Metal Detecting is Not All About Finding Valuable Treasure

Sometimes you have to dig a lot of trash to get to that one small piece of treasure.

Sometimes you have to dig a lot of trash to get to that one small piece of treasure.

Quite frequently I get a comment from a reader or viewer saying, “Thank you for showing the real side of metal detecting.”  Unlike many channels, blogs, or even TV Shows, we choose to show the truth of what goes into (and comes out of) the hobby of metal detecting.  This is to say that, when you are metal detecting, you don’t always dig up really cool or valuable stuff and you don’t always get the chance to hunt exciting historically significant properties.  In fact, the majority of the things you are going to dig up are going to be garbage and quite frequently you will be forced to hit the local “tot-lot” to get your metal detecting fix.  That is the plain and simple truth.

Some outlets for metal detecting media disseminate a slightly skewed image of what the typical detectorist will experience in the hobby.  Not to say there is not a reason for this.  Let’s face it, if we recorded and posted every single find on our blog or YouTube Channel, we would quickly lose viewers.  There would be endless hours of pulltab recovery and scrap metal digging.  It would be pretty boring to watch…kind of like golf…amateur golf.  No, the majority of media outlets will show the things that attract viewers, cool finds and awesome metal detecting sites.  These are things that the average metal detectorist may not encounter all too frequently.  This is why we choose to show the truth behind the hobby.

Sure, I have tons of unused video of good metal detecting sites that refused to release any treasure and I have hours more of decent treasure digs at crappy sites.  And, sometimes there is not enough content to equal a good video. This is just how it goes.  So, the footage sits on my hard drive until we metal detect the site long enough to compile a good video video on it, or I have enough good items from multiple sites to create a decent treasure-finds compilation at the end of the year.  Regardless of the method behind our madness, this is how we choose to shoot our videos.  We refuse to do fake digs.  We will never plant anything on a property to enhance a video and we never fake digs.

We demand raw footage, the rawer the better in most cases.  Although properly bleeping out the curse words and trying to eliminate beer cans from footage can be quite challenging at times, we feel it makes for better footage.  One time when we were hunting with the folks from Garrett and KG & Ringy from the National Geographic show Diggers, I was checking out the $5,000 video camera the camera man was using.  He chuckled when I told him I owned both a Go Pro and  Midland XTC HD Camera but often chose to simply use my IPhone camera instead.  My reasoning?  First it is easier for me to review and decide whether to keep or can the footage.  Second, I told him, “Our videos have a sort of ‘Blair Witch’ quality to them our viewers seem to appreciate.”

And so it continues.  We do our best to find as good of sites we can find.  Try to show others how to find them too.  We use good quality, yet inexpensive, gear and show others how to use it too.  We dig real targets.  Some are trash and some are treasure.  But we always try to show what the reality is behind the hobby.  The truth is, not everyone can get on to the awesome properties, afford the best equipment, or locate the most valuable treasure every time out.  But, if you are persistent enough, you will occasionally find good sites, dig cool treasure, and you can do it with just about any type of gear.  You just have to be in the right mindset while doing it.  The mindset of enjoy every moment of it.  By doing that, this hobby can be one appreciate by the young and old for an entire lifetime, and it will pay off in ways you never imagined possible.

Metal Detecting & Prepping an Old Well For Excavation

Dn this video we do the following: Teach a quick lesson on how to find sites to metal detect, clean out a well for future digs, and find some kick butt treasure! Metal detecting this old 1800′s homesite pays off.

Metal Detecting Old Neighborhood Homes Silver & Rings

Kn this video Scrap Iron, Tyler, and Randy go out and knock some doors to gain access to some old homes located in an old downtown area. What is their payoff? Silver and Rings!

Fisher F5 Metal Detector Review

By Ozark Detector

After using the Fisher F2 for a few years, it was a natural progression to upgrade to the Fisher F5. The transition was smooth, and on the first hunt with it I was finding coins in the park.

 

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The design on the Fisher F5 is unlike any other detector on the market. With a combination of buttons and knobs, the Fisher F5 is very easy to do fine adjustments with.

The Target ID screen is very intuitive and presents everything in an easy to understand layout that even includes a “Ground Data” bar that indicates present ground mineralization. That allows you to be able to see when the mineralization in the ground changes so that you can easily make ground balance changes on the fly. As far as I know, that is a feature that you will only find on the Fisher F5 Metal Detector.

The F5 can be both manually, and automatically ground balanced, depending on your preference. Ground balancing is as simple as finding a metal free area, and holding down the Phase Lock button, then pumping the coil up and down as close to the ground as possible while in All Metal Mode until the tone of the detector quiets down. Then Switch over to discriminate mode, and fine tune your settings by choosing which target notches that you wish to include or discriminate out by turning the Discrimination button to the right.

Notice that as you discriminate each notch, a black line will be drawn through the target notch to indicate that targets within that range will be discriminated or ignored.

 

 

Ease of Use

The F5 is fairly easy to use, and setting the machine up only took me a couple of minutes or less. Once ground balanced, I turned the Gain up to 85, adjusted the Threshold to a -3 which made the machine more stable in the park’s trashy environment, and a few pushes on the Tones button to set up for 4 tones I was off and running! Within 10 minutes I was finding coins consistently on my very first hunt with the F5.

