseline is set by passing the coil over a stronger signal then a weaker signal may not be heard. This can happen when sweeping across a target at different heights. Simply wait, while no targets are seen by the detector, the baseline will fall to a lower level.

Pinpoint is a non-motion mode. When in this non-motion mode the detector is unable to compensate for the slow drift of the channels of the detector. To re-calibrate, the pin point mode may need to be reset if operating in pin point mode for extended periods. Simply exit and return to pin point mode. This same effect may also cause the detector to emit a louder pinpoint tone than expected.

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E-TRAC: Is the depth indicator working differently in Discrimination and in Pinpoint?

Yes, they do work differently, because the Discrimination and Pinpoint modes operate differently; one is motion, the other non-motion, The Depth Indication must suit each.

Depth in Discrimination
When in Discrimination mode, as opposed to Pinpoint mode, E-TRAC is a motion detector, that is, if it is held still over a target, no detection will be registered. Just as holding a motion detector motionless over a target will quickly kill the audio signal, holding it still will also make the detector see any target as infinitely far away. The detector must be kept moving over a target for any signal to be registered, both for detection and for the measurement of its depth.

Depth in Pinpoint
In Pinpoint mode, the detection signal does not die away when the coil is held over a target. The Depth Indicator also responds to this 'DC' signal when in Pinpoint mode. However, before the Depth Indicator responds, the centre of the coil must pass beyond the target; not very far, but just far enough to produce a slight diminution of the signal. Only when the Depth Indicator knows that it has seen the maximum signal will it make a judgement of how deep the target is.

Notes on Depth
Exact determination of depth is always a challenge in metal detectors. Larger or smaller targets (the larger tend to be indicated shallower), and more or less conductive targets will always produce some slight inaccuracy in the measurement. While that is so, E-TRAC has been calibrated so as to produce the same indications for the same targets, whether it is in motion mode or Pinpoint mode.

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E-TRAC: How does the ID range help me find more of the targets I want to find?

  1. Extended conductivity range
    The range of conductivity and ferrous IDs for the E-TRAC is wider than that of the Explorer SE Pro. For example it can separate between very low or very high conductivity targets, which are indistinguishable for the Explorer SE Pro. Also, where the ranges overlap, it has more resolution. A crude example: IDs 1-5 and 45-50 are new; the rest of the IDs (e.g. 6-45, i.e. 40 of them) are still more than those of the Explorer SE Pro (1-32 or so). Thus, the new range is wider and has more resolution. This, in turn, allows the user to better separate good targets from trash and to know what to expect before digging.
     
  2. Straightened coins position
    The ferrous coordinate of most coins in air is 12 +/-1, with slight deviations at the very high conductivity end. This makes it easier to remember the ID's of targets of interest or to note anomalies.
     
  3. Ground rejection
    There is a lot of action behind the scenes (i.e. outside the Smartfind window) and this will benefit the user in the sense of less blanking from mineralised ground and hot rocks. The blanking will now indicate mostly rejected targets (e.g. ferrous junk) and less mineralised ground, so the user will be able to identify high trash and low trash areas. Also, this is very handy for searching in all metal (e.g. for ferrous relic hunt, or ferrous coin detection) where the user does not want to be overwhelmed by ground signals, yet wants to detect any type of metal.
     
  4. Large conductive objects
    Very large conductivity objects can be detected at very low FE numbers and if these are of interest (e.g. for certain types of treasure hunt) the pattern where there is no rejection at the upper side could be used.

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E-TRAC: What is Auto, Manual, Suggested and Equivalent sensitivity all about?

Manual Sensitivity is for users to adjust how strong a signal needs to be before their detector makes a sound.

Automatic Sensitivity removes the burden of constantly trying to get the best sensitivity out of the E-TRAC, by adjusting the sensitivity according to the strength of the signals coming from the ground. The philosophy behind the automatically chosen levels is that one of the great attributes of E-TRAC is its ability to discriminate ferrous targets, even in difficult conditions. Automatic Sensitivity is constantly working to get the best sensitivity, with this in mind. It is not simply an 'Auto' knob for the Manual Sensitivity; it operates three separate levels of sensitivity at once, each applied to its own type of signal, and the level that is the highest is the one that will detect the weakest signal.

Suggested Sensitivity is your friend. It shows the best setting of Manual Sensitivity for the conditions. Remember that it is showing the level that it optimises the depth/discrimination trade-off in a way that might be different from your ideas on detecting. In that case, you might want to add or subtract one or more from the suggested setting.

Equivalent Sensitivity gives a guide to the sensitivity of E-TRAC as it is operating in Automatic Sensitivity. As ground conditions deteriorate, Equivalent Sensitivity falls; as they improve, Equivalent Sensitivity rises. Equivalent Sensitivity is almost always higher than the Suggested Sensitivity, because Automatic Sensitivity can adjust the three levels of sensitivity independently of one another; in Manual Sensitivity, the chosen level is tied to the average level.

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E-TRAC: Are the FBS coils and FBS2 coils interchangeable?

No, The FBS 2 coils can only be used on the CTX 3030, while FBS coils can only be used on the E-TRAC, Safari and Explorer Series detectors.

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E-TRAC: Can you recommend a wireless headphone?

No. Almost all aftermarket wireless solutions have a significant Audio delay (lag) which is very annoying for metal detecting. Only the CTX 3030 has wireless technology purposely designed for metal detecting with no perceivable audio lag.

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E-TRAC: Why does my detector show a partly charged battery when I have installed freshly charged ones?

