Ground Penetrating Radar System – Does it Really Work?

Ground-penetrating radar or GPR is a highly advance form of technology that is used to give an output of the visual image of what’s under the ground. It works by sending multiple radar pulses or ultra-high frequency radio waves down into the ground and then reflected back out to the surface. These reflected signals are gathered by the GPR’s receiver and then analyzed to give an underground visual result of what has been scanned. The operation works exactly the same as the metal detectors.

Just like most metal detectors, GPR is very sensitive to the changes of the ground conditions. So in order to have better detecting result on these kinds of areas, constant movement of the equipment around the ground surface is required.

When it comes to usage, treasure or relic hunters are not really the majority of GPR users but many other industries such as utility service, structural analysis, law enforcement, geotechnical, environment and etc… Due to this reason, we can conclude that GPR do work.

Ground Penetrating Radar in use

How Accurate is the Ground Penetrating Radar?

The accuracy of a GPR equipment is dependent on the ground condition of the area that is being scanned. In general, there are two different types of ground conditions categorized as “conductive” and “non-conductive”. One good example of a highly conductive area are grounds with high content of iron or metal scraps. On sands, the area will be considered as conductive if there is a strong presence of salt water. On the other hand, non-conducive type of grounds simply means that the area is free from obstacles or interference which gives a highly accurate scanning result.

For those who are working in the construction industry, fresh concrete will be registered by the equipment as conductive. But through time, as it gets cured, it becomes non-conductive. If this happens, scanning it gives better accurate data.

To explain further how a highly conductive area affects the accuracy of a GPR, it actually slows down the radar signal from penetrating deeper into the ground. So the stronger is the concentration of the conductive material, the harder will the signal be able to pass-through it. There’s even more that you need to know and this is the moisture contents of the material which amplifies concentration of its conductivity.

So to answer the question above, the accuracy depends on the condition of the ground.

What can a GPR Detect under the Ground?

As already stated above, GPR is being used by many industries particular those that have something to do with buried or hidden object under the ground. But as a community of metal detector enthusiasts, we are more interested about hunting for those precious items.

Most GPR models are designed to detect large size objects that are even buried at an insane amount of depth. So for treasure hunters who are searching for large cache containing precious metals, GPR would be the perfect tool to be used. Unfortunately, for coin hunters or those who are looking for small objects, GPRs will have a hard time trying to recognize them.

Anyway, GPR can detect almost any kind of object buried under the ground because its process of determining objects is through its visual imaging display but requires careful analysis.

Is it Easy to Interpret the Data of a GPR?

Honestly, it is not easy to be able to interpret the data especially if you are just a beginner. Depending on the complexity features of the GPR model that you are using, it may take your several months to even years of practice or experience to master the art of being able to interpret the data correctly.

The acquired data is analyzed from the GPR’s display screen. You will be presented a digital visual image of the ground layers. Through a close observation and analysis of the shapes and colors, it should give you some hints. For better result, the data or images can be further processed into a computer for a more enhanced view and analyzation.

How much Depth can a Ground Penetrating Radar able to Reach?

The penetrating power of a GPR deep under the ground is indeed far superior to any metal detector around. However, there is no fix number or amount of depth due to the conditions of the ground. To make it short, the equipment will be able to perform better and reach deeper depth at a non-conductive ground area. On the other hand, high conductive ground area will prevent the signal from trying to reach deeper depths.

The size of the target object is also another factor when it comes to the penetrating depth of the equipment. This is because, the shape of a large object becomes clearly visible from the image data. But for small objects like coins, they are most likely mistaken as pebbles or small stones.

To give you at least some estimates, “on-air” tests shows an impressive performance of being able to reach the target for up to 1000 meters. Under sands or gravels, maximum depth is nearly 100 meters deep. And for the majority of other properties of the ground, the average range of depth is from 1 to 10 meters.

Issues with GPR Usage

There are some issues to GPR technologies particularly about its usage. It is not actually a user-friendly type of equipment. Thus, only those with considerable knowledge and expertise can effectively scan a certain area and able to interpret what has been detected.

Aside from the complexity of interpreting the image data, GPR equipment tends to consume too much energy. This is probably due to the powerful frequency signal that is being used. So if you are on the field with no access to an electrical power source, it can be a problem especially when you intend to cover a large area. You may have to come back the next or another day to complete the job.

