Fisher CZ21 Review

An update since writing this article: The headphones have broken, as I expected, and the whole unit had to be sent away to be fixed. This has happened to 3 other people I know as well, so I would call it a major flaw with this machine. Now that newer machines have been released, I would recommend the Minelab Equinox over this machine which has now become my go to beach machine. https://treasurehunters.co.za/home/minelab-equinox-600

I sold my Minelab Etrac and bought myself a beach machine since I found myself 99% of the time beach hunting. If the Etrac was waterproof, I would never have sold it but since it was not, the time came to rather invest in a fully waterproof machine, one that would let me venture out into the deep waters with no worries… and even though I was set on a Minelab Excalibur II, due to price and good reviews, I settled on the Fisher CZ21. So now that I have had it for roughly 4 months, its time to post my thoughts on this water machine.

CZ21

I am not going to do the usual standard review of mentioning all the specs of this machine, that can be found easily on Fishers website. This is more about my personal findings about the machine and how it has performed with me so far.

You get a choice of an 8″ coil or the 10″ coil, to which the dealer I bought from only had the 8″ version available so my choice was already made for me. The machine is completely sealed, you cannot change coils so make sure you choose wisely when you first make your purchase. The headphones are also connected as part of the machine, so they are not replaceable. This so far is all good, but the concerns I have are when the headphones pack up one day, it will mean that there is no way to replace just the headphones, I will need to send the whole machine back to Fisher or my dealer in order to get it fixed which is certainly less than ideal – fingers crossed nothing packs up!

Now that I have had a good chance to use the machine, looking back I think I would have chosen the bigger 10″ coil had I been given the choice. There is nothing wrong with the 8″ coil, it finds deep targets and easy to pin point with but I would have appreciated the wider coverage that the 10″ coil offers.

The shaft that is supplied stock with the machine, in my opinion is terrible in every way. It feels cheaply made and the lower rod also seems to be made of a cheap plastic which coming from the carbon fibre shafts and rod of the Etrac, was a big disappointment to me. Not only does it feel cheap but it also feels very unbalanced because of the placement of the unit on top of the handle and makes the machine feel extremely heavy. I would not have been able to detect for more than an hour at most without it killing my arms in stock configuration.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI think Fisher are well aware of this issue which is why they supply a belt clip where you can take the CZ21 unit off the shaft and attach it to the belt clip to wear around your waist. This does indeed make it much lighter but also comes with its own set of problems. Firstly the cord could get damaged as you should never tug hard on the cord that is attached to the unit and by placing it on your belt, I feel that there is more of a chance that the cord could get twisted or pulled harder than it should. Another big factor when I tried this method was that the back of the top of the shaft would often catch on the unit during my swinging. To alleviate this issue, I had to place the unit further away from my side, more towards either the front or back of my body which again, was less than ideal.

fisher1Luckily there are alternate aftermarket shafts and I ordered myself the Anderson carbon fibre shaft for the CZ21. The quality and workmanship of the shaft is superb and places the unit behind (and upside down) the shaft making it feel much more balanced and much lighter. I can now detect for 3 hours with no weight problems whatsoever. After seeing just how good the shaft is, I have ordered the Anderson carbon fibre lower rod which will soon replace the cheap stock plastic lower rod that I am currently using.

What really grates me about the quality of this machine, is the fact that it was designed for sea and fresh water hunting, designed to be fully waterproof, designed to even go diving up to 250 feet yet there are signs of rust on the machine.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn the knobs of the main machine, the screws are all rusting… now this may not have any particular negative impact on the machine itself, it certainly is not aesthetically pleasing. Also on the lower rod, the little silver ball that “clips” into the holes of the shaft, is also rusting away. This was another reason I ordered the Anderson lower rod as I don’t expect that one to rust as my Anderson shaft has shown no signs of rust whatsoever (I do believe if I was still using the stock shaft, that it would certainly have signs of rust).

