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The GPX 5000 metal detector has a Search Mode switch that is located on the front control panel at the top, just below the Threshold adjusting knob. The markings are: Deep, General and Custom. These are the names that Minelab decided to label them. The Search Modes could have been called 1,2 and 3, or any other sequence, but the function these Modes have are the important part. The factory presets for these are set so that Deep Mode can be utilised for searching deeper targets, General Mode is for general detecting and the Custom position is selectable from the naming options in the menu structure.
Each of these Search Modes can be custom set, however the operator chooses in regards to all the lower menu settings, and consequently every mode can have the exact same settings. There were some rumours around with the GPX-4500 that General Mode was quieter and Deep Mode was better for depth, which would be true if the settings for those particular Search Modes were at, or around the Factory Presets. We have the ability to set each Mode identically, as I said previously, in which case each Mode will have exactly the same characteristics and performance.
I exercise my personal choices for each of these Modes, but will suggest that the factory presets are good for a beginner or someone who has upgraded from a GP or SD Series detector to begin with. For my own benefit I select settings to make the Deep switch position my choice for deeper targets, General position for normal detecting and Custom (Patch) position to control the EMI we constantly get and are bombarded with in our area. I have a list of settings on my website www.goldcitydetecting.com for the GPX-4500 and GPX 5000 as suggestions for our area keeping in mind the above scenarios.
There are a few constants for each Mode in my detector which are settings for Signal Peak, Target Volume, Response, Tracking Speed and Iron Reject. One other constant for me is Audio Tone. Regardless of what Tone level better suits your hearing, I would suggest that each Mode is set at the same level if you set your detector up around what I wrote above, as differing tones can become confusing when switching between Modes. My first choice is to run in Deep Mode, but if the detector becomes unstable I switch to General. If General becomes unstable I switch to Custom/Patch. As our EMI levels lessen I will switch back the other way. This lets me make quick adjustments without having to stop and look in the menu.
Settings for Deep include Very Slow Motion and Deep Audio Type (you are not detecting as deeply as possible if Deep Audio Type is not selected). General settings contain a lower Gain, and Stabilizer setting with Normal Audio. Custom/Patch is a last resort for noisy days without having to go down in coil size or change to a Double-D coil and includes lower Gain and Stabilizer settings, Quiet Audio Type and Very Slow Motion. I try and use this position sparingly as it cost some detector performance.
If an operator wants to make direct comparisons on a target and learn just how the individual choices affect the detectors signal response, it is easy to set all Modes identically and then change one menu setting between each mode. This allows for quick adjustments to easily determine changes the settings make. For example, if you are detecting an area and want to see how the Gain Function affects a signal response, the three Search Modes can be set identically and then the gain setting for each Mode can be set differently allowing for a quick change by using the Search Mode switch, and not having to access the menu every time.
Then when a target is found it is a simple matter of changing the Search Mode Switch position to make an evaluation of each change. This can be true for Motion Speed changes, Audio changes or any of the other setting selections and is a good learning tool for an operator to learn how each setting reacts. Don’t be afraid of experimenting with the settings for each Search Mode, especially on a target that you think might be gold. This is the way to learn and understand the detector and hopefully get the full benefit from it.
The FP positions in the other Search Modes can be a little confusing when wanting to revert to more general settings, hence why I suggest users use the General Search Mode FP suggestions as a benchmark for making adjustments when coming up with custom settings of their own.