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Test Garden

RLOH

Well-known member
I know some people don't like or believe a test garden is a good idea. I would rather use a garden than air tests. I planted my garden years ago and when I get a new detector, I can play with the adjustments, swing speed, and etc over actual coins buried at different depths. I have always had problems with all my detectors hitting a certain buried target. I thought the target in question was a7 to 8 inch deep silver quarter. My Equinox will barely hit it and my F5 is just a "whisp" of a signal. The 7 inch silver dime next to bangs hard with both detectors.

Today, I decided to see what the problem actually was by digging it up. I knew that there was trash that I neglected to remove when I planted the garden and I was hoping that was the problem. I started digging the problem target and was at nearly 9-10 inches before I found it. Low and behold, it was not a silver quarter, but a silver dime. I screwed up right from when I dug the garden and mis marked the stake as a quarter. I now decided to dig up the target next to it and found it to be a silver quarter. I guess I was losing my mind years ago. I blame everything on old age, but this garden has been planted for years.

The hard to hit silver dime was originally planted at 7 inches or so. The ground is under pine trees and the soil is a very loose, loamy type. The dime and quarter I originally planted at 7 inches or so have sunk to over 9 inches. This explains the trouble I have hitting it. I reburied it at an actual measured 7 inches and both detectors hit it perfectly

The F5 has a separate gain and threshold knob and my test garden is the perfect place to experiment with these two settings . The threshold setting is extremely important on this particular detector, It seems to have much more bearing on the deeper targets than the gain. I can set the gain to 50% and either lose or gain the audio signal by adjusting the threshold. Only a test garden could help a person find out this type of quirk about a detector.
 

Florida Son

Active member
I have the same issue on one of my buried targets. I think I will dig it also. I think the value of a test garden is a time shortcut. There are so many variables when finding a signal in the wild, the test garden will let you test a known target over and over while making changes or using different detectors. I buried a 1/4 silver dime and after a while cannot find it. Plus we had roofers through nails and aluminum burrs all over so it will be an ongoing challenge. Hunt on!
 

Ronstar

Well-known member
Still, nothing beats time behind the wheel. Yesterday, I finally took the F75 up on the knob behind the house, took a deep breath, and swung the controls over to the All Metal Motion mode. I now firmly understand that fence staples hit hard at 6-8 in the iron range! Did dig up an old idler wheel off some old farm machine that showed in the tab range, still researching..... not used to the constant delta pitch but I can see where it has its place.
 

Florida Son

Active member
Still, nothing beats time behind the wheel. Yesterday, I finally took the F75 up on the knob behind the house, took a deep breath, and swung the controls over to the All Metal Motion mode. I now firmly understand that fence staples hit hard at 6-8 in the iron range! Did dig up an old idler wheel off some old farm machine that showed in the tab range, still researching..... not used to the constant delta pitch but I can see where it has its place.
Absolutely Ronstar! Agree totally. HH
 

Ron from Michigan

Moderator
Staff member
I think a good coin garden can save wasted time in the field. It also works well to thin the heard, which sometimes the new machine may not measure up and get kicked to the selling block. Bottom line the coin gardens saves time, money and sharpens detecting skills. HH Ron
 

u2robert

Well-known member
Air test are underrated.
How can a detector hit a target 10" deep in the ground if it cannot air test a target 8" with no resistance?
And yes I know some people have detectors that defy the laws of physics.
 

Tony-Ok

Well-known member
Air test are underrated.
How can a detector hit a target 10" deep in the ground if it cannot air test a target 8" with no resistance?
And yes I know some people have detectors that defy the laws of physics.
I think it’s a matter of conductivity, the dirt matrix helps the buried targets light up. I have always had test gardens. I could bury a silver dime at 6 inches (freshly buried) and the detector (any) would give a weak response, but after a year of being buried, the same target would be easier to detect. ....? ? Why ... Halo effect?? It got me thinking, add something else to the mix . Moisture . Yes a conductive additive .... waters down the test garden and the ability to see the coins was easily achieved, as time went on dryer conditions had the detector needing more sensitivity to regain the targets. I feel that an air test is ..... just an I.D. Test , and not the ability to see a detectors full abilities, because of the other factors involved that aid or hinder (any) detectors ability to have greater or lesser depth. Just my thoughts.
 

onemore

Active member
I think it’s a matter of conductivity, the dirt matrix helps the buried targets light up. I have always had test gardens. I could bury a silver dime at 6 inches (freshly buried) and the detector (any) would give a weak response, but after a year of being buried, the same target would be easier to detect. ....? ? Why ... Halo effect?? It got me thinking, add something else to the mix . Moisture . Yes a conductive additive .... waters down the test garden and the ability to see the coins was easily achieved, as time went on dryer conditions had the detector needing more sensitivity to regain the targets. I feel that an air test is ..... just an I.D. Test , and not the ability to see a detectors full abilities, because of the other factors involved that aid or hinder (any) detectors ability to have greater or lesser depth. Just my thoughts.
Ahh... one of the interesting observations debated for many years regarding long held little nuances of metal detecting!

When looking for really deep targets, do I reduce sensitivity when the ground is wet, and increase sensitivity when it is dry?

One additional consideration - depending on your soil, the ground can act like a sponge... expanding when wet, and contracting when dry. Some say they can find deeper targets better when it's dry because they get the coil closer.

These things can all be tested in the garden!
 

u2robert

Well-known member
A detector transmits and electromagnetic wave/signal.
If that detector cannot emit that signal 8" in an air test how will it find a 10" target in the ground with resistance?
90% of the time a detector will not detect to it's full potential because of resistance.
But once in a while it will detect to it full potential when the conditions are just right and it's amazes everyone.
Now it's the greatest detector in the world the Holy Grail. WooHoo
 
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