Ground balancing the unit I find rather tricky as well. I have read from other user reviews that each machine is different, even people who own two CZ21’s say that each one sounds and behaves differently. I have watched a youtube clip which makes ground balancing look so simple yet on my machine it seems to be a little tricky. Now this may not exactly be the machines fault, it could well be the mineralisation of the different beaches that plays havoc with me but this is one side of the machine that I find difficult to use. I have tried both the bobbing and the easy method and certainly find the easy method easier but still not easy on the beaches I frequent.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The discrimination is top class, with an easy to hear low, mid or high tones. The low tones are generally the iron which I ignore, the mid tones are the gold / pull tabs / foil and the high tones are generally the coins / silver range. The discrimination notches from 0 to 6, where on 0 you will hear all the tones, but I usually leave it on 1 where it will ignore the low tones and only hear the mid and high tones. Anything from 2 and above and you will start missing gold targets so it’s not worth putting discrimination on anything higher than 1.

The volume is great with levels 1 – 5 which will make you hear deep targets as faint tones and shallow targets as loud tones or from 6 – 10 which puts you in “boost” mode and even the deep targets will be enhanced as a loud tone. I often keep my machine on around 7 or 8 and even in extremely windy conditions, have a clear loud volume.

Sensitivity as with all machines, try and run as hot as possible without getting false signals. Sometimes in the wet surf, I often have to reduce very low between 3 – 5 to reduce the falsing which does worry me about what kind of depth I am getting from reducing the sensitivity that low but naturally there will be a trade off of depth but at least the machine runs stable and does still find targets.

There is also the “All Metal” mode which does not discriminate at all, and produces a very different kind of sweeping tone. I often like to hunt in this mode and once a target is found, switch to discrimination mode and find out what kind of target I am over. You can also run the all metal mode with a higher sensitivity with less falsing and therefore should be able to pick up deeper targets. However on certain tests I have done, it seems at times that the discrimination mode picks up deeper targets even at a lower sensitivity better than the all metal mode.

I have found tiny board short buttons at reasonable depths so I am confident that this machine is capable of finding the tiniest of objects at acceptable depths comparable to that of my previous Etrac.

Am I happy with this machine and would I have bought it again if I could go back in time – the answer is yes, loving the waterproofness and the batteries seem to last forever but the Garrett ATX is certainly still high on my wish list.

I have a hunting buddy who seems to find gold and platinum rings often and he uses the same machine, so I know the CZ21 is a capable performer. In my find lists from this machine are coins, chains, watches, rings and jewellery items (mostly junk or silver) – but this particular machine still needs to prove to me that it can find gold.

Detecting accessories

There are so many different metal detecting accessories on the market – as they say, too many choices leads to much confusion. I will give you an insight as to what accessories I have found most useful in making my hunting easier but ultimately you will need to decide for yourself what will work best for you and your style of detecting.

  • PRO POINTER

propointer

 

The pro pointer will help you locate a target quickly and easily.

I know I mentioned in a previous blog post that you probably wont use this at the beach (as you will use your beach scoop instead) but I was very very wrong! Even at the beach, the Garrett brand I use works wonders in both the dry and wet sand as an addition to the scoop when I am battling to find the target. A little handy tip, if you switch on the pointer and place it in the wet sand, you will get false signals. Switch it off, place it in the wet sand and then only switch it on – this allows the pointer to adjust to the wet sand environment and it will then search with no false signals.

So at the beach, park or wherever else I may be digging, this is one invaluable little tool that comes with me everywhere. Highly recommended.

 

  • BEACH SCOOPS

metalhandscooplongbeachscoopMost of us enjoy beach detecting, probably the easiest place to pick up gold / silver jewellery and modern coins – so when your detector picks up a signal, you gonna need to dig that sand! The idea is really simple, scoop up sand in the target area, let the sand fall through the scoop holes and your gold ring (or more likely a pull tab or bottle top) remains in the scoop.

