Findmall.com
 
 






Beep & Dig Detecting Forum


Welcome! Log In Register
Vaquero Black en route!
Posted by: tiftaaft
Date: October 24, 2017 11:23AM
I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of a new (to me) Vaquero Black with the 11x8 and 5.75 deep seeker coils. I would love any suggestions on how to tune her up and hit the ground (literally) for park hunting (gold and silver... don't we all?;)). Thanks, Tim.

Re: Vaquero Black en route!
Posted by: dan b
Date: October 24, 2017 01:23PM
Silver should be easy. The gold will require digging many pulltabs. That's how she goes!



Current detectors:
:garrett: ATPro
Previously owned: :tesoro:, :garrett:, :fisher: , :teknetics:, :minelab:, and :whites:

avatar
Re: Vaquero Black en route!
Posted by: REVIER
Date: October 24, 2017 03:35PM
I used one for several years, my first real detector and we had a blast together.
Many ways to use Tesoros, some run it in higher disc, some lower, many hunt supertuned and some don't and many hunt using all metal.
In the right soil this thing can be deeeep, and there is a language to these things and techniques that can help you ID targets pretty darn good and accurately once you learn how.
Some never get the hang of hunting without screens but for those of us that do these things are just flat out fun to use and learn...and productive.
Beep and dig, sure you can use them that way but they are way more than that I assure you.

I would start out in normal fashion at first, leave supertuning for later when you get the hang of it a bit.
Supertuning is a method to adjust the threshold to let you hear all signals much louder and some believe very quiet deeper targets better but you won't be able to use the pinpoint button in this mode or tell much about depth either because all signals will sound about the same.
Non supertuned, with the threshold set at just barely loud enough to hear it, can let you hear more modulation on targets at different depths...deeper ones will sound a little quieter and further away, plus the pinpoint button can be used but just swing over targets you will find how accurate these things are without going near that button and especially using that small coil.
Also swinging over targets and raising that coil bit by bit can tell you a lot about target depth.
If you know how deep you can hit targets and raise the coil up till they fade out and subtract the difference between the coil and the ground you might be surprised how good you can get at this with practice.

Here is a great vid on ground balancing AND supertuning from 53 Silver...go to his channel and he has a lot more vids there about park hunting with his Vaq and how he hunts for coins, rings and whatever.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pBLEntJrkjE

Some leave the disc at one place and dig everything that beeps above it.
Others set the disc low and thumb that knob up to the fade out point to see where the target seems to be like Tesoro tells you to do in their manuals.
I don't do either, that set it and dig all beeps drives me crazy and I am into digging as much of the good stuff as possible while avoiding as much trash as I can and this way you will dig a ton of...everything.
Thumbing up is a better way to figure out things but early on I quit thumbing up to the fade out point and instead learned to go past till it's quiet then thumb back down while swinging over the targets and listening to how targets "come in" instead.
Many of us do it only this way, it is much more accurate and how those targets sound when they do come in can tell you much.
I got to the point where noisy, popping, clicking targets I learned to avoid and mostly go after the targets that just...come in with very little noise.
I found that trash and garbage is usually a lot more noisy this way while good targets just show up loud and clear.
Not perfect, you never know until you dig it and some bad targets can come in quiet while some good targets may be a bit noisier, nickels for example, but after digging tons of trash for hundreds of hours I got sick of that so I practiced this method until I had a pretty high confidence level and now I just do it this way all the time.
If I miss something so what, I figure I will get it another time and you might be surprised how successful I got using this high percentage method.
Here is a vid of me on a hunt right after I got a sniper concentric.
I meant to hunt in some really trashy parking lot dividers with it but I found myself in a huge area with that small coil and despite the trash that was in that spot too that I avoided, plus the insanity of hunting such a big area with such a small coil, I was walking around this place pretty fast and still got a nice solid signal.
I stopped and thumbed up past the fade out point and then back down and it came in solid and full with no noise so I had to dig it.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FhPT55m2TOM

All gold I ever found with a Tesoro came in the same way for me...so far.
If you ever come across a big gold target like a class ring or maybe something very high karat like 22-24k listen and notice how they sound on an analog detector.
I have dug a million targets with mine including two gold class rings and those two were unique like no other..they were different than any other target I ever dug before or since so I hope you get to hear that sweet sound one day.

