May 17, 2023

Securing Your Metal Detector

Securing Your Metal Detector
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Hey! This week we chat about how to best secure your metal detector to best prevent you loosing your detector to an opportunistic thief.

However, before we start I want to thank you for listening to the podcast and I hope you enjoy the episode this week  If you want to support the show there are many options available from the links in the episode notes below and if you want to interact with me and the show that information is there too.
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Dr Detector


Hey, everybody. Welcome to episode 144 of the Metal Detecting Show podcast. My name is Kiran and I have been metal detecting for the last 30 years. This week we talk about detector security and what you can do to secure your metal detector. So let's get on with the show, everybody. I hope you had a great week this week. I'm just back from three incredibly frustrating hunts. If you seen any of my shorts, you'd see that my CG scoop that I got recently was a present for my wife is not working out. It's made from such thin steel that it's a bending every time I push it into the sand. So that's caused me some level of frustration. But I've been out three times now with the legend and I have to say, I haven't found anything of note, not even enough for a cup of coffee the last three times now. And I put this down to the legend. I'm putting it down to me, picking easy options when picking a side to go hunting. Probably three of the most popular beaches for metal detecting around here. So. Yeah, so a little bit frustrated today. I wanted to record this yesterday. Yeah. So today is the 17th. When's the the 17th of May. So this podcast is going live in the next four or 5 hours. So I have to work hard and I wanted to do it yesterday, but I was just so frustrated after my most recent hunt, my garret Painter is finally shit in the bed, so it's time for a new one. I did dig out the the police dive boss. It just doesn't have the same reach as the castle. I'm in the market for a new one. So listen, watch this space. I let you know what I pick. But while I was out hunting the last couple of times, I did notice quite a few people having a crafty look in my van. So I drive a wide VW transporter van and I tend to bring too much metal detecting equipment with me. So I got to thinking, what should I be doing to properly secure my equipment? That's what we're going to talk about this week. So we're going to talk about a few low tech solutions, and I might throw in one or two high tech solutions at the end. But I think the first rule of thumb that everybody should observe is insurance. You need to plan for when your detector is stolen and have an insurance in place is an ideal situation to be in. Be as your car insurance, insuring the contents while it's in your car or one. Our little top tip here, if your equipment is stolen from your car while it's on your driveway, that's also covered by your house insurance. So make sure to list are detecting equipment in your house insurance policy in a day and age of when newer detectors are getting so expensive, it's the sensible thing to do. You're talking potentially over €2,000 worth of equipment being stolen in one fell swoop. And that's just if you have one high end detector, never mind your detector, plus your shovel plus or pinpoint are all the stuff that you keep together and this, coupled with the massive inconvenience, is enough to break you. So make sure you have proper insurance, first of all, in place. So make sure you plan for it to be stolen in the first place. There are three things that you can do to limit this. For example, don't do what I have done in the last couple of months, which is nearly bring every one of my detectors. I know I bang on about the fact that you should bring a back up detector if you have it just in case your primary detector has some level of fault or runs out of battery or whatever, or you have some oversight and don't charge us. However, bringing in the last few months, I have brought the legend Equinox, the Simplex and the X with two separate pin pointers and a separate scoop in the back of the van just in case. So that's incredibly stupid. So don't do what I have done. Bring your primary detector and potentially one other detector as a backup. This will limit, of course, if someone gets into your vehicle and decides to steal your detectors while you're out and about. However, if you only got one detector, as we say, and correct your ghost, so you should go out of your way to limit visible of the other detector equipment from your vehicle or your house. Not meaning that you have to lock your shed. Don't leave our side door open for all sundry to see. Don't leave our detector at the front door. When you answer the front door, I know some people constantly have the detectors just stacked up by the front door. And don't leave it in the boot of your car, especially if it's a hatchback type car where people can easily lock into the back of your car and see it. I stupidly, for a long time kept my detector in the passenger seat of my car, so anybody who looked in could see it and decide to steal it. However, I don't believe thieves these days understand