The little hand scoop comes in two varieties, a metal and a plastic version. The plastic version some prefer as it wont interfere with your detector but this scoop is good for the dry sand only. The metal scoop is more hardy and will work better in the wet sand but still not ideal. Firstly, it becomes a bit of a back breaker to bend over on each dig and scoop up the sand, and secondly with the wet sand, the sand is not going to flow out the holes with ease – it takes a lot of effort to shake the scoop and get the wet sand out through the holes.

That brings us to the metal scoop with long handle. This is what I have been using of late, mine being made of steel and is pretty darn heavy but rock solid. The idea is you can scoop without bending down, so much more comfortable and I find this method the easiest for both dry and wet sand. The drawback is you carrying an accessory that is more likely the same size in length as your detector, and slightly more heavy! I am sure there are much lighter ones on the market compared to the one I use but I like the fact that mine looks indestructible…

  • BEACH BOOTIES

reef

In summer, it really does not matter, you can go bare foot if you wish, but in winter my feet would freeze especially at some of the Cape Town beaches on the Atlantic side so I decided to get something thats gonna keep my feet warm. I found a pair of Reef diving booties at Sportsmans Warehouse for around R400 and they do the job perfectly. They have rubber grip at the bottom, a zipper on the side with neoprene material behind it so no water or sand gets in. It is important to note that I only detect on the wet sand and not in the water, but this way when I am detecting on the wet sand and the water runs over my feet as the wave breaks, my feet stay completely dry.

 

  • LESCHE DIGGER

lesche

 

There are many choices when it comes to digging and I started off using a cheap mini garden spade. After research, it quickly became apparent that the Lesche digger was the industry standard with exceptional reviews all round. I quickly ordered one and it did not disappoint. Extremely tough, I doubt I will be able to bend or break it even in tough conditions.

Be careful when purchasing though, the digger comes in two options, with the serrated edge on the left or on the right side of the digger.

It does not necessarily mean that if you left handed, you get the serrated edge on the left, you need to figure out how you dig and which side will work best for you. For me it was even more confusing, I am right handed but unlike most people, when I eat food, I have the knife in my left hand rather than the right. Most people think thats weird, I think its normal and that everyone else is just weird!

So be careful when buying…

 

 

  • TREASURE POUCHtreasurepouch

Your pockets will soon become very full if you don’t have some sort of a pouch for your finds and trash. Most pouches are divided into two sections, one for your finds and one for your trash. I used to have an open pouch but I was a little paranoid that I could lose some of my finds when bending over that I decided to get the Garrett Camo Treasure Pouch. It zips closed, so no chance of losing anything, is made of high quality material and the pro pointer and accessories fit nicely on to the front of the pouch. Once you open the first zipper, there is place for a large amount of trash and then there is a second zipper inside with a smaller section for all your finds. So it’s really secure – not sure why they made the smaller section so small though, I thought it could have been a little bit bigger but I am yet to prove that I need more space than provided for my finds.

 

So those are the basic accessories that I use and recommend but again you will need to find things that work for you – at the end of the day it’s all about making your digging experience that much easier.

 

Reality of detecting

I love reality shows, I really do but with so much competition of reality tv shows on the market today, the media production houses seem to have taken the ‘reality’ out of reality tv shows.

I was watching “American Digger” with Ric Savage and they happened to stumble upon this buried metal milk canister whilst detecting. They got it out of the ground and found it was actually someones buried treasure which was filled with pennies and coins from back in the day. What happened next out of nowhere, they found a pouch which was buried in amongst the coins, and to everyones suspense, in the pouch was a 1907 $20 double eagle gold coin which they estimated a worth value of $30 000.