Also I used to hunt at first with that disc knob just below nickel thinking I would get most gold that way because that is what I read.
Then I read a post from a hunter that said the best thing he ever found came in at foil and that affected me deeply.
After I lowered that disc knob down and hunted by using that thumbing up then down method and you would not believe how much more gold I found in the foil areas....not to mention a whole lot more silver chains.
Lots of gold can come in at nickel or tabs which is true...but not all of it.
Here is a fuzzy vid I made hunting and avoiding most trash next to a picnic pavilion using my Compadre.
I avoided most foil but this one came in solid and sweet...and at the L on Foil.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?t=3s&v=_KUzKZ9pOic

Other things you will start to notice in time with practice.
Lots of aluminum can slaw and bigger foil pieces have a very annoying sound to their tone...at the end it isn't really sharp but it has a tinny component and very annoying at the end once you hear it enough.
My Vaq was a high tone model and this particular annoying sound was amplified using a model with this feature.
When I grit my teeth I knew I was swinging over foil every time...a little superpower that model has.
It isn't quite as annoying using my Compadre or Mojave because they have lower tones but it is still there where I never hear it over coins and other good targets.
With experience you will understand what I am talking about.
Also there are a lot of other techniques we use to figure out targets before we dig.
The Tesoro language is a rich one with a lot of information in those tones and how they present themselves on analog units.
At first all beeps probably will sound the same to you, in time you will be able to hear a difference.

These are great machines to hunt with, as I said fun and productive for those that learn them.
A bonus is you will actually get better using screens once you get experience hunting by sound only no matter what models or brands you get that experience with.

Good luck, dig a ton at first which is the best way to learn but soon enough you will be able to figure things out more, dig less trash and find a whole lot of treasure.
You will see.

HH



"What if doing the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?”
F70, F2, Compadre, Mojave, Judge2 - 2017....Clad, 15 silver targets including a freaking Barber quarter, a beautiful walker and 4 V nickels...
Plus other cool stuff.



Edited 6 time(s). Last edit at 10/24/2017 04:01PM by REVIER.

Re: Vaquero Black en route!
Posted by: tiftaaft
Date: October 25, 2017 12:20AM
Wow! Thanks Revier. I will need to read through your note about 10 times to let it sink in. I REALLY appreciate the time you spent on that response!. I am sure I will have a few questions after I read it a few times. Tim

avatar
Re: Vaquero Black en route!
Posted by: REVIER
Date: October 25, 2017 05:27AM
Quote
tiftaaft
Wow! Thanks Revier. I will need to read through your note about 10 times to let it sink in. I REALLY appreciate the time you spent on that response!. I am sure I will have a few questions after I read it a few times. Tim

Anytime!
It is pretty funny how many hunters knock these units over and over and are so certain that screen units are light years ahead of non screen units....like these audio machines are just useless, old technology that have no place in modern times.
If you look deeper most of them are hunters that never picked up a Tesoro in their lives and are just assuming things that aren't true, or did try to hunt with some model and never did very well with them compared to using screens.
Ask those users how long they actually swung them and usually it wasn't very long at all...not long enough to learn them very well, anyway.

There are some that did try them, have great skills and are logical and made a great attempt to learning them but still never got into them like many other Tesoroheads have but this is normal in this hobby and can happen with all brands...even comparing units with screens.
One man's ceiling is another man's floor, and everyone is different.

The ones that knock them mercilessly but never touched one are the funny ones to us, evidently they never noticed how many of us use them, enjoy them, find a ton of treasure with them even with this older throwback technology.
They must think we are all just crazy that continue to use these things when there are so many more high technology modern machines available to us but how do they explain away the fact that there are so many of us and we are rabid...just look at the forums that are dedicated to this brand to understand this.

I use both kinds, I like screens because in my difficult areas they help me to find more while avoiding a bit more trash in my mineralized iron and garbage infested dirt but I still pull out a Tesoro here and there if just for the pleasure of hunting this way and without that option it would be a less enjoyable hobby for me...by far.
Plus I learned to avoid a ton of trash using them while still finding more than my share of treasure...in time.

I can see both sides, audio guys say screen units lie to us and can't be believed while screen guys can't wrap their head around how descriptive those single tones can be without having a screen to back them up but in my experience it is actually a bit of both...take everything with a grain of salt, learn your tools well and use all the data available to make logical digging decisions and you can be successful with either kind...I have proved that to myself after using both for many hundreds if not thousands of hours standing behind both types.

This is a hobby and not a lifetime job, the object is to have fun and fans of both kinds of detectors seem to be doing that if you read the forums.
For one hunter to knock the tools another hunter uses makes no sense to me but it happens all the time...such is life.