For treasure hunters, there is no way for a GPR to be able to distinguish the scanned object about what type of material they are made-of. Thus, you can’t tell if the objects are gold or some kind of precious items.

Moreover, ground penetrating radar manufacturers are still on high competition trying their best to find solutions to those issues. One of their main goals is to achieve user-friendly features which I am starting to see on some of the new or latest GPR models.

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Minelab Go-Find 40 Metal Detector Product Review

One of the top metal detector manufacturing company is “Minelab”. Thus, metal hunter enthusiasts are surely very familiar of this brand. Minelab has actually gained their trust and popularity by producing efficient tools for metal hunters for many years (the company was founded back in 1985).

On this post, let’s discuss a product review of one of Minelab’s cheap metal detector called “Minelab Go-Find 40 Metal Detector”. It is actually very cheap or somewhat at a very affordable price where I bought mine recently at the Amazon Store. I actually read some testimonials that this tool claims to work well for hunting relic and coin shooting purposes. And since it is cheap, why not buy one for myself and give it an actual tests.

Before I share my experience and test results, let’s first cover its amazing product features.

Product Features of Minelab Go-Find 40 Metal Detector

3 Discriminator Tones

One of the best feature about this metal detector that I really like is its three discriminator tones. These three tones can be easily distinguished through the level of their sounds which are “low, mid and high”. Assuming that a certain object has been detected and the equipment is generating a low tone, it means that on that particular spot has high iron contents. If the tone is at mid-level then it means that there is an identified metallic object but a type of metal with low value. The highest tone is what you really need to pay attention because it is a signal indicating that you just found high quality metals such as gold.

Visual Target Identification

Along with the audio discrimination feature is also a “Visual Target Identification” feature. It is actually a second confirmation feature of the tool which gives an enhanced and more accurate detection result.

The main unit has a cool “back light and a large LCD” all for the purpose of giving you a better and much clearer visual display of the signals from the screen. To explain how this feature works in the most basic sense, there are LED’s acting as signal indicators. If it happens that the metal detector runs over a non-ferrous metals (such as gold and silver), the green LED’s with give a signal. On the other hand, low value metals such as iron will trigger the red LED’s.

Impressive Automatic Ground Balance

All those discrimination feature will be rendered useless if a metal detector does not have a good ground balance settings. The main purpose of a ground balance is to “ignore ground interferences” particularly presence of high minerals and alkaline type of soils. This will lead into a much deeper penetration of the equipment resulting into more interesting finds.

Along with the ground balance is a “three level depth indication function”. This is a special feature of Minelab Go-Find 40 that gives you an estimate depth of the target object. Being aware about how deep is your target allows you to know when to stop digging. This actually gets rid of the hassle trying to re-scan the spot if the object is still there or it already got scooped out by your shovel.

10 inches Search Coil

Some says that a 10 inches search coil is a large size but for me, I consider it as a medium size only. I actually held bigger loops of search coils that are three times larger than this one. So what is special about Minelab Go-Find 40’s search coil? What makes it special is that it is a “submersible mono loop antenna”. This means that it can be used on both wet and dry areas.

Smartphone App

If you have a smartphone with Bluetooth functionality then you can connect it to Go-Find 40 and utilize its useful apps. There are currently several interesting apps that could really offer some good benefits such as the app that allows you to record the locations of your finds. If you are a complete beginner the Coin ID will also be a great help. You can even listen into your favorite music while detecting but I really do not recommend it. You can also post your finds on FaceBook and share it with your friends while on the field.

It’s Lightweight

If you are a women or simply a weakling type of guy then Go-Find 40 will be a perfect equipment for you because it “only weigh 2.31lbs”. As an average person who does not even regularly work out, I can hold this thing for an entire day. Thus, even smalls kids are able to use it.

Foldable Design

Go-Find 40 is the first “foldable metal detector” that I own. Making it foldable is actually a very ingenious design from the manufacturer which makes storage and transportation a hassle free. The folding and unfolding process is really very quick which takes only a few seconds of your time.

User-friendly is another word that best describe Go-Find 40. Setting it up does not require screwing or attaching some of its parts which takes some of your precious time. You just literally just unfold it, insert its batteries then turn the Power ON and you are good to go. When you are done for the day, simply fold it back for safe storage.

