May 10, 2023

Ground Balance

Ground Balance
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Hi Everyone this week we kick of our feature series starting with Ground Balance. Don't forget to reach out to DR Detector to get your questions answered. see below.

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Hey, everybody. Welcome to episode 143 of the metal Detecting Show podcast. My name is Kiran and I have been metal detecting for the last 30 years. This week we kick off our feature set series with Ground Balance. So let's get on with the show. Hey, everybody. This week, we kick off our metal detector feature. So we're going to cover and break down features such as discrimination, ground balance, recovery response, EMI, multi frequency, and break them down to how they work, how we can use them to our advantage and potentially how misuse can be a disadvantage. Now, I have talked about most, if not all these features over the years in tech time out there, but also do remember take timeouts in either a tech timeout or even a full episode dedicated to each of these features. However, just like technology moves on, my learning of each of these features also has evolved to another level where I feel it's probably time that we revisit each and every one of these features. So like I said, this week we're going to talk about ground balance. But before we get into this week's topic, I want to put out a call that the doctor is feeling very lonely and is lacking in some public interaction. So, guys, get your questions into doctor detector about metal detecting about anything, really. The doctors Google Fu is very good. He's quite happy to Google that for you and come up with an opinion on any topic at all except erectile dysfunction. I'll draw a line about erectile dysfunction. But anyways, don't forget about the doctor. Send them an email to Dr. Detector at the metal detecting shortcode. And hopefully we get some questions together and we can even build an episode around some of those questions in the future. So back to the topic at hand about ground balance. Why am I starting with ground balance? Well, let's take it from a ground up approach, I suppose. But ground balance is always seen as the redheaded child in the feature set of a metal detector, often forgotten about. I totally disregard it. However, it's probably one of the most important features that you should be aware of, which are a metal detector and you often don't even consider until you happen upon some mineralized ground or soil. And then you want to know all about it. To talk about ground balance, you first have to talk about and understand what mineralized ground or soil is. From a physical point of view, mineralized soil can have a reddish hue. Just picture that Australian goldfields and you'll see this reddish hue radiating from the soil. That's an indicator of possibly highly mineralized soil and without ground balance, mineralized soil can render your detector unusable. Sometimes called hot ground, mineralized soil can affect your detector in that it can reduce detection depth and mess with target I.D. and even target mask out smaller targets. This interference is caused by a relatively high amount of magnetic susceptible particles called ferrets. Are hematite within the soil or ground. A low percentage of these particles, ferrite and hematite, will have very little effect on your detector. However, if these particles get into an elevated state, they can have, like I said, major impact on your detectors performance. Mineralized soil can create almost like an EMI fog or an electromagnetic induced fog. This is because those magnetic susceptible particles stand up a field just like a normal target within the ground and obviously more particles. The bigger the field, the bigger the field, the bigger the interference. So bear that in mind from a geological point of view. Mineralized soil is generally the oldest of soils that have been exposed to the elements over thousands of years. And we're talking like long periods of time, like from now to the Ice Age. And that's why they are generally found in desert like conditions. However, mineralized so can be found on farms where the soil has been excessively nature netted are too much, nitrogen has been put into soil, but it also can be found on beaches where iron rich sand is churned up onto the beach, causing an EMI fog. So how do you know you are hunting on mineralized ground? Well, in mild situations, your detector, if it doesn't have a mineralization graph on it, and I know older detectors used to have that, but if it doesn't have that graph, you can tell by the simple fact that your detector will not be detecting at depth. Another issue that may arise is that target IDs will be reporting in as lower than expected. So, for example, a silver coin might report in like a copper coin. This effect on target ID will also drop their copper coins into the iron zone and you may even be discriminating out some good targets on mineralized soil. If you're hunting on highly mineralized soil. Your detector will behave like there is a target under the ground. And when you go to dig it, the target is not there. That's one way. However, generally, your detector will go off like a Wild West Telegraph operator beeping and roaming out Mars. Call to you as you swing the detector over to mineralized soil. And this is where ground balance comes into play. So how does ground balance work? Well, my lab have a great Cabi article online, and you can check it out yourself, and I'll read out a snippet here. But the Cabi article is kb a dash 19. It does give a great explanation. I'll read it here word for word. So bear with me. Just like Target's mineralized ground produces its own field in response to the metal detector M field, this field has two components An X signal and an hour signal. However, mineralized ground, due to its large volume, produces a much stronger x signal than either the X or Y from a deeply buried target. The proportion of X and R signal produced by mineralized ground varies randomly from one location to another over a short distance to remain reasonably stable due to the grounds large x signal. Accurate detection relies on being able to detect the r signal from a target. Ground balance can balance out by picking out the proportional X and R signal from different ground types. So to put it simply, every target gives off two signals an X and R signal. And when you divide these signals by each other, this produces a percent edge value. And the lower the percentage value, the higher to mineralized ground. And because your detector is able to process this mineralization like that, it is quite easy for your detector to filter out mineralized ground. Ah, so the lab CBR article says. So how do you use ground balance? Well, most detectors these days will come with either art or ground balance already built in where you don't actually have any input towards it or on a higher end machine. You may have the facility to have all the ground balance, but also manual ground balance. How it works is very much dependent on the type of detector you have. But in general, it involves some process of starting the ground balance and then pumping your detector up and down underground. Just another one of those weird flamingo type dances that us detectorists have to do to set up our detector. But generally, it involves pumping the detector up and down repeatedly till you can find a setting where you can't actually hear the ground anymore. More within your detector. However, that's how it's implemented. In my experience. However, I would advise you to RTA FM, read the flippin manual, read the manual and understand how ground balance operates and how to do it effectively. So I do suggest you do learn this feature as one of the first features. You try to learn and understand on your detector, simply because it is the first step in your setup process that you should be doing along with noise control, which we get onto at an early stage. But you should always kick off a ground balance process, make sure your detector is ground balanced to the type of soil you're going hunting on. If you're operating on a beach, I would actually suggest you ground balance quite regularly, at least once an hour. If we're operating on ground that has potential to be highly mineralized. It could be farm ground that is highly nitrogen. It you will need to ground balance regularly as well. So just be aware that you may need to ground balance periodically during your hunt to ensure you still have depth and extra sensitivity isn't being affected. Reducing the detection of smaller targets at depth. If you're hunting on a normal field or parked and the automatic ground balance may be sufficient enough and maybe sufficient enough just to do it once. However, if you've noticed some of the telltale signs that we talked about earlier, like reduction index or sensitivity, accept false signals, your detector going off like a morse code operator in the Wild West and maybe wise to either adjust up or down your ground balance manually if you have that facility. And that's it, guys. That's it for ground balance this week. Nice and simple. Nice and short. I do want to take a second to tank my patrons. I have sent out another lot of stickers out to you guys. Your names are here. You've got Dan Diggs. Check out his channel. Robert Dyer and Mervyn Cooney, who have been long time supporters of the podcast. Thanks a million, guys. I really appreciate your support. And you've got Todd actually, who's a patron over on Buy Me a Coffee. So, guys, thanks a million. I hope you received your T-shirts and I hope you like the new stickers that I sent out in the last week or two. But I do appreciate your support and your future support in the podcast for the next coming years. That's it, guys. Don't forget to, like, subscribe. Don't forget to send your questions in to Dr. Detector. And all that's left to say, guys, is get out there. Good luck and happy hunting. And we will talk to you all again next week. Bye.