The Vaq is a great tool, it has many features and abilities that can make you successful just about anywhere so you made a good choice...but I am biased for sure because I used one for so long.
Just dig, and learn, and read the forums for even more tips to make it all easier and ask questions for sure.
Tesoro owners all have their own little tips, tricks and methods and are more than willing to share them.



"What if doing the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?”
F70, F2, Compadre, Mojave, Judge2 - 2017....Clad, 15 silver targets including a freaking Barber quarter, a beautiful walker and 4 V nickels...
Plus other cool stuff.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 10/25/2017 05:37AM by REVIER.

Re: Vaquero Black en route!
Posted by: tiftaaft
Date: October 25, 2017 01:53PM
Revier, so how should I approach the ground balance knob? I have read some say to keep it even, but other say to shade toward negative to get a little deeper. I will play with it to see how it impacts the stability, but curious your thoughts.

Yes, this is a hobby, and an incredible one. I'm all about having fun with it... and I can say that I have had the most fun with beep and dig machines... I also have (and had) several different minelab machines. Currently have the Explorer SE Pro and the Etrac... but also have a Compadre (fun little machine... underated.. and a blast in tot lots) and a Garrett ATX for water hunting and if I ever find myself prospecting. But I am really looking forward to digging into the Vaq and seeing what it can do... I will be sure to post my process and finds :):)

avatar
Re: Vaquero Black en route!
Posted by: REVIER
Date: October 25, 2017 05:42PM
I never cared much about the negative/ positive thing, most of the time I used mine was here in the south and my skills change every 10 feet sometimes so I didn't really want to spend all day checking and balancing...I just balanced to the best normal setting and went a hunting.
These kinds of things are where a nice test garden would come in handy, in your soil a little bit of balance off the mark might matter but who knows, you just have to experiment and see.

One trick I had I can pass on, at first I couldn't get the hang of which way to turn the knob so I came up with this...
First I rotated Thad GB knob 5 turns to the right then back 2.5 turns which should put you around the middle.
There is a slight drag at either end of the 5 turn pot but it is so slight it might be hard to tell so going up 5 and back 2.5 will give you a good starting point.
Then I did the bouncing coil thing like the manual says and when it is too loud on the downswing you turn it left, too loud on the upswing turn it right.
To remember this I just thought, "Loud Left"...after I got that down I never got confused again.

This thing is very forgiving, even slightly out of balance it works well and goes deep but some insist this positive or negative thing actually helps.

There is something else called power balancing that Monte came up with long ago because some of the older units were still a bit to positive for his liking after switching from all metal balancing to disc even though the units seemed to be balanced correctly in all metal.
Do a search here to find that info, he has talked a lot about it here and there are many threads mentioning this method by users.
Tesoro doesn't agree with this at all because they say it sets them too negative but again, many do it anyway and some say it helps.

Here is some info from Monte...
http://www.findmall.com/read.php?17,2117603,2117767#msg-2117767


Here is some info from George Payne about manual and preset GB.
http://www.findmall.com/read.php?17,643248,643579#msg-643579



"What if doing the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?”
F70, F2, Compadre, Mojave, Judge2 - 2017....Clad, 15 silver targets including a freaking Barber quarter, a beautiful walker and 4 V nickels...
Plus other cool stuff.

Re: Vaquero Black en route!
Posted by: synthnut
Date: October 28, 2017 09:57AM
https://youtu.be/_MIkzZySyq0 Check out this video.......Jim

Re: Vaquero Black en route!
Posted by: tiftaaft
Date: October 28, 2017 05:29PM
That is great Jim, thanks for sharing!. I am amazed at the depth!! That setup wiuld be great for cherry picking high tones.

How my Vaquero serves me best.
Posted by: Monte
Date: October 30, 2017 09:32AM
Until they find my stolen detectors, to include my pristine Bandido II microMAX, my current Tesoro detector battery consists of three (3) of my favorite Tesoro's and that includes by 'black' version Vaquero. For me and my search needs, I only have and use two search coils. The standard 8X11 'RSD' Double-D coil when working a beach, plowed field, or any more open area where targets are more spaced apart and less likely to annoy me or cause good-target masking. I keep that coil mounted on a spare lower rod for quick in-the-field exchange when desired. With this coil, the Vaquero is also my deepest-seeking Tesoro model for those few times that is called for.

My primary-use and always mounted coil is the thin 6" Concentric. Probably 90-95% of the time I'll be found hunting some type of very trashy site, and more often-than-not there's a heavy dose of nails, rusty tin and other ferrous debris in the mix. That calls for the use of smaller-size search coils and detectors that provide me excellent response-and-recovery in dense trash. Especially when using Discrimination.

