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Testing the XP Deus 15 x 13 search coil
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Metal detecting with the XP deus and the 34 x28 cm coil
Even "out of the box" the Deus is a very adaptable machine, most search scenario's are fully covered within the software such as recovery speeds and frequencies, to some people it's only real limitation is the coil size, personally I am more than happy with the standard coil but it will be nice to see what advantages this big search coil has to offer and what programme changes will be required.
XP Deus coil comparison
The Deus big coil is supplied with a scuff cover, spare lower stem and coil fixing kit, pairing the coil to the XP Deus control box is child's play and takes less than a minute just make a note of the serial number under the coil bolt fixing as you will be asked for that during the process.
My first test at home was a quick run across the buried hoard in the garden, which up until now no machine has located with a "diggable" signal, the V3i gave the best response last year with a hesitant 2 way click, not something I personally would have investigated in the field.
Oh dear ! "up until now" being the optimum word, the Deus gave what I would call a signal worth exploring half good and half iron buzz the target ID number was 01.
The deus achieved these results with my standard tweaked Basic 1 settings, after a quick frequency check I found that 11Khz was the optimum frequency to locate the hoard without making any adjustments to the programme....Switching back to the stock coil the buried hoard signal was just an iron buzz. I tried running through different audio settings such as pitch and multi tone, and found 2 tone gave the cleanest signal.

Buried hoard link
Here is a short video of my findings

Other tests before venturing out into the field were
Air test between 3 targets comparing the big coil and small coil together
Targets : Aluminium lid 4"x3", Victorian penny, Henry I hammered coin
Reactivity 2, Sensitivity 91, Discrimination 5.5, Frequency 11Khz
Depth in inches

Coil used Aluminium lid Victorian penny Henry I coin
Std coil 28" 15" 13.5"
Big coil 32" 17" 14"

As you can see the air test results show the big coil has very little depth advantage during this particular test.
One question I can't answer is : Why is the air depth very simlar on both coils yet the big coil excels in the ground...on this particular target I hasten to add.
Why use a big coil
I found using the big coil with my conventional settings made very little difference to the overall performance of the machine, in a way it left me slightly disappointed until I thought about the whole big coil situation...Why did I want a big coil when as I said earlier the standard xp deus coil works perfectly well and suits most of my inland search requirements, it is worth considering... in the wrong situations a big coil will be less productive.

This coil has 2 logical advantages depth and ground coverage....However I feel the operator will not be using the coil to it's full potential by just fitting the coil and detect using their standard settings.... let me explain :
The Deus has the software to adapt to a vast range of search scenario's by simply using the standard coil...Add a bigger coil to the equation and it opens up another dimension which can be taken to extremes by using some "not so common" features hidden in the Deus vault such as, a lower frequency, accurate ground balance, modified TX gain, different filters and a slow recovery speed. Would  the machine have the potential to be transformed from a site machine into a deep seeking cache or relic hunter, as you may have noticed in the short video the Deus found the buried hoard using my standard settings, how much more has it to offer with the above tweaks.
XP Deus metal detector search coil
OK that's fine talking about it I wanted to put things into practice and make the big coil work for me, but before that I wanted to go back to a bench test and see if frequency tweaks would make any difference to my original in air depth tests. Reactivity 2, Sensitivity 91, Discrimination 5.5

Frequency Aluminium lid Victorian penny Henry I coin
17Khz 27" 13" 14"
11 Khz 32" 17" 14"
8 Khz 32" 16" 13"
4 Khz (EMI present) 28" 15.5" 9.5"

I would have expected the frequency to have made a bigger impact on the different sized targets, so perhaps frequency has a lot more to do with soil conditions than we realise, target mass and size is clearly not the only factor.
Recovery speed or in Deus speak Reactivity
How much "in air" depth difference will the reactivity make to a large target using the big coil, please note : As before it is important to keep the sensitivity and discrimination the same for all tests, my machine was set at 91 and disc 5.5, more depth may be possible in lower EMI conditions.

Results using the Aluminium test piece depth in inches

Reactivity number 17Khz 11Khz 8Khz 4Khz
(EMI present)
5 17 22 22 19
4 19 24 24 21
3 22 27 27 22
2 27 32 32 28
1 28 33 34 32
0 31 34 37 33

As you can see by reducing the recovery speed considerably more depth can be achieved, once again you can only use a lower recovery speed if your site conditions allow, for example low iron contamination. It may be worth noting lower recovery speeds produced smoother signals and appeared to considerably reduce the effects of EMI (Electro Magnetic Interference) at high sensitivity levels 4Khz suffered from bad EMI at all levels of reactivity.
 

Out in the field withy the large xp Deus coil
Pasture site with moderate iron contamination
My initial plan was to run the Deus on a low frequency and try to locate some large targets, hopefully at depth. It soon became apparent that the machine was not getting between the iron so I resorted back to my modified Basic 1 programme using 11Khz. I found some suspect signals to work with and tweaked the machine until the targets gave the cleanest audio responses. Reactivity 2 appeared to be the most reliable for this field, I did find turning the iron volume to zero alerted me more to deep signals.
Deep signals
I would urge anyone using the Deus on pasture to pay particular attention to the audio signature of deep targets, hopefully I will post a short video up soon. The deep target sound can only be described as...in a word rubbish, the meter reading on deep targets will without doubt lie to you and quite often bounce between high 90's and low numbers such as 5. However once the operator has the particular audio reaction logged in their brain some unbelievable depths and finds can be achieved. OK you will get fooled by iron at times but remember you are using this machine at it's absolute limits, there will always be a trade off.
By keeping a reasonably low audio gain the deep targets although broken will have a faint smoothness to the tone, quite often accompanied by an iron buzz if there is moderate iron present, these are the targets that should be shown respect and investigated.
Once the penny drooped and I knew what signals to look out for my short outing began to take shape rapidly, one of my best finds was a nail cleaner possibly Saxon.

Saxon nail cleaner

The Deus big coil had no problems locating small targets, this beaten up hammered coin was at approx 8" deep and gave a signal which can only be described as desperate, so I guess it is a case of who dares wins...be brave and investigate signals you would normally pass off as iron.

XP Deus finds silver coin Hammerd coin for the Deus
I did try an all metal programme from an internet forum which looked promising, I would like to tweak it a little for my style of searching and will report in due time.
Hopefully I will be out at the weekend and post my findings...thanks for looking Gary

XP DEUS deep target video
Here is a sort video of how the Deus can sound when a deep target is located

 

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