1st Garret Infinium finds on Sand Key Beach near Clearwater Florida USA

First time out with Garrett Infinium pulse induction metal detector on Sand Key beach in Clearwater Florida for about an hour.

The Garrett Infinium Pulse induction metal detector is the sorta "Big Gun" of metal detectors, to find treasure , gold,  coins and relics. It is not effected by salt water and can "see" really deep compared to current mainstream metal detectors. 

It goes deep to find metal...

When I went to the beach with my friend, his "Fisher 1280-X" could not see as deep as my Garrett Infinium. But I knew that might be the case because that is the promise of a (PI) "Pulse Induction" circuit metal detector. Anyway, it goes deep as hell to find metal but when it beeps, you never know what is down there until you dig it out! 

Actually it makes distinct noises.. High to low.. or Low to high to tell you what is down there (Coins or junk) and if you learn those sounds you can know what is under you just by the sound and not even have to dig certain signals. But the fact is, gold in jewelry form is almost always an alloy of gold, nickle, copper, silver etc. So it can signal as trash or coins and so you almost always have to dig every signal except iron if you are wanting gold jewelry. 

The Infinium will signal on iron, but then you turn a knob and if the signal disappears, it's not iron (reverse discrimination). The infinium shines in the salt water or in well hunted areas when many other metal detectors have been.


Now here are some of my instructions in using it in beach hunting and many of these tips can also be used in the field of prospecting.

(1) First, turn the unit into the LOCK position. Then listen for any interference and use the frequency adjustments to eliminate any interference. Remember to move the frequency adjustment a small amount and then wait for a small period of time for it to lock in. Remember, there are 32 frequency positions that can be obtained with this control. Once you get use to the unit, you will generally get to know where the quietest spots are and it will come second nature and quick to do this.

(2) Do not try and adjust the frequency control with the unit in Fast or Slow Track. What I have found, is that sometimes the auto track tries to lock onto the interference, making it hard to eliminate it.

(3) Set the threshold so as you can only just hear it and set the discrimination to "0" .

Now comes the important steps and if this isn't done correctly, false signals and sounds can occur.

(4) Turn the unit to Fast Track. Move the coil up and down to the sand a few times and place the coil directly onto the sand for about 10 seconds. Then again move the coil up and down to the sand a few more times. You will see that that the ground balance has come in very quickly and should be fairly steady.

(5) Then switch it to Slow Track and then repeat the same procedure as was done in Fast track. This is the fine tuning adjustments.
Please note, when you place the coil directly onto the ground, the unit tends to keep ground balancing the ground effects out, and you will find that it quietens down pretty quick. This is especially more noticeable in the high mineralised ground in the goldfields.

(6) Once this has been done, switch the unit to lock.

(7) As the unit was designed for prospecting, it doesn't have the prefixed discrimination set to compensate for salt water effects, as other beach PI units have. If you still get any affects from the salt water, you may have to increase the discrimination up to about "2" to eliminate these false signals. I haven't had any problems with noisy operation going from the dry sand, to the wet sand and into the water with the unit ground balance set correctly. Generally I use it with "0" discrimination set.

( As the unit was designed for prospecting, it has a lot more sensitivity than a normal beach PI unit. To drop the sensitivity, use the threshold and reduce it, even to "0" and this will also help reduce any false signals you may be getting. By doing this, you will not miss any targets normally associated with beach/water detecting, eg:- coins, rings and chains.

(9) If you come to an area in the water that is causing a lot of problems, then ground balance over this problem area and then switch it to lock. This should sort out any problems.

I had a customer who was having problems with certain areas in the salt water, that was causing all sorts of signals. The area was near a place that was well known for copper ore, and was a very productive copper mining area during its time. These problem areas had many rocks which would have contained traces of copper ore. I told him to ground balance over these rocky outcrops until the unit was quiet and then turn it to the Lock position. He did this and found that he could move from the dry sand and into these areas without any problems. He also found a nice gold ring on that day he tried this set up.

(10) Make sure the cable is looped slightly near the coil and then taped to the lower stem. Then bring the cable straight up the stem for about 18" (450mm) and tape. Also tape the cable in several places between this section. Do not use cable ties as these can eventually damage the cable. I prefer to use insulation tape as no damage will be done to cable and it holds the cable more secure with less movement.

Sometimes you have to increase the discrimination up to 1, 2 or 3 to quiet it down in the salt water. In addition, if you are running the threshold in the 6-7 range, lower it a bit to almost audible.

At some beaches here in NJ, I can run at 0 discrimination and a high threshold...others I have to tone it down.

In both instances, I ground balance in Fast mode first, and very slowly sweep the coil back and forth ( I don't bob the coil) over the wet sand or suds gently scrubbing the sand to allow the unit to 'absord' the conditions. Takes about a minute. I then do that in Slow, and once completed, switch to Lock. When ground balancing, make sure you are in 0 discrimination setting.

As always, I do a frequency check first. 

You can air test an Infinium against a non-ground balancing PI like the Sea Hunter. The problem is it proves nothing and at worst misleads people.

A pure PI like the Sea Hunter can get better depth than a ground balancing PI like the Infinium if there is no ground mineralization. My White's TDI and Minelab GPX-4500 allow me to turn the ground balance on or off. In air tests both will get more depth with the ground balance turned off. In ground with little or no mineralization turning off the ground balance can increase depth.

The Sea Hunter has no ground balance to activate, and the Infinium is always set to ground balance. In air tests or in ground with little or no mineralization the Sea Hunter will excel. As the ground mineralization increases, you quickly hit a point where the Infinium is on par with the Sea Hunter. Increase the mineralization more, and the Sea Hunter falls behind. On black sand laden beaches the Infinium will blow the Sea Hunter away. The Sea Hunter will also bang on hot rocks that the Infinium will totally ignore. So which does better 100% depends on the nature of the ground in which you are detecting.

When comparing units that ground balance against units that do not ground balance it is the nature of the ground that is all important and so it must be taken into consideration. Old style TR units do very well in pure white coral sands. But in mineralized ground they are pretty much obsolete compared to the current ground balancing VLF units.

So I air test them both and tell you the Sea Hunter air tests better. You have learned nothing but that if the ground is 100% free of mineralization then the Sea Hunter will probably have the edge. But such conditions are so rare as to make air tests worthless.

Air tests are like seeing how fast a sports car can go compared to a 4WD truck by jacking the wheels off the ground, flooring the gas pedals, and looking at the speedometer. In the real world the sports car wins on the highway and the 4WD truck in the mud bogs.

Oh yeah, it very well can make a difference as to which way you swing your detector. There are items that will hit left to right and not right to left. Working a saltwater beach parallel to the water can introduce false signals that can be eliminated by working up and down the beach.

Steve Herschbach

Water Hunting with Infinium

Nugget Hunting with Infinium

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