Good things come in small packages. Detecting with the Minelab CTX 06 coil.
For some time now I have been keen to get my hands on one of Minelab’s CTX 06 six-inch coils for my CTX 3030. Recently, I finally bought one and couldn’t wait to get out and try it on some trashy sites that I have had success on in the past.
When I unpacked the coil, my first thoughts were how small it looked compared to my other CTX coils! However, I knew that small coils were the way to go for very trashy sites due to the concentrated detection field, meaning that you can better separate targets that are close together. The downside to the small coil though, is that it takes a lot longer to cover an area.
The site I had in mind for my first outing with the CTX 06 coil is a popular swimming site that has been in use for over a century. Ironically, it used to also be a dumping site, so there is no shortage of iron and a fair bit of lead mixed in with the good targets.
The settings I used were:
• 50 Conductive tones
• Response - smooth
• Target separation - high trash
• Pinpoint - normal
I’ve been over this site many times over the last five years. I have used a number of detectors including my Minelab Excalibur II with the 10-inch coil and my CTX with the 11-inch coil. I’ve recovered a lot of coins and relics, but always had a feeling that there were more good targets still being masked by iron or pieces of lead.
My opportunity came when I had a rostered day off from work and I could get in a couple of hours of detecting in the morning. When I arrived to the site, I quickly put on a thin wetsuit, grabbed my detector, scoop and floating sifter.
I find that using a floating sifter in areas with a lot of pebbles or shells is a huge advantage. I can empty the contents of my scoop into it and spread it all out to look for targets. If I still can’t see anything, I can run the coil over the sifter contents and pinpoint to narrow down.
As I headed out into the water, things were a bit quiet close to the beach, but as I went deeper, I started getting some good repeatable signals. The first couple of targets were modern coins, and then a nice clear high tone resulted in a 1910 silver three pence in my sifter. Not long after, I had an old half penny (1948).
Over a period of about an hour, I found two pennies (1870’s &1929); three old one-cent coins and an old brass button, along with a selection of not so desirable brass and lead bits and pieces.
It was interesting to note that on a number of occasions while looking for a coin in my floating sifter that there was also either a large piece of lead or iron, indicating how close the good target was to a junk target, which could have potentially masked the coin if using a larger coil.
When searching in an area with a lot of trash, it pays to dig all repeatable signals within the tone range you are looking for. I also tend to rely less on the FeCo number accuracy... From experience, I have found that the reading from the good target will be quite different when in close proximity to iron from what it would if by itself.
Having now seen firsthand the benefits of the small coil on a trashy site, I feel like I have a lot of new sites to hunt. I can’t wait to get back to this site to see what else has been over looked!
Stay tuned for my next blog on water hunting where I explain how I built my floating sifter.
Until next time, enjoy the history you find!