Story by: Derek McLennan
When I first purchased the Minelab CTX 3030, it changed my detecting forever. My confidence grew, my finds rate multiplied and the depth I was reaching...well let’s just say Australia was not too far away from the bottom of some of my dig holes. This instant change in fortune was also while I was using the standard 11 inch coil, a superb coil especially for general searching and the more trashy areas, such as recreational parks, beaches and Victorian dump sites.
In Scotland, where I do most of my searching, I am often faced with vast fields of pasture where the signals are generally few and far between. This means that coverage can be an issue with a standard coil, unless you have several lifetimes to search thousands of acres. In addition, most of the pasture has only seen a plough a few times in the last 100 years, which usually means my finds are in good condition, but unfortunately they are also for the main part, very deep. So, every inch of depth I can squeeze out of a machine and coil combination helps enormously.
As satisfied as I was with the standard 11 inch coil, for the reasons given above, I wanted another bigger option in my locker. Step up the Minelab CTX 17 – a smart coil answer to my prayers.
It was on the machine almost before it was out of the box and I was not disappointed with its size – it was absolutely massive! I did notice it was a little heavier than the standard coil, but it did not affect the balance of the machine at all. If you found it uncomfortably heavy, then I would suggest the excellent PRO-SWING 45 harness available from Minelab. Sharon, who is a petite lady at 5’ 2” in height, uses this exact harness and can swing the CTX 3030 all day, even with the 17 inch coil attached.
I have now been using the 17 inch coil for over two years and at 6ft tall, I can walk with slow comfortable steps and get overlapping swing coverage with every sweep, confident I am leaving no gaps and missing no targets. With regards to depth, well I have regularly found small medieval silver coins, weighing around 1.5g, at depths over 12 inches – the depth of my dig holes actually became a joke at one point and one of the deepest actually had Sharon standing in the hole up to knees – I’m not complaining, absolutely not...indeed, I am extremely happy knowing that I am missing nothing.
In addition, I do not feel I have to compromise with my swing speed and actually felt I could increase it a little for general searching. Let me explain, as long as you keep your eyes to the ground, the coil to the soil and do not pendulum swing, then the recovery speed is great for a relatively quick swing speed. Another bonus is that the CTX 17 inch coil will pick up targets at the very end of the arc of your swing, sometimes even slightly beyond it, such is the power of this coil. You will hear the slight beep of a positive signal and be able to check your stride and then the target – trust me you will be surprised more times than not.
Finally, the pinpointing abilities of the large coil are no different than those of the 11 inch coil. You can complete your cross over the target and then use the pin pointer function to centre it. You can always do a final check and wiggle the coil away from the target and when the positive signal fades and disappears, the target will be at the ‘u-shaped’ section at the front of the coil.
So, there you have my opinion of the CTX 17 inch coil for the CTX 3030. For me, it is an absolutely essential piece of additional kit that will pay for itself in no time, as your find rate will increase significantly. You do not need to compromise your swing speed, your ground coverage will be far greater and unfortunately you will be digging deeper holes and a lot more of them.
I would not be without it and have found some wonderful coins and artefacts using it – if you have not got one yet, my advice would be to rectify that situation immediately – you will not regret the investment.
Catch you next time for more tips and advice from the wilds of Scotland – slàinte!
De 42cm CTX3030 schijf is hier te vinden