The Highwayman's Hoard
Getting Permission Can Be Rewarding
Hunts Are Educational
People In Scoping
Nice Day For Treasure Hunting
A Balancing Act
About Those Electroscopes®
Model 20 in Tennessee
Model 301 in Oregon
Regulator in Indianapolis, IN
Hunts Are Educational
I had never been interested in attending any open club hunts, but I was finally talked into attending one. It was the summer of 1987 and the Susquehanna Valley Club has a good turn out, including some visiting Canadians.
I was also testing a new detector at the time, to see how it performed in competition, and I wasn't disappointed. I was pulling silver dimes out at 7-8 inches with the dimes standing on edge, up until 5 minutes before time ran out. Needless to say, I really enjoyed myself. I had several years of metal detecting under my belt, but I was still learning new things about the sport.
On an every day basis, I work in a technical field, doing electronic, environmental, and mechanical testing of products. This gives me a pretty good insight in quality control of many basic and theoretical principles pertaining to connectors, contacts, wires, etc. So what I have experienced in the following is an accounting of what actually happened that one day.
My friend, Stan, who has probably done more for my understanding the metal detecting field than everyone put together, approached me to say that there was a fellow at the pavilion showing a video about a long range detector that he had built. I was really anxious to see it because I have always had my doubts about that particular subject.
After viewing the tape, the inventor, Thomas announced that he was going to demonstrate the unit's capability. My common sense and my brain was doing overtime at this point. There were about fifteen (15) people standing around behind Thomas as he was demonstrating the technique of balancing while sweeping from left to right, and then from right to left. His KNOWN target was a dark block approximately 1"x1"x3" (rectangular in form). He indicated that it contained gold rings, even though I could not see them for myself. He then tossed it out approximately 10-15 feet away and proceeded to show us how the unit locked onto the gold target. Because I was skeptical, my first thought was a transmitter/receiver configuration. I still was not convinced, but I continued to listen and have an open mind.
My friend Stan tried to balance and sweep the unit according to Thomas' instructions. Even though the Electroscope® (as it was called) performed accordingly, I remained unconvinced. Thomas, on the other hand, was pretty sure of himself at this point, so as Stan finished his turn I decided to try it for myself.
Once I finally managed to balance the unit, it performed exactly as Thomas said. It locked onto the target. Stan decided to stop everything and walked out to the target, picked it up, and walked it out another ten (10) feet farther and placed it behind a large rock. When Stan walked back he told me to try it again.
As Thomas watched, I proceeded to sweep from right to left and then left to right. I continued to do this and it still kept pulling toward the target. Now everyone was standing behind me while I was performing. As I was making my last sweep from left to right, it dragged on the target, but as I continued the sweep to my right the unit suddenly pulled to my right!
Since Stan was to my right, I thought he might have stepped forward. I then asked him if he had his large gold nugget ring in his pocket. He answered me saying that he left it back at the camper.
It was then I noticed that we were about 10 feet from the boundary of the hunt field. There, standing at the edge of the field, was someone planting coins for the next hunt. I spoke out to the gentleman asking him if he was carrying anything other than silver and clad coins in his pouch. He turned to me, reached into his pouch and held out a $5 gold piece!
I looked at Stan, as he returned my glare. I looked at the Electroscope®, gently cradled it with both my hands and muttered an expletive under my breath! I knew that the transmitter/receiver theory was no longer valid. The person planting coins was much closer than the KNOWN target placed ahead of me. That was the reason why the unit dragged on the KNOWN target and locked onto the gold coin closer to me.
I later went back and talked to Thomas and discussed demonstrating the Electroscope® to my club in Lancaster, PA. We also discussed my understanding of this phenomena and his years of experimentation until he produced his final but "prototype" product.
The principles of theory is another story of its capability, but that's for another time. Since then Thomas has developed a more sensitive and more capable unit. He hasn't stopped experimenting to improve the Electroscope®, and he continues to make it a more productive unit for everyone to benefit from it. Believe it or not, theory or fact, experience is the only answer to any doubt!
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