Metal detecting swing speed and swing style topic

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Blackadder43
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We have all seen the videos on youtube, mainly from rallies, where some detectorists are swinging their machines so fast and so far off the ground that they are picking up overhead aircraft as signals. :o
They then wonder why they dont find anything.

There is no real general rule, as each machine can tolerate different swing speeds
But the 1 constant for all machines in my opinion is to keep the coil as close to the ground as you can, for obvious reasons
Our machines are all about depth, and if you are already 4 inches above the surface, then you have lost at least 3 inches in detectable depth

Its all about min/maxing when out in the fields :ugeek:

This leads on to something that a lot of people also tend to do, especially near the end of a session when you are getting fatigued, and your brain is tired of interpreting the signals for you
The swing directly in front of them is good, but at the outer edges some folk tend to lift the coil up at an angle
So if your swing is covering say 6 foot of ground, then the last foot either side is being missed as the coil is raised on the swing
In effect you are really only detecting 4 foot of the ground, and the other 2 foot the target would have to be in the top 2 inches to be detected

Again min/maxing your sessions in the field

Lastly is swing speed
Contentious issue as each "Brand" can tolerate different swing speeds

People that know me will tell you i have a bit of a weird mind when i try to explain things, but it often works
I have come up with an analogy for why you shouldnt be swinging your machine too fast:

So bare with me on this :geek:
Imagine you are on a low flying aircraft with 6 other people
Your mission is all 6 of you to bungee out of the aircraft in nano second intervals
Your objective is to mark the ground and then return on your bungee to the same aircraft safely and able to report back

So, on a low flying and slow speed aircraft this would be achievable, providing the plane was long enough to cope with the split second you were bungeed out, marked the target and bungeed back in again.
Mission accomplished

Now, imagine we triple the speed of the aircraft :shock:
You would all bungee out ok, probably manage to mark your target on the ground
But, getting back to the plane on your bungee cord would now not be achievable as the plane would be too far forward for you to report back

This is your machine
The signals it sends out are you and your 5 team mates being bungeed out
If your swing speed is correct then your signal you sent out can return to the machine and report back
But, if you are swinging too fast then your coil is potentially going to miss the returning signal and you will miss your target

Now i understand thats all pie in the sky stuff, but the point is sound, if you are swinging your coil too fast you are at risk of not getting the reporting, returning signal that you have sent into the ground.....

I was going to be doing a video on this, and still will do, but last week i trapped a nerve in my back and have been laid up since
(All sympathy greatfully received as i tried to get some from the team here, but all i got was "that sounds painfull" *pouts* )

Anyways, what i intend to do is set my camera up on the ground, and then walk towards it doing my normal swing
Then, i want to walk towards it doing the swing where it curls up at the outer edges
And lastly the fast and too far above the ground swing
I want to do this to
1) make sure i am swinging correctly
2) to show the differences from an on the ground perspective, i think it will show up much better than the standard looking down view we are all used too seeing

I think the video will show the differences better than just talking about it
I will probably learn that my swing isnt optimal either and it will need adjusting, but thats the sort of thing i like doing, i like to min/max stuff
I am very methodical in a lot of things i do, especially detecting, and am always looking to improve

If any of you want to put your phone or camera on the floor the next time you are out and record yourself walking towards it and swinging as you normally would then please do
You can upload it to this topic to show others....although i fully understand if after viewing it you decide not too :lol:

Lets see if we can get a discussion going about swing speed and swing styles for all our different machines, and hopefully some new members to our hobby will pick up some tips and hints :thumbsup:
This is going to be a machine dependant discussion, as all machines need to be used differently, and what suits one machine will not suit another...