It's very difficult to best a Tesoro when called upon to meet that demand, and my Vaquero and coils serve me well. The first consideration is to make sure you have selected the size and type of search coil you feel fits your wants-and-needs for the challenges at a particular site. The second thing to do is make the most functional adjustments you can to achieve peak performance based upon the ground mineral make-up and any rejection level you want to deal with unwanted trash.

My Settings? Basic, 'simple' adjustments that are hardly ever changed.

Sensitivity: I set my detectors as high as possible w/o chatter.

Threshold: Set fort a proper slight-audio hum.

Ground Balance: If hunting in the Threshold-based All Metal mode, I try to adjust it close to be 'spot-on.' Id mainly using the silent-search Discriminate mode, I adjust for a slightly negative GB in All Metal/Pinpoint, or most generally just do a quick 'Power Balance' when in the Disc. mode.

Discrimination: Moist of the time, I adjust the Disc. level to just barely reject common iron nails. Maybe twice a year, if that, I use a Disc. setting higher than nail rejection. The reason I do this is to help eliminate good-target masking in ferrous littered sites by only knocking out nails. At other times I might be working sites that are relatively clean with targets, ferrous or non-ferrous, well spaced and in most of those environments I have the Disc. level at the minimum setting.

Then it is only a matter of basics and, with a Tesoro, that means using a slow and methodical sweep speed, not a brisk sweep, and especially not sweeping fast if hunting in black sand, pea gravel, small rocks or any highly mineralized environment. Remembering to overlap at least 50% for best site coverage, and working the search coil about 1"-2" off the soil level. Never scrub a coil.

Now, two final considerations when it comes to the Vaquero. One is to consider your hearing ability or impairment. When the Vaquero was initially introduced in '04, if I recall, I really liked the control layout, the type of push-button they used, and the expanded lower-end of the Disc. level. It's a broader range of acceptance, close to about an ED-165, so some bad ground and some ferrous debris is still rejected, but at minimum it will accept iron nails and similar conductivity range targets on up to high-conductive silver coins. I liked the use of a microMAX size control housing thus making it comfortably balanced. While I would have preferred a selector to switch between the All Metal and Discriminate modes, the Vaquero is still versatile enough for most applications I encounter.

The main thing I did NOT like was the audio tone, or pitch. It was too low for me and my impaired hearing, and I know a few people who came to seminars and had a Vaquero and that was also something they didn't like. Now to be honest about it, most of those who didn't care for the lower-tone audio were also close to my age or older and also had some level of hearing impairment. I had other favorite Tesoro's in my arsenal at the time so I let that Vaquero go. I picked up a new Vaquero, the 'black' version with the 8X11 DD coil, towards the end of 2016, and sent it off to Tesoro for the High-Tone modification. It cost me a little but was worth it. I'd still prefer a slightly higher audio pitch, but the modification Tesoro did really helps this poor-hearing old phart enjoy it more.

The other final consideration has to do with hearing target responses as well, and that is to select a set of headphones, if you don't have a good set now, that you find to be comfortable for long-period searches, and with an audio quality that works well with your hearing abilities.

Just take the time to learn your Vaquero and the coils you have for it. Don't give up on the Vaquero as it is .... in my personal opinion .... one of the two best detectors in today's Tesoro model offerings.

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: Two each of the following: Impact, FORS Relic and FORS CoRe
Tesoro: Vaquero, Silver Sabre µMAX and Mojave
White's: MX7 (coming soon)

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' and White's Pro Star.

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

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


Re: How my Vaquero serves me best.
Posted by: tiftaaft
Date: October 30, 2017 05:56PM
Thanks so much for your comments Monte. I have been out a few time with my new Vaq Black now, and I am starting to get the feel for it. I have hit mostly tot lots to get a feel for how the tones respond to targets, and where they fall on the disc dial... tot lots just make for easy target locating, so I can maximize my limited time... until I can get in the field and let her go. I started with the 11x8, but then switched to the 5.75 Wide Scan. I am interested to your comments on the difference between the widescan and the concentric... my soil here in the northwest is a bit tough - as you are well aware... mineralization takes its toll on us swingers... , and I have read that the widescan can handle that better... but I have also read a lot of good things about the concentric coil. I too have the 11x8 loaded and ready on a spare lower rod... so when I am ready to spend some time in the great wide open, I can hot swap it out.