Where to Buy?


My own overall conclusion as a product review for Minelab Go-Find 40 is that “it is very user-friendly” making it one of my best recommended cheap metal detector for complete beginners or for the whole family to enjoy. A 10 years old kid or an old grandpa can actually handle it without any problem and surely, they will likely enjoy their time playing or metal detecting with it.

Based on the actual performance of my field test results, this equipment provides a very accurate detection for small size objects particularly coins. The maximum depth that it can detect such particular size of a metallic object is 12 inches.

Lastly, with its current market price, you surely won’t make any regrets purchasing one for yourself.

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Choosing the Best Metal Detectors for Complete Beginners

Before we start with the main discussion, I would first like to clarify the difference between “complete beginners” from individuals who wants to give metal detecting hobby a “try”. When speaking of complete beginners, these are individuals who has confirmed for themselves that metal detecting is the right hobby for them. Thus, they want to look for the appropriate equipment that is suitable on their current level of metal detecting skill. As for those individuals who simply wants to give this hobby a try, any kind of cheap metal detector will work just fine for them.

If you are the type of person who wants to give metal detecting hobby a try, then I highly recommend buying a cheap metal detector ranging from $25 to $50 only. However, you have to make sure that you are not buying a toy designed for children to play. It is also best to choose products manufactured by the top or popular brands. I have seen some several cheap metal detectors from the Amazon with prices below $50 which are under the brand names of Bounty Hunter, Fisher and etc...

On the other hand, if you are the person who has finally confirmed that metal detecting is the right hobby for yourself then you might want to invest some amount of money for your equipment. You should go for metal detectors ranging from $300 to $600. And just like what I stated above, it is always best to choose only those that are manufactured by popular brands. But if you are really on a very tight budget, there are still a few and reliable metal detectors that are ranging from $100 to $200 only.

So what exactly is the best metal detector for complete beginners?

The answer into this question is dependent on the four following aspects:

1. Hunting Locations

Metal detectors are actually designed to work perfectly on certain specific locations. When speaking about locations, we are specifically referring to the components of the ground. Thus, there are MDs (Metal Detectors) the works well on the sand but not on the soil or vice-versa.

When it comes to soil on the ground, not all areas are equal in terms of their “mineralization”. This means that there are different areas with low and high contents of iron. MDs that are designed for amateurs will work just fine when used on the ground with low iron content. But, it will either have a hard time or it will not perform well on areas with high content of iron.

Ground areas with high iron contents are more commonly referred as “high mineralization” or “hot ground”. Only those skilled hobbyist with more sophisticated equipment are capable of detecting objects buried on these areas. So if you are a complete beginner, it is advisable to avoid such areas because it is most likely that you will end up just wasting your time. Anyway, there are some very expensive MDs that are designed for complete beginners which can penetrate through hot grounds. If you have the money to buy such expensive tool then you may disregard this aspect about hunting locations.

If you intend to hunt on the beach on your amateur MD, it is actually best to detect only on the dry areas. The reason is that, the water on the beach is salty which has similar negative feedback as the iron. Thus, you have to avoid the wet sands.

Speaking about “negative feedback”, your MD will generate a lot of false signals. When you dig any of those false signals, there is nothing that can be found because the components of the ground is the one responsible for it. This experience can be very disappointing that some beginners will even end up quitting on this hobby. Thus, the lesson here is to use your equipment to its appropriate ground environment.

2. Objects that you want to hunt

Before you have decided to engage into the hobby of metal detecting, you should have already set your sight on a certain target object. These can be old coins, gold nuggets, relics and etc… You have to know that MDs are designed for specific purposes.

Majority of MDs that are available in the market today are those that are designed to detect coins, jewelries, relics and all sorts of metallic objects buried in shallow depths. The depth can be from 12 inches to 1 feet.

If your intention is to find gold flakes, you will be needing a more specialized MD. These MDs operates at a very high frequencies which makes them very effective in detecting small particles of gold. However, the depth of penetration for these machines are very shallow ranging from 6 to 12 inches only.

When it comes to MDs with the deepest penetration, they are more commonly referred as two-box detectors, scanners and ground penetrating radars. These equipment are being used by treasure hunters who are seeking for large piles of treasures buried deeply under the ground. The penetrating range of depth that these machine can reach is incredibly from 10 meters to 30 meters. Some of the more advance machines can even detect way past more than the 30 meters limit.