Now, I cant prove, nor do I want to prove that this was fake – but lets be honest, it would be a pretty boring tv show if all they found was bottle tops and pull tabs! I am convinced they plant “good finds” in order to make the show more exciting…

Either way, fake or not, its these kind of shows that still trigger our interest to get out there and hopefully find some gold, silver or rare items. Well it did for me anyway, so I decided to get up at the crack of dawn and hit a park I have never detected before, just down the road from where I stay behind a large shopping mall.

I have not detected in a while, so this was actually rather exciting, especially since the 1907 double eagle was fresh in my mind from the TV show I watched the night before.  From the moment I switched on my detector, I got signal after signal, right next to each other. This place was full of metal, so I decided to turn on the discrimination pattern on my Etrac to find only coins and started the hunt…

On my first signal, I dug and found some metal junk, oh well, in the pouch it goes to help clean up the park, however on the same hole I dug my Pro Pinpointer had found another signal. A light dig later and a coin! Excitement quickly dissipated when I discovered it was only a 2009 five cent coin – but still, a coin! Into the seperate section of my pouch for my finds did the 5c coin go. (My pouch is divided into two sections, one for finds and one for junk)

Thereafter it was signal after signal, dig after dig, junk after junk! Pull taps, bottle tops, metal wrappings and just peoples litter everywhere! It was hard work and the only reward was knowing that I had cleaned up the park… a lot!

At the end of my session, I had 1 find in the good section of my pouch, and the junk side was full. I guess this is more the reality of detecting, rather than what we see on the TV shows.

One thing we can learn from this – please don’t litter – its not fair to the environment, nor to the detectorist trying to find some treasure.

Which detector for a beginner?

PLEASE NOTE: This is an old post – we have an updated article on which detector for a beginner which can be found here:
https://treasurehunters.co.za/2020/07/14/best-entry-level-metal-detector-2020/

This is a question I get asked many times by my blog visitors… “Which detector should I buy and where should I buy it from”?

I too am a novice when it comes to metal detecting but I decided on the Minelab Etrac and I think its a wonderful machine. I did lots of research before buying and for me personally, I wanted a machine I could “grow” into rather than replace when I got more involved in the hobby. However, this came at a price – both in terms of complexity and in actual purchase price.  If you fortunate enough to have lots of cash, enjoy a bit of a learning curve and have big arms (it does get heavy after detecting for more than an hour) then I would happily recommend the Etrac. It has wonderful reviews, I have nothing to complain about mine (except that it could be lighter) and am sure you would be very happy with your new purchase.

Alas, to the newbie that wants to get involved in the metal detecting hobby, I would much rather recommend a completely different machine. Please note here that I have never used this machine personally but from all my hours of research on the internet it is quite easily seen as the preferred machine of choice for the beginner because of the much lighter price tag as well as it being, well a very good machine.

It is in fact the Garrett Ace 250. This machine sits nicely in the price market for beginners yet the machine includes some key important features:

Electronic Pinpointing – This will allow you to precisely locate a target and will save you time when digging (Note that the Garrett Ace 150 does not support this feature)

Some other features found in the ACE 250:

  • Accept/Reject Discrimination: to modify discrimination patterns
  • Five Search Modes: select pre-set discrimination pattern or create your own (All metal, Jewelry, Custom, Relics, Coins)
  • Continuous Coin Depth Indicator: to determine target depth
  • Battery Condition Indicator: shows battery life continually
  • Interchangeable ACE series searchcoils: are available
  • Expanded Target ID Legend: easy-to-read above large LCD screen
  • Pushbutton Controls: with One-Touch operation
  • Other features: 3-piece travel/storage, disassembles to 24″; adjustable
    arm cuff; quarter-inch (1/4″) size headphone jack.