I can hear the standard tone ok (for now), and am using original grey ghosts with it... but I would agree, a higher pitched tone would be more pleasing to my ear. I may look into having the tone altered. I also find it interesting your comments about the slow and methodical swing... I have a tendency to get a little quick (as we all do, I think), so I will work to slow down. The Tesoro's in general are forgiving (at least in my limited experience) to a faster swing, but I am sure that limits the depth. Also a welcomed learning moment for me regarding the height of the swing. Coming from swinging minelabs... they prefer you to swing an inch below the surface of the ground ;) so I will definitely try the hover technique you mentioned.

By the way, I am VERY sorry to hear about your stolen detectors, and am keeping my eyes open for your units.

Thanks again Monte, always open to hearing your thoughts and suggestions!

Tim.



Quote
Monte
Until they find my stolen detectors, to include my pristine Bandido II microMAX, my current Tesoro detector battery consists of three (3) of my favorite Tesoro's and that includes by 'black' version Vaquero. For me and my search needs, I only have and use two search coils. The standard 8X11 'RSD' Double-D coil when working a beach, plowed field, or any more open area where targets are more spaced apart and less likely to annoy me or cause good-target masking. I keep that coil mounted on a spare lower rod for quick in-the-field exchange when desired. With this coil, the Vaquero is also my deepest-seeking Tesoro model for those few times that is called for.

My primary-use and always mounted coil is the thin 6" Concentric. Probably 90-95% of the time I'll be found hunting some type of very trashy site, and more often-than-not there's a heavy dose of nails, rusty tin and other ferrous debris in the mix. That calls for the use of smaller-size search coils and detectors that provide me excellent response-and-recovery in dense trash. Especially when using Discrimination.

It's very difficult to best a Tesoro when called upon to meet that demand, and my Vaquero and coils serve me well. The first consideration is to make sure you have selected the size and type of search coil you feel fits your wants-and-needs for the challenges at a particular site. The second thing to do is make the most functional adjustments you can to achieve peak performance based upon the ground mineral make-up and any rejection level you want to deal with unwanted trash.

My Settings? Basic, 'simple' adjustments that are hardly ever changed.

Sensitivity: I set my detectors as high as possible w/o chatter.

Threshold: Set fort a proper slight-audio hum.

Ground Balance: If hunting in the Threshold-based All Metal mode, I try to adjust it close to be 'spot-on.' Id mainly using the silent-search Discriminate mode, I adjust for a slightly negative GB in All Metal/Pinpoint, or most generally just do a quick 'Power Balance' when in the Disc. mode.

Discrimination: Moist of the time, I adjust the Disc. level to just barely reject common iron nails. Maybe twice a year, if that, I use a Disc. setting higher than nail rejection. The reason I do this is to help eliminate good-target masking in ferrous littered sites by only knocking out nails. At other times I might be working sites that are relatively clean with targets, ferrous or non-ferrous, well spaced and in most of those environments I have the Disc. level at the minimum setting.

Then it is only a matter of basics and, with a Tesoro, that means using a slow and methodical sweep speed, not a brisk sweep, and especially not sweeping fast if hunting in black sand, pea gravel, small rocks or any highly mineralized environment. Remembering to overlap at least 50% for best site coverage, and working the search coil about 1"-2" off the soil level. Never scrub a coil.

Now, two final considerations when it comes to the Vaquero. One is to consider your hearing ability or impairment. When the Vaquero was initially introduced in '04, if I recall, I really liked the control layout, the type of push-button they used, and the expanded lower-end of the Disc. level. It's a broader range of acceptance, close to about an ED-165, so some bad ground and some ferrous debris is still rejected, but at minimum it will accept iron nails and similar conductivity range targets on up to high-conductive silver coins. I liked the use of a microMAX size control housing thus making it comfortably balanced. While I would have preferred a selector to switch between the All Metal and Discriminate modes, the Vaquero is still versatile enough for most applications I encounter.

The main thing I did NOT like was the audio tone, or pitch. It was too low for me and my impaired hearing, and I know a few people who came to seminars and had a Vaquero and that was also something they didn't like. Now to be honest about it, most of those who didn't care for the lower-tone audio were also close to my age or older and also had some level of hearing impairment. I had other favorite Tesoro's in my arsenal at the time so I let that Vaquero go. I picked up a new Vaquero, the 'black' version with the 8X11 DD coil, towards the end of 2016, and sent it off to Tesoro for the High-Tone modification. It cost me a little but was worth it. I'd still prefer a slightly higher audio pitch, but the modification Tesoro did really helps this poor-hearing old phart enjoy it more.