3. The Range of your Budget

Your budget plays an important role when choosing the best metal detector that is right for you. We have to admit the fact that the price of a certain product is what really dictates its quality. So if possible, it is best to save some of your money until you can purchase one of those high-end models of MDs.

Second-hands that are high-end models are also good MDs to buy. If you are so lucky enough then you may be able to purchase the item for half of its market price value. Although, the risk here is that the item might have unnoticeable damage perhaps due to the previous owner’s mishandling.

4. Are you a techy individual or not?

If you are a techy individual then there is no problem for you operating any metal detectors especially those that are sophistically designed. But if you are not, it is best for you to choose MDs with “User-Friendly” features. MDs that are equipped with user-friendly features have built-in programs that will automatically adjust the equipment to its most desirable settings. Thus, all you have to do is to turn ON the power and you are good to go. When you are done, just turn it OFF. That’s how simple it is to use.
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Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector Product Review

Unfortunately, Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector does not fall under the Cheap Category of MDs. It is actually an equipment intended for those individuals that already have experience in metal hunting industry. So if you are a complete beginner or an amateur then it is best to consider choosing a cheaper but reliable one especially for training or learning purposes. But if you have the budget that you are willing to spend, then there is no other reason why not to purchase one for yourself.

Are you a treasure hunter?

Many treasure hunters are impressed about the performance of Garrett AT Pro because of its powerful depth of detection. You have to know that as a treasure hunter myself, a detector capable to penetrating deeply buried objects is what really matters the most. Detecting such extreme depths of buried items is actually possible because targets are in the form of large sizes.

Are you a coin hunter?

Garrett AT Pro has a special feature for coin hunters. This is the Coin Depth feature which is located at the right side of the MD’s display. Interestingly, the depth of the buried coin is accurately displayed here which gives you the confidence of digging it and being able to recover it once the specified depth has been dug.

Are you a jewelry or gold nugget hunter?

If your interest is to find buried jewelries or gold nuggets then you will love and enjoy using this MD. It’s because this MD operates at 15 kHz which is the perfect frequency range for detecting small objects. Based on my own field test, small items can be detected up to 10 inches depth.

Product Features of Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector

Control Unit Display

The physical aspect of Garrett AT Pro that impressed me much is its Control Unit Display. It is very well designed delivering complete user-friendliness. There are actually labels for each settings which clearly defines their functions. But if this is not your first time to handle such model, then you should definitely read the User’s Manual.

Digital Target ID

Located at the center of the digital display are two large digit numbers. This is the Digital Target ID where its purpose is to give an equivalent number to the detected object under the ground. If the number that you are getting is below 35 then it means that the buried object is probably made of iron. But if the number is above 70, it means that the object is made of silver. While, if the number is between 35 and 70 then the item is probably gold.

However, if you are performing a field test of your own then it is important for you to know that you will get different results from an On-Air Object Test in comparison to an actual Buried Object Test. You will probably ask why the difference?

There are several factors involve such as the level of the ground and the way you are swinging the search coil on the surface of the ground. But, what mostly influence the difference is the content of how much the ground is mineralized.

Iron Eliminator

The presence of iron on the ground can confuse your equipment to give false feedbacks. Many junk items are composed of iron such as rusty nails and even natural elements found on the soil. For this reason, manufacturers of the Garrett AT Pro came up with a feature called “High Res Iron Discrimination”. Through this amazing feature, iron can be disregarded by adjusting the setting which is between numbers 1 to 40.

Adjusting this setting is easily done by pressing the (+) or (-) under the Iron Disc label. Increasing the number at a high level will filter out the iron but you have to adjust it correctly otherwise you will end up missing a lot of your precious targets. One good way to properly set it up is to have a sample of the object that you wish to eliminate. Detect it with the search coil then make the necessary adjustment until the object is fully discriminated. In my own personal preference, setting it between 25 to 30 works perfectly fine for me.

Ground Balance

It is critical that every metal detector must have a Ground Balance feature because this will eliminate all unwanted noises caused by high mineralized soil. Garrett AT Pro’s Ground Balance feature consists of two modes which can be set to Automatic or Manual. If you are an amateur then it is best to set it to its Automatic setting.