 

Tones:

The F5 can be set up to use either 1, 2, 3 or 4 tones. I prefer using the 4 tones setting in Discriminate Mode.

Using the 4 tones setting, Iron is a low tone, tabs and nickels are a medium tone, zinc is a medium-high tone, and dimes and quarters give a high tone. That was also my experience with the Fisher F2, so it is a familiar setting for me.

There is more to the F5 audio than just the number of tones though! There are some amazing tonal nuances that change depending on the cleanness of the signal, proximity to other targets, tone mode selected, etc. It’s the “little things” that you hear in the audio that help you tell the difference between a quarter tone and a can slaw tone. In other words, there is more to the audio on the Fisher F5 than just a beep!

The F5 also includes a confidence bar that helps determine how “sure” the detector is that the target identified on the Target ID notch is indeed what the detector says it is.

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Batteries:

The Fisher F5 operates on just two 9 volt batteries. The battery life is good, and they last upwards of 10 hours hunting time. There is a battery life bar on the display, and the batteries can be ran down all the way to 1 bar without any noticeable depth loss or change in performance. With just two 9 volt batteries, the Fisher F5 remains lightweight and easy to swing during those long hunts. The F5 uses alkaline batteries, however, I have used rechargeable batteries and they performed great with no performance loss.

 

Durability:

The Fisher F5 is a very durable detector. It is light-weight, but there is nothing flimsy about this detector! I detect in rough terrain, mountain homesteads and rocky soil and the Fisher F5 stands up to the challenge. I climb hills, slide down creek banks, climb over large downed trees, and detect in tall brush. No matter the conditions, the F5 has proven itself as a durable and well made machine.

 

Depth and Sensitivity:

The Fisher F5 is a a very sensitive detector. With the Gain knob, you can turn the sensitivity all the way up to 99 in some areas. The Depth is very respectable with the machine being capable of finding 7 inch deep dimes in my soil. Larger targets can easily be found at over 10 inches deep.

 

Summary

The Fisher F5 is an easy machine to set up and customize to your detecting environment no matter what type of hunting you choose to do. The menu settings are very straight forward and right in front of you at all times so there is no wading through menus or backtracking involved. The knobs make it possible to do very fine tuning so you can make precise adjustments that can not be done on most other detectors.

 

Final Thoughts

I would recommend the Fisher F5 Metal Detector to experienced detectorists that are ready to upgrade to a mid-level detector that is fairly easy to understand with features that are normally found on more expensive machines. The Fisher F5 is capable of finding all types of treasures, including jewelry, relics and coins and I found myself comfortable using the F5 in just a matter of minutes.

If you found this Fisher F5 Metal Detector Review useful, and are in the market for a Fisher F5, please consider visiting HighPlainsProspectors.com to learn more about the Fisher F5.

How to Use Gold Testing Kit?

Standard Gold Test Kit

Standard Gold Test Kit

Quite often we get the same questions repetitively.  In those instances I like to go ahead and post them here on our blog as a resource for others who may be asking the same question.  This week, once again I had someone ask how to use acid to test for gold.  We sell a gold testing kit that comes with 3 vials of varying strengths of acid solutions and an acid testing stone.  The kit comes with 10K, 14K, and 18K testing acid.  Individual vials are available too.  Another useful tool is a set of gold testing needles.  Here is how you use the kit:

CAUTION

Use extreme care in handling gold and silver testing solutions, for they are, corrosive acids. In case of skin contact, flush with large amounts of water. Then treat affected area with sodium bicarbonate or baking soda. If swallowed, contact a physician or hospital at once. In case of spills. treat with water and then sodium bicarbonate or baking soda.

TESTING FOR GOLD

Scratch the piece to be tested over the surface of the black stone provided, press well so as to leave a visible deposit, preferably a line of one to one-half inches long. For the most accurate testing it is recommended that the user becomes familiar with comparative testing using standard gold testing needles. For highest sensitivity place a scratch line with a gold test needle next to the scratch line of the metal you are testing. Compare the speed at which the scratches dissolve. If the test scratch dissolves more quickly than the needle scratch, it is a lower karat than the needle.

Transfer a drop of the 10K solution to the scratch made. If the solution dissolves the scratch on the stone. it means the object is less than 10K gold or not gold at all. If the, solution leaves the scratch intact, it means the object being tested is 10K or greater than 10K.

The scratching and testing is repeated with the 14K solution. If the Solution dissolves the scratch on the stone, it means the object is less than 14K gold (if the scratch dissolves slowly and leaves rusty color particles, it is probably 12k gold). If the solution leaves the scratch intact, it means the object being tested is 14K or greater than 14K. (CAUTION: Many objects are marked 14K, but were fabricated prior to 1982 when it was legal to mark items 14K, but in reality the gold was 13.5K. When testing 13.5K gold, the 14K solution will not dissolve the scratch, but it will make it lose its brightness and it will turn it into a yellow-rusty color).

The scratching and testing is repeated with the 18K solution and the 22K solution (if available) until the karat of the object is determined. Remember that when the solution being used dissolves the scratch slowly and leaves rusty color particles it is probably two karats lower than the solution being used.

On items of heavy weight and volume such as chains, coins, etc, where plating could hide the true metal, it is recommended that a deep notch in the test piece be made and the testing be made with the metal inside the piece