Rechargeable cells are often 1.2V compared to standard Alkaline cells that are 1.5V so the fully charged 8 rechargeable cells are only 9.6 V total compared to 8 Alkaline cells at 12V.

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E-TRAC: Are all coils compatible between the Safari, E-TRAC and Explorer Series detectors?

YES, all the Minelab FBS coils are interchangeable with all four models. Check the coil selection guide to find the most suitable coil for your detecting needs.

NOTE: The CTX range of coils are specific to FBS 2.

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Eureka Gold: Is it a good general purpose detector?

The Eureka Gold is designed to be a superior small gold detector for difficult soils. The inclusion of two automatic tracking speeds, three separate frequencies and the variable discriminator makes the unit a very good gold detector, with the added versatility of being very sensitive to small gold jewellery, and small relics. The improved ferrous discrimination and 6.4 kHz mode, make the Eureka Gold a capable little coin machine as well. It is the ideal detector for someone who has not yet decided what type of metal detecting he or she likes the best.

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Eureka Gold: How does the depth compare with other Minelab models?

The Eureka Gold will not get the same depth as the SD or GP series with the exception of the tiniest pieces. In mild ground it may match the Explorer and Safari for depth on mid-sized targets, however in highly mineralized goldfield soil, the Eureka Gold will achieve greater depth, especially on smaller targets. In comparison to the Musketeer, the Eureka Gold will achieve greater depth on smaller targets, and on all targets in heavily mineralized conditions.

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Eureka Gold: Can I use rechargeable 1.2V cells in the Alkaline pack?

No, 8 x 1.2V is only 9.6V, and these detectors require 12V to function.

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Excalibur II: Why haven’t you produced interchangeable coils for the range?

Hardwired coils are more reliable for deep diving detectors.

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Excalibur II: Can I use rechargeable 1.2V cells in the Alkaline pack?

No, 8 x 1.2V is only 9.6V, and these detectors require 12V to function.

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Excalibur II: Why is my Threshold very loud, even with the control turned down?

Check to ensure the battery is fully charged. A low battery causes the threshold to get very loud and the response becomes erratic.

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Excalibur II: What special tips do you have?

Salt, sand and grit will accumulate on the Excalibur II. So make sure you thoroughly rinse it with fresh water after use, including the coil cover, shafts and battery pack. Don't forget the vent holes on each headphone diaphragm as these need to be clear if used for diving purposes to allow for ear equalisation.

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Explorer SE Pro: Why doesn’t the detector switch on?

Check to ensure the battery is charged. Use an alkaline pod if available.

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Explorer SE Pro: Detector turns on, but why is the screen blank?

In some cases the unit will show a faded screen with “Reset Required” displayed. On older units this may be difficult to see, but performing a factory reset will resolve this. If this happens repeatedly, send the unit to your nearest Authorised Minelab Service Centre.

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Explorer SE Pro: Why is the detector unstable?

  • Perform a Noise Cancel or reduce sensitivity.
  • If possible check the unit with another coil to establish if it is a coil or control box problem.
  • Check the strain relief by touching the external connector without touching internal pins. The detector should not make any noise. If this is faulty, return to an Authorised Minelab Service Centre.

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Explorer SE Pro: Are the FBS coils and FBS2 coils interchangeable?

No, The FBS 2 coils can only be used on the CTX 3030, while FBS coils can only be used on the E-TRAC, Safari and Explorer Series detectors.

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Explorer SE Pro: Can you recommend a wireless headphone?

No. Almost all aftermarket wireless solutions have a significant Audio delay (lag) which is very annoying for metal detecting. Only the CTX 3030 has wireless technology purposely designed for metal detecting with no perceivable audio lag.

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Explorer SE Pro: : Why does my detector show a partly charged battery when I have installed freshly charged ones?

Rechargeable cells are often 1.2V compared to standard Alkaline cells that are 1.5V so the fully charged 8 rechargeable cells are only 9.6 V total compared to 8 Alkaline cells at 12V.

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Explorer SE Pro: Are all coils compatible between the Safari, E-TRAC and Explorer Series detectors?

YES, all the Minelab FBS coils are interchangeable with all four models. Check the coil selection guide to find the most suitable coil for your detecting needs.

NOTE: The CTX range of coils are specific to FBS 2.

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GPX 5000 & GPX 4800: How do I know what Soil/Timing I should be using?

You can never predict what level of soil mineralization will be present in any given location, which is why Normal is the recommended Timing to start with. Then, you can let the detector tell you which Timing to use by sweeping the coil and listening to the stability of the threshold.

After performing an Auto Tune and Ground Balance you should commence searching, and if the detector is too noisy or signals on lots of hot rocks, then the Timing you are using is too aggressive for the ground you are on. You need to select to another Timing closer to the dark end of the below scale, e.g. Enhance.

GPX Timings (EN)

If the detector is never noisy then the Timing you are using may be too conservative for the ground you are in, so you need to move closer to the light end of the scale e.g. Sensitive Extra or Sharp. Some Timings are more or less sensitive to certain targets, so try to select the Timing that is most suitable to the size of gold most commonly found in your area. As an example, in very mild ground, Sharp, Sensitive Extra and Normal will work equally as well, but Sensitive Extra will provide the best response to very small targets.

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GPX 5000 & GPX 4800: What is the best way to reduce the effects of EMI?

