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VDI numbers ?
Posted by: volpe
Date: August 15, 2017 09:46AM
I have a R2 and am detecting an 1873 home and have found horse shoes and nails among other things. The horseshoe nails show up at 96 VDI, yes the numbers vary, but 96 is predominate, especially as I wiggle the coil over the target. The detector is set at 2 tone, gain, 60, ID filter, 10, as well as notch filter. Iron audio, 3 tone break at 20, audio tone at 40. Secondly, Why doesn't each target give a steady tone? A nail is a nail, a pull tab is a pull tab, these numbers jump around as well. Yet, the R2 will ring out on coins, copper, silver etc, and of course, bottle tops. this is my first detector and have 40-50 hours with it.

avatar
Re: VDI numbers ?
Posted by: Kapok
Date: August 15, 2017 12:58PM
Hopefully people who are more knowledgeable and/or better at explaining this stuff will be along shortly to help you out. But here is my two farthings...

What you're experiencing is normal. Most VDI numbers jump around a lot, and in most cases you'll experience a noisy or inconsistent signal unless the soil is unusually mild and free of competing target signals. If, however, as in most places we hunt, there are overlapping targets or other interference in the soil, it's going to be messy. And not all nails or pull tabs are made of the same exact metallic makeup or shape, size, and density, so the signals are going to vary. Frankly I can't remember the last time I heard a steady, smooth tone and locked-on single VDI number--with any detector, not just the Makro. Maybe it's the trashy sites I have to hunt. In my experience with the Racer, anything in the mid to high 90s is gonna be iron. There is a lot more to say about this stuff, but I'd advise you to keep at it and look for patterns in sound and display that help you identify what's under your coil.

HH



Ridding the world of pulltabs, one plug at a time | Makro Racer 2 | Minelab Explorer SE



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/15/2017 01:00PM by Kapok.

Good answers, Scott. And when 'volpe' gets
Posted by: Monte
Date: August 15, 2017 07:19PM
his 40 years of metal detecting in like you have, I am sure he'll be helping others the same way. One thing all manufacturers ought to put in the Operator Manuals or their ad slicks and other marketing stuff is:

* Alert to Beginners .. Don't expect instant miracles or for everything to work perfectly all-the-time.
It takes time reading and learning, searching and learning, and ample patience to master this great sport.


I might add a few remarks to see if it is of any help as well.

Monte



"Your EYES ... the only 100% accurate form of Discrimination!"

Stinkwater Wells
Trading Post

Metal Detector Evaluations and Product Reviews
'How-To' help for Coin & Jewelry Hunting, Relic Hunting and Useful Techniques.

My Regular-Use Detectors:
Nokta:
Impact, FORS Relic and FORS CoRe (Using mainly the 'OOR', 5", 4X7½, 5X9½ open-frame DD's or 7" Concentric coils as needed. Other coils on-hand.)
Tesoro:
Vaquero, Silver Sabre µMAX and Mojave (With either a 6" or 7" Concentric coil in use, or maybe 8X11 DD on the Vaquero.)

Other Specialty Use Detectors from:
Compass, Makro, Nokta, Tesoro and White's
Note: Detectors are listed alphabetically by Brand, NOT in my order of preference for use. Additional search coils on-hand in accessory bags.

Pinpointers: Using Nokta and Makro Pointers.
Headphones: Using the Killer B 'Hornet'.

*** All working well today to make memories for tomorrow. ***

monte@stinkwaterwells.com .. or .. monte@ahrps.org
(503) 481-8147


avatar
Re: Good answers, Scott. And when 'volpe' gets
Posted by: Kapok
Date: August 15, 2017 09:05PM
Wow, thanks, Monte!



Ridding the world of pulltabs, one plug at a time | Makro Racer 2 | Minelab Explorer SE

The magical world of understanding VDI numeric read-outs.
Posted by: Monte
Date: August 16, 2017 08:16AM
'volpe,' my reply is tardy as I got sidetracked with a phone call regarding metal detecting and, trust me, I can get involved with some discussions on various topics related to this great sport. I hope you read the reply by 'Kapok' as it was correct and based on his 40 years of metal detecting since Scott got started back in 1977 and if anyone puts in the time and effort to get involved in detecting they are sure to learn more about the whys and why-nots, hows and how-tos, and thankfully share their experiences with others.