the value or the money that's involved in metal detectors. So there is some level of security by obscurity. Ah, ignorance on a thief's behalf. However, there's bad actors in all walks of life and there's bad actors in the detecting community who would love to see a day is too readily available for them to pick it up and scarper our way with us. I think I don't do, but I do see other people doing and that is putting their detector in a ruggedized case or flight case, for example. Now, this is perfectly acceptable if you're taking a flight or if you're going to be putting your detector in amongst a lot of other equipment and you don't want to get it damaged, however, you don't need to have it in a flight case or a ruggedized box for everyday or normal use. All this does is say as to a potential tiff, there is something valuable in this box and I'm going to rob the box. So if you do insist on putting it in a box and I do see a lot of people and they take a lot of pride in preparing their box, make sure you have some level of security, type that box so we can get onto that in a minute. But make sure if they don't have some level of security that you have that box hidden away in your house, just like it a normal detector, because a box, a mystery box is way more attractive and way more likely to be stolen than a metal detector setting out, because there is a certain level of mystery within that box. And people don't understand how much a metal detector has worked these days. Like I said, let's assume your detector is going to get stolen at some stage. What can you do to help when that situation occurs? Well, the first thing you can do when you buy your detector is take down your serial number and record that away with your warranty. That's to ensure that if your detector is found that you are readily able to identify it as your own, because it's very easy for someone to say, No, this is my detector. I bought this myself. However, if you have your serial number to hand and you're able to present it to the authorities, 99% of the time, they will automatically be handed over to you. It's just like a bike. In the old days, every bike used use the a serial number under the saddle. You used to take a note of that serial number and lock it away in your mum's suitcase that she stored all that stuff in which parts are. And if the bike got stolen, you were able to pull out that serial number presented to the authorities who could keep an eye out for your bike at the time. And this is no different for your detector. Another layer on top of that would be using a U.V. pen, sometimes called a property marking pen. And what it is, is a permanent marker that only shows itself when excited under a UV light. So what you do is you write your name and your address and your mobile number on this idea detector. Nobody sees it there, but when you shine a UV light on it, it can very easily be identified as your own detector. It's not going to deter somebody from stealing it, but it will help you identify your property when you go to try and recover it again. There are some low tech solutions for recovery of your detector. There is another layer which I tend to like and I'm about to implement myself, and that is using an NFC sticker. So an NFC sticker is NFC stands for Near Field Communication and everybody's familiar with it, especially if you use contactless payment. So what it is, is you have a inbuilt circuitry within a sticker like a paper sticker. So one inch across by less than one metal pick. And what it is, it has a big antenna. And when that antenna is excited by radio waves of a specific frequency that powers the circuitry for it to transmit data back to your device, which has to be at very close range for it to be read. So that's how your contactless payment works. You know, you put your card in the field, your card gets excited and it broadcasts back the serial number or whatever encrypted data that that's within your card. An NFC sticker is no different, except you can buy NFC stickers. You can get ten of them for $2 on AliExpress and what you can do with them is so if you have a smartphone younger than 2012, they will all generally come with this NFC technology. So if your phone could do Apple Pay or Google, pay your onto a winner, but essentially what you can do is you can download an app apple have this inbuilt into the iPhone on Android you can download an app called NFC and that will allow you to write and read data of these NFC stickers. So what you can do is you can actually write a load of information onto that sticker. And what I would suggest you do is you get one of the stickers, you write your name and your address and any other identifiable information you want to have on it. You stick that to the back of your main box housing. And if your detector gets stolen, you can just simply come up, touch your phone to it, and that will show whoever it needs to be seen that this detector belongs to you. Now, there is a downside with NFC stickers, their time to come in a garish color like red or yellow. Really something that stands out. So what I would suggest to do is to get a sticker of something else, maybe a mine sticker or not a sticker, and just stick it over the top of it. That's not going to affect us or even just black insulating