My Search Programs for Minelab E-Trac & CTX 3030 Metal Detectors
SEARCH PROGRAM #1: Level 1 - "High Discrimination/Low Noise", page 5
Program Settings: AUDIO MENU
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TONE PROFILE TYPE (in Tone ID Menu) - 50 tone CO (page 36 of the CTX-3030 Instruction Manual)
Theoretically, the "50 tone CO" setting would be an equivalent to the E-Trac's MULTI in Conduct, but, in reality, it is NOT quite so when it comes to audio characteristics of signals. The E-Trac's "MULTI in Conduct" is far superior to the CTX-3030's "50 tone CO" even though the latter is supposed to be the same according to the manual: "targets can emit sounds of 50 tones depending on their CO reading, i.e. the target signals will range from LOW to HIGH tones - total 50 segments, according to the CO coordinates across the horizontal plane of the Smartfind-2 window."
Because the CTX-3030 does not feature VARIABILITY and TONE ID LIMITS, the audio set to "50 tone CO" can not be fine-tuned, and the CTX-3030 in "50 tone CO" does not allow you to hear subtle differences in tones of targets of slightly different conductive properties. The "50 tone CO" setting can be useful at the sites with abundant MODERN trash if you assign the lowest tone (75Hz) to targets with the least CO number and a tone of the highest frequency (1200Hz) to the highest CO number. This way, the "mid-range" Co tones become more interpretable.
NOTE: In "50 tone CO", you can assign tone pitches to the lowest and highest CO values, but CANNOT resize their tone segments.
On the LOW-MINERALIZED ground, with implementation of the "50 tone CO" mode in conjunction with FERROUS-COIN Separation and minimum Discrimination, the detector "reveals" the masked coins better than when operated in the "Combined" mode (described below).
The combination of the "50 tone CO" with the FERROUS-COIN mode may perform well on the MEDIUM-MINERALIZED ground as well. Experiment with these settings and see what works best for you.
With the Level-1 Discrimination pattern rejecting all iron, it is more practical to use the "50 tone CO" setting to quickly evaluate the site's potential, determine the most abundant non-ferrous targets, and locate the "hot pockets" (coin "coin-scatters") before you do anything else.
SOUNDS - Conduct (page 65 of the E-Trac Instruction Manual).
The SOUNDS setting is not available in CTX-3030
CONDUCT, in conjunction with MULTI + VARIABILITY at 30 + TONE ID LIMITS at 30, is the best mode for coin shooting because it allows you to discern the high-pitched tones of silver and copper coins from other targets of lower conductivity. Identically, the small and thin silver and gold coins will also give you their characteristic low-tone signals when detected in Conduct mode - this gives the E-Trac an advantage over other metal detectors when searching for small hammered coins, such as the Early Russian Hammered Wire Money, with a proper Discrimination pattern.
However, the Conduct mode has a serious drawback: it does not allow the E-Trac's microprocessor to fully isolate a good coin signal from a ferrous response if a coin and a rusty nail are close to each other, and other iron objects are present nearby as in areas "stuffed" with iron trash. A good indication of such "dysfunction" would be expiration of incoming non-ferrous responses during metal detecting session. The only solution to this "crisis" is to switch to the 2-Tone Ferrous to be used with the Level-2 Discrimination pattern and slowly canvass the spot while ridding it of most iron junk, and recovering a few partially masked coins here and there. After you are done with such could-be-painful "cleaning" job, you can switch back to MULTI Tone Conduct, keep the Level-2 Discrimination pattern, and use search coils of different sizes to recover more coins.While choosing between two modes - Conduct or Ferrous, always use a "rule of thumb":
with abundance of non-ferrous targets, use MULTI-Tone Conduct - Conductivity mode with multiple audio tones; when ferrous targets are abundant, utilize Ferrous mode with two audio tones - 2-Tone Ferrous (also called TTF).
The FERROUS mode has an advantage over the CONDUCT mode when the coin shooting is carried out at the nail-littered sites because sometimes, at these sites, there is so much iron junk that the coin signals are unable to come through in Conduct mode (described above). You should conduct a small test: when you detect in MULTI+CONDUCT and receive a questionable signal like an "iffy" response next to a low-tone iron response, the former is almost blended into the latter, switch to the 2-Tone Ferrous mode and use it with my Level-3 Discrimination pattern. If there is indeed a coin lying close to a rusty nail, you will hear two different and more accented responses indicating presence of the coin beside iron.
Although there is neither "CONDUCT" ("Conductive") nor "FERROUS" option alone in the CTX-3030's Tone ID Menu, six out of seven modes of the Tone ID Profile perform the same functions as their six E-Trac's equivalents - all possible combinations of two Tone ID features - NUMBER OF TONES and SOUNDS.
