False signals can really be aggravating at the very least and worse, can end the adventure. Today’s metal detectors are much easier to operate than the older ones, not a lot you can get wrong but it can still happen.
If you’re detector isn’t running normal, giving false signals, extra chatty or running erratic, here are some things that might rectify the issue.
- If you’re metal detector can be ground balanced find clean ground and ground balance. Often times this is the problem. I’ve owned several metal detectors where this has to be performed several times in a hunt.
- Turn down your sensitivity. Often times, even in a small area the mineralization can change in the ground. One minute you’re in a neutral, soft soil and just a short distance away you get into some heavily mineralized ground. If your sensitivity is to high your metal detector can become erratic.
- Check the coil connection that runs into the control housing. Make sure it is tight, if it is then remove it, put it in and out a few times before tightening down. Again, today’s newer detectors rarely is this a problem but I have seen where a film can build up on the connectors and a few times of in and out will clean it out.
- Remove your coil cover and clean it and the bottom of the coil. Dirt, sand and other debris can build up in there and make your metal detector run erratic.
- Low or bad batteries can also cause the issue. Much like the coil connector issue I mentioned earlier you can get a film over the contact points. It might also be a good idea to throw new batteries in and try that. I’ve seen it fix the issue.
- Make sure the problem isn’t Electromagnetic Interference (EMI). Overhead powerlines, generators, transformers, and underground cables can all cause issues. Some metal detectors handle EMI better than others but no detector is completely immune from all of it. Many of the new metal detectors have frequency shifts that will often help remedy the situation.
If you’re still having issues there is a chance you either have a coil or control housing issue. In that case you will have to send it in to be checked and repaired. Most often than not, in my experience it is the coil. If you have another size coil or a friend with the same metal detector try switching out the coils and see if the problem goes away.
Another issue I’ve seen happen many times is people turning their metal detector on in the house. This is never a good idea. Your house is full of EMI and in most cases will make any metal detector erratic. If you do turn it on inside to change settings or make changes I would recommend turning sensitivity way down, just make sure you turn it back up before you start metal detecting!
At some point you’re probably going to run into a metal detector running erratic. If you walk through these steps, more often than not you will fix the issue. I have had every one of these issues over the years with one metal detector or another. Stay calm, troubleshoot the issue and the majority of the time you will be right back to metal detecting!
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