The GPX 5000 is known to suffer from Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) particularly during stormy weather. There are three known reasons for this interference:

  1. The sensitivity of Enhance, Fine-Gold and Sharp timings will detect extremely small nuggets, but unfortunately any EMI as well.
  2. Because of the superior ground handling ability of the GPX 5000, the use of big Monoloop coils is quite common. A coil's field punches just as high above the ground as it does into the ground, so you can see that a bigger deeper coil will be more prone to EMI.
  3. The general smoothness of the detector means that any warbles or chatter due to EMI are a lot more obvious, and can be mistaken for a target signal.

On bad EMI days here are a few tips that can keep your threshold purring:

  1. Use a Double-D coil, and keep the coil size to a minimum for the ground being worked.
  2. Avoid using the Fine-Gold and Sharp Timings. Normal and Sensitive Extra will often provide a smoother threshold.
  3. Use the Very Slow or Slow Motion speeds.
  4. Use the Quiet or Normal Audio Type.
  5. To allow the detector to accurately pick the quietest operating channel, select the Fast Motion speed, do an Auto tune, and then go back to Very Slow Motion.
  6. Set your Rx Gain first and then use the Stabilizer to fine tune.
  7. Whilst searching, you may find that the threshold starts to wobble. A quick tweak of the Manual Tune by a few numbers will return the threshold to a smooth hum.

A combination of the above should make a big difference in the stability of the detector, and will allow you to continue to find gold in difficult conditions.

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GPX 5000 & GPX 4800: Everyone tells me a Monoloop coil is deeper & more sensitive compared to a Double-D coil – so what are the advantages of a Double-D coil?

  1. Wide ground coverage at depth per sweep, less overlap required
  2. Less prone to Electromagnetic Interference (EMI)
  3. Can use the Iron Reject function
  4. Improved ability in really wet soils
  5. Allows the use of the Cancel mode, to operate near power lines
  6. Pin-point along the centre of the coil
  7. Large deep targets have a more defined (narrower) response
  8. Reduced false signaling in highly mineralised soils
  9. Less susceptible to signal on buried charcoal
  10. Works well with Tracking Ground Balance

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GPX 5000 & GPX 4800: Unit gives very little depth and sometimes only detects very large targets, why?

Ensure you are not using a Monoloop coil with the Coil Rx switch set to Cancel.

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GPX 5000 & GPX 4800: How can I tell what type of Commander coil I have if the label is no longer present?

  • Monoloop coils have a perfectly round cable.
  • Double-D coils have a flatter cable due to the two internal cores.
  • Put the Coil/Rx switch in Cancel. If you have slightly reduced depth than you’d expect, then your coil is a Double-D. If you have virtually no depth, then you have a Monoloop coil.

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GPX 5000 & GPX 4800: What is the purpose of the Stabilizer control?

The Stabilizer function controls the point at which faint variations in the Threshold begin to be heard. These faint variations can either be ambient noise or faint target signals. As you increase the Stabilizer control, faint target signals will become louder, but the noise level will also increase, which may potentially hide a desirable target signal. The Stabilizer allows you to mask these faint variations to provide a perfectly stable threshold, improving your ability to identify faint target signals.

The Stabilizer is best left in the FP (factory preset) position until the soil conditions in the location are determined. Once the Rx Gain level has been set for the local conditions and other audio settings have been selected, the Stabilizer can then be used to fine tune the Threshold stability.

To find the optimal position of the Stabilizer, ensure that the coil is being swept across the ground. One number below the point at which the threshold begins to chatter, is generally the best setting.

The effect of the Stabilizer could be seen as having a similar effect to that of the Rx Gain control. However, the Stabilizer affects the audio processing only and does not change the Receive (Rx) signal, so should be used as a final stage fine tune. After making any adjustments to the Stabilizer, if the ground conditions change or you wish to change coils, you may need to reset the Rx Gain, but before doing so, return the Stabilizer to the Factory Preset setting first. This will ensure you select the most appropriate Rx Gain level to suit the conditions, and then you can fine tune using the Stabilizer.

Tip: By turning the Stabilizer control close to minimum (anti-clockwise) the threshold will be very stable, but you will have lost a lot of sensitivity to smaller targets. This can be a desirable feature in certain scenarios such as looking for large nuggets in a high-trash area, or using the GPX 5000 and GPX 4800 to search for coins or treasure. 

Tip: We would recommend the best order for setting these controls are:

  1. Select an appropriate Search Mode
  2. Select the desired Audio Type
  3. Adjust Rx Gain until the threshold starts to break up
  4. Adjust Stabilizer to smooth out the threshold.

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GPX 5000 & GPX 4800: What is SETA technology?

Minelab's patented MPS detectors require precision aligning of the different operating channels in order to minimise interference caused by various sources of magnetic interference. Different timings can require a slightly different alignment for maximum effectiveness. The GP series introduced an option of three timings, and even though the performance of these timings were quite different, a single alignment still worked well, as the timings were quite similar electronically. With so many different timing options packed into the GPX-4500, it was no longer possible to rely on a single alignment, and so the Smart Electronic Timing Alignment or SETA concept was born.

SETA automatically sets a precise alignment for each Timing option, and these are saved to the built-in memory. What this means is that if you are regularly switching between timings, you should have no problems with noises caused by magnetic interference. This means that the threshold will remain more stable, and signals from highly magnetic rocks will be significantly reduced. This will allow you to harness all the power of the GPX 5000 and GPX 4800, and operate them more efficiently under different conditions.

A bonus of SETA technology is that the ground balance setting of each timing is also saved, so if you are switching between timings when investigating a suspected target signal, you won't have to continually re-ground balance the detector.

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GPX 5000 & GPX 4800: How is Target Volume different to Normal Volume?

