My Search Programs for Minelab E-Trac & CTX 3030 Metal Detectors

Search Program #1 For Detecting Coins Among Iron Nails at "Hunted Out" Sites
LEVEL 3 - TTF "Minimum Discrimination" Program Settings, page 20


E-Trac's Program Settings for Detecting Non-Ferrous Targets Among Iron Nails


This metal detecting program is designed for an experienced coin hunter. It effectively works at so-called "searched out" or "hunted out" sites that have been previously cleaned of all good superficial targets and medium-to-large iron junk. The program was fine-tuned at the tavern site which had been "vacuumed" by other metal detectors prior to searching this site with E-Trac (you can read my E-Trac Field-Test Report for more details).

The following program settings allow to
• detect coins that are in very close proximity to iron nails or partially masked by them;
• detect the deepest coins and non-ferrous artifacts lying within detecting range;

NOTE 1: In the "Level 1 - High Discrimination/Low Noise" Program Description, I explained every program setting's level or mode I utilize. If any setting in the following program has a different mode or level, or not utilized at all, a clarification will be given accordingly. Otherwise, please refer to the Level-1 Program Description for detailed explanations of program settings and useful tips for their implementation.

NOTE 2: While all the E-Trac functions, program setting and modes are given in black, the program settings of the Minelab CTX 3030, references to their description pages in the CTX-3030's Instruction Manual, and my short notes on their utilization in this program are given in this pink font color.

NOTE 3: I ALWAYS operate my metal detectors with headphones.

NOTE 4: A SLOW sweep speed is the basis of the search coil discipline when operating any Minelab's FBS metal detector at the nail-infested site. To use this search program successfully, you must be patient to go extremely slow in order to 1) avoid getting additional false signals from nails, 2) hear the high-pitched responses to coins or non-ferrous artifacts positioned beside or among nails to which the detector will respond with a low tone pitch, and 3) allow your metal detector to "see" every good and bad target in the ground.

NOTE 5: Any suggestions are WELCOME!

SEARCH COILS:
Both small search coils (for E-Trac: 4.5 x 7" DD EXcelerator ("Sniper" type), 6" DD EXcelerator EQ 2 Pro, Minelab FBS 8", 8" EXcelerator Concentric, and 8x6" SEF (Butterfly); for CTX-3030: CTX 06 Smart Coil), and a standard (stock) 11" DD search coil (for CTX-3030: 11" DD Smart Coil) should be used for detecting the deep-buried and masked coins and other non-ferrous targets with this program.

I recommend to search with the 8-inch search coil or smaller first and then replace it with a standard or larger elliptical coil, as the amount of rusty nails in the ground gets reduced.


PROGRAM SETTINGS for HIGH-MINERALIZED GROUND:

NOTE 6: Some program settings for detecting on LOW-MINERALIZED grounds are included and explained.

NOTE 7: Summary Tables for these program settings are shown at the bottom of next page.

DETECTION SCREEN - PATTERN Screen (to select this mode, press "Detect" button; page 23 of the E-Trac Instruction Manual) - see details on page 2.

CTX 3030:
DETECT Screen
(page 7 of the CTX-3030 Instruction Manual)


Sensitivity Menu:

(see details on page 3)

SENSITIVITY - AUTO (pages 54-56 of the E-Trac Instruction Manual)
If ground mineral content is low, you should try to use Manual Sensitivity set on a reasonable level of detector's stability. Starting at levels 23-25, the detector may gain additional responsiveness to smaller and deeper targets within its detecting range.

CTX 3030:
SENSITIVITY - AUTO
(page 21 of the CTX-3030 Instruction Manual) or MANUAL if conditions permit.


