Minelab CTX 3030 out in the field
Here we are at the next stage I am now confident with my machines functions, it's now time to test the Minelab CTX 3030 in the field .
My first outing was with the local club on a field rumoured to have produced some good finds in the past, the information given to me by the lads before the dig described the field as short pasture, soft soil, digging was easy although the iron contamination was very bad in areas.
Sounds like an ideal testing ground for the CTX 3030 !
The Minelab CTX 3030 a technical marvel and as adaptable as Lego
I started off using my reverse tone ID program with an open discrimination which worked well on my test bed, would it work as well in the field ?
The information was correct there was heavy iron contamination, the CTX responded to every single piece with a precise iron tone. Some signals gave a dual tone, ferrous and non ferrous together, some turned out to be targets next to iron, some were bent nails and small iron chain links about an inch long.
The way I approach a new machine is to find it's limits and work back, by finding small nails I knew I was just beyond the machines discrimination and my comfortable limit, by lowering the sensitivity slightly and tweaking my iron tone block slightly higher eliminated my initial problems.
Oh yes there were plenty of these, why would there not be, the field was a carpet of iron, as the morning's dig gained momentum my confidence grew with the CTX 3030, I found myself investigating targets one would normally have ignored using earlier Minelabs, I think this was mainly down to the comprehensive screen information combined with positive sharp audio tones.
Once confident I found myself putting the probe in the hole and finding a nail, then saying to myself OK that's the nail now where is the coin, on several occasions there was a non ferrous target in the same hole.
It may be worth noting that 2 tone signals are not always targets next to iron, this can also be false signalling which is normally a result of having the sensitivity to high, targets next to iron have a more solid sound and is repeatable with every sweep of the coil
Towards the end of the morning I found that I could quite comfortably run the CTX using my original test bed settings and know what targets to investigate, that's not bad for a machine I had only been using in the field for 4 hours.
The slap in the face !
Well I'm so glad I had witnesses to this one because no one would believe me if I told them what happened next.
After returning to my van for a coffee and a bite to eat with other club members, spilling my flask of boiling hot water on my legs and hands, and getting involved with some mild banter about why did I want a flash machine when the old machines do the same job boy etc, I decided to get back to the field and detect some more while the others continued eating.
10 feet away from the van I got a signal, it was clean and precise, showing top-middle of the screen, I jokingly said to Paul, "This would make a good story, if the first signal by the cars which everyone walked over turned out to be a gold coin".
I started to dig with 3 heads peering into the hole, Peter said something like "Lets see what this flashy machine can do then " as my probe located a target at the bottom of the hole, another spade full and it was out.....SILENCE fell upon us...jaws open...did that really happen !.....Not the gold coin we had imagined but....Kerrrrching! a Gold ring.
As part of the South Bucks Metal Detecting club rules anything above £50 must be handed in on the day, then sent to valuation and the money must be split between land owner and finder so I managed some quick pictures before I said goodbye to it.
I also managed a massive pouch full of finds including thimbles and coins, lead, foil etc nothing very exciting though.
Another nice find was a Brooch, possibly Roman
Peter one of our club members with the Minelab CTX 3030 next to the find spot
How did the CTX perform on the day ?
Excellent !, by far the best Minelab yet, I must confess that I am not a hardened Minelab user but the CTX did a fine job and inspired confidence. The weight was my initial concern but it turned out to be not a big issue, let's not kid ourselves it weighs over 5lb so it wont get lighter by magic powers, the balance made it feel much lighter than it actually was. I found using the arm strap eliminated any signs of fatigue, although I was constantly digging so my arm was out or the strap more than in. I can't wait until I get out again there are so many ideas I want to try.
Here is a short video to let you hear how the Minelab CTX 3030 sounds and reacts to targets.
For some reason the sound is a little jumpy I don't have a stutter !
Minelab CTX 3030 field test video
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