One of the toughest skills for me when starting out using a metal detector was understanding how the signal could be completely tuned out when I adjusted the sensitivity or if I didn’t balance my machine. I found out later (after reading The Metal Detecting Bible by Brandon Neice) that the phenomenon I was experiencing was THRESHOLD.
What is Threshold in Metal Detecting
In metal detecting, the threshold is the point at which the detector’s audio signal begins to sound. It is usually a low-pitched tone that is heard when the detector is close to a metal object. The threshold can be adjusted to suit the user’s preferences and is often used as a way to differentiate between different types of metal objects. Some metal detectors also have a visual threshold indicator, such as a light or a display, that shows when the detector is close to a metal object.
Is Threshold and Volume the Same in Metal Detecting?
No, threshold and volume are not the same thing in metal detecting.
The threshold is the point at which the detector’s audio signal begins to sound. It is usually a low-pitched tone that is heard when the detector is close to a metal object. The threshold can be adjusted to suit the user’s preferences, and is often used as a way to differentiate between different types of metal objects.
The volume, on the other hand, refers to the loudness of the audio signal. It can be adjusted to suit the user’s preferences and environment. For example, if you’re metal detecting in a noisy area, you may want to increase the volume to be able to hear the detector’s signal over the background noise.
The threshold and volume are different settings in a metal detector, and they can be adjusted independently of each other.
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What Variables Affect the Threshold When Metal Detecting
There are several variables that can affect the threshold when metal detecting, including:
- Ground mineralization: Some types of soil, such as highly mineralized soils, can cause interference and affect the threshold. Often called Hot Rocks
- Discrimination level: Discrimination level controls how well the detector can differentiate between different types of metal. The higher the discrimination level, the more specific the detector will be, but it may also make the threshold more sensitive.
- Sensitivity: Sensitivity controls how deep the detector can detect metal objects. The higher the sensitivity, the deeper the detector can detect, but it may also make the threshold more sensitive.
- Coil size: The size of the detector’s coil can also affect the threshold. Larger coils can detect deeper, but they may also make the threshold more sensitive.
- Object size: The size of the metal object being detected can also affect the threshold. Smaller objects may require higher sensitivity and discrimination levels to detect.
- Battery level: A weak battery may decrease the detector’s sensitivity and performance, affecting the threshold.
It’s worth noting that some metal detectors have a ground balance feature that helps to counter the effect of mineralization on the threshold.
Check Out These Spots for Your Next Metal Detecting Trip
- Metal Detecting Places for Beginners- Some special metal detecting spots for newcomers
- Metal Detecting in Rivers and Creeks– How and where to metal detect along rivers
- Best Places to Metal Detect on The Outer Banks– Laws, clubs, and locations to metal detect on the Outer Banks
How Does Ground Balancing Affect the Threshold
Ground balancing is a feature in some metal detectors that helps to counter the effect of mineralization on the threshold. It allows the detector to adjust its sensitivity to the specific mineralization of the ground, which can help to reduce interference and improve detection depth.
When ground balancing a metal detector, the user will typically be prompted to sweep the detector’s coil over an area of ground that is free of metal objects. The detector will then analyze the mineralization of the ground and adjust its sensitivity accordingly.
By ground balancing a metal detector, the user can reduce the threshold, allowing the detector to pick up on smaller metal objects that might otherwise be missed. It also helps to reduce the chances of false signals caused by mineralization in the ground. Mineralization is often called “Hot Rocks“
It’s important to note that the ground balancing feature is not present in all metal detectors, and that some metal detectors have a manual ground balancing which requires the user to adjust the ground balance manually.
Also, ground balancing should be done each time a metal detector is used in a different location or if the ground mineralization changes in the same location.
Metal Detecting Tip: One of the secrets to being a great detectorist is learning about ground balance. I’ve got you covered with an in depth article 👉 What is Ground Balancing on a Metal Detector and Getting it Right
Another Thing to Consider is EMI (Electromagnetic Interference)
EMI is any kind of interference that can disrupt the normal operation of the detector, including interference from other electronic devices, power lines, and even solar flares. EMI can cause false signals or make it difficult for the detector to pick up on metal objects.
If EMI is present, it can cause the threshold to increase, making it harder for the detector to pick up on metal objects. This is because the EMI can create a background noise that the detector’s circuit has to overcome in order to pick up on a metal signal.
One Last Sweep
Learning what threshold is and how to adjust it will up your metal detecting game. Listening for the point at which the detector’s audio signal begins to sound, indicating the presence of metal and adjusting how you sweep is a skill learned with experience. Having a machine like the Nokta Makro with a good ground balancing is a feature helps to counter the effect of mineralization on the threshold by analyzing the mineralization of the ground and adjusting the detector’s sensitivity accordingly.
This can help to reduce interference and improve detection depth, allowing the detector to pick up on smaller metal objects that might otherwise be missed. Ground balancing should be done each time a metal detector is used in a different location or if the ground mineralization changes in the same location.
Looking for some “How To” metal detecting articles? I’ve got you covered
- Metal Detecting Digging Tools – Tells you all about shovels, scoops and how to dig a plug.
- 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.
David Humphries, Writer and Creator of METAL DETECTING TIPS. After borrowing my son’s detector and finding $.25. I felt like a treasure hunter. FREE MONEY! I was seriously bitten by the metal detecting bug.
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