The other final consideration has to do with hearing target responses as well, and that is to select a set of headphones, if you don't have a good set now, that you find to be comfortable for long-period searches, and with an audio quality that works well with your hearing abilities.

Just take the time to learn your Vaquero and the coils you have for it. Don't give up on the Vaquero as it is .... in my personal opinion .... one of the two best detectors in today's Tesoro model offerings.

Monte


Re: Vaquero Black en route!
Posted by: synthnut
Date: November 05, 2017 12:38PM
Tim,
You might be interested in my findings on con. Vs de coils on the Vaquero in the neighboring thread....

Re: Vaquero Black en route!
Posted by: tiftaaft
Date: November 05, 2017 01:15PM
Quote
synthnut
Tim,
You might be interested in my findings on con. Vs de coils on the Vaquero in the neighboring thread....

Thanks Jim... heading there now...

Re: Vaquero Black en route!
Posted by: tiftaaft
Date: November 10, 2017 02:34PM
Just wanted to add an update to my continued learning curve on the Vaq Black. I have had it out to an old park that I have been hitting at lunch break from my job for over a year... with all my detector and coil combinations. To the point that I was convinced there was nothing left to find but rusty iron. Well... enter the Vaquero.

This week, in a few 30 minute hunts, testing the high discrimination settings (about 3:00 on the dial), I have pulled 3 wheats, a 1950's era Red Goose promotional ring (sorry for the blurry pics and pre-cleaned condition), and a few pieces of clad... all at 5-7".. in iron infested ground. In fact, one of the wheats was sitting right next to a rusty nail, which I only found because my pinpointer alerted to it after re-checking the hole. I love it! One of the wheats was with the 5.75 widescan, but the rest of the finds were with the 11x8. Can't wait to expand my hunting territory with the Vaquero when I have more time.

Having a great time with this great detector.

Tim.




Back to you, Tim.
Posted by: Monte
Date: November 11, 2017 08:30AM
Quote
tiftaaft
Thanks so much for your comments Monte. I have been out a few time with my new Vaq Black now, and I am starting to get the feel for it. I have hit mostly tot lots to get a feel for how the tones respond to targets, and where they fall on the disc dial... tot lots just make for easy target locating, so I can maximize my limited time... until I can get in the field and let her go.
I live in a small town of under 1900 people with one city park and playground. I can drive to five ghosted town sites, a POW Camp, and a CCW then Japanese Internment Camp site in less time that it would take to get to a larger-size city with numerous tot-lots, and since I enjoy hunting older sites for early era coins, trade tokens and related small artifacts, this works for me.

But when conditions were reversed and I lived in a large metropolitan area with numerous parks and schools, I could set out on what I call a 'Bark-chip Marathon' and make a detecting jaunt for a few hours to a full day just hunting tot-lots. They have their own element of 'fun' and can be both educational and rewarding. Most of the playgrounds consisted of various thicknesses /depths of wood products, to include thin wood shavings to small wood chips, larger woodchips and chunky pieces of bark from evergreens. With most wood product fillers and when the depth of the 'chip' material is over 6-8 inches deep, performance is almost similar to what we might get in an 'air test' and a search coil can be worked at a little faster sweep speed without impairment.

However, some tot-lots use other material to soften the impact when a person falls, the purpose of having the material in the first place, and a lot of other stuff can be used, such as: lighter-colored sand that ranges from neutral to low to moderate mineralization; darker sand that can be very mineralized, pea gravel to smaller-sized rocks that present both a higher iron mineral content and structurally a more 'intense mineral body' (my descriptive term), and can help us learn more about a detector's Ground Balance needs and demonstrate the requirement to use a lower Disc. setting and also a slower sweep speed due to the higher negative mineral content as well as the density of the 'intense mineral body' we have to deal with.

There can be other tot-lot medium used, such as shredded rubber tires, and there's one I hunt that uses cherry pits. Tot-lots present metal structures we can use to learn the best detector settings, coil sizes and types, and how to work a coil close to those structures to get the best results. As you noted, it is fairly easy to isolate a target and make a recovery in tot-lots, and not only can they produce a good amount of lost coinage ... in the more active and regularly-used playgrounds ... but I recover a lot of the silver and gold jewelry I find each year from tot-lots/playgrounds.

When I lived I and around a large metro area with abundant play sites, and hunting them very regularly to work up a coin count, I also was able to determine those that had the greatest amount of human activity, including older children and adults due to larger, more active structures. In a typical year of tot-lot and playground hunting a good 85% or more of my gold and sterling silver jewelry came from play sites.