As Gene Scullion puts it “The Garrett Ace 250 is very light on weight yet heavy on features and performance”. Read his full review on this machine here:

http://www.metaldetector.com/learn/field-tests-and-reviews-by-brand/garrett/testing-the-garrett-ace250

Please note, once you have your machine there is one more little gadget you might want to consider purchasing. Its called the Garrett Pro-pointer. This pin pointer has set the standard in metal detecting and in my opinion is the best pin pointer available. Once your machine has found a target, its up to you to start digging. This pin pointer gives audible alerts to let you know if you digging in the right direction and how close you are to your target. You would not use something like this at the beach (as you would be using a scoop instead) but it certainly will come in handy everywhere else!

In terms of beach hunting, I believe that the machine works wonders on dry sand but does give some difficulty and false alerts in the wet sand. The machine is not perfect but for the price, it certainly is hard to beat.

My Garden Just Became Interesting

My folks have gone overseas and asked me to look after their house – a perfect time to dig up the garden without getting any moans from the old man 🙂

For the few times that I have used my detector, I always have had some sort of discrimination on. (Coin or beach mode etc) so I decided this time to turn the discrimination off and work with a completely open screen to pick up everything that the detector can find. I now know why those modes were created! beep beep beep beep beep everywhere…

I had watched an episode of “Diggers” on DTSV last night – so that sparked my interest to get out and dig again but this time just wanted to get used to listening for the different tones it was picking up. To be honest, I was not even planning to dig anything, just wanted to wonder around listening! Yeah right – what are the chances of that, you all of a sudden pick up a different tone, the numbers look good on the screen – forget everything I said, time to DIG!

I was very impressed with the accuracy of the Etrac, dug and found my finds quickly and easily. The lesche digger tool certainly helps and I highly recommend this baby for digging anything although I still need to work on plugging more neatly.

First find – looks like a war relic! In my garden! Its a rifle shell of some sort, what the heck? This got me excited to dig around some more. Next signal and I pick up what looks to be a gold ring. Seriously, a bullet shell and gold ring in my first two finds (and I had been over this garden before except remember last time I had discrimination on).

My third find was a lot less interesting – a rusty old nail. I must me honest, I was not out for very long and decided to pack it away as I was too excited to rather get a good look at my first two amazing finds.

I need to find out how to clean these things – its extremely difficult to tell what anything is if it has been underground for so long. I now have my doubts about the gold ring (which looks more like a band rather than a ring) – perhaps its just a copper ring that is used for pipes or something? Gold is not meant to tarnish but it can discolor a little if it reacts with certain elements, so who knows. How the heck do I find out what metal content it has…

I need to google to find some more answers…. but one big question remains, what else lies beneath the garden?

Top 5 Places To Go Metal Detecting

I havent written a new blog post in a while, so in the mean time, Michael Bernzweig asked if he could contribute to a guest blog post… well here it is.

Daniel Bernzweig manages MetalDetector.com in Southborough, MA. He has written on the subject of treasure hunting and metal detecting since the mid 1980’s. He enjoys traveling with his metal detector and helping to educate others in the correct use of metal detectors in their explorations.

So, you’ve just gotten your new metal detector, but, where can you go to use it?  Well, the easy answer is literally, almost anywhere.  The type of metal detector does limit you in some regards.  For example, if your metal detector isn’t waterproof, you’re not taking it diving with you.  However, the reality is, you can pretty much just walk outside and begin searching for treasures.

Outside of that though, where are the best places to go metal detecting?  Here are 5 of our favorites!

Old Sites

Old sites can be exciting places to take your metal detector.  While many are marked, and may even be local or national historic sites which are off limits to metal detecting, others are privately owned and may be good locations to explore. Many are only found through research, research, and then, some more research!  These types of places will almost always require you to determine the rightful owner in order to ask permission to look for treasures on their property, as well as make plans for dealing with any items that are found on the site.  That said, old sites are exciting to search and can of course, lead to some of the most unique treasure caches.