The Target Volume controls the strength of target signals, and at settings above 8 it will slightly increase the volume of the threshold as well. This is useful for very windy conditions, for people suffering from hearing loss, or when using external speakers. With the audio amplifier built into the Li-Ion battery pack, you can plug a speaker directly into the battery, and set an appropriate level of amplification using the Target Volume. Be aware that when switching from headphones to an external speaker, you may need to make minor adjustments to your Threshold and Volume Limit controls.

The Target Volume can be used as an Audio boost in quiet conditions, and can also be used to reduce or smooth out ground noise signals in highly mineralised soils. This is a powerful feature, and will work in conjunction with the Stabilizer control, giving you the ultimate in fine tuning ability. A bit of experimenting may be required to find the optimum combination in different conditions.

NOTE: Whenever adjustments to the Gain are required, due to a change of coil or location, make sure the Target Volume is returned to the FP setting first. You can then fine tune to suit the new conditions.

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Musketeer Advantage: Do you have any tips?

Tips courtesy of Randy "Digger" Horton

Although each of us hunt in different soil conditions and search for a variety of targets, the principle behind using the Minelab Musketeer Advantage is basically the same for all of us. To better understand how to operate your Advantage for your hunting style, you need to understand what each knob and switch does and how to set them to maximize your chances of finding those hidden treasures.

The control panel of the Musketeer Advantage has 4 knobs, 2 toggle switches and quarter-inch headphone jack. I always hunt with headphones as they block out “outside noise”, allowing you to concentrate on the tones generated by the detector. The Sensitivity knob turns the machine on and determines how stable the machine operates. As a rule of thumb, the higher the setting, the deeper you will detect. (Increased gain) Backing it off a little will generally quiet the machine for those experiencing electrical interference or high mineralization levels. I recommend running it as high as you can while not chattering so much you can't distinguish signals. If you want to run it completely quiet, that is your choice. But remember, it gets “less sensitive” to treasures (as well as interference and minerals) when you lower the sensitivity.

The Ground Control adjusts the ground balance circuitry of the Musketeer Advantage based on the soil conditions you are hunting. Turning the knob completely counter-clockwise until it “clicks” puts the detector in a Fixed mode. This is a factory preset level that will produce adequate results for many parts of our Country. I recommend that “newbies” operate their machine in the Fixed mode until they understand the sounds that their detector is making and feel confident with their techniques. Then, if you feel you are not getting maximum performance out of the unit, or if the detector is making a lot of false signals, you can switch to the manual Ground Balance mode. You can ground balance the Musketeer Advantage in either Discriminate mode or All Metal mode.

Contrary to other makes and models, the Musketeer Advantage will not lose depth in the Discriminate mode. In fact, as a coin-shooter, I find that it hunts deeper in discriminate than in all-metal. I always hunt in Discriminate mode, so I ground balance mine in the discriminate mode. Make sure the top toggle switch is in the down position to Ground Adjust Enable. The Advantage will not ground balance properly in the Pinpoint mode. Turn the GB knob over to the fixed position. Like I said, this is a good place to start and will be fine for most hunting. But to maximize its performance, and get the coins that the other guys leave behind, you need to tune the machine to the ground you are searching in. Take the time to do this because the last guy detecting there didn't!!!

Holding the coil at least a foot in the air, turn the ground adjust knob clockwise until you hear it click out of the Fixed mode. Just at that point, you are at minimum ground balance. Later, as you turn it further clockwise you will be increasing the ground balance circuitry. You should now be hearing a constant "tone" coming from the machine. Lower the coil to the ground and see if the sound goes away, stays the same or increases. It will likely go silent as you put the coil on the ground. If so, pick the coil back up in the air and increase the ground balance by turning the knob clockwise a little bit. (If you can't make it go silent when the ground adjust knob is minimum ground adjust, back off the sensitivity knob a little bit.) Now repeat the lowering to the ground and see how the sound changes. Keep doing this until the sound just barely disappears when you lower the coil to the ground. I like to set mine so it still makes a slight tone when the coils tips a little bit. Like when changing directions in your sweeps. Some folks call that little noise that it makes when you raise the coil on turns or clumps of grass "falsing". But there is a reason I like to do it this way.

My objective is to run the most sensitivity I can and still balance the induction of the coil to the soil conditions. Maximum sensitivity and accurate ground balance means maximum depth. Consider this; let’s say that when you tune the knob and lower the coil, the detector stops the GB tone at a distance of two or three inches off the ground. To me, that means that you are losing those two or three inches in depth. Think about it. If you tell your detector to "stay quiet" for a distance of two or three inches, you might pass up a coin a couple inches deeper than the machine is capable of reaching at that setting. If you had tuned to maximum sensitivity and accurate ground balance, you could be finding those coins that are hiding two or three inches deeper. Remember, if you are operating in manual ground balance, you may need to make periodic adjustments as the soil conditions change. Listen for the subtle differences in your audio as you sweep.

The Discriminate / All Metal toggle selects whether you want to hunt for all metal objects or ignore some. I always hunt in Discriminate mode and set the Level Adjust knob for the degree of discrimination I want. Think of the Level Adjust knob as the face of a clock. Turning the knob completely counter-clockwise provides the least amount of discrimination. Turning the knob completely clockwise provides the most discrimination. Your level adjust knob will be somewhere between these two points, depending on what you are wanting to accept and reject. I am primarily a coin hunter. I set my level adjust to just barely accept nickels, knowing that copper and silver are also accepted at that point. To set the level for your hunt, find an area without targets or interference.