I'm a pretty Avid Detectorist myself, and have been since March of '65 so I'll just add my comments to support Scott's response.


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volpe
I have a R2 and am detecting an 1873 home and have found horse shoes and nails among other things. The horseshoe nails show up at 96 VDI, yes the numbers vary, but 96 is predominate, especially as I wiggle the coil over the target.
First, let me congratulate you for selecting the Makro Racer 2 as it is one of the better general-purpose detectors on the market today. I'll also envy the fact that you are detecting an 1873 home as that hints to the opportunity that you have a good chance of finding older dated coins and other early era artifacts of interest ... and it also means you are likely to have to deal with more accumulated trash lost of discarded trash.

There will be some learning needed to get to know the Racer 2's behavior afield and the various adjustment features it offers. Let me insert here this statement: There is no such thing as a 'perfect' metal detector, nor 'perfect' audio or visual Target ID response as there are just too many variables to deal with. It will also be the detector operator's responsibility to select the best size and type of search coil, detector settings, and sweep technique to get the best results possible based upon the search site condition and challenges.

One example are the horseshoe nails you are finding, and the ± '96' VDI numeric response you get, especially when you 'wiggle' the search coil over those targets. Most nails, but not all nails, are made 'predominantly' out of iron, a ferrous or magnetic-based metal. Often targets we find are not 100% one specific metal type, but a blend or alloy mix of more than one metal. Those, TID responses, both visual and audible, can be inconsistent.

Then we have to deal with them being 'man-handled' from their original metal ore. Generally, pure iron would produce a lower iron audio tone and non-ferrous objects would alert us with a higher-pitched audio complemented by a higher numeric VDI response. Then along came man who tinkers with a metal, such as iron, and processes it and shapes it into an irregular form which, sometimes, also enhances the objects conductivity level which, in turn, gives us an inconsistent and often perplexing response. If iron horseshoe nails are the culprit then we have to understand why the higher TID response as well as listen closely to the audio and try to catch some tell-tale signs of an iron target response.

Oh, and about the 'wiggle' technique. It can, at times, be helpful and I often 'wiggle' a coil over a located target, but I take into consideration the size of the search coil used, the design type of coil used, the search mode and settings and the size of the 'wiggle.' That audio info is quickly considered along with the natural search sweep response that caught me attention in the first place and from that combined audio and visual response I can reasonably 'guesstimate' about the target's likely metal composition.

On most nails you have to consider the alloy make-up of the object; the size of the object, such as length and thickness; the shape such as flattened, on edge or a canted angle, opposing angles such as the body of the nail and the head of the nail, as well as if it is straight or bent at an abrupt angle. Man shapes these objects in a 'normal' fashion that can create irregular responses, and we can alter them as well such as bending them which can throw an anticipated VDI response off from 'normal.'


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volpe
The detector is set at 2 tone, gain, 60, ID filter, 10, as well as notch filter. Iron audio, 3 tone break at 20, audio tone at 40.
Here are my Racer 2 basic settings which, in the Di2 or Two-Tone search mode, are saved as:

Gain = '95' (I prefer to start at a higher Gain level then reduce it, if necessary, to deal with chatter or unsteady behavior)
ID Filter = '03' (which I keep lower so that I can hear the presence or iron nails)
Tone Break = '10' (which is the Ferrous/Non-Ferrous break point)
Audio Tone = '50' for the higher, Non-Ferrous Tone


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volpe
Secondly, Why doesn't each target give a steady tone?
By 'steady tone' I take that to mean a more consistent or tighter audio, as well as visual, response? There are several reasons, but the two primary reasons are usually because the object is not a uniform roundish-shaped metal object in a flat-to-the-coil orientation, but instead an elongated nail with an uneven shape (fatter head of the nail and some nail heads at more of a 90° angle to the shaft or body of the nail). It can also be at an abrupt or angled orientation to the coil. The second reason is that you are using a Double-D designed search coil and there will be more inconsistency from the overlapped and opposing presentation of the Transmit and Receive windings as you sweep over and across the located target. There are other potential causes but those are the mail two reasons.


