Over the years, I've tried numerous ways through a combination of Target ID and tones to better identify targets that were under my coil.  It didn't take long for me to discover that trying to cut the tone and Target ID distinction too fine in an attempt to accurately identify targets was unproductive.  Through some trial and error with the Minelab Equinox metal detector, the obvious finally became clear.

 

 

Target ID is not an exact science by any stretch. Target ID can be affected by numerous variables such as depth, soil composition, the metallurgical make up and orientation of the targets in the soil.  Expecting a consistently exact value for each possible target was unrealistic. I finally concluded that what I wanted was only an indication of what might be under my coil rather than expecting or trying for a precise ID.  Can Target ID and Tones do that for me? Yes

After realizing what I wanted or needed from of a tone/Target ID combination, I settled on a 3 tone option.  Below are a few bullet points that summarize my case or reasoning for adopting that 3 tone solution.

 

More isn't always better

My attempt at using 50 tones proved impossible for me...information overload! I then tried 5 tones and although much more understandable than 50, I felt that 5 tones was really unnecessary and might even be overkill.  Why?

ALL targets fall within 3 categories/zones of conductivity of Low, Medium or High so it made more sense for me to focus on those 3 zones and then align the tones accordingly.  The tones provided information on what zone I was dealing with while the Target ID gave me some rough indication as to where that target fell within the range of that zone.

 

Targets Similar in Makeup

I also wanted a system that wasn't apt to cause me to ignore good targets because they were similar in make up to worthless targets.  Example; gold and aluminum are both mid level conductors and generate similar Target ID within that range, I therefore didn't want to exclude anything within the Mid or High level conductivity scale.  Yes, I'll dig aluminum so as not to pass up potential gold and dig other high conductive targets so as not to pass up silver.

 I tested quite a number common targets of varying size and metallurgical composition and came up with some common Target ID ranges that I see on our beaches for each of the conductivity zones.  I then modified the 5 tone option to 3 tones which suited me just fine for the beach hunting I do.

My Results

Conductivity Target ID Range

  Tone

Low -9 to 0 1
Medium 1 to 19 12
High 20+ 25

In my work with a local museum however, the 2 tone option could also be used.  When digging museum quality artifacts, iron is a valued metal. I also dig it all when I detect along Florida's Treasure Coast as remnants of the ships fall within the iron or low conductive range and are often times found along our beaches.

Just the view from my foxhole...

Colonel Dan