I have used the Nokta Makro Simplex for the last few years. This metal detector is a great, inexpensive option for beginning or intermediate detectorists. While it is easy to operate, there can be some confusion when learning the Simplex metal detector, especially with the target ID numbers. Each number, from 1 to 99, refers to a likely type of metal.
Reading your user manual is the most important first step to learning the Target ID on the Simplex +. I know this is not the most fun part of metal detecting, but there is a lot of valuable information contained in the user manual. For the Nokta Makro Simplex + user manual, click here: https://www.noktadetectors.com/wp-content/file-download/simplex/simplex-user-manual-en.pdf
Below VDI for Gold Diamond Ring
Target ID and Likely Target on the Simplex
|Target ID Number
|0 – 15
|Ferrous Metals (iron, foil, screws, pull tabs)
|10 – 60
|Gold Ring (Size differences and content account for the large discrepancy in numbers for gold)
|20 – 25
|War Nickels and Jefferson Nickels
|30 – 34
|43 – 99
|Silver, Brass, and Copper
|60 – 97
|Roman Gold & Silver Coins, and Spanish Coins
|65 – 99
|Most Coins, including silver, clad, copper, and zinc
How Does the Simplex Mode Affect the Target ID?
The Simplex has 5 built in search modes (note: the user manual specifies 4 search modes; one was added as an update later and can be put onto your detector with a USB and computer). Each mode is set for a specific terrain. These modes will make the target ID respond a little bit differently.
In Field modes, ferrous targets with IDs between 0 and 15 will produce a low audio tone. Non-ferrous metals with IDs from 16 to 99 will produce a higher audio tone which will increase in pitch as the search coil nears the target.
In Park modes, Park 1 detects deeper than Park 2. Park 1 mode will give a low tone for ferrous targets between 0 and 15, a medium tone for gold and non-ferrous metals between 16 and 69, and a high tone for non-ferrous metals between 43 and 99 (including silver, brass, and copper).
Beach mode helps the Simplex combat issues associated with saltwater, wet sand, and highly mineralized soils. This mode differs from other modes on the Simplex because targets in the range of 0 to 15 are automatically notched out so more ferrous metals and ground noise will not send a target signal. Medium tone will alert you to gold and non-ferrous metals with IDs between 16 and 99.
All Metal mode is the last mode on the Simplex and this mode has a continuous threshold tone which is continuous in the background. The device will not discriminate targets in this mode and will alert to any metal type found.
VDI for 2000 Clad Quarter
How the Shape and Size of the Target Affects the Target ID
Size and shape of the target can both influence the Target ID readout. Large, or near surface targets may give multiple different signals, If you think a target may be near the surface, lift the search coil and swing it very slowly until a single signal is received. Other reasons you may receive multiple or jumpy IDs could be the target’s orientation, size, depth, metal content, corrosion, and mineralization of the soil.
Very small targets may not give any signal to the Simplex. If the item is small or at the edges of where the detector can detect, it may not send any signal to the control box.
How to Discriminate Using the Nokta Simplex
The Nokta Makro Simplex uses notch discrimination. Notch discrimination allows you to eliminate metals from detection. There are 20 pixels or “notches” of discrimination under the Target ID scale. Each box is a group of 5 ID. Any combination of boxes can be accepted or rejected from detection.
The Simplex has automatic discrimination and manual discrimination. Automatic discrimination can be used by pressing the settings button and selecting notch discrimination. Swing the search coil over any metal you want to eliminate. The box representing that metal type will be highlighted in black. Press Confirm to save the setting.
Manual ground balancing is accessed the same way, except you choose which boxes to eliminate. Using the + and – buttons, you can highlight different boxes. Press Confirm to save the settings.
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The Importance of Ground Balancing with the Simplex
Ground balancing significantly increases the metal detector’s efficiency and gives a clear signal. You will get more precise and accurate VDI Target ID numbers after your metal detector is ground balanced. A ground balanced metal detector also allows you to search as deeply as possible while filtering out electromagnetic interference and mineralization.
