Neil reviews the Minelab CTX3030 and shares his top detecting finds

The Joan Allen blog would like to introduce Neil Jones, who will be talking about his latest finds and exploits from the world of metal detecting.

In his first post, Neil talks about using the Minelab CTX3030 detector and seeing if it lives up to its hype.

CTX 3030 – First trial

Two months before the release of the new Minelab CTX3030 I was asked by Gordon Heritage (“Iron Hearted Gog” on the forums) if I would like to have a go with it.

It didn’t take much persuading even though I had to travel down to Buckinghamshire for around four hours detecting time due to Gordon’s work schedule.

I arrived at Gordon’s and had one of his famous filtered coffees which livened me up a little too much, as I’m hyper anyway and that isn’t good for Gordon as he’s sort of laid back.

We set off for the site which was only fifteen minutes of Gogg time away (35 mins). The site was a muddy building site which had been heavily detected for around a month so this would be a good test for the machine.

Building site:

As soon as we got out of our cars to get set up it started spitting which made Gordon speak a colourful language as we walked to the site.

I was to use the CTX 3030 and Gordon was to use my E Trac. He started me off on a basic setting which he soon changed for me to his tadpole program as that was more to my style of searching.

I set off swinging steady and carefully, I could hear the iron as the site is very mineralised and straight away a low tone which sounded like it was a surface signal ended up being a piece of lead at around 6”, which surprised me somewhat.

The next signal was a similar tone but this time was a hammered half penny at approx 5” and again sounded like a near surface signal. It was lovely seeing the the thin edge of the small grey disc just peeping out of the small clay clod – that’s one of my fave parts of detecting, the slow opening of the parcel while taking clodcam pics I just love it.


I gave Gordon the hammered sign and got the thumbs up then carried on. After a few bits of lead I got a medium tone signal, it was surrounded by iron but was surprisingly clear. I dug out a roman coin of Constantine in quite good condition.

The CTX was so easy to use and understand, searching for finds seemed like taking candy from a baby it was that easy.

The coins just gave themselves up willy nilly, lots sounded like the were just under the surface but were 6 and more inches down.

I got twelve Roman bronzes from that tight area then moved down to a water flooded part of the sight and got a smooth medium tone. I dug a large lump of shiny wet sticky yellow clay from about 2ft in to the puddle and started trimming the lump carefully with my spade till I revealed a tell tale round disc which was a Henry VII sovereign penny. Wow I thought two hammered from the site and its been visited loads by other detectorists.

 Sovereign penny:

Another Hammy sign to the Gogmeister and I carried on, I decided to detect a big area behind a long mount of soil. There was more trash here than the other part but I carried on, a smooth high pitch signal stopped me in my tracks.

Gordon had the CTX set so the highest signals were larger finds and the iron was a few octaves lower. At around a foot I could see a green round disc, the coin was Roman and cruddy but a welcome find at depth and it wasn’t even faint!

Green disc:

I found a few medieval buckles and mounts but the heavens opened and it poured it down making the site too sticky to work.

I saw Gordon stood under a tree so went to join him, on the way I heard another high pitched signal and retrieved a worn Lizzy sixpence. “That will do me”, I thought to myself, me and Gordon then stood under the tree for twenty minutes discussing the machine and our thoughts on it.

We drove back to Gordon’s house and he showed me all the set up on the computer, real hi-tec, I devised my own program and think its the mutts nutts.

My opinion on the CTX 3030 is that it’s the most versatile general purpose detector on the market, very easy to use even on switch on and very very well balanced so easy to swing for long periods. I have now purchased one as the urge was killing me.

I will give more in depth info in the very near future using the CTX on different sites including the beach. Happy Hunting folks!

Neil’s next post will be available on the Joan Allen blog next week. Let us know if you have been out detecting recently and share your finds on the Joan Allen Facebook page.


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