Now you are ready to set up your machine for your style of hunting. Turn the Sensitivity knob completely clockwise. Turn both toggles to the down position. Set the GB to Fixed. Turn the Level Adjust to the 12:00 position. Now, wave a nickel under the coil. If it beeps, rotate the level adjust knob to the 1:00 position. Wave the nickel under the coil again. If it beeps, rotate the level adjust knob to the 2:00 position. Continue repeating this procedure until the Musketeer Advantage ignores the nickel. At that point, you have gone too far. When that happens, rotate the Level Adjust counter-clockwise until the nickel just barely is accepted. Anything less conductive will be eliminated. Targets that are more conductive will be accepted. For example, on my machine, this is at about the 2:00 position. At this level, I will find nickels, copper coins and silver. To set the level for what you are hunting for and at the same time rejecting targets that are less conductive, use a sample of your target in place of the nickel I described. I usually set mine with the nickel, and then pass my gold ring under the coil to make sure I am not rejecting yellow gold. This is where I like to run mine as it will detect and accept most gold jewellery and US coins while still rejecting foil and most iron.

To set your Musketeer Advantage for your hunting preferences, you will have to practice with different targets to know what levels you can run for which targets. Once you find that level, take a magic marker and put a small dot on the detector face. Keep in mind that you can fully rotate the level adjust clockwise and still find silver and copper, while eliminating most everything else. The machine is a motion detector, meaning that the coil must be moving to respond to targets. The only exception is when you set the toggles to All Metal and Pinpoint. At that time the Musketeer Advantage will detect a target in a non-motion mode. But, as I said, I never use all metal, nor do I use the pinpoint mode. I have found that I can make an imaginary “X” over the target from a couple different directions and locate the target very accurately. Each sweep of the coil makes an imaginary line over the target. When you sweep from several directions, those lines form a sort of ‘cross-hair”. The target is buried directly under where those lines intersect. Another benefit of "X"ing the target is audible discrimination. 

The Musketeer Advantage is supposed to be a single tone machine. But trust me. Once you spend some time with it, you will find that different levels of ferrous and conductivity will provide different sounds. Let’s say you are hunting a park and have the discrimination level set to just accept nickels. You sweep over a target and the machine makes a beep. Raise the coil about an inch and sweep over that area again. Left to right to left to right to left to right. About 8 inches past each side of the target. I usually increase the sweep speed to "as fast as I can" when I do this. Note where that imaginary line is drawn in the grass. If the tone sounded the same from both the right and the left, turn 60 degrees and sweep over it again. Left to right to left to right to left to right. Again, note that imaginary line formed by the sweep. Again, rotate 60 degrees and repeat the sweeps. If the tone did not crackle and break up, AND if the target did not "move" when you passed over it from these four directions, dig at the intersection of those sweeps.

You just found a target that is at or above your level of discrimination. Notice what I said. IF the target tone remained solid when you passed over it, AND if the target location did not move from the exact pinpointed location, it is likely a target that you have set the Advantage to accept. The exception to this could be found if the tone breaks up due to another item buried close to the target. That is called masking caused when your coil detects both targets in one sweep. This can happen, depending on the direction of the sweeps. When it does, the tone will not be steady like it is on an isolated target. That is why I usually sweep three directions instead of only two. If the sound only breaks up during one of the individual passes, it may turn out to be a masked “keeper”.

Only time and practice will allow you to use this method with confidence. Learn the sounds and trust your ears. Instead of the "X"ing method of pinpointing, some hunters prefer to make that initial left to right to left to right sweep, and then center the coil over the target. Slowly push the coil forward until the sound disappears. Then drag the coil toward you, letting it make the tone again, and keep dragging it toward you until the tone stops. At that point, the target is buried directly under the front lip of the coil. This method works well, as long as you remember the Advantage is a motion detector and the coil must be in motion to perform properly. As a final note for those of you who may want to use the All Metal Mode and Pinpointing, make sure you press the spring loaded toggle up to Threshold reset after using pinpoint. This is due to the fact that when you put the Advantage into the All Metal / Pinpoint mode, the Sensitivity is automatically reduced to maintain a silent threshold. Although the Advantage would automatically restore its sensitivity after 15 - 20 seconds, pressing the toggle up to Threshold reset puts the sensitivity level instantly. As well, it could provide a reminder to put the toggle back to the Ground Adjust Enable position instead of hunting in Pinpoint mode.

Now you can set your Musketeer Advantage for your hunting style and conditions. Enjoy the hunt! I hope you have found these tips helpful.

- Digger

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PRO-FIND 25: What advantage does the adjustable sensitivity have?

At maximum Sensitivity the PRO-FIND 25 can detect targets at greater distances which can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. To pinpoint a target sometimes it’s better to have a less sensitive probe to reduce the search area, so we have given you the ability to adjust it how you see fit. The Sensitivity may also need to be reduced in mineralized or salty soils, so that you are only detecting metal and not the ground.

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PRO-FIND 25: When digging, I keep digging, and detecting a target, but don’t find anything:

Side detection occurring with the target (or multiple) in the side of the hole. Use the tip of the probe to check around the sides of the hole. Reducing the Sensitivity can also help.

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PRO-FIND 25: Can it be used for prospecting?

Yes, but be aware that it won’t have the same sensitivity to very small nuggets as a quality Minelab Gold Detector. It will be a good aid in target recovery for larger nuggets.

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PRO-FIND 25: Can I wash it?

The PRO-FIND 25 is water resistant only.If you cover the speaker vent with your thumb, you can wash it under running water or dunk it under a few centimetres of water.

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PRO-FIND 25: How does the auto power off system work?

If no targets are detected or buttons pressed for 3 minutes, then the unit will start a slow beep.

