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.

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 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

“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 GoldX-TERRA 705 Gold Pack

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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.

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.

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.

The three most common types of coil windings are ConcentricDouble-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 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.

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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,

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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.

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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.


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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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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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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

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 coils 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 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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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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X-TERRA 705 Gold Pack: 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 Gold Pack 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 705 Gold Pack: 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

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X-TERRA 705 Gold Pack: 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 705 Gold Pack: 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 705 Gold Pack: 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 705 Gold Pack: 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 705 Gold Pack: Which coils are compatible with my detector?

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X-TERRA 705 Gold Pack: 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 705 Gold Pack: What type of coil should I use for different conditions?

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X-TERRA 705 Gold Pack: How do I configure 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 705 Gold Pack: 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 705 Gold Pack: Are there any special issues when using in or around salt water?

The X-TERRA 705 Gold Pack is the perfect choice for this application as it has a Beach Ground Balance and Tracking options.

For each model high sensitivity settings can be used on dry sand. 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 705 Gold Pack: When should I use the Noise Cancel feature?

In short, always! The abilities of your X-TERRA Gold Pack 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 Gold Pack: 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 705 Gold Pack is 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 705 Gold Pack: What do Target ID numbers mean?

Target IDs are a measure of conductivity of a detected metal object. Different metal targets have different conductivity. The X-TERRA 705 Gold Pack measures 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 705 Gold Pack: 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 705 Gold Pack: 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 705 Gold Pack: What are the likely Target IDs for gold?

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 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 705 Gold Pack: What are the best 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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