The Beach  and Other Public Outdoor Recreation Areas

Taking your metal detector out to the beach (as long as it’s properly rated for heavily mineralized ground conditions), lakes, carnivals/fair sites, campgrounds, picnic grounds or parks, sports fields, and other types of locations like these will almost always lead you to at least a few coins, if not a piece of jewelry or three!  Of course, many metal detectorists will get even luckier in public recreation areas.  Why?  People usually change their clothing in some way, and they stash valuables and money while out swimming, playing soccer, etc.  Unfortunately, items are often lost at parks and beaches as a result.  This is a disappointment for all of us out enjoying our public recreation areas, but, it can lead to great fun for a metal detectorist!

Farms

Nowadays, most farms are fairly old places.  Not everywhere of course, but for much of the world farms are places that have been around for generations.  As a result, old farms can be excellent places to go metal detecting.  Finds can be wide and varied and don’t just occur near the current homesite.  You may even run into former home sites on some farms and/or old outbuildings that can also be full of treasures waiting to be found.

Construction Sites

Anytime the earth is being dug you may find treasures if you have a metal detector.  Construction sites, both commercial and residential, are an excellent example of this.  The main reason construction sites make such great metal detecting locations is that now you can get much deeper into the ground, even if you already have a really deep seeking metal detector.  Construction sites can be dangerous though, so be careful and, as always, be sure to have the property owner’s full permission before heading out.  As long as you keep these facts in mind though, you can have an excellent time metal detecting around a construction site.

Right Under Your Nose

As we said, you really can use your metal detector anywhere.  As a result, many people overlook those areas that are literally right under their own noses.  Places like your own backyard, or the trail you walk down each day with your dog, or your daily route; ordinary locations like these are excellent places to go metal detecting and, often yield the greatest finds simply because they’ve never been searched before.
Wherever you take your metal detector, always remember to be respectful of the land, be sure to fill in your holes, and pack out any trash you find or make.   Also, always try to find the rightful owner of the treasures you find whenever possible; which can be as rewarding, and exciting as finding the treasure itself. Always be sure to check the local laws and get permission whenever it is required.  And, last but surely not least be sure to have a lot of fun whenever you’re out metal detecting!

Luckless Beach Attempts

I know this is a long overdue post as I have been meaning to update this blog… and I dont really even have an excuse since I find myself now in the smallest town in the world with absolutely nothing to do!

So I tried my E-trac at the beach near our family holiday home in Scarborough near Cape Town. Lets just say, I found nothing but did receive many stares from beach go-ers who had probably never seen anyone with a metal detector before, or thats what it felt like anyways! This was my first time out in public and I admit it did feel a little awkward at first knowing there were gawkers staring at my every move. It was almost embarrassing to dig up sand and come up empty handed as I think everyone at the beach was expecting me to come up with a find of some sort. Needless to say the embarrassment vanished quickly and I got very used to working my way around the beach…

I did struggle though, I kept getting signals over a sweep yet when I tried to find the signal again to isolate the target, it was gone. When I found the signal, tried to pinpoint and nothing OR I get a pinpoint, dig and come up empty. Clearly my settings or the even more likely answer must have been my inexperience at detecting on the beach. I did however find a much better signal later on during the search, dug and found some tin foil. As unexciting as this sounds, I was more than happy to have actually found a proper signal, dug and eventually come up with something!

Scarborough is not the busiest beach in the world (think retirement village) so perhaps that had something to do with my lack of finds. They do say if there is nothing there, you not going to find anything… so perhaps it was just a case of there really was not much there.

One thing I learnt quickly is the E-trac is HEAVY. It might not seem so initially but after an hour or two you really start to feel the weight of the machine. Now if I kept on digging gold I wont mind the weight at all but alas when you digging up nothing, it is a bit of a drain.

After I returned home from my luckless attempt I read that my settings I was using may not have been the best for the beach. I was supposedly meant to use manual sensitivity as automatic is not preferred at the beach… noted for the next time.