Pro Mode Audio Sound Alert

Garrett AT Pro has two different modes of generating an alert sound. If a certain metallic object is detected, the Standard Audio Mode will generate a steady audio sound alert. There is no changes on the sound regardless of the depth of the object or type of metal detected. In short, the only information you know is that there is an object buried on that particular spot.

The Pro Audio Mode provides more information about the target than the Standard Mode. On this audio setting, when a certain target is located the strength of the sound will vary which will either go stronger or weaker. The explanation to this is that, when the buried item is close to the search coil the sound gets stronger while the sound will be weaker when it is buried a lot deeper.

Aside from the varying strength of the Pro Audio Mode, it also give specific tones for distinguishing the type of metals. Iron will emit a low tone while silver produce the highest tone. Gold and nickels are defined at the medium tone level.

Depth Penetration

Small objects up to the size of a coin can be detected to a maximum depth of 10 inches. But for larger sizes of objects, they can be detected at a deeper depths. Based from the field test that I performed, a metallic can with 5 inches diameter by 10 inches height was detected at a depth of 6 feet.

Despite my field test, other testers might have different results because there are other several factors that are involve that can affect a MD’s detection. These includes the composition of the soil, density and moistness.

Battery Indicator

The Battery Indicator is another important part of a MD. Just try to imagine how annoying can be if you went out for a hunt then just a few minutes of using your equipment, it goes OFF because you forgot to recharge. Some MDs don’t actually have battery indicators which you don’t know if the batteries needs recharging.

Garrett AT Pro actually have a Battery Condition Indicator. It is a feature that allows you to check how long the batteries will be able to lasts. It is pretty quiet accurate that you will be amazed about how long you can use it before the batteries needs to be recharge. And surprisingly, it is run by only 4 pieces of AA batteries.

Works on All Locations

As the final feature presented on this post, Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector works at any place or locations. You can use it to detect buried objects at the beach, parks, stream, desert, rain forest and anywhere else except with a limitation when used underwater.

Where to Buy?

Garrett AT Pro is available online at the Amazon Store.

Final Words

There are many other features of Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector and covered on this post are only the most interesting aspects of it. But overall, this is a metal detector that brings good promising results of finding buried items. There are already a lot of valuable items recovered in my metal hunting career through the use of this MD.
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Used Metal Detectors on Craigslist – Are they Worth Buying?

Craigslist is one among the good places online to find used or cheap metal detectors. It is the current and most popular online store that allows people to directly sell their used items to interested buyers. The most interesting part is that, since the items are considered secondhand, their prices are always lower than the brand new price of the item.

At Craigslist, there are some individuals who are in desperate need of money. They are the once that sell their items at a very low price in order to be able to rash-sale their items. This is good for buyers who are looking for cheap prices.

On my research, I found a guy claiming that he was able to buy a Bounty Hunter 202 for a very cheap price of only $70. The brand new price of a Bounty Hunter 202 is worth $174.99. Thus, he was able to buy the metal detector at a price which is way less than half the price of the brand new model. Then again, he was able to purchase another metal detector which is the White’s MXT for a very cheap price of only $450 (the brand new price is worth $849).

The Buy and Sellers

One of the annoying users of Craigslist are the buy and sellers. What they do is that, they have a certain amount of capital to spend on items being sold by rash sellers. Aside from rash sellers, there are also those sellers who simply doesn’t know the actual market value of their items or they simply doesn’t care. Hence, they end up putting prices according to their own personal estimation. Buy and sellers will target such items by buying them then selling them back at a higher price where they are able to make good profit. It is good for them but not for those actual buyers with the real intent of being in need or wanting the item.

Buy and sellers are also the main reason why it is hard to find or search for those super cheap metal detectors. It’s because they are constantly monitoring every new entries on the list. As a result, you are trying to compete with them in which you have a very low chance of succeeding. It’s because these people are often good at it since majority of them considered it as a job.

If it happens that you have found a super cheap metal detector listed on Craigslist then it is just probably luck.

The Scammers

Scammers are a lot worse than the buy and sellers it’s because they are there to steal your money. There are already an endless number of complaints from victims directed to Craigslist about being scammed. A cautious buyer even claimed that there is a 40 percent chance that you will contact a scammer. So if you really want to purchase a certain metal detector at Craigslist, you need to conduct your own investigation particularly about the reputation of the seller.

