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Help with wildly inconsistent VDI/TID


New member

I'll air test a penny and the VDI will be fairly consistent.

Then I'll scan a patch of ground with 0 descrim to make sure it is free from nails or any other targets. I'll place penny 2-3 inches down and I will receive numbers swinging from 20-97......

I've GB first (GB of 74-76), ran in 3 or 4 tones, and tried different levels of descrim to help tighten the numbers up.

Any ideas on what is going on?

I'm coming from a Deus, so I am accustomed to variance on VDI numbers, but this is incomprehensible.

I'm stumped......


Coin Rescue Inc

Active member
I read this and have no clue what is going on.
So many factors involved and no real data to determine the cause. Might be tiny bits of junk or some EMI.
These units are noisy especially in 4 tone but coil movement over the ground will quiet it up a bit.
3 tone calms the extra noise a lot.

This is what I recommend

Have 100% faith in the new detector and go for natural buried targets in 3 tone.
The good targets will "lock in" as you go along.
Pass up targets with varying numbers until you get used to the unit.

Tom Slick

Well-known member
I don't know what's going on with your detector, Super high mineralization, bad coil, defective detector, to high gain or what, but I can tell you something isn't right. Is this on a Racer, Racer 2 Kruzer, Multi Kruzer? Doesn't really matter because none of them will have your problem. Mine are very consistent down to 5" at least. Deeper in better soil than I have.


Well-known member
Jeff, you mentioned 4-Tone so I presume you're using a Makro Kruzer series model, correct.

Question: Which search coil are you using?

Question: I'm curious, why are you using '0' Discrimination?

Question: You gave the GB reference, but what kind of ground are you searching in?

Question: How long have you been using the Kruzer, and how many hours have you put in so far?

Question: Why did you fresh-bury a penny at 2"-3"? I presume you are referring to a US 1¢ coin, so what type is it? Older 'bronze' type or a modern 'zinc' variety?

Question: Presuming you scanned the area to know it is free of a masking metal target, did you place the coin very flat in the bottom or the hole so it wasn't canted at an odd angle? Did you leave the hole open and simply scan across an open hole with the penny 2"-3" deep, or did you fill the hole with the removed soil? If you filled the hole, did you pack the soil so as to be similar to the adjacent ground looseness or compactness?

Answer / Comment: It is not uncommon to get a different audio response, or even a broken signal or an erratic response from either a coin in a fresh dug open hole or in a filled-in fresh coin planting. The reason, or multiple reasons, can be the change in the ground mineral make-up due to the open but visible coin in a hole or the filled hole with disturbed ground. Digging and burying a 'fresh planted' target will alter the ground mineral signal the metal detectors have to deal with. That ground signal processing combined with a disturbed environment plus the metal target can be a challenge for many/most detectors.

Question: You stated" "I'm coming from a Deus, so I am accustomed to variance on VDI numbers, but this is incomprehensible." Have you used other detectors with VDI numeric read-out? Were they, as well as the XP Deus, radically inconsistent on a fresh-planted penny, and in similar mineralized ground? How about VDI consistency on finds of long-lost coins?

Answer / Comment: In typical searches on a wide-range of ground environments that were somewhat low on nearby masking trash, I have used some makes and models that were not/are not very pleasing when it came to having a stabile Target ID read-out. However, I am pleased to say, that I currently own and use an assortment of devices that provide me very consistent visual read-outs on the more consistent targets we search for, such as coins. I have enjoyed very clean audio and visual responses with Makro's Racer 2 and Multi-Kruzer, and that was using an assortment of search coils.

However, let me clarify one thing with regard to search coils. Very, very seldom do I use a 7X11 DD coil. By 'seldom' I would guess that with that size coil on any Nokta, Makro or other brand model, I might, .. possibly, ... maybe, use that size coil 2 to 4 times a year and, at the most, total 6 hours a year. The bulk of my detecting is spent using mid-sized coils like the 7" Concentric on a Makro, 5X9½ Double-D on a Nokta CoRe or Relic, or smaller-size coils to better deal with dense brush, building rubble, common trash and ample ferrous debris. Using the smaller to mid-sized search coils is where I enjoy excellent audio responses and visual display.

Thoughts on the matter .. :rolleyes:

Use a low-level of Discrimination, such as '03' which is my default setting.

Forget fresh-planted 'tests' and, instead, just rely on using the detector and search coils you have to search for all naturally-lost targets. Natural ground environments for any area without fresh disturbance just to plan a target, and monitor the responses you get; analyze differences in target response using different sweep speeds; carefully recover the targets and note their depth, and position or orientation to the coil and their physical shape. In time you will better understand any detector's capabilities, both strengths and weaknesses.

When you question your detector's behavior, compare the response, on a freshly planted coin or a naturally lost object, before disturbing the ground, using a different make or model detector with similar settings and a similar search coil. Then you'll have a better idea if what your Makro model is doing is 'normal' or way out-of-whack. My experience is it will be working just fine.

I usually hunt higher mineralized ground than the GB reference you gave, but there is more involved than just the ground phase value. You might be experiencing some ground environment challenges or, as Tom Slick mentioned, there's something wrong with the device or coil.

I enjoy my Regular-Use Detector Team and have very reliable performance with my Nokta and Makro detectors. Very solid, dependable detectors.



New member
Thanks for the responses all. I will try to answer as best I can.

I bought this used from a reputable dealer for my son to use on a detecting trip we are taking in two weeks.

I have been using the 7" concentric the last two days.

0 discrimination, because that is what I am used to on the XP. I have been increasing it when I find a target to see if that stabilizes the VDI, to no avail.

Just been searching multiple parks, no tough areas.

About 10 hours.

Fresh zinc cent. Just as a test. My XP didn't have an issue. Coin was flat. I am having the same issues on real world targets.

I've never had this amount of inconsistency on VDI numbers with any detector I've owned. XP, AT Pro, MX Sport, E-trac, Equinox 600.

Here are a few real world examples today. 3 tone, 14 KHZ, Gain 85, Discrimination 0-10.

Clean round sound, VDI 60s, 70's, 80's, and one 20's. They roll around, but predominantly 70-80. My thought a cent. Dug out a piece of gum foil. Check the plug and hole with both pin pointer and machine, no targets left. Scanned the foil above ground, consistent 22.

Another clean sound with rolling VDI's. I have no clue what is going to come out, so I dig it. Wheat cent.

Same as above. Dime.

I've even changed the Target ID Depth to low, to see if that stabilizes anything....nope.

I am at a loss right now.....


You still haven't said what detector you are having the problem with. If it is the Multi Kruzer or Kruzer something is definitely wrong with the detector. If these detectors hit on a coin, the VDI numbers do not jump around as you have described. You need to contact the seller and ask about where to send the detector for repair. JMO


Well-known member
Sorry if you mentioned this but did you try another coil ? That's the first thing I would do. By your posts, I think you ruled out user error. You need to determine if the coil is defective before the detector goes in for repair IMHO.

I don't have a Makro but the Nokta CoRe is in the same family and the numbers never bounce on a penny whether it's copper or zinc (zinc registers lower of course but number stays true). It has been one of the more consistent targets for me on my machine (that, the nickels and the much hated newer pull tabs !). There is obviously something weird going on with your equipment.