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volpe
A nail is a nail, a pull tab is a pull tab, these numbers jump around as well. Yet, the R2 will ring out on coins, copper, silver etc, and of course, bottle tops.
Yes, a target-is-a-target, but there are other variables to consider. Most nails are made of iron based metals. Ferrous or magnetic in nature. They can be in a wide range of sizes and shapes and orientations to the coil. Pull tabs, to include both the older ring-pull type and the modern rectangular pry-tab design, are also made of a mix of metal alloys, generally of higher-conductive non-ferrous metals, and they are also made in odd shapes rather than a round and consistent shape.

Back in June of '94 I was preparing to give a presentation on Recreational Metal Detecting at a week-long class and went to a local city park to search up all the possible 'pull tabs' I could find. That included complete and flat-shaped older ring-pull tabs, ring-pull types with the 'beaver tail' bent over the ring portion, the 'beaver tail' bent through or curled into the ring portion, separate beaver tail pieces and separated ring portions, and quite a few of the newer style rectangular-shaped pry-tabs. I used a White's 5900 Di Pro SL detector and tested each of those samples, then numbered them in order of the visual numeric TID response they produced as the needle meter accurately settled on the most consistent response.

There were '27' different conductivity groups once I worked them out to have one TID response for each specimen. Twenty-seven different TID readings from one 'class' of targets .. "pull tabs" ... and that was using a round, Concentric coil that would provide me the most consistent audio and visual response from a sampled target. That made them range from just below the conductivity and TID of a US 5¢ 'nickel' coin and on up above to include most of the older pull-tab readings.

Bottle caps are another problem target we deal with. Most are made of a ferrous-based metal that used to 'read' with or produce a negative rejected response since they are an iron, nickel or some type of magnetic metal. But, again, man formed them into a shape that enhances their conductivity and with today's 'modern' circuitry designs they can usually produce an up-scale response with a visual TID that, while often more radical or jumpy, seems to fall in the 1¢/10¢25¢ TID range. This can occur with most any modern detector and search coil, but classifying an iron/ferrous/magnetic type metal is also usually more difficult with a Double-D search coil, and augmented when it is a larger-size DD coil rather than a smaller coil size.

Most coins, referring here to USA coinage that is almost all based on non-ferrous, higher-conductive metals and formed into a round shape, are going to provide a more consistent numeric VDI response thanks to their more consistent shape, size and alloy content. Even cons, however, can, and will, respond with a TID that might be 'spot-on' accurate or perhaps read a little lower than normal, or higher than normal, based upon their depth in the ground, the position or orientation to the coil,


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volpe
this is my first detector and have 40-50 hours with it.
I used to put in 40-50 hours a week when I got started in the hobby, but that was long before we had Discrimination, Auto-Tune, Ground Balance, and other 'modern' additions like Audio Tone ID or any visual Target ID. It was 9 years before we had Ground Balance circuitry on our hobby-based detectors, and 18 years before Target ID, as a matter-of-fact, so I was fortunate to get a lot of field time and learning time along the way as we progressed to today.

As a beginner, just starting out today with a new Makro Racer 2 that has so many advanced features and performance, you have a lot more to learn about the 'basics' of how detectors work (or are supposed to work under ideal conditions) and a lot to learn about just what the different functions and features are that the Racer 2 provides. It is going to take time, and patience, and just kind of take it one step at a time so that you know how and why the different adjustments work and how they can help you in your searches.

Also, you didn't mention which search coil you were using in your post, or which search coils you currently have for the Racer 2. Also, other than hunting the 1800's house site, what type of detecting do you plan to do? Coin & Jewelry Hunt in urban environments? Relic Hunt older sites that are more out-of-the-way? Maybe a little Beach Hunting, fresh or salt water environments?

Each type of hunt site you pick might be better worked with a different search mode, such as using Di3/Three-Tone and a smaller-size coil when working a very nail infested, dense iron debris old site that has a lot of rusty tin shards, since the processed Three-Tone performance works well at audibly classifying a lot of the rusty tin. Learning to use a very functional slow and methodical sweep speed would be in your favor, too, so you don't miss targets by using a faster sweep speed and less efficient site coverage. It's all a learning game and, trust me, the game is never ending. There's no perfect detector, and there is no detectorist who "knows it all" either. It's always a matter of learning to better understand the ways and hows and whys to enhance your personal knowledge and skill level.