tape. And what it does is it will just security, buy up security, and no one will be able to see that you will essentially mark to your detector for recovery. Another layer on top of that is like NFC. However, it uses Bluetooth and as the Apple airtag, there is options available for Android phones, but the AIRTAG is a good one to to talk about and what it is and what it uses. It's very similar to NFC, but it uses Bluetooth technology so that allows it to be detected within 30 feet. It does have its own power source. It is the same size an inch by about four mils or runs on one of those Panasonic LR button batteries, and it has enough juice in that battery to last for a year. But what's interesting about these is that what kind of small form factor are only $20? What it allows you to do is to high down on your detector. Again, you can put it behind a bit of tape or a bit of sticker or maybe a plastic hose on your main control box, something that matches the color of the box. But you could potentially put it there. And I'm going to experiment with this over the coming weeks, and I'd let you know how I get on. But the interesting thing about Airtag is that if the Airtag goes out of coverage of your mobile phone, it'll alert you. That's the first thing. However, if it's gone out of coverage, it immediately starts looking for another iPhone to connect with Anonymous to the iPhone user and it will send back its location to your phone using the find me up so your detector potentially could be tracked to anywhere globally in the world. Now, it does have security feature that you may want to disable, particularly if you're using it as a security device. That is, you can pop open the back, take out the battery, crack it in half and remove the speaker, because what it does do, and this is rightly so, is to prevent creeps from stalking on people. So what it does is if it's in the vicinity of one particular person for a long period of time, it will notify that user's Android phone or iPhone to let them know that there there is a tracking device on them. It will also create an audible tone for them to find it. Now, you can disable that audible tone by using by splitting it apart and just simply by removing the speaker. If you're using it for security purposes to track your detector, I would advise to do that because the longer you can leave it under the detector, the less likely it is to be found. However, if you're a creep and you're going to start stalking people by using this, just don't don't don't take my advice and remove that speaker. Just don't do it, you filthy creep. Yeah, there is options available for Android, but just too many to name. And to be honest, the Apple Airtag is the only one I'm really super familiar with. So to recap quickly about how to secure a detector, don't leave out in plain sight for people to pick it up. Don't put all your eggs in one basket like I do, and that's bringing every detector with you on to hunt. Bring it back up if you must. However, don't put all your eggs in one basket because the basket can be stolen. Three if you're going to put it in a flight case, only do so for long trips or trips on which the detector may get damaged. Don't leave it in a flight case in the back of your car. That is just a red flag for a potential thief to think or do something valuable in that and fact up. They would probably be disappointed if they stole a flight case or a ruggedized case only to find a metal detector on it. They wouldn't know what to do with it. So far, it's probably best to assume the detector is going to be stolen. So make sure it's included in your either your house insurance or your car insurance taken out of your serial number. You can even add that to your insurance policy. Low tech solution will be to take a UAV property pen marker details on your detector, every bit of your detector or coil your man housing the whole lot. So it allows you to identify your detector layer on top of that security NFC sticker where you can store your data again. And then if you want to, if you really want to take it to the next level, you can use an airtag to track your detector anywhere in the world if it's stolen. Now, I don't believe any thief who doesn't understand metal detecting or doesn't understand what they're taking would actually go out of their way to risk taking or stealing a metal detector because they really just don't understand what it is and what it is worth. However, like I said, there's always bad actors in every community and there is potential for a detectorist to see an Expedia's art, a Manticore or Ctcs laying out in the open and the temptation could be too much for them and they could steal that detector. So in that situation, you don't want to be in an argument of saying who owns this detector? You need to make sure you have it correctly identified. And that's it for this week, guys. Don't forget to send your questions in to duck detectors if you have to coming in, which is great. And don't forget to give us a review. We're on 63 five star reviews on Apple Podcasts. So if you really feel like giving me some appreciation, please give me a positive review on Apple Podcasts. Spotify or whatever, a podcast two or three. And guys, don't forget, get out there, good luck these down and happy hunting.