Minelab Explorer Programs


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Why I always Search in All Metal Mode


In “All Metal Mode” I just use the screen to discriminate as well as the audio tone. Just detect using the “Smart-find” screen” then when you have got  a good signal, switch to the “Digital” screen (by pressing the “Detect” button), observe the Fe and Conductivity readings. Then make a decision to dig?

The Explorer really works well on the Conductivity of the Target (like most detectors do) but, what is really useful is that the LCD screen also displays the likely ferrous (Iron) (Fe) content of a Target.


In “Smart-Find” LCD view mode, if an icon moves “UP” the screen this gives an indication of both the targets size and conductivity.


If an icon moves to the “Left” of the screen targets are generally Ferrous = Contains Iron, the audio will then either go silent (null point) or spit. (If using Single Tone Programs) otherwise in multi-tone mode the tones will go lower for  ferrous and higher for higher conductivity values.


Targets that are displayed on the right hand side of the screen are generally less ferrous (Little or No Iron).


When a target is detected, the cross hair on the screen goes to a location that I believe is pre-defined by minelab from a look up table after extensive testing.


The Ferrous and Conductivity values are compared, cross calculated and then displayed on the LCD as a Probable value. It is not 100% accurate, but it is very good.




Cross Hair Icon at the top of the Smart-find Screen = High Conductivity

Copper Targets, Large Silver Coins etc will appear at the top of the screen.


Cross HAIR icon at the Bottom of the Smart-find Screen = Low Conductivity

Items with Low Conductivity such as Foil, small alloy coins will cause the Cross Hair Icon to be at the bottom of the screen.


Cross HAIR icon at the Left of the Smart-find Screen = High Fe

Targets or items with High Ferrous (Iron) Content will cause the Cross Hair to appear at the left of the Screen. (Steel Bottle Tops, Nails, etc).


Cross HAIR icon at the right of the Smart-find Screen= Low Fe

Targets with a Low Ferrous content (Less Iron) will cause the Cross Hair to appear on the Right of the Screen. (Jewellery, coins etc).


With practice and experience you will soon get to know the screen locations for the Cross Hair and decide what equals a good target.


It is recommended that you write down the screen location and values for each target Signal before you dig, then you will quickly learn what area of the LCD represents good targets compared to bad ones.


Detection depth is always reduced if you use discrimination, I prefer to use a single tone Program that results in nearly “Silent Searching” only getting a Single Tone when a reasonably good target is detected, then upon getting a good signal, go over it again by sweeping the coil at 90 degrees to the way you were searching, this will then confirm if the target sounds good or bad, then look at the display, use the display readings as a good general guide, but they are not always accurate, but are pretty good. Keep switching between the Smart-find Screen and the Digital Screen when checking a good target signal.


Using Quick Mask discrimination maybe useful, but as I said previously discrimination reduces the detectors depth of detection; so I use all metal, then check the display. If the Tone is High I dig it anyway no matter what the LCD says.


The LCD Display gives a reasonable indication of good or bad targets However please note: The Target ID is an indication of probability, it is not 100% accurate, the readings are not actual scientific measurements or reference points of ferrous content and conductivity, the target ID numbers I believe are effectively a look up table contained in the software, that have been determined by Minelab from extensive testing.


Certainly we get consistent readings doing “in air tests” but the value of these Fe readings can vary according to different ground conditions, ground mineralisation and depth. They really only come into effect if you find a good silver coin in a field, note the number, and then if you get a similar reading on another target in the same location, then its quite likely that you may have found a similar target at a similar depth.


Ground moisture levels also affect the readings, as this affects “Conductivity”so your readings can vary in the same field if detecting on both dry and wet days. This in my opinion makes patterns a waste of time, sharing patterns between friends I believe will only work if you are all on the same site at the same time of day searching for similar objects from which some have been recovered from that site and entered into a pattern.


Similarly these reading variations I believe also cause different tones when in multi-tone mode, which I cannot get on with. So I mostly stick with the Single Tone method, its works for me and I’m sure it will work for you.



The machine converts an analogue signal into digital form to then display on the LCD, a time lag will always occur when this is being done, hence your ears can detect changes in audio signals much quicker than the LCD, So I tend to forget the Fe and Co readings initially and just listen to the tone(s).


High Tone = Good Signal / Target    


Low Tone  or Nothing or Null = Iron or Junk!


If a High tone I check the LCD and note the number, then dig, if the target is good then getting a similar reading on that site may produce a similar target. Generally though good targets.



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