It will come in time, and you're going to do well along the way by having an excellent detector in-hand as you do. If you don't have a smaller-size coil I will suggest getting one, and using it often. Tighter TID read-outs, less interference from adjacent trash, lighter and more comfortable balance. Use the standard 7X11 DD for more open area with fewer trash targets, if that's the only coil you have.

Monte



"Your EYES ... the only 100% accurate form of Discrimination!"

Stinkwater Wells
Trading Post

Metal Detector Evaluations and Product Reviews
'How-To' help for Coin & Jewelry Hunting, Relic Hunting and Useful Techniques.

My Regular-Use Detectors:
Nokta:
Impact, FORS Relic and FORS CoRe (Using mainly the 'OOR', 5", 4X7½, 5X9½ open-frame DD's or 7" Concentric coils as needed. Other coils on-hand.)
Tesoro:
Vaquero, Silver Sabre µMAX and Mojave (With either a 6" or 7" Concentric coil in use, or maybe 8X11 DD on the Vaquero.)

Other Specialty Use Detectors from:
Compass, Makro, Nokta, Tesoro and White's
Note: Detectors are listed alphabetically by Brand, NOT in my order of preference for use. Additional search coils on-hand in accessory bags.

Pinpointers: Using Nokta and Makro Pointers.
Headphones: Using the Killer B 'Hornet'.

*** All working well today to make memories for tomorrow. ***

monte@stinkwaterwells.com .. or .. monte@ahrps.org
(503) 481-8147


Re: VDI numbers ?
Posted by: volpe
Date: August 16, 2017 09:13PM
Thanks for your responses, I wish I could spend some time with you experienced detectorists. My interests lie in history recovery, I spend a considerable amount of time researching, I enjoy it, before I approach the property owner. Presented with a synopsis of the research they invariably give consent, I've done the research over a few years, long before I bought this R2. I chose estates, and significantly historic, important, sites. I am using the standard coil and the five inch coil, the nails were found using the 5'' coil, the 96 did seam very unlikely as they are very old and crusty, they are curved to nearly a half circle. I gravitated to two tone and deep modes as they are deeper and give a VDI when the three tone won't. I have found that wiggling the coil over the target is as effective as pinpointing, more so if the coil is over multiple targets. Though I have found indian head pennies, V nickles, and other older coins and relics at other sites, none here yet, nor at a old brick school house,circa 1883.

Is there a way to determine if your unit is performing correctly? I use your nail board test with coins, tabs, and other things I find, ie,the horseshoe nails, results are not confidence building. Do you use the settings in your message in your nail board test?

'volpe,' back to you.
Posted by: Monte
Date: August 18, 2017 07:29AM
Quote
volpe
My interests lie in history recovery, I spend a considerable amount of time researching, I enjoy it, before I approach the property owner. Presented with a synopsis of the research they invariably give consent, I've done the research over a few years, long before I bought this R2. I chose estates, and significantly historic, important, sites.
I am with you on the value of doing research. I was doing old site research before I ever built my first metal/mineral locator, and to this day I enjoy researching old-use sites as much as I do hunting them. And, as you have found, it can be a benefit when trying to acquire access to private property. :cheers:


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volpe
I am using the standard coil and the five inch coil, ...
I do about 90% of my Racer 2 searching with the round 5¼" DD coil, but that is because I am most often working older and very densely littered sites where iron debris abounds. The 7X11 DD is only use on sparse-target, more open areas.


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volpe
... the nails were found using the 5'' coil, the 96 did seam very unlikely as they are very old and crusty, they are curved to nearly a half circle.
Quite often we can reject iron nails. Sometimes, however, nails and other challenging iron can produce an audio response along with an upper-scale VDI read-out. Those can fall in the '82' to '96' range, as a rule, when the search coil is swept directly across them. Nails and rusty tin are two of the biggest annoyances from the ferrous target group, but we can usually hear a brief lower-tone 'iron audio' response on the coil's sweep just immediately prior-to of just after passing the target.


Quote
volpe
I gravitated to two tone and deep modes as they are deeper and give a VDI when the three tone won't.
True, those Two-Tone modes can produce a bit better depth-of-detection than the processed audio Three-Tone mode, but I have still found the Three-Tone mode to get very functional detection depth (if all modes are set to the highest Gain level possible for comparison), but if Three-Tone can't signal and the Two-Tone modes do, then that hints that the target might be at more of a fringe depth for those modes and this can make it more difficult at times to have good Discrimination and process the target signal well.


