Discovering metal detecting…a novice’s view

Discovering metal-detecting…. By Gabby

…When someone says to me ‘metal detecting’ I immediately think of a treasure hunt, anoraks  and eccentrics. Then I hear a member of one of the biggest rock and roll bands in the world is a    metal detecting enthusiast and thinks it is “probably the best and most enjoyable way of learning about History.”

If it’s good enough for Rolling Stones bassist, Bill Wyman then maybe I am totally mislead and uninformed…let’s find out…

My New Toy: Minelab E-TRAC

Courtesy of Joan Allen Metal Detectors, I have myself a neatly packed box with a Minelab E-TRAC (which I am told is Minelab’s most technologically advanced detector, setting the industry benchmark) waiting to be unpacked. I am actually a bit nervous as it all looks a bit complicated…

…In the box there was a whole array of parts; coils, shafts, control boxes, headphones…an instruction manual (phew)! So I got to work in assembling this beast and it was surprisingly easy. I found myself more excited at every part that connected and you can’t help but notice the real quality and strength of the product; impressive. I was relieved the instruction manual was actually an instruction manual and not a maze like those flat pack furniture ones; it was clear and concise with diagrams illustrating each step. I was beginning to think this metal detecting lark could be good fun…

The instruction manual had all sorts of great information in it. Despite having this rather skeptic view about metal detecting, i realised i didn’t actually know much about it at all, how it worked, the technology; so i decided to do a bit of reading…

How Metal Detectors Work: 

I read that metal detectors create an electromagnetic field around the coil (the round flat bit that hovers over the surface) which penetrates the ground. Metal is conductive so it causes a change in the electromagnetic field, the detector then senses a change and sends a signal to the control box to alert whoever is operating it.

Metal detectors can determine the size, shape and composition of the metallic objects beneath the coil and the larger the object the easier it is to detect; pretty cool when you think about it.

I guess all is left to do now is to give it a go…


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