Using a metal detector can be rewarding in more ways than one   it s an enjoyable activity that has the potential to result in monetary rewards. However, metal detector users may find themselves in a heap of exasperation when dealing with false signals, which are sometimes referred to as phantom signals.

When a metal finder picks up on minerals such as hematite, iron, magnetite, steel or chemicals that conduct electricity, these minerals can be mistaken for coins, jewelry or other sought-after objects. These false signals can include ground mineralization, hot rocks and tree roots, among others.

Ground Mineralization

False signals may be caused by ground mineralization, a process where iron compounds move up through water to the surface, causing undisturbed soil to become full of minerals over time. In newly disturbed soil, as seen in gardens, parks, and glacial erosion, mineralization is less extreme.

Hot Rocks

Hot rocks, comprised of magnetite or iron ore, can also cause false signals. Their composition can vary, and the signal may be more or less intense. Hot rocks can be in abundance in certain areas, so it's important to take measures to rule them out.

Tree Roots

Tree roots can absorb chemicals that cause them to conduct electricity. This may lead to false signals on your metal detector.

5 Tips for Avoiding False Signals With Your Metal Detector

  1. Mineralized soil may be strikingly red and give itself away by distorting and concealing the presence of desired objects in the soil by creating an abundance of white noise. The best way to avoid a false signal in an area with mineralized soil is to perform metal detection where mineralization is low such as parks, gardens and other areas with recently disturbed soil.
  2. You may need to ignore roots that have absorbed chemicals   there's not much to be done here.
  3. If you re detecting hot rocks, it means your ground adjust does not ignore hot rocks as it should.
  4. According to Fisher Research Labs,  If your detector has a manual ground-balance adjustment, you can usually tune out false signals. Sometimes you may need to ground tune frequently if the mineralization of the soil changes abruptly as you move from one place to another. If ground mineralization is excessive, turning down your detector's sensitivity may be the only solution. 
  5. Today, the majority of manufacturers automatically set the ground adjust with this purpose in mind. If it is not possible to adjust this yourself, it may be time for a new metal detector.

Looking for a New Metal Detector

If it s time for a new metal detector, you can consult metal detector reviews. In this metal detector review, the top 10 metal detectors are ranked according to detector type, usability, coin detection depth, weight, battery life, depth indicator, graphic target ID, adjustable volume and more.

The best metal detector reviews also ranks detectors according to advanced features such as sensitivity and discrimination settings, custom notching, ground balance and whether or not it has an interchangeable coil.

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