There were perhaps five really good locations where there were sunbathing and swimming pools adjacent with the park, or sun-lounging areas around a child's wading and splashing pool. Next to the water areas and those where a lot of women used sunscreen or hand lotion were wood-chip play sites with swings, slides, merry-go-rounds to be push and all sorts of things that could do their part to work rings, bracelets, neck and ankle chains off-and-away. Finding good jewelry added to the 'fun' factor of playground hunting, to be sure.


Quote
tiftaaft
I started with the 11x8, but then switched to the 5.75 Wide Scan.
I usually don't use larger-size DD coils very often, but for whatever reason, the new 8X11 DD for the Tesoro Vaquero does a decent job of site coverage in open areas and the two work well together. Still, the bulk of my hunting is with the smaller-size coils, and the 6" Concentric is my preference over the 6" Double-D (aka 'wide-scan') on all my Tesoro units.


Quote
tiftaaft
I am interested to your comments on the difference between the widescan and the concentric... my soil here in the northwest is a bit tough - as you are well aware... mineralization takes its toll on us swingers... , and I have read that the widescan can handle that better... but I have also read a lot of good things about the concentric coil. I too have the 11x8 loaded and ready on a spare lower rod... so when I am ready to spend some time in the great wide open, I can hot swap it out.
I'll find the current discussion on Double-D Vs Concentric coil designs and share my thoughts there. I have and use smaller to mid-size DD and Concentric coils on my detectors, such as the 'OOR' and 5X9½ DD's on my Nokta CoRe, the round 5¼ and 5X9½ DD's and 5½X10 Concentric on my Nokta Relic, the 4X7½, 5" and 5X9½ DD's and the 7" Concentric on my Nokta Impact, 7" Concentric on my Tesoro Mohave and 6" Concentric on my Tesoro Vaquero and Silver Sabre µMAX, and 6½" Concentric on a White's MX5.

Where I use them they work OK, but if given a choice, I'll mount a Concentric instead of a similar-size DD for most site needs. There is no Concentric coil option for the CoRe so I have to use a DD. The only Concentric coil option for the Relic is the mid-sized 5½X10, but I used it in many sites comparing the performance against a same-size 5½X10 DD and the Concentric coil was a clear winner in better depth, better separation in iron trash, and more consistent numeric TID read-outs.

With my Impact, the 7" Concentric shows excellent TID performance dealing with sheet iron/rusty tin over any of the Double-D coils for it, smaller or slightly larger, and is the overall winner in general-use performance. For years I preferred the 6½" Concentric coils on White's models, like my MX5, over the smaller 4X6 or 6X10 DD search coils. Just like the 6" Concentric coils on the Tesoro's over the same-size DD coils, I enjoy better all-purpose performance regardless of the ground mineral content. But many people have sort of 'grown up' in recent years with a DD coil due to the flurry of marketing hype and a trendy fashion of using a DD, especially open-frame designs. But when we have the option to pick one from the other, it does give us a choice and it becomes a personal thing, and personally, my 'thing' is to mount a Concentric, if I can.


Quote
tiftaaft
I can hear the standard tone ok (for now), and am using original grey ghosts with it... but I would agree, a higher pitched tone would be more pleasing to my ear. I may look into having the tone altered.
With my hearing impairment, the high-tone mod done at Tesoro made a 'keep-it' decision for me with the Vaquero. I have another brand new Vaquero ('black' version with the 8X11 TSD coil) in-the-box and I just compared its audio response to my tone-modified Vaquero and I can appreciate the difference the mod made.

This is a spare, new 'black' Vaquero I am going to sell along with a new CORS Fortune coil (same as NEL Sharpshooter) so someone will have both a 'standard' and mid-size DD coil. If I kept it in my Regular-Use Detector Team I would send it off to Tesoro this winter season to get the high-tone modification done because for me and my limited hearing, it would be to my benefit. If I did so, then I would keep one Vaquero at-the-ready w/6" Concentric and the other would wear the 8X11 DD and that would eliminate coil changes afield by just grabbing the unit equipped as I needed.


Quote
tiftaaft
I also find it interesting your comments about the slow and methodical swing... I have a tendency to get a little quick (as we all do, I think), so I will work to slow down. The Tesoro's in general are forgiving (at least in my limited experience) to a faster swing, but I am sure that limits the depth.
Going back to when the first motion-Disc. model came out in '78 and on through the '80s and even into the early '90s, we used to hear and use the terms: "Four-Filter" and "Two-Filter" to describe detector models and operating requirements.