This allows you to find the unit if it’s left behind on the ground after digging a hole. The beeping does not occur if it is in vibrate only mode .After 5 minutes of slow beeping the unit will turn itself off.

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PRO-FIND 25: Why is my unit not powering up?

Battery inserted the wrong way.....the lid goes on, but it is hard to tighten and the keyed plastic prevents the battery tabs from touching the contacts, so no harm done.

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PRO-FIND 25: Light comes on and there are a couple of beeps, but no detection occurs, why?

  • Unit probably didn’t finish the power on calibration and therefore will turn off 10 secs after the end of the power up beeps.
  • There was probably metal present when it was turned on. Commonly this is a ring on the finger of the hand holding it.

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PRO-FIND 25: Do you have any tips?

Tips for switching on:

  • Make sure there is no metal close to the probe
  • Listen for the third beep (short) before trying to detect with it
  • If it has been a long time since the unit was last used(several days) or there has been significant temperature change since it’s last use, then it may take about 5 seconds to calibrate
  • Calibration usually takes less than a second when the unit has been used recently

In highly mineralised soils:

  • Use the buttons to reduce the sensitivity to stop false triggering

Audio on and off:

  • Hold down the plus button while turning the unit on to enable audio tones
  • Hold down the minus button while turning the unit on to turn off audio tones

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Safari: Are the FBS coils and FBS2 coils interchangeable?

No, The FBS 2 coils can only be used on the CTX 3030, while FBS coils can only be used on the E-TRAC, Safari and Explorer Series detectors.

 

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Safari: Can you recommend a wireless headphone?

No. Almost all aftermarket wireless solutions have a significant Audio delay (lag) which is very annoying for metal detecting. Only the CTX 3030 has wireless technology purposely designed for metal detecting with no perceivable audio lag.

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Safari: Why does my detector show a partly charged battery when I have installed freshly charged ones?

Rechargeable cells are often 1.2V compared to standard Alkaline cells that are 1.5V so the fully charged 8 rechargeable cells are only 9.6 V total compared to 8 Alkaline cells at 12V.

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Safari: Are all coils compatible between the Safari, E-TRAC and Explorer Series detectors?

YES, all the Minelab FBS coils are interchangeable with all four models. Check the coil selection guide to find the most suitable coil for your detecting needs.

NOTE: The CTX range of coils are specific to FBS 2.

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Safari: Why does the Relic mode have a different audio signal tone to Coin and Coin/Jewellery modes?

The discrimination pattern of the Relic mode has a low rejection level. This is because relics can have low conductivity or ferrous content. This mode uses the ferrous content (of the target) to determine the pitch of the target signal, rather than its conductivity, which is used in the Coin and Coin/Jewellery modes.

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Safari: What is the purpose of Trash Density?

The Trash Density settings are designed to assist the user in locations where the amount of trash in the soil may vary. 'HIGH' improves the chances of detecting a good target in amongst a trashy area, without any loss in detection speed. It is also suited to varying or heavily mineralized ground. The new 11" FBS coil also aids in this mode due to its faster response and clearer audio generation. The recovery speed is very quick in this 'HIGH' Trash Density setting. 'LOW' can be used in a non-trash area and as such may be more suitable for beaches. 'LOW' will have a slightly better depth performance in 'clean' areas. The Accept/Reject functionality is also improved in the 'LOW' setting.

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Safari: How does the pinpoint feature work?

This feature is much improved over its predecessor, the Quattro MP. The visualization now follows the audio response, unlike on the Quattro MP where a partially filled animation sounded relatively the same, because the audio was monotone. Tone changes are far easier to pick up than volume changes. The other advantage is that the target's centre is located in the middle of the coil.

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Sovereign GT: Why is my threshold very loud, even with the control turned down?

Check to ensure the battery is fully charged. A low battery causes the threshold to get very loud and the response becomes erratic.

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Sovereign GT: Why can't I see the difference in the battery LED when charged?

The battery light will dim when it’s charged. The difference may not be obvious in a brightly lit room, but is easily visible in low light conditions.

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Sovereign GT: Can I use rechargeable 1.2V cells in the Alkaline pack?

No, 8 x 1.2V is only 9.6V, and these detectors require 12V to function.

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Sovereign GT: Can this be used for finding gold nuggets?

The Sovereign GT is designed for the serious coin and relic hunter and doesn't have the sensitivity to smaller gold nuggets like a true gold detector. However, unlike other coin machines, it is equipped with a true automatic ground balance in the All-Metal mode, so can be used in the heavy mineralized goldfields, with good depth on larger targets. In high trash areas in the goldfields, the excellent discrimination and Iron Mask feature helps it to eliminate the ferrous trash, yet still detect larger nuggets as well as those associated with Ironstone.

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Sovereign GT: Do you have any tips?

  1. The Sovereign GT shares one rather unusual characteristic with the Excalibur II - if you've been hunting for several hours and you notice that the Threshold volume level begins to gradually get louder and louder, this is telling you that the Battery Pack needs to be re-charged!
  2. If you've charged your NiMH Battery Pack overnight and the little green LED light on the Pack is still lit, this is normal. They will gradually grow dimmer as the battery is charged. However, the light will normally not go completely off.
  3. The Sovereign GT Meter should be calibrated for a reading of "550" with a U.S. Quarter, like all the earlier versions of the Sovereign.

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X-TERRA Series: What is the best coil for saltwater beach use?

If working in the water, on a mineralised beach, looking for fine gold jewellery, the 6” 18.75 kHz waterproof Double-D coil would be best. On a non-mineralised beach, the 9” Concentric 18.75 kHz is a good choice.