Quality of the Item

When it comes to used or second-hand items especially metal detectors, it will be hard for you to confirm the quality if all features are still on a good working condition or does not have any damages. Unless, you are already familiar with it or you are a techy individual.

Fake Ads

There are plenty of attractive ads about cheap metal detectors listed on Craigslist but when you are going to them check them up, it brings you to different products.

So is it worth buying a metal detector at Craigslist?

Despite all those risks involve, it is still worth buying a cheap metal detector at Craigslist. There are already numerous individuals who are well satisfied using Craigslist’s service where they were able to buy expensive metal detectors at a very low cost or affordable price. The key to their success is that they know how to distinguish legit sellers from the scammers.

Buying your Metal Detector at Craigslist

The risks of buying a metal detector at Craigslist can be easily avoided if you know exactly what you are doing. Thus, for those who are new to Craigslist, you may want to follow these guidelines:

1. Always Inspect the Image Ads

There are 3 ways a seller at Craigslist can post their ads which can be in the form of an image, text or both. Among them three, you should always prioritize ads with images of the item. The next thing to do is to investigate the posted image if it’s original or not. If you can find similar images on other websites, try to determine their locations. Once you discovered that the location of the seller varies from one another (especially from a different country) then, there is a huge chance that the ad is fake.

2. Research the Original Price of the Metal Detector

In order for you to be able to buy a super cheap metal detector at Craigslist, it is important that you need to be aware about the metal detector’s original price. Through this price, you are able to tell if you are buying your item at a good amount of price. If you noticed that the item is just slightly lower than its brand new price, it is probably being manipulated by a buy and seller. If this is the case then you are much better off buying the brand new model.

3. Search and Browse for Sellers at your Region

Buying a metal detector at your own region should be the first important step. So if it happens that you found an item that you are willing to buy, you can always ask the seller to meet you in person.

Meeting in person allows you to do the exchange manually which completely minimize your risks of getting scammed at a very low chance.

Moreover, finding a good used metal detector on Craigslist is like metal detecting. You really need to put some effort in your search and surely, you might even find something that exceeds your own expectation.

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TFR-1 Long Range Locator Rod Product Review

People have been talking about the “TFR-1 Long Range Locator Rod” (some categorized it as a metal detector) which often ended into a never ending debate if it’s really effectively working or not. This tool based on my own personal perspective works like a dowsing rod. You hold it with your hand and sweep it around then follow the direction of the rod’s tip until it takes you to spot where the item is buried.

Now, let’s look further into the product features of TFR-1 Long Range Locator Rod.

“Crystal and Mineral Powered”

Upon knowing that TFR-1 is powered by a natural element which are crystals and minerals, I already knew that it doesn’t require electrical energy which is the main advantage of dowsing rod detectors against EMDs (Electronic Metal Detectors). Although, it is still a puzzle to me the use of crystal and mineral as a power source for this tool.

“No Junk Metals or Magnetic Signal Guaranteed”

I like the word “guaranteed” which means, it delivers what is stated a hundred percent to the buyer. So by purchasing TFR-1 Long Range Locator, it guarantees that you won’t be detecting hassle scraps or junk of worthless pieces of metals. The magnetic signal being referred here is more commonly interpreted by others as noise or interference. It actually interferes with the frequency level of the tool which give annoying false signals. Gladly, TFR-1 Long Range Locator is capable of neglecting such unwanted signals giving only satisfying result to the user.

“Lightweight and Compact, Will Not Tire your Wrist”

Another obvious advantage of Long Range Locating detectors over the EMDs is the size. TFR-1 is so lightweight and compact that you can hold and use it for the entire day without tiring your wrist. Since this tool is held by just one hand, you can alternately operate it with any of your hands. So if it happens that you are right-handed and it came to the point that it got tired, you can just switched it to your left hand.

“Completely Collapsible for Pocket Transport”

Aside from being a lightweight device, TFR-1 Long Range Locator is also collapsible which can be easily disassembled that it can even fit inside your pocket.

