A Little About Me
I have been enjoying the metal detecting hobby since the early 1980's. My first detector had been from Compass. I have since forgotten the model, but I did enjoy using that machine. Not long after owning that detector I moved on to machines from Garrett and then White's. It had been much fun detecting the old city parks back then with those early detectors.
In 1997 I moved with my family from New York City to Massachusetts, where we currently reside. Family and work demanded much of my time, so detecting fell by the wayside. But in 2004 the desire was rekindled after browsing through a metal detecting magazine. In 2005 I purchased a White's DFX from John (midas), a White's dealer, and now a American Detectorist forum member and friend. I learned as much as I could about the machine and then began to hit the parks. My metal detecting experience quickly kicked in and I was soon digging up silver coins and old coppers.
My best find while using the White's DFX was a rare 1786 Connecticut copper, Miller -5.7-H.1. The dry soil and good drainage found at the site kept the copper in relatively excellent shape.
Gradually becoming acquainted with the DFX allowed me to improve the quality and quantity of finds. During this time I also acquired a Minelab Sovereign GT. I thoroughly enjoyed using the machine even though it lacked a display. During this time I also took an interest in shallow water detecting. After researching the types of machines available I settled on a Minelab Excalibur.
During 2007 I moved from using the DFX to exclusively using the Sovereign GT. The lack of a display on the GT did not bother me and in fact helped me to concentrate more on learning what the machine was 'telling' me via its audio signals. This would prove to be very helpful later on when switching to the Minelab E-trac.
2008 turned out to be a bad year for detecting. Most of my available free time had to be directed elsewhere, so detecting took a hit yet again. I did manage a handful of hunts at local sites and made some interesting finds, like a sharp 1773 Spanish half reale, but nothing else like the previous years. However, the best was yet to come.
In early 2009 Angie (epi-hunter), co-owner of American Detectorist, loaned me her Minelab Explorer SE to try out for a few weeks. At the time I had been using the Sovereign GT as my primary machine. I love the tones it produces as well as its depth capability. I expected something similar from the SE, though I was surprised when I first began to listen to its 'musical' tones. To me it appeared as if I were hearing the GT and the DFX - simultaneously! I knew then that I would have to make some listening adjustments if I was to become well acquainted with this new 'language'.
I experimented with several targets before taking it out to one of the local parks, and one thing was immediately apparent - the SE 'sung' when going over silver, much as the DFX would when in ToneID mode. This proved to be the case when out in the field as well. Having done well with the Explorer during those few weeks, I was considering getting one for myself. But then an opportunity presented itself to own an E-Trac, another machine I had been itching to try out. A forum member was looking to trade his E-Trac for a White's Spectra V3 and I happened to have one on hand. I didn't want to pass up on the opportunity, so I opted to make the trade.
During the first two weeks I tried out different settings on undug targets while detecting at various parks. I finally settled on a base program, only adjusting the settings while out in the field as the need arose. I had much success with the E-Trac during the following years. It has also been a fun machine to use. It is still my primary machine when detecting at the parks.
Because of a tight work schedule during the past several years, my detecting time has been minimal. I still detect on occasion as time allows, but it is mostly at local sites since the available short time would not allow for long trips. Still, I have enjoyed making several exciting finds as well as ending hunts with double-digit silver.
One very exciting find early this year was a low mintage semi-key date 1892-O Barber half dollar. Only 390,000 were minted. It grades VG and values at over $300.
Even after all these years, so-called 'hunted out parks' still yield fun finds. But it does require some effort as well as being familiar with the machine one uses and its 'language'. I still very much enjoy detecting even when nothing exciting is found, for one never really knows what is under the coil. That alone can make each hunt a pleasant and fun experience.