AUTO SENSITIVITY LEVEL - A (page 55 of the E-Trac Instruction Manual)

CTX 3030:
AUTO SENSITIVITY LEVEL - A
(page 21 of the CTX-3030 Instruction Manual)


Audio Menu

(see details on page 4)

THRESHOLD LEVEL - 15 (page 58 of the E-Trac Instruction Manual)

CTX 3030:
THRESHOLD LEVEL - 15
(page 23 of the CTX-3030 Instruction Manual)


VOLUME LIMIT - 15 (page 60 of the E-Trac Instruction Manual)
I do not recommend setting the VOLUME LIMIT at higher levels unless you do not use headphones, or your headphones have in-built volume controls which ARE USED for volume adjustment. A high VOLUME LIMIT setting might damage your hearing when an oversized target is detected.
If you use wireless headphones with your E-Trac, set the VOLUME LIMIT to 15. This improves the quality of wireless sound transmission (my article on "How To Make E-Trac Wireless" will be posted soon and announced in the "New Additions" (Visitor's Corner) section of this web site).

CTX 3030:
VOLUME LIMIT - 15
(page 24 of the CTX-3030 Instruction Manual)


VOLUME GAIN - 27 (page 61 of the E-Trac Instruction Manual)
Increase the setting level to 28 or higher if the ground is LOW-MINERALIZED.

CTX 3030:
VOLUME GAIN - 27
(page 23 of the CTX-3030 Instruction Manual)
Increase the setting level to 28 or higher if the ground is LOW-MINERALIZED.


RESPONSE - Long (page 62 of the E-Trac Instruction Manual)

CTX 3030:
RESPONSE - Long
(page 39 of the CTX-3030 Instruction Manual)


NUMBER OF TONES - 2 Tones (use the Tone ID sub-menu; page 64 of the E-Trac Instruction Manual)
The NUMBER OF TONES setting is not available in CTX-3030
As this setting is used in conjunction with FERROUS, the the Smartfind window is horizontally split in two tonal sections as shown on a picture below.

Two-Tone Ferrous

The 2-tone setting employs least filtering. This will enable the detector to respond to partially masked coins faster; thus, improving target separation. The 2-Tone FERROUS allows the detector to respond not only to the partially masked coins, but also to deep coins even through high mineralization. Every high-pitched tone must be investigated and treated with patience.
Although the 2-tone operation is very simple, iron is low tone, and non-ferrous targets are high tone, every time you hear iron, you have to check the target crosshair position on the screen, and sweep a search coil extremely slow.

CTX-3030:
TONE PROFILE TYPE - 2 Tone FE
(for high mineral content) or 50 Tone CO (for low mineral content) (page 36 of the CTX-3030 Instruction Manual)
Initially this program was designed to be used with the E-Trac which is a "tone detector". Because the CTX 3030 is a "visual detector" and incorporates a few advanced and quite efficient features for providing excellent Visual Target ID ('TARGET TRACE' and 'TARGET TRACE PINPOINT') and Target Separation ('FERROUS-COIN' and 'GROUND-COIN'), it is not necessary to use TTF (Two Tone FERROUS) setup with the CTX 3030 if conditions allow to use combinations of other features that have proved to work best together under certain metal detecting conditions.


SOUNDS - Ferrous (page 65 of the E-Trac Instruction Manual)
The SOUNDS setting is not available in CTX-3030

CTX-3030:
TONE PROFILE TYPE - 2 Tone FERROUS
or 50 tone CONDUCTIVE


VARIABILITY - n/a (page 67 of the E-Trac Instruction Manual)
This setting does not really play a big role unless you utilize the MULTI SOUNDS mode
VARIABILITY setting is not available in CTX-3030


TONE ID LIMITS - n/a (page 68 of the E-Trac Instruction Manual)
This setting is only available when the NUMBER OF TONES is set to MULTI.
The TONE ID LIMITS setting is not available in CTX-3030

TRESHOLD PITCH - 17 (page 69 of the E-Trac Instruction Manual)

CTX 3030:
TRESHOLD PITCH - 17
(page 24 of the CTX-3030 Instruction Manual)




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