Trina, Taylor and I found a whopping memorial penny, a tent stake and a few trash items like foil, bottle caps and other typical beach trash on day one.
We did a little better on day 2. I found two quarters and two zinc pennies. Trina found a quarter and Taylor unfortunately struck out and we never found any of her targets. This year we were using my dad’s Garrett AT Max while detecting Daytona. Last year I was using my GTI 2500. To setup the AT Max for salt water beach detecting, I’ve been ground balancing the machine, turning the sensitivity down three notches and also turning down the threshold to negative six. The machine is fairly stable and a couple of the quarters were 6-8 inches deep, but most of the coins found are new drops. We did have numerous signals that might have been ghost signals. They read 81-82 or 40-45 on the meter and were very repeatable, but after digging about 12-15 inches, I gave up on the targets. I guess that could have cans or other trash super deep but I never found them, so we’ll never know.
The rest of our trip, I only went 2-3 more time with finds similar to day 2. On my last metal detecting excursion, I decided to try and eliminate the falsing from the salt water, so after ground balancing, I set the Iron Discrimination setting to maximum which is 44. My thinking was this setting would eliminate the falsing that was in the 40-45 range on the meter. The setting worked, no more falsing but I feel like I was definitely missing small gold (discriminating the signals out).
On my last hunt, I was working the dry sand and I was way on the south end of the beach. Near the life guard tower, I got a nice repeatable signal that read 45-47 on the Garrett AT Max. I bent over and retrieved the target on the first scoop, as I’m shaking out the sand I spot a gold colored chain sticking out one of the holes of the scoop. It turned out to be a men’s bracelet marked 14KT! Good finds always pop up when you least expect them!
The AT Max seems to be a great VLF machine for beach hunting, but I think I need to get a good pulse induction machine to really hit it hard or metal detect directly in the ocean or salt water.