If working the dry sand only, one of the larger 10.5” round coils would cover more ground and go deeper.

Remember, the higher the frequency the more sensitive the coil is to smaller, low conductive targets such as fine jewelry. The lower the frequency, the better the response will be on larger high conductive targets, such as silver and copper coins, as well as large gold & silver rings.

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X-TERRA Series: How does the Target ID Stability or '+' mode work?

In heavily mineralised ground, the abnormally high ground response can alter the way a detector normally reads a coin or other target, which will affect the ID stability on all Target ID detectors. What this means is that you may be walking over good targets that are being rejected and you wouldn't even know! The target ID stabilizer on the X-TERRA 705 uses a special filter specifically designed for high mineralisation, which makes a better decision on the type of target that is in the ground. The result of this is a more consistent ID on targets that you may have overlooked as junk, so you will dig up a lot more keepers at the end of the day. If the ground conditions are very bad, i.e. high iron content, heavy clays etc. then it is preferable to use the 10x5" Double-D coil in conjunction with the Target ID Stabilizer.

NOTE: Be aware that with the Target ID Stability ON, variable target ID's from some junk targets may also be stabilized, so in normal ground conditions it is preferable to operate with Target ID Stability switched OFF.

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X-TERRA Series: What are the frequencies of X-TERRA Coils and where and when should I use?

Use the chart below or check the coil selection guide to find the most suitable coil for your detecting needs

X-TERRA Coils table (EN)

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X-TERRA Series: What if the unit does not power up when on/off button is pressed?

  • Check batteries are fully charged
  • Check orientation of batteries to ensure correct polarity
  • Check to ensure there is no corrosion on battery door contacts

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X-TERRA Series: I'm getting no sound from the control box speaker when headphones are not in use:

  • Check volume setting in menu. Volume for the speaker and headphones are stored separately.
  • Check if headphone icon is displayed on screen. If this icon is present with no headphones connected then the headphone socket requires replacement. Return to the nearest Authorised Service Centre.

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X-TERRA Series: Why can't I hear any sound from my headphones?

  • Check volume setting in menu. Volume for the speaker and headphones are stored separately.
  • Ensure headphones are functioning correctly. If possible test with other equipment. Wiggle the cable to check for intermittent audio. This indicates a damaged cable which needs replacement. Return to your nearest Authorised Service Centre.

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X-TERRA Series: What do the error messages mean and how are they resolved?

  • CU – Coil unplugged, many features are disabled if no coil is attached. If this error is displayed with a coil connected ensure plug and socket contacts are clean and there is no damage to pins.
  • CE – Coil Error, there is an error when communicating with the coil, ensure contacts are clean and undamaged. If possible check control box with another coil. If one coil continually gives a CE error return it to the nearest Authorised Service Centre.
  • CI – Coil Incompatible, the coil you are using is not compatible with the current model. Change to a coil which is compatible with your particular model.
  • OL – Overload, the detector has received a signal which is too strong to interpret. This usually indicates a large metal target is too close to the coil. Move the coil away from the source of the overload. This condition does not damage your detector; it simply indicates the signal cannot properly be identified.

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X-TERRA Series: Which coils are compatible with my detector?

  • The X-TERRA coils come in Low (3khz), Medium(7.5khz) and High(18.75khz) Frequency configurations.
  • X-TERRA 305 is compatible with Medium and High Frequency coils.
  • X-TERRA 505 and X-TERRA 705 models are compatible with all 3 Frequency coils.

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X-TERRA Series: My label is missing from my coil, how can I identify what type it is?

With coil connected press the menu button. Then press and hold the accept reject button, the letters displayed indicate coil type.

  • cS - Concentric coil construction of standard/Medium Frequency 7.5kHz
  • cL - Concentric coil construction of Low Frequency 3kHz
  • cH - Concentric coil construction of High Frequency 18.75kHz
  • dS - Double-D coil construction of standard/Medium Frequency 7.5kHz
  • dL - Double-D coil construction of Low Frequency 3kHz
  • dH - Double-D coil construction of High Frequency 18.75kHz

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X-TERRA Series: What type of coil should I use for different conditions?

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X-TERRA Series: How do I configure my X-TERRA 705 for Gold Prospecting?

  • Ensure you are using a High Frequency Double-D coil.
  • Ensure you are in Prospecting mode. This is indicated by a pick icon at the top of the screen. If a coin is displayed then the detector is in Coin & Treasure mode and will have a reduced sensitivity to small nuggets.
  • Run Noise Cancel and ground balance the unit, especially if you have switched the machine from Coin mode to Gold Prospecting mode.

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X-TERRA Series: My unit displays random characters on screen and does not respond

  • Replace the batteries with new ones. A low battery can sometimes result in the unit failing to initialise properly.
  • If problem persists return unit to your nearest Authorised Service Centre.

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X-TERRA Series: What coil upgrade is recommended for my X-TERRA 305 for relic hunting or coin detecting?

Consider the 10.5" Double-D high frequency coil. This coil provides great depth and has outstanding sensitivity to the widest variety of targets both large and small.

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X-TERRA Series: Are there any special issues when using in or around salt water?

The X-TERRA 705 is the perfect choice for this application as it has a Beach Ground Balance and Tracking options. The X-TERRA 305 and X-TERRA 505 will also perform admirably on beaches.