The first VLF-Disc. motion-based Discriminator required almost a golf-swing sweep speed to be able to work. That was the 1978 Bounty Hunter Red Baron with SPD. White's and the original Teknetics company were the primary manufacturers of "four-filter" fast-motion Discriminators, and this circuitry design did improve with the likes of the White's XLT, or even XL Pro, to be more of a moderate-to-fast sweep speed requirement, and fast-sweep detectors continued in the form of the White's DFX into 2001 and shortly after.

Most manufacturers had tried to find a design that used a slow-motion sweep speed, and the first popular design that was functional was the Fisher 1260X in 1982. They allowed for a slow-motion, quick-response that was more comfortable, but they did have some problems with iron target rejection, such as nails. In July of 1983 Tesoro introduced the Inca and we had a decent working iron Disc. model that, like the 1260X, was a "two-filter" classed slow-motion / quick-response design. There was a very clear line of description between a "four-filter" fast-motion an a "two-filter" slow-motion circuitry design, and while the fast-sweep models struggled to try and work acceptably at a very slow sweep rate, the slow-motion/quick-response detectors were/are quite challenged when used in moderate to highly mineralized ground and ground type challenges , especially having degraded performance when the search coil is swept too briskly. They really are 'slow motion' dependent.

In late '87 we did see the entry of a newer circuitry design concept by Compass Electronics with their new Scanner series. These models used what was termed 'Vari-Filter' by the manufacturer, which was, according the John Earle the design engineer, essentially a "Three-Filter" circuitry. With the 'Vari-Filter' or Three-Filter design you could use a fast sweep and not lose the integrity of the performance while being used like a 'four-filter' model, yet you were also able to search in a much slower and methodic sweep speed , similar to the performance achieved by a good 'two-filter' quick-response detector like a good Tesoro model.

After the Compass Vari-Filter / Three-Filter Scanner series we didn't see another popular detector come along with a 'Three-Filter' circuitry design until about 2000/2001 when White's introduced the Dave Johnson engineered MXT. This type of circuitry design is not sweep-speed dependent like the 'Four-Filter' and 'Two-Filter' circuitry as it can usually be worked at varying sweep speeds without a significant degradement in performance.

There have been and are many detectors that are very sweep-speed dependent. Many have been, or are, kind of quirkish and you have to use more of a 'controlled' sweep and not go too slow or too fast because either variance can impair the detector's performance in almost any type of ground mineral, from low to high. Because of that many just didn't suit me even after I gave some a long time for me to try and adjust. From low-priced detectors like Garrett Ace and White's Prism and Coinmaster series to mid-priced Minelab E-terra's and top-dollar White's VX3 and V3i, they might be OK for some folks but lack the field performance and behavior I enjoy.

That's why you see models like my favorite Tesoro's, Nokta's CoRe, Relic & Impact, and White's MX5 and soon-to-arrive MX7 making up the working force in my detector battery. They don't have any 'bad behavior' when it comes to requiring a specific, controlled sweep speed, and they work excellent with a slow, methodical sweep that serves me well since I mainly hunt very trashy sites, especially iron contaminated in most of the older places I go. Of them all, the Tesoro's go great, and have served me just for over thirty-four years, and I just need to keep aware of my sweep speed so that I don't get going too fast, especially in a more challenging higher-mineralized environment.


Quote
tiftaaft
Also a welcomed learning moment for me regarding the height of the swing. Coming from swinging minelabs... they prefer you to swing an inch below the surface of the ground ;) so I will definitely try the hover technique you mentioned.
Now that was funny! In the CTX-3030 manual they do remind the user to keep the coil flat or parallel to the ground and not be canted, and to work the search coil about 1" off the soil. Most manufacturers give some sort of reference such as "about an inch or so" off the ground; "1inch to 2 inches" off the ground"; and Nokta/Makro say "±2 inches" and those are the coil heights I have monitored and used since the late '70's when we finally got ground-cancelling Discrimination modes.


Quote
tiftaaft
By the way, I am VERY sorry to hear about your stolen detectors, and am keeping my eyes open for your units.
Thank You, and I keep hoping they will show up somewhere and I can get them back in my arsenal. All of them, but especially my Nokta CoRe and Tesoro Bandido II µMAX as they each had a special place and memories of successes afield a few years back.

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: Two each of the following: Impact, FORS Relic and FORS CoRe
Tesoro: Vaquero, Silver Sabre µMAX and Mojave
White's: MX7 (coming soon)

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' and White's Pro Star.

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

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


Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login