“TFR-T.D. Target Discriminator Accessory”

What really makes TRF-1 a lot more interesting as compared to any other Long Range Locators in the market is its TFR-T.D. Target Discriminator Accessory. What it does is that, it allows you to determine the size of your target before you even attempt to dig it under the ground.

How TFR-1 Target Discriminator Accessory Works?

The Target Discriminator Box of the TFR-1 consist of a large dial in the middle. Around this dial is a scale of weight settings starting from the minimum, grams, ounce, pounds and maximum (1 gram to over 100 lbs.). Take note, you have to set the dial into the corresponding weight of the item that you are trying to locate. It is very important that you really have to set the dial into the specific weight of the item that you intend to detect. Otherwise, you won’t be getting any signal from the rod it’s because according to the manufacturer, setting the target’s weight “precisely” gives accurate result.
After setting the dial up, you need the “material or sample”. This material must be the same type of material that you are trying to detect. So if you are searching for gold, you need a material which is also a gold. The minimum weight of the material must not be less than 1 gram but according to some users, 2 grams gives a much better result.

The discriminator box consist of a blue colored cap on its top. Opening it will reveal an empty chamber in which you need to put the sample inside it. The manufacturer don’t have any further explanation about the purpose of placing the sample inside the chamber of the box. But in my own opinion, the discriminator box uses the frequency pattern of the sample to detect similar type of materials via the locating rods.

TFR-1 Long Range Locator comes with a stereo cable which connects the discriminator box to the locator. At the bottom of the discriminator, there is a jack in which you are going to insert the stereo cable. The other end of the stereo cable it to be connected into the jack found at the bottom part of the TFR-1 handle.

Those are all the setup and you are good to go.

Amplification Booster of the TFR-1 Long Range Locator

The TFR-1 Long Range Locator already comes with the standard amplification booster which is the cylindrical piece connected at the opposite side of the locating rod or antenna. This part is actually removable which can be replaced with a better or more improved versions of amplification booster.

According to the manufacturer, the amplification booster works as a balancer which gives the rod more power. Inside the booster are secret ingredients discovered by the manufacturer in their several years of experimental tests especially on the field. One of the latest model is the TFR- A.B. (Stainless) Extreme Power Amplification Booster accessory. When used, it amplifies TFR-1’s range of detection from 500 to 700 feet distance range which is very incredible. Aside from its range, this booster model is also capable of detecting various types of material (not just gold) such as diamond, paper money, copper, aluminum or almost anything that you can fit inside the sample chamber. But, if you want to focus more in finding gold and silver then you should choose the TFR-A.B. (Brass) Gold Silver Amplification Booster. This model is perfect for prospectors looking for small amount of fine gold or nuggets. Its range of detection goes between 500 to 800 feet distance.

My Personal Review about TFR-1 Long Range Locator

In my own personal point of view, TFR-1 is a technological invention that evolved from the traditional long range locators which is the dowsing L-Rods. The main difference is that, traditional L-Rods requires two antennas which are held by both hands while TFR-1 consist of only one.

When operating the TFR-1 Long Range Locator, you need to swing it from side-to-side and feel through the rod the direction of the target. The feeling is like, there is a magnet pulling the rod into your target’s location. You have to keep swinging the rod while observing the strength of the pull because the stronger the pull, it means that you are getting closer.

Unfortunately, there are some individuals who have trouble trying to feel the pull or not getting any signal no matter how many times they tried. On my part, I could feel the pull but the real challenge is that, it is really hard to locate the exact spot of the buried item. Or, it could only mean that there are several deposits scattered around the area that I am trying to detect.

And finally, according to the manufacturer, TFR-1 Long Range Locator is capable of detecting 500 to 700 feet range distance. I want to emphasize the word “range distance” here which is not the same as “range of depth”. I assume it could penetrate almost an equal range of depth to its range of distance.

My overall product review of TFR-1 Long Range Locator is that, it is an awesome and powerful tool when used by the right person especially individuals who already have experiences in using dowsing tools.
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Do Gold Detectors Really Work?

Some gold hunters especially amateurs often think that there is something special about “gold detectors”. The fact is, there is really nothing so special about it whereas gold detectors are standard metal detectors or LRL (Long Range Locators) with some slight modifications made specifically on their “operating frequency”.

When it comes to electronic gold detectors, there are two general types of products for you to choose from which can be VLF (Very Low Frequency) or PI (Pulse Induction).


