The soil in Culpeper Virginia definitely tests everyone’s ability as a relic hunter. The highly mineralized red soil is a challenge for most VLF detectors and detectorists alike. Many have switched over to P.I. (pulse induction) units with much success. The right settings make all the difference in the world and the purpose of this page is provide the best settings so you can increase your chances of hopefully finding some great relics.
Pro Zero Mode
Sensitivity – run as high as conditions will allow; in the most severe soil areas, it may be necessary to reduce by one or two bars.
Iron Disc – 10-15 in areas where it is less severe mineralization.
Turn on Iron Audio
Ground Balance – often
Dig everything above the ferrous grunt.
Note that in severe mineralization areas, the Digital Target ID for targets will not be accurate. Minie balls can read very low in these hot soil areas, so it’s on the user to learn how targets will sound and read in the toughest red soil areas.
Iron Disc at 20 in areas of less severe mineralization.
Ground balance often
Adjust Threshold to just above silent, negative bias if you still get ground noise Set Sensitivity as high as it will operate and remain stable
Turn on Iron Audio
Dig everything above the ferrous grunt. Note that in severe mineralization areas, the Digital Target ID for targets will not be accurate. Minie balls can read very low in these hot soil areas, so it’s on the user to learn how targets will sound and read in the toughest red soil areas.
Turn on your pin pointer and do a frequency scan with your ATX.
Perform your ground balance.
Set Disc at 1-4 range
Set Sens as high as it will operate and remain stable.
Adjust Threshold to just above silent.
Use DD coil so you can have
Iron Check feature.
Experiment with Non Motion Mode
- Turn Detector on
- Turn on Ground ID Switch
- Pulse Delay between 10-15
- Gain @ 8-9 (this can be achieved by running your coil wire straight up the lower shaft at least 18 inches before winding the wire around the shaft in route to the control box)
- Threshold to a low hum
- Conductivity @ All
- Adjust Frequency
- Ground balance (and do it often)
- Go slow. If you feel like your going slow, then go slower!
- Be sure you detector volume is turned all the way up and turn down the volume on your headphone to a comfortable level (but loud enough to hear small changes in tone)
- Use QUALITY headphones (minimum 150ohm impedance. Personally I use Killer B’s but there are several other quality brands available)
- Carry a spare battery with you. Running the gain at the 8-9 range uses a lot of juice and your battery will die before the end of the day.
High Conductive (Lrg brass, Minie Balls, Lrg Iron) = LOW TONES (typically iron will give a high, low, high warble tone, but be careful, plates and buckles will give multi tones as well. Minnie balls give a nice consistent low tone from every direction so be sure to check your target from several directions)
Barrel bands give a high tone, if you find barrel bands consider exploring a little to determine if you found a hut.
Low Conductive (Camp lead, pistol, buttons, tin) = HIGH TONES (Buttons will have a nice “round” tone, soft sound to start, soft sound to end. If the sound starts quick and sharp and ends the same way, most likely the target is something other than a button. (usually camp lead))
Constantly check your ground balance. If the tone changes as you put the coil to the ground, adjust to neutral. Swing slow.
You can also flip the Ground ID switch if you want to cherry pick brass or bullets, Keeping in all metal assures you won’t miss any targets and you can keep a more accurate ground balance.
- GAIN: 3-4
- GROUND BALANCE: 6-8
- DISC LEV 4-5
- DISC DEPT 6-7
- DISC TOGGLE SW. 3 or III
- THRESHOLD 3
- SILENCER 1-3