G’day from Sunny Central Queensland, Well if your reading this post then welcome, this is my first ever blog post so hopefully I’ll improve and we can all look back in the future and have a laugh about this.
But I wanted to start my metal detecting blog with the basics, and there is nothing more basic than getting your first metal detector.
Its a tough decision and one you want to take some time to make.
There are a LOT of expensive metal detectors for sale by people who simply made the wrong buying decision. After you’ve handed over the coin its a bit too late!
Buying my first metal detector on July 21st 2015 ( 9 days before I turned 42) was a culmination of about 3 weeks solid research. I wasted hours to be honest and probably could be accused of overkill on the research but I wanted to make the right decision and get the right metal detector for me.
Firstly I decided I would mainly be a coin and relic guy to start with. The idea of finding old coins and relics really appeals to me and to be honest so does finding the spendable coins and jewelry.
I live just a short drive from many old goldfields. Mount Morgan being the most recognisable. Being close to the goldfields in Central Queensland, made me think that I would probably end up having a crack at some stage.
So after much thought, video watching, review reading and forum stalking I decided on the ….. Drum Roll…………. Minelab Xterra 705 Dual Pack.
I chose the xterra 705 for a few reasons that I’ll list below:
- The 705 was within my price range of $1,000. Budget is everything and that was what I could afford (and was allowed) to spend on a metal detector.
- Minelab has a pretty good name in the metal detecting industry and they had a home base in Australia. Also they have sold TONS of 705’s so Information was readily available for the machine from both users and minelab themselves.
- I liked the idea of switching frequencies and coils. I have acres of beach here as well as very trashy parks. So being able to buy smaller and larger coils suited to different ground types and conditions was appealing. I’ll explain more in the next point as it’s important.
- This was one of the biggest factors in choosing the 705. I saw that the 705 was powerful and interchangeable enough that it would grow with me as my skills increased. What I mean Is I thought the 705 presented a package that I could use for a fair while before needing to upgrade my gear. YET It was basic enough that a useless person like me could learn the basics fast. I see Metal detecting as a lot like Poker, “It takes a minute to learn and a lifetime to master!”
- The Multiple modes of prospecting and coin and treasure also was a big factor in my decision. As I mentioned being so close to gold territory it would only be a matter of time before i started wandering the bush looking for the Yellow.
There where many other factors as well but these where the TOP things I considered when choosing my first metal detector.
I saw so many people in forums that had UNDER Invested in gear and found they where buying and selling detectors every few months as their skills and Interest in the hobby increased. I wanted to make sure I got the most bang for my buck and that I didn’t get bored with my detector to fast.
NOTE: Please understand I am not saying that you should also buy the 705. It may not suit your needs. That’s why you need to do your research first then lay down the cash once your pretty sure you’ve chosen the right metal detector.
Brands do not bother me as you will see in my next post about what pin pointer I chose to buy. I buy what suits ME and I don’t really care who makes it. If its of high quality, has some prior history of success and an Aussie dealer/homebase, I’m In.
The DOWNSIDE of the 705.
My 705 is NOT perfect so when looking at the good things you also need to take into account the draw backs.
Number 1 Pain In The Arse is that the 705 is a temperamental bastard on the wetsand. It took me ages to get the settings right and even then I need to ground balance a lot and use very low sensitivity so my depth penetration is SHITE.
Take it on the dry sand and I’ll get a smaller than pea size sinker at 6-8 inches with the DD 18.75khz coil no problem. Using either the concentric 7.5khz or the DD makes little difference.
My best bet is one of those massive coiltek jobs and its on the wishlist to buy. Until then I don’t do a lot on the wetsand, except for the full moon when the tide goes out so far, then I put up with it.
Number 2. P.I.T.A; Accessories from Minelab are crazy expensive! $70 for that little cover? I really want a cover for my 705 but i’ll never buy the minelab one. In fact I decided to make one and its in the planning phase now. I hope to be able to talk my wife or mother in-law into making it soon. LOL
For that matter the coils are up there too. I see many cool coils for other machines around the $200 mark but most of the coils that suit xterra machines are just under $300. Just over with postage. So its a few more coin hunts at the park and beach before I invest.
MODS to my 705;
I haven’t really changed many things. But I am Male and Like Duct tape so what was i to do??
I Did re-program the pre-sets to suit my needs. So I have a discrimination pattern for my 4 most popular hunts. It makes it really fast to select the pre-set based on my goals for that area. Sometimes I just want some spendables to make me feel good, other times I’ll dig like a dog for the faintest deepest targets, Usually ring pulls but occasionally a nice surprise awaits in the depths.
Last little mod I made was to wrap some thin high density foam around the handle under the control unit. (Duct tape addiction satisified). I have a large hand and for some reason I squeeze the damn handle a lot, Like i am trying to squeeze some extra depth out of the thing.
With the foam there I find I notice my squeezing tendencies, as the foam moves, and I have started to sub-consciously relax a lot while swinging the 705.
This little mod has cut down on muscle fatigue and allows me to swing for a LOT Longer. Strange but true.
Well that’s a wrap on my first metal detector purchase and why I chose the xterra 705 from Minelab.
It’s been about 6 weeks now since the purchase and I’m really happy with results.
On Day 1 I found a 1945 Half penny right at my back doorstep and from then I was hooked.
120+ coins later I’m even more hooked and I give my 705 a good workout on a regular basis. Its also been good for my health, getting me walking more and raising the heart rate as you scrape back the sand or soil to find……????????
In My Next post I’ll run you through my pin pointer purchase and why I chose the …
Here are a couple of pics of my 705 with handle mod and my First pre-dec (Second coin, first was a 10cent coin) Found in my yard on day 1 of having the 705 at home. The hole I dug to get that coin was MASSIVE it looked like an explosion had occurred just outside my back patio. When my wife saw it an explosion did occur. LOL But Hey I got the coin 🙂
|1945 halfpenny my first pre-dec|
|My 705 with handle mod.|