In the meantime I received a 3 month work contract to lecture and instruct at an air school in Port Alfred. Coming from Cape Town and even more recently Dubai, this place is what I call ‘microscopic’. It really is a tiny town but the best definition would be courtesy of my cousin and in his exact words “A one horse town… but the horse has died”. A beautiful retirement spot I suppose, with a great stretch of coastline that goes on for miles on end including a blue flag beach called Kelly’s Beach. The beach is about the only thing to do here except for a few bars and one small shopping mall. Thats it! Apparently the beach is packed during holiday season as this is definitely a holiday town but certainly not many people live here outside of holiday season as everywhere I visit is empty – including the beach.

Luckily I brought my detector along to keep me occupied. I tried the beach (my now second attempt at a beach) and changed the sensitivity setting to manual so i was determined I would find something. They had major flooding recently where the tides washed up almost completely covering where the sand usually is, so I figured something must have washed up and waiting to be found under the sand. Alas again, I was having the same issues as before and yet again struggled to find anything. This time I didnt even find tin foil making it even a worse attempt than my first. Given it was a real quiet spot on the beach where not many ever go but I thought I would attempt it anyways. I am still not convinced about my detector settings and instead of using beach mode I am going to completely open up the discrimination and just dig whatever I can on my next beach attempt – hopefully I have better success stories on my next blog update.

The first finds

I finally arrived back in South Africa on 26 December and what a pleasure it is to be back home but before I had left Dubai I sent off unaccompanied air freight which should have been delivered 5 days ago to South Africa but due to a lot of unexplained excuses it only arrived today. The one thing I realise is that having a big “FRAGILE, HANDLE WITH CARE” statement on the box clearly means “THROW ME AROUND AS MUCH AS YOU WANT” as the box certainly looked a lot worse off than when I had sent it off on its epic journey. I was pedantic in packing the items, bubble wrapped everything securely then bubble wrapped it some more so everything actually did arrive in one piece I am happy to report.

So I put my bags containing all my clothes and photography equipment to one side and hauled out the the one thing that I had been waiting for so patiently – the Etrac… Although Christmas is over, this felt like Christmas, opening a present I so badly wanted.

Surprisingly the battery pack still contained a charge so impatiently I headed straight off to the garden. I am staying with the folks at the moment who have a big enough garden for me to search or should I rather say, destroy? You see before I left Dubai, I had gone on to e-bay and ordered one of those Lesche Diggers which looked so incredibly handy but when the item arrived at my New York shop and ship address who usually forward on to me in Dubai, they had decided that the item was a knife and that it could not be forwarded to Dubai. In the end I was forced to either pay to return the item to the seller (which I had problems with too but that is another story for another time) or for them to discard the item. So discard it was, $40 down the drain and still a Lesche digger short.

I had done a bit of research on the ferrous and conductive values of the etrac so I had some very basic knowledge of what I thought would be good numbers to dig and recover. I was surprised with the amount of metal that was being detected under the garden – remember this is after all my first time I have ever used a metal detector. I found a spot where the numbers looked good to be a coin of some sort, pin pointed the position and was just about to start digging. Just then I had remembered I had left the Garrett pin pointer in the house but my dad was quite amused at this whole setup so was outside with me watching at the time, so he kept the spot while I ran back to fetch the pin pointer.

The etrac tells you how deep the item is but still being being new at this, I thought it was a lot deeper than it actually was. After one spade scoop (was in a sandy part of the garden), the Garrett quickly located the object and it was indeed a coin. My first find ever and it was a coin… super excited even though it was only 2 cents. This spurred me on for the rest of the hunts in the garden.

Since I had the setting on all metal at this stage, I decided I will actually dig up a target that is usually considered not worthwhile to dig just to see what it is. Turns out it was a rusty nail so at least I know the FE and CU values does actually correspond to what I have read up previously about the good and bad numbers and what not to dig for.