For example, you can choose any of the following "Number of Tones + CONDUCT Sounds" options in the Tone ID Profile Type sub-menu:
1) "2 tone CO" equals to E-Trac's "2 tones in Conduct" - both non-ferrous and ferrous targets with Co values below 25 (to the left of the vertical CO-25 line) emit a single low tone, and the non-ferrous/ferrous targets with Co values greater than 25 emit a single high tone;
2) "4 tone CO" equals to E-Trac's "4 tones in Conduct";
3) "50 tone CO" theoretically equals to E-Trac's "Multi tones in Conduct";
And you can choose any of the following "Number of Tones + FERROUS Sounds" options: "2 tone FE", "4 tone FE", and "35 tone FE"; the tone segments stretching across the vertical plane of the Smartfind 2 window, i.e. along the FERROUS axes. The "Combined" mode ("4 tone CO" in conjunction with one Ferrous tone ("1 tone FE")) is what the E-Trac lacks.
Utilizing the Combined TONE ID PROFILE in the CTX 3030 (page 36 of the Instruction Manual) allows you to hear a combination of both Ferrous and Conductive tones, and accurately identify targets if you optimize the way the tone audio varies when targets with different characteristics are detected. Such optimization can be done by using the following options in the Tone ID Profile menu:
1) RESIZE the TONE ID PROFILE (page 37 of the Instruction Manual) allows you to manually resize each of maximum five tone sections called "bins" of the Tone ID Profile (see details on page 10 of my illustrated tutorial - "How To Use XChange 2 Application For Editing").
For example, if you utilize the Combined mode, you can resize the lower horizontal "bin" to cover the entire Ferrous section (area below the FE-17 line) of the Smartfind 2 window. The FERROUS 1-tone bin will "sound" separately from the Co tones of non-ferrous targets in the Conductivity section (area above the FE-18 line). And then you resize four "bins" in the non-ferrous section according to your requirements; each CO tone bin having its unique WIDTH to cover certain Conductivity range of specific non-ferrous targets (see an example of the Combined Tone ID Map used for Second Discrimination pattern on page 14).
2) CHANGE PITCH (page 37 of the Instruction Manual) allows you to assign any tone frequency, from 75 Hz to 1200 Hz, to the following numbers of bins that may make up the Tone ID Profile: 2 bins in the "2 tone CO" and "2 tone FE" modes, 4 bins in the "4 tone CO" and "4 tone FE" modes, and 5 bins in the "Combined" mode ("4 tone CO" + "1 tone FE"). Thus, assigning a distinctive audio tone to each bin and modifying its frequency to your liking makes the CTX-3030's Audio maximum efficient and ergonomic, especially for people with hearing problems.
For example, if you utilize "4 tone CO", and you want to hear a difference between audio responses of two targets that have similar CO characteristics, such as a pull tab and Nickel (US 5-cent coin), you can narrow the 2nd CO bin to the width of the nickel Co range (CO 11-15 values), and assign the same high-pitched tone as of high conductive coins to this bin. When you detect a pull tab lying next to a nickel, you will hear two different tones, low and high, and dig up the high-tone target - a nickel.
The "50 tone CO" audio allows to get better responses on some iron targets, but if you search for coins using low Discrimination or none, the Combined option may be your better choice. The "Combined" does not false as much as the "50 tone CO".
In this program, the Tone ID Profile Type is set to 50 tone CO and acts as an equivalent to the E-Trac's "MULTIPLE TONES in CONDUCT".
VARIABILITY - 30 (page 67 of the E-Trac Instruction Manual)
The VARIABILITY setting is not available in CTX-3030
The higher the VARIABILITY, the easier to hear the difference between audio pitches of sounds of two targets that have slightly different characteristics. For example, if you have two coins of the same size, but one is silver and another one is copper, with VARIABILITY at 30, you will hear the difference in their tones: the silver coin will "sing out" with a higher "flute-like" tone also called the "silver warble". However, with high VARIABILITY, the iron targets will false more. This can be fixed with an appropriate pattern of Discrimination (see page 9). This setting does not really play a big role unless you utilize the MULTI SOUNDS mode
It is very important to use headphones with 100 ohms impedance (like the stock URL-30 headphones) in order to fully appreciate the effects of the VARIABILITY setting. In simple words, the higher the impedance, the higher the quality of sound, the more useful the VARIABILITY. Both the low-impedance headphones and headphones with a narrow frequency range would not allow you to hear the subtle signal characteristics. For example, most wireless-headphone sets that are utilized for making the E-Trac wireless have low impedance of 32 ohms and, therefore, render the VARIABILITY useless.
TONE ID LIMITS - 30 (page 68 of the E-Trac Instruction Manual)
The TONE ID LIMITS setting is not available in CTX-3030
This setting allows you to adjust the maximum audio pitch of all tones emitted for CONDUCT and FERROUS Tone ID Sounds, and is only available when the NUMBER OF TONES is set to MULTI.
If I set the Number of Tones to MULTI, I always set LIMITS on 30.
TRESHOLD PITCH - 17 (page 69 of the E-Trac Instruction Manual)
TRESHOLD PITCH - 17 (page 24 of the Instruction Manual)
If you have hearing difficulties, set the Threshold Pitch below 15. In some situations, the Threshold Pitch should be changed to either a higher or lower level so that the signals emitted by certain targets are not masked by it.