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Metal Detecting Blog

  • I want to go beach metal detecting. What detector do I need?

    Beach metal detecting can by far be the most profitable and most fun for the detectorist. Not to mention the easiest to dig! ha ha Gold rings add up quick with todays gold prices! Most often a couple found rings can pay for you detector or come real close to it. If your like me the exercise is an added bonus! The beach view is not bad either!

    Serious beach detectors come in two main groups but really any machine will work but just not as good as the first two. Especially in dry sand.

    Group 1 is not my favorite do to the excessive digging for bobby pins at 12" that sound like good targets. PI machine or Pulse Induction like the Garrett Sea Hunter, Garrett Infinium and Whites Dual Field Surf Master are very deep and sensitive machine but all lack good discrimination. That is just par for the course on PI machines. As I said you wate a good amount of time digging bad targets when you could be on to your next good target if the machine could tell the difference. PI machines are not BAD per say because you do get more depth and sensitivity but pay for it in lack of discrimination. Still many people prefer to the dig them all mentality and love the PI machines. Not me...

    Group 2 are the multifrequency VLF machines like the Minelab Excalibur II, Fisher CZ-21 and Minelab CTX 3030. The discrimination is MUCH improved on these metal detectors but you do lose a bit of depth and sensitivity. You get payed back by being able to skip over obviously bad targets so you can move on to the next gold ring hopefully! They do a MUCH better job hearing iron targets and properly identifying them. Although no machine is perfect on this they are much better than most. the multifrequency helps penetrate the high mineral content in the salt water and properly ID your next gold pendant! haha

    Other good single frequency machines like the Garrett AT Pro and Whites MX Sport are waterproof to 10 feet and do a great job in the dry sand and sometimes even the damp sand can be used as well. When you get in the surf they often become very erratic and you have to turn sensitivity way down to compensate. Nulling out any chance at deeper targets. Both companies claim these machines to work in the salt and they do but just not very well. Dry sand they are great! Wet sand not so well. In the actual surf?... ehhhh Now fresh water they are AMAZING! Go jump in any pond or creek and go to town!

    (UPDATED 2-14-2019) Now with all the info above that is still great food for thought the metal detecting world has changed dramatically since the introduction of a couple new machines by Minelab Metal Detectors!

    The Minelab Equinox 800 and Minelab Equinox 600 were introduced and set everything on ear. They are multi frequency machines that can handle the salt minerals and handle any park or old home site as well with fast recovery in trash. Metal detecting have for SURE changed with the introduction of these to machines!

    As always if you have any questions or looking for a better deal call or email us. We would be glad to work with you and get you set up correctly to find the next lost pirates chest full of gold coins!

    Bart at

  • A field test of Garrett's new Wireless Z-Lynk System Features

    Check out Steve Moore's field test of the brand new Garrett Z-Lynk Wireless System thats coming soon to Big Boys Hobbies Metal Detectors! The new wireless system is designed to work with any brand / model of headphones with a compatible 1/4" Jack. The new Garrett Z-Lynk will revolutionize metal detecting and bring about a new age of truly wireless metal detecting at an affordable price!

    Feel free to click the link to learn more about the Z-Lynk

  • Finding new and exciting areas to metal detect, the right way.

    Are you an urban detector? hitting up the parks and sports fields and schools? Looking for a bit more history but don't know where to start? Here's our top tips for finding new spots to metal detect!
    1. Check out historical maps. there are many free resources online that have databases of old maps dating back hundreds of years, if your hunting for history, you can gather a lot of insights using these free services. Old schools, churches and battlefields often yield amazing results for historical finds while metal detecting!
    2. Advertise on craigslist! A lot of private property owners would love the chance of someone who wants to politely and respectful metal detect on their land. You can offer to split the haul, clear any trash and give the owner any insights as to what was on the land before they purchased it.
    3. Good old fashion door to door. If you've had your eye on a certain area that's privately owned, don't be afraid to approach the owner and ask permission, what's the worst that can happen! Once you get a property get to know their neighbors as well.  Example, I detected the Jones’s house on the corner and wondered if I might be able to check your yard as well?
    4. BLM / public land. Another great option is publicly owned land. Be very careful and check with local, state and federal laws before digging but a lot of public land is available to detect on, many resources for researching BLM / Public lands are available online for free.
    Do you have any other good tips for finding new spots to metal detect on? feel free to leave us a comment below and let us know!
  • When to repair or replace your metal detector?

    Metal detectors are built to last. especially the older models from whites, garrett and minelab. We've seen detectors in great shape that were built in the 80's from some of the top manufactures. That said, when is it the best time to send in your machine for potentially expensive repairs versus buying a new machine?
    Cost Vs Features
    If your older metal detector is on it's last legs and repairs are upwards of 200 dollars (including shipping both ways) maybe it's time to look into replacing that relic (get it?) chances are, for less money than the repairs themselves you could pickup a modernized metal detector with a lot more functionality than your old one, and sometimes even for less money!
    learning curve Vs tried and tested
    It's not always just about the money when it comes to our hobbies. we grow attached to our equipment and this is especially true for metal detectors. We know the sweet spot's, those signal tones better than our wives beckoned call for dinner. Sometimes, it makes sense to spend those extra few dollars on getting the trusty ol' detector back to it's former glory than jumping ship and buying new.
    As always, if you have any questions about purchasing new equipment, give us a call. we're always happy to help and with years of experience with all the major brands, we may be able to help making that right decision for you.
  • Garrett Pro Pointer AT the best Metal Detecting Pin Pointer on the market?

    Over the years several pin pointers have hit the market. From the good ole American made Garrett Pro Pointer to cheap knock off Pin Pointers. Some good, some not so good.