Ground balancing is not necessary in Field and Park modes in most terrains. Highly mineralized soils, trashy areas, and wet or salty sand areas require ground balancing, which will give extra depth and stability to the Simplex. Ground balancing on the Simplex can be done automatically or manually.
Automatic ground balancing is a simple procedure. Simply press and hold the pinpoint/confirm button and begin pumping the metal detector’s search coil up and down from 1” to 6” above the ground, keeping it parallel to the ground. A beep will indicate the detector is properly ground balanced. A ground balance value will be shown. This should be done 2 to 3 times to ensure the ground balance is properly done.
Manual ground balancing allows you to manually change the ground balance value. Use the same procedure as the automatic ground balancing, but with manual mode, you will be listening for tones. If the sound gets higher as you lift these search coil off the ground, the ground balancing is too high. If it gets higher when lowering the coil, the ground balancing is too low. Manual ground balance runs on a scale from 0 to 99.9.
|Ground Balance Number
|0 – 25
|Wet salt water and wet alkali soil
|25 – 50
|Wet salt water and wet alkali soils covered with dry layers
|50 – 70
|Regular, low-quality soils
|70 – 99.9
|Highly magnetic soils, highly mineralized soils, and black sands
My Favorite Setting on the Simplex
I live in northeastern Utah. The soil here is highly mineralized and most metal detectors struggle here. My favorite setting on the Simplex + for my soil type is the Beach mode. Beach mode automatically blocks some false signals associated with mineralized soils. With my other metal detector, I was getting all kinds of false signals. I would dig, and dig, and dig, and come away with nothing. Once I realized the soil content was so mineralized, I needed a different type of metal detector.
If you live in an area with similar soil types, or you want to metal detect on wet saltwater beach areas, try beach mode. I always use automatic ground balancing, too. I recheck the ground balancing every 15 minutes or so, because different areas have different soil contents.
My husband took the Simplex + to work with him recently. He works for our county’s water and sewer department. He used Field 1 and Field 2, and All Metal modes to help find some buried manhole lids in fields around our town. Some of the fields had standing water, but the Simplex + performed very well.
If you would like to learn more about this metal detector, and read my personal review of the Nokta Makro Simplex +, click here: https://metaldetectingtips.com/nokta-makro-simplex-review/
Testing the Target ID
VDI for 2022 Penny
VDI for Old Keys
Testing the Target ID is a great way to learn more about your metal detector and how it will respond to metals in the field. Try taking items from around the house made of different metals and waving them across your Simplex search coil. You will see a number and hear a tone that should correspond to the most likely metal type.
When I first got this metal detector, I placed it on my counter on each different mode and used items like a gold ring, silver cup, several coins, brass, copper, and nails and screws. This helped me learn what my metal detector would show when I was in the field.
If you’d like more articles about metal detecting check out the links below.
- Metal Detecting Digging Tools – Tells you all about shovels, scoops and how to dig a plug.
- DR.OTEK Shovel Review 👈 Read about a shovel that works perfect and is an amazing value.
- Where are the Best Places for a Beginner to Metal Detect? – Just like the title says, this article points the beginner to the highest probability places.
- Can You Metal Detect on BLM Land? – So many people have asked me about BLM detecting I had to write this article.
Detecting the Details: A Quick Recap
The Target ID can seem confusing on the Nokta Makro Simplex +. However, after testing the metal detector at your home, and taking a few trips to the field, you will easily and quickly become familiar with the Target ID.
Keep in mind, the Target ID can only give an approximation of what type of metal you are finding. These will not always be completely accurate. While detecting in the Ashley National Forest north of my home, we found several chunks of some type of silver-colored metal. The Simplex + and two other metal detectors alerted to silver. We are still not sure what type of metal it is, but we do know it likely contains some silver!
As with anything, practice makes perfect. Keep learning and as always, Happy Hunting!
Malory Ericksen discovered metal detecting in 2015, initially unearthing nails and pull tabs in Idaho. The finding of an old railroad tie cemented her passion for the hobby. Now in Utah, she delights in uncovering historical treasures, driven by her love for history.
Read Malory’s complete bio 👉 About Malory Ericksen