Next I found a target that was pretty deep down, so dig I did and eventually could see something shiny and silver. This wasnt small either – excitement levels went through the roof at this point. Was it a silver? Well no, turned out to be one of those old tuna or sardine cans. Had a good chuckle and tried to cover up all my mess I had made digging up. I have watched numerous youtube clips on plugging neatly and this is certainly something I am not doing – certainly trying but not getting it right which I put down to not having the right equipment aka The Lesche Digger. I am using a cheap handheld spade with a rugged edge on one side sort of like the Lesche but no where near the same quality. I also put it down to lack of experience in digging but luckily its the parents house and they dont mind me making a bit of a mess – or so they claim. Give it another day or two and I am sure I will be banned from detecting in the garden. This is something I need to get right before heading out to public places.

Further more I found tin foil, a fishing weight, a door hindge and lastly another 2 cent coin. This hobby certainly gives you a bit of a workout, the etrac is actually quite heavy and all the digging is a workout in itself but so far I am loving it and hey, its already paying for itself – 4 cents worth.

The E-trac has arrived

After working a double night shift and by night shift I literally mean I was working all through the night (22:30 to 06:30) controlling busy air traffic, it was a relief that my doorbell rang only at around 12:30 – usually the delivery guys are here bright and early at around 08:00, so although I wasnt happy to be getting out of bed, there was light at the end of the tunnel knowing who it was at the door. Besides 4 hours of sleep is plenty when you know there is a new toy to play with!

I placed the order on ebay only 8 days ago – the item needed to travel from Ann Arbor in USA to my shop and ship address in New York and from there shipped over to me in Dubai. 8 days, thats pretty impressive.

I ordered the bundle so it came with the Etrac detector, Garrett Pro Pointer, Minelab carry bag, Metal Beach Scoop, Pouch for collecting finds, a cover for the control box to protect it from dust and rain, The Minelab explorer and E-trac handbook and a Europe charger as the US one wont work here or in SA due do the difference in electrical voltages used. It arrived in one big box and was slightly worried due to the fragile nature of the detector, that perhaps something might have broken during transit but luckily all seems to be fine.

Right, time to put this thing together. All looks easy enough except for trying to get the coil wire through the shaft – if anyone has an E-trac you will know what I mean, trying to push the chord manually just doesnt work… and after much sleep deprivation and not being able to think out the box it was time for the next step, youtube “How to get the coil wire through the shaft of an e-trac”. Luckily a video popped up describing the exact problem I was facing and the solution was to tie some fishing line to the plug of the chord,  feed that through the shaft and then pull it through from the other side. Well, I dont have fishing line but I do have dental floss and that worked like a charm. Problem solved.

So E-trac was now up and running, it switched on but due to the fact that I am inside the apartment it was beeping like crazy, detecting all the pipes below the floor. So no real testing can be done but I am happy to know it works and it arrived in one piece.

I have been going through the book and yes it does seem like a lot to take in but I will get to grips with everything eventually. I have also been in email contact with Des Dunne from Minelab in Ireland who ironically happens to be mentioned in the book too, and he has also sent me some articles on the E-trac. So plenty of reading material to get me through the next couple of days.

As mentioned before, I am in Dubai at the moment but relocating back to South Africa at the end of the year. As much as I would love to go out and play with my new metal detector, this isnt the right place for it. I have no idea if its legal or not but knowing how this place works after living here for 3 years – there is no ways I am taking the risk. The problem with detecting here is the fact that no one really knows the laws as it is very uncommon so if the cop on the day thinks you doing something illegal, you gonna have a hard time getting out of it. For an example people have been arrested just for taking photos – make sure you know if there are any military buildings around before taking the picture you or you can land up in serious heat. So with only a month and a half to go, I am not taking any risks but just imagine the possibilities that lie on those beaches next to the 7 star hotel where the rich and famous play.

So the E-trac has now been disassembled and packed away ready to be shipped back to South Africa. That means this blog is going to become very quiet until after Christmas when I arrive back in SA and get to start playing again.

Until then, please browse our forums and keep on detecting.

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