Lets see how we do :thumbsup:
Dave The Slave
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The bungee analogy is very thought provoking, Bruce. Good way of explaining the signal.
Like to think i am fairly slow with the Garrett 400i. Inland can`t get as low as i would like due to stony/rocky ground and stubble.
On the beach where it is pure sand, skim the surface like one of those side winder snakes you see going across the sand in a natural History programme.
Did have a Go Pro attached to the stem back in June, which did not make for good viewing, like windscreen wipers on monsoon mode, although detecting was a lot slower.
Certainly something to bear in mind.
Good post. :thumbsup:
Dave.
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Littleboot
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A crucial topic and nor given anywhere enough emphasis especially by newbies....
There are so many topics on t'internet about this that and the other settings and tweaking this and that. But unless you have good technique it is pretty much pointless. No point looking for a program which gains a half inch if you are wafting two inches above the ground. Plus i agree very much about the end of swings being liable to be raised especially if tired, or wanting to cover ground too fast. I was out with Pete and he had no idea how much he was lifting his coil at the ends of the swing. (I blame it on golf :lol: )
I have adapted a swing where I extend my arm forward slightly by dint of straightening my elbow a tad in the middle of my swing and then drawing back again...this keeps the coil nice and level through the swing. It takes a bit of practice but i did it by wearing wellies with some metal in the toe caps (they are just reinforced a bit...not steel toe caps as they would send the machine into meltdown) . When I detected my wellies I knew i wasn't extending my swing enough.
I also go slow and steady. Then when I get on an area with plenty of signals (probably due to former occupation....I have a lot of places where old buildings once stoof) I go very very slow. I do this so i don't have to up recovery speed. It costs too much in performance to do that. I prefer to simply keep the recovery speed on a low number and slow down myself to compensate. if signals are very busy i work in small blocks of a couple of metres square and work the coil in all directions as if I am hoovering a carpet with a lot of stubborn fluff on it. :D ) it is quite stunning how easy it is to miss things.
I think rallies (I call it competitive detecting) are quite bad for technique. It is hard to resist the urge to gallop off casually wafting if everyone else is off up the field like bloodhounds on speed.
Most settings on modern machines are really there to make detecting easier. Most settings I see online are reaching for help from the machine to separate targets, eliminate iron etc etc. But really if you adapt your style to suit the ground everything flows from that. It is a bit like Pete and his golf....yes he tells me that yet another new club in his arsenal of over-priced metal sticks will make all the difference but at the end of the day I know that a pro would still beat his score with just one club in his bag.
You mention concentration....yep. That is the limitation for me. I tend to run out of mojo.....especially on a busy site.....long before my machine does. As soon as I catch myself not investigating blips and snicks of signals, i have a word with myself. If that doesn't fix it I go home.
"The forest was shrinking, but the trees kept voting for the axe, for the axe was clever and convinced the trees that because his handle was made of wood he was one of them."
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figgis
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I'm sure we've all seen swing techniques which have us scratching our heads at the same time as shaking them :D

Detecting is a game of chance and we are the gamblers. Any decent gambler will do all in their power to maximise their chances and reduce the odds, and the biggest single move you can make in this regard is to get your technique right. Having the good fortune to walk over something decent is totally negated if you miss it because of rubbish technique. Now, I have seen some truly awful techniques resulting in fabulous finds but, again resorting to the gambling analogy, you have to see this as some kind of beginners' luck, ignore it, and concentrate on reducing the odds in your favour by way of covering the ground you're walking over properly.
Carling 2

Jesus.. Lifes to short for this,, next it will be dig a trench along the path your going to walk before commencing swinging,, no wonder there ain't a lot out there to find these days,, there's more topics on land, technique, permissions, machines, and history etc than finds these days detecting as been a victim of its own success and still the fuel keeps being chucked on the fire.
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Littleboot
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Carling 2 wrote: Sat Oct 03, 2020 8:47 pm Jesus.. Lifes to short for this,, next it will be dig a trench along the path your going to walk before commencing swinging,, no wonder there ain't a lot out there to find these days,, there's more topics on land, technique, permissions, machines, and history etc than finds these days detecting as been a victim of its own success and still the fuel keeps being chucked on the fire.
Not where I am mate. i am the only one who has ever detected my permissions. I do nicely for finds. But if I hadn't been careful about how I approached the game I would have missed half of them. Tell you what life is too short for...wafting around without any focus for hours on end and finding nowt. :lol: Not a bad day today....a coin weight, a merovingian equal armed brooch, part of what i think is a Viking ring brooch with some runes on it, and the bezel of a ring with garnet in the centre and some clear stones around set in silver gilt....I don't think i would have found any of them by wafting, frankly.
i have been hearing the lament that places are detected out for decades now. And yet, great finds keep coming up. i have been detecting my permissions for 18 years.....and regularly too (being as the best field is just over our lane) and great finds keep coming up after ever turn of the plough....
"The forest was shrinking, but the trees kept voting for the axe, for the axe was clever and convinced the trees that because his handle was made of wood he was one of them."
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Oxgirl
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I love you Jan :Luv Ya:

I agree, I used to waft. I’ve stopped wafting and now try really hard to detect more slowly and take pleasure in scuffing my coil on the ground. I want to wear a coil cover out.

Find rate is much, much higher.

Low and slow does work - you get much more great finds compared to the flash Harry's running round thinking they have been detecting for years and know more than anyone else. I’m going to record myself to see what else I can do better.

Arrogant? I’m not. I could still improve a lot more but hell at least I’m open to constructive criticism and the very real chance my swing ain’t perfect.
Yes I really don’t like Roman coins, I’m not joking
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Easylife
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Gee, what a can of worms you are inviting Bruce? Swing rate and technique! I would say that I swing the Nox at a medium rate, well I'm hardly gonna swing it fast with my usual 15" coil onboard! But I completely agree that bad swing technique will result in less finds. You may swing fast, get a hint, and then slow down to re-check it, or alternatively just walk on and completely miss it, so your choice. It kind of depends on the ground, your settings and your mood.
All I was gonna add to this is that if you are ever out in the Aussie goldfields where most nuggets are so tiny then your swing will always be perfectly flat and steady and always very close to the ground!
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Fisher 1266 X
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The forward motion speed is just as, if not even more important than swing speed.
If you stand still, you can swing the coil at several different speeds, as long as the coil is close and parallel to the ground over the entire swing arc.
It's when you start to move forwards where things get a little more critical.

I you're not too bothered about finding anything, don't bother about this post or any posts relating to "How To Improve Your Finds Rates" :thumbsup:
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Junk and Disorderly
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This is just my personal opinion on swing speed and also the other part of the equation the forward motion as well,if i am on my own permission/s and i dont have a clock ticking against me and the crops wont be sown for sometime then its been known for snails to over take me as i methodically that slow but i dont miss anything.

But if i have the clock ticking as in the crop is being sown within a day or so then i will slightly increase my swing speed or if the ground has been ploughed and rolled and flat i will increase the size of the coil for better ground coverage but i still never go mental speed wise,the larger coil has given me the slight edge on ground coverage so that often helps and a compromise i guess.

Club digs,the odd and i mean odd 1 day rally you have the clock ticking against you so once again i slightly speed up the swing speed or once again use a slightly larger coil for the ground coverage and not necessary the slight depth advantage as often larger coils dont go as deep as what most folks think they do.Of course the optimal larger coil side has another down side as well as if you go over the top size wise you gain ground coverage but can also loose out on small finds.

For wide open pasture or ploughed and rolled my favourite detector/coil combination is still the T2 and the SEF 15x12 coil or the 14x13 NEL Storm which is a happy medium for ground coverage and also still very good on small cut halves etc.

For extreme depth when using a extra large coil on say a Pulse or a VLF machine in the 18-20'' dia range then a ultra slow swing speed is best i have found,no other way to do it really,its situations like this when i tie my shoe laces together it may seem really crazy slow but you cannot hurry when using such a large rig as its the depth that you want and the only way to achieve this is by swing slow and low.

Of course we all can detect differently but for me its it always has been the ultra slow method.
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jcmaloney
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1 acre = 6, 273,500 sq inches.
9 in round coil = 64 square inches.
1 coil sweep = 36 lateral inches.
36 x 64 = 2304 sq inches per sweep.
1 acre = 2723 sweeps per acre.
1 sweep = 6 seconds.
272 minutes per acre.
4.5 hours to cover an acre.

I`m of the "Snail School of Detecting" and have made a shocking amount of finds amongst footprints or "done to death" fields. ;)

:thumbsup:
I`m Marmite me. Opinionated, obstinate and somewhat tenacious.
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figgis
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jcmaloney wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 8:58 am 1 coil sweep = 36 lateral inches
1 sweep = 6 seconds.
Really? That's 6" per second :shock: You're a far more patient man than I, sir, but if it works for you and gets results then that's all that matters :thumbsup:
Fisher 1266 X
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jcmaloney wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 8:58 am 4.5 hours to cover an acre.
That's just about what I calculated a few years ago.

The idea behind the calculation was to enable detectorists to estimate how long it would take to cover a field.
Turning it the other way around would be to say "right, I've got 4.5 hours to kill". You'll be searching one-acre at the most.
I've heard some say they've "battered" a 10-acre field in an hour.
This can't be entirely correct as it would take at least 45-hours to search properly.

It's almost like saying I travelled from York to London in an hour at 50mph! Obviously impossible.

At the end of the day, search the field as you would..............
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