The VLF gold detectors has an operating setting of higher frequency as compared to what standard metal detectors use. The reason is that, gold is best detected at high operating frequencies. Thus, if you want a reliable gold detector then you should only choose units that operates at around kHz. At this range of frequency, the tool is quite sensitive to small gold nuggets. Detectors that are designed to find coins and relics will most likely ignore small sized gold nuggets which is a huge disappointment for gold seekers. It is important for you to know that it is quite interesting to detect and uncover big 1-ounce nuggets but in reality, such sizes are extremely rare that most gold nuggets that can be found are way much smaller.

The Search Coil plays the most important part of a VLF detector. So if you bought a certain unit of this kind, you should expect that the package has a set of search coils with different sizes. They have to be of varied sizes because it has something to do with the settings of the device’s sensitivity to gold. Avid metal detectorists already knew that large size search coil has deeper penetration and it can easily detect large objects but ignores the small ones. If you are a gold nugget hunter, using a small search coil is a much preferred choice because it increases the unit’s sensitivity to gold. It also has a better performance than the large search coil when detecting on areas with highly mineralized soil. Although, the downside of using a small search coil is less penetration and it would really take a lot of time to cover the ground.

Another huge downside of the VLF is that, it poorly performs on areas with highly mineralized ground and a lot more worse under the presence of hot rocks. In most cases, the equipment will go erratic giving out a lot of false feedbacks. Some latest VLF models can be fine-tuned which has something to do with the sensitivity but this hugely affects the penetration of depth which is terribly not good.


Sadly, VLF is now considered by many as an old technology particularly when Pulse Induction came out to take its place. The main reason why most detectorists prefer PI detector is due its capability to penetrate deep buried objects with amazing accuracy even at a highly mineralized type of ground condition. In comparison, VLF detectors can only detect gold nuggets at a depth of around 6 to 12 inches while PI detectors can impressively detect such object up to 2 feet or even more.

Perhaps the only downside of a PI over VLF are its price and handling. Not all detectorists can afford to buy their own PI detector due to its very expensive amount of price. The best once are of course the newest models and they usually cost around several thousands of dollars. When it comes to handling, PI are heavy unlike the VLF which can be swung all day with less fatigue.


Unlike VLF and PI, LRL works in a different manner which involve vibrations. Detectorists who are using this type of tool claims that all objects has their own specific and unique vibration. So in order to detect gold, all they have to do is to tune their locator in the same level of vibration as the gold. However, most individuals often gave up on this tool due to its inaccuracy especially when used by the amateurs. Worst, many individuals claims that these simple type of detectors are fraud. Regardless of this issue, the few people who claim that it works for them often explains that their success comes from their deep understanding about how their tools works.

How Gold is detected by Electronic Detectors?

As already explained above, electronic detectors send frequency signals that penetrates through down the ground. But, there are a few more occurrences that follows through. If the signal happens to hit a target underground, it will bounce back into the antenna or search coil acting as both the transmitter and receiver. At this point, the signal received will be processed by the unit’s circuitry converting it into an audible or visual output.

Aside from the operating frequency signal of the electronic detector, the type of object buried under the ground also plays an important factor. Generally, metals are classified into two major categories known as the “non-ferrous” and the “ferrous”. Gold do belong under the non-ferrous type. Other types of metals on this category includes nickel, lead, zinc and silver. Ferrous, the second group are materials that often contain iron and tin. The main difference between these two groups is that, metals under the non-ferrous category are a much better conductor than the ferrous type.

Manufactured electronic gold detectors are now equipped with a technology known as “discriminator”. This is an improved part of the unit’s circuitry that processes the received signal classifying it as either non-ferrous or ferrous automatically. When the object found is classified as ferrous then the detector will simply ignore it.

Moreover, finding the best gold detector is the real challenge. If you have been researching by reading several forums and reviews, you will notice that they have different and conflicting personal opinions. This leaves you a tough decision. Anyway, I would not be recommending any specific model on this post but I do suggest that you should stick your choice among these top popular brands: Fisher, White’s Electronics, Garrett, Kellyco, AccurateLocators and Minelab.
As for my final words, “the real success of finding gold underground is not all about the detector but how to operate and understand what exactly it is telling you.”
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