For each model high sensitivity settings can be used on dry sand. On wet sand, or in transition areas where dry and wet sand combine, lower sensitivity settings on the X-TERRA 305 and X-TERRA 505 will reduce false sounds. Users in any case should not be afraid to reduce sensitivity. By being able to work more quietly you can often increase your "finds" through the increased quietness. We also advise against allowing the coil to touch the sand's surface - keep it flat and level and about an inch (2-3 cm) from the wet surface. Try "walking the beach" - adopting a line toward the surf line with sensitivity set to maximum. If the X-TERRA begins to "chirp" lower the sensitivity setting until the sounds disappear. Then turn and walk parallel to the surf line adjusting sensitivity so that the detector remains quiet.

Most X-TERRA Coils are waterproof - feel free to walk in the water if you wish but protect the control box! Continue to increase the sensitivity as long as the detector remains quiet.

After use at the beach, remove the batteries and clean their terminals. Clean and dry the rest of the detector with a soft cloth.

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X-TERRA Series: When should I use the Noise Cancel feature?

In short, always! The abilities of your X-TERRA product in detecting some forms of electromagnetic interference (EMI) are more advanced than the human ear. Having detected the EMI the Noise Cancel feature will eliminate its effect, smoothing stability and improving overall performance. Even in remote areas, sources of EMI include engine alternators, computers and refrigerators.

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X-TERRA Series: What factors influence my choice of headphones?

We always recommend selecting based on comfort and audio quality so check as many sets of headphones as possible before purchasing.

The following specifications will further assist in guiding your decision:

Frequency response: 18 - 20,000 Hz
Impedance: 100 ohm

Audio levels on the X-TERRA 305, X-TERRA 505 and X-TERRA 705 are set separately for headphone or speaker operation. Connecting or disconnecting headphones resets the audio level to the previously set level for that mode.

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X-TERRA Series: What do Target ID numbers mean?

Target IDs are a measure of conductivity of a detected metal object. Different metal targets have different conductivity. X-TERRA Series detectors measure this electronically and display it as a number. More conductive targets such as silver coins have higher Target IDs such as 42. Thin foil has a much lower conductivity and can have a Target ID as low as 0 to 6.

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X-TERRA Series: Which is the right type of coil to use?

There are two issues to consider - frequency and coil type and size. Your choice of coil will depend on the type of ground you want to search and the types of targets you wish to find. Double-D coils are best suited to mineralised ground. A 10.5" Double-D coil is well suited to beach detecting. Double-D coils provide the best depth. Concentric coils suit soils that are cluttered with many individual targets - both wanted and unwanted. Pinpointing is sharper on concentric coils.

High frequency coils, such as the 18.75 kHz 10" x 5" elliptical coil, are recommended for gold hunting and for searching productive ancient sites where low conductivity items are more likely to be found. High frequency detecting can result in an increased tendency to signal more ferrous (unwanted) items. Smaller 6" coils are ideal for finding jewellery in manicured lawns, cluttered sites where wanted and unwanted targets might be located very close to each other, gold nugget hunting in rocky areas and working in shallow streams.

For more information, see the X-TERRA Coils comparison table.

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X-TERRA Series: Which is the right size of coil to use?

Your choice depends on the type of detecting you will do. Use larger coils, such as the 10.5" Double-D coil for deep cache detecting. Consider a smaller 6" Concentric coil if your search site is cluttered where wanted and unwanted targets might be located very close to each other. The commonly-used 9" concentric is ideal for general purposes detecting and a variety of applications, for example if searching for coins, perhaps in a school yard.

For more information, see the X-TERRA Coils comparison table.

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X-TERRA Series: What are the likely Target IDs for gold on the X-TERRA 705?

Generally speaking modern gold coins (such as those found in Europe that are less than 200 years old) are smaller and will likely produce a mid-range Target ID. Typically, smaller gold coins will usually have Target IDs in the range 13-19. Medium sized gold coins will usually have Target IDs in the range 20-29. Very large gold coins can have Target IDs of 30 or more. Some very small Celtic type gold coins have been found with a lower-than-normal conductivity and as such can have a Target ID less than 10.

When detecting allow experience to guide you since you may experience some variability due to your choice of X-TERRA model and coil. With experience you will find the sound of gold is fuller and more rounded. Take account also of the tonal response of all targets.

The value of experience lies in the ability to assess the signal tone and sound in addition to the numeric display when specifically searching for gold coins.

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X-TERRA Series: What are the best X-TERRA 705 settings for nugget hunting?

  • Use Prospecting Mode for nuggets. It is more sensitive to gold than other modes.
  • Ground Balance continuously.
  • Always use the Noise Cancel feature.
  • Use the highest Sensitivity setting that your ground conditions allow.
  • It may help to reduce the Preset Iron Mask to 0 (zero).
  • Always have a Threshold Tone on such that you can hear sounds which are faint but which are not confused by sounds from the ground itself.
  • Search slowly. Before proceeding allow the detector to reset after detecting unwanted targets.
  • Switch to Coin/Relic Mode to discriminate a target or, preferably, dig it anyway.
  • Always dig targets found in Prospecting Mode if they disappear in Coin/Relic Mode.
  • Use a Double-D high frequency coil (the elliptical 10" x 5" coil is recommended) for goldfields with highly mineralised soils.
  • Always Noise Cancel and Ground Balance before switching on Automatic Tracking.
  • Listen for faint, repeatable sounds. If they are faint but repeatable, dig them.

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X-TERRA Series: What Ground Balance numbers on the X-TERRA 705 indicate high mineralisation?

Lower numbers indicate higher levels of ground mineralisation. Remember Double-D coils generally have better capabilities in highly mineralised soils than concentric coils and may provide a better option.

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