Quote
volpe
I have found that wiggling the coil over the target is as effective as pinpointing, more so if the coil is over multiple targets.
Yes, a short stroke 'wiggle' can help isolate individual targets in a dense, close-target arrangement, and it is doable with the Racer 2 thanks to the very quick-response and fast-recovery of the circuitry design.


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volpe
Though I have found indian head pennies, V nickles, and other older coins and relics at other sites, none here yet, nor at a old brick school house,circa 1883.
I can't tell you how many times I have encountered the same results where there were few, if any, old target finds at tome older-era places like you mention. Sometimes it is because the sites were detected long ago and older targets were thinned out. At times it is due to the ground having been tilled or altered in some way. Perhaps fill material had been brought it to level uneven ground. And perhaps two very good reasons are that the site didn't have ample activity to generate much coin loss, and the fact that the coil just wasn't swept directly over a lost target.


Quote
volpe
Is there a way to determine if your unit is performing correctly? I use your nail board test with coins, tabs, and other things I find, ie,the horseshoe nails, results are not confidence building.
My Nail Board Performance Test is simply a test scenario based upon duplicating an actual in-the-field encounter over 33 years ago with those size and shape nails in that specific orientation around an Indian Head 1¢ in that centered #1 position. This is the type of good-target/bad-target environment I encounter very often in the old 1800's ghost towns, homesteads, military camps and forts and all sorts of early-era sites I prefer to hunt, and I have relied upon this test just to compare a the ability of a detector and coil combination to isolate a desired target and respond well in such a dense iron trash environment.

Use of the Nail Board is pretty simple and there are two iron Disc. settings I like to use. The first one is to just barely reject the four iron nails from detection using different sweep directions. Then place an Indian Head cent or modern Zinc cent in the #1 spot. Sweep across the four different route, from the left and from the right, and that provides for up to 8-out-of-8 target responses. For me, it takes 6-out-of-8 to 'pass' this challenge, and using a 1¢ coin I won't keep a detector in my Regular-Use Detector Team unless I get at least 7-out-of-8 good, digable hits. This is with the iron nails rejected.

The second way I test a detector's performance level is to reduce the Discrimination setting so that I am just barely responding to the iron nails. This would be done with a multi-tone detector that provides me with 2-or more audio Tone ID options. I want to hear a proper Low-Tone audio response from the four nails. Then, once I place a 1¢ coin on the centered spot, I sweep over the entire board from all four directions, left-and-right, to see how many good Higher-Tone audio hits I get while still hearing the Low-Tone Iron Audio sound as well. Again, I want to be able to hear the iron but still get at least 7-out-of-8 good audio responses from a desired small coin in that iron challenge.

If a detector/coil combination can be adjusted to [1] just barely reject the four iron nails and [2] to just barely accept the four nails with a low-tone audio response, and have a very quick-response and fast-recovery so that I can get 7 or 8 good audio responses using the four sweep directions from either side, then that's how a detector and coil are determined to "work correctly and efficiently" for hunting in a dense, iron contaminated site.

Due to the target masking effect of the four nails, I do not anticipate a function audio or visual TID of the sample target. I just want a clean audio response that alerts me to a potentially good target separate from the Low-Tone iron trash. I do not use a pull tab or other non-ferrous type target to try and get a 'proper' Target ID from it because that is not going to happen with the nearby iron nails masking the non-ferrous target response. Visual TID is just a bonus bit of information we might attain from any garget on an in-ground response that can also be altered by a close metal object (aka target masking) so audio response is the primary information I want and need when hunting any site, especially one that is iron contaminated.


Quote
volpe
Do you use the settings in your message in your nail board test?
YES. Every time I check a unit out using my NBPT I have it set up just like I would use it, or start out using it, at any hunt site. LONG LONG LONG ago I started using the highest Sensitivity or gain setting possible, or something very close to maximum, that I could. Why? Because with many detectors, especially those that appeal to me the most to be in my detector battery, I would rather start out with a higher/highest Gain/Sensitivity setting and get busy searching and finding stuff than start out with a low setting and slowly work to increase it a little at a time to find out how high I could set it. It's much easier, less time consuming and more efficient to start out with a high gain setting and hunt. IF the conditions are such that I have EMI or instability THEN I'll be able to reduce it just to the point that I gains stability. Otherwise, I get 'the most bang for the buck' so to speak.

Here are my Racer 2 saved for the Di2 or Two-Tone search mode:

Gain = '95' (I prefer to start at a higher Gain level then reduce it, if necessary, to deal with chatter or unsteady behavior)
ID Filter = '03' (which I keep lower so that I can hear the presence or iron nails)
Tone Break = '10' (which is the Ferrous/Non-Ferrous break point)
Audio Tone = '50' for the higher, Non-Ferrous Tone

In Di3/Three-Tone, Beach and DEEP modes, the primary difference is that I start out with a Gain @ '95'

I took the same approach of using high Gain settings saved to start up with my Nokta Impact, Relic and CoRe units as well. Also, other than the COG/Beach mode, all my saved Discriminate settings for all other search modes is low so that I accept iron nails. I like to hear the presence of iron so that I can work my coil around it for an partially masked keepers. If nails and other ferrous debris is excessive then I favor my FORS Relic and Impact over the CoRe because they have Iron Audio Volume, just like the Racer 2, so I can reduce the loudness for more pleasant hunting in dense iron.

Monte



"Your EYES ... the only 100% accurate form of Discrimination!"

Stinkwater Wells
Trading Post

Metal Detector Evaluations and Product Reviews
'How-To' help for Coin & Jewelry Hunting, Relic Hunting and Useful Techniques.

My Regular-Use Detectors:
Nokta:
Impact, FORS Relic and FORS CoRe (Using mainly the 'OOR', 5", 4X7½, 5X9½ open-frame DD's or 7" Concentric coils as needed. Other coils on-hand.)
Tesoro:
Vaquero, Silver Sabre µMAX and Mojave (With either a 6" or 7" Concentric coil in use, or maybe 8X11 DD on the Vaquero.)

Other Specialty Use Detectors from:
Compass, Makro, Nokta, Tesoro and White's
Note: Detectors are listed alphabetically by Brand, NOT in my order of preference for use. Additional search coils on-hand in accessory bags.

Pinpointers: Using Nokta and Makro Pointers.
Headphones: Using the Killer B 'Hornet'.

*** All working well today to make memories for tomorrow. ***

monte@stinkwaterwells.com .. or .. monte@ahrps.org
(503) 481-8147


Re: VDI numbers ?
Posted by: volpe
Date: August 19, 2017 09:29AM
Just retrieved my computer from the shop this morning, in the meantime I went back to the 1873 house. I chose the Makro Racer 2 after perusing the forums,especially this one, so it's thank to Monte, Keith Southern, Kapok, and others. Using the settings Monte mentions above, while using Di3 mode in factory settings to compare. I have used Montes settings before with the exception of the audio at 50, and when the EMI necessitates otherwise. Sometimes I bring up the id filter to 10, quieter. I use the standard coil to cover ground when targets are sparce AND in large areas, 1873 house is 3 acres, the 5 inch coil when the ground is target rich. I took notice of my sweep and search habit,the sweep being 4 to 5 ft, one sweep being there and back before advancing 1/2 the coil length; speed is about a foot a second. It took me a while and experimenting to get the iron tone on sheet tin, very slow motion over the target produced an iron tone coming off the target, still can't get one on nails. One note, some small nails produced a high tone and a vdi of 04...? This site has produced 5 memorial pennies and a 1992 dime as far as coins go, .38 cal rimfire brass, one .38 cal wadcutter bullet. two harness buckles, two horse shoes and multiple horse shoe nails.
There are also hardware that appears to from and old cabinet or desk that match late 1800's furniture.
I have two nail boards,one with modern nails, and one with the oldest,crustiest nails I've retrieved. Even the standard coil does pretty well depending on the above
settings, I like to experiment, but the 5" is best. I guess I should stick to coins however!
I certainly appreciate your help, there is no one around here that I know of I may inquire of, and I never laid eyes on a MD until I bought the R2, so your help is invaluable to say the least. I bought the R2 as a tool to confirm/authenticate the research, now, I've become hooked on MDing itself. I keep it with me as I now see potential nearly everywhere. I have stopped in a few places, four, explained myself, and have gotten permission ie each case except one. People ARE interested in history even if it not their own.

Thanks again.

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