    Price range for the cheap knock off pin pointers started at around $89 but we quickly realized the companies behind them not only did not support the customer but their dealers as well. At BBH Metal Detectors we like to provide tools that we ourselves would use in the field. Have a busted or malfunctioning Pin pointer after a 2 hour trip to hit a one time permission hunt is not what we call fun. We had to stop dealing with anything but 100% proven Pin Pointers and stick with what works!

    The Garrett AT Pro Pointer is what we call THE best pin pointer on the market today. It is not overly big. Great on and off feature that is easy to reach. Hot all the way down the tip making it very easy to check sides of the holes. Water proof to 10 feet and the vibration is great even with thick gloves on. This is why we prefer The Garrett AT Pro Pointer over all the pointers out today.

    Feel free to call or email us with questions on it or anything else we sell!

    Happy Hunting!

  • What does ground balancing mean and how does it effect my metal detector?

    Ground balancing a metal detector can be a bit confusing and troublesome. We hope to clear some of it up here.

    A metal detector that is properly ground balanced can allow it to perform much better and give a deeper and more accurate  target id of what is in the ground.

    Ground balancing is a process of canceling out the effects of ground mineralization and letting the detector only read the new targets and not the ground and the target.  In a way it is a form of discrimination but in a good way.  When you ground balance a detector what you are hoping to do is find the proper balance between the effects of the ground and not be positive or negative of a ground balance.

    A positive ground balance setting can cause the minimization to produce a response just like a a good target if set to high. Especially if your sensitivity is set to high along with it. If this happens you can potentially miss good targets being masked by the detector seeing only the mineralization and not the good target.

    A to negative ground balance setting can cause the detector to not see the ground minimization and or any new targets. Machine will run more quietly but you will experience a noticeable loss of depth on your detector.  Neither of which is good.

    A good balance between a negative setting and a positive setting is a must to active maximum depth and good target id for your metal detector.  Generally fixed ground balance machines are slightly positive on the ground balance so it will works well in more conditions and soil types. Being a tiny bit positive on the detectors ground balance helps the machine run a bit smoother as well.

    If you have any more questions as always feel free to call us direct or email us. Be glad to help you at Big Boys Hobbies Metal Detectors!

  • What is your favorite brand of Metal Detector and why?

    Please leave a comment below letting us know what  your favorite brand of metal detector and why. What machine specifically is yours?

    Depth? Customer service? Machines ability in trash? Made in America?

    Let us know!

  • Garrett AT Pro and Garrett AT Gold, what is the difference?

    Garrett metal detectors make two very similar but different priced waterproof metal detectors in their AT series detectors. The VERY popular all around metal detector the 15 kHz Garrett AT Pro and the super sensitive 18 kHz Garrett AT GOLD.  While on the outside they look extremely close to each other the inside are very different.

    Both detectors have a iron audio feature which is great for being able to distinguish bottle caps and targets next to iron. The is a VERY valuable feature to use. Also both have a frequency shift to help combat EMI (electro magnetic interference).

    The detectors have adjustable ground balance which helps with target ID and the stability of machine.

    Both are water proof to 10 feet which is perfect for streams  and ponds.


    The Garrett AT Pro

    Running at 15 kHz the Garrett AT Pro is my favorite metal detector in the $600 range and even in some cases much higher prices ranges. Great all around detector for coins and relics. We find it a bit better on silver coins than the Gold.

    It offers two operation modes a standard which resembles the lower Ace series detectors with  non proportional audio to target size and depth. Standard mode has a bit tamer settings for newer detectorists. And the more popular and deeper Pro mode which has proportional audio.

    Inside those two modes are 3 separate modes,  a custom, mode, coin mode and zero mode which is our favorite mode while in Pro mode. Pro zero mode with the discrimination set on 31 is a GREAT setup for almost all types of hunting.

    The AT Pro has a 8.5 x 11" DD coil for great depth and coverage areas in each sweep. The AT Pro does not have a threshold or a true all metal mode where the AT Gold does.

    The AT Pro can ground balance to salt.

    The Garrett AT Gold

    Runs at a higher 18 kHz frequency and makes it super sensitive to small gold and lower conductors. This also make it a better relic metal detector for all the lower conductors like bullets and buttons.

    The AT GOLD has one operation mode with three programs.  A all metal mode, descrim 1 and descrim 2.  The all metal mode is a bit noisy and uses no discrimination but is a bit deeper especially with the threshold. The threshold is adjustable to personal preference as well.

    The AT Gold had a 5x8" DD coil which allows it to have amazing separation in high trash and iron and still get amazing depth. This coil can be used on either the AT Pro or AT Gold but it our preferred coil on either detector.  Ours never comes off.

    The AT Gold can not ground balance to salt.

    If you have any questions feel free to email us at or call us at 405-206-9010.  We can make much better deals than on our site for either metal detector. Be sure to ask!

  • Minelab X-Terra 305 give a way!

    Join our new BBH metal detector forum and get a chance to win a Minelab X-TERRA 305 metal detector!

    Contest is in the General Hobby chat thread! Good luck and happy hunting form BBH metal detectors!

  • Garrett AT Pro Spring Special Deals!

    Garrett metal detectors has put together an awesome package that has all you need to get started metal detecting. The Garrett AT PRO spring special includes the best metal detector on the market for the money Garrett AT Pro, Garrett stock 8.5x11" DD stock coil, the Garrett 5x8 DD Pro coil,  coil covers for each coil, Garrett Camo pouch and Garrett Camo carry bag with tons of extra storage and pockets.  BBH metal detectors throws in a FREE lesche digger as well!

    As always though contact us before you buy to ask about the specials we have on it to save you even